Justice Sunday Posts

Recently I had to get braces. Being a 26-year-old woman in the prime of life this came a bit of a shock but there was no getting around it. My orthodontist had been examining my teeth for some time and concluded I had misaligned teeth. The longer this went on the worse things would get. Braces would be needed and not the invalign kind that can be hidden but the headgear setup that looks like something out of the movie Saw!

He assured me that it would only be a short time and then I could have them removed. 6 months though is quite a long time when you need to walk around looking like you stepped out of a medieval village. Understandably my self-esteem took a nose dive. Everywhere I went I could feel the press of eyes on me, it wasn’t an easy subject to talk about and most seemed to skip around it. Considering how obvious the braces were this unwillingness to acknowledge them bordered on the ridiculous.

Having always had a strong fate in God I knew I could turn to him for guidance. I went through my Bible, which I always have by my bedside, and went through passages I had marked earlier. I found ones that gave me the strength when needed.

1 Timothy 4:10That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe”

I’ve struggled through hard times before and I’ve always pulled through thanks to a strong belief that God is guiding me and knows what’s best. Anyone who’s undergoing depression or anxiety can benefit from these words which remind us strife is a part of life and one of the ways we test ourselves, both against the world and our faith in God.

Psalm 34:17-18 – “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”

This reminds us that even in hard times God is always there. He listens to us and gives us strength in spirit. It’s in rough times when we feel demons oppressing our should that we can turn to the light of God to guide us back.

Building on that, here are others that gave me the strength to get my confidence back.

Psalm 62:5-6 – “Only God gives inward peace, and I depend on Him. God alone is the mighty rock that keeps me safe, and he is the fortress where I feel secure”

Philippians 4:13: – “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”

Psalm 28:76 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield”

Not forgetting, of course, the support of friends and family. They helped me make light of things and get back to normal. Look to your church group if you need it, it can make a massive difference knowing you have the support and unconditional love of those around you.…

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Pets have never been more popular these days. Almost every family has at least one dog or cat. Along with hamsters, rabbits, goldfish and two dozen others, there’s never been such variety available in the pets we choose. Hence this raises the question of what the bible has to say about pets. Do they go to heaven? How should we treat them?

The bible does not really address how we should deal with pets. The only possible example of a pet owner is the poor man in Nathen’s parable a man who “had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him” (2 Samuel 12:3). We can though draw some conclusions based on what the bible says on other topics.

 

God made all the world and all the things in it. As such they all deserve respect. This includes animals as well which should be loved as much as any parts of God’s creation. “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you!” (Psalm 145:9-10)

 

Likewise, all animals deserve our protection. God made us to be the lords over the other animals. As God is our lord and protector so must we be a protector of the animals he has given to us. Those who mistreat animals are abusing that trust and invite god’s malice. “Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel” (Proverbs 12:10)

God’s care for animals explains our desire to keep pets. As God created mankind in his image (Genesis 1:27) we have inherited the part of God’s nature that cares for animals. Whenever we look after our pets we are reflecting a part of God’s nature, to a certain extent. Our pets rely on us to meet their needs, much as we rely on God to provide for our needs. By keeping a pet, we are taking on responsibility and modelling our behaviour on the creator.

Parents should introduce a pet into their home to teach responsibility to their children. It can serve as a lesson on how God takes care of us and, as such, how we must take care of the pets we take in. This reflects on our personal integrity and devotion to living a righteous life. “A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10)

 

Make this your goal and incorporate it into your life as much as any of god’s other teachings. It is the meek that shall inherit the earth so show that attitude when caring for those in our protection.

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if your anything like me you love to read and listen to music at the same time. When picking up the bible for a relaxing read or some contemplation I’ve found that it helps put me in the right state of mind if there some calming music in the background. Some, in fact many, would argue that you can’t read and listen at the same time. Both demand attention and right to, I feel though that a balance can be found.

I commute daily to work by train, it takes over an hour and I’ve always got a book with me when I do. The Bible is probably the most common one I take with me. In difficult times, a few readings have helped put things in perspective and find peace again. The problem is though it’s very difficult to concentrate with the noise of the train. Stops are being made, people constantly getting on and off, loud school children and just obnoxious loud talkers on their phones. It’s almost impossible to even hear myself think, much less concentrate on any reading. So I started bringing along some headphones with me to help drown out the background and find my Zen.

At first, I was quite uncertain as to what to listen to. None of my usual favorites seemed appropriate for reading. I also tended to lose focus when a favorite part came along. After about a week or two of trying different things, I finally found a playlist that works for me. It might not suit you but I found some common denominators as to why some music is better than others. Great reading music should have the following attributes

No Vocals
It’s very difficult to focus on your inner reading voice when you have another voice coming through your ears. Research has shown that music with a lot of vocals is not good for concentration. Choose music so that has little to no vocals. Classical is one of my favorites. Some of my favorites are Schubert, Bach, and Chopin. Bach, in particular, is a wonderful choice, most of his music is religiously inspired or themed. Strange as it may seem, electronic music can also be great. I love the beats of DJ Krista.

Less variation is better
The less varied a song is the easier it is to focus on the reading at hand while the music serves as a backdrop. If a song goes through a lot of variation with up, downs and changes in tempo then it will be a lot more difficult to focus properly. Choose songs that have a steady rhythm that doesn’t change much. A good example I found was ‘On the Corner’ by Miles Davis, an album that has been torn to pieces by critics and jazz lovers since its release in 1972. The same constant atonal riff just keeps going with little variation or change in tempo. As a jazz album, it’s terrible but I love it for reading. The lack of rhythm or tempo change makes it very easy to zone out and focus on the reading…

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Continuing on from last week’s article we provide more quotations from the Bible on the need to keep fit. Christianity stresses the importance of spiritual strength and devoting time to improving ourselves and others. The spirit is important but so too is the body. After all, it is a gift from God and should be treated accordingly. By staying fit and healthy we can also better serve the Lord and those around us. No matter what your job maybe you should still keep yourself fit and healthy. So get out there and start running, find a gym or even hire a personal trainer. To help keep yourself motivated here are some quotes from scripture on the importance of physical exercise.

 

1 Corinthians 9:26-27
“Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

This passage mentions the importance of giving your full attention to any exercise. Don’t exercise halfhearted but strive always to make yourself better and stronger for the trials of life

1 Corinthians 6:19
“Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and who was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourselves but to God”

We must give thanks to God for all the things we have received which means showing them due respect and care so that when they must be returned they are better than when received. Our bodies are temples of the holy spirit and should be treated as such.

Isaiah 40:29-31
“He gives power to the faint, abundant strength to the weak. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar on eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”

The Lord will give you strength to achieve your life goals if you put your faith in him. It’s when things become difficult that we reach a test in our fate which must be seized as an opportunity to do more and better.

Proverbs 24:5, 31:17
“A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might.” “She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.”

We must always be striving to better ourselves both mentally, spiritually and physically. We best serve The Lord by serving others so seek to strengthen yourself in every way. Life can through a lot of challenges our way so practice strength training so that you will be ready for what lies ahead.

2 Peter 1:5-7
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love”

Take from this the importance of self-development. We must always be striving to better ourselves. Exercising builds discipline and self-control which can then develop virtue.

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The Scripture teaches us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Co. 6:19).  The Apostle Paul taught Timothy about how ladies should manage themselves outside, “with shamefacedness and sobriety” (I Timothy 2:9).  In these modern days, the line between modest apparel and provocative pieces seems to be getting thinner.   Nevertheless, it is important to keep God´s standards.

When it comes to exercising, the Bible has a lot to say about how to manage it.  Besides guarding our tongues, disciplining the body, and running the race, we should take care of our bodies.

What the Bible says about exercising

Let us take a look at some Bible verses that actually motivate you to keep up the race and exercise your body.  Because you see, God is interested in us having a healthy and wholly life, both in flesh and spirit.

1 Timothy 4:8 “Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future.”

1 Corinthians 9:26-27 “Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified.”

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 “Surely you know that many runners take part in a race, but only one of them wins the prize. Run, then, in such a way as to win the prize. Every athlete in training submits to strict discipline, in order to be crowned with a wreath that will not last; but we do it for one that will last forever. That is why I run straight for the finish line; that is why I am like a boxer who does not waste his punches. I harden my body with blows and bring it under complete control, to keep myself from being disqualified after having called others to the contest.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 “Therefore, whether you eat, or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.”

2 Timothy 2:5 “An athlete who runs in a race cannot win the prize unless he obeys the rules.”

How should it be done

The Bible does not specifically mention anything on what type of exercises a believer should engage in.  It is safe to say though that practices that tap into spiritual realms that God dislikes are not the Biblical way of doing them.  Exercises that involve dancing frantically or with sensual poses with a partner are not in favor with what the Bible teaches about prudence and good practices belonging to saints.

If you ever need a good program that contains a program that does not offend God´s ways in any way, we would recommend Fresh! Fitness.  Take a look at their program and learn how they aim towards a better you, physically.…

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Have you considered taking Sunday schools into your own backyard? If not, then probably you need some convincing factors to do it. Holding Sunday schools in your backyard is such a great idea. If you have enough space in the backyard, you can utilize it for someone good, useful and beneficial to your family and even to your entire neighbourhood.

The Backyard Site for instance gives some insights about how you are able to use your own backyard for tons of activities. And holding Sunday schools is one of them. Here are some of the reasons why taking it into your backyard is such a great idea.

 

Backyard Sunday school

You should know that having a Sunday school session at home in the backyard gives you a different feeling of satisfaction and blessedness. It will give your entire family the opportunity to learn the word of God.  You are able to let your entire family, even the kids to join. After all, they don’t have any reason not to because it’s just a few steps away from the house.

The other reason why it is good to have it in your backyard is you will have the best opportunity to invite your neighbours to attend. It wouldn’t be hard for you to let them to come because they don’t need to travel far. If indeed they won’t say yes, you can always let your speakers talk aloud, that way the people around would still have the opportunity to hear.

You know that you have the responsibility to tell other people about the word of God. And having the Sunday school sessions at your home gives you the best chance to reach out the people around you. There’s a great feeling satisfaction on your part because you know, in one way or another, you are able to let them hear about it.

Using the Backyard

If you have plenty of space in the backyard, you can always do something good out of it. Whether it’s a Sunday school for kids or adults, it should be worth it. After Sunday school, you can prepare some simple snacks or let the kids play some games for fun. Let your backyard open for the work of God and you’ll see how it makes a difference in your life.

When setting up your backyard, you don’t really have to stress yourself out. You can even ask the help of some of your church members to help you out. They are definitely more than willing to help. Just make sure that area is clear and safe for everyone. Check out some possible things that might hurt or make someone stumble.

So if you haven’t volunteered yet to take Sunday schools into your backyard, the best time is now. It is amazing to know that you are willing to offer your place for God’s work. Reach out to your church officials and schedule your next Sunday school session in your backyard. Trust me, it’s a good deed that will give you the best feeling in the world.

Churches

It is rare to find a picture of Jesus or his disciples without long hair and even longer beards. In TV and movies, the actor portraying Jesus is always slightly feminine in nature, but with that iconic beard and general unkempt look. With no real pictures to satisfy our curiosity for what Jesus really did look like, we are left to the imagination of Hollywood screen writers.

Even as you read the scriptures, you will find few references to the way in which Jesus looked. We can make assumptions though, based on facts we know of his time on earth. For one thing, he followed the law of his father, and would not have allowed his hair to grow long. “Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame to him?” That alone goes completely against what modern man has in mind when they picture Jesus.

We also know that Jesus was a carpenter, and without the benefit of electric hand tools, likely had great upper body strength. So why on earth now is he shown as being a man who is only two steps away from dying of starvation?

What About the Beard?

While scripture does indeed point to a short haired Jesus with the body of a strong man, it also leads us to believe that a beard did adorn his cheeks and chin. “I give my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard, I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.” Plus, since God gave the ability to grow a beard to man, but not women, than it is hard to argue that there was not good reason.

Jesus was a religious man, who would have followed the accepted rules for his time. That included not putting a razor to the face in order to make it clean.

What Should That Tell Us for Today’s Man?

Christian men should not be clean shaven if they are following the word of the bible. Their hair should be cut short, but not their beards. Yes, it is alright to get beard grooming tips to make it a more acceptable look in today’s society but the lower face should be covered.

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Embrace the life and body that was gifted to you, by following the words of God and Christ to the letter. As Christians, we need to be better banded together, and growing beards is a great showing of solidarity in this world we live in today.

Religion

Marriage is still a Christian holy sacrament. A promise that is made to God that you are going to love this person unconditionally for the rest of your days. That you will cherish and honor them as your spouse and forsake any others. This seems to be a hard concept for the world to understand and respect, as the number of divorces clearly shows.

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One of the reasons for this I believe is the straying from the traditional Christian wedding service. Without the presence of God at the beginning of your life together, what kind of hope do you have? A Christian wedding service serves as a strong base for a marriage to weather any storm.

What Constitutes a Christian Wedding Ceremony?

There is no outline in the Bible that tells us the right way to get married, yet over the years we have adopted traditions as Christians that better exemplify our faith. At the heart is a ceremony that should express worship of God as well as a sense of community, respect, dignity and of course love. A wedding ceremony should be used as testimony to the sanctity of your union and demonstrate your strength as a Christian couple.

While certain elements may be altered, there are some that I insist on in order for me to feel good about calling it a Christian union:

  • The bride should be white. This is a symbol of her purity of mind, heart and body and an important tradition to follow.
  • Seating of any parents and grandparents is also a part of the ceremony. This displays a respect for those who have helped bring the bride and groom to this day.
  • The bride must be given away. This seems old fashioned to some, but for me the groom must understand that this woman is a gift that must be treasure.
  • Lighting of the Unity candle is more important then the exchange of rings. The first act of working together as a married couple helps to build their strength.
  • A traditional wedding mass is one where there are biblical readings, a sermon and song just like Sunday mass.

Eliminating Distractions

On this day, all eyes should be on the bride and groom, who should only be interested in one another. Big party plans and worries about details often distract the couple from their own wedding. I always suggest that the extra planning be done with consummate professionals who will allow the couple and guests to enjoy the day seamlessly. Wedding pictures should be shot by a Calgary wedding photographer who has a solid reputation for being self sufficient. Too many

The same is true for any catering and entertainment that is planned for the reception. All of the details should be carefully gone over the day before the wedding, in order for the bride and groom to be able to just sit back and enjoy the day of.

When you focus on the meaning of the day, and the responsibility you have undertaken, the vows you exchange will have a more significant meaning. Make the wedding the …

Churches

Church SignageDoes the promise of heaven make the church full? Well, not exactly. Just like any other businesses around the country, there are some churches that have not only maintained the number of their followers but also increased it as well.  For these religious institutions, they follow a specific marketing plan. They are able to…

Give the right message…

to the right people…

at the right time…

These three factors are essential in forming marketing strategies. Giving the right message in front of audiences when they are motivated to hear it will make it possible to connect with new followers.

Connecting with New Followers

Like any other marketing strategies, these institutions know what their target audiences want. So, what do people want from their church? “Belongingness” – people want to be part of something larger than themselves, something that make them feel involve and important, much more to be loved and valued. Consider all these and follow the marketing strategies below, in no time there will be more connection with new followers.

Religious Marketing Strategies

  1. Talking to People is the primary way when it comes to human connection. It is important for church and ministries to “walk the talk” or practice what they preach. Being able to connect with people, like engaging in community activities can show potential followers how reputable a church or a ministry is. This is a great and effective marketing strategy.

 

  1. Make religious institutions known to the public by distributing flyers, brochures, leaflets and business cards. Print advertising is one of the most effective marketing strategies to make people know that such a religious institutions exist. In addition to this, posting ads on establishments, cars or clothing is also a great way to attract new followers. This instigates people curiosity and interests. Having great church signage is also important so potential followers can easily identify where your institution is located.

 

  1. There are wide and expanding marketing resources and tools available today. Take advantage of advancement in technologies. Religious institutions marketing strategies use a diverse mix of different media platform. Besides the use of television, radio and print ads, the internet particularly the social media platforms are a great way to connect with new followers.

    Millions if not billions uses the internet 24 hours a day. It’s just a matter of finding the right campaign to convey the right message to the right audience.

 

Creating a website is also a powerful marketing strategy but remember to formulate relevant campaigns that will uplift audiences. Have an effective navigation system and furnish service schedule and location.  Post sample sermons and secular activities, this will show people a taste of what the religious institution has to offer.

Final Thought

The human connection is positive, uplifting and inspiring; this is what a religious institution should focus more on when it comes to marketing plan. Engaging people whose time are very limited is not that easy. Besides a good marketing strategies, these churches and ministries should provide old and …

Churches

Shoes for church

As what our elders say, we have to be at our best whenever we go to Church. This means that going to Church for the right reasons with the right motivation, may it be to pray for something or simply to reflect. Also, along with our best behavior.

However, what many of us tend to forget especially nowadays is looking decent and presentable in visiting the Church. We tend to mix up our cocktail dress with the Sunday dress.

Now let us guide you from head to toe in becoming a better member of the Church.

Avoid wearing too flashy, sparkly or colored outfits. Tone down and be dainty. The purpose is to visit the Church and pray not draw attention.

Second are your accessories. Keep it simple! In the Church, less is more. The more you show off, the more people would doubt your sincerity.

The most missed out detail is the choice of footwear. High heels look very fascinating and sexy on women. High heels make you look tall, make your legs look longer and at the same time show them off! However, in a place like the Church one must be careful in selecting the right high heels, you can visit TwoComfyShoes and read their reviews on comfortable heels for women. Let us help you with that!

Kitten Heel

The safest among the high heels collection that is suitable for Church. Kitten heel can fit both moms and young adults. It has this edgy but subtle look and feel.

Kitten Heel Peep-Toe D’Orsay

This type of high heels fits moms and let’s not forget, the grandmas as well! Most of them are only half to one inch high so there’s no worrying how to walk on them! You will look funky but calm! No worries about assisting your mom or grandma, this footwear is suitable for all ages. What a good way to feel on Sunday for worship and family!

Pumps

Almond-Toe and Pointed-Toe pumps are so trendy that you can wear them from school to work to parties and to Church. The only difference these two have is the shape of the front part of the shoe. The Almond-Toe high heel has slightly rounded tip. The Pointed-Toe on the other hand is fully pointed. If you still want to retain and give clues about your fierce personality, then the Pointed-Toe is your mate. Whichever among the two you like most, just do not wear more than 3-inches high heels! Wearing pumps will earn you professional points from your peers of the Church but wearing more than 3-inches will earn you glances and stares.

Wedges

Wedges are perfect for summer! The season wherein you just want your feet to breathe and see the whole world! This type of high heels can never go wrong. If you’re wearing a dress, the wide width wedge sandals will make the whole outfit more semi-formal. On the other hand, if you’re wearing jeans then the wedge sandals will make you look more laid back and casual. Check out this article on wide width wedge sandals to help you with your buying decision.

Do not wear Platform high heels to Church. We get it, you want …

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