RELIGION & MY LIFE SERIES_MOVIES

When I choose a movie I choose it for the purpose of getting something out of it. It may be affirmation, education, a challenge or light hearted humor. This movie was very affirming for me.( I went to see it at Village_ Sunshine)

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This morning I went to see this movie and I have to say it really hit the mark.            I enjoyed it at many levels.

First because it’s art imitating life, I know of a real nearby church in Maribyrnong, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Australia that was burned by a disgruntled youth. There are also churches been burned or bombed in other parts of the world today.

I condemn this violence as it’s not helpful and it just causes more pain and it should never be a form of expression no matter what faith it may be.

Second, that we all have doubts and fear in life. We have all been victims of injustices at some time or another. But God is always there waiting to hear from each and everyone of us to answer our doubts and fears. The movie shows this beautifully through Pastor Dave.

Third, that forgiveness is the biggest healer of all. We should never doubt God’s acceptance of us,  His unconditional love and forgiveness.

Fourth, I know families struggling with children and their faith, like Pastor Dave and his lawyer brother. Teenagers doubting the existence of God. I believe that parents need to have real discussions with their children and together be part of a church that is going to deepen their faith.

Next, is the question of whether we have the right to practice our faith. Some say faith can be divisive and it can cause violence. No!!! Religion doesn’t cause violence but the hearts and choices of people does. We should not blame religion for the atrocities of others. We all have a right to practice our religion as stated in Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (see article 18 below) http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/                                        I  hate the argument that religion causes wars. These wars were all chosen by men not God. Let’s look at the now!

God is good all the time, it’s people that doubt, question and change. God never changes. Church is very relevant today, more than ever before because the world as it stands today, is in turmoil. I love when Pastor Dave was asked what is truth?  He answered that truth is a person -JESUS CHRIST -who is the true justice warrior.

Jesus’ teachings are very relevant today, they were given to us to help and protect us, not to harm us. Just look at the choices people are making today. Their choices are been driven by what the media is pushing, minority groups, what is fashionable, by stats or by desires, not by what is good, praiseworthy and pleasing to God.

We should all focus on the big picture and have a heaven perspective. This movie helps me focus of the Almighty, All powerful God and Jesus who is like God.

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Dear Lord Jesus,

Everyday helps us to be more like you and fight for what is right and just, according to the gospels you gave us. Give us the answers to all our doubts and fears and forgive all our digressions, through Your Holy Spirit, AMEN.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO ALL MOTHERS

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY _SUNDAY, 13TH MAY

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I love my mother, I love being a mother and I love seeing all mothers with their families. I feel great joy when fathers love their wives and the mothers of their children and then doing things together and sharing each other’s company.

I believe in the unique and significant gifts and roles mothers and fathers play in the upbringing of their children and God’s children.

I have a teaching background and I have taught thousands of children and I felt that the children entrusted to me were my children as well, so I taught and cared for them like a mother.  But the ones that stood out were the ones who demonstrated virtues of :_faith in God who is the almighty and all knowing Father in Heaven and the One who is unequalled and who is greater than them, hard work, openness to learn, respect, humbleness, assertiveness, inclusiveness and empathy.

Where do all these great virtues come from? Children learn what they live, how mothers treat their husbands, how husbands treat their wives and from the role models they have before them. The examples they experience are learnt from their parents and family members way before they reach school age. It’s not until they have learnt these fundamentals that they can express these virtues and share them with others.

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Jesus is our role model, He was born of  Mother Mary with his foster father Joseph in a loving family. This is what we should aspire to, Jesus gave Mary to us to be our mother too. Mary mother of Jesus, brings her unique love, her sacrificing love in order to give us her SON Jesus. Mary was the greatest disciple of all, when the others fled because they were too scared at the end,  Mary remained steadfast and loved Jesus with her selfless love till His last breath and beyond.

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My mother sacrificed a lot for me and my brothers and I have learnt a lot from her. My children respect my mother because they have learnt it from me-their mother and so the cycle goes on.

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I don’t claim that raising children or having taught them was easy and many a time I found it extremely hard and challenging. But I never forgot what Mary went through and I always pray to her  that she be a mother to me and my children with her unique way of reaching to Her Son Jesus and God, as my greatest intercessor of all.

So, I salute all mothers from all different walks of life and ask God to bless them with all of their heart’s desires. I continue to ask Mary the mother of Jesus and the mother of us all, for her intercession in helping us raise strong families and strong children with their husbands and fathers together in a loving family, according to God’s plan. GOD BLESS ALL MOTHERS AND FATHERS

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Please pray with me

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RELIGION AND MY LIFE SERIES: RELATIVISM

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The oxford meaning of ‘Relativism’ is……The doctrine that knowledge, truth, and morality exist in relation to culture, society, or historical context, and are not absolute.

So looking at this from a moral perspective, this would mean that there is no truth and that it changes as society’s views change…I believe this is ridden with problems.

According to Joseph Ratzinger Pope Benedict....”Relativism is the idea that there is no universal absolute truth but that truth differs from person to person and culture to culture. In other words, truth is relative to what each person or culture thinks. who warned  “We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one’s own ego and one’s own desires.” Relativism is a poison. It attacks our most human capacity, the capacity to seek and know the truth, including the moral truth.  It’s the greatest problem of our time sais Joseph Ratzinger- Pope Benedict)

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For a family to grow and thrive, it must have a set of values and beliefs that ensure the smooth running of its household for the benefits of all its family members. To do this it must have a common understanding of what is right and what is wrong, what to do and what not to do under given circumstances.

But could this be true of any workplace, establishment, society or country etc.?       I would say YES!! Because without a system of beliefs, values and a common understanding, how would its employees, members, participants etc. come to the truth? How would they come to some consensus? How could any family , or institution function? How could they be fair and just?  Again, having a common set of beliefs would assist, enhance the teamwork, involvement, productivity etc. Companies, schools, establishments, workplaces  have vision and mission statements to differentiate them from the rest . I deem this to be necessary of society as well. I’m not sure how all would function without a common set of values and beliefs.  All would collapse, all would not be able to function and thrive.

So then what is the truth??????????????????????? Many today think that science is the only truth, that if it cannot be verified then it’s just an opinion or it’s subjective.

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One of the greatest manifestation of this is the question of what is evil/right/wrong/? Just take a look at this youtube video (below)

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Shouldn’t parents have the right to hold on to their child? Countries who have had euthanasia laws well established, have people going into hospitals wearing badges saying “Please don’t euthanize me.” People should have the right to choose according to their values and beliefs?  Where there is life there is hope. That hope was taken away from Alfie’s parents. Similar situations would come under abortion, euthanasia, marriage, gender issues and more.

This belief that truth evolves and that there are no absolutes would be difficult to live to, this would lead us to believe that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself but that there is only better than and worse than….Nothing is good or bad in itself. Everything depends on the circumstance and on the evil in view. Anything can be good or bad, depending upon purposes and circumstances. Morality is replaced by a calculus of consequences and in the process it ceases to exist. ( Joseph Ratzinger 2008)

So how do we get around this?????? Jesus gives us the model to live by for all civilizations. Much of which his model is based on common core values of: love, hope and charity, respect, pro life and more, gospel truths that have been handed down from Jesus Christ using over 2000 years of intelligence.

No matter what faith one might have, these rules and themes as handed down by Jesus Christ, are universal. Who wouldn’t want to uphold love, hope and charity, respect or pro life issues? These can unite us and lead us to Jesus Christ who leads us to the absolute truth and to our Heavenly Father in Heaven. . Show me your evidence that negates this?

All churches, families, workplaces, or any establishment who serve people should adopt these values and not water them down because it is not fashionable.

Here are some problems. When relativists apply and start imposing their opinions unto others, problems surface, because where then is that common set of beliefs?  Which is right, your view or mine?As a relativist, why should anyone adopt or believe in someone who imposes their views? So why should anyone conform?????

So, how does all this relate to my life? Well, in my own family Jesus is the centre, he is our model to live by.  These values are the ones that I have tried to instill in my children.

As for the workplace, first I tried to find a place with the above values and when the workplace didn’t uphold them, I upheld them and tried to bring Jesus into the situation. I left the workplace when the common core values were not upheld or were not aligned with my faith. When it got tough, I prayed that Jesus would lead me to the next stage of my life and He always has in His timing not mine.

When sitting amongst friends and colleagues and the conversation because contentious, I politely bring facts and the truth to it. I try to evangelise as much as I can. I volunteer at my church and instruct students from  ages 8-11 years about my faith. The rest is up to them and whether they are open to the truth.

If people don’t believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and Their Spirit, then it becomes their responsibility to search for the truth. I’m still discovering and getting a better understanding of Jesus’s message because I’ve joined a bible group to help me grow in understanding. God is good because when He created us He programmed us for Him no matter what your beliefs are. God will bring opportunities to you via media, other people, a song, a report  etc.

At Election time, I research the parties’ candidates to see what their beliefs and world view is and then I vote for the candidae/party that best represent my views. I write letters to politicians and sign petitions.

Finally, I can live in the word but not be of the world and I try to have a heaven perspective.

PRAYER:

Dear Father in Heaven, make us strong and steadfast in avoiding temptation.      Lead us to the absolute truth and to reject new age philosophies that lead us to false beliefs which ignore the gospel truths of Your Son Jesus Christ. AMEN.