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Jesus in the Dawn

 

Jesus in the Dawn

As the sun rose on the horizon this morning, a beautiful red glow filled the sky. It lingered for quite awhile until the gold of the sunlight claimed it’s place.
I contemplated it’s meaning, this red then gold, in relation to our Lord who was sacrificed for our survival.
The red of Jesus’ blood lingering in the morning’s dawn to remind us of our chosen path and the God who came to save our very souls. And the gold of glorious salvation, given to we who believe and take comfort in knowing the glory that He has gifted us.
Our eternal saving grace, come to us with the rising sun, as a memory of the greatest gift ever given.
Jesus in the morning. Jesus in the dawn.
Thank you Lord.

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Book Review: Father Damien and His Era by Margaret Bunson

Book Review: Father Damien and His Era by Margaret Bunson

Molokai and Father Damien have always intrigued me ever since I watched the movie “The Hawaiians” with Charlton Heston, Geraldine Chaplin, John Phillip Law and Mako. I was horrified at the scene of lepers being thrown off ships into the sea by the island of Molokai, and the nightmare of their lives.

When I married my Hawaiian-born husband, he mentioned he had lived on Molokai with his parents for a little while when he was very young. His parents were essentially missionaries of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. It once again piqued my interest in the place and times.

I happened to find this book in our church library and so borrowed it. I had already seen the movie on youtube. https://youtu.be/0ZEKSHBJtdc I was thoroughly captivated by the film. It’s pretty amazing.

So, I read the book. There were others on the subject, but this one had a lot of the history in it, as well. It was really informative. It gave perspective to the time and outlined the relationships between the various countries with interests in Hawaii. Those were turbulent years.
It gives us insight into some of the troubles Father Damien went through with the hierarchy of the church. The church was not always supportive of what he was doing in Molokai. Originally his own brother, also a priest, was supposed to be the one to go to the island, but because of illness, he could not, and so Damian volunteered to go in his place.

What followed was obviously his destiny. He was incredibly kind to the lepers and with no regard for his own health, proceeded to tend to all of their needs, from building them homes, to washing their bodies and bandaging their wounds. He travelled the island, visiting everyone he could to help them live as comfortably as possible , considering their circumstances. He helped the residents establish gardens and learn to be as self-sufficient as could be under the circumstances. Up until his arrival, they lived in virtual squalor, with little food and hardly any medicines or health care of any kind. He asked for help many many times but it was only in his last years that he received any really effective aid.

This is a tremendous book which gives us insight into the politics, history, and the health and religious prejudices of the time. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who was interested in any of those things. It is very well written and a compelling read.

He was truly a Saint, that is for sure. I was moved to tears when reading of his struggles. I will remember him with great love in my heart and honour his feast day of May 10. In Hawaii, it is celebrated on the day of his death, April 15. I heartily recommend reading the book and watching the movie, which although it is not totally true to the story, does address many of the events of his life and those of the lepers of Molokai. It should be noted that the movie was filmed on Molokai itself.
Five Stars all the way! *****

https://www.amazon.com/Father-Damien-Man-His-Era/dp/0879739169/ref=sr_1_38?ie=UTF8&qid=1496022602&sr=8-38&keywords=Father+Damien

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Lenten Contemplations: Day Seven

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Metamorphosis

As the winds of change constantly blow across our land, we find ourselves hunkering down and hanging on to our familiar lives with almost desperation. Most of us want our lives to stay the same and make us feel grounded and solid and safe. But life is always changing. Life never stays exactly the same. It is a moving, evolving mystery.

When we cling to our life and do not allow ourselves to move forward with the evolution of the world and culture, we do ourselves an injustice. Growth only happens when change holds the lantern. Sometimes the change we see appears to be drastic and almost unbearable. Other times, we find ourselves welcoming it with open arms.

It is important that we become used to the idea of change and evolution as part of our daily life. If we stop and refuse to move forward, we may never achieve the goals and desires our Father wishes for us. We may succeed in missing half of our intended life and never succeed in utilizing all the gifts we have been given.

This Lent, practise giving up being stuck. Go through your life. Look at everything you have and everything you do. Examine these from all sides and viewpoints and try to release the things and behaviours which hold you in stillness. Give up the stop signs in front of your life. Replace them with contemplation signs and then open the Road and give yourself a green light. Move forward into a life and world of new possibilities. Be the butterfly, not the cocoon.

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Lenten Contemplations: Day Six

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Servant of the Servant

Two words in the human language which can either make or break you are sympathy and empathy. Sympathy means to offer caring and feelings of compassion for another who is going through something difficult. Empathy means to actually understand what that person is feeling and to be able to put yourself in their shoes and feel with them, not just for them.

It is a great gift to be able to empathize with another being, both human and non-human. As our lives unfold on the earth, we are called upon daily to make decisions which affect others. If we can empathize with the receivers of our decisions, we can make the best choices possible. But things sometimes get in the way.

Lent is about sacrifice and giving up, just as Jesus gave up his physical life for us so that we could receive the gift of eternal salvation, and life in a heavenly realm filled with peace and love. In order for us to achieve that goal, we must climb over our own ego, our own desire for recognition and reward, in order to save our neighbour and those around us.

Ego is a dangerous thing. Many religions preach that the way to heaven is to be the ‘servant of the servant’. In other words, to care for the person who is caring for those in need. Or to care for those who are offering salvation to others.

Just for today, stop and take a look at your life. What are you doing for those who are walking the path of Jesus? Who around you is following a spiritual life who needs support and assistance? Are you doing something to help them? Or are you following that path yourself? If so, and someone is being kind and supportive of you, when was the last time you expressed your gratitude to them?

Release your ego to the wind. Release your desire for recognition. Put your ego aside and offer assistance to those who care for others. Give of yourself. Be the servant of the servant.

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Lenten Contemplations Day Five

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Giving Up Sorrow

Life in all of its mystery sometimes overflows with more emotion than one can bear. If the television on your wall is alive and speaking to you everyday, you will eventually become overwhelmed with sorrow.

Sorrow can be such an exhausting emotion. Everyday something occurs to make us sad. It can be directly affecting us or simply indirectly causing us pain. We live in a world of constant bombardment. It’s like gunfire coming at us daily from our wall. There comes a point when it becomes completely overwhelming and needs to stop or we will be unable to function.

Jesus came to this earth to take away our sins and offer us something very powerful—eternal life in a heavenly home. There we will be able to see our friends and loved ones and reach beyond tomorrow. If we spend our days in sorrow here, whether for personal loss or despair of the world, we will be unable to achieve our spiritual goals here.

How can you nurture another if you are always filled with sorrow? How can you give love and happiness to another, if you are filled with despair and pain. To progress on your spiritual journey sorrow must be transformed into joy no matter what the cause. For joy fills the hungry heart and soothes the tortured soul. Joy will transform you into your healthy self.

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Lenten Contemplations Four

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Where was God in Your Life Today?

Where was God today in your life? Where did Jesus trickle in? Did you see His face in the mirror today? Did you see His face in your friend’s?

Did you open your heart enough to let him shine through? Were you so caught up in yourself that you missed the opportunity? Did He find a door to open into your world? Or was it barred and locked tightly?

Did you offer Him a home somewhere? Did you notice anywhere He was needed? Did you give hIm a chance to speak through you today? Or were you sidetracked by life and lost in clutter?

What do you remember about today? Do you remember anyone who needed God to love them? Do you remember any opportunities to offer the heart of Jesus to another? Was there an animal who needed help or care? Where was Jesus in your life today?

Take the time to ponder your day. Go over minute by minute and contemplate the opportunities which might have been missed; opportunities which would have offered another being some help or love or kindness.

Take the time to contemplate tomorrow. Do you have your agenda set? Will you be going to God’s house? Will you open your heart and look for opportunities there? Or will you sit and just listen and keep it all to yourself?

We all have days when we wish we could just be left alone. Everyone does. But sometimes God needs us to be an angel to another. Sometimes God needs us to let Jesus shine through our hearts. So we must be diligent to keep our radar turned on and notice what is happening around us.

Don’t close your eyes to the needs of others. Notice everyone near you. Notice every living thing. Someone may be calling to you, out loud. Someone may be calling to you, in silence. It is up to you to notice.

Listen for their voice. Listen for the voice of God speaking to you in your heart. Listen for instruction. Listen to help.

Plan to let God into your life, tomorrow.

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Lenten Contemplations 3: Reach For the Love

Friday, March 3, 2017
Reach for the Love

More than anything else in the world, most people desire to be loved. Even untrained children want to be nurtured and will reach instinctively for their mother to comfort and hold them. As adults we often grow away from understanding that we still need to be loved and comforted. We sometimes act like nothing in the world matters and we are able to stand on our own two feet, alone without family and friends.

It’s important as we grow up, to realize we are also growing toward something. It would be very odd indeed, if we simply became less intelligent as we became older. That would make no sense. It’s a wonder then, why many individuals do not seek to understand why we are here, why we are changing and seemingly growing toward something, and what that something may be.

Lent is a time of contemplation on all of those things. As we give up that which makes us less pure of spirit, we move toward that which is eternal. We grow toward the Godhead, the parents of Jesus. The Bible tells us Mankind was made in the image of God, both male and female, and so we know that there are two parents involved in the creation of the Son. There is a God and there is a Goddess. God’s Creation houses both material planetary systems and spiritual heavenly systems, and someday, we may see them all. But for now, we must purify ourselves and prepare for the gift of the Saviour of the world. We must offer our respect and gratitude for His gift, a deeply amazing benefit which most people would never ever be able to repay.

Jesus does not ask us to repay it, He only asks us to try. So Lent is our attempt at returning His love for us. It is our opportunity to give back to Him by honouring His sacrifice with some of our own.

Today, contemplate what life might be like if Jesus had never come. What would we do then? How would we get out of the messes we often create in our everyday lives? How would we ever make it to the celestial domain? Would any of us ever make it to Heaven and see any of our loved ones again? What would it be like? Would we still be functioning under the old ways of Judaism, sacrificing the precious lives of innocent animals everyday? Creating rivers of blood flowing from our temples just to save our own souls? How would our world be different?

There appears to be so much hell on the earth that perhaps you may think nothing would be different, but Jesus did come and He did offer His own life as a trade for that of each and every one of us. He gave us our soul back, unfettered and completely loved. So now is the time to contemplate the journey to Heaven and the love that awaits us there, each and every day.
It is time to reach out our arms to our Divine parents and receive their unconditional love. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever should believe on Him would have everlasting life.

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