Friday Focus – Religion

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“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

James 1:27

So many people of faith that I know really, really don’t like the word, “religion”. I find this odd, and mainly an American concept. I know, because I used to do the same thing. We sometimes say things like, “I don’t have a religion, but I have faith in God.” And that can be true if we are not plugged into a place of worship, but do we really want to sound so independent?

Even more prevalent is the phrase, “I don’t have a religion, but I have a relationship with God.” Oh wow, maybe it is simply a matter of semantics, but this can be terribly confusing for people that don’t have the same faith we do. Are we really saying that we are to high and mighty to be part of a religion, or even a church? No of course not.

When we use this phrase though, without realizing it, we can sound like we are judging others that say they have a “religion”. In other words, we give the impression that we really know God – and others? Those religious people? Well maybe they really don’t know Him. You see where that can lead us and how wrong it can sound? We too often judge others.

I love the Book of James. According to James we do have a religion. You know what this verse reminds me of? The Two Greatest Commandments, of loving God and loving our neighbor as our self. And you know what? It’s ok to light a few candles and kneel down from time to time.

So how is your religion doing?

I wish you peace.

       

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

quote from the NIV Bible

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Friday Focus – Faith and Blogging

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So many of you have wonderful sites, and you keep me encouraged! And I love seeing faith based sites grow and do well.

But not all of them do, in fact faith is not always that popular is it? We must not be discouraged if only a few people follow our blog or respond to our posts.

Even though we can modify our blogs, we can do so without losing sight of who we are, or our beliefs.

I like to post a quote from the Scriptures, and write a few lines about it. I think it can be beautiful to share some insight.

And as far as sites in our readers, I’ve learned to keep it light! I do check out other sites but I can’t possibly follow everyone.

When I first started blogging I followed so many blogs I would spend 2 hours everyday going through posts. I can’t do that anymore.

Some bloggers post 8-10 times everyday. If that happens I usually unfollow. And you shouldn’t feel bad about doing that! Make your site the way you want it.

Diversity is always fun, even for us faith based folks! I love travel sites, artists, and photographers. I think my favorite type of faith based site is poetry.

And it’s ok to follow people that are different from us! Bloggers do have different beliefs, and that’s ok, that’s how we learn!

So enjoy your blogging experience, and share a little light!

Thank you for traveling with me. I wish you peace.

    

Prayer, Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

How I Almost Became Catholic II

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So in his early days of being Pope, Francis was doing and saying things that much of the world took notice of. I haven’t followed him lately but back then, I was thanking God for him. He was a breath of fresh air! Now keep in mind I had been in some super conservative churches for awhile and the fact that the Pope seemed very Christian, surprised me!

I had been told a lot of things about Catholicism that I found out later were simply just not true. So, then I read some of his sermons. Did you know you could do that? Again, I was even more surprised! I actually said to myself, “I never knew the Pope could write like that!” To my Catholic friends do not be angry with me, because this is what many of us go through. I was stunned to learn the Pope was a Christian.

When I started attending a Catholic Church, and several more to see what they were like, I saw no worship of Mary, or anyone else except God Himself. I saw no one worshiping statues. In fact, everyone related to God in much the same way that I did.

Along the way I did look at theology, and yes there were some differences. Some I accepted, some I was neutral on, and others I thought were questionable. However, I always found their theologians to be solid, deep thinkers, that knew what they were talking about. They seemed to have much deeper roots, and to be more grounded than Protestant theologians. Christianity did not begin in the year 1500!

Eventually I could not reconcile a few things, for example Mary being eternally a virgin. If that were the case, then Mary and Joseph were not truly married. And some (not all) I thought elevated Mary too highly, even referring to her as a queen. I thought no, I can’t do that. She was certainly special, but……

One Sunday I was in church and a man in his 40’s was joining the Church. He had to declare that day that he “believed everything the Catholic Church teaches”. I thought that was odd because every Catholic person I knew had some differences. Why would this guy be required to do more than everyone else?

So I slowly, gradually moved on. But I learned a great deal in that little more than a year. Mostly I learned not to judge others. I can have an opinion, like everyone else, and we can still respect each other. God made us that way.

And I learned that I did not have to be a fundamentalist to be approved by God. Different faith experiences were perfectly legitimate.

I wish you peace.

     

Note: I won’t be posting here tomorrow. God willing, I’ll see you next week.

Commentary and Image, Copyright © 2018, WalkingthroughPsalms

His Light is with Us

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As I think of the lights this season, so brightly celebrating the time of year, I’m blessed by what I see. People caring about one another, parents taking care of their children, and even teenagers helping the elderly.

Many are not wrapped up in the shopping, the great deals on line, and everything except the Messiah being born.

You see there is still hope. And there is still faith. If someone doesn’t follow my beliefs exactly, that doesn’t offend me, even though it used to.

I know what it’s like to have a heart filled with judging others, and I don’t want that anymore. God is the judge, not me.

But what’s important this season, is to share about God’s love, and His light being with us. And as we spend time with our families, may we also be concerned about the poor. 

Be blessed this weekend! Merry Christmas!

 

Prayer Poem and Image Copyright © 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

Shalom

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Shalom is a Hebrew word, that means much more than the ceasing of activity.

The essence of the word contains a sense of wholeness, of well being, of internal calmness.

So when someone uses the word Shalom is it a powerful blessing!

And it shows us much more of the peace, God has always intended for us.

Shalom!

   

Commentary and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

An Offering

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This blog and these posts are an offering. Before I ever began, I gave it all to the Lord, and it was really a step of faith. Faith blogs are never the most popular, and that’s because of our world becoming increasingly secular.

But having said all that, it does appear that someone is manipulating this site and perhaps even scaring people away. Are there trolls? Probably. Are they Russian hackers?? I doubt it! Lol.

Think it couldn’t happen here? Simply look up Psalm 29:11, on my site. The difference of people being involved in March of this year, and now is remarkable.

One thing trolls do not understand though, is the concept of offering. If God blesses these posts – great. And if not that’s OK. It is in His hands. I will keep posting.

Heavenly Father I trust in You, and I ask that you would continue to guide me with this site. Show me how it should be done. I give this all to you, once again. In Christ’s name, amen.

   

Writing and Image Copyright© 2017, WalkingthroughPsalms

 

Jews and Christians – The Hope for Healing

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There are so many tragedies that have taken place over the centuries, that it is sometimes strange to hear about the Judeo-Christian heritage, we once had here, in the United States. After so many centuries of persecution of the Jewish people, one can easily ask, “Can the wounds be healed?”

During the Middle Ages, Christians often kept Jewish people from many occupations, forced them to live in certain areas, and unfortunately murdered them. There are well documented cases, that on a certain date, at a certain place, Crusading armies, on the way to the Holy land, burned and wiped out entire villages of Jewish people.

One of the atrocities that was not uncommon, was for the Crusaders to pile everyone from the Jewish village into the synagogue, and then burn it to the ground, men, women, and children. Often, they would sing Christian hymns, to drown out the screams of the dying. You see, they thought they were doing God a favor.

Now you might say the people doing these horrible things, were not really Christians, and I would agree with you, but they thought they were. And more importantly, the Jews of that time thought they were.

So why write about something so horrible? Because I have found that most Christians have no idea of the extent of damage that has been done in the name of Christ. And unless we know, we cannot work towards bringing the healing that people so desperately need.

And we often talk with Jewish people, in fact, maybe some of you reading this are Jewish. Welcome to my blog. And when we do talk to people, we can be better prepared, to offer hope and healing. We can better understand the barriers.

Jewish people, whether they be secular or religious, know this history. My hope is that more Christians would understand it. May God help us all to bring healing. Amen.

   

Note: The Encyclopedia Judaica is an excellent source of information, or you can google the word “Pogrom”. Be careful though, many far right extremists are busy on the internet.

      

Writing and Image © Copyright 2017, walkingthroughpsalms