A SOCIAL GOSPEL OF JESUS

the-new-evangelization-and-social-justice-6-638Jesus preached a social gospel typically to diverse audience of religious leaders, governors, media, officials, the masses, to reach their heart, mind, body, soul to relate with others on Godly terms. This theme King put in historical context as part of social justice to bring awareness to each other. Especially with regard to God’s superabundant human resources provided and entrusted to all as stewards. Reverend King, the prophet, theologian, scholar, preacher, pastor dwelt on these social gospel themes analysing society’s lifelong struggles for economic justice, empowerment of the poor working-class people of all colours. King described himself as “profound advocate of social gospel” who tried to teach the capitalist system not to put profit, property rights ahead of basic human rights demanded people have adequate food, education, housing, decent job, well paid income. His more revolutionary quest for social justice, society above racist poverty, prevention of war not celebrated as his peaceful civil rights movement. Martin Luther King Jr. emphasised there is no intrinsic difference between workers. And King told American Federation of Labour and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) an American important trade union in 1963, that skin colour, ethnicity must not divide those working for a living, he said. “Economic justice,” King said, required land so men must not take all the basic necessities to give luxuries to the few,” and “where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity.” Same year, King called on President J. F Kennedy to honour emancipation of African-Americans from slavery in 100 years before. King said, a new freedom agenda is necessary. People gather at the end of the Poor People March on 19 June 19 1968 in Washington DC.This agenda was not only about civil rights so 28 August demonstration culminated in King’s “I Have a Dream” speech publicized 4th April Washington for Job Freedom. It was result of many years of organizing by black workers and their unions. In his speech, King said nations gave former slaves a “bad check” promise of freedom that did not materialize. And generations later, his dream is for equal rights for substantive change in people’s economic and social conditions. Though country’s adoption of Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act completed “first phase” of freedom movement King said. The “second phase” was for “economic equality” so everyone could have a well-paying job or basic level of income with decent levels of healthcare, education and housing. In October 1966, 100,000 copies of the booklet A Freedom Budget for All Americans, with introduction by King distributed by unions. Freedom Budget proposed a second New Deal to promote job growth of living wages for public spending on social goods. After 50 years since Martin Luther’s demand for equal human rights for all people, it is sad go say things have gotten worse. Although it is true that great strides are achieved since 50 years, some of these issues got worse for working classes. So many are suffering although they built the country and their labour, resourses or blood sacrificed as veterans to fight and defend country they do not receive the due entitlement. As a matter of fact society has shifted from human centred needs of Marlow’s hierarchy to selfish few depriving the majority. The divide of haves and have nots intensified and so many thousands now homeless and without food daily. It is scandalous tons of perfectly good food, clothes, items are thrown away instead of giving it to poor starving and dying daily. Government issued final warning to the businesses to report gender pay gap by midnight it emerged Conservative party did not plan to file its own figures until a day after the deadline. Amber Rudd, the minister for women and equalities as well as home secretary, said there was no excuse for businesses not to be transparent as deadline on Wednesday 4th approached warned them refusing to report is breaking law. Jesus-expulsa-vendilhoes-do-templo IMG_20180424_195818Those with 250 or more employees had until before midnight to meet the legal requirement to report a pay gap data to government or face enforcement action by Equality Commission. 50 years after Martin Luther King’s pleas for the social and economic system justice still society seems worse off. Jesus said the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer due to greed of those in charge of God’s resources misallocated. Hardworking people are poorest dealing with lack of resources, hunger, poverty inspite of challenges keep their heads up high with dignity. Those in charge label them “lazy” underclass not worth same equal treatment. Those entrusted responsible to provide equally for them hurt them by their unfair policies. The world sees more wealth and more resources than ever before limited exclusively to those few privileged at the top. They ensure all their needs and luxurious wants met but despise other’s needs and refuse to provide for them. Many suffer and die needlessly because of such treatments and unfair policies. #Paymetoo women’s platform seeks justice from boardrooms exclusively run by men without realistic knowledge of women and family needs. Society is still run by draconian policies that treat women as inferior weaker sex not competent as male counterparts. So refuse to recognise great talents and the achievements of women globally in all spheres of life. Some men literally think paying women well diminishes power over them use pay gap to bully women. Interesting colleagues trained by same experts, graduates of same universities, employed by same company refuse to pay them equally because is male and other female. Gender is used to punish career women working twice to run the home, family and gender discrimination at work. 21st Century women in space contribute to all aspects of life. Behind every successful man is a woman and men need women’s input so pay well. It is important macho policies recognise a need to provide to help working-class children’s life chances and wellbeing as they are introducing policies actively to make their lives worse. Look at anti-welfare measures like cutting “in-work” benefits freezing housing and children’s benefits. So education system scrapped education maintenance grants, stripped school budgets so teachers are unable to afford paper for their pupils. Closure of local youth clubs and children’s centres as research from Barnardo’s this week finds funding to early-years children’s services has been cut by 50% in some areas since 2010. Families now choose between eating and buying medicines. social justice and the gospelPeople gather at the end of Poor People March on 19 June 1968 in Washington DC. Photograph: Arnold Sachs/AFP/Getty Images Before travelling to Memphis in 1968 to participate in garbage-workers’ strike King had been criss-crossing the country for weeks, promoting a multi-racial coalition to pressure Congress to reallocate money from Vietnam war to money for human needs. King called it Poor People’s Campaign so promoted an economic bill of rights for all Americans including five pillars of meaningful jobs at a living wage; a secure and adequate income; access to land; access to capital, for poor people, minorities; ability for ordinary people to play truly significant role in government. It was, King said, a “last ditch” effort to save America from the interrelated evils of racism, poverty and war. Historians constantly search for and reshape knowledge of the past, based on challenges faced in their own times. Public awareness focus on King’s “first phase” of the movement, for civil voting, rights, a plethora of scholarship sees King as inconvenient hero who led a movement beyond civil rights to more fundamental economic or social change.JIMEverything decent and fair in American life is under threat, King said in his time so all must do well to remember a fight for economic justice as King’s dream for better encompassing American society. Remembering King’s economic justice, broadly conceived helps understand the relevance of his legacy today. It helps us to realize King’s moral discourse of the gap between “haves and the have-nots” from his role in labour movement and civil rights movements. Remembering eloquent man in the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, remembers King as man on the streets, sitting in jail cells, or as a man rousing workers at union conventions and on union picket lines. Remembered as nonviolent surrounded by a violent police, screaming mobs, and physically assaulted by white racists sometimes. It is essential all nations remember King’s crusade seeking justice and fairness for all alternatives to America’s exploitative racial capitalism. King is remembered as a pioneer helping to understand the agenda for modern times. Exploitative capitalism will come to an end as Bible warns in the book of Revelations.

  • Adapted from To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice by Michael K Honey. Copyright © 2018 by Michael K Honey. With permission of the publisher, WW Norton, Inc. All rights reserved
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A LIFE FULL OF GODLY JOY

Zephaniah 3:17 says that God Almighty in heaven rejoices over us with singing! Can you imagine God’s great Majestic sonic booming maestro sound echoing throughout the firmament and universe because God is so joyful about you. Yes you, it seems oxymoron to even suggest God is happy with you let alone is joyful over you. Perhaps you spent your whole life miserable, angry over God as unfair killjoy ready to lash out and to point out only your faults to punish you. Such misrepresentations of God’s TRUE reflection of eternal joy in heaven with saints and angels rejoicing over all saved in Jesus Name in the LORD GOD saps joy out of life. Yet in the midst of sorrow Jesus comforted His apostles and disciples to have joy in spite of adversity, knowing grief or pain is momentary so they will be reunited forever in heaven permanently. Godly joy is not absence of the circumstances we would prefer not to endure or have to put up with in life. Rather our source of joy comes from Christ in us our hope of glory therefore external or internal issues trying to derail our joy is negated by the blood of Jesus. Even within those dark gloomy days of deepest grief, pain, loss or sorrow Christ encourages us to look up to Him to rejoice forevermore. As a matter of Godly joy eases sorrow so takes out the sting intended to wear you out to lose confidence and faith in God. It is the Joy of the LORD GOD Almighty that replenishes and sustains us to keep on keeping on despite hardships of life. Absolute perfect joy of God flows into us from God cancels the bitter, toxic, vitriol intended to depress or separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. The cares of the world can sometimes overwhelm to distract us to forget the goodness of the strength the joy of the LORD brings us. Preoccupation of sadness, bitterness, anger, grief, sorrow, melancholic living distracts us from refreshing joy in the presence of the LORD. Often the darkest times is when disconnected from God so most vulnerable to things of the world that try to come against us. Pure Joy is found in Christ residing in our hearts to help us to overcome in life. In fact God’s crown of rejoicing reward is given to all who manage to remain joyful even if all odds are against them. Another verse in Bible says, God is disappointed because HIS Children do not reflect HIS TRUE joyful qualities so world has a distorted view of who God really. The believer’s responsibility of joy is not an option but a duty of care to reflect joy of the LORD to the world and to the fellow believers in Christ by good example as Jesus did during His passion of sorrow to save us.

JEWS & GENTILES IN CHRIST

jezus-christusJews and Gentiles are one in Christ Jesus grafted together in covenant with the God of Abraham as a promise to bless all nations on earth. Old and New Testament shows Jews and Gentiles called to live as disciples of Lord Jesus. In Christ there is no Jew, Gentile, slave, free male or female only brethren in the Kingdom of God. During Passover and Easter this unity in Christ is celebrated to reaffirm the Messiah’s death burial and Resurrection. As earth’s population celebrate the Passover or Resurrection Sunday miraculous event’s redemption remind us of the close spiritual bond of Jews and Christians. Celebrations are God’s deliverance from despair of slavery and from despondency of sin. The Passover and Resurrection Sunday shed light on deep roots of Judaism and Christianity representing Supernatural hope in God in Christ’s love for His people. Celebrate this sacred season with family, friends, as Christians United for Israel together share Godly love with joy and peace. So our unity is a sign of our unconditional love for God and each other. Israel’s GREAT COMMISSION Blesses all nations of earth by freewill. All who bless Israel are blessed but all who curse Israel cursed in GENESIS 12:1-3. So 1 Now the Lord said to Abram,“Go forth from your country, from your relatives from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing3 And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” in Genesis 12:1-3.1 God Chose to bless Abraham and all his descendants2 above other nation,3 not because of prominence or powerful pious4 or faithful after being chosen.5 God Chose to bless Abraham’s seed as testimony of His grace to bless and channel blessing to “all families on earth in Genesis 12:3. God’s blessings gifts of HIS grace not earned. Blessings belong first to Israel as a gracious gift shared with others. The stewardship of God’s gift than matter ownership.6 God made it clear the land of Canaan did not belong to Israel but BELONGS to God: So Land reclaimed because Land Belongs to ME you are foreigners residing with me in Leviticus 25:23God removed the Canaanites from the land because of sin He does the same to Israelites if defiled the land by committing the same sins.7 God’s blessings poured out on Abraham and his descendants so that His chosen people could be instrument God blesses the world through. This blessing comes to through nation Israel as blessings to Gentiles. The Israelites relate to other nations through blessing to them. But do not confuse Canaanites and Gentiles. Distinction between Gentiles Canaanites is important as Israelites possess land of Canaan God commands HIS people to annihilate them: 14 Israel is blessed beyond all peoples with no barrenness among them or livestock after 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers obliterated once thriving Jewish towns, none allowed to escape the Roman sword except two men. In 60 CE/AD 60,000 Roman soldiers led by General Vespasian destroyed this Jewish towns. The untouched ruins are the awful price paid in human terms of Magdala, Gamla, in north suffered same fate as Jerusalem prophesied by Jesus, and Masada. Th commander of Jewish Resistance in Galilee Yosef Bar Mattityahu escaped slaughter in Yodfat became historian Flavius Josephus. He wrote 4 books to fill in historical gaps from 0-100 CE/AD like New Testament. Standard text of His Antiquities XV111, 63 contains the most famous passage:06850-2

“About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man achiever of extraordinary deeds was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks as Messiah. Indicted by principal men and Pilate condemned Him crucified, who came to love Him did not cease to do so; for He appeared on third day restored to life, as prophets of God foretold these countless marvelous things about Him. Tribe of Christians named after Him did not disappear to this day. At Passover we rehearse Exodus 12. “And   they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on lintel of the houses where they eat it. I will pass through the land of Egypt that night and will strike all the first born in the land…Now the blood shall be for you a sign……when I see the blood, I will pass over you…Keep it as a feast to the LORD throughout your generations…Exodus 12:7,12,13. Those believe instructions of Moses obeyed and took action by putting blood of the lamb on door posts and lentils of their humble homes, not all did. Obedience of God after long journey, nation of Israel was born at Sinai and given her Charter of Rights; The Ten Commandments. Let all Christians who say they worship Jesus, LISTEN and OBEY his warnings and admonitions. Remember when you are blessed, you are blessed through Israel, chosen and called to walk  before you. Christians are grafted into Christ true olive tree. Israelis saved love God and Jesus’ truth revealed. Jesus returns their first born son and Messiah. “And I will pour on the house of David and on inhabitants of Jerusalem Spirit of grace and supplication: so they shall look upon Me whom they pierced. Yes they will mourn for Him as grieving for a firstborn…Zechariah 12:10. No one can say to the other’ I have no need of you…1 Corinthians 12:21. So Christians pray for willingness to see Jesus through His roots in Jewish people and in His home-Land, Israel. Do not be high minded but fear God …Romans 11;19  Jews and Christians pray for each other so grateful for the millions of dear believing Jews and Christians. Jew and Gentiles grow in wisdom understanding and favour with God and man. So pray and ask LORD God to help during season of Jesus’ Sacrifice. 15 The LORD protects from sickness and will not experience the terrible diseases known in Egypt instead God inflicts it on all those who hate you. 16 You must destroy all people whom the LORD your God is about to deliver over to you so do not pity them or worship their gods for that is snare to you in Deuteronomy 7:14-16. Book of Deuteronomy talks of treatment of Gentiles and of Canaanites by God. To distinguished Gentiles from Canaanites HIS instructions to Israel is to confront people and cities possessing the land of Canaan. Canaanites lived in the nearby cities but Gentiles lived at a distance: 10 When you a approach city to wage war against it, offer it terms of peace. 11 If it accepts terms and submits to you all the people in it become your slaves. 12 If do not accept terms of peace to make war with you lay siege to it. 13 The Lord God will deliver it over to you and you must kill every single male by the sword. 14 The women, little children, cattle all else in city plunder for yourselves as a spoil. Take from enemies so plunder what the LORD your God gives you. 15 You are to deal with all cities located far from you that do not belong to the nearby nations. 16 Cities the LORD God gives you as inheritance do not allow a single living thing to survive. 17 Instead you utterly annihilate them, the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites as the LORD your God commands you, 18 So not to teach you abhorrent ways to worship gods so causing you to sin against the LORD God in Deuteronomy 20:10-18God ordered annihilation of Canaanites not for living nearby but because of idolatory. Those Canaanites contaminated them with sin so had to be exterminated. Idolatry sin plunged them into depths of depravity like Sodom and Gomorrah so children, animals contaminated to be destroyed.8 Jews after victory became complacent, arrogant, self-righteous, despising the Gentiles. Eager to see all Gentiles perish, as Jonah wanted Ninevites destroyed so opposed extension of God’s grace to the Gentiles an attitude that persisted in the New Testament times:israele-today“We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners in Galatians 2:15. This is not attitude of unbelieving Jews, its deeply embedded in the hearts of the apostles, seen from Peter’s resistance to Gentile’s home in Acts 10 and reaction of fellow-apostles to preach gospel to them.9. The Old Testament, New Testament Gospels, Acts, Jews made no distinction between Canaanites pagan or Gentiles. The Jews lumped Gentiles as not deserving God’s blessings. Self-righteous arrogance the Pharisee in Jesus’ parable in Luke 189 Jesus told parable to some confident more righteous so look down on others. 10 “Two men in the temple prayed, one a Pharisee and other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee: ‘God, I thank you I am not like other people: extortionists, unrighteous people, adulterers or like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tenth of everything I get.’ 13 The tax collector, stood far off, would not look up to heaven beat his chest and said, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you this man went home justified than the Pharisee. All who exalt self will be humbled, but who humbles self is exalted in Luke 18:9-14. Jew and Gentile must acknowledge they are unworthy sinners made righteous by salvation in Christ. Paul’s words in Romans 2 says Jews more responsible and accountable to God because of greater knowledge of Old Testament Scriptures. And so Paul’s attitude after conversion on the road to Damascus changes his pride, arrogance in Philippians 3:1-6 to humility, sinner, saved by grace alone: 12 Grateful to God strengthening him in Christ Jesus our Lord, because considered faithful as put in ministry, 13 though once blasphemer persecutor, arrogant treated with mercy acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 LORD’S grace abundant, brings faith and love in Christ Jesus. 15 Trustworthy so deserves full acceptance for Christ Jesus came in the world to save sinners and the worst of them! 16 Was treated with mercy: so as the worst, Christ Jesus demonstrates His utmost patience, as an example for those going to believe in Him for eternal life in 1 Timothy 1:12-16Paul himself as chosen vessel for salvation he a devout Jew and example as “chief of sinners,” completely unworthy of salvation. God saved him to show ones like him could be saved. No one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. Paul is a trophy, not of self-righteous works but divine grace. God arranged Abraham and his descendants be a blessing to the whole world.img_2436-01

Law Provides: Gentile Converts

In law of Moses, God made provision for foreigners who embraced Israel’s faith to worship with the Israelites. So before Israelites left Egypt, God’s instructions says foreigner could participate in the observance of the Passover: 48 “When a foreigner lives with you and wants to observe Passover to the LORD, all his males must be circumcised, approach and observe it, and he will be like one born in the land but no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49 This law applies to native-born or foreigners living with you in Exodus 12:48-49.10 The foreigner wants to participate in celebration of Passover can be circumcised to enter a covenant relation with Israel’s God. It is not physical circumcision an issue it is a circumcised heart that matters most to God. It is important to distinguish God’s inclusiveness to draw unbelievers to church inviting them to participate in worship and ministry. God provides a way Gentiles enter Israel’s worship but participation requires Gentiles to fully embrace by faith the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus as the one TRUE God, the Creator of all things, God alone. One cannot participate in Israel’s worship without first embracing Israel’s faith in God. It is not surprising God permitted foreigners to participate in celebration of Jewish holidays as Feast of Booths:9 Moses wrote down law given to the Levitical priests, who carry ark of the Lord’s covenant, and all Israel’s elders. 10 He commanded them: “At the end of 7 years appointed time of cancellation of debts, at Feast of Temporary Shelters, 11 when all Israel appears before the LORD your God in the place HE chooses, you must read law before them to their hearing. 12 Gather the people – men, women, and children, the resident foreigners in your villages so they hear and learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 13 Their children, who have not known this law will hear and learn to fear the LORD your God for as long as you live in land by crossing the Jordan to possess in Deuteronomy 31:9-13. The foreigners invited together with Israel hear reading of law learn to fear God. In the law, God instructs Israel concerning sacrifices, sin offering, atonement of sin for unintentional sins of Israel and for unintentional sins of the foreigners who embraced Him as their God: 22 “‘If you sin unintentionally and do not observe commandments spoken to Moses 23 all the LORD commands by the authority of Moses from day the LORD commanded Moses and your future generations 24 if anything done unintentionally without knowledge of the community, the whole community must prepare a young bull burnt offering for pleasing aroma to the LORD with grain and drink offering, a male goat for purification offering. 25 The priest makes atonement for whole community of Israel to be forgiven, if it was unintentional brought offering, an offering made by fire to the LORD, their purification offering before the LORD, for their unintentional offense. 26 And whole community of Israelites, the resident foreigner who lives among them will be forgiven, since all people involved in unintentional offense’” in Numbers 15:22-26Contact with people of God results in faith of Gentiles.11 For some of Egyptians believed and entered into God’s blessings with Israelites. At the time of the exodus, some Egyptians feared word of Moses, saved their cattle, and midwives saved the male born sons while others did not.12 Some attached themselves to Israelites, accompanying them to the Promised Land. Jesus is the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin superceding the annual sacrifice of sheep and goats.hqdefault (1)

13Israelites first entered land of Canaan, along with foreigners worshiping God in 2 groups: half on Mount Gerizim half on Mount Ebal as Moses instructed in Deuteronomy 27:1-8:30. So Joshua built altar LORD God of Israel on Mount Ebal, 31 as Moses, LORD’s servant commands Israelites. Moses said, make altar with uncut stones untouched by iron tool, offered burnt sacrifices and sacrificed tokens of peace. 32 In the presence of Israelites, Joshua inscribed on stones a duplicate of the law written by Moses. 33 All the people, rulers, leaders, judges standing on either side of the ark, in front of Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of Lord. Both resident foreigners, native Israelites were there. Half the people stood in front of Mount Gerizim, other half in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses LORD’s servant instructed to do for a blessing ceremony. 34 Joshua read aloud all the words of the law, including blessings or curses, written in law scroll. 35 Joshua read commandments Moses gave before whole assembly of Israel, women, and children, resident foreigners who lived among them in Joshua 8:30-35. Temple built to facilitate prayers and worship of both Israelites and Gentiles. I find it interesting Solomon dedicated temple to facilitated prayers and worship of the Israelites. A place of prayer for Gentiles to worship God of Israel: 41 Foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel, will come from a distant land because of your reputation. 42 When they hear great reputation and ability to accomplish mighty deeds, they will come and direct prayers towards this temple. 43 God listened from heavenly dwelling place and answer all prayers of foreigners and all nations of earth acknowledge your reputation, obey you do to people of Israel recognize this temple I built belongs to you in 1 Kings 8:41-43. Old Testament prophets spoke of Coming of Messiah as a source of blessing for the world, and not just for Jews alone: No foreigner who is a follower of the Lord should say, ‘The Lord will certainly exclude me from His people.’ Eunuch should not say, ‘Look, I am like dried-up tree. 4 This is what the Lord says: “The eunuchs who observe MY Sabbaths and chooses to please ME and faithful to MY covenant, 5 I will set up in MY temple as MY walls monument better than sons, daughters. I set up permanent monument for them that remains. 6 As foreigners become followers of the LORD and serve HIM, love name of the LORD as HIS servants, observe Sabbath so not defile it, faithful to MY covenant 7 I will bring them to MY Holy Mountain make them happy in temple where people pray to ME. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices accepted on MY altar, for MY temple known as the temple all nations pray in Isaiah 56:3-7. Our Lord was disturbed by way temple misused in His time to exclude Gentiles: 12 Jesus enters temple area and drove out all those who selling and buying in the temple courts, and turned over tables of money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. 13 And He said, “It is written, ‘My house is called house of prayer but turned into den of robbers Matthew 21:12-13. And Isaiah and prophets said salvation of all Gentiles is through Coming Messiah: 1 “Arise! Shine! As your light arrives! The splendour of the LORD shines on you! 2 For, look, darkness covers the earth and deep darkness covers nations the LORD shines on you; HIS splendour appears over you. 3 Nations come to your light, kings to your bright light in Isaiah 60:1-318 “I hate deeds thought, so coming to gather nations, ethnic groups will come witness My splendour. 19 I will perform a mighty act among them send all who remain to nations to Tarshish, Pul, Lud, Tubal, Javan distant coastlands who did not hear or see my splendour. To tell nations of my splendour. 20 They will bring all your countrymen from all nations as offering to the LORD. They will bring them on horses, in chariots, in wagons, on mules, on camels to MY HOLY Hill Jerusalem,” says the LORD, as Israelites bring offerings to the LORD’s temple in pure containers. 21 And I will choose some as priests and Levites,” says the LORD. 22 “As the new heavens and the new earth I am about to make will remain standing before me,” says the Lord, so your descendants and your name will remain. 23 From one month to next, from one Sabbath to next, all people will come to worship me,” says the LORD (Isaiah 66:18-2321 Divide land for yourselves among the tribes of Israel. 22 Allot it inheritance among yourselves and for foreigners who reside among you who fathered sons among you. Treat them as native-born among people of Israel; they will be allotted inheritance with you among tribes of Israel. 23 Whatever tribes the foreigner resides in there you give him his inheritance,” declares the sovereign Lord in Ezekiel 47:21-23.img_2436-01

Jews A Light to Gentiles, World

Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12:1-3 says nation Israel is a source of blessing to Gentiles. Israel is called to be a “light to the Gentiles but because Israel failed to accomplish this mission so our Lord came in the flesh to fulfill that mission. Israel’s purpose is to be a “light to the Gentiles in definition in Isaiah 58. So 6 this is kind of fast God wants to remove sinful chains, to tear away ropes of the burdensome yoke, to set free oppressed, to break burdensome yokes. 7 To share food with the hungry to provide shelter for homeless, oppressed people. When you see someone naked, clothe him! Do not turn back on own flesh and blood! 8 Then your light will shine like sunrise; your restoration quickly arrives; your Godly behavior will go before you, and the LORD’s splendour will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call out, and the LORD will respond; you will cry out and he will reply, ‘Here I am.’ Remove the burdensome yoke from you and stop pointing fingers and speaking sinfully. 10 You must help the hungry and feed the oppressed so your light will dispel the darkness, and your darkness will be transformed to noonday. 11 The LORD will continually lead you; HE will feed you in parched regions. He will give you renewed strength like a well-watered garden a spring continually producing water. 12 Your perpetual ruins will be rebuilt; you will reestablish the ancient foundations. You will be called, ‘The one who repairs broken walls, the one who makes the streets inhabitable again in Isaiah 58:6-12.14

Israel’s “fasting” ritualistic observances an offense to God because heart of true worship was lacking. First chapter of Isaiah said Israel continued to perform religious rituals practiced and failed to defend orphans or care for widows.15 True fasting not a temporary period of self-denial unbridled self-indulgence, true fasting is love for God and love for one’s neighbour. True fasting seeks the liberation of those in bondage including oppression by men and bondage to sin. True fasting not denying self food for a time without bread given to someone in desperate need of it. Its to deny oneself empty self for Holy Spirit of God to take over.16 Sabbath is kind of fast set aside the pursuit of personal pleasure to have time to delight in the LORD.17 Caring for poor and oppressed not Old Testament obligation: Pure and undefiled religion before Father God is to care for orphans and widows in misfortune, keep oneself unstained by the world in James 1:27.

Old/New Testament Evangelism

Evangelism in the Old Testament from evangelism and New Testament is: Old Testament evangelism says, Come and New Testament evangelism says, “Go.” 3 Nations come to your light kings to your bright light in Isaiah 60:318 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth is given to Me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Remember, I am with you always to the end of age in Matthew 28:18-20. In the New Testament Jesus invites sinners to come to Him for their salvation.18 in Old Testament, Jonah is commanded to go preach to Gentiles. In Old Testament Gentiles joined Israelites as Rahab and Ruth did by prophets in Israel as Naaman the leper did, came to Jerusalem and temple Solomon built in 1 Kings 8:41-43. Old Testament lesson, is Gentiles drawn to land of Israel, blessed find favour with God. So Old Testament law facilitated Gentile evangelism by making Israel the haven for foreigners.

Law Says Israel’s Light Bearing

Old Testament law includes foreigners among Israelites shown charity. When you gather in the harvest of your land, you must not completely harvest the corner of your field, and you must not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. You must leave themfor the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God in Leviticus 23:22In Leviticus 19, the Israelites were instructed to love their fellow-Israelites: “You must not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the children of your people but you must love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord in Leviticus 19:18. In Leviticus 19, Israel commanded to love foreign neighbours as themselves: 33 When a foreigner resides with you in your land,you must not oppress him. 34 The foreigner who resides with you must be to you like a native citizen among you; so you must love him as yourself, because you were foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God in Leviticus 19:33-34. The parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 in the light of both of these texts. The lawyer seeks to put Jesus to the test by asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responded by asking this lawyer what the law required, to which he replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself” in Luke 10:27. The lawyer ill at ease seeks way out asking Jesus to define term “neighbour as Leviticus 19:18 but Jesus pressed further, to the definition of Leviticus 19:33-34. So his neighbour was in need, or a foreigner like Samaritan. Fellow-Jews in great need so act neighbourly to enemies so Old Testament allowed Israelites to minister to needy Gentiles as required. The foreigner is vulnerable members of society, widows and orphans so widow without husband so defend, protect her, provide for her and orphans, parents, and foreigner with no legal standing or rights, vulnerable in distant lands. Old Testament law, this should not have been the case for a foreigner who lived in Israel. The law assured foreigners the same legal standing as the Israelite:

Both a foreigner and native citizen, I am the LORD your God says Leviticus 24:22. 19.16 You judges pay attention to issues of fellow citizens, judge fairly with one citizen or another resident foreigner. 17 Do not discriminate in judgment, but hear lowly and great not intimidated by human beings, for judgment belongs to God. If matter adjudicated too difficult bring to me for hearing in Deuteronomy 1:16-17Gentiles come to faith “coming,” to Israel Old Testament draws Gentiles to faith not drive away as unworthy heathens. If obeyed, draws Gentiles to Israel and to faith if people of God live in obedience to God’s law so prosper: 1 “If you indeed obey the LORD your God and careful to observe commandments given you today the LORD your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come to you in abundance if you obey the Lord your God: 3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. 4 Your children will be blessed, as well as the produce of your soil, the offspring of your livestock, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 5 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be blessed. 6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7 The LORD will cause your enemies who attack you to be struck down before you; they will attack you from one direction but flee from you in seven different directions. 8 The LORD will decree blessing in your barns and in everything you do, HE will bless you in the land HE is giving you. 9 The LORD designates HIS Holy people as promised you, if you keep HIS commandments to obey HIM. 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see you belong to the LORD, and they will respect you. 11 The LORD will greatly multiply your children, the offspring of your livestock, and produce of your soil in the land HE promised your ancestors to give you. 12 The LORD will open HIS good treasure house, the heavens, to give you rain for the land in its season and to bless all you do; you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 13 The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be up at the top and not at bottom, if you obey commandments urging you today to be careful to do. 14 Do not turn from all commandments I am giving you today, to the right or left or pursue other gods to worship them in Deuteronomy 28:1-14.

If Israel lived in obedience to God’s law, He promised to bless them greatly. An obedient people means a prosperous land. In the law, God commanded the Israelites to set aside some abundance to minister to needs of poor, Gentiles foreigners poor. Gentiles will be safe, secure in land of Israel not oppressed or victimized, as immigrants in the world. The law required Israel treat foreigners with respect and as people with same civil rights. Israel like all nations to be a place of prosperity, generosity, safety to Gentiles gravitated. Those who “came” to Israel and found salvation like Rahab, the harlot, believed God was with Israel. She joined Israel not own people saved physically and spiritually.20 Ruth too came to faith in the God of Israel, and thus attached herself to Naomi and her people.21And then there was Naaman, the leper, who was also the commander of the Syrian army. He came seeking a cure for leprosy and left believer in God of Israel.22  Naaman did not remain in Israel but returned to Syria, took some Israelite soil with him.23 Gentiles who attached themselves to David like Uriah the Hittite in Israel, married an Israelite woman, one of David’s most competent and trusted warriors.24 Other Gentiles attached themselves to David.25One is favourite one Ittai the Gittite:.19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you come with us? Go and stay with new king, for you are a foreigner and exile from your own country. 20 It seems you arrived yesterday, today should I make you wander around by going with us? I go where I go. But you go back and take your men with you. May genuine loyal love protect you!” 21 But Ittai replied to king, “As surely as the Lord lives and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord king is, whether dead or alive I will be as well!” 22 So David said to Ittai, “Come along.” So Ittai the Gittite went along, accompanied by all his men and dependents with him (2 Samuel 15:19-22.

Like Ruth, Ittai the Gittite remains with David not desert him. David made Ittai the Gittite commander of one-third of his forces going out against Absalom.26. A Gentile came to Israel as queen Sheba, recorded in 1 Kings 10, not poor and not oppressed woman of great means heard of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth drawn to Israel into Jerusalem: The queen of Sheba heard fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions in 1 Kings 10:1Solomon an exceedingly wise man, whose wisdom came from the LORD.27 Queen of Sheba presented difficult questions to Solomon, wisdom in responss surpassed reports that drew her to Jerusalem in the first place, she acknowledged work of God in his life: 6 She said to the king, “The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight was true! 7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didn’t hear half the story! Your wisdom and wealth surpass report to me. 8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy! 9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lord’s eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.” 10 She gave the king 120 talents of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched (1 Kings 10:6-10).

Conclusion

God set Abraham and offspring Israel apart for blessing so a source of blessing to the nations. God did not set Israel apart to save Jews but send them to rest the world. Israel sey apart is blessed so in turn become a channel of blessing to the nations. Salvation of Gentile, Rahab, Ruth, Naaman, and other Gentiles not meant to be viewed exception. Drawing Gentiles to Israel to faith is the rule not exception. God did not call Israel into existence to be a “reservoir”of all God’s blessings, to store it for themselves and share sparingly at their discretion. So Israel is a “river” of God’s blessings to pass through His chosen people to the other nations. Jesus condemns all those purposed to build bigger barns to hoard God’s blessings; so become distribution channels for gospel to be conveyed to those perishing. 16 He told a parable: “The land of certain rich man produced an abundant crop, 17 so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This night your life will be demanded from you, but who will get what you prepared yourself?’ 21 So it is with all who stores up riches for self, but not rich toward God in Luke 12:16-21.28 Like Israel of old, we are not owners of God’s blessings but stewards of God’s blessings. Do not hoard God’s blessings,29 bury them,30 or sell them for profit.31 We are to give freely.32 To do otherwise of all God entrusts to us is deceive ourselves we are blessed so we are better deserving than others. God’s blessings are the manifestation of His grace not of our goodness. The Christian life is relay race to pass the baton on in order to win. A runner sprinting ahead of his competitors passes baton to next member of his team. The only way to win race is to pass on blessings God has entrusted to us. The blessings of God are not for the elite, but for those who are in great need and know it. Jesus was criticized for associating with sinners than catering to elite, His response was simple and direct: 11 When Pharisees saw this they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 When Jesus heard this he said, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but those who are sick do. 13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I want mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners in Matthew 9:11-13. Queen of Sheba was drawn to Israel to observe wisdom of Solomon for herself, most came to Israel in desperate need.and they knew it. God’s law made special provision for weakest, neediest, most vulnerable segment of society: widows, orphans, and foreigners. Focus on the foreigners is a matter of heated debate in countries displacing them. Millions of dollars raised in America and elsewhere to foreign missionaries to places so they proclaim the gospel. If leading to faith in Christ lead fellow-countrymen too to faith as well and the foreign students. If those who came to the U.S. as students met Jesus Christ as Saviour through the witness of faithful Christians who reach out during their stay tudents separated from home, families and culture often curious learn about American culture, and religious beliefs. Open door families in our church with volunteers working with International Students. There are opportunities for many more to build relationships with foreign students. So Texas, California, Arizona, New Mexico, states near Mexico after destruction of twin towers in New York City on 9/11, feelings run strong about problem of immigrants. No simple political or legal solutions for problem but confident the vast majority of visitors, peace-loving people wish to provide a livelihood for themselves and their families, greatest need is a Saviour. Foreigners in our country are a field “ripe for harvest,”33  Old Testament law instructs we should respond to them and needs. As light to our neighbours involves sharing good news of Jesus Christ. Need for a Saviour is man’s greatest need so meeting this need, address physical needs of those hungry or poorly clothed. Care for their physical needs open door for meeting greatest need. Jesus preached gospel; He fed hungry and healed sick. We should do no less. We pray God strengthens us to obey Him and help our neighbours in Jesus Name to Glory of God. Gentiles in turn bless Israel applying golden rule of loving one another. The Jews and Arabs living side by side in Israel since 1978 as a small community of Wahat al-Salam, Neve Shalom – meaning “oasis of peace” was founded by 4 families of Jews and Arabs on a hill-top between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. In pioneering experiment peaceful co-existence within long-term Middle East conflict. Four decades on, it is now home to more than 60 families. 2 long-standing residents, are called Nava Sonnenschein and Daoud Boulus, spoke to share their experiences.


1 Genesis 12:1-3

2 Descendants of Abraham is modern Israel, share Bible, print unlimited copies, give free to others. It is available on the Internet at: www.netbible.org.

3 Deuteronomy 7:14. & Romans 9:6-29, Paul emphasizes the fact that God did not choose to bless all of Abraham’s descendants, but only some of those children of promise.

4 See Deuteronomy 7:6-8; 9:4-6; 26:1-10; Joshua 24:14-15; Amos 5:25-26; 2 Kings 17:40.

5 See Deuteronomy 9:7-29.

6 See this same principle applied in 1 Corinthians 4:6ff.

7 See Genesis 15:12-17; Leviticus 18:24-28;Deuteronomy 9:4-6.

8  Isaiah 28:21 God’s delight, seeks to save lost sinners Exodus 34:6-7; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9). Compassion on children and animals (Jonah 4:11).

9 See Acts 11:1-3 and note their apparent surprise that God was now “suddenly and unexpectedly” saving Gentile sinners (11:18).

10 See also Numbers 9:14.

11 Rahab, Ruth, and Naaman are some of the most obvious.

12 See Exodus 9:20-21.

13 See Exodus 12:38; Numbers 11:4.

14 I have dealt with Isaiah 58 in much greater detail in this message on bible.org:http://www.bible.org/node/3451

15 See Isaiah 1:10-17.

16 See Isaiah 58:7, 10.

17 See Isaiah 59:13-14.

18 See Matthew 11:28.

19 In the context, this refers to offenses against God or society such as cursing, blasphemy, murder, and personal injury.

20 See Joshua 2; Hebrews 11:31; James 2:25.

21 See Ruth 2:15-18.

22 2 Kings 5:1-19; see also Luke 4:27.

23 2 Kings 5:17.

24 2 Samuel 12:9, 10, 15; 2 Samuel 23:39.

25 Zelek the Ammonite, for example; see 2 Samuel 23:37.

26 2 Samuel 18:2.

27 1 Kings 3:5-13; 4:29-34.

28 I believe “being rich toward God” is, in this context, being rich toward those in need.

29 Luke 12:15-21.

30 Luke 25:18, 24-28.

31 Acts 8:14-24.

32 Matthew 10:8.

33 See John 4:35.

Copyright © 2007 by Community Bible Chapel, 418 E. Main Street, Richardson, TX 75081. This is the edited manuscript of Lesson 13 in the Following Jesus in a Me-First World series prepared by Robert L. Deffinbaugh on January 21, 2007. Anyone is at liberty to use this lesson for educational purposes only, with or without credit. The Chapel believes the material presented herein to be true to the teaching of Scripture, and desires to further, not restrict, its potential use as an aid in the study of God’s Word. Publication of this material is a grace ministry of Community Bible Chapel. Related Topics: Spiritual Life

TRAUMATIC DEATH GRIEF

traumaticbereavement-thirdTraumatic tragic death bereavement is completely unexpected loss, worst form of grief people go through. Suddenly changes lifeplan dramatically, cancels activities so a shock to the system. One minute conversation is taking place about life but the next minute subject changes to unexpected death. It is most painful if the person appeared healthy, full of life with a great future suddenly cut short by death. The numbing shock of loss is hard to sink in and feels that loved one is about to walk through the door home. Seems like a dream, surreal but wide awake with sleepless nights so deep within the heart an overwhelming pain lingers on. Everyday passes by without a text, contact or phone call, facebook so realises it must be really true. Shock is a normal reaction and unbelief deceased person is really no longer with us here on earth. Sudden change of plans means numbness while taking in loss starting to sink in. Though we understand death as part of life it does not make it easier to accept. Death is painful and difficult to experience it hurts beyond belief and complicated. At times pain seems insurmountable but support and a therapy can help to understand, accept and ease the pain. After death of a loved one life is never the same but talking therapy helps to provide skills and tools to assist with creation of the new normal to integrate life into new existence. Annette was on the way to mortuary when Julia phoned to support death of daughter Amber, aged four, who drowned in a swimming pool, and going to see her body. Many people would not call at that moment they feel encroaching on a raw traumatic grief. bottomJulia, friend of couple, a psychotherapist specialises in dealing with loss knows when people in throes of overwhelming grief, sharing the pain is the only thing that makes even the tiniest difference. Grief professionals don’t have endowed special powers its empathy compassion. Phil answered the phone, so Julia liked to say something to make it better but knew nothing could do that, so she said the only thing she could. “I am terribly sorry to hear your daughter, Amber, has died; I’m sorry the devastating pain that has happened to you. How can I help?” 25 years as grief psychotherapist taught Julia great deal about human condition that focus on grief means focus on life, loss exposes things that matters about a person, their strengths and weaknesses. When someone dies, it reveals faultlines in bereaved family, even deepest, most hidden ones. If you know about loss you know about family, about love, survival, resilience and strength. Knowing about loss means you know about life. But there is a paradox at the centre of loss, and it is this. Grief is the most intense pain there is, and we will do anything to avoid pain. So we run away from it; we run away from our own grief, and we run away from others’ grief. Yet, says running away from grief means we will not recover but embracing helps move through the agony and deal with pain. bereavement-and-traumatic-grief-counselling-pinnacle-therapy-counselling-in-london

Allowing ourselves to be while it washes over us, is only way to survive because we have to feel the worst in order to let it change us. Then we can start to find out who we are going to be in wake of it. This is the message at the heart of Julia’s new book, Grief Works. “If you ignore grief and push it down, you can live and you can function, but you live a very narrow emotional life because using emotional energy to cope,” she said. “Everything in psyche will be squashed down, and that means small things can trigger a much bigger kind of effect. The fact is to do the work of grieving. You have to let it run its course. Pain is agent of change; pain allows you to change, it enables you to reach a new reality.” Her book traces journeys of many of the bereaved people she has walked alongside; she describes how she wept and mourned with them. “let clients know what they say has an impact: Tell them when feels shocked, sad or upset,” she says. So talk about relationship with bereaved and a relationship with friends in service of a deceased. Say what you feel if thinking about them if it’s useful to share. One of the many moving stories in her book is that of Bill and Sally, whose 13-year-old son Matthew died of rare virus. Sally tells Julia losing her son has made her feel dead, no more expectations of life; so does not want to go on living. “I said quite plainly, although she was giving up on herself, I refused to; I would fight for her, held her and whispered hidden strength within her said, to live.’ Julia, in 50s, mother of 4 grown up children, grandmother of four, vivacious and fun: has time to feel recharged with life. You know it helps feeling of clients who like Sally regain joy to be alive again. Helps Julia’s interest in answering questions on experiences of traumatic loss to help open hearts for the healing process.17848

There are two sorts of loss, says Julia: expected loss and traumatic loss. And perhaps, for one in her profession, her own losses have all been expected ones. Her father died at 87, sad, grieved but it not traumatic loss. Bereavement work involves charity Birthright, Well-being of Wo/men made her aware of the pain of losing a baby although wonders was unconsciously influenced by parent’s loss of three parents and three siblings by the time they were 25. “Everything seemed OK, but thinks back aware of some unresolved grief. Almost only personal experience of a shocking, out-of-nowhere, loss figures such death brought loss closer and changed how to deal with grief. Julia was a close friend of Princess Diana, a connection echoed when asked by William and Kate to be a godmother to Prince George in 2013. That is, she says, a very joyful role lots of fun, and the chance to enjoy the little boy as he grows up but she doesn’t want to say much about it or Diana, save she agrees her death made difference to the nation’s approach to grief. So, too, she says, did other major shifts of history, especially the first and second world wars. “Our parents, parents of people of my generation, were the generation that couldn’t afford to grieve. Were parented by survivors of first world war simply to survive but modern luxury means able to deal with it differently.”traumaticbereavement-fullwidth

Despite public outpouring of grief after Diana’s death, doesn’t think most people are sufficiently aware impact traumatic bereavement has, the ripples it leaves or how long they persist. As someone who experienced a traumatic loss at the age of nine, when three-year-old sister was killed in road accident agrees with her analysis. It is 44 years since death, and shockwaves still reverberate in the family: everyone is different because of it, next generation touched by it in ways too subtle for them to fully understand.

Traumatic losses shape future of family as subject of great interest to Julia; so, is the way men and women deal with loss differently. Men, tend to want to move on to make plans, to focus on new horizons. Women on other hand want to spend more time remembering the person who died so want to immerse themselves in the pain. But the fact is, each can learn from others. “You have to do both things: you must have time to grieve and mourn and other time when you have break from the grief. You can create circumstances where you grieve, and circumstances where you move on; so men and women help one another. IMG_20180303_141134He can help her go for a walk to a park or gallery can help him talk about how he feels to express some of his loss.” The problems set in when individuals fails to understand the pattern of grief in the other; they think of them as selfish or they don’t care enough, but it isn’t about that due to the different ways of coping. Grieving is an intensely individual and incredibly lonely experience, which can make it difficult time in family, group of people going through something sparked by same event, but is in each case very differentThe way to cope, is be open in communicating feelings to others in your family. Families that fare best share feelings openly when a death disrupts complex finely tuned balance in a family. So needs a reorganised and open approach to help with process.”

At the beginning, and this is especially true of a traumatic loss, the grief is all-consuming: but over time, says Julia, you find you are starting to live again. The mistake some make, though, is believing they can go back to being the way they were. “Some people say, ‘This isn’t going to change us.’ But that’s not how it is: and it’s when you recognise that bereavement is a life-shattering experience, and that you have to grieve and rebuild, that you can move on positively into a new phase of life. originalYou don’t forget the person who’s gone; you can never do that, and you should not worry that you’re going to. But you keep them in memory so their loss helps you become a new person you become; and maybe in the end is greatest tribute to make to anyone who passed to Glory. Grief affects us all so hope in God and read HIS beautiful WORDS in Bible to guide prayers. Powerful scriptures will help you face feelings of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is very normal to feel it is not really true the person is still alive soo will be at home, then in shock, angry they died, hoping the loved one comes back alive, realising they passed on into Glory and finally accepting loss and accepting new unexpected sudden sad changes of life. Crying, weeping, feeling low not eating properly, sad, confused, depressed are all part of feelings of pain, hurt of loss, bereavement, grieving and mourning. It is normal to feel helpless, lost without a loved one with deep sorrow and pain. One helpful action is remember a loved does not want your life destroyed and ruined because of them. They see you in heaven so like you to live and continue life despite feeling changes happening. There’s no shame in being sad. The life we’ve been given was never promised free of pain or sorrow so during times we hurt most run to God and HIS Word for peace and comfort. Psalm 117:7 says God cares about death of the righteous.listingbereavement-jesus-wept

Help from family and friends 

Listening. Be a friend who is prepared to give their time, to listen and to acknowledge the extent of your friend’s loss. Listening is the key. Bear witness, and allow your friend to be upset, to be confused and contradictory, or to say nothing at all. Every time they tell their story once more, or are allowed to say how important the person who has died was, burden of carrying pain on their own is incrementally a little lighter.

It’s not about you. Follow a mourner’s lead: they may not want to talk about their grief right now, or with you. It is good to say something to acknowledge their loss, but then let them have the control they need, they had none over death so choose to talk or not. If they ask you to come and be with them, and want to talk openly to you, go. If they truly don’t want a visit or don’t want to deal with it at that time, don’t force it on them. Don’t confuse need to speak, call, contact, with friend’s need of privacy to come to terms with grief. Some kings or or important dignitaries, leaders buried in secret. Deuteronomy 34:5-7, Numbers 27:13-28 says God buried Moses Himself without gravestone marker, headstone, monument remain unmarked, Israelites not have idol worship. So Moses’ eternal soul rests in peace buried in the Moab valley opposite Beth Peor near Mount Nebo from plains of Moab near top of Pisgah. None knows where Moses’ body buried, concealed in grave stops people flocking to idolise him. In Jude 1:9 angel fought with Michael over Moses’ body, only unique burial by God. Moses’ body soul, alive in Transfiguration met Jesus with Elijah alive from heaven on Mount in Matthew 27:1-10.

loss-300x225 (1)Mourning state of total shock and disorientation exempts you from performing actions requiring attention to detail. Time is given off work at least minimum of 2 weeks plus due holidays to grieve and mourn. Time is needed to sort out paper work, fill in forms and to notify various agencies of the departed. In mourning people wear symbolic or an appropriate colour suitable for the age of the departed. To be able to attend unhindered to funeral arrangements it is important to dress appropriately. The family decided obligated choice agreed on to help support family. Immediately following burial mourning the mourner does not listen to music, go to concerts, does not attend joyous events or parties unless absolutely necessary. If a date set prior to death strictly forbidden or to be postponed cancelled. Week-long period of grief mourning observance referred to by time to grief. During this period all mourners traditionally gather the home and receive visitors. Mourners refrain for a week from showering or bathing, wearing leather shoes, jewelry, shaving. Some communities cover mirrors in the mourner’s home so they not concerned about their personal appearance. It is customary for mourners to sit on low stools or even the floor, symbolic of the emotional reality of being “brought low” by grief. Meal of consolation first meal eaten on return from funeral consists of hard-boiled egg or other round oblong foods. Biblical hospitality means during this seven-day period, family, friends or colleagues visit and call on mourners to comfort them. Is considered great time of kindness, compassion to pay respects to visit the mourners. No greetings are exchanged, visitors wait for mourners to initiate conversation. Mourner is not obliged to engage in a conversation and may completely ignore his/her visitors. Visitors take on hosting role, attending to guests, bringing food and serving it to the mourning family. Mourning family avoids cooking or cleaning during this period. Those responsibilities become that of visitors to ease burden and pain.

8461-grief-ptsd-trauma-mourning-md

Acknowledgment. Death isn’t catching, but those who are bereaved might think so, judging by the fear they see in other people’s eyes. People are frightened about whether to come forward, about what to say, about saying the wrong thing so, in the end say nothing. All of that comes from a belief whatever you say should make things better but have enough wisdom to make the pain more bearable but you can’t or need to. Be kind enough to acknowledge them and their suffering is difficult enough. Offer to be there if they need you, suggesting that they should be the one to ring you, is probably asking too much of your friend at this time. It is better if you take the initiative and make contact, and then follow their lead: they may want to see or speak with you or not. Often, people don’t make contact because they feel they don’t know the bereaved person well enough. If you are erring one way or the other, better to err on the side of making contact.

Practical help. Doing practical things is often what really makes a difference. Don’t say, “Let me know if I can help”; actually do something helpful. At the beginning of a bereavement, there may be a lot of people around, so bringing food may be the best thing you can do. Taking food around for longer than the initial crisis is particularly appreciated.Traumatic-Bereavement-Ind1_m

Honesty. Be honest because honesty is comforting and easy to deal with. So direct honesty helps complex messiness of grief so an enormous relief to people. Be honest about what you actually can do rather than covering up because you feel guilty about what you can’t. And be specific to say, “I’m going to come round for half an hour” or come on Tuesday” don’t say, “I’ll come when you want, tell me, and I’ll be there”, and then find you can’t deliver on that offer.

Be sensitive. Being honest is important, as being sensitive. Promiscuous honesty is not a good idea. Be aware of showing too openly your life is trotting along as happily as can be, feels like you rubbing their nose in your happiness.

Be in it for the long haul. Remember to make contact and be supportive after everyone else has gone. Usually three months following the death, people get back to their lives, as they should. But it is by no means over for the person who is bereaved. Sending a text or popping is hugely supportive.Gay couple hugging and walking in park

Writing. Letters, cards, texts or emails: it doesn’t matter what you write – all are extremely helpful. It is better, however, to say that you don’t want a reply, because some people simply can’t respond. And it is never too late to send them. It is a welcome surprise to receive a card much later, because it is when everyone else has forgotten and your friend is still grieving. When you do write, try to make it personal and avoid tired cliches such as, “She’s had a good innings” or “Better to have loved and lost because they are trite in some way diminish personal importance of this very loved person who died. You don’t need to go into long explanations of why the person died or theological explorations about death; be loving and personal, warm and acknowledging.

RAPTURE ETERNAL RESURRECTION

Believers have assurance of eternal life in Christ so mourn with hope for their resurrection. In the Bible Jesus raised Lazarus from death, widow of Nain son, Peter raised Dorcas, Paul raised young man who fell dead sitting on a window ledge. The dead arose alive when Jesus was crucified and went into town seen by many people. We pray and ask GOD to raise loved one too in Jesus Name so thank God Jesus raised Lazarus. Bible says Christianity lasts beyond earthly life into heaven so mourn and grieve with hope in Jesus Christ. Christians call death falling asleep to pass into glory to be with God. Although grief pain hurts deeply and so feels tragic loss yet know future reunion family circle will be complete in heaven in the Presence of God Almighty. In the Rapture, the dead in Christ will first be resurrected to join those alive together to meet Christ in the clouds into heaven. The signs of the end times are predicted by Jesus in Matthew 24. So death is part of transition into eternal life although it is better to have loved ones on earth as members of a family, God calls them to higher service in heaven. Rest in peace safely beloved in the loving arms of God so no more sorrow, grief, pain, tears we love you and miss you terribly but God LOVES you more. We shall see you one day in Jesus Name for you are delivered because your name is found written in the BOOK OF LIFE according to Daniel 12:1-2. All asleep in Christ in dust of the earth wake to everlasting life in heaven in Glory in GOD’S PRESENCE. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter in times like these so we draw strength from the word of God to carry on in life in Jesus Name. GOD Our Father Comforts us too through His Love and Words of comfort from loved ones, friends and family. 

Extract from Grief Works by Julia Samuel

Topics

EXPRESS MARRIAGE TRENDS

Sophy on her wedding day in traditional attireWith Valentine day approaching people are looking for love and romance for a form relationships. So couples celebrate established meaningful, love fulfilling a family bond. Others also ready to settle down prepare and advertise for love in new ways using social media, Facebook post and was married six days later. The marriage took place quite quickly than the normal traditional longer process of a family searching and taking years for the marriage to be finalised. CHIDIMMA AMEDU, did exactly that advertising for love and marriage on Facebook. He found a beautiful wife who said, ‘he is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.” Those who use Facebook come across pretty strange posts in their time. But this time however the random friends requests, being added to groups you did not ask to join, and tags allows “friends” to marry. Others clog up timeline with posts or photos you don’t necessarily want. But a Nigerian man took it to a whole new level posted unusual advert. Chidimma Amedu put up a post on 30 December, asking women interested in being his wife to reply, he told the BBC.Chidimma Amedu on his wedding day

The proposal

“Am of age to and I am ready to say I do and am wasting no time. “Send in your applications – the most qualified will be married on January 6, 2018. Application closes 12 midnight 31/12/2017 he posted. He followed up with subsequent posts. ‘Am serious about this oh and don’t say you did not see it on time Good luck.’ He received a couple of responses, but one from Sophy Ijeoma is someone special who caught his attention. She wrote in her reply “Am interested, just DM me… lols,” her post read. At first, she thought it was a joke and she simply replied to keep thread flowing. A direct message from him to her inbox, followed by a Facebook call, would change her life’s trajectory. Chidimma placed the advert initially as a joke but became optimistic when Sophy said she was interested. So two days after their first conversation, he travelled some 500km (300 miles) from his home in the northern city of Abuja, to Enugu in the east where she lived. She had been waiting for him outside a retail store and in true fairy-tale style, “it was love at first sight”, she recalled. “He is the most handsome man I’ve ever met and I liked him instantly.”The couple on their wedding day in Igbo attire

After 2 hours of awkward conversation, he asked her to go to meet an uncle who incidentally is also resident in Enugu. So he asked what was going through her mind at the time, she said she thought it was all a bit of a joke but was excited about it and thought Chidimma was also quite an interesting character. “We got to the uncle’s house and he said: ‘Uncle, meet the woman I want to marry.'” Like Chidimma his family don’t seem to hang about when it comes to getting things done because uncle gave his approval. The couple are friends on Facebook for over a year but never spoken to each other before the advert. Getting family backing for your choice of spouse is an essential part of Igbo culture. Whereas picking your future wife from dozens of respondents to a Facebook marriage advert and marrying her in six days is decidedly not. At this point in their day-old relationship, it was beginning to dawn on Sophy that this fellow was not playing, but how do you commit to marrying someone you only just me. She would not comment on whether they had even shared as much as a kiss at that point, but maintained she was captivated by how focused, determined her new fiancé was. “When I saw him for the first time, I definitely found him attractive, but what I didn’t know was how serious he was about marrying me. “It was after we met the uncle and his wife, I realised that this could actually happen and I wanted it.”A family member felicitate with the couple

The engagement

It was now her turn to worry about how she was going to get the approval of her family to marry a guy she had just met on Facebook. But they had momentum going for them. Having met and fallen in love at first sight, or first message, if you like, and getting Chidimma’s uncle’s approval, couple decided to complete the cycle by visiting Sophy’s family the same day. Approval from the family is essential in Igbo tradition and Sophy recounted how she relayed information to her mother. Her dad passed away, and her mum said she did not have a final word in terms of giving approval for her to be married, so up to Sophy’s elder brother to give his blessings. It appears the odds firmly in their favour as Sophy’s brother gave his blessings too. So after a few questions from her brother it became official. Chidimma and Sophy were engaged to be married in six days.The happy couple cutting their cake

On the rebound?

Last year Chidimma was engaged to another woman and the wedding was scheduled for December, but then that relationship fell apart in March leaving him dejected. As December approached, the disappointment of not being able to fulfil his dream of getting married made him put up the post, he said. In wedding it was a blend of old and new “I had the desire to get married, had date in mind, but no bride, decided to place an advert as a joke, but I was open and up for it.”  Asked whether she knew about earlier engagement and her thoughts on how this seemingly rushed marriage might be seen as a rebound, Sophy dismissed any suggestions that her relationship was not well thought through. “I don’t care about that when you see what you want, you go for it.” They are friends on Facebook for more than a year, but had never met or spoken to each other until the advert. Am interested just DM me… lols” was all it took for the union to be formed. Sophy admitted her friends were sceptical about the whole thing, while some are still in disbelief, but as she said: “When you see the one, you will know he is the one.” And they got married on 6 January in a traditional Igbo ceremony, and posted photos of wedding day on Facebook of course to the amusement of the social media community. Chidimma put up a post saying people may have thought he had been joking but clearly wasn’t. And as expected there was mixed reactions, but mainly a lot of support for the couple. They hope to have a church wedding in April and honeymoon somewhere nice.

DEPRESSED MUMS SINGING

Mum singing to babySinging speeds up’ recovery from post-natal depression. Singing helps mothers recover from post-natal or post partum depression more quickly study suggests. Researchers found women who took part in group singing sessions with their babies experienced much faster improvement in their symptoms than those who did not. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at 134 mothers with post-natal depression. Early recovery is seen to be crucial to limit effects on mother and baby. Post-natal depression is estimated to affect one in eight new mothers. And previous studies have indicated singing can help improve the mental health of older people and those with dementia, but this is the first controlled study of its effect on post-natal depression. The women were placed into three groups:Mother and baby music group
  • one took part in group singing
  • another took part in in creative play sessions
  • a third group received their usual care, which could include family support, antidepressants or mindfulness

The singing workshops saw the mothers learning lullabies and songs from around the world with their babies and creating new songs together about motherhood. And those with moderate to severe symptoms of post-natal depression reported a much faster improvement than mothers in the usual care and play groups. All the groups improved over the 10 weeks, but in the first six weeks, singing group already reported an average 35% decrease in depressive symptoms. The Principal investigator Dr Rosie Perkins said the study, although small, was significant because it was important to tackle the symptoms as quickly as possible. “Post-natal depression is debilitating for the mothers and their families. As research indicates some women think accessible singing with their baby helps speed up recovery at one of the most vulnerable times of their lives,” she said. The lead author Dr Daisy Fancourt at University College London, said singing is another useful therapy to offer women. babies with musical instrumentsMany mothers have concerns about taking depression medication whilst breast-feeding and uptake of psychological therapies with new mothers is relatively low,” she said. “These results are really exciting as suggests something as simple as referring mothers to this community activities could support their recovery.” Dr Trudi Seneviratne, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Perinatal Faculty, said: “It’s exciting to hear about the growing evidence base for novel psychosocial interventions like singing to facilitate a more rapid recovery for women with post-natal depression. “I look forward to more work in this area in the future, as it will be enjoyed by both mothers and their babies.”Since the study, Breathe Arts Health Research has started running singing workshops in partnership with the Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for women with post-natal depression across the south London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark. Community and socialising helps overcome isolation and loneliness of new mothers. The feel good factor of singing with the babies is definitely a win- win situation lifting the mood and going out of the home helps to lift their spirit too. Isolated mothers can organise own singing sessions with friends in communities and their babies benefit too from a calm, happy, relaxed mother. If child raising is recognised or considered as a valid hardwork and to celebrate mothers and carers the world will become a better and safer place. So families must be prioritised and to help mother’s like Finland pays both parents to raise their children. Depression is caused by loneliness, pressure, stress of modern living without extended family support and children become depressed too. So it is good news to help mother’s and also to improve motherhood as an honourable collaboration with God’s idea to multiply to replenish the earth.

FOOD IS YOUR MEDICINE

A North Carolina Gospel Minister Sows Seeds of Hope in a Food Desert in USA. The Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Conetoe, NC, exhorts his congregants to strengthen their community. First, the Reverend Richard Joyner got mad. Then he got a trowel. Sick and tired of seeing his congregation suffer from poor nutrition, the North Carolina minister sowed seeds of hope in a food desert. ABOUT A DECADE AGO, the Reverend Richard Joyner of Conetoe Chapel Missionary Baptist Church realized he ministered to a congregation of people often hungry and living in poverty but never complained. He came up with an ingenious use of land that helped keep the young ones involved in learning about nature first hand. The Church members unfamiliar with farming in the city are educated on how to grow own good produce.  The pastor found it difficult to comfort grieving or contain his outrage: “How do you tell someone who’s just lost a child to poor nutrition that this was God’s plan when it was totally preventable? Who would hang out with that God?” Each Sunday, Joyner felt like a hypocrite, urging congregants to worship a deity he doubted. During the week, he was forced to confront the community’s health problems constantly as a hospital chaplain. After one particularly trying hospital shift, Joyner pulled his car over and began to pray. “I heard a voice saying, ‘Open your eyes and look around,’” the 64-year-old remembers. All he saw was farmland. His parents and grandparents had been share- croppers; his great-grandparents, slaves. That moment fields blanketing Edgecombe County represented not untapped opportunity but a painful reminder of the region’s racist past.

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Young people enjoy outdoors activity so this roadside epiphany directly inspired the church’s now-bustling nonprofit agriculture and education center might construct a tidy narrative. It would, however, be inaccurate. Back in 2005, when Joyner first equipped area youth with seeds and spades on a borrowed plot down the road, he simply hoped to engage kids at summer camp. The campers consumed their initial harvest, but the following year, they started delivering free boxes of ‘Hen Pecked’ mustard greens, ‘Puerto Rican Red’ sweet potatoes and the vegetables to local senior citizens. “One 97-year-old lady, she was so excited, she kissed the children,” Joyner says. “That was the first time in a long time I witnessed anybody speaking a blessing over our troubled children.” Not everyone welcomes bounty. Only a generation or two removed from sharecropping, some church elders questioned the wisdom of participating in any sort of agrarian pursuit. They remained uncomfortably familiar with Edgecombe County’s role in the South’s antebellum cotton economy. Henry Toole Clark, a Civil War–era governor of North Carolina, owned a vast plantation—and dozens of slaves here. Joyner explains prevailing concern: “Do we really want our kids going back to that?” He empathized. Then again, he’d witnessed satisfaction junior parishioners derived from the soil. Less encumbered by Conetoe’s complicated history, they were free to dig in the dirt. “They’re bringing food to people who need it,” Joyner says. “They enjoy the process. They’re playing out there.” Meanwhile, various activities on the farm like preparing beds, selecting seeds, tending crops, selling produce, tracking digital data impart valuable lessons in science, technology, exercise, economics, math, and nutrition.IMG_20180106_150511