In my young 56 years of life I have been blessed to read that volume of Holy Writ nine times in its entirety. Each time that I read from its pages, I am forever amazed at how even though I have read the same passages numerous times, I still learn many new and wonderful things. I also find that as I grow older and continue on this pilgrim journey, my understanding of certain passages of scripture is heightened, and my testimony of the Savior about whom the volume is written is confirmed. It is enlightening to experience how different passages take on whole new meanings as I enter different seasons of my life and I continue to liken the scriptures unto myself.
There are some people who may ask why I would repeatedly read the Bible in its entirety. “Isn’t once enough?” they might ask. I answer their question with a question (something that all of my teachers said that I should not do) — Why Not? And as far as once being enough, well, no it isn’t because I am reminded that we are to “Study to shew [ourselves] approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
As I grow older with each passing year I am reminded, “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away” (1 Peter 1:24). However, the Prophet Isaiah declared, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8). And the Psalmist exhorted, “For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:5).
I bear solemn witness and testimony that the Word of God never grows old. It is always fresh with new insights for all those who will take the time to read and feast upon its words. In the sacred name of Him whose Word is “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (see Psalm 119:105), our Lord and savior, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
Dr. Ravi Zacharias at Princeton University – Why I’m Not An Atheist
Defining the terms
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities. Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.
Theism is the belief in the existence of a god or gods, especially belief in one God as the creator of the universe, intervening in it and sustaining a personal relation to His creation.
Deism is the belief in the existence of a supreme being, specifically of a creator who does not intervene in the universe. The term is used chiefly of an intellectual movement of the 17th and 18th centuries that accepted the existence of a creator on the basis of reason but rejected belief in a supernatural deity who interacts with humankind.
Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief.
Ideology, in the Althusserian sense, is “the imaginary relation to the real conditions of existence.” It can be described as a set of conscious and unconscious ideas which make up one’s goals, expectations, and motivations. An ideology is a comprehensive normative vision, meaning that it is a set of standards that are followed by people, government, and/or other groups that is considered the “norm”.
Midnight is considered to be the darkest hour of the night. It is that moment in time when the previous day slips quietly into the annals of history, and the pages of the volume are turned as the sun begins to rise and a new day dawns. With the dawning of a new day comes new hopes and aspirations in conjunction with new challenges to face, and new obstacles to overcome.
For some, midnight can also be considered a time of utter desolation and solitude in their lives. To them the world appears to be in a chaotic state of flux. It appears that the hands of time are forever standing still and it is forever midnight on many levels. Because of this, their vision is obscured, and they are unable to see the new day dawning just over the horizon. It is midnight.
For far too long many people have traveled down the rough and dusty highways of life with their heads hanging down, and their hearts heavy with the doubts and fears of there being any hope in the world.
For far too long some have listened intently to the voices of all the naysayers and ne’er-do-wells of the world who have not only tried, but in many cases have succeeded in thoroughly convincing them that they are just a bunch of worthless nobodies, going nowhere. They have convinced some that what might have once been is the way that things will always be. And so, feeling all alone, rejected, depressed, and defeated, some have chosen to live a life of seclusion and to slowly drown in a sea of deafening silence. It is midnight.
The hour has now come my friends when we must arise from the ashes of life, lift up our heads, and raise our voices to let the bearers of negativism know that they are nothing more than perpetual liars. Now is the hour to serve them notice that although they may think or believe that they represent the greater voice, they are indeed the minority whisper. Now is the hour to let them know that what might have once been, no longer has to be, nor will it be.
We need to pull ourselves up by the proverbial bootstraps and with clarion voices lift the rafters as we proclaim in jubilation, “Henceforth and no further!” Now is the time to rise up and send a very distinct, simple, and clear message to those who would otherwise try to keep us down and kick us around that we are not just a bunch of nobodies, going nowhere – we are children of Almighty God, and we are somebody going somewhere.
We are not in this world to live in servitude to any man, or to bow down to any man as if he were our king. It is time, and indeed the hour has come, when we need to lift our voices together, like the three Hebrew children who were thrown into the fiery furnace, and unashamed and unequivocally declare that we have but one True Master – one True Lord – one True King – and it is He and He alone whom we will bow down to and worship and none other.
Yes, my friends, it may seem to be midnight, but take heart and be of good courage, a new day is just in sight.
~ Keith Lionel Brown
18 January 2015
A highlight of growing up is being able to move out of your parents’ house and become an independent young man or woman. You find an apartment, a decent job that will pay the bills and you make lifelong friends. As a rite of passage into adulthood many make adventurous trips either for leisure or to help those in need. They learn to make all their own decisions with the intent of solidifying a belief in themselves.
This doesn’t mean they don’t rely on their Mom or Dad for choices that are difficult and are life-altering. A “fork in the road” decision always presents as a challenge, but we don’t have to face them alone. We have the ability to call home, email, facebook, text or Skype with those who have come before us. But in the end we don’t let others make choices for us.
I believe the same concept follows us spiritually. We should counsel with our Father in Heaven. We should pray to God who knows…
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What I am about to share with you is something that I wrote a few months ago describing my former life as a drug addict and the activities that I was involved in while living that lifestyle. I felt that this is a proper time to share these thoughts because on Saturday, 25 October 2014, I will be celebrating seven years of sobriety. That date is also significant because that is the day that my life began anew spiritually. What you are about to read adequately describes my life before recovery, as well as, my life today as I am privileged and honored to be a part of other people’s lives as I strive to help them cope with their struggles.
The title of this article is “False Gangsta’s Paradise” which is based on the song “Gangsta’s Paradise” which has lyrics that have meant a lot to me. The song has been instrumental in the sobriety process. During the time that I was in jail, this song continuously played in my head and became a powerful tool that helped me to get my life back on track. The song is from the sound track of the movie “Dangerous Minds.” It reminds me of the first part of the scripture found in Psalm 23:4 which reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” The song lyrics, ” As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left, coz I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so long that even my momma thinks my mind is gone” perfectly described my life at that time. I used to live my life in a false gangsta’s paradise,” but on 25 October 2007, I am thankful to report that all that began to come to an end.
At the time that I was incarcerated, I weighed only 87 pounds. I was dead spiritually and was dying physically. I felt as if my life had been shattered into a million pieces and I did not know how to put them back together again. There was no one who could help me at this low point in my life. To the very core of my soul, I realized that I had hit rock bottom. As I was in jail for a long period without bond, it gave me the opportunity to look at my life more closely, and I realized that there was not much left. I had literally destroyed my life by being a hard-core, drug addicted prostitute for too many years. Even with the situation that I found myself in, at first, I still considered life as one big party and laughed at the consequences that I received because of my actions. My life was out of control and I literally felt insane. I went through detoxification for three weeks and almost physically died three times. I soon realized that there was nothing to laugh about anymore and that it was time to get serious and put the partying attitude behind me if I were to ever change my life for the better.
I knew that I could never make such a drastic change on my own. I needed a Power greater than myself to pull me out of the miry clay that I had found myself hopelessly sinking in. On 8 December 2007, I got down on my hands and knees and said five words which saved my life. I said, “Dear God, please help. Thanks.” After uttering those words, I believe that God began to revive my life. Without His Divine Power and Matchless Love, I know for a certainty that I would have died.
It has by no means been an easy road to travel for these past seven years, but I am more at peace than I have ever been in my life. I was once a gangsta for Satan, but now I am a soldier in the army of the Lord.
Karlyn Kay Stebbins
Karlyn Kay Stebbins’ Biography:
Karlyn Kay Stebbins is a guest writer for Morsels Of Bread. She is an addictions counselor and works in a drug rehabilitation center. She has a double major in Sociology and Psychology, and a minor in Communications. She is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, having been baptized on 26 March 2011. Her hobbies are reading and writing. She also enjoys spending time with her son and his friends. She is also the Founder of The Conqueror Foundation and has a blog called “Reflection Pays” where she shares her insights.
For most of us, something deep down inside tells us there is a greater power. We sense there is something bigger than us. All that you have to do is look up at all the miraculous clusters of stars and galaxies. Look into the eyes of a baby. Look down into a microscope and watch as cells individually multiply and heal. So no, this isn’t about Atheism.
What or who is God? Philosophers and common men and women have pondered that thought since the beginning of time. Native Americans have called God the great spirit. Hindus believe in the plurality of gods in different shapes and forms. Ancient Egyptians believed God was the sun that was born in the day and died at night. All of these ideas are fascinating, but false. Even the idea of God isn’t true. Let me explain.
Many people view God as a power, a mist, a. . . .
Matt Lemmon is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is the author of the blog the8ways2.com. He is also a Nursing student, and is married to Kayla Lemmon, who has been writing a blog called “all our lemony things” since August 2013. Matt was featured on the cover of the October 2014 issue of LDS Life & Times. You can contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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