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“The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭29:25‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I feel like this is a timely verse especially with what’s been going on. I’m not sure where you might be in the world when you see this, but know that our God is so much bigger and mightier than this. Let’s not feed the fear, but put our trust in God!

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1, 2, 3, 5, 13, 19, 26

Thanks for all these prompts! <3

Bored in Quarantine Meme

1. What would your dream vacation be?

A dream vacation for me would involve travel, specifically travel with the desire to learn, experience, and understand another culture. I want to bond with humans and the human experience. I want to experience what I could never experience at home, I want to see ancient history of past civilizations, I want to experience the current food and music and arts and life, I want to see unique natural environments, I want to head to local establishments and museums and everything of note, I want to wander the back alleyways of an off-the-course town with local friends, and I particularly want to grow and develop as a person.

I always wish to be extraordinarily careful respecting what I should and should not do as a foreigner (being the entitled or oblivious tourist wanting to “have fun” using someone else’s life for novelty is gross), but wherever I am welcomed and encouraged to participate in community, I will be grateful for the opportunity of being welcomed in.

I have a *HUGE* bucket list of countries. My heart’s screaming to go back to Cambodia (I went there in 2012 for a study abroad), but the top of my list is Mongolia, Bhutan, and the United Arab Emirates. 

2. Tell me a random fact about yourself.

Both of my pinkie fingers are crooked. The final joint turns inward.

3. Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes and no. I believe in “people THINK they are in love at first sight.” And that’s a real, giddy, exhilarating emotion. But you can’t have a deep, bonded, authentic relationship until you KNOW the human being. You don’t know someone when you first meet them. They’re a stranger, no matter how well you hit off. Sometimes an instant connection with a person you just met grows INTO that deep relationship. And sure you can marry that person you had the instant connection with. But I only consider something “love” when it’s an established bond.

5. Do you believe that you can do anything if you put your heart and mind to it?

No. Everything is the combination of two main factors: your hard work and God’s will (or, “opportunity,” for those of you who aren’t religious as I am). Sometimes, you’re fortunate, and without working hard, you’ll receive a blessing. Other times, you have to work hard to achieve something, and it wouldn’t have happened without that effort. But even with effort, if life doesn’t line up right, it means it doesn’t happen. I can do everything right and still not succeed.

Plus, I suppose… some individuals have more aptitude for some skills than others, we all have limitations, and sometimes we’ll hit those limitations even with our most extended efforts. I know individuals who love music and work hard at it, but they hit the top of their abilities, and that ability is below Paganini-level performance. Not everyone will be able to become a glittery musical badass.

That’s okay. We all have beautiful potential within us and can do glorious things. We all make a valuable difference in the world. And I believe we can all get done what “needs” to get done in our lives.

13. What was your favorite toy growing up?

It’s hard to pick ONE. But a toy that’s currently in my mind is “Enny Fog,” a tree frog stuffed animal I got at Disney World around the first grade. She’s still in my bedroom in my parents’ house.

19. If you could be a cartoon character for a week, who would you be?

Can I also choose WHEN I get to be that cartoon character? Because Matt Holt from VLD went through lots of horrifying events…. but if I could spend a week as him when I’m chilling with Pidge sitting in the cockpit of Voltron and touring the Castle of Lions, that would be LEGIT. I wouldn’t want to have the pressure of actually BEING a Paladin of Voltron, but spending a week with my beloved sister alongside the team sounds hella fine.

26. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

My freshman year of college, I was going through a lot of shit with my roommate, who also happened to be my ex. Our next door dorm neighbors sometimes intervened when they heard shouting matches and split the two of us up. One time, while I was a sobbing, panicked mess trying to recover from the latest round of Being Screamed At, my neighbor and I had a good conversation.

See, my neighbor was friends with MY EX, not me. I wanted to be part of their friendship group, but that obviously was not going to happen. During a time that I was a teenager feeling lonely and unwanted, my neighbor told me something obvious, but absolutely what I needed to hear at the time.

“You don’t have to be friends or on good terms with every good person you meet.”

It was a revolutionary concept at the time for me. And it’s put me to peace ever since. There’s NO obligation to form good relationships with EVERY person who could be a potential buddy. That’s OKAY. I can meet an EXEMPLARY person, but that doesn’t say anything about what our relationship status is. There’s not something wrong with me, there’s not something wrong with them, if it turns out we don’t become friends. It doesn’t mean I’m “missing out” and it doesn’t mean I can’t have a hoard of good, exemplary friends of my own.

It’s put me at peace. I have always been someone who doesn’t tend to care what others think of me, but this advice sealed the nail in me living my life content, focusing on the blessings of the relationships I DO have.

I uh… don’t know if I explained it well. But there’s a reason why that statement stuck with me for nine years.

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2 Kings 4 is a series of miracles Elisha performs for those in the service of the Lord. One after another, those who follow the Lord despite the nationalized paganism of Israel are saved and secured by the power of God active in the prophet’s ministry.

The first story is the salvation of a widowed mother in debt and about to starve.
2 Kings 4:1 (ESV) Now the wife of one of the sons of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD, but the creditor has come to take my two children to be his slaves.”

Consider the facts of this woman’s case. She is widowed. Her husband who served and feared the Lord died too soon. On top of this, she’s in debt and her sons are about to be enslaved. Perhaps his service to the Lord in a faithless nation cost him dearly and now his sudden death lays heavy on his family. Perhaps he was wreckless with money or perhaps he was one of those staving prophets hidden by Obadiah in Elijah’s day.

Tragic events typically lend some people the tangible proof that God does not exist. But there’s context to this story that really matters. We must remember this happened during the apostasy of Israel. Their selfish age was as much to blame for this event as anything in her condition. Instead of a nation enjoying abundance and plenty, there’s poverty. This was a promise of God for their wandering from Him in Deuteronomy. Instead of health, there’s national sickness and death - another curse for sin. And instead of caring for the less fortunate and canceling debts as the law condoned, the nation has exploited them and is ready to enslave them. Yes, there were laws about enslaving fellow Israelites but there were great limitations on the entire procedure to keep Israel from mistreating each other.

Her condition is a symptom of a greater disease. As the nation turned from God they experienced the trouble of sin. Let us be careful that we do not blame God for what people are prone to do. 

She has no help except in the Lord and so she turns to Elisha and he turns right back to her.

2 Kings 4:2 (ESV) And Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me; what have you in the house?” And she said, “Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”

What do you have in your house? What a question. I love how Elisha first asks this woman to search her own resources before offering her anything of his own. This is an important lesson concerning a person’s present crisis. You have to take stock of what you STILL have before you assume what you need. 

Her response seems totally insignificant and yet Elisha once again asks something of her.

2 Kings 4:3–4 (ESV) Then he said, “Go outside, borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels and not too few. 4 Then go in and shut the door behind yourself and your sons and pour into all these vessels. And when one is full, set it aside.”

Elisha wants her actively involved in seeing the miracle come about. Now we could skip through this passage without really putting ourselves in her shoes. It’s hard to gather vessels from neighbors, nevermind a lot of them. Could you imagine the questions they had for her? Could you imagine the foolishness that she would have felt? But this is how it works in the economy of God’s provision. We do the unusual and God does the impossible.

The woman’s faith in action, following the Word of God’s prophet brought about the answer she needed.
2 Kings 4:6–7 (ESV) When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. 7 She came and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest.”

Empty vessels that pour out oil change her life. In the New Testament, the seemingly empty vessels of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ bring about a world-changing event that provides the Oil of the Holy Spirit for all God’s people today. If we will hear Christ’s voice and respond to Him in faith, our home will never run out of His power. 

via Blogger
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How do you square being an interfaith spiritual director with your own personal beliefs as a Christian?

Hey anon! Thanks for asking! I’ve gotten a couple versions of this question so I’m going to do my best to answer it clearly!

My Christianity is very fluid. I have the most experience in the Christian tradition, as it was the one I was raised in, and I do benefit personally from my Episcopalianism, but I don’t think that’s the only way to interact with God. I’ve explored many forms of religious expression in my life and witnessed so much beautiful, complex spirituality that doesn’t fit into easy categories. 

I certainly admire the work of Jesus and resonate with the Christian deity, but I’m not limited to Them. My concept of God is broad and ever-expanding. I think God is the eternal unifying force and however you want to name or interact with that force is truly groovy. I certainly don’t think God, or Spirit, or that Great Unifying Force, looks down on practices that aren’t explicitly Christian.

I hope that was specific enough to answer your question! Feel free to sling me more clarifying Qs if you like. Best wishes!

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people be like “god made me — for he knew if i wasnt i could beat him” fucking COWARD you CAN BEAT HIM. hes a fuckin PANSY living up in the CLOUDS meanwhile every day youre on a planet he claims to have made getting SCRATCHES and BRUISES and WOUNDS while he plays ANIMAL CROSSING NEW HORIZONS on his COMPUTER EMULATOR FOR THE NINTENDO SWITCH

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I think today may have been the first time my dad really realized he doesnt actually know me.

He asked a question that resulted in me expressing g my views on christianity.

And he legit said “whoa those are some strong views. I have never heard you say stuff like this before.”

Mayhaps, just maybe, that’s because you are a southern, white, Male, christian, conservative, and make enough money to live on, easily. Perhaps I never expressed these views because I did not feel like I would be heard or that my perspective would be respected.

But I am not a christian. I do not believe in what christianity is in the modern world (or much of history for that matter). I think it divulged from what the teachings within the Bible show almost immediately. And, now, it is so far removed from what it *should* be that the name really doesnt apply.

I dont even know if I believe in anything at this point. I believe in good deeds, kindness, caring, loving, respecting, helping, and good intentions. But I dont need to believe in a higher being to believe those things are best for this world. A god centered religion is not needed to incorporate those things into your life.

You can do and be those things right here and now.

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And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father; and he shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of his kingdom there shall be no end. - Luke 1:30-33


Caravaggio, 1608


Carl Bloch, 1865


Claudio Coello, 1668


Francesco del Cossa, 1470-72


Walter Rane


Helena Vurnik, 1915


Giovanni Lanfranco, 1624


Guido Reni, 1629


Orazio Gentileschi c.1623


Il Guercino, 1646


Nicolas Poussin, 1655


Giovanni Battista Pittoni, 1758


William Adolphe Bouguereau, 1888


Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1660 


Pierre Auguste Pichon, 1859


Arthur Hacker, 1892


George Lawrence Bulleid, 1903


Vittorio Matteo Corcos, 1904


Federico Barocci, 1585


Domenico Bruschi, 1886


Arthur Joseph Gaskin –1898


Mead Schaeffer, 1929


Sandro Botticelli, 1489


Giovanni Lanfranco, 1616-1624 (2nd one by artist)


Ezio Anichini, 1915-1920

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1 Timothy 5:24-25, KJV
Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. 25Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.
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