Monday, September 24, 2018


2 Corinthians, Chapter 1, Verse 1-2
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the church of God that is in Corinth, with all the holy ones throughout Achaia: a 2grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here Paul is joining the Greek meaning of “grace” to the Jewish meaning of “Peace.”[1]

THE MEANING OF GRACE The word 'grace' (CHEN in Hebrew, CHARIS in Greek), as it is used in the scriptures, literally means' favour', to bend or stoop in kindness to another as a superior to an inferior. It has the idea of graciousness in manner or action. (Wikibooks)

Shalom (Hebrew: שָׁלוֹם shalom; also spelled as sholom, sholem, sholoim, shulem) is a Hebrew word meaning peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility and can be used idiomatically to mean both hello and goodbye. (Wikipedia)

Again, Paul is writing to the Corinthian’s about even in times of trouble God’s grace and peace will be there. John Maxwell states that Paul is using the Law of Empowerment in his leadership.

The Law of Empowerment:
Our Comfort Allows Us to Comfort Others[2]

God promises to comfort us in our troubles and then asks us to comfort others. I can imagine that is exactly what Mary did with the apostles after Christ’s death on the cross. We are to pass on what God gives to us. We are empowered to empower others. Leaders who empower are:

1.      Accountable-They help others keep their commitment to God.
2.      Affirming-They offer words of support and encouragement.
3.      Objective when they evaluate progress.
4.      Advise and offer direction and counsel.
5.      Admonish others when they stray by words of caution, rebuke or correction.
6.      Generous and give tangible resources to help their people reach goals.
7.      Accepting in that they provide unconditional love.
8.      Teachers helping others find places to apply and practice what they learn.

Who may dwell on His Holy Mountain?  Whoever walks without blame, doing what is right, speaking truth from the heart; who does not slander with his tongue, does no harm to a friend, never defames a neighbor; who disdains the wicked, but honors those who fear the LORD; Who keeps an oath despite the cost, lends no money at interest, accepts no bribe against the innocent.

A Visit from Isaac[3] (part of the 7-day feast of Sukkot)

·         Three years after he had sent Ishmael away, Abraham went to visit his son, swearing to Sarah that he would not dismount his camel in Ishmael’s vicinity. Abraham arrived at midday and met Ishmael’s wife, a Moabite woman. He asked her, “Where is Ishmael?”
·         She replied, “He and his mother went to bring fruits and dates from the wilderness.”
·         “Give me some bread and water,” Abraham asked of her, “for I am tired from the rigors of the journey through the wilderness.”
·         “I have neither water nor bread,” she answered
·         He told her, “When Ishmael comes, say to him, ‘An old man came from the land of Canaan to see you, and he said that you should change the threshold of your house, which is not good for you.’”
·         When Ishmael returned from the wilderness, she told him what had happened. Ishmael understood his father’s message, and he sent his mother to find a wife for him from his father’s house.
·         Three years later, Abraham again went to visit his son, and again he swore to Sarah that he would not get off his camel while there. Abraham arrived at midday and found Ishmael’s new wife, Fatimah. He asked her, “Where is Ishmael?”
·         She replied, “He and his mother went to herd camels in the wilderness.”
·         “Please give me some bread and water,” he asked of her, “for I am tired from the rigors of the journey through the wilderness.”
·         She brought forth bread and water and gave them to him.
·         Abraham stood and prayed to G‑d, and Ishmael’s house was filled with bounty and blessing. When Ishmael came back, his wife told him what had happened, and he understood that his father still loved him, even though he was a bandit.
·         From then on, Abraham and Ishmael continued to visit each other.

Ishmael and Isaac Debate Circumcision

·         Once, when Ishmael was visiting Abraham, he got into an altercation with his brother Isaac. Ishmael said to Isaac, "I am more beloved to G‑d than you, since I [agreed to be] circumcised at the age of 13, but you were circumcised as a baby and could not refuse."
·         Abraham and Ishmael continued to visit each other
·         Isaac retorted, "All that you have sacrificed to G‑d was three drops of blood. But I am now 37 years old, yet if G‑d desired that I be slaughtered, I would not refuse."
·         Said the Holy One, blessed be He, "This is the moment!"
·         G‑d then commanded Abraham, “Please take your son, your only one, whom you love, Isaac, and go away to the land of Moriah and bring him up there for an offering on one of the mountains, of which I will tell you."
·         The next morning, Abraham and Isaac, accompanied by Ishmael and Abraham’s servant Eliezer, set out for what was to be Abraham’s tenth and final test, the Akeidah.
·         Eventually, Ishmael repented and made up with his brother Isaac, and when it came time to bury their father Abraham, Ishmael honored his brother by letting Isaac go first.

Ishmael and Isaac—Rational and Supranational

·         The mystics explain that the key difference between Isaac and Ishmael can be found in the debate the two had over circumcision. Ishmael initially claimed that his connection to G‑d was greater, for he was circumcised when he was 13 years old, fully cognizant of what would happen. Isaac, on the other hand, claimed a superior connection due to his being circumcised when he was eight days old, an age at which the child is not aware of what is going on.
·         This difference can also be discerned in the circumstances of their births. Ishmael was born in a natural manner, while Isaac was miraculously born to Sarah, who was originally barren.
·         Thus, Ishmael signifies a thoughtful and rational relationship with G‑d, while Isaac expresses the dimension beyond reason, the willingness to accept even that which cannot be understood. This is why Isaac was chosen to father the Nation of Israel, for the relationship between G‑d and His people is one that transcends the natural and the rational.

Happiness at Work Week[4]

Happiness is a critical factor for work, and work is a critical factor for happiness. In one of those life-isnt-fair results, it turns out that the happy outperform the less happy. Happy people work more hours each week and they work more in their free time, too.-Gretchen Rubin

The general opinion about work is this: no one wants to do it. However, have you ever heard of a week-long holiday that encourages happiness at work? International Week of Happiness at Work is a holiday thats all about bringing happiness back into the workplace. If work is part of our daily lives, then one of the best ways to live a happier life is through being happy at work. Whether you work in a big corporation or at a small company, you can find happiness. Check out what International Week of Happiness is all about here! International Week of Happiness at Work was started by Maartje Wolff and Fennande van der Meulen, two Dutch women who started the company Happy Office in 2015. Happy Office offers a program that allows you to incorporate happiness into the workplace so that you can have happier employees all around. Happy Office incorporates studies made from professors at some of the top universities throughout Europe and combines them with certified professionals with certificates and degrees, so they can help every organization they meet and help assess the problems, so each worker can do their job without losing happiness in their lives. The holiday itself became an initiative towards bringing people from all over the world together to be happier at the workplace. Happy Offices main website for the holiday allows you to sign a manifesto to pledge towards making the changes needed for people to have happier lives in the workplace. By signing the manifesto, Happy Office hopes to help people be happier overall. Happy Office believes that by transforming the workplace, people can be happier in every aspect of their lives, including healthier relationships, exciting homelife, and great life experiences.

How to Celebrate International Week of Happiness at Work

Celebrate this holiday by signing the petition on Happy Offices main website so you can make the pledge to be happier in the workplace. Once you do, share the webpage with your friends and hashtag #internationalweekofhappinessatwork in your social media posts and let your friends know that they can easily make a difference in their workplace by being happier.

Full Harvest Moon

According to the almanac today is a Full Harvest Moon; take your children/grandchildren for a hay ride or a hike and camping trip and review this year’s harvests.

35 Promises of God[5] cont.

10.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:8

The Way[6]

"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."

55.  'Et in meditatione mea exardescit ignis. And in my meditation a fire shall flame out.' That is why you go to pray: to become a bonfire, a living flame giving heat and light. So, when you are not able to go on, when you feel that your fire is dying out, if you cannot throw on it sweet— smelling logs, throw on the branches and twigs of short vocal prayers and ejaculations, to keep the bonfire burning. And you will not have wasted your time.

Daily Devotions
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood
·         Pray the 54 Day Rosary
·         Total Consecration Day 13

[1] The Collegeville Bible Commentary
[2] John Maxwell, The Leadership Bible.


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