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Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Thursday, September 26, 2019
2 Maccabees, Chapter 9, Verse 29
His foster brother Philip brought the body home; but fearing Antiochus’ son, he later withdrew into Egypt, to Ptolemy Philometor.
God punishes Antiochus IV and after a horrible demise he dies. Philip then skedaddles back to safe turf after dumping the body off. Can anyone really find peace without God?
"Peace" is a biblical term. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew word for peace is shalôm. Literally, it means "to be complete or whole". Shalôm is used in many different ways in the Old Testament. It can mean general prosperity or well-being, safety or success, harmony among friends and family members; and harmony among nations. When used as a greeting or as a blessing it conveys the notion that one is wishing all good things to the person addressed. When the Hebrew of the Old Testament came in contact with the Greek world after Alexander the Great, the text was translated into a version of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint. As with many biblical terms, the merging of Hebrew and Greek words and ideas provided a rich vocabulary for the sacred authors to express the word of God. Many Greek words were used in an attempt to capture the richness of the Hebrew concept of shalôm, but the most common was eirene. In classical Greek, this term denotes the state that is the opposite of war or civil disturbance. Eirene also was used to speak of an inner peace, in which a person had no conflicts or hostile feelings. Under the influence of Jewish religion and Greek philosophy, the term evolved to refer to ethical goodness. So Christians who were native speakers of Greek began to use eirene when speaking of the "the good that comes from God either in this age or the age of salvation". The richness of the word as we use it today can be traced back to this understanding. Because peace is so important for individuals and for society, we must know how to achieve and maintain peace. But to achieve each kind of peace requires that we understand the methods proper to each. Psychologists can help a person achieve inner harmony and may be able to offer advice on family dynamics and difficulties, but they are not usually the best source for spiritual guidance, and they certainly are not the frontline defenders of the civic order. In the same way, we must not believe that friendly feelings towards the people of another country will suffice to keep us at peace with them. When it comes to achieving and maintaining peace, like in many things in life, it is vital to use the right "tool" for the right job. Two examples should help illustrate this point. The first has to do with maintaining peace with God. The second has to do with establishing peace among nations. Peace with God is God’s gift to us. God alone can place us in right relationship with him. This teaching is clear in both the Old and the New Testaments. God initiated the covenant with man, restored it when we fell, and fulfilled it in Jesus Christ. With Gideon we can say that "the Lord is our peace". As Christians, we know that God dwells in us making us temples of the Holy Spirit. He promised us that he would provide for all our needs and that "all things would work together for good for those that love God and are called according to his purposes". We are told that without him we can do nothing, but that, in him, we are "more than conquerors". Thus, for those who have accepted Christ, if we put these teachings together, we recognize that nothing ought to rob us of our peace. This is the main point of Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart, a book written by Fr. Jacques Philippe, a French priest working in Rome. It is the type of essay one can return to again and again for solace and motivation. In it, Fr. Philippe boldly proclaims, "The reasons why we lose our peace are always bad reasons" because God gives his peace as a gift to those who entrust themselves to him. Jesus told his disciples: "Peace I leave with you, my own peace I give you; a peace the world cannot give, this is my gift to you. Let not your hearts be troubled or afraid". This peace is no superficial freedom from conflicts or difficulties, but a deep, abiding inner peace that comes from union with and confidence in God.
Johnny Appleseed Day
There’s a story from the early days of America, discussing this near-mythical figure that traveled the wilds of America spreading apple seeds everywhere he went. He was known and lauded for his kind, generous ways, and the importance he placed on the apples. To this day he is depicted in stories and song as the man who made apples an American institution and is one of the most beloved characters in its mythology and history. What many people don’t know is that Johnny Appleseed was no mere legend, but was, in fact, a missionary known by the name of John Chapman. Born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774. While the most common display of the man who would be known as Johnny Appleseed is of him randomly spreading apple seeds everywhere, the truth of his methods was a bit more pragmatic. He travelled throughout Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, and the lands that would become West Virginia planting nurseries. He would fence them in and leave them in the care of a neighbor who would then sell shares in the trees, and then come back every year or two to tend them. His very first nursery was built on the bank of Brokenstraw Creek, south of Warren Pennsylvania, but dozens more were to follow. His work wasn’t focused just on apples, however. He had a deep and abiding love for animals of all kinds, including insects. He may have been one of the first ethical vegetarians and spent much of his life taking pains not to harm animals. One popular story about him recounts his attitudes towards animals:
“One cool autumnal night, while lying by his camp-fire in the woods, he observed that the mosquitoes flew in the blaze and were burned. Johnny, who wore on his head a tin utensil which answered both as a cap and a mush pot, filled it with water and quenched the fire, and afterwards remarked, “God forbid that I should build a fire for my comfort, that should be the means of destroying any of His creatures.””
How to celebrate Johnny Appleseed Day
Celebrating Johnny Appleseed Day is best done by indulging yourself in the delicious fruit that he helped to spread across the US. Whatever form you choose to have it in, whether a fresh apple off a tree or a rich and flavorful apple pie, be sure to take some time to appreciate the results of his efforts. You may also take a day off of eating meat and be extra kind to animals on this day, in remembrance of his efforts and his beliefs.
35 Promises of God cont.
“And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”-1 John 5:14
Today is my grandson “Macky’s” birthday, please pray for his intentions.
· Battle for the Soul of America-Day 40
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