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RELIGION

A MESSAGE FOR CHRISTIANS


Thanks again for stopping and checking into my web site. It really has been a pleasure getting the chance to share my beliefs with you and maybe I planted a seed in your heart. As I said earlier, I hope that you will become a "true Follower"and not just a follower in somebody else's religious beliefs.

With regards to planting a seed into somebody's life, please don't force your beliefs onto somebody else. It usually doesn't work and will definitely turn somebody off to another person's seed planting. All you should really do is make sure that you are doing the best that you can do yourself in your own walk.

One of the encounters with people that still stick in my mind happened in 1998 when I was in the Syracuse, New York area. I had stopped at a quick-mart gas station to use a pay phone to call a fried of mine in the area. In a chance encounter there at the pay phone, I met a graduate student from Israel who was attending the university medical college. In a brief conversation, I found out that he was really torn up inside because of what he went through because the Christians who shared with him told him that he had to completely convert to their belief style and if he didn't he would be going straight to Hell. He was also torn up because this religious indifference came between him and the girl he was planning to marry and even his own child who he will probably never see.

He didn't have to give up being a Jew to accept the Messiah. In the first place, the Messiah and His first followers were already Jewish and were still when they died. They didn't give up really a lot except for the fact that the traditions that they were going through were not really necessary.

There is another thing that I want to possibly speak about. It has to do about how we express our faith. This thought comes from a book I've been reading for Sunday school class by James W. Moore called "Yes, L-RD, I Have Sinned But I Have Several Excellent Excuses". In one of the chapters he compares the story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10: 25-37 to the three different kinds of tickets sold for stagecoach travel. They were of course "first-class", "second-class", and "third-class".



stagecoach


The "first-class" ticket meant that you were given the right to have a seat and to keep it. No matter what happened during the ride, you could remain seated. If the stagecoach ever got stuck in the mud, had trouble getting up a steep hill, or even having one of the wheels fall off, you remained seated. This was the case with the priest and the Levite in Luke. They considered themselves as being important people and they didn't need concern themselves with the problems of the world. Their motto could be 'Let somebody else do it'.

A "second-class" ticket meant that you could sit down until there was a problem. When something occured, you were expected to get off the stagecoach, stand off to the side, and watch somebody else fix the problem. This wasn't the case with the holder of the "third-class" ticket. You were given the chance to sit down but if there was ever a problem it was expected of you to exit the stagecoach and push. You were expected to do your share in solving the problem.

James Moore compared this to the ways that people relate to the church. Some people think that they have "first-class" tickets and they just sit there and expect to be catered to, pampered, or waited upon. It's everybody else's responsibility to keep the church going.

Other people think that they have "second-class" tickets. They just go along for the ride. When something happens, they become detached spectators. They tend to stand and watch, talk and critique, but they don't make an effort to help. A good name for them is an "armchair quarterback".

A third group of people in the church think that they are "third-class" ticket holders. They ride until something happens and then they get off and push. They creatively address the problem, productively work on the problem, devote their energies in solving the problem, and then they roll up their sleeves and get the job done. They don't mind getting their hands dirty. If you would put a percentage about to this class of people in churches it would probably be "ten percent".

The Good Samaritan written in the Bible realized that he had a third class ticket and he knew what had to be done. The Good Samaritan was willing to help, eager to serve, and ready to love. Y'SHUA (the Messiah) himself was a fantastic example of a "third-class" ticket holder. "Third-class" ticket holders are 'good' people to have along. My question to you is that which are you ("first-class", "second-class", or "third-class")?



I hope you answer was the last one.


During one of the community meetings that I had attended at the Habitat for Humanity International headquarters in Americus, Georgia where I volunteered for a little while, I got to hear Richard Stearns. He was the President and CEO of World Vision. World Vision works with communities to provide agricultural technology, clean water, education, food, health care, and micro-enterprise technology.

During the hour that he was with us, Mr. Stearns talked about himself and World Vision because they are establishing a major partnership with Habitat for Humanity. During the latter portion of the talk, Mr. Stearns talked about how Christian communities or organizations must first seek the "Kingdom of ADONAI (the Creator)". He broke down his philosophy and thoughts into four notions of which a Christian community or organization should be collectively mindful of. These are great notions that we as individuals should try to live by.

Notion #1 - We need to "commit career suicide".
We need to set aside our individual personal agendas. We must submit own wills to the needs of others. We need to open ourselves to ways that might serve ADONAI (the Creator) best.

Notion #2 - We must "repeal our own Miranda Laws".
We must offer ourselves wholly to serve ADONAI's (the Creator's) eternal purpose. I might have said this earlier but "we need to put ourselves into ADONAI's (the Creator's) box and not ADONAI (the Creator) into our box".

Notion #3 - ADONAI (the Creator) doesn't like tennis players.
This really caused a stir in the audience when Mr. Stearn said this. What he meant was that we should be "team players". We should be like a player who lends their individual talents to the benefit of the whole. We as members of Adonai's (the Creator's) team must invoke mutual respect and unity, interdependence, and show commitment to render to the whole and not to ourselves.

Notion #4 - "Don't worry, be happy!".
This is pretty well self-explanatory.

I guess I might end this now because I don't really preach so I guess I will close now and wish you good health.



Shalom Aleichem
May the Messiah give you peace.


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