Judgement is a Double-Edged Sword with No Hilt

Don’t you just hate it when your own bible verse come back to bite you?

I have been upset recently by all the obstinate and politically prejudiced people bashing each other on social media.

Forgive me, Lord, but I just want to bash them back.

There’s the rub. I discovered that prejudice is a double-edged sword with no hilt. You can’t wield this sword against another without cutting yourself. Bummer.

Now please excuse me while I take a break to remove this log from my eye.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” ~Matthew 7:1-3

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Exercise Your Love Cells

You know how we have fat cells and muscle cells? I wonder if we have love cells and hate cells?

Let’s go on a love diet. Stop feeding our hate cells and let’s start exercising our love cells.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” ~John 13:34-35 ESV

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We are a Nation of Bullies

How can we ever expect to stop bullying and violence in schools?

Adults in media and entertainment make a career out of public insults and shaming of their political enemies. The Mean Girls have their own daily tv show. Tweeting ever malicious insults is no longer a spectator sport. Everyone has to jump in and share the hate.

Insults beget insults. Hate begets hate. At some point it will escalate into physical violence. School shootings don’t start with guns. They often start with bullying.

The pain begins long before violence breaks out. The mental pain and anguish is often hidden and suppressed as the victims of bullying are shamed into silence, leading to depression, anxiety and even suicide.

Why are these public celebrity bullies and gossips so popular? What is it within us that is so addicted to hate? We should be ashamed of ourselves for ravenously eating it up.

Jesus scolded the haters of his day, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 ESV

This hateful culture seems to be multiplying exponentially. Everyone wants to jump in on social media with a snappy comeback. Even I have been tempted, while knowing this is wrong.

Today, while reading that latest flood of hateful tweets, I felt my conscience ask me, “What is more important, your political party, or your Lord, Jesus Christ?”

I know what my answer is.

Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 ESV

Love begets love. Let’s make this a thing again.

What do you think?

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Gluten Free Sourdough Veggie Loaf

No recipe. The following is just what I remember doing. I do use recipes, but sometimes I have to play it by ear.

I made gluten free starter with gf all purpose flour about a year ago. The first efforts were disappointing, so the starter languished in the back of the fridge for several months. I rediscovered it two weeks ago and started feeding it.

You can make your own starter. There are lots of tips online. If you are celiac like me be absolutely sure your flour & starter are gluten free. Regular sourdough is NOT safe for celiacs.
You can also try this ready-made gf starter.

The basic dough was 1 cup well fed starter, 2 cups Bob’s Red mill 1 to 1 gf flour. I added water 1/2 cup at a time until it was a nice smooth thick consistency. 2.5 cups maybe. The egg replacer was 2 tbsp flax meal + 2 tbsp chia seeds, 8 tbsp waters then stir till thick.
Then I stirred everything together in my Pyrex casserole, put the lid on and let it rise overnight.

I diced 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 4 small leaves of curly kale from the garden. Sliced up 10 Greek olives, grated 1/4 cup of carrot, chopped 10 green beens, diced about 1/4 beet, 2 tbsp raw shelled sunflower seeds.

Normally, if I’m adding stuff to the bread I stir it in with any wet ingredients first so it sticks to the dough.

I added 1/3 cup of fresh starter & 1/3 cup of water to the veggies and mixed well before stirring into the main batch of dough.
I washed and oiled the Pyrex casserole before putting the mix back in.
I let it rise for an hour, then baked for 70 minutes at 375. I had to turn the over up to 400 for an extra 10 minutes. Probably an hour at 400 would have been better.

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Wool Dryer Balls


These dryer balls really work. Even after drying a load of clothes for an hour on high, we still have towels and jeans that are damp and need another ten to fifteen minutes. a load of sheets will get balled up and have to be separated and dried again for another fifteen minutes. I decided to give these wool dryer balls a try. We used these for the first time this week. Each load was completely dry in one dryer cycle, including the load of sheets. Another important benefit is eliminating the chemically laded dryer sheets we had been using. We save time and money all around.

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Bees at Work in the Fields of the Lord

I was digging in the flower bed the other day. Gardening is a great meditative activity for ruminating while uprooting weeds.

There’s one weed I was particularly working to eradicate. It’s a kind of grass that is very tenacious. It send roots very deep into the soil. I have to break up the ground with a shovel first. Then sit down and dig through the soil by hand to get all the roots.

I noticed something new about this grass that made me laugh out loud.

I thought that it kept coming back because I hadn’t torn out all the roots. What I discovered gave me a deeper appreciation for God’s Intelligent Design.

This grass grows it’s seeds along stems deep underground. The very act of pulling it up by the roots dislodges the seeds underground to ensure the propagation of the next generation. Sneaky plant!

While I was working on that, bees were buzzing all around me busily collecting pollen from the California poppies. I stopped to watch a couple times. Being at eye level with the bees was a great perspective.

They would buzz into the flower and crawl around inside making sure to collect every scrap of pollen and every drop of nectar. There were quite a few seed pods growing from the flowers that had already been pollinated.

I always look forward to harvesting the dried seed pods to spread the seeds around to multiply even more flowers in the yard.

While watching one especially exuberant bee I wondered how much she understood her role in the grand scheme of things. Does this bee know that her hard work today will result in fewer flowers tomorrow as petals fall off and the seed pods grow? Does this bee understand that her exuberant romp through the petals will result in fertilized seeds for next year’s flowers?

How many of us, working in the fields of God’s Providence, can see the bigger picture and the end result of today’s efforts? We may be dismayed on returning to the field to find all the petals fallen to the ground and no more nectar or pollen ready for collection. Can we see that hidden seeds are maturing in the seed pods, preparing to fall to the ground and sprout into next year’s crop?

Last week I noticed the bees were swarming all over the alyssum flowers and ignoring the poppies. I wonder if they have a meeting in the hive each morning to decide the flower of the day? Today, alyssum, tomorrow, poppies, next week borage flowers.

Jesus said that if we have faith like a mustard seed we can move mountains. It occurred to me that before there was a seed, there was a flower and a bee.

I pray that a friendly bee will pollinate your mustard flower and produce a seed of faith that can move mountains.

ESV Illuminated Journalling Bible

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Five Universal Principles for Peace

UPF LogoIn March, 2017, Universal Peace Federation held an informal dinner with a broad spectrum of interfaith and community leaders in Pasadena, California. At this dinner party, I gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Universal Peace Federation’s Five Universal Principles for Peace.

The source of these Universal Principles comes from the founder’s profound worldview, The Divine Principle, sometimes know as the Unification Principle. This is a summary of the main points of that presentation.

Principle 1:  There is one God who is the Creator of all and the Parent of humankind

The way to rise above the pursuit of self-interest is to recognize our common humanity, given to us by our Creator.

Just as a parent can intercede in the disputes of the children, it is the parental heart originating from the Creator which can help us resolve the differences that exist between the world’s nations, cultures and religions.

vincent Van Gogh self Portrait
To help us understand God as the creator, we can look at an artist, such as Vincent van Gogh.  We can’t go and meet Vincent to have a conversation with him, but we can get some idea about his character by studying his works.

Stary night

Suppose we want to understand a writer and author, like Leo Tolstoy.  We need to read some of the things that he wrote, like War and Peace, Anna Karenina, or Resurrection.

 

Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?  So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.” – Matthew 7:16-18

We can understand God, the Creator, by studying the creation.  For example, we can see God’s parental heart by observing the parent-child relationships in nature.
deer and fawn Mom & baby animals
man_woman
All of God’s creation has the dual characteristics of masculine and feminine.

A bird needs both wings to fly. Man and woman are like the two wings of a bird, both are needed for graceful and harmonious flight.

Tai Chi MasterThere is a second set of dual characteristics that we can observe in God’s creation; internal character and external form.  The external form is an expression of the internal character. We know a persons character by observing how well his actions express his thoughts and emotions. Integrity is when a person’s life and actions reflect his thoughts and values. This is why Jesus said, “You will know them by their fruits.”

Integrity can also be called mastery.  Father Moon also said, “Before I hope to master the universe, I must first achieve self-perfection. That is my motto. God’s love, life and truth can be developed on the basis of self-control.”

Principle 2:  Human Beings are Essentially Spiritual in Nature

joan of arc blp

Human beings long for truth, beauty and goodness. Life’s deepest meaning and purpose can be found through the pursuit of these essential yet intangible attributes.

Each person has an eternal spirit that transcends this physical life.

Spiritual principles are to be practiced in this life so that we are prepared for the eternal world.

Principle 3: The Family Is The “School Of Love” And The Cornerstone For World Peace

The family is the cornerstone of peace, and the root of our interracial familycharacter and culture. It is in the family that we experience love and inter-dependence. In the family, the most basic personal and public virtues are learned.

Understanding the family as the “school of love” helps us to recognize that “family” is the most essential human institution.

The foundation for a healthy family is a faithful, committed marriage.

The greatest joy comes through the family. The greatest pain can also be experience in a dysfunctional family. A parent’s joy is to see their children growing up to resemble them. I love this picture because you can see that each child resembles the parents, and expresses that in their own unique way. The parent’s greatest joy is to see the children growing up to embody the parents most cherished values. God’s joy is to see his children, all humankind, living in love and harmony between all nations, races and religions. Religions are like trees in an orchard. Each produces a unique and delicious fruit. We should appreciate each other’s unique beauty and goodness.

Principle 4:  The Highest Standard for Relationship is to “Live for the Sake of Others”

By practicing living for the sake of others, we become “other-centered” rather than “self-centered”.

The essence of good character is true love expressed through unselfish actions.

“Living for others” is a common principle of the world’s religions.

 

Principle 5: Inter-religious and International Cooperation are Essential to World Peace

Lasting peace cannot be achieved through political compromise alone, but requires addressing the root causes of conflict.

Transcending racial, religious and ethnic barriers is an imperative of our time.

It is faith that can give people the power to forgive, and the love to overcome even generations of hatred, resentment and violence.

peace makers

Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~Matthew 5:9,  because peacemakers reflect God’s character and love, so they can be called children of God.

Father Teaching

Jesus also said, You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.”  ~Matthew 7:16-18

This is just a brief introduction to the Unification Principle and UPF’s five universal principles. These are just some of the fruits of Father Moon’s life long work for world peace.

This is a small taste of the Unification Principle and Father Moon’s teachings. I have spent over forty years studying his teachings. It is impossible to put all I have learned into this short presentation. I hope this small taste will whet your appetite and you will be inspired and intrigued enough to study more deeply with UPF.

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