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Showing posts from November, 2012

What is Biblical Love?

On my journey of life I have been a minister and chaplain at a law enforcement center. The subject of what love means came up many times in both jobs. Some people gave their lives in the name of love, while some people beat or murder others whom they said they loved.

Is love a feeling or an emotion – or is it an action? It depends on what standard one uses to measure love. Many people measure love by how they feel or what emotions are triggered. They love a person, an animal, a dessert, a picture, a car, etc. – by how it makes them feel. If it makes them feel good, they love it. 

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TONIGHT: Live Online Briefing: The Gaza War: Updates, Background and Analysis

Gil Elan, President of Southwest Jewish Congress, will discuss "Operation Cloud of Defense", Israel's current extensive military operation against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.
Date: Tuesday, November 20 Time: 7:00 pm CST (8:00 pm EST & 4:00 am Israel)     The online briefing will include: latest news, background- the new threat, planning, Israel's goals, how it started, timeline, the US position, world reactions & terms for a cease fire.  
To join the online briefing click on - and follow the instructions below when you get to the WEBEX page:
(1) Enter your name and email address (2) Click "Join Now" (3) There may be a few WEBEX and/or Cisco screens that take a few moments to load. Wait for them to finish. (4) If asked - agree to download their free software. You'll need it for this and future online events. (5) Once connected you may see a box asking you to join a VoIP conference. Click "YES". (6) After that th…

If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

I came across Rabbi Hillel’s famous saying today and I am always inspired by the profound wisdom it reveals. We all recognize the tensions revealed by Hillel in this short saying.
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now, when? “
(1) If I am not for myself, who will be for me? -- The bottom line is that your life is in your own hands. Don’t expect anyone else to do what needs to be done to make your life for you. When you encounter opportunities, do what needs to be done yourself to make them realities. If you don’t have opportunities – make your own! You must be for and take care of yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to do what you know needs to be done now.
(2) If I am not for others – This reminds us that we are surrounded by others and what we do or do not do affect their lives; just as what they do or do not do affect our lives. Think about how your life is affected every day by the actions of others. What would you have to e…

Wisdom of the Elderly

Today I was doing some research and came across something that I found very interesting and wanted to share with you. It is from Spiritual Activism: A Jewish Guide to Leadership and Repairing the World By Rabbi Avraham Weiss; © 2008 by Avraham Weiss; Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT; pp. 90-91.
“Wisdom is a function not only of what one knows, but of life experiences as well. No one has more life experiences than the elderly. Yet it can be argued that by and large, the elderly in America are cut off from the rest of society. As Americans become older, society expects less of them. The elderly then come to expect less of themselves and, in time, they actually do less. One particular way we treat the elderly as less importance is by confining them to their homes, institutions, or retirement centers.
The Talmud speaks of two categories of caring – kibbud, or respect, and morah, or fear.
Kibbud is associated with physically providing for the elderly – feeding them, dressing them, and…

The Jewish Jesus & Baptism

Baptism is a very important Christian ritual today and has been from the very beginning. One of the famous New Testament characters is even named after it – John the Baptist. Since I was raised as a member of a Baptist church, for many years I thought that John the Baptist created our church and that we were the original Christian church because our named appeared in the New Testament. I could picture John preaching down by the Jordan River, holding an altar call, leading the people that came down to him in a salvation prayer, and then dunking them – one by one.
In this article we will discuss baptism. Our goal is to answer these questions about baptism: Why was it done?Where was it done?How was it done? Who did it?By whom was it done?
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Do You Want to “Come Near to God”?

Most will probably immediately answer, “Yes!” The next question is -- What do you do “to come near to God?” Today, the answers would probably be read the Bible, pray, sing worship songs, etc. In many churches, during the praise and worship period of the service, worship leaders declare that the “presence of the Lord is here; we can feel God’s presence.” It is not uncommon to hear people describe their relationship to God as though He was a “good buddy” they “hang out” with all the time. Today, “coming near God” seems to be a very common thing that requires very little effort or a special place.
This would sound very strange to ancient Israelites, Jews of the First and Second Temple periods, and the Jewish Jesus. They didn’t just “hang out” with God. They viewed Him with awe and “coming near” required a commitment, effort and an investment.  This may be why it was the first lesson Jewish children learned when the Temple stood and at the beginning of their education.
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