Performance at Soccer World Cup 2006 – a Highlight of Young German Singer's Career

FlorenceFlorence Joy is a famous young German singer, writer and actress

She likes to travel and has visited several countries from Europe, Israel and the United States. Florence plays guitar and the piano, and she speaks her native German and very good English. Most of her songs from the album “Hope” are in English.

In 2006, Florence Joy was invited to perform in the (dome) church of Munich for the inauguration of the Soccer World Championship. One year after this astonishing performance, she started acting in the role of a sweet girl called “Jasmin” in a German daily soap “Ahornallee”. Also, Florence wrote a book called I want to live truthfully and real, which tells about her journey through the German casting show “Star Search 2” and mostly how she lives her life with Jesus Christ. Continue reading “Performance at Soccer World Cup 2006 – a Highlight of Young German Singer's Career”

Magii – oameni în cautarea adevarului

George Danciu

(Din Cuvântul pastorului Nelu Urs, din 25 Decembrie 2011 – Seara, la Biserica din Hickory, NC)

Dupa ce S-a nascut Isus în Betleemul din Iudeea, în zilele împaratului Irod, iata ca au venit niste magi din rasarit la Ierusalim si au întrebat: „Unde este Împaratul de curând nascut al iudeilor? Fiindca I-am vazut steaua în rasarit si am venit sa ne închinam Lui.”

                                               Evanghelia  MATEI, 2. 1-2

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MAGII LA IERUSALIM


Întotdeauna au existat oameni de stiinta carora Dumnezeu le-a descoperit ceea ce cautau ei cu toata fiinta lor. Si, de fapt, asa i-a învatat Mântuitorul vorbind în Predica de pe Munte:

Cereti, si vi se va da; cautati si veti gasi; bateti, si vi se va deschide. Caci oricine cere capata; cine cauta gaseste; si celui ce bate i se deschide. (Matei, 7.7-8).

Magii, ca oameni de stiinta, îsi facusera scop al vietii cunoasterea mersului astrelor si al Creatorului care pune totul în  miscare dupa voia Sa!

Unde este Împaratul de curând nascut al iudeilor? Fiindca I-am vazut steaua în rasarit si am venit sa ne închinam Lui.

Orice mare cercetator, în sfera sa de activitate, cautându-L pe Dumnezeu, îl va gasi.

Cerurile spun slava lui Dumnezeu, si întinderea lor vesteste lucrarea mâinilor Lui. O zi istoriseste alteia acest lucru, o noapte da de stire alteia despre el. Si aceasta fara vorbe, fara cuvinte al caror sunet sa fie auzit: dar rasunetul lor strabate tot pamântul, si glasul lor merge pâna la marginile lumii. În ceruri El a întins un cort soarelui. Si soarele, ca un mire care iese din odaia lui de nunta, se arunca în drumul lui cu bucuria unui viteaz: rasare la un capat al cerurilor si îsi ispraveste drumul la celalalt capat; nimic nu se ascunde de caldura lui. Legea Domnului este desavârsita si învioreaza sufletul; marturia Domnului este adevarata si da întelepciune celui nestiutor”. Psalm, 19.1-7

Celebra formula a lui Einstein E=mc2, unde constanta, neschimbatoare, nedeterminata, face referire la … Dumnezeu, care e constant, neschimbator, Acelasi ieri, si azi si în veci,  si imposibil de determinat, de creatia Sa (omul).

Împaratul Irod, care era un edomit (descendent al lui Esau, nu al lui Iacov-Israel), statea pe scaunul lui David si, implicit, pe cel al lui Isus, abuziv, dar nu avea cunostintele istorice si astrologice necesare:

Când a auzit împaratul Irod acest lucru, s-a tulburat mult; si tot Ierusalimul s-a tulburat împreuna cu el. A adunat pe toti preotii cei mai de seama si pe carturarii norodului si a cautat sa afle de la ei unde trebuia sa Se nasca Hristosul. „În Betleemul din Iudeea”, i-au raspuns ei ...”

Irod s-a tulburat si odata cu el tot Ierusalimul.

Sa observam ca nici chiar oamenii de stiinta, magii, nu ajung prin cercetarile lor asidue decât pâna la paginile Scripturii – Scrierea Lui Dumnezeu (Biblia).

Preotii au gasit din Scripturi raspunsul unde trebuia sa se nasca Domnul Pacii, cum scrisesera prorocii Domnului.

Dar e greu de înteles, de neînteles cum preotii au stat pe loc, atunci, ca si mai târziu si nu s-au dus sa vada daca si cum se împlineste prorocia privind Nasterea Mântuitorului Lumii!

Magilor, steaua le-a aratat drumul, însa Cuvântul vine cu raspunsul exact. Stiinta ne aduce sa stim,  sa cunoastem ca exista un Creator, iar Biblia ni-l înfatiseaza pe Acest Creator.

Si astazi suntem destui farisei si carturari care sunt carturari cu directiile, cunosc în mare ce se întâmpla, dar nu i se închina lui Dumnezeu!

Aceasta e drama crestinismului din zilele de pe urma, când cunostinta va umple Pamântul, dar dragostea celor mai multi se va raci!

Preocuparea magilor ne ajuta sa întelegem ca numai Scripturile ne pot duce pâna la Hristos, iar celelalte carti, îndrumatoare, ne arata ca exista un Creator si, eventual, ne pot îndreapta în directia buna. Cu unele carti putem ajunge chiar foarte aproape, dar atât, nu ajungem la destinatia si scopul omului: Hristos în noi, nadejdea slavei!

Magii, dupa câte stim, n-au mai scris tratate de stiinta, carti de teologie, dar stim ce au facut cu adevarat: ei au ajuns înaintea Pruncului si I s-au închinat.

Ba mai mult, ei i-au adus si daruri; (s-or fi grabit cu zeciuiala care i se cuvine). Si magii nu erau evrei, ci dintre neamuri, dar Îl cautau pe Dumnezeu sa i se închine. Si sutasul Corneliu a fost îndrumat de unul care cunostea Scriptura, de apostolul Petru, care îl cunoastea si pe Domnul Isus (Fapte, 10).

Evreii, dar si mai marii lor preoti, cunoscatori ai Sfintului Cuvânt, se aflau doar la câteva mile si nu s-au deranjat sa vada în acele momente locul în care S-a nascut si pe Mântuitorul lor!

Evreii au dat raspunsul scriptural, dar se vede ca erau orbiti, asta pâna va intra numarul deplin al neamurilor, apoi harul se va lua de la neamuri si va trece la Evrei (Romani, 11.25-26).

Mare pacat de acei  oameni cu Scriptura în mâna si care nu i se închina lui Dumnezeu, îl ignora, Îl ofenseaza si nu se tem de El ca sa-i dea slava …

Sunt multi carturari cu directiile, stiu ce se întâmpla, la rece, dar nu se implica si nu i se închina, nu-L cunosc pe Regele Universului!

Psalmul 46 spune: Opriti-va! Si sa stiti ca Eu sunt Dumnezeu!

Si, meditând, sa ne hotarâm pe ce cale vrem sa apucam:

  • pe calea magilor?

  • pe calea mai marilor preoti?

  • Pe calea lui Irod?

Magii s-au aruncat cu fata la pamânt înaintea Împaratului sosit în lumea noastra si i s-au închinat! Ei nu i s-au închinat Mariei. Darurile au fost pentru rege. Ei au gasit sensul vietii, L-au gasit pe Cel care are Viata în Sine!

Si iata ca steaua pe care o vazusera în rasarit, mergea înaintea lor, pâna ce a venit si s-a oprit deasupra locului unde era Pruncul. Când au vazut ei steaua, n-au mai putut de bucurie. Au intrat în casa, au vazut Pruncul cu Maria, mama Lui, s-au aruncat cu fata la pamânt si I s-au închinat; apoi si-au deschis vistieriile si I-au adus daruri: aur, tamâie si smirna.”

Oameni cu un IQ ridicat, precum cei de la NASA, nu cauta Adevarata Stea sa i se închine, cu credinta; dimpotriva, au ajuns mai mult sa caute „dovezi” împotriva teologiei crestine!

Oricine va chema Numele Domnului, va fi mântuit!

Sa venim cu o Rugaciune sincera înaintea Domnului Nevazut, ca El sa ne îndrepte pasii si gândurile spre adevarata cunostinta care sa ne duca la Închinare si mântuire! Amin.

***

Evanghelia dupa Matei, 2: 1-12

Dupa ce S-a nascut Isus în Betleemul din Iudeea, în zilele împaratului Irod, iata ca au venit niste magi din rasarit la Ierusalim si au întrebat: „Unde este Împaratul de curând nascut al iudeilor? Fiindca I-am vazut steaua în rasarit si am venit sa ne închinam Lui.”

Când a auzit împaratul Irod acest lucru, s-a tulburat mult; si tot Ierusalimul s-a tulburat împreuna cu el. A adunat pe toti preotii cei mai de seama si pe carturarii norodului si a cautat sa afle de la ei unde trebuia sa Se nasca Hristosul. „În Betleemul din Iudeea”, i-au raspuns ei, „caci iata ce a fost scris prin prorocul: „Si tu, Betleeme, tara lui Iuda, nu esti nicidecum cea mai neînsemnata dintre capeteniile lui Iuda; caci din tine va iesi o Capetenie, care va fi Pastorul poporului Meu Israel.” Atunci Irod a chemat în ascuns pe magi si a aflat întocmai de la ei vremea în care se aratase steaua. Apoi i-a trimis la Betleem si le-a zis: „Duceti-va de cercetati cu de-amanuntul despre Prunc: si, când Îl veti gasi, dati-mi si mie de stire, ca sa vin si eu sa ma închin Lui.”

Dupa ce au ascultat pe împaratul, magii au plecat. Si iata ca steaua pe care o vazusera în rasarit, mergea înaintea lor, pâna ce a venit si s-a oprit deasupra locului unde era Pruncul. Când au vazut ei steaua, n-au mai putut de bucurie. Au intrat în casa, au vazut Pruncul cu Maria, mama Lui, s-au aruncat cu fata la pamânt si I s-au închinat; apoi si-au deschis vistieriile si I-au adus daruri: aur, tamâie si smirna. În urma, au fost înstiintati de Dumnezeu în vis sa nu mai dea pe la Irod, si s-au întors în tara lor pe un alt drum.

Reflections on the Practice of Love

This was the first Christmas we celebrated without my father’s physical presence among us. His absence made the joy of celebrating Christ’s birth bittersweet. Though we all remarked on his physical absence, in spirit, we all felt that he was among us. We missed him most when the time came to say the prayer at the Christmas Eve dinner table. This had always been his task. Always eloquent in his prayers, he would enumerate our blessings and give thanks. Invariably, he would give praise for each family member and pray for togetherness. His prayers would always end with the same final words: “We pray this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.” We decided to re-publish his 2007 Christmas article, “si Totusi Iubirea…” in part because we missed seeing his words printed in the newspaper, and in part because the article’s message uncovers new meanings in the present context. I have been having mental discussions with him lately, as we would often have when he was in life. You see, my father taught me the art of discourse, because he would always start with an interrogation of premises, followed by a Socratic method of questioning that would develop the exchange patiently.

Usually, we would come to a communicative understanding or an impasse, depending on how the argumentation process would unravel. Few people appreciate this kind of engagement, because it requires a collaborative process. Like a game of chess, each argumentative move matters, and one cannot move on to the next phase until the other discussant agrees to move that way.

You will note that in Cristian Ioanide’s article, “si Totusi Iubirea…,” he argues for Christianity’s uniqueness among the religions of the world using two principal arguments. The first, he says, is that Christ did not seek to prolong the time He lived among His disciples in order to perfect their understanding of His teachings. Rather, Christ came to spread His message and to suffer a premature death. (El a venit doar sa-si lanseze mesajul Sau si ca sa sufere o moarte prematura si napraznica.) This message is found most summarily in John 3:16 and was sublimated in Christ’s resurrection in order to prove the message’s veracity. The second argument has to do with the fact that Christianity, unlike other religions, does not give a strict code of laws to follow. The divine logic embedded in the message is therefore much more mystical and ephemeral, though certainly not relativist:

“Credinta crestina este singura religie care da frau liber discernamantului. Iar discernamantul este o pictura din maretia lui Dumnezeu.Iar Dumnezeu este nesfarsita Dragoste.Iar Dragostea este mai presus de reguli, si deci, de Lege.Apostolul Pavel, acel superb matematician al crestinismului, spune: Acum, deci, raman acestea trei: credinta, nadejdea si dragostea; dar cea mai mare dintre ele este dragostea… iar dragostea nu va pieri niciodata.”

To recap the divine logic’s movement: the Christian faith encourages the exercise of free will and discernment; good discernment corresponds with an incarnation of the greatness of God; God is limitless Love; Love is higher than rules, and therefore above the Law. In the final calculation, as St. Paul states, there remain faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.

Indeed, the absence of strict rules and regulations in the Christian faith has made the practice of love uniquely susceptible to interpretation. I am reminded of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, where Ivan undertakes a timeless philo-theological question: why would God, if He is a good God, allow the suffering of innocent children? This reality seemed particularly evil to Ivan because presumably children do not yet have the consciousness and intentionality of sinners. The most long-standing answer to this question has been as follows: for humans to truly possess free will entails that God cannot dictate or fully determine our actions. If this were the case, we would simply be automatons. Rather, we must choose to do good in the world and choose the practice of His commandments to love one another and to love God above all else. So, to answer Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov, it is not so much that God allows the suffering of innocent children but that humans choose evil over the practice of love.

In abstraction, discerning the practice of love over evil appears to be relatively simple and straightforward. Placed in specific contexts, however, a number of complications may be raised. Take for example the current economic crisis prevalent throughout the world and in the United States. Clearly there are those who know that their actions have caused widespread suffering for others. Homelessness, displacement, the inability to sustain one’s family due to joblessness, hunger—these are not small evils to structurally instantiate at a political-economic level because of the exorbitant greed of a few. (Those who think that the culprits are not so clearly demarcated should read about the political corruption cases, pyramid schemes, people walking away with millions while claiming innocence, and a government that continues to provide bailouts without strict regulations to the banks and industries that got us here in the first place.) What does love look like vis-à-vis these purveyors of suffering? Should we forgive them? Should we recognize our own culpability in these structures? Should we accept the inevitability of greed’s consequences in the world and claim that nothing is new under the sun? Or would the practice of love actually require collective action whose aim is to establish conditions that are conducive to the proliferation of love, faith and hope?

My point is that a desperate socio-economic context creates deep paradoxes in the practice and instantiation of love. Put differently, some contexts encourage the practice of love while others perpetuate divisiveness, radical stratification and denigration. What, then, is our duty in the present moment? Is it primarily to our own families, to their well-being? Or, would the practice of love that Christ commands direct us to focus on saving the entire community? What if saving the community entails that our own family fares worse in some respects? To take another difficult socio-economic context, how might one instantiate the practice of love in the context of the present Israel-Palestinian war? What does the practice of love look like when radically unequal power relations structure a socio-political setting?

Often, people delimit the practical application of their love to a finite community. That community is defined in multiple ways: it might be as small as one’s immediate family or it might extend globally and transnationally. This raises another question: how should we define community? Do we define it as the Christian community? Do we define it locally? Do we define it as a group of people bound by a particular ideology and shared values?

In fact, Christ placed no limitation on the notion of community, insofar as He demanded that the practice of love be extended even toward one’s enemies. The elevation of Love above the Law eradicated the strict boundaries of community in place at the time of His coming. And as Cristian Ioanide mentions in his article, the apostles modeled the practice of love in a community as follows: “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.” (Acts 2:42-47)

It is in times of difficulty, strife, scarcity and radical divisiveness that Christ calls upon us to practice love toward one another the most. It is in every day and in every act that He asks us to surpass our human tendencies and to choose the instantiation of love.
Paula Ioanide PhD
Portland, Oregon
http://www.romaniantimes.com

The True Origins Of Christmas

Christmas celebrations date back as far as many as 4000 years ago preceding the birth of Christ by hundreds of years. The bright fires, the Yule log, the giving of gifts, carnivals (parades) with floats, carolers who sing while going from house to house, the holiday feasts, and the church processions can all be traced back to the early Mesopotamians. Many of these traditions began with the Mesopotamian celebration of New Years. The Mesopotamians believed in many gods, and as their chief god – Marduk. Each year as winter arrived it was believed that Marduk would do battle with the monsters of chaos. To assist their chief god Marduk, the people would hold a festival leading to the New Year. Tradition held that the King be killed at the temple at New Year in order to assist the god in battle. To spare their king the people created a mock king by selecting a criminal. The criminal would be dressed in royal attire and paraded around town and given all the privileges of the real king. Once New Year arrived the mock king would be stripped of his regal attire and slain.

The Persians and the Babylonians celebrated a similar festival called the Sacaea. Part of that celebration included the exchanging of places, the slaves would become the masters and the masters were to obey.

Early Europeans believed in evil spirits, witches, ghosts and trolls. As the Winter Solstice approached, with its long cold nights and short days, many people feared the sun would not return. Special rituals and celebrations were held to welcome back the sun.

In Scandinavia during the winter months the sun would disappear for many days. After thirty-five days scouts would be sent to the mountain tops to look for the return of the sun. When the first light was seen the scouts would return with the good news. A great festival would be held, called the Yuletide, and a special feast would be served around a fire burning with the Yule log. Great bonfires would also be lit to celebrate the return of the sun. In some areas people would tie apples to branches of trees to remind themselves that spring and summer would return.

The Romans decked their halls with garlands of laurel and green trees lit with candles. Again the masters and slaves would exchange places.

Some legends claim that the Christian “Christmas” celebration was invented to compete against the pagan celebrations of December. The exact day of the Christ child’s birth has never been pinpointed. But as Christianity spread they were alarmed by the continuing celebration of pagan customs and among their converts. At first the Church forbid this kind of celebration. But it was to no avail.

Eventually it was decided that the celebration would be tamed and made into a celebration fit for the Christian Son of God. However, activities such as decorating trees and feasts only grew larger coupled with the creation of St. Nick (Santa Clause). The evolution of these traditions has become the most celebrated holiday in Europe and America. Celebrations are now centered around the birth of Christ, which we see depicted in scenes such as the nativity.

Aurelia Ionescu
Phoenix, Arizona

What is Christmas?

By Camelia Micu

Vancouver, Washington

Christmas is my favorite holiday.  Now, you’re probably be asking yourself why did I choose Christmas as my favorite and not Easter, The Resurrection…Well, to be quite honest with you, I love Easter just as much for we remember the death of the greatest King bearing our sins and celebrate His victorious and glorious Resurrection.

Not only did our great King rose from the death, but it was that through his death and His precious shed blood that our sins have been washed away and He so graciously gave us His salvation…”For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)”.  What an amazing remembrance we have to know that our sins have been washed away through his death and received salvation and eternal life instead.  Who does that?  And, the chorus to this song came to mind…”How many kings step down from their thrones?  How many lords have abandoned their homes?  How many greats have become the least for me?  And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart?  How many fathers gave up their sons to die for you and me only to reward us with life instead?” No other King has ever done that for me!!!  So, that’s way I love Christmas for without the magnificent celebration and the birth of the greatest King on earth as in heavens, there will not have been death and a resurrection…GIVING…for it was foretold long ago: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)“ and only because, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)”.

I will not be able to ever give back as much as God gave for me, but all I can do is give Him my whole heart and life.  By letting God be my Wonderful Counselor (and not someone I may visit an hour or two in exchange for money), by trusting in God’s faithfulness for only He is the Everlasting Father and by always being grateful and thankful when down in the valleys as well as when high on the mountain and not only for the material blessings (which again He gives to us), but for the ultimate gift of salvation and eternal life coming down from the Father of Lights…”Every good and perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of heavenly lights. (James 1:17)”.

You see, Christmas is the gift itself and I’m not talking about the wonderful gifts we give and receive from one another.  Or is Christmas all about the gifts?  Is it all about the beautiful lighting displays?  Is it all about the tall and beautifully decorated Christmas tree?  Surely not, even as much as I love giving and receiving gifts, admiring the beautiful lighting displays and decorating my Christmas tree while singing along the beautiful Christmas songs, but, to me all this does is pre-setting our lives, hearts, minds and souls for the joyful celebration, the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ!

For, He is Peace!  He is Joy!  He is Love!  He is every good gift from God’s heart to ours for only Jesus is the Gift that perfectly fits every heart and it is with His love that all celebration starts.  We rejoice in Him as we remember His birth and thank God for sending His only Son to earth.  His life led from a manger to a cross on a hill where He faithfully followed His Father’s perfect will.  He freely laid down everything so that we could live and there is no greater treasure anyone could give.  Like a scarlet ribbon His love wrapped around the cross and He offered it to us all at the greatest cost.  So each time that we give we remember what He’s done and honor the perfect Gift – God’s one and only Son.  Together, let’s celebrate and share Jesus, the perfect gift in a way that brings “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:14)”.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Blessings for the New Year, from my home to yours!

Isus Hristos – Singura si adevarata implinire a vietii noastre

“O lupta-i viata”, spunea George Cosbuc. Dar din pacate, pentru multi este o lupta pentru succes, afirmare, pozitie, o lupta care oboseste si pana la urma, doboara. Dorul de a urca scari de pozitii sociale, de a fi recunoscuti de semeni ne da ghes de multe ori si ne trezim pur si simplu, aruncati in valtoarea unei batalii. Batalia cu noi insine si cu cei din jur. Dorinta de a depasi sau de a ne autodepasi, de a arata ce putem ca si indivizi este un mare “off” pentru multi dintre noi.
Copiii cresc cu lozinca: “Trebuie sa fii cel mai bun! Trebuie sa fii om de success!” Si incepe lupta. Adolescentii isi tes vise marete si lupta pentru a le materializa. Oamenii maturi sunt intr-o continua lupta de a excela. Cei trecuti prin viata, daca nu au realizat mare lucru, lupta cu frustrarea ca nu sunt “cineva”.
Viata este o competitie, as putea spune. Ne uitam in gradina vecinului sa vedem daca intamplator, capra mai rezista, acum, cand situatia economica este deplorabila. Ne incoltesc cu rautate seminte de invidie, daca vecinul n-a falimentat.
Fiindca se apropie marea sarbatoare a nasterii Domnului, ma gandesc mult la cum Domnul Isus a… coborat. A lasat slava cereasca si a coborat smerit printre noi. A venit intr-un mod atat de smerit! S-a nascut intr-o iesle, nici macar intr-o casa de oameni obisnuiti, ci intr-un grajd. Ce umilinta!
A mancat la masa cu vamesii si oamenii rosi de pacate. “S-a dezbracat de Sine”, spune Cuvantul Domnului. “El, macar ca avea chipul lui Dumnezeu, totusi n-a crezut ca un lucru de apucat sa fie deopotriva cu Dumnezeu, ci S-a dezbracat pe Sine Insusi si a luat un chip de rob, facandu-Se asemenea oamenilor. La infatisare a fost gasit ca un om, S-a smerit si S-a facut ascultator pana la moarte, si inca moarte de cruce” (Filipeni 2:6-8).
A coborat atat de mult, incat a acceptat moartea pentru salvarea omenirii. “Si inca moarte de cruce”.
Privindu-I coborarea de dragul meu, nu pot sa nu privesc in interiorul meu, nu pot sa nu ma intreb: cat de mult ma las transformata de acest adevar? Oare traiesc smerenia sau doar vorbesc despre ea? Smerenia este o lectie de adevarata inaltare.
Nu e gresit sa dorim sa urcam, dar SA URCAM SPRE HRISTOS! Nu e gresit sa dorim mai mult de la noi, dar sa dorim sa fim mai sfinti! Nu e un pacat sa ne propunem idealuri inalte, dar sa o facem in sfera spirituala! Fiindca toate celelalte trec, fiindca scarile pe care le urcam in societate ne duc la mandrie, si mandria este pasul dinaintea caderii.
Nu as vrea sa intelegeti ca acest eseu este o pledoarie pentru coborare, nu, este unul care indeamna la a urca trepte in relatia cu Domnul si in relatia cu semenii. Dar acest lucru nu se poate realiza decat prin coborarea de pe soclurile regesti pe care ni le-am faurit, soclurile pe care “eul” nostru domneste.
Daca vrem sa gustam dulceata comunicarii cu Domnul, trebuie sa ne asemanam tot mai mult cu El, si El este sfant. În umblarea Lui pe acest pamant a fost smerit. Chiar si acum, desi este incununat de slava, faptul ca El sta la usi incuiate si bate, mi se pare un fel de… umilinta!… El, Domnul Universului, bate la usile ferecate de pacat ale inimilor noastre: “Iata, Eu stau la usa si bat. Daca aude cineva glasul Meu si deschide usa, voi intra la el, voi cina cu el si el cu Mine.” (Apocalipsa 3: 20)…. Pentru ca El vrea ca nimeni sa nu piara, “ci sa aiba viata vesnica” (Ioan 3:16)… Pentru ca El S-a dat pe Sine pentru toti si a oferit o mantuire deplina, dar de care nu pot sa beneficieze decat cei care cred, cei care Îl accepta pe Isus ca Domn si Mantuitor personal.
Daca pana acum ati stat departe de Domnul, azi este timpul cu smerenie sa Îi deschideti usa inimii , sa fiti o iesle in care Isus sa Se nasca! Este cea mai de valoare inchinare pe care puteti sa I-o aduceti Domnului, acum, de sarbatoarea nasterii Sale!
Haideti ca la aceasta aniversare a Domnului sa venim cu umilinta in fata Sa, a Celui care cunoaste cele mai tainice sentimente si stari ale noastre si sa Îl rugam sa ne curateasca sufletul de orice intinare, pentru ca acolo sa se nasca, sa creasca si sa domneasca Domnul Domnilor si Regele Regilor!

Adina Sas-Simoniak – Chicago, Illinois
www.orizontcrestin.org

Dar de Craciun

Motto: Paharul placerii

“Daca ti-ar intinde cineva o cupa de aur cu cel mai bun vin din lume si ti-ar spune: bea, insa vezi ca pe fund se afla un scorpion, ai bea oare?
In orice pahar al placerii pamantesti se afla pe fund un scorpion. Si, din nefericire, aceste pahare fiind atat de mici, scorpionul este totdeauna prea aproape de buze.”
( Sfantul Nicolae Velimirovici )

In fiecare cupa de placere,

Pandeste-un sarpe, buzele ce-l sorb –

De-aceea, insetat de-atata miere,

Ii gust veninul, si il pipai, orb –

Si imbatat de pofte efemere,

As vrea nicicand, paharu-i sa ating –

Dar gust de ieri, si astazi, gust imi cere,

Si prinde dulce-n plasa-i de paing –

De-aceea, de Craciun, Iti cer, da-mi mila,

Sa pot sa rabd placeri ce m-au sedus,

Si impartind din Taina Ta, umila,

Sa beau otet din Cupa Ta, Iisus!

14 decembrie 2009
Jianu Liviu-Florian

www.phoenixmission.org

An unforgettable Christmas

by Vladimir Dubchak

As a preacher?s son I had to travel with my dad to different parts of USSR were dad was preaching and encouraging local churches.

It was such pleasure to travel with my dad, see him preaching and people to be saved. Sometimes trips were marked with my worries about my dad. Several times, coming through airport security, special agents would check our baggage. They would take dad aside explaining that his Bible and other religious literature were printed in Finland and is not authorized in USSR, and should be confiscated. Dad knew he had just one option how to get his Bible and other books back. He would start talk loudly about USSR constitution that guarantees freedom of religion. Finally, the crowd waiting in line would get angry at the officers and security agents would have to back away. Continue reading “An unforgettable Christmas”