Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Posts Tagged ‘religion’

And Jesus Rebuked Him And The Boy Was Cured At Once

Posted by infinitygoods on May 20, 2008

This is a deformed tree pod which I found in Flickr’s public files. I immediately thought it looked rather nasty, so I searched for a demon Bible verse. Do you see him sticking out his tongue at us? Maybe you’ll think I have a bit of an over active imagination, or maybe you’ll agree with me. 🙂 Either way, I hope you like my Word-Filled Wednesday and I wish you a fantastic week. Blessings to all of you. For more participants, visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods.

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We love because He first loved us!

Posted by infinitygoods on April 30, 2008

Visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods to see more entries in Word-Filled Wednesday.

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Jesus Directed To Prepare The Passover

Posted by infinitygoods on April 8, 2008

Have you ever celebrated Pesach or Passover as Jesus did with His apostles for The Last Super?

Pictured here are samples of the Seder Plates used for the Passover dinner. Our church and several other churches in our area celebrate the seder meal each year and several newspaper articles have been written about it in the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. Has this Jewish celebration been adopted by your church, I wonder? If you are Jewish, I’d love to hear about your memories or what you look forward to each year during Passover.

Visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods for more Word-Filled Wednesday Participants.

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Follow Your Passions To God’s Purposes

Posted by infinitygoods on March 27, 2008

cyclic-in-flickr-public-files-by-spunfunkster.jpg“As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the person.”  Proverbs 27:19

Do you enjoy doing what you are doing in your life right now?  Do you have a passion for your job or for your life?  Sadly, many of us, perhaps even most of us, answer a resounding “NO!!”.  That should be a huge red flag for all of us.  What are our joys in life?  What are our hobbies?  What are our passions?  What do we love?

Rick Warren is not the only one to tell us that we should follow our heart’s desires.  Psychologists tell us too.  Career counselors tell us.  Highly successful and renown people tell us.  The Bible tells us.

Do we listen?  Really listen?  Or do we say “Yeah, yeah, I know,” but keep doing the same old rat race, the same old daily grind, the same old rut?

Have no worries, God will use that daily grind purposefully too, but it should lead you somewhere, not keep you stuck in it like quick sand or even cement.

Take the time right now to ponder about what you are enthusiastic or passionate about.  Go on, think.  Don’t read another word.

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My Beloved Is To Me A Cluster Of Henna Blossoms

Posted by infinitygoods on March 11, 2008

http://the160acrewoods.wordpress.comFor more participants Spreading God’s Word with Word Filled Wednesday, visit Amy Deanne at The 160 Acre Woods.”My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms in the vineyards of Engedi.” Song of Songs 1:14

This is the henna blossom which produces the temporary ink for the Middle Eastern and Indian body art tradition.

Henna Blossom temporary body art in henna by Jamie McAlpin with artist's permission

Henna blossom temporary body art by Jaimie McAlpin with artist's permission

You may freely reprint the following article or place it on your website by adding the statement: Courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com. This fascinating plant is world wide known for the beautiful coloring dye that is used by the Orientals in coloring their hands and body. The Egyptians are said to have prepared both an oil and an ointment from the flowers for making the limbs supple. Egyptian Royalty were said to dye their hair with Henna leaves. Henna’s botanical name is Lawsonia Inermis,its common name is Jamaica Mignonette, Mendee, Egyptian privet, smooth Lawsonia. Its Arabic name is henna and the most popular Indian name is Mendhi.

The earliest civilizations that can be proved to have used henna include the Babylonians, Assyrians, Sumerians, Semites, Ugaritics and Canaanites. The leaves of the henna plant are the source of a red-brown dye widely used for body art, known as mendhi in South Asia. First used in the Near East and South Asia, henna art is now popular around the world.

There are numerous artifacts from Iraq, Palestine, Greece, Egypt, Crete and Rome from 1400 BCE to 1AD that show women with henna patterns on their hands. The early center of the use of henna as a woman’s adornment seems to have been in the eastern Mediterranean, where it grows wild. It was used by the Canaanite women in pre-biblical times The Canaanites spread their traditions, including the use of henna, across North Africa between 1700 and 600 BCE, specifically establishing the Berber traditions of henna in Morocco.

Henna was used in Palestine from the earliest historical period, and there are Roman records of henna being used by Jewish people living in Jerusalem during the historical period of the birth of Christ.

When Islam began in the 6-7th centuries AD, henna was incorporated into the customs of Muslims from the western Middle Eastern women’s henna traditions that were widespread and long established. As Islam expanded quickly into other countries, the use of henna went with it. All of the countries that were part of the Islamic world have used henna at some time, most frequently as part of wedding celebrations. Most of them continued to celebrate the “Night of the Henna” and regard henna as a beautiful and suitable ornament for women until present day.

Since 1890 it has been widely used in Europe for tinting the hair, usually in the form of a shampoo, many shades being obtainable by mixing with the leaves of other plants, such as indigo. As a dye for the skin or nails the powder may be mixed with lemon juice, made into a paste with hot water, and spread on the part to be dyed, being allowed to remain for one night.

The parts used are the leaves that are dried and then crushed to form a dark green powder. The flowers and also the fruit are also used. Flowers are numerous, small, white or rose coloured and fragrant. The plant lives scarcely in dry decidious forests, widely cultivated as a hedge plant. It is mostly found in Egypt, India, Kurdistan, Iran, Syria.

It is widely cultivated in tropical countries but probably native to North Africa and Asia. It is widely naturalized in the West Indies and Mexico where it is known as “mignonette.” Its leaves produce the henna or alhenna of the Arabs (cyprus of the ancients), a yellow die which is used in Egypt and elsewhere by women to color their nails, and by men to die their beards, and for other similar uses including horses manes and tails. It is known in the West Indies as “Egyptian privet”, and sometimes as “reseda”.

The small, white and yellow, heavy, sweet-smelling flowers are borne on dwarf shrubs 8 to 10 feet high and reaching a height of up to 6 meters, the plant has fragrant white or rose-red flowers.

Henna is planted today primarily as an ornamental hedge, but is probably best known for the dried, ground leaves traditionally used to produce colorfast orange, red, and brown dyes.

The constituents of Henna is found in it in a brown substance of a resinoid fracture, having the chemical properties which characterize the tannins, and therefore named hennotannic acid. Dried, powdered leaves of henna contain about 0.5 to 1.5 percent lawsone, the chief constituent responsible for the dyeing properties of the plant. Henna also contains mannite, tannic acid, 2-hydroxy-1:4-naphthoquinone resin mucilage, gallic acid, glucose, mannitol,fat, resin and mucilage are also present.The colouring matter is the quinone .and napthaquinone.

USES

Medicinal Action and Uses

As a medicinal plant, henna has been used as an astringent, antihemorrhagic, intestinal antineoplastic, cardio-inhibitory, hypotensive, and a sedative. It has been employed both internally and locally in jaundice, leprosy, smallpox, and affections of the skin. The fruit is thought to have emmenagogue properties.

It has also been used as a folk remedy against amoebiasis, headache, jaundice, ranging from beriberi to burns and bruises ans leprosy.Henna extracts show antibacterial, antifungal, and ultraviolet light screening activity. Henna has exhibited antifertility activity in animals and may induce menstruation.

Henna has been used as medical treatment for wide range of ailments to cure almost anything from headache to leprosy and other skin disorders. It is used to create an instant ‘Scab’ on large areas & is believed to have antiseptic properties. As a cooling agent it is used for burning of skin. It also has great dandruff fighting ability.

Henna is also used for rheumatic and arthritic pains. Alcoholic extract of the leaves showed mild anti- bacterial activity against Staph aureus and E. coli’. Antibacterial and antifungal activities have been confirmed .The antihaemorrhagic properties are attributed to lawsone. The naphthoquinone has emmenogogue and oxytocic actions.

The dried leaf and petiole of henna are generally recognized as safe when used as a color additive for hair. A distilled water prepared from them is used as a cosmetic, and the powdered leaves have been in use from the most ancient times in Eastern countries for dyeing the hair and the nails a reddish-yellow. Traditionally henna is used to decorate hands and feet during weddings and other ceremonies.

Henna features in the Siddha system of medicine. Siddha physicians consider parts of henna to be astringent, detergent, deodorant, cooling and a sedative. Fresh leaves mixed with vinegar or lime juice are bandaged onto the soles of the feet to treat ‘burning feet’, a symptom of beriberi. Ground leaves are applied to sore joints to ease rheumatism. The juice of the plant can be applied to the skin for headaches, and the oil is applied to hair to prevent it from going grey.

Its flower oil relieves muscular pains, while its seeds are used as a deodorant and to regulate menstruation. Henna flowers induce sleep, cure headaches and bruises. Leprosy has been treated by henna bark, as well as by an extract of leaves, flowers and shoots. The bark has also been used to treat symptoms of jaundice and enlargement of the liver and spleen. It can be applied to the skin to treat eczema, scabies, fungal infections and burns.

The Ayurvedic system uses the henna leaves to treat vitiligo (pale patches on the skin where pigment is lost), and the seeds are used to cure fever. Fruit oil is a folk remedy used in disorders causing hardening of the liver and diaphragm, and an ointment made from young fruit is used to prevent itching.

You may freely reprint the following article or place it on your website by adding the statement: Courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com.

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PBPGINFWMY There Is A Time For Everything: Chapt. 28 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 10, 2008

From The Roots Up by enveehaze in Flickr public files “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Habakkuk 2:3
 
God is always telling me to wait. It seems I have to wait for just about everything from the most mundane to the most important.

When we think about it, our entire life is nothing but a waiting period. We wait nine months to be born on earth and we wait an entire lifetime to be born into our eternal life.

God’s time is based on eternity. What may seem like eternity for us on earth is the blink of an eye to God.

There is a lesson to be learned. If you’ll allow and forgive the trivial allegory, while we pray: “God give me patience, and I want it right now,” God answers “We will sell no wine before its time.”*

We are the wine and the Vine’s branches. It takes an entire lifetime for us to learn the good, unlearn the not so good, and form our character traits.

Rick Warren asks us “Where in your spiritual growth are you having to be patient because there seems to be little progress?” In which areas do you need to be patient and persistent?

*Advertising slogan for Paul Mason Winery. The Orson Wells commercials aired during the late 70’s and early 80’s.

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Are You Pro-Choice? God Is! Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 26

Posted by infinitygoods on March 8, 2008

Buttress Roots by alumroot in Flickr public files“We are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires.  Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  Do not be deceived, my dear friends!”

No, this post is not about abortion.  I just couldn’t resist the temptation to tease you with that headline!  🙂  Now that I have your attention:  God is pro-choice!  He gives us the choice between good and evil; to sin or not to sin; to obey or to disobey.  He does not force us to do anything.  He gives us complete free will.  We are not puppets on a string.  We are not programed robots.

Each time we are tempted it shows Satan hates our faith.  He wants to destroy our faith and he wants to destroy us.  The sin is not ours when we are tempted, it is his.  He is the one doing the tempting.  He is the one who is sinning in perpetuity by loving himself more than God and by trying every trick to destroy our souls.

Rick Warren asks us when are we most tempted?  Where are we most tempted?

Think of Satan as the most vile allergy and avoid all triggers like the plague.   Then, always ask God for His help.  He is always there ready to protect us.  It is our choice to ask for help or to sin.

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The Power Of Love: Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 25

Posted by infinitygoods on March 7, 2008

redwoods-3-by-skooterdawg.jpgWho among us would not love a rosy life, completely free of troubles and set backs?  Yet, God allows Satan to trouble us.  Some people believe, and we are all in danger of all too quickly slipping into the same belief, that times of senseless tragedy prove there is no God or even the oxymoron that God is evil.

God is good and God is love.  Satan is the one who brings us evil, destruction, death, senseless tragedy.  In my own life all negatives, hardships and tragedies have eventually been turned around for good.  God used these times to bring me closer to Him or build character and in the end, bring something so good out of those circumstances which could not have happened otherwise, that really it had to happen that way.

I was wondering what example I could give you, but personal examples either did not seem universal enough or were too difficult for me to share.  Then I remembered an e-mail I received a few years ago.  I did not find on the Internet the exact and powerful wording which had brought most of us either to tears or close to it, but I did find the passage below which is a paraphrase of that e-mail.  It addresses a universal subject which has affected all of us worldwide, not just us living in the United States.  It shows how a different, more positive point of view sees God’s hand in turning evil into good.

Where was God during the senseless acts of terrorism of 9/11?

“A very dear friend recently questioned my faith in God right after the terrorist attack on America.  Her question was simply put, “Where is your God today?”  She was very hurt, as all Americans were, so I tried not to react defensively.  Since that moment I have prayed and grieved over the disastrous events.  However, I believe I have found some comfort in knowing where my God was the morning of September 11, 2001.  He was indeed very busy.

“First of all, he was trying to discourage people from taking the hijacked flights.  Those four planes had the capacity to carry over 1000 passengers, yet there were only 266 on board. God was on four commercial flights giving terrified passengers the ability to stay calm.  Not one of the family members who was called by a loved one on one of those planes said that passengers were screaming in the background.  On one of the flights He was giving strength to passengers to try to overtake the hijackers.

“He was busy trying to create obstacles for employees trying to reach the World Trade Center on that Tuesday morning.  On any given day, the buildings could hold 50,000 workers.  It was a miracle in itself that 30,000 fewer were in the building that terrible day.  How many of the people who were employed at the WTC told the media that day that they were delayed from reaching work on Tuesday because of traffic delays or various other reasons. God held up two 110 story buildings for over an hour so that two-thirds of the workers could get out.

Although this is without a doubt the worst thing I have seen in my life, I can see God’s miracles in every bit of it.  I can’t imagine going through such a difficult time and not believing in God.  Life would be hopeless !

Of potentially 74,280 Americans directly targeted by these cowards, 93% survived or avoided the attacks.  Pass this information on to those in depression, or in fear, and especially to the media.  Don’t fear these cowards and terrorists.  God is on our side and in addition, the odds are against the terrorists.”  Author Unknown

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Key To Happiness By Reading & Understanding The Bible: Chapt. 24 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 4, 2008

Walking Inside The Painting by Araleya from Flickr public files

“Truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.” James 1:25

Rick Warren tells us in Chapter 24 to read the Bible daily and apply God’s words to our daily lives.

When we read the Bible or listen to a sermon or a homily, do we have a closed mind? Do we read it superficially? Or are we distracted? Or do we really understand and accept God’s Word?

I read the Bible, but I admit I am one who skips around the various books. I have studied the Bible in small study groups and I have even taken college religion and Bible classes including a Jewish studies class where we read the first five books of the Old Testament almost line by line. Yet I have never read the entire Bible from cover to cover. Over my lifetime I have more than likely read the great majority of the Bible, but never from start to finish in a linear fashion.

We wouldn’t take other books and hop around back and forth within those books. I have no idea why we do that with the Bible, but that’s the way I’ve always been advised to do it. That’s the way my church has always done it on Sundays picking and choosing verses from the Old Testament and from the New Testament. The Bible studies at church have never followed a linear path either. One day it was Acts, one day it was women of the Bible, another time it was Psalms and Proverbs. We’ve never done it from cover to cover, one Bible study at a time.

Warren tells us we can read the entire Bible in one year if we only commit to 15 minutes a day. I’m a slow reader because with any book I like to fully appreciate each and every single word and their full connotations. So maybe it would take me 30 minutes each day. That’s not difficult. I love to read and I’m sure most of you do to since you spend time reading blogs. I often spend several hours reading books, including the Bible so if just minutes can get me to read every single word of God, then that’s something I am eager to do.

What about you? Perhaps you have already done it, but did you fully appreciate the meaning, the nuances, the connotations? Perhaps it is time to read the Bible from cover to cover another time and truly study its meaning by asking questions and writing down your insights. Pastor Brian at our son’s former school always encouraged that we have a study Bible where we highlight and write in the margins. He even gave each second grader their first adult Bible with a bright yellow highlighter. He told them to highlight every verse they ever memorized and to highlight all the verses that meant something to them. He told them to write in it and keep writing in it all their lives. He made a great ceremony of it. It was like a graduation ceremony, receiving a Bible and highlighter instead of a diploma.

That was not the way I was brought up. When I was in college we had to write in our Bibles and because I could not bring myself to do that in a pristine copy, I got a used hardcover study Bible complete with full-color pictures and commentaries. It was already highlighted and written in, but not much. It is still the copy I use to study my Bible and the one I bring to each Bible study even though it is bulky and heavy, but over the last couple decades, it has been thoroughly highlighted and written in. It has been a great blessing and I fully agree with Pastor Brian. If you haven’t experienced this blessing yet, perhaps you too were taught that you should never write on the word of God (or any book), then go ahead and jump right in. Perhaps you’ll want to get a used copy as I did. The white page will not defend itself with a used copy.

What are your thoughts? I would have a lot more to say about the word of God, but this blog post is already long. Let all of us know how you feel. Or just think about it to yourself if it is easier, but do reflect on it. Take the time to ponder on the subject.

Tomorrow we will move on to Chapt. 25.

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Your Life Is Shaped By Your Thoughts: Purpose Driven Life Chapt. 23

Posted by infinitygoods on March 3, 2008

Rooted by pkittycat in Flickr public files“Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.”  Proverbs 4:23

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  Romans 12:2b

“Think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.”  Philippians 2:5

“We should think of their good and try to help them by doing what pleases them.”  Romans 15:2-3a

“God has given us His Spirit.  That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of this world think.”  1 Corinthians 2:12a

Have you ever thought, “what were they thinking?”  This happens to me often when I watch TV, which is one of the reasons I don’t watch very often.  Many television shows are not based on the love that Christians should show each other.  It is so often full of hate, yelling, screaming, arguing, fighting, killing, total chaos and outrageous disharmony.   People of this world, as the Bible calls them, don’t always even notice that this is not the way things should be.

Do you think those people who are screaming, fighting, and killing are thinking of others?

This chapter also made me think of all the people who get married too easily.  They do not really love each other or even really care about each other.  They are getting married for selfish reasons and their “marriage” quickly turns to divorce.  That’s because they never realized that a real marriage starts by thinking about your spouse and trying to make your spouse happy.  As soon as we try to please ourselves rather than our spouse, we are not holding up our end of the marriage.  When both spouses are trying to please and think of their own selves, the “marriage” disintegrates.

Rick Warren tells us that thinking of others is the core of Christianity, the heart of being like Christ and the best evidence for our spiritual growth.

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