Archive for the ‘faith’ Category

TOGETHER LETS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND BUILD BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING… AND SO FOLLOWS HOPE

January 23, 2012

TOGETHER LETS BREAK DOWN BARRIERS AND BUILD BRIDGES OF UNDERSTANDING… AND SO FOLLOWS HOPE

A Collection of YouTube videos

Search results for

  • “breaking down barriers between christians      and muslims”

Submitter’s Note:

I have only viewed a few of these videos in this selection (and like me, you may or may not agree with the politics). However, no matter what your political stance may be, I have included those from their titles pertinent to my particular ‘sphere of interest (and I especially like sharing inspirational stories of hope)… in  alignment with the core message of this “e-book”:  “attempting in some small way to share the message of breaking down barriers and boundaries of the heart”.

One person CAN make a difference

YOU

Happy viewing

craig

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood as citizens of planet earth. We here in far-off New Zealand share the common bond of humanity: the pain, the sadness, suffering and joy
inherent in the human condition, no matter where in the world you may live.”
– Craig (3rd September 2004)

“In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. There is neither East nor West, Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or Jew…but just a God-filled humanity

 “Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
— the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig

  •  

1:11

Ignorance is Bliss – 62% of Americans have never met a Muslim.

Share your story.

by myfellowamericantv | 10,335 views

9:42

Israel kill to steal Palestinian land

Summary of the bloody history of Israel since 1878 Movie clip from documentary film The film covers a wide range of topics — which include — the

by aIjazzera | 3 years ago | 5,850 views

.

7:49

6:27

Beit Jala Protest Part 1/4 (near Bethlehem)

Palestinian Christians and Muslims, along with Israelis and internationals, share their concerns about the illegal wall’s destruction of

by PCPFvideos | 1 year ago | 2,132 views

3:53

FTF Films: There Is A Better Way [TZM]

I was inspired to make this video for The Zeitgeist Movement because I feel what was said a press release of theirs was very eloquent and should

by djhardcoretruth | 1 year ago | 64 views

 

6:24

Beit Jala Protest Part 3/4 (near Bethlehem)

The soldiers let the protesters pass down the same road just 15 minutes after the demonstration in which they threw sound bombs at them. The

by PCPFvideos | 1 year ago | 842 views

1:11

Ignorance is Bliss – 62% of Americans have never met a Muslim.

Share your story.

by myfellowamericantv | 10,335 views

*

****************************

Search results for

·         “breaking down barriers”


4:14

Breaking down barriers

Meet the Muslim woman scaling the business world while smashing stereotypes against her religion and gender. See more at tennews.com.au

by ten | 7 months ago | 488 views

3:03

Breaking Down Barriers in the Kitchen

As seen on WVIT-TV / Channel 30 on Friday, January 30th, 2008 The kitchen is the heart of the home. But for many parents who have kids with a wide

by yourspecialchild | 2 years ago | 191 views

10:59

Breaking Down Barriers

Rev. Jennifer Whipple Congregational Church of Brookfield (UCC) Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost August 22, 2010 Jeremiah 1:4-10 and Luke 13:10

by uccbvideo | 1 year ago | 59 views

1:35

Breaking Down Barriers

Peace It Together brings Israeli and Palestinian students together with Canadians in BC to make films.

by CBCtv | 5 months ago | 987 views

2:15

Richard Whitehead: Breaking Down Barriers

Runner Richard Whitehead shares his inspiring story behind his journey to the Paralympic Games.

by bplondon2012 | 6 months ago | 111,069 views

4:26

Video of the day | Breaking down barriers

On November 9th of this year Germany will celebrate 20 years since the fall of the Wall – a monumental event in national and world history – but

by deutschewelleenglish | 2 years ago | 241 views

Breaking Down the Barriers

by csandoval06 | 5 videos

0:58

Al Jazeera Breaking Down Barriers

Consider how TV can be a powerful voice in a movement where 75% of the population is illiterate. What has Al Jazeera done for the Arab world since

by AgendaStevePaikin | 11 months ago | 132 views

*********************

Article Title: Sharing a few Thoughts on “Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges” Around the World Author: Craig Lock Category/Subject: Empowerment, inspiration, spirituality, philosophy, social and political issues, peace, pursuit of peace

Web Site: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com and newbooksbycraiglock.wordpress.com

Other Articles are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 (Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig)

Publishing Guidelines: These thoughts may be freely published, electronically or in print/

#

Sharing a few Thoughts on “Breaking Down Barriers (and Misunderstandings) and Building Bridges” Around the World: What can one person, do about the seemingly insoluble problems of this world?

A few thoughts to “kick off”… As the human species we are all spiritual beings on a “spiritual journey”, yet living an earthly existence.

What’s the difference between religion and spirituality?

I like this quote by an anonymous writer… “Religion is for those who fear going to hell, but spirituality is for those who’ve already been there.”

Now on to more serious ponderings…

Religion (and its fanatical beliefs) plays a critical part in many conflicts around the world. I believe, it’s vitally important that in order to reduce tensions, world leaders especially (but each one of us too in our own little ‘spheres of influence’) can emphasize the common values shared by the religions of the world.

I feel that religion CAN be turned around from being part of the conflict to be part of the SOLUTION. Religion was often blamed as the cause of the conflicts, whereas it was people misusing religion for their own ends, ie. personal agendas. Instead of focusing on the differences between people, we should focus more on what we have in common. Whilst celebrating our differences, that is far more important. Because, no matter where in the world we may live what unites us is far more important than what divides us. We share common human needs and values – history is very similar in many religions (Islam, Christian and Jew). We are all connected in spirit. So each one of us, if we CHOOSE, can release human potential through harnessing energy (through our “individual energies”) and share our common humanity as citizens of ‘planet earth’.

“Let us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Rather than borders, let us look at distant horizons together…in the common spirit of the value and dignity of a shared personhood as citizens of planet earth. We here in far-off New Zealand share the common bond of humanity: the pain, the sadness, suffering and joy inherent in the human condition, no matter where in the world you may live.” – Craig (3rd September 2004)

“In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch others and in so doing illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. There is neither East nor West, Christian, Buddhist, Moslem, Hindu or Jew…but just a God-filled humanity.

“We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.” – a former President of Indonesia

P.S: “The greatness of a nation consists not so much in the number of it’s people or the extent of it’s territory as in the extent and justice of it’s compassion.”

– Inscription at the Horse Memorial in Port Elizabeth, South Africa for horses killed in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902).

“There is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power. Only strive for power, if it is not at the cost of other people. Power corrupts. You first have to be pure and righteous, before one can attain power. I believe that love is a greater force than power.” – Alan Paton, great South African humanitarian and author of the classic ‘Cry the Beloved Country’

Former Archbishop and Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu once said: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”

“To build a better world, just build a better you”… and don’t take life too seriously.

Have great FUN along the the amazing journey, the mystery of life

craig

“None of us has the power to make someone else love us. But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people. And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in.” – Rabbi Harold Kushner, in ‘Handbook for the Heart’

An old mystic said this about himself: “I was a revolutionary when I was young, and my prayer to God was, ‘Lord, give me the strength to change the world.’ As I approached middle age and realized that my life was halfway gone without changing a single soul, I changed my prayer to, ‘Lord, give me the grace to change all those who come into contact with me, especially my family and friends, and I shall be satisfied.’ Now that I am an old man, and my days are numbered, I have begun to see how foolish I have been. Now my one prayer is this, ‘Lord, give me the grace to change myself.’ If I had prayed that right from the start, I would not have wasted my life.”

We can waste years trying to change other people. But we can only really change one person — ourselves. In the end, that is probably enough.

“When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn’t change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn’t change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.” — Author Unknown

No matter whether you’re a candle in a corner, or a beacon on a hill… as you let your own light shine brightly, you light the taper of that bright spark, which can one day become a fierce flame in others. – me

“I’m only one but I am one. I can’t do everything but I can do something and what I can do I ought to do and that by the grace of God I will do.” – Brett Blair, Sermon Illustrations, 1999

“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta

How’s this for a short and simple prayer for the world?

“May all beings everywhere be awakened, healed, peaceful, and free; May there be peace in this world, and an end to war, poverty, violence, and oppression; and may we all together complete the spiritual journey.” – Lama Surya Das (thanks, Lynda)

“The moment you have in your heart this extraordinary thing called love and feel the depth, the delight, the ecstasy of it, you will discover that for you the world is transformed.” – J. Krishnamurti

“The kiss of the sun for pardon The song of the birds for mirth You are nearer God’s heart in the garden, than anywhere else on earth.”

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, uplift, encourage … and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials.”

These thoughts may be freely published electronically or in print

It was always seems impossible….
until it gets done.”
– Nelson Mandela

PPS

Few (of us) will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man (or woman) stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, (she or) he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — the powerful and greatly inspiring words of Robert F. Kennedy (with my little insertions in brackets)

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

– craig

“When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” – Indian saying

Thanks, dearest mom, your spirit will live on…forever craig

About the author: In his various writings, little by little, one mind, one heart, one soul at a time, Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers through attempting to build dialogue and understanding. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

The various books* that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005GGMAW4http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/craiglock (e-books) http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html and www.lulu.com/craiglock

“The world’s smallest and most exclusive bookstore”

The submitter’s blogs (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) are at http://craigsblogs.wordpress.com and newbooksbycraiglock.wordpress.com

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s see how many people we can impact, empower, uplift, encourage, enrich and perhaps even inspire to reach their fullest potentials…and so help plant the seeds to a better and brighter future.”

THIS PIECE MAY BE FREELY PUBLISHED

PPS

When (or perhaps if ever) you arrive in heaven, let faith and love be the wings that carried you there.” – as adapted from the inspiring words of Jonathan Edwards, former minister in New England, Massachusetts

“The Greatest Race: Living by (with) faith, hope and love is the highest podium any person can reach, God’s podium that anyone stand on.”

– craig

“TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD”:

December 16, 2010

CHRISTIANITY and ISLAM: “TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD”:

A follower of Islam, Ishmail (I) and Christine (C) a “follower of the teachings of Jesus”

 

The following is a short extract from a new “work” titled ‘BEYOND THE RAINBOW’, that is “virtually writing itself”

Tags (key words): New books, books, “Beyond the Rainbow”, Islam, Christianity, faiths, unity of religions, spiritual growth

*

“Faith is the light that guides you through the darkness“.

– Emmet Fox

Ishail:

“Bismillaah, Chris

* = “welcome in the name of Allah” in Arabic

 

So we agree on most of the above points, especially that there is only ONE God, the Creator of the Universe. “

C: “Sure! But where do we disagree?”

I: “Under Islam every human being must one day face God’s ultimate judgement for how they’ve lived their lives.

C: “So under Islam every human defendant in God’s court must face the ultimate judgement without the help of an advocate.

I: “However, Allah is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness.”

 

C: “The New Testament in the Bible also warns of hell, but proclaims Jesus as mankind’s sinless mediating redeemer – God incarnate who atoned for the sins of the world at Calvary. Jesus is the One who saves from judgment everyone who confesses his or her sinfulness through Him.

“Christianity consists, not in articles, creeds, or confessions: not in churches, memberships or fellowships: but in a Person.. Also there is the vital element of Grace in my faith.”

Ishmail: “Interesting, but Islam also talks a lot about the Infinite Grace of Allah. I’ll have to ponder that a bit more!”

Chris:

“OK. Now let’s get onto the ‘heavy stuff’…With Christianity Jesus claims indirectly to forgive sins (“Your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more”. However, He also says that only God can forgive sins (See the Lord’s Prayer – Luke 11,2: “Our Father in Heaven forgive us our sins (or tresspasses).” However, mainstream Christianity believes Christ died for the sins of the world and His death atones for sin. One just has to ask for forgiveness in His name… and all sins are forgiven. I don’t think Jesus claims this directly; however his disciples (mainly John) do (“here comes the lamb of God, who forgives all sin”. Also the famous Scriptures from John 3:16 and 17.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

* New King James version

Ishmail: “The Koran says that God is not a man. Therefore he cannot have a son. Allah would never stoop to enter our world.”

Chris:

” But where in the Bible does Jesus say directly that He is God. He doesn’t! Jesus refers to himself in many ways, mostly as “Son of Man” and uses great metaphors like “I am the bread of life”, “I am the vine, you are the branches” and so on. However, He sees Himself as a Son of God” in his close, rather intimate relationship with God, the Father. He has a unique relationship in his union with God, continually meditating and asking for God’s help to accomplish things he couldn’t do on his own (“without the Father, I can do nothing”). He uses these terms as a metaphor, I truly believe… just like all of us are “children of God.”

Jesus puts Himself well below God, as He (like us mere mortals is continually asking the Father for help and/or guidance.

And we ALL have access to that Ultimate Source. All we have to do is have FAITH and BELIEVE.

Jesus is a focus for our faith. Something, Someone on which to hand (pin) it on… then go THROUGH him (a channel, a conduit) to God, the Ultimate Source.

As it says ìn James: ”You receive not, because you ASK not.”Ishmail: So can Allah ever be the same as the Christian concept of God?”

Chris: I suppose it’s different concepts and how you see the Creator of the Universe, different paths up the mountain… or perhaps they are different mountains?”

THE RESURRECTION

I: “Aha. This will be interesting… and I was looking forward to learning about this area of your faith, Chris.

The story of Christ’s death reinforces Muslims belief that the Bible has been corrupted over the years.

Allah would never allow such a godly man and great Prophet as Jesus to die in such a dreadful manner on the cross.

The Prophet Mohammed was a perfect example of an honest, just and brave human being. Though he was a man, he was far removed from all evil characteristics and strove solely for the sake of God and his reward in the hereafter. Moreover, in all his actions and dealings, he was ever mindful and fearful of God.”

 

 

 

*

THE TRINITY

C: Yes, I thought you’d say that. This area creates a lot of misunderstanding even within the Christian world. There are so many strands among followers of Jesus and I suppose its similar within the fold of Islam. Sunnis, Shiites and all the other divisions.

I think the key point here is whether you take the scriptures literally or figuratively. Factual or symbolic? I suppose I’d call myself a “thinking, questioning follower of Jesus”, who interprets the stories and teachings figuratively, rather than literally…with an “open mind” (hopefully) to convey a a simple message (or truth). In short, I’d describe my faith as a “spiritual liberal follower of the teachings of Jesus”. In contrast, many Christian fundamentalists take every single word literally… as “pure Gospel”.

 

I: I think it’s great that we have free will in what we choose to believe …like choosing different flavours of an ice-cream.

Thank goodness for free will (of choice)… and no matter, the Bible and the Koran are both excellent guides for living fruitful and good lives… and the Koran is my “moral compass“ for life.”

*

C: “However, I think Jesus would be greatly saddened by the divisions within the church today. Churches bickering about minor differences (“don’t major in minors”) and getting away from the core message of Jesus.

You are probably right, when you say that the Bible has been corrupted over the years. Apparently many writings were omitted through various decrees by rulers… and that is the unfortunate thing about religion being used as a means to control the masses.

(my mother often used to say that to me).

Incidentally, Jesus was not religious… but an extremely spiritual “person”… living in perfect union with God, the Father. He was continually asking the Father for help to accomplish what he could not do Himself. (So on earth he lived as no more than a ‘mere man’. (I think you can relate to that can’t you, Ishmail?).”

Ishmail:

“Like Jesus, Mohammed challenged the religious practices, the rituals and dogmas of the day. Both these ‘prophets’, I don’t think intended to start new religions; but were God’s messengers in history. However, their followers took up their messages and tried to convert the masses.”

C: “Incidentally, the concept of God as Father and having a personal relationship with God is unique to Christianity.”

I: “So this “God” of yours is different to our Allah?”

C: “I guess it’s what you personally conceive and choose HOW you see the Almighty… what the Grand Creator of the Universe, Infinite Spirit, the Ultimate Source means to you…personally! Make God as big, as Infinite as you wish?”

I: “Now to the Trinity, the area of greatest controversy within Islam and I suppose, even Christianity itself…

We Muslims, me especially can’t get around this idea of worshipping three Gods. It’s just like ancient beliefs (and Hindus).

Chris, what do you say to this? There is great variance about this within Christendom itself.”

C: “I think the key here is belief in the divinity of Jesus. Because with belief, you get filled with the Holy Spirit. We just have to ASK and its available to ALL people.

For me, its like seeing you, Ishmail. You are a man with a physical body; then you have a mind; but also a spirit (or a soul). Like the sum total of your persona. So you are three-in-one, made up of different parts, just like water, ice and steam are three manifestations of water (H20).

We humans exist in different dimensions: body, mind and spirit.

We are spiritual beings on an earthly journey

… or something like that. 

Most followers of Jesus believe that His Spirit dwells with us. We just have to have faith and ASK to be filled (I ask for a “triple helping” every day… greedy and hungry!). Doing this keeps me sane and helps me overcome the trials and tribulations of daily life.

So we are not worshipping three Gods, but there is only ONE God, the Ultimate Source of Life… with an Infinite Spirit.”

I: “So you can’t conceive of God, as God is unlimited, then Chris?”

C: “That’s true, which is why I have to go through Jesus as a channel to God, The Father. As Jesus said: ‘No one comes to the Father, except by me.” and “I am the way, the truth and the light.’As ordinary humans we need a conduit to get in touch with our Heavenly Father, as God is inconceivable to us humans.

For me Jesus is a model to aspire to, a hope to pin on, even to cling to, someone on which to pin our highest (supreme) characteristics, the loftiest goals, values and aspirations. In short, the very best in life…the name and spirit of Jesus symbolizes endless possibilities… and each one of us is invited to partake in and share His Infinite Spirit.

 

 

I: “After all this, I see that we have quite a bit in common – far more than I thought. Both our great faiths, religions can co-exist peacefully. What we share is not nearly as great as what we think divides us… Muslims and Christians.

Thanks for sharing and I can now understand a lot more about your faith, Chris.

“Allah -Akbar” (Allah is great)”

C: “And same here. And God IS blessing you too, Ishmail”

 

*

“My belief is in the God who gives us responsibility for our own actions, who I see in Jesus Christ, who stated and showed in his own life that His purpose was to give quality of life.”- Michael Templer, Te Pahu (in a letter to the New Zealand Herald)

 

 

“What we believe is not nearly as important as how we relate, interact with each other… and how we live. Only when we can say, ‘I am first and foremost a human being, and second a Jew, Muslim, Shi’ite, a Sunni, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu ,or a Sikh…’ will we progress and break down barriers between peoples, nations and cultures, both east and west. Let not our beliefs , but our shared humanity (ALL of us) define who we really are. ”

 

Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim?

December 6, 2010

 

Can Muslims Follow the Biblical Christ and Still Be Muslim?

by

Aaron Taylor08-10-2010

http://blog.sojo.net/2010/08/10/can-muslims-follow-the-biblical-christ-and-still-be-muslim/]

Theology

biblical, biblical faith, blood of jesus, Christ, Christianity, Christians, evangelist, followers of jesus, forgiveness of sins, Gospel, heretics, holy war, Islam, Jesus, koran, Matthew, Messiah, Ministry, missionary, Movement, Muslim, muslim followers, muslims, New Testament, old testament, Peter, prophet, prophets, reform, reformation, Religion, religions, Sojourners, Stories, synoptic gospels, Theology, tradition, what it means to be a christian, what it means to be a muslim, word of god

Sharing Some Information on Some Major Religions of the World

July 30, 2010

Article Title: Sharing Some Information on Some Major Religions of the World

Submitted by: Craig Lock

Category (key words): religion, religions, religious tolerance, faith, beliefs, spirituality, religious unity, unity of religions, spiritual unity

The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22&t=post and http://craiglock.wordpress.com

Other Articles by the submitter are available at: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig!)

Publishing Guidelines:

These writings may be freely published, electronically or in print.

*

SHARING SOME INFORMATION ON SOME OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD

INTRODUCTION: Craig is studying the teachings of different religions (to find ‘common ground’/principles) and as he learns from his research, is sharing these notes in an attempt to ‘enlighten’ (himself and others).

Because … with understanding comes tolerance.

*

HINDUISM

The Four Holy Truths: There is pain and suffering in the world – like birth, death, sickness, old age. Root cause of suffering is DESIRE. Karma is conscious action that has spiritual results. Karma consists of a persons acts and their ethical consequences + universal justice, a kind of natural moral law, rather than through a system of divine judgement. The struggle and suffering decreases as the individual acquires merit and wisdom during their life. Release from suffering. Nirvana is a complete detachment from desires and final nirvana is attained at death. Hindus renounce worldly desires. (Release = ‘moksha’)

8-fold path: right · views · resolve · speech · behaviour · occupation · effort · contemplation and · meditation. People attain a state of perfection. Through self effort one can attain the state of peace and eternal peace called Nirvana. Buddha ignored the worship of Gods, but did not deny their existence. What was important to Buddha was not the worship of Gods or of himself, but the following of his teachings. Nirvana is not a place like heaven, but a state of being. It’s eternal – the end of suffering – no desires and individual consciousness comes to an end. It’s more of a moral philosophy, an ethical way of life.

*

BAHAI The nature of God is completely unknowable – he/she/it is transcendant to the point of total inaccessibility. Prophets are teachers – not saviours. God cannot incarnate himself and reveal himself to man. Therefore Jesus cannot be God. Jesus is seen as one of God’s manifestations sent to human beings to assist in our spiritual evolution. The raising of the body of Jesus was actually the coming to life of Christ’s teachings in the disciples, the restoration of their beliefs and conviction.

BAHAI work for world peace and believe in freedom of expression.

*

MORMONS: Definition of the Trinity as 3 seperate individuals, God the Father and Jesus Christ being physical persons united in purpose; also a belief that human beings, can, if they live the commandments of God to the full, attain the status of godhood in future aeons.

*

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

The main purpose of Jesus coming to earth was to let it be known that he is supreme and exercises sovereignity over the universe. Salvation is only for those who believe in Jesus.

*

MUSLIMS (ISLAM)

Muslims regard the Koran as the speech of God to Mohammed, mediated by Gabriel, the Angel of Revelation. They believe that God himself, not Mohammed, is the author and therefore that the Koran is infallible. Collection of passages revealed in his prophetic life – 610-632. 114 chapters. Earliest teachings – one transcendant and personal God. Last Judgement and social and personal justice. God, he asserted, had sent prophets to other nations throughout history; but having failed to reform, these nations had been destroyed. Mohamed was the last prophet. Monotheistic. Well ordered, harmonious whole – everything has its proper place and limitations. God presides over and governs the universe, which with its orderly functioning, is the primary sign and proof of God and His unity. Mohammed’s miracle is the Koran, the like of which no human can produce. Last Judgement:

The “successful ones” will go to the Garden (heaven) and the “losers” (the evil) will go to hell; although God is merciful and will forgive those who deserve forgiveness. Besides the last judgment, which will be on individuals, the Koran recognizes another kind of divine judgement, which is meted out in history to nations, peoples and communities. Nations, like individuals, may be corrupted by wealth, power and pride, and, unless they reform, these nations are punished by being destroyed or subjugated by more virtuous nations. Islamic Beliefs: ONE God. Thus it’s a monotheistic religion. Muhammed proclaimed that Allah alone is God and that other idols were not to be worshipped. Muslims reject the Christian concept of the Trinity. Angels, who are sinless. God’s messages were brought directly to Muhammed by Gabriel. God is believed to be too exalted to speak directly with men. Belief in God’s prohets: Adam, Noah, Abraham, etc. The Koran is believed to be the exact revelation of God to humanity. Koran is believed to have taken the place of all previous revelations of God’s will – only the Koran is considered binding. A trumpet sounds – the dead will be raised and judged for their deeds – going to paradise or hell. Only those who die as martyrs slain in the battle for Islam are considered to be granted immediate access to paradise. Prosperous and evil nations will ultimately be destroyed by God. “Islam” means surrender or submission to the will of God. Muhammed was closest to God, so his example is to be followed. Muslims believe in and honour many of the prophets of the Old Testament. But they also say that the Bible must have been corrupted; because it points out the errant behaviour of these prophets, and since no prophet of God would ever err, the Bible must be wrong. Muslims have high respect for Jesus, but the view that Jesus is divine or the son of God is, to them, the highest blasphemy. The Koran says that God is not a man, therefore he cannot have a son. He would never stoop to enter our world. Story of Christ’s death reinforces their belief that the Bible has been corrupted over the years.

Basic tenets – the 5 pillars of Islam: · Confession of faith · Ritual prayer * Obligatory alms – ‘zakat’ to help those less fortune · The holy fast of Ramadan: a time where there is no smoking, drinking, swearing, anger, sex – use month of fasting to draw closer to God and renew their spiritual strength. · Pilgrimage to Mecca, the “Hajj”. Every Muslim who is not sick and can afford must complete. It is a time when all are deemed equal before God, regardless of social or financial position. As part of their purification process, participation heightens their social status.

* *

Sharing a few personal thoughts to end off..

Finally, perhaps no religion can ever represent the Absolute Truth (because ‘Absolute Truth’ has a degree of subjectivity – at least I believe so). Rather, religions can be different paths to the same Truth, with God, Infinite Spirit, the Grand Designer of Life at the centre. (Like spokes leading to the centre of the wheel!

God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.

It’s not so much what we believe, but HOW, the ways we live

Shared by Craig Lock (“just änother arm-chair warrior for a better and more peaceful world”)

Former Archbishop in South Africa Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to

“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– Jahrulal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India

“”It is time for people of good will from every faith, culture and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside the partisan bickering between nations and join together to confront the danger that lies before us.
Let us seek common ground between peoples around the globe…
because what unites us is far more important than what divides us.

In our own little ways in our individual lives we can touch so many others and share our common humanity. And in so doing we can illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity. We must offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future of justice, tolerance, respect for other traditions and values and especially a vision of goodness and hope fuelled by the flame of love – one that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– Craig Lock (inspired by and adapted from the words of Abdurahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia)

About the submitter:
Craig loves to share information and insights to encourage others to be all they are capable of being. He’d love to try to ‘build bridges’ (not metal or wooden ones, thank goodness!) between people, firmly believing that what we share is way more important than what divides us.
The submitter’s blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at

Craig’s new manuscript, ‘A New Dawn’ is set in the Middle East: In it he attempts to find ‘common ground’/principles between different religions and cultures and to try to make some difference in building bridges in an ever more dangerous, turbulent and uncertain world. A passionate story of

“Until there is peace among the religions, there will be no peace in the world.”

– The Dali Lama

These thoughts may be freely published, electronically or in print

“God is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light.”

May you see God’s bright light on the road up ahead

 

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH (or as the Jews call the prophet Yeshayah ) *

June 7, 2010

THE BOOK OF ISAIAH (or as the Jews call the prophet Yeshayah ) *

* The so-called Old Testament is known to Jews as the Written Torah or the Tanakh.

Key words: Old Testament, Isaiah, Prophets, RH Schuller,
Possibiliity Thinkers Bible

“Hope is the anchor of the soul.”

The Book of Isaiah is a beautiful example of God’s strength and the promises He gave to the people, when they needed them most.
God sent the Prophet Isaiah to forewarn and prepare the people of Israel for the problems that were to beset them. Like a novelist foretelling his readers of future tragedies and events, God sent the prophet to announce the coming captivity by warring nations and the destruction of Jerusalem.
Throughout the historical narrative of these happenings is interwoven the thread of hope – the coming of the Messiah.

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
– Isaiah 7:14 (New King James version)

Isaiah promises the people that the coming Messiah will bring them into a loving relationship with God (see Chapter 53)

In comparing their lives to the desolate wilderness area, the Prophet Isaiah promises that:
“Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight,
And the rough places smooth.”
– Is 40:4

God promises that even the most desolate and unfortunate life will become successful and productive with His power. God responds to our desperation. We can look to God for strength, for we know that the ultimate outcome is in His hands.

“Behold, I make all things new” (Rev 21:5)

Key word: “Salvation Is of the Lord”

“All we like sheep have gone astray.”

Key Chapter: Isaiah 53

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord saying:
‘Whom shall I send.
And who will go for Us?’

Then I said: Here am I! Send me.'”
6:8

THE DESERT – A GARDEN
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”
– Is 40:8

God will make the deserts in our lives bloom with new growth… with perseverance and patience on our parts.

FACE REALITY WITH HOPE

Whether your problem is big or small, don’t run from it. Instead, face it and give it back to God. Today face reality with hope, and begin to turn your life around. Remember, with God all things are possible!

Light in a Land of Darkness
“The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light:
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.”

“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid.”
12:2

“Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
And note it on a scroll,
That it may be for time to come,
Forever and ever.”
30:8

*                     *

ON WINGS OF EAGLES

The psalmist compares God’s care for His people to the eagle’s wings. “Hide me me under the shadow of your wings.”
Ps 17:8

Attempt to do something great for God, even though you might fail, rather than do nothing and succeed.

“But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
40:31

“Behold My Servant whom I uphold
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon him.
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.”
42:1

“He will bring forth justice for truth.
He will not fail nor be discouraged
Till He has established justice in the earth.”
42:3,4

“I will bring the blind by a way they did not know;
I will lead them in paths they have not known.
I will make darkness light before them.
And crooked places straight.
These things I will do for them,
And not forsake them.”
42:16

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name:
You are Mine.”
43:1

“I will go before you
and make the crooked places straight.”
45:2

“All we like sheep have gone astray.”
53:6

“And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.”
53:12

“Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say,
‘Here I am.'”
58:8

Shared by craig from the New Possibilities Thinkers Bible
by Paul D Dunn and Robert H Schuller (published by Thomas Nelson)*
All quotations New King James version

”The time of the singing of the birds has come.”

“Hope is the anchor of the soul.”

“ I don’t believe in God.”
I know God.”
– David Rosen, Jungian psycho-analyst

Peace and Empathy Hallmarks of Faith: Richard Randerson

April 27, 2010

Peace and Empathy Hallmarks of Faith: Richard Randerson
Tags: Richard Randerson, Faith, peace, unity of religion

It is well known that New Zealand does not rank highly amongst Western countries in terms of attendance at religious services of worship, although the last census showed that 65 per cent of us still regard ourselves as being connected with one religion or another.
But Jesus once said “you shall know people by the fruits they bear”, suggesting that it is not in terms of religious observance that one’s faith is measured, but rather in terms of the fruits of that faith, such as compassion, justice, forgiveness, reconciliation or peace.
Using that criterion, New Zealand does rather well. Over the past 30 years, this nation has displayed leadership that has reflected a high standard of ethical policy-making. With influence disproportionate to our size we have been to the fore in key areas such as:
* developing a growing sense of partnership between indigenous and settler peoples under the Treaty of Waitangi
* standing back from the nuclear arms race at a time when it was not popular to do so
* more recently standing back from conflicts which lack ethical base or international endorsement
* yet not being isolationist, but committed to peace-making globally
* being clear in our opposition to apartheid and any form of discrimination, and working to build an inclusive multi-faith and multicultural society
* placing a high value on the leadership of women

Other nations might have a higher degree of religious observance, yet would fall short of New Zealand in terms of adopting the kind of policy settings one would expect faith to lead to.
I believe that ethically based policy arises out of a healthy spirituality, both individual and national. For many, one of the key spiritual sources in this regard is to be found in the Creation stories in the opening chapters of the book of Genesis in the Hebrew scriptures. It is sad to see fundamentalists locked in combat with scientists attempting to prove that the biblical stories of Creation are scientifically based. They make a fundamental category mistake, and miss the far greater significance of those stories in terms of theology.
The Creation stories offer a vision of life which is in essence relational. We live first in relationship to God, so that our own identity and well-being is assured in the knowledge that God loves us. We live in relationship with all people, respecting every person as a member of one vast human family in which the well-being of all depends on the well-being of each. From this concept of family stem all our endeavours for reconciliation, justice, peace and the well-being of all.
We live also in relationship with all creation. The universe and planet Earth are a gift to be appreciated, nourished and sustained so as to provide life for future generations. Human beings are not the sole beneficiaries of Earth’s resources so that we act selfishly or exploitatively with regard to those resources.
Currently at the Britomart Transport Centre in Auckland there is a striking display of billboards from all over the world with the theme of Co-Existence. One is called “Human Beans”, and has a bean pod with four beans – black, yellow, brown and white. Linked quotations go with each display.
On one Albert Einstein is quoted … “A human being is part of the universe, but experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest … This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our own personal desires, and to affection for only the few people near to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings, and all of nature.”
On another poster Archbishop Desmond Tutu is quoted … “We have come to a time in the history of the world where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”
Such words are particularly appropriate at this moment in history when the boundaries between nations, cultures and religions are breaking down, and we are coming face to face with histories and traditions of which we know little. To embrace a spirituality which nourishes within us compassion for others, and a commitment to see justice and peace prevail for all peoples, is of great importance.
In 1988 the Royal Commission for Social Policy received a submission from a Wellingtonian, Cathy Benland, a Quaker woman who wrote on what she called the S-Factor – Taha Wairua. The S stands for Spirit, and Cathy sought to collate those elements which most Kiwis would regard as lying at the spiritual heart of their existence.
The list included:
* freedom of conscience and belief
* a sense of the sacredness of one’s own self and body, and that of others
* a sense of relationship among human beings
* belonging to a family, community or whanau
* tenderness and compassion to the weak and needy
* love for the earth, its rivers, mountains and bush, and its various life forms
* a feeling of awe in the face of the mystery of existence

If aspirations of this kind are the source of our national life, and our global participation, then I believe we are living the essence of what it means to be spiritual.

* This article is taken from an address at the National Inter-Faith Forum in Wellington last weekend by Bishop Richard Randerson, Dean of Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral, Auckland.

Shared by craig, who is currently “working on”  and writing a true story ‘Long Walk To Peace’

“Together, one mind, one soul, one life at a time, let’s march together to a brighter future”

Sharing Some Beliefs About Islam (from A New Dawn)

March 26, 2010

Article Title: Sharing Some Beliefs About Islam (from A New Dawn)
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words/tags): Islam, The Everything Koran Book, religion, Duaa Anwar, faith, beliefs,  religious tolerance, spiritual unity, unity of religions
Web site: www.everything.com
The submitter’s new blog with thoughts and extracts from various writings is at

Other Articles are available at:
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and
http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig

Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles may be freely published (with acknowledgment to the source, please). As I share, I learn myself.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

*

The following information was sourced from ‘The Everything Koran Book’ by Duaa Anwar
Adams Media Avon Masachusetts www.everything.com
It is included as an appendix to Craig’s manuscript ‘A New Dawn’.
*
ISLAM
The word “Islam” literally means submission (to the will of God) and is derived from the word “peace”.
“Prophetic personalities have always been particularly illuminated souls guided by God and whose lives stand as exemplars of the heights to which the human spirit may ascend. love and respect. Mohamed, like Jesus was a man sent to teach us how to draw even closer to God.
The words of the prophet Mohamed: “You will not enter Paradise until you believe. And you will not believe until you love one another.”
Prophets became more than mere spiritual guides – they became living proof of God’s continued love and mercy for humankind.
The message is in the teachings of Islam, rather than focussing on the messenger. “Muslims have no desire to turn their    prophets into gods and our worship remains for God alone.” All imparting the same essential teaching: a knowledge and love of God and a means by which we might live with one another in peace and justice.
Muslims strive to retain the beauty and purity of the divine message and the ‘sublime’ personalities that have sought to exemplify it. The life of the Prophet Mohammed emphasised the unity of humankind.
“Mohamed was entirely human, but saw that he had great spiritual, intellectual and social insight and was guided by God. We look to his example in ALL aspects of our lives – from religious observances through to the practical activities and realities of life: such as how we treat our families and friends, how we allocate our money and how we interact with our environment.”
Islam is a religion that espouses peace and teaches the importance of doing good work in the community.

*  *
Islam allows Muslims to protect Holy land through Jihad and it is the duty of Muslims to protect their land.
Islamic fundamentalism is the strict adherance to the teachings of the Koran and Sunnah.
Some misguided terrorists think that they are committing an act for which Allah will reward them greatly. The suicide bomber, eg, blows himself up, thinking that he’ll go straight to Heaven as a martyr for killing members of the enemy with him. They perhaps take this verse from the Koran out of context: “Those who believe do battle for the cause of Allah; and those who disbelieve do battle for the cause of idols. So fight the minions of the devil” (4:76). Though there is no truth in this interpretation that this means killing leads to reward, as the rule regarding killing of the innocent is crystal clear in the Koran: “Whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind” (5:32)
Jihad is not all about violence, as many believe. The concept reaches beyond fighting. Children are taught ‘jihad’ as part of their Islamic education – the true meaning of ‘jihad’ is exerting an effort for the cause of Allah. It literally means “striving” (for the cause of Allah) or “struggling”. This synonymn for “holy war” as used my the media is inaccurate and misleading. Although Jihad can take the form of physical struggle, in Islam the word is more commonly used to describe different, non-violent forms of Jihad.
It is within easy reach of any Muslim and they will be abundantly rewarded in Heaven.
Based on the KORAN and Sunnah, Jihad can basically be divided into 4 categories:
Jihad of the mind and heart
tongue
pen
and
Jihad in battle.
In Islam a person who performs any type of Jihad is called ‘Mujahid’ (or Mujahideen in plural). The term most applies to soldiers in a defensive battle to protect Islam. If a ‘Mujahid’ dies in confrontation, he becomes a ‘shaheed’, a martyr.
The Prophet Mohammed said: “He who is killed in defence of his belongings, or in self-defense, or for his religion is a martyr.”
‘Shaheed’ in Arabic: A martyr’s soul flies straight to Heaven according to the Koran. “Think not of those who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead.  Nay, they are living. With their Lord they have provision” (3:169). This promise by Allah    that all shaheeds go to Heaven strengthens the will of soldiers in battle. They know that if they die, Allah will take their soul right up to Heaven.
During wartime, many surviving Muslim soldiers report that they felt little fear, while they were combatting the enemy, because they had no fear of death. Because the Koran guarantees every martyr a place in Heaven.
It’s a defensive action only.
The Koran forbids Muslims from being aggressors in Surah 2, verse 190; but fully pushes them towards battle in verse 191; “And slay them wherever you find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter.”
Muslims are allowed to fight only under one of the following 3 conditions. There is a need for battle under certain occasions:
When
* Muslims are being opressed and are prevented from practicing their faith.
* There are efforts to eject Muslims from their property.
* A clear violent attack against Muslims is under way.
Information sourced from ‘The Everything Koran Book’ by Duaa Anwar
Adams Media Avon Masachusetts www.everything.com
*
I hope that this information may be of interest to you (as it is to me)…
Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect. God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.
We can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, righteousness, justice, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph.
“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F. Kennedy
With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.
So
Let each one of us in our own ‘little ways’ attempt to build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of openness, acceptance of our differences, helpfulness, co-operation, mutual tolerance, respect, trust, peace and especially in a spirit of love, the most powerful force in existence. Let our leaders and each ONE of us look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.
What divides us as fellow citizens on planet earth is not nearly as powerful as the force, the divine spirit that UNITES us: The Spirit of God, the Ultimate Source that let’s us accept and even celebrate our differences …
and let’s the Love of humanity within EACH one of us to conquer anything at all.
Shared by Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)
“People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion”.
– Jahrulal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India”
“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”
About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.
“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”
This Appendix is from Craig’s manuscript ‘A New Dawn’. He is currently writing true stories of life in the Middle East. And as he writes, is posting extracts on his new blog
at  http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=22craig+lock%22&t=postwww.craiglock.wordpress.com
The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html
“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”
“When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope”
– craig

To end off…

I love these inspiring words, so will share with you…
“It is time for people of good will from every faith and nation to recognise that a terrible danger threatens humanity. We must set aside our international and partisan bickering and join to confront the danger that lies before us.
Our goal must be to illuminate the hearts and minds of humanity, and offer a compelling alternate vision for the world: a bright future that banishes the fanatical ideology of intolerance and hatred to the darkness from which it emerged.”
– Abdurrahman Wahid, former President of Indonesia, in the ‘Wall Street Journal’

Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “We have come to a time in the history of the world, where we need to rediscover the path to peace, and the path to peace can never be war. This pathway is lined with the concept of co-existence and co-inhabitance of the world.”
“A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance.”
– J.Nehru, first Prime Minister of India (1947)

Sharing Some More Information on Major Religions of the World SOME BASIC ISLAMIC BELIEFS

March 10, 2010

Article Title: Sharing Some More Information on Major Religions of the World
SOME BASIC ISLAMIC BELIEFS
Submitted by: Craig Lock
Category (key words/tags): Islam, religion, faith, beliefs, Jesus, Jesus Christ, religious tolerance, spiritual unity, unity of religions
Web site: http://www.islam-guide.com
The submitter’s new blog is at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22 and craiglock.wordpress.com
Other Articles are available at:
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/user/15565 and
http://www.ideamarketers.com/library/profile.cfm?writerid=981
(Personal growth, self help, writing, internet marketing, spiritual, ‘spiritual writings’ (how ‘airey-fairey’), words of inspiration and money management, how boring now, craig

Publishing Guidelines:
All my articles may be freely published (with acknowledgment to the source, please). As I share, I learn myself.

“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

The following info was sourced from http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch3-2-4.htm

Some Basic Islamic Beliefs
1) Belief in God:
The Arabic word Allah means God (the one and only true God who created the whole universe). This word Allah is a name for God, which is used by Arabic speakers, both Arab Muslims and Arab Christians. This word cannot be used to designate anything other than the one true God. The Arabic word Allah occurs in the Quran about 2700 times. In Aramaic, a language related closely to Arabic and the language that Jesus habitually spoke,4 God is also referred to as Allah.

Muslims believe in one, unique, incomparable God, Who has no son nor partner, and that none has the right to be worshipped but Him alone. He is the true God, and every other deity is false. He has the most magnificent names and sublime perfect attributes. No one shares His divinity, nor His attributes. In the Quran, God describes Himself:
Say, “He is God, the One. God, to Whom the creatures turn for their needs. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none like Him.” (Quran, 112:1-4)

Chapter 112 of the Quran written in Arabic calligraphy.
No one has the right to be invoked, supplicated, prayed to, or shown any act of worship, but God alone.
God alone is the Almighty, the Creator, the Sovereign, and the Sustainer of everything in the whole universe. He manages all affairs. He stands in need of none of His creatures, and all His creatures depend on Him for all that they need. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, and the All-Knowing. In a perfect manner, His knowledge encompasses all things, the open and the secret, and the public and the private. He knows what has happened, what will happen, and how it will happen. No affair occurs in the whole world except by His will. Whatever He wills is, and whatever He does not will is not and will never be. His will is above the will of all the creatures. He has power over all things, and He is able to do everything. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful, and the Most Beneficent. In one of the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad , we are told that God is more merciful to His creatures than a mother to her child.1 God is far removed from injustice and tyranny. He is All-Wise in all of His actions and decrees. If someone wants something from God, he or she can ask God directly without asking anyone else to intercede with God for him or her.
God is not Jesus, and Jesus is not God.2 Even Jesus himself rejected this. God has said in the Quran:
Indeed, they have disbelieved who have said, “God is the Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary.” The Messiah said, “Children of Israel, worship God, my Lord and your Lord. Whoever associates partners in worship with God, then God has forbidden Paradise for him, and his home is the Fire (Hell). For the wrongdoers,3 there will be no helpers.” (Quran, 5:72)
God is not a trinity. God has said in the Quran:
Indeed, they disbelieve who say, “God is the third of three (in a trinity),” when there is no god but one God. If they desist not from what they say, truly, a painful punishment will befall the disbelievers among them. Would they not rather repent to God and ask His forgiveness? For God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. The Messiah (Jesus), son of Mary, was no more than a messenger…(Quran, 5:73-75)

What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?

Web Site: http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch3-2-4.htm

Muhammad is not the father of any one of your men, but he is the Messenger of God and the last of the prophets… (Quran, 33:40)
Muslims believe that all the prophets and messengers were created human beings who had none of the divine qualities of God.

Muslims respect and revere Jesus (peace be upon him). They consider him one of the greatest of God’s messengers to mankind. The Quran confirms his virgin birth, and a chapter of the Quran is entitled ‘Maryam’ (Mary). The Quran describes the birth of Jesus as follows:
(Remember) when the angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a word from Him (God), whose name is the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, revered in this world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (to God). He will speak to the people from his cradle and as a man, and he is of the righteous.” She said, “My Lord, how can I have a child when no mortal has touched me?” He said, “So (it will be). God creates what He wills. If He decrees a thing, He says to it only, ‘Be!’ and it is.” (Quran, 3:45-47)
Jesus was born miraculously by the command of God, the same command that had brought Adam into being with neither a father nor a mother. God has said:
The case of Jesus with God is like the case of Adam. He created him from dust, and then He said to him, “Be!” and he came into being. (Quran, 3:59)
During his prophetic mission, Jesus performed many miracles. God tells us that Jesus said:
“I have come to you with a sign from your Lord. I make for you the shape of a bird out of clay, I breathe into it, and it becomes a bird by God’s permission. I heal the blind from birth and the leper. And I bring the dead to life by God’s permission. And I tell you what you eat and what you store in your houses….”(Quran, 3:49)
Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified. It was the plan of Jesus’ enemies to crucify him, but God saved him and raised him up to Him. And the likeness of Jesus was put over another man. Jesus’ enemies took this man and crucified him, thinking that he was Jesus. God has said:
…They said, “We killed the Messiah Jesus, son of Mary, the messenger of God.” They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but the likeness of him was put on another man (and they killed that man)… (Quran, 4:157)
Neither Muhammad nor Jesus came to change the basic doctrine of the belief in one God, brought by earlier prophets, but rather to confirm and renew it.1

Sourced from http://www.islam-guide.com/frm-ch3-2-4.htm

Jesus in the Glorious Qur’an
Sourced from: http://www3.sympatico.ca/shabir.ally/new_page_24.htm
Introduction
The Qur’an tells us a lot of wonderful things about Jesus. As a result, believers in the Qur’an love Jesus, honour him, and believe in him. In fact, no Muslim can be a Muslim unless he or she believes in Jesus, on whom be peace.
The Qur’an says that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he spoke while he was still only a baby, that he healed the blind and the leper by God’s leave, and that he raised the dead by God’s leave.
What then is the significance of these miracles? First, the virgin birth. God demonstrates his power to create in every way. God created everyone we know from a man and a woman. But how about Adam, on whom be peace? God created him from neither a man nor a woman. And Eve from only a man, but not a woman. And, finally, to complete the picture, God created Jesus from a woman, but not a man.
What about the other miracles? These were to show that Jesus was not acting on his own behalf, but that he was backed by God. The Qur’an specifies that these miracles were performed by God’s leave. This may be compared to the Book of Acts in the Bible, chapter 2, verse 22, where it says that the miracles were done by God to show that he approved of Jesus. Also, note that Jesus himself is recorded in the Gospel of John to have said, “I can do nothing of my own authority” (5:30). The miracles, therefore, were done not by his own authority, but by God’s authority.
What did Jesus teach? The Qur’an tells us that Jesus came to teach the same basic message which was taught by previous prophets from God—that we must shun every false god and worship only the one true God. Jesus taught that he is the servant and messenger of that one true God, the God of Abraham. These Quranic teachings can be compared with the Bible ( Mark 10:18; Matthew 26:39; John 14:28, 17:3, and 20:17) where Jesus teaches that the one he worshipped is the only true God. See also Matthew 12:18; Acts 3:13, and 4:27 where we find that his disciples knew him as Servant of God.
The Qur’an tells us that some of the Israelites rejected Jesus, and conspired to kill him, but Allah (God) rescued Jesus and raised him to Himself. Allah will cause Jesus to descend again, at which time Jesus will confirm his true teachings and everyone will believe in him as he is and as the Qur’an teaches about him.
Jesus is the Messiah. He is a word from Allah, and a spirit from Him. He is honoured in this world and in the hereafter, and he is one of those brought nearest to Allah.
Jesus was a man who spoke the truth which he heard from God. This can be compared with the Gospel According to John where Jesus says to the Israelites: “You are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God” (John 8:40).
The Virgin Birth of Jesus
Muslims believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. When the angels announced to Mary (peace be upon her) about Allah’s promise that she will have a son, she was surprised, since she was a virgin. “How can this be?” she thought. She was reminded that it is easy for Allah to create whatever he wills.
She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is (Qur’an 3:47).
It is not difficult for Allah to do anything he wants. He can create a child with both human parents or only one. No miracle is beyond His power. After all, He had created Adam (peace be upon him) from neither a man nor a woman. He created the rest of us from both man and woman. What is so hard if Allah decides to create a human being from a woman only? He only commands “Be!” and it occurs.
Some people think that since Jesus, peace be upon him, had no human father then God must be his father. The Qur’an rejects this view. The position of Jesus with Allah is comparable to the position of Adam with Allah. Just because Adam had no human parent does not mean we should call him the Son of God.
Lo! the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then He said unto him: Be! and he is. (Qur’an 3:59).
According to the Qur’an, everyone except Allah are His servants.
And they say: the Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a Son. Assuredly ye utter a disastrous thing, whereby almost the heavens are torn, and the earth is split asunder and the mountains fall to ruins, that ye ascribe to the Beneficent a son, when it is not meet for (the Majesty of) the Beneficent that He should chose a son. There is none in the heavens and the earth but cometh unto the Beneficent as a slave. (Qur’an 19:88-93)
The Miracles of Jesus
According to the Qur’an, Jesus, on whom be peace, performed the following miracles by Allah’s leave:
1. Spoke while he was only a baby.
2. Healed those born blind.
3. Healed the lepers.
4. Revived the dead.
5. Breathed life into a bird made of clay.
In the Qur’an Allah quotes Jesus, peace be upon him, as saying:
Lo! I come unto you with a sign from your Lord. Lo! I fashion for you out of clay the likeness of a bird, and I breathe into it and it is a bird by Allah’s leave. I heal him who was born blind, and the leper, and I raise the dead, by Allah’s leave. And I announce to you what you eat and what you store up in your houses. Lo! herein verily is a portent for you if you are to be believers.
And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me. Lo! Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. That is a straight path. (Qur’an 3: 49-51).
Again, in the Qur’an Allah tells us about the situation on the Day of Judgement:
In the day when Allah gathers together the messengers and says: What was your response (from mankind)? they say: We have no knowledge. Lo! Thou, only Thou art the Knower of Things Hidden.
When Allah says: O Jesus, son of Mary! Remember My favour unto you and unto your mother; how I strengthened you with the holy Spirit, so that you spoke unto mankind in the cradle as in maturity; and how I taught you the Scripture and Wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and how you did shape of clay as it were the likeness of a bird by My permission, and did blow upon it and it was a bird by My permission, and you did heal him who was born blind and the leper by My permission . . . (Qur’an 5:109-110)
Not all of these miracles are recorded in the canonical gospels, the four gospels contained in the Christian Bible.
The fact that Jesus spoke while he was yet a baby is not written anywhere in the Bible. This should not be surprising, because none of the Gospels can claim to recover every single event in the life of Jesus. Instead, the gospel According to John seeks to emphasize that the events were too many to record.
Similarly, the miracle of breathing life into a bird made of clay is not attested by the Christian Bible. This too should not make us wonder. It is obvious that the writers of the gospels could write down only the tradition that was available to them. Furthermore, they could not write down everything they knew about Jesus for they were writing on papyrus material that were very limited in length.
What is worthy to notice here is that the Prophet Muhammad, may peace and the blessings of Allah be upon him, was honest enough to promulgate this information about Jesus. The religion taught by God through Muhammad would deny the divinity of Jesus. Any human being, therefore, who wished to deny the divinity of Jesus would have tried to belittle Jesus. Since Christians looked upon the miracles of Jesus as a proof of his divinity, we might expect that any human being who tries to deny the divinity of Jesus would not have informed people of miracles not previously known to them. He might have even tried to deny some of the miracles recorded in the canonical gospels. On the other hand, the prophet Muhammad honestly conveyed the message delivered to him from Allah. (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.)
Allah tells us the truth without fear. Human beings trying to win followers tell us only what is conducive to winning us over. They usually withhold information that could lead to opposite conclusions. On the other hand, Allah informs us about the miracles of Jesus even if people use this information to support their prior commitment to the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus. Allah does not need to win worshippers. Those who worship Allah does so for their own good. And those who worship false gods do so to their own detriment.
What Allah emphasizes, though, is that the miracles of Jesus do not prove he was divine. The miracles he performed were a sign, a proof, that he was God’s messenger. He performed them with God’s help and permission. Those who use his miracles as proof of his divinity would choose to forget the following sayings of Jesus:
I can of my own authority do nothing. (John 5:30)
They also forget the declaration of Peter:
Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves know. (Acts 2:22 KJV).
These passages suggest that Jesus did not do miracles on his own. These, rather were accomplished by God’s leave. Allah reminds us of this. Jesus also constantly repeated to his audience that the miracles he performed were by God’s leave.

Sourced from: http://www3.sympatico.ca/shabir.ally/new_page_24.htm
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I hope that this information may be of interest to you (as it is to me)…

Those of us who long for (and are passionate about) the ideals of moderation and religious tolerance will continue to hope for a better understanding of complex issues between people of different cultures and faiths through reasoned and ‘informed’ dialogue in a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect. God’s greatest gift to us is to find, then follow our own truths.

We can ALL nurture the real values common to ALL humanity: those highest ideals of tolerance, righteousness, justice, mercy and respect for all of life must surely triumph.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.”
– John F. Kennedy

With UNDERSTANDING comes TOLERANCE
and
with TOLERANCE comes MORE UNDERSTANDING.

So
Let each one of us in our own ‘little ways’ attempt to build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of openness, acceptance of our differences, helpfulness, co-operation, mutual tolerance, respect, trust, peace and especially in a spirit of love, the most powerful force in existence. Let our leaders and each ONE of us look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.

What divides us as fellow citizens on planet earth is not nearly as powerful as the force, the divine spirit that UNITES us: The Spirit of God, the Ultimate Source that let’s us accept and even celebrate our differences …
and let’s the Love of humanity within EACH one of us to conquer anything at all.

Craig Lock (“Information and Inspiration Distributer”)

” People fight and die for religion but they seldom LIVE for religion”.
– Jahrulal Nehru, former Prime Minister of India”

“The greatest good we can do for others is reveal the rich treasure inside themselves; so shine your own bright light on an often darkened world… with the highest level of humanity …and have great fun along the journey of life.”

About the submitter:
In his various writings Craig strives to break down and economic, social, cultural and religious barriers. Craig believes that whilst we should celebrate our differences, what we share in the form of our common humanity is way more important than what divides us.

“There is neither east nor west, tribe nor ethnicity, male or female, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Christian nor Jew. There is only a God-filled humanity.”

Craig is currently writing true stories of life in the Middle East. And as he writes, is posting extracts on his new blog
at http://en.search.wordpress.com/?q=%22craig+lock%22
and craiglock.wordpress.com

The various books that Craig “felt inspired to write” are available at http://www.lulu.com/craiglock and http://www.creativekiwis.com/books.html

“Let each one of us build bridges rather than barriers, openness rather than walls. Let us look at distant horizons together in a spirit of acceptance, helpfulness, co-operation and peace. Let our leaders look at the future with a vision – to see things not as they are, but what they could one day become.”

“When people’s hearts are filled with love, the world is full of hope”
– craig

“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tide and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.”
– Teilhard De Chardin

“God is leading us to the light. What we learn in the darkness, we are to share in the eternal light

May the Grace of our loving Creator care for and watch over you ALL… always

Let Moderate Islam be Heard: Husain

March 1, 2010

Let moderate Islam be heard: Husain
Sourced from http://www.nzherald.co.nz/islam/news/article.cfm?c_id=500817&objectid=10480042&pnum=0

Mainstream Muslims need to conquer their fear of radicals and end the madness, says Ed Husain

Key words (Tags) : Ed Husain, Muslims, Moderate, Islam, Religion, Beliefs, Observer, New Zealand Herald

Muslims who live in Europe have a moral duty to present the true, benign face of their religion. Twenty out of 23 children chose to name their class teddy bear Muhammad. A rather sweet gesture, I think.
But no. In ultra-sensitive Sudan, parents and a staff member decided to complain against what they saw as a white, female, infidel British teacher insulting their religion. What was an innocent classroom gesture was, yet again, hijacked by Muslim extremists to threats of floggings and demands of shooting after Friday prayers in Khartoum last week.
Last year, it was the Danish cartoons. This year it is a teddy bear. What next? And why this repeated madness?
For me, it is not about the possible offence taken at perceived negative portrayals of Islamic symbols, but the repeated calls for death, lashings and stoning.
The medieval, literalist mindset that fails to comprehend the inhumane nature of these brutal and barbaric acts, often carried out against the defenceless, is the crux of the matter.

The Western media are right to hold a mirror to educated Muslims by highlighting these outdated practices. Only a week ago, a young Saudi gang rape victim, rather than being counselled and loved, was sentenced to 200 lashes.
If the young lady had been a wealthy Saudi with powerful connections, she would have escaped her punishment. Similarly, if Gillian Gibbons had not been British, there would not have been an outcry.
When Muslims want to appear sanctimonious about newspaper cartoons or a teddy bear, I ask where are the mass protests against the Saudi Wahhabite destruction of the birthplace of Muhammad in Mecca? Or the systematic annihilation of Muslim heritage in Medina? Or the organised desecration of the Prophet’s family’s tombs across Saudi Arabia?
We should not be hypocritical in our choice of protest. Mainstream Muslims cannot remain silent as our faith is destroyed by extremists from within, and mocked by agenda-driven, habitual Islam-haters from without.
We must have the courage to stand and reclaim our faith.
I write these lines from an international conference in Madrid, a city, like my home, London, that has suffered immensely from the Islamist-jihadist rage.
The ubiquitous question here has been: where is the voice of the Muslim majority? Part of the answer is that it is buried in fear of extremist reprisals and concern at breaking ranks with fellow Muslims only to be attacked by fundamentalist atheists for not going far enough.

Last week, I faced former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who levelled exactly that criticism at me. How could I possibly believe? Another renowned British liberal called Islam “gobbledegook”. Despite being caught in crossfire between two extremes, I believe in a Muslim tradition, a spiritual path, that can bring harmony between Islam and the West and thereby rescue millions from misery, rigidity and oppression.
If anything, the modern West stems from a Judaeo-Christian-Islamic heritage. More than ever, Western Muslims need to stop viewing the world through bipolarised lenses – a them-and-us world view – and assert our Western belonging.

More than any other Muslim community across the world, those of us who were born, raised and educated in the west have access to both cultures – Islam and the West. It is my generation that can bridge the gap between what seem like warring parties.

The presence of millions of Muslims in the West is an asset. But Western Muslims must, in the words of Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, “build our home together” with fellow citizens of all and no faith.
It is our common bond, being human, which comes first. Our future must be a negotiated one. The Koran repeatedly calls us to think, contemplate and reflect
. For how much longer will we be the laughing stock of the world? And all over a teddy bear.

* Ed Husain is author of The Islamist, a book published this year describing his becoming an Islamic fundamentalist, but rejecting it five years later.
– Observer

from http://extremistformoderation.wordpress.com/

“Whilst we can (and should) celebrate our differences (unique), let not our varying beliefs divide us, but let the Spirit of our shared humanity be what defines and unites us all as common citizens of our planet.”

from http://www.craigsquotes.wordpress.com

“Together, one mind, one heart, one life, one small step at a time, let’s link hands and march into a new tomorrow, a better and brighter future. TOGETHER we can do it”

– c
from http://breakdownwalls.wordpress.com/

“Instead of the limits of borders (of countries and of our minds) let us and our leaders expand our sense of possibility… and together let’s look at building bridges to distant horizons, far and great. Lord, help us all lift our eyes a little higher.”

from http://www.mandelamadiba.wordpress.com

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THE HIDDEN JESUS by Robert Beckford

February 17, 2010

THE HIDDEN JESUS by Robert Beckford

Tags: The Hidden Jesus, Robert Beckford, Jesus, Jesus Christ,  Christianity, Buddha, Islam, Mahatma (Mohandas) Gandhi, spiritual unity

Submitter’s Note:

These are the notes I took from Robert Beckford’s excellent TV documentary seen here in New Zealand; so am sharing with you. I hope, I trust that Robert’s personal thoughts and beliefs on the “person” and life of Jesus may be as uplifting, empowering and perhaps even inspirational to you, as they are to me.

craig

BUDDHA, JESUS, ISLAM and GANDHI:

Christianity has some common spiritual values with other spiritual traditions and religions (and some of the ‘miracles’ are not unique to Christianity).

Some Common Spiritual Values:
* Be humble
* Keep doors open
* Love as a powerful driving force
* a divine inner light that banishes all darkness and ignorance

Buddhism (along with other Eastern religions) has many common strains of teaching. Buddha taught ‘dharma’, a right way of living. The Buddha too was “visited and tempted” by the devil and performed miracles (similar to Jesus, like walking on water).
People simply want to be happy – the teachings of both Jesus and the Buddha. Buddhism is a guide to personal transformation, remarkably similar to Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount.

Attempting to attain some objective and live with righteousness.

Here are some of the main guiding principles:
* Do good to those that hate you.
* Overcome anger with love.
* Overcome evil by doing good.
* Replace lies with truth.

The teachings of Jesus were similar to those of the Buddha: peace, justice and wanting people to have a good life.

Jesus taught people to follow the right path: that of equality, morality and justice.
Jesus challenged the religious authority of the day and their symbols of opression.
He challenged societies problems and religious dogmas… in a common search for truth and how to engage it.

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ISLAM

Jesus is one of the prophets who performed miracles, a pre-curser to Mohammed, the LAST Prophet revealing Allah’s word to the people.

Muslims believe that there will be a day of judgment in everyone’s life.

Jesus will return, but only God knows WHEN.
Then he will live for 40 years and will be buried at Medina  (present day Saudi Arabia) in a tomb next to Muhammad

Muslims believe that Jesus will save humanity from injustice (ie. he is a messiah). That he preached eternal truths and is one of the great prophets of Islam.

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MAHATMA (MOHANDAS) GANDHI

Like Jesus, Gandhi was a man of action, who wanted to change his country and so the world… through non-violence or passive  resistance. Gandhi was greatly influenced and inspired by the Sermon on the Mount (“Christ gave me the message” and “I love Christ; but I’m not so keen on his followers”.

Gandhi pondered the deep question: ‘Do I have the capacity not to hate?’
His teachings: Active non-violent resistance, transformed into non-violent resistance.
Like Jesus, Gandhi invoked major confrontation with the authorities (the Salt March has a parallel with Jesus entering Jerusalem on his donkey).

“My life is my message.”
– Mohandas Gandhi

It is PRACTICAL faith in ACTION:
Live the faith
Live the idealism
This involves a concern for human rights… as evident in the quote:
“Live simply, so that others may simply live.”

Great figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Lech Walensa (former leader of the Solidarity movement in Poland) were largely influenced by the teachings of Jesus. This is  evidenced by their concern for human rights and fighting for the rights of the marginalised of society, the opressed people living in their countries.

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The core elements of Jesus’s story.
(as per the Coptic Museum in Cairo)
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HOW DO I SEE JESUS?
WHAT DOES HE MEAN TO ME TODAY?

The teachings of Jesus are vitally important. But HOW to put them into action… today?

Doing this requires commitment, ie active participation to be a worker for reconciliation, a peace-maker and this involves taking risks.

Yet
“Those who work for peace will reap a rich harvest” (or something  like that)

I believe to fully understand the “person” that was Jesus, we have to strip away much of the dogma of religion, even of Christianity. Jesus was not only a new Jewish teacher, who challenged the tyranny and opression of the Roman empire of his day.

His simple teachings are still vitally important 2000 years after his death: His messages of justice (and opposing injustice with all ones means/”might”) and human rights for all.

Jesus wanted people to experience the Kingdom of God by whatever means is best for them???

The life of Jesus revealed what it means to serve God with all ones heart and soul, together with love (for oneself as well as one’s neighbour), as a powerful driving force for ALL humanity. His spirit is a divine inner light that banishes all ignorance and forces of darkness.

And we the “ordinary little” people are invited to claim a portion of His Immense Spirit. All we need do is ASK!

For me the simple message of Jesus Christ was: IF we follow the teachings of Christ and fully trust Him, we can all lead happier and more fulfilled lives going down this path. And in shining our own “little” lights we can change the world for the better.

Shared by craig

“Those whom you seek to change, you must first love.”
– Dr Martin Luther King, Jnr

“We can all be great; because we can all serve.”
– Martin Luther King, Jnr

“Many small (yet significant) steps by many ‘ordinary, little’ people will eventually reach their destination.
Together, one mind, one heart, one life at a time, let’s plant the seeds for a brighter future ”

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