Life in General

Miscellaneous observtions on Life

 imagesbhwzg6k1Tidings of Comfort and Joy

When you’re grieving the death of a family member or friend, you may dread the holiday season. Thoughts of social gatherings, family traditions, and obligations leave you anxious and overwhelmed. Your sadness can seem unbearable. You may wish you could skip these next two months and go straight to the routine of the next year—but you can’t. What can you do to lessen your stress and loneliness?

Holidays trigger tough emotions :

You can start by learning what emotions are normal and to be expected when facing the holidays without your loved one. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed as this holiday season approaches, that’s very normal,” advised psychologist Dr. Susan Zonnebelt-Smeenge, whose husband died. “You’re probably wondering how you’re going to handle this and are unsure of what course to take. I want to assure you that you can get through these holidays, and hopefully you can even find moments of joy.”

When you know what to expect, you won’t be rendered helpless as holiday events trigger unexpected emotions. Make a point to spend time talking with people who have experienced a past loss and have already been through a holiday season without their loved one. They can help you have an idea of typical emotions and emotional triggers to expect. These people can also provide much-needed comfort and support.

Creating a holiday plan will help:

Another important step in surviving the holidays is to create a healthy plan for the coming season. “Planning does help you to have a little control, even when you feel totally out of control,” said Dr. Zonnebelt-Smeenge. A healthy plan involves making decisions in advance about traditions, meals, time spent with others, holiday decorating, gift-giving, and commitments.

You will likely not have the energy or the interest in doing as much as you have in past years. Decide ahead of time which invitations you’ll accept, and let the host or family member know that you might leave early. Consider whether your decorating will be different this year: perhaps a smaller tree or simpler ornaments. If you cook or bake, cut back.

Make a list of every holiday tradition you can think of, from music to presents to outings. Then decide which traditions will be too difficult without your deceased loved one, which traditions you’d like to maintain, and what new traditions you can start this year.

Communicating with family and friends:

What’s also helpful in facing the holidays is to communicate your specific concerns and needs with your family and friends. People in grief are often tempted to put on a mask and pretend things are fine, especially over the holidays. “I didn’t want to put on a damper on anyone else’s joy,” shared Mardie. “So I put on a happy face and tried to be the sister, the daughter, the aunt, that everybody wanted to see. Putting on that happy face was a heavier burden than I was emotionally able to carry at the time.”

Your friends may want you to “cheer up” and “have fun,” when that’s the last thing you want. Others will avoid you because they don’t know what to say and don’t want to make you feel worse. Some family members will give you wrong advice in a misguided attempt to help. All of these people likely mean well, but will only end up hurting you if you don’t communicate what you truly need from them.

As difficult as this may be, it’s important to tell people what they can do to help and what they are doing that isn’t helping. And if you don’t have the energy or inclination to talk to people face-to-face, then write your thoughts, concerns, and needs in a letter or email. What’s important is that you are being honest and gracious in your communication.

In describing the first holiday dinner after she was widowed, Dr. Zonnebelt-Smeenge said, “It seemed like no one wanted to talk about my husband. I kept waiting for somebody to bring up [his name]. After a while I couldn’t stand it anymore. I excused myself and left and bawled all the way home. Later I decided maybe they were waiting for me to decide if it was okay to talk about him; maybe they were afraid if they said anything, they’d make me feel worse. From that time on when I went to an event, I found a way to let people know I wanted to talk about him and I wanted to hear their stories.”

So where can you find out what emotions to expect over the holidays, how to create a healthy plan and how to communicate with family and friends these coming weeks?

“Surviving the Holidays” seminar on November 13, 2016:

A GriefShare Surviving the Holidays seminar, to be held November 13, 2016  at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, 8th Avenue N, North Myrtle Beach, SC from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM, offers practical, actionable strategies for making it through the holiday season. At this two-hour seminar, you’ll view a video featuring advice from people in grief who’ve faced the holidays after their loss. You’ll hear insights from respected Christian counselors, pastors, and psychologists. You’ll receive a Holiday Survival Guide with practical strategies, encouraging words, helpful exercises, Q/As, and journaling ideas for daily survival through the holiday season.

At GriefShare Surviving the Holidays, you’ll meet with other grieving people who have an understanding of what you’re going through. They won’t judge you or force you to share, but will accept you where you are and will offer comfort and support. “When I went to GriefShare,” said Marion, “I realized there are different ways to grieve."  It is a confidential, compassionate and safe environment.

Your holiday season won’t be easy; your emotions may ambush you and suck you under at times. But you can choose to walk through this season in a way that honors your loved one and puts you on the path of health and healing.

To register or find out more about GriefShare Surviving the Holidays, call Fran @ 843-399-8196.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

> Think, all of this in less than 8
> years – just think about it!!! Before Obama, there was
> virtually no outlandish presence of Islam in
> America.
>
> • All of a sudden, Islam is
> taught in schools. Christianity and the bible are banned in
> schools.
>
> • All of a sudden we must allow
> prayer rugs everywhere and allow for Islamic prayer in
> schools, airports and businesses.
>
> • All of a sudden we must stop
> serving pork in prisons
>
> • All of a sudden, we are
> inundated with lawsuits by Muslims who are offended by
> American culture.
>
> • All of a sudden we must allow
> burkas to be worn very where even though you have no idea
> who or what is covered up under them.
>
> • All of a sudden Muslims are
> suing employers and refusing to do their jobs if they
> personally deem it conflicts with Sharia Law.
>
> • All of a sudden the Attorney
> General of the United States vows to prosecute anyone who
> engages in “anti-Muslim speech”.
>
> • All of a sudden, Jihadists who
> engage in terrorism and openly admit they acted in the name
> of Islam and ISIS, are emphatically declared they are NOT
> Islamic by our leaders and/or their actions are determined
> NOT to be terrorism, but other nebulous terms like
> ‘workplace violence.”
>
> • All of a sudden, it becomes
> Policy that Secular Middle East dictators that were benign
> or friendly to the West, must be replaced by Islamists and
> the Muslim Brotherhood.
>
> • All of a sudden our troops are
> withdrawn from Iraq and the middle east, giving rise to
> ISIS.
>
> • All of a sudden, America has
> reduced its nuclear stockpiles to 1950 levels, as Obama’s
> stated goal of a nuke-free America by the time he leaves
> office continues uninterrupted.
>
> • All of a sudden, a deal with
> Iran must be made at any cost, with a pathway to nuclear
> weapons and HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars handed over to
> fund their programs.
>
> • All of a sudden America
> APOLOGIZES to Muslim states and sponsors of terror worldwide
> for acts of aggression, war and sabotage THEY perpetrate
> against our soldiers.
>
> • All of a sudden, the American
> Navy is diminished to 1917 Pre-World War I levels of only
> 300 ships. The Army is at pre-1940 levels. The Air Force
> scraps 500 planes and planned to retire the use of the A-10
> Thunderbolt close air support fighter. A further drawdown of
> another 40,000 military personnel is in
> progress.
>
> • All of a sudden half of our
> aircraft carriers are recalled for maintenance by Obama
> rendering the Atlantic unguarded, NONE are in the Middle
> East.
>
> • All of a sudden Obama has to
> empty Guantanamo
>
> Bay of captured Jihadists and let them loose in
> Jihad-friendly Islamic states. He demands to close the
> facility.
>
> • All of a sudden America will
> negotiate with terrorists and trade FIVE Taliban commanders
> for a deserter and Jihad sympathizer.
>
> • All of a sudden there is no
> money for American poor, disabled veterans, jobless
> Americans, hungry Americans, or displaced Americans but
> there is endless money for Obama’s “Syrian refugee”
> resettlement programs.
>
> • All of sudden there is an
> ammunition shortage in the USA.
>
> • All of a sudden, the most
> important thing for Obama to do after a mass shooting by two
> Jihadists, is disarm American Citizens.
>
> • All of a sudden, the President
> of the United States cannot attend the Christian Funerals of
> a Supreme Court Justice and a former First Lady because of
> previous (seemingly unimportant) commitments.
>
> • All of a sudden the President
> of the United States won’t attend the funeral of a
> flag-rank Officer (Gen. Greene) killed in action; he played
> golf. But he sends a big delegation to Michael Brown’s
> funeral. He sends a minor delegation to
> Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. He won’t acknowledge Chris
> Kyle’s murder but he’ll fly the Flag at half-mast for
> Whitney Houston.
>
> • All of a sudden, I’m sick to
> my stomach. I’m not sure the majority of Americans
> recognize the seriousness of the situation and how much
> progress” has been made by Islam these last 7 years, a
> very brief time compared to a 75 year lifetime!
>
>

 

 

 

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Our brand new Saint "Mother" Teresa was on display at Holy Family Church at Hilton Head Island this past Sunday - Always on her knees humbly doing her servitude.... Her sayings on the statute are:

"BABIES ARE LIKE FLOWERS; YOU CAN'T HAVE TOO MANY OF THEM" Mother Teresa

"THE GREATEST EVIL IN THE WORLD IS ABORTION" Mother Teresa

A gift from caring persons associated with Hilton Head.

Thank you for this beautiful message.

Marie Coppola  September 2016

Reports show 42 out of 48 states tested are overrun by this so-called super lice, according to the Journal of Medical Entomology.  In these 42 states, reported by  NBC's Today Show,  100 percent of the lice tested were resistant to over-the-counter treatments. the critter has developed a resistance to commonly used over-the-counter treatments, like Rid and Nix.  The products that are over the .counter have been out for 30 years. Just like germs build up resistance to antibiotics, lice build up resistance to these products just from overuse.

For over-the-counter lice medication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking products like A-200, Pronto, R&C, Rid, Triple X and Licide, all of which contain pyrethrins combined with piperonyl butoxide.

Some things one can do to it lice or nits are found in hair:

Use a lice comb and go through the hair strand by strand to remove all nits.

Have girls wear their hair in a pony tail or braided.  (Now I know the reason all four of us sisters had braided hair in elementary school.)

Use a minty or peppermint spray on the hair every morning

Check your child's hair once a week to catch it early.   {A Compilation of various media sources & Coastal Lice Center).

Kids often transfer lice to each other while playing together, on the athletic field or locker room, or gymnastics class.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a report which recommends schools eliminate their “no nit” policy, which required a child be free of nits before they can return to school. Under their recommendation, if a child has head lice, they should finish the school day, get treatment and return to school.l00

It should be understood that acquiring head lice is not a result of poor hygiene. The reality however, is that lice are human parasites that require human blood to survive and are transferred from head to head.

The lice eggs, or “nits,”themselves are not contagious, but it’s the adult active lice that are. Once the eggs are laid— on the hair shaft, close to the scalp— they have 7 to 10 days until they hatch. If they’re not removed before they hatch, baby lice or nymphs become adult lice within 1 to 2 weeks and leave the eggshell behind.

Although you can see the eggs, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to see the live lice unless there’s a severe infestation. The eggs are clear or white and unlike dandruff, you won’t be able to pull it off with your fingers.

Additionally, although many children will scratch the back of their heads or around their ears, many show no signs of lice because they’re not allergic to the lice saliva which causes itchiness

If you can find lice early, it’s much easier to get rid of them quickly and prevent it from turning into a large infestation, check your child’s scalp at bath time or when brushing her hair with a special nit comb. Also, ask your child’s school to notify you if there are reported cases of head lice.

If you choose to treat your child at home, you must remove both the lice and the eggs.  Although there are over-the-counter products and prescription medications available, there is not one product on the market that has 100 percent ovicidal effects on the eggs, meaning it will kill all the eggs.

You’ll need a nit comb with microgrooves that can wrap around the hair strands and drag everything off. You also have to comb the hair strand by strand for two weeks to make sure all of the nits are completely gone.

There are however, nearby professional centers that offer natural, effective treatments and do all of the hard work for you.

Head lice can survive off the scalp for up to two days. Don't go into a cleaning frenzy, but you may vacuum carpets, couches and car seats. Since lice don’t burrow like bed bugs, you can put a sheet on your couch for 24 hours to create a barrier.

Extreme heat and cold temperatures kill lice, so throw pillows, blankets, stuffed animals and hats in the dryer for 30 minutes in high heat. Wash and boil hairbrushes, combs and hair clips and put helmets in a bag and leave it in the freezer for several hours.

Although there is a stigma attached to head lice and many parents and kids are embarrassed to admit they have it, it’s important to tell other parents to keep it from spreading.  The problem, according to the Today show, is that lice have mutated, making it more difficult for the chemicals in over-the-counter treatments to lock on to the lice and eliminate it.  It is more likely resistance lice than not.  Try to get rid of the infection by using over-the-counter treatment twice.  {A Compilation of various media sources & Coastal Lice Center).

Marie Coppola  August 2016   {Ref: A Compilation of various media sources & Coastal Lice Center).

 

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You may not even know yet that I am growing in your womb - I'm just 18 days from when you conceived me.   My heart has begun to beat with my own blood.  I hope you are happy when you find out I'm inside you.

I'm a month old now and my eyes, ears and tongue are formed.  I have muscles , arms & legs forming.  Soon my fingers and toes will develop, too and I will start moving around.

I feel new things every day.   At almost 8 weeks - only 2 months - I have hiccuped, can frown, squint and yawn and make sucking motions.  I started to suck my thumb at 9 weeks.  I have eyelids now to protect my eyes.

It's  10 weeks and every organ is now present and my heartbeat is steady.  My kidneys are forming as well as my taste buds.  At 10 weeks my body is sensitive to touch.  I have practiced breathing and hope to breathe air at my birth - the thought of being with you at that time makes me smile.

You haven't felt my movement yet at but  I move a lot reaching my 3rd month - even my sex is known - I'm a girl!  If you could take a picture of me now you would see my eyes, ears and face characterstics .  I can kick, turn my feet, curl and fan toes, make a fist, move thumbs, bend wrists, turn head, open mouth and press lips tghtly together although I am only about 3 inches long and weigh about 2 ounces.

When you were told I was a girl, you said you will call me Hope, after your grandmother.   In just another week I will weigh about 3 ounces and am starting to resemble you!   A very small you!  You still can't feel me but I feel comfort and safety within you.

I turned 4 and a half months old in your womb. and you felt me move!  I felt you touch me where I moved - it was joyous to connect so intimately with you.   I am just as excited as you are.  My ears are functioning well now and I can hear your heartbeat - it is so wonderfully comforting.  I can even hear music that you play and it is wonderful.   I hear and recognize your voice!

I'm 5 and half months inside you - my brain now has a billion nerve cells. If a sound is especially loud, it makes me jump - can you feel me?   I have increased seven times in weight and almost doubled in height.

So excited for my 7th month - just 26 weeks from conception - I can tell which voice is yours!   You sing to me!  My wonderful, precious, life-giving mother - I sense your moods.

I know the difference between waking and sleeping.  I use four of five senses - vision, hearing, taste and touch!  I can't wait to touch you and see you.

At 8 months - just one more month and we'll be together!  You'll be as glad as I will be since my space has become cramped and I know I am heavy - you get tired a lot - I'm sorry.  Also sorry my kicks are stronger - but I hear you laugh about it.   I swallow a gallon of amniotic fluid each day - can you hear my hiccups?  Sometimes I move my heel or elbow and I rejoice as you follow it along with your hand.   So lovingly.

It's 9 months/33-40 weeks - I'm ready to travel down the birth canal and finally get to meet the mother I've been connected to for 9 months and hopefully for the rest of her life.

Marie Coppola Copyright June 2016

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This is based on Alinsky’s eight steps from Democracy to socialist society.  Obama Quotes him often in his book and Hillary did her thesis on Alinsky.

ALMOST DONE.  JUST ONE ELECTION DECIDES OUR FATE...

ALMOST THERE

There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a socialist/communist State.  The first is the most important.

5 OF THE 8 ARE DONE - THE LAST 3 ARE ALMOST THERE

1. Healthcare:  "Control Healthcare and you control the People"

DONE!!!

2. Poverty:  Increase the Poverty level as high as possible."  Poor People are easier to control and will not fight back if the government is providing everything for them to live.

DONE!!!

3.  Debt: Increase the National Debt to an unsustainable level."  That way you are able to increase Taxes, and this will produce more Poverty.

DONE!!!

4.  Gun Control:  Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government.  That way you are able to create a Police State - total local control.

ALMOST THERE!!!

5.  Welfare:  Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Livestock, Housing, and Income).

DONE!!!

6.  Education:  Take control of what People read & listen to, take control of what Children learn in School.

ALMOST THERE!!!

7.  Religion: Remove faith in God from the Government and Schools. ALMOST THERE!!!

8.  Class Warfare:  Divide the People into the Wealthy against the Poor.  Racially divide. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to Tax the Wealthy with full support of the voting Poor.

DONE!!!

The bases are all covered!  We are ripe!  Fundamental Transformation is happening to our Great Country.

Saul David Alinsky (January 30, 1909 – June 12, 1972) was a Jewish American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing.  He is often noted for his 1971 book Rules for Radicals.

In the course of nearly four decades of political organizing, Alinsky received much criticism, but also gained praise from many public figures. His organizing skills were focused on improving the living conditions of poor communities across North America.

Time magazine wrote in 1970 that "It is not too much to argue that American democracy is being altered by Alinsky's ideas. Conservative author William F. Buckley, Jr. said in 1966 that Alinsky was "very close to being an organizational genius.  (Ref: Wikipedia & Internet Email).

TWENTY TIPS FOR FACING AN UNPLANNED PREGNANCY

Emily Brown is director of American Life League Life Defenders, the outreach arm of ALL building a culture of life with a new generation.  While reading a post entitled 20 Tips on Your First Abortion, Emily reacted to what the author had to say - "I could really feel her immense pain. So, I decided to respond to this gruesome article with a positive, empowering, and upbeat message about pregnancy. We do not need more people shaming women into abortion, rather we need positive messages that affirm the immense empowerment that bringing a human being into this world has on women.”  

Reality just slapped you in the face. You’re pregnant! What does that mean? A teeny tiny human being is growing inside of you. So, now the freak out begins.

It’s completely normal to feel terrified, worried, and completely shocked. After all, you might have been relying on birth control, condoms, the IUD, or something else. However, you knew none gave any guarantee that you would not become pregnant. So here you are.

Don’t let your worries take over! It’s very easy to be in panic mode for a few weeks or even months. Look beyond the insecurities and worries. You are strong!

Look for loving support. You need someone who will hug you and comfort you, not someone who wants to shame or belittle you. Sometimes you just need a little affection, and this is definitely one of those times!

Know you are not alone. Every day, hundreds of women discover they are pregnant. Other women are in your same situation!

After you have turned to someone for support, it’s time for Google. Learn what the heck is happening inside your body! Google fetal development and medical articles to learn about the tiny human you have within you.

After reading information on fetal development, come to the realization that you’re a pretty big deal! After all, you are now carrying and protecting a little human being.

While you’re on Google, search your area code, along with “crisis pregnancy centers.” Find the closest one and make an appointment ASAP, for you definitely have loads of questions.

Unlike abortion clinics, crisis pregnancy centers do give a $#%@ and they understand that your surprise pregnancy is a BIG deal. They will treat you with the loving care and respect you deserve!

The time between making your appointment and going can be a terrifying period. You are scared and a million things are rushing through your head, like how to afford a child or how to raise a child alone. Take a deep breath and believe in yourself! You are stronger than you think.

While you’re waiting for your first appointment, learn more about this person growing inside your body. Watch a 4-D ultrasound of a preborn baby growing. Find the stage you are in and marvel at this tiny human.

The appointment day has come. While in the waiting room, focus on the positive messages. Take a look at the brochures, pictures, or wall art and remember that only good can come from this appointment. Nothing here will harm you!

It’s FREE! What? Yes, crisis pregnancy centers’ services are free! They can offer pregnancy resources, prenatal vitamins, pregnancy tests, and services such as parenting classes, counseling, baby supplies, and other financial aid.

While at your appointment, you will not have “pain like someone sucking or pulling out your insides.” Rather, you will feel comfort and support—two of the things you need most.

You will be reaffirmed that you are a strong independent woman! You are more than a pregnancy; you are a mother.

Remember every time you believed you weren’t strong enough, smart enough, happy enough, pretty enough, and so on, and stomp those falsehoods into the ground. You are empowered—empowered with a newfound sense of reason and the ability to care for another human being.

You will not let your empowerment be diminished by people telling you that you are not ready or fit enough to be a mother.

Even after your appointment at the crisis pregnancy center, you still find many moments when you are scared to death. It’s okay; that’s normal. You have a human growing inside of you and you just found out. That’s a huge deal!

Do not let those fears and worries take control of you. You have the opportunity to bring a new life into this world. Do not take this for granted! Many women try their whole lives to have a child.

This is a time to start fresh. Take advantage of that and flourish!

 Submitted by Marie Coppola. March 2016

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Dear Mr./Mrs. Citizen,

Well, I guess you have figured me out. I seem to fit neatly into the category you place me in. I'm stereotyped, characterized, standardized, classified, grouped, and always typical. I am the lousy cop.

Unfortunately, the reverse isn't true. I can never figure you out.  From birth, you teach your children that I am a person to beware of.  Then, you are shocked when they identify me with my traditional enemy....The criminal.  You accuse me of coddling... juveniles, until I catch your kid doing something wrong.   You take an hour lunch, and several coffee breaks each day, then point me out as a loafer if you see me have just one cup.   You pride yourself on your polished manners, but think nothing of interrupting my meals at noon with your troubles.

You raise hell about the guy who cuts you off in traffic, but let me catch you doing the same thing, and all of a sudden I am picking on you. You know ALL the traffic laws, but never got one single ticket you deserved.   You shout "Abuse of Authority" if you see me driving fast to an emergency call, but raise 9 kinds of hell if I take more than 30 seconds responding to yours.  You call it "Part of my job" if someone hits me, but yell "Police brutality" if I strike back.  You would never think of telling your dentist how to pull a badly decayed tooth, or your doctor how to take out your appendix, but you are ALWAYS willing to give me pointers on how to be a police officer.

You talk to me in a manner, and use language that would assure a bloody nose from anyone else, but you expect me to stand there and take your verbal abuse without batting an eye.  You cry, "Something has to be done about crime," but you can't be bothered to get involved.  You have no use for me what so ever, but of course, it's OK for me to change a tire for your wife, or deliver your baby in the back seat of my patrol car enroute to the hospital, or save your sons life with CPR and mouth to mouth resuscitation, or even forsake time with MY family working long hours overtime trying to find your lost daughter.

So, dear citizen, you stand there on your soapbox and rant and rave about the way I do my job, calling me every name in the book, but never stop a minute to think that your property, your family,  and maybe your life might someday depend on one thing....ME.

Respectfully,
A Lousy Cop

Author: Anonymous

Marie Coppola March 2016

Pastor Lucado: Trump's Claim He’s

a Christian 'Beyond Reason to Me'

Best-selling Christian author Max Lucado believes Donald Trump speaks with a forked tongue when he calls himself a Christian one day and launches jaw-dropping personal attacks on people the next.

"It would be none of my business, I would have absolutely no right to speak up except that he repeatedly brandishes the Bible and calls himself a Christian," the San Antonio pastor said in an interview with Christianity Today magazine.

"If he's going to call himself a Christian one day and call someone a bimbo the next or make fun of somebody's menstrual cycle, it's just beyond reason to me."

Lucado — the author of nearly 100 Christian books which have sold 80 million copies — said he had never opposed a presidential candidate before the billionaire developer entered the political arena.

"There was a time in Iowa when he said 'I'm a Christian,' and somebody asked about forgiveness and he said 'I've never asked God for forgiveness.' I can't imagine that. I'm just shaking my head going 'How does that work?'" Lucado said.

"Does a swimmer say 'I've never gotten wet?' Does a musician say 'I've never sung a song?' How does a person claim to be a Christian and never need to ask for forgiveness?"

Trump has made headlines with the shoot-from-the-lip missiles he's fired at opponents, recently ripping Sen. Ted Cruz as a "totally unstable individual" and the "single biggest liar I've ever come across."

During Thursday's GOP debate, Trump referred to Sen. Marco Rubio as "a choke artist."

He also has used expletives to describe opponents, upsetting many.

Trump referred to Dr. Ben Carson, a revered figure among many Christian believers, as a “pathological liar” and compared him to a “child molester.”

Carson did not directly respond to Trump’s attacks, but said conservatives need to look at his actual track record.

“You need to look at his fruits,” Carson said.

Trump has come under strong criticism from social conservatives for supporting Planned Parenthood, and his long history of backing abortion rights, including partial-birth abortion.

Lucado also discussed Trump in a recent blog post at MaxLucado.com.

"The stock explanation for his success is this: he has tapped into the anger of the American people. As one man said, 'We are voting with our middle finger.' Sounds more like a comment for a gang-fight than a presidential election. Anger-fueled reactions have caused trouble ever since Cain was angry at Abel," Lucado wrote.

Lucado, a father of three, is pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, which Newsmax named as one of the Top 50 Megachurches in America. He was also anointed "America's Pastor" by Christianity Today and "The Best Preacher in America" by Reader's Digest.

Marie Coppola February 2016

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We all have our own preferred faith but sometimes we venture out of our comfort area to participate or engage in others’ religious practices.

It could be a Wedding, a Baptism, a First Communion, Confirmation, Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Bible studies, or engage in Witnessing. The common denominator is God. Each religion worships in their own way – what happens when you cross paths with some other religion?

Wikipedia defines “Ecumenism", as initiatives aimed at greater religious unity or cooperation.

In its broadest sense, this unity or cooperation may refer to a worldwide religious unity; by the advocation of a greater sense of shared spirituality across the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Most commonly, however, ecumenism is used in a more narrow meaning; referring to a greater cooperation among different religious denominations of a single one of these faiths.”  These three faiths are all monotheistic: meaning the belief that there is one and only one God.

My own personal ecumenical experiences revolve around Christianity and Judaism.   I was born and raised in the Catholic faith and experienced the traditional Sacraments.   The Catholic Church has changed little in formation and dogma, yet it has evolved into a more humanistic and personal faith religion over the years.  I embrace this very beautiful religion which is centered around Jesus and the Eucharist, and has special meaning for me.  In my formative years, when religious instruction was memorizing a Catechism to attain the Sacraments, I was blessed at age 9 to be invited and attend a Presbyterian Bible Summer School. My parents agreed I could go and I was introduced to the additional concept that Jesus was my Best Friend, a concept that is with me to this day. We spent that summer singing lots of hymns to Jesus and making crafts with Him in mind. It was pure and natural to me. Children do not have built-in prejudices against the differences in their lives; they are taught them. Left alone, children are accepting and nonjudgmental.

When I was 13, we moved to a predominantly Jewish neighborhood and I was introduced to bas mitzivahs, bat mitzvahs and the closely knit Jewish family.  All members of the Jewish family participated during the readings at the temple. I found they were very much like our family. They believed in the Old Testament like we do, and were very religious. I experienced the Passover Seder and on sad occasions, gave condolences at Shiva. Did this confuse me?  Not at all.  Although I was entrenched in Christianity, I was experiencing the religion that My Best Friend, Jesus, embraced while on earth. It enlarged my religion by bringing me closer to Him. Now I experienced what He did and added His religious background  to my faith.

In high school, a family member joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I always marveled at how they went from house to house witnessing their faith. They still do. The Bible calls us to do that, but not many people do it. There were differences from how the Witnesses practiced their faith from mine, but I did become more aware of their Bible studies and eventually attended Bible classes at my own church.    I learned many Scripture passages that I never knew and became a student of the Bible.  I am ever grateful for that awakening of Scriptures.

In my adult life, I have very dear friends who are Baptists. They are Bible-study enthusiasts, also. When we visit them, we attend their service with them – it usually encompasses most of the Sabbath Day.  At their service, there is a choir that could sing in Carnegie Hall. They are praise-singing people of faith and I find joy and peace listening to their hymns. They even have screens where you can sing along and the whole congregation joins in. We attend their Bible School immediately after the service and partake of their fellowship.  They are faith sharing and caring people. I credit the Baptists for my love and joy of praise songs.

In my work days, a group of us were asked to give a career seminar to members of a Lutheran church. Before we started the seminar, we gathered in the church and had service. My other presenters were not faith-based persons and did not know the name of the songs sung, but I knew from my ‘ecumenical sharings ’ when they broke into “Lord I Lift Your Name on High”, I joined in loud and clear. After the church service, the church members hugged me and were surprised that I knew the song. That bonding moment was a successful vehicle to engaging in seminar objectives – a shared feeling that overlapped into our discussions.  And bonded new friendships.

I love ecumenical bridges. I find new paths and avenues from them to explore God and His Word. I find that although others may worship differently from me, we have many common threads in our tapestry of faith. Recently I learned that the Muslim faith honors one woman - Mary, the mother of Jesus, and devotes a full chapter of their Koran to her.

I never see the differences in these folks and their faiths; I only see the sameness we have in loving God, expressing that Love and sharing our different ways to live it.

 

© Marie Coppola, 2009, updated February, 2016; some rights reserved.