/// BROTHERS ///
"Two people are better off than one, for... a person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."
Ecclesiastes 4:9/12 NLT
Brothers are vital - in life and in battle. To stand alone, is to fall defeated, but brother's guard your back and cover your weaknesses. And in turn, you cover theirs. Who are your brothers? Your sisters? Who fights at your side when you face trials and fears? My brothers are the friendships I have cultivated into brotherhood throughout my life - @10000_voices, @zeta_publishing, @the_little_manu, @iambburson, @brendan_bilotta9, and my brother in-law, Isaac. Seek God, but also seek to have his people in your life.
Happy Birthday to one of my great friends from Young Life @jgoody116 I hope all is well with you and @lgoodman10 and your children.
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. ~ Numbers 6:24-26
Now... why can't we confess directly to God instead of through a priest?
The answer: You can go directly to God! Yup, I, a Catholic, just said that and the teaching of the Catholic Church would back me up on that. Your venial sins can be healed through prayer. The key word there is "venial". A venial sin is a sin that is not a mortal sin. Mortal sin is a sin done 1) with knowledge that is is a sin 2) it is a grave matter 3) it is done freely by choice. These are the ones you have to tell a priest. But why tell a priest?
1) No verse in the Bible does Jesus actually say that sins can be forgiven by simply praying for forgiveness (if you can find the verse PLEASE message me, because if it's there I want to know)
2) John 20:19 Jesus breathes on the apostles after "sending them out". The word translated here as breathe is bara in Hebrew (only subject to this word is God), a word only used twice, when God created the soul of man (Genesis 2:7) and again here. The word does not actually mean breathe, it means to create through breath. After breathing on the apostles Jesus says "receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; of you retain the sins of any, they are retained." Jesus instilled the Holy Spirit in them and gave them the ability to forgive sins! Because of this authority, the priest is able to say "I absolve you..." rather than "Jesus absolves you..."
3) Still not convinced? Ask yourself this, how did our ancestors, the Jews, receive forgiveness for sins? Well, for Jews, sins could only be forgiven by God. However, read Leviticus 5:5 - 6, 10 (also 4:20, 26, 31, 35; 5:16, 26). Who makes atonement on behalf of the sinner? The priest! God is forgiving the sin, however it is through the priest! You might also notice all of the animals that the Jews had to bring for sacrifice to pay for their sins. Do you know the sacrifice that pays for the Christian sins? You guessed it, Jesus (John 1:29)! Jesus is the sacrifice for our sins but "... the priest shall make atonement on the person's behalf for the wrong committed, so that the individual may be forgiven" (Leviticus 5:10). All we need to bring now is ourselves.
To all the Ladies ... *NEVER EVER GIVE UP... * *NEVER QUIT*
Be an *Esther*, bold and courageous enough to stand for the truth, to voice your opinion and fight for the good of others, even when it means to sacrifice yourself.
If God has put you in a position, it is for a purpose. Never be afraid to heed to that inner voice.
Be a *Ruth*, loyal in all your relationships, walk the extra mile and don’t quit when things get tough. Someday, you’ll see why it was all worth the effort.
Be a *Lydia*, let your homes be open, let your hands be generous, let your hearts be big enough to help anyone in need.
Joy is greatest when shared.
Be a *Hannah*, never cease to pray. It will never be in vain.
Be a *Mary*, humble and submissive. You don’t have to be great for God to use you, you just need to obey.
Be a *Dorcas*, use your talents, however small it may seem to bring a smile on someone’s face.
You’ll never know how much it can mean to someone.
Be an *Abigail*, remember how each decision can turn your life around for good or bad. Be wise.
Be an *Elizabeth*, never doubt what God can do. He is the God of many miracles.
Be a *Mary Magdalene*, never let your mistakes and judgments of other people stop you from experiencing the joy of Jehovah.
Be a *Rebekah*, never forget that true beauty lies within. Draw all your loved ones closer to God through your Christ-like character.
Lastly be a *Sarah* age doesn't matter, Trust & believe that all things are possible with God according to His time. (Share with the women in your life to encourage them to be strong..... )