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> Misc Ramblings From Maceoghainn, Stuff I stumble upon I'd like to share
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 21-Feb-2005, 07:49 PM
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QUOTE (stevenpd @ 16-Feb-2005, 09:02 PM)
Steve,

I, for one, enjoy your posts and actually look forward to them.  This thread is flagged so I know when you post here.  Some are hilarious and others are so poignant.  Please keep posting.

Well Steve it looks like it just you and me in this thread. So I thought I'd post something on our common name and our namesake: Saint Stephen.

STEPHEN (Steven, Stefan, Stiobhan (Scot Gaelic), Steafán, Stiofan (Irish Gaelic)...
Gender: Masculine
Usage: English, Biblical
Pronounced: STEEV-en, STEF-en [key]
From the Greek name Stephanos which means "crown". Saint Stephen was an early Christian martyr who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament. Another Saint Stephen is the patron saint of Hungary, the first Christian king of that country (10th century). As well, this was the name of kings of England, Serbia, and Poland and ten popes.

The Story of Saint Stephen (Acts Chapters 6 & 7)

Saint Stephen was unquestionably Jewish, and was most likely a Diaspora jew who spoke Greek. His spoken name was Stephanos, which in Greek means "crown". The circumstances of his conversion aren't known, but he appears in the Acts when amongst the growing numbers of gathered disciples there were murmurs against the treatment of widows who spoke Greek by the Hebrews.

The Apostles gathered the Faithful together and told them they could not dispense with preaching and prayer to 'care for tables', and they would have to choose seven holy men to continue to preach and pray. This was unanimously accepted by the community and Stephen, "full of Faith and the Holy Ghost" along with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas the proselyte of Antioch were chosen. Then the Apostles laid hands on the men in confirmation, and thus the first deacons were ordained.

Stephen spoke with such elegance and wisdom that many converted, and this raised the ire of the elders of the synagogue. They wished to up-end the saint, but were unable to argue him into submission, so they obtained false witnesses to say Stephen had blasphemed Moses and God. Specifically that he had foretold the destruction of the temple, and spoke that the Mosaic traditions were hollow and no longer acceptable to God, since Jesus the Christ had thrown them away.

He was allowed to speak, and what follows in Acts 7:2-53 is an inspired dissertation on the economy of salvation beginning with Abraham and ending with Jesus. His witness ends with a stinging rebuke of the Sanhedrin as "...stiff-necked and uncircumcised in hearts and ears........who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it."

The jews were enraged and Stephen, full of the Holy Ghost, spoke of a vision of heaven with the Saviour at the right hand of God. The assembly cried out with one voice and resolved to put him to death without delay. They rushed en masse at the saint. They pushed him about town, finally dragging him outside the city and relieving their rage against him by stoning him. Stephen implored the Lord to receive his spirit, and that his killers not be condemned for their act. Thus he went to his reward as the first martyr for Christ.

Acts 7:55-60

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58 And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul.
59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


I pray that God provides me with 1/100th of the faith of Saint Stephen so I will be better able to defend the faith!








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"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Abraham Lincoln

"Igitur qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum." from "Epitoma Rei Militaris," by Vegetius

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stevenpd 
Posted: 22-Feb-2005, 12:07 PM
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There must be more than just you and I watching this thread, just by the number of views. The others must be "lurking".

"For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

Keep up the good work!


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Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer "am I worth dying for?" - Eleanor Roosevelt

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 01-Mar-2005, 01:41 PM
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Ah -ahHEM. May Siobhan sneak a peek here and say something??

cool.gif I just happened upon this thread, and have to chuckle at how appropriate the story about the car battery is to me right now. This part really means something to me:
"You have to pretend (i.e. bluff) if you're going to play poker and Paul just
couldn't do that. If he was angry it was quite clear that he was angry.
If he was hurt, he showed it. If he was in a really, really good mood it
showed in everything he wrote. He was honest about his afflictions...
He was honest about his hurt feelings and felt he had to defend himself.
He was quite "in your face" and honest about his feelings of anger.
And, if Paul was in a good mood, he couldn't hide that either."

See, in the last year I've found myself unable to pretend any more about how I feel... having been a rather quiet, shy 'people-pleaser' all my life, my family is thinking I need a psychiatrist now because I say what I honestly feel! When I'm happy I'm really happy, but nowdays when I'm angry I go combustible on the person right then and there. Its like last summer when my future daughter-in-law
had her feelings hurt repeatedly by a supposedly Christian member of our church; other people saw what happened but told me I needed to be the one to speak up because of who the slight had been committed against plus the Christian woman is someone I was trying to be friends with. I spoke up, the woman was enraged, and it was weeks before she finally agreed that her envy & jealousy had caused her to be nasty to my future d-in-law... but now the air is clear, the d-in-law is coming to our church & recently joined it, the woman is being nice now, and I severed the friendship I was trying to build because people like her always turn on you in the end. Lesson learned there (unfortunately its not the first time I tried to befriend a viper).

Now its over, and the point of contention is water under the bridge because I also find myself unable to hold a grudge now too. Its amazing how much air has been cleared, how much lighter my heart is now that I don't hold in all the hurt feelings.... being open about emotions is definately better than holding it all in. In discussing this with other Christian friends, I've been pleasantly surprised how they all agree its better to speak up when needed, to be honest always.

SB


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"All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king..."
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 01-Mar-2005, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (Siobhan Blues @ 01-Mar-2005, 01:41 PM)
Ah -ahHEM.  May Siobhan sneak a peek here and say something??

SB (as well as everyone else) always feel free to jump in this thread whenever you feel like it. I just put things here that don't seem to fit anywhere else, that hopefully will say something to others in the same way the articles posted here said something to me.
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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 01-Mar-2005, 07:44 PM
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Hi MacE! I have to be honest... I haven't read every post you've made here... But I do check in every so often just to read a little something inspirational. And your latest addition really struck a chord with me...

You see I've been going through a really difficult time in my life lately. Feeling discontent in my work life, my home life, and even in my religious life. I won't go into details about the problems here, but the crux of the matter is that I've been asking myself latley where God is. It seems that I am still praying everyday for help with the same problems that I was praying about over 3 years ago when I first gave my heart to God. And let me tell you, these are not simple little things either. They are things about myself that I hate but simply cannot change without direct intervention from Him. To be honest, I've been finding myself drifting away from Him lately, though steadfastly refusing to completely let go.

The thing about God ripping off the masks and loving us anyway really touched me. Inside, I know that He can see the real feelings I've been having lately, and that He still loves me anyway. But that doesn't take away the guilt I feel for the way I've been feeling about Him. Does any of this make sense? I hope so...

Anyway thanks for the post. It touched me.


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'S i Alba tėr mo chridhe. 'S i Gāidhlig cānan m' anama.
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 01-Mar-2005, 08:02 PM
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QUOTE (WizardofOwls @ 01-Mar-2005, 07:44 PM)
Hi MacE! I have to be honest... I haven't read every post you've made here... But I do check in every so often just to read a little something inspirational. And your latest addition really struck a chord with me...

You see I've been going through a really difficult time in my life lately. Feeling discontent in my work life, my home life, and even in my religious life. I won't go into details about the problems here, but the crux of the matter is that I've been asking myself latley where God is. It seems that I am still praying everyday for help with the same problems that I was praying about over 3 years ago when I first gave my heart to God. And let me tell you, these are not simple little things either. They are things about myself that I hate but simply cannot change without direct intervention from Him. To be honest, I've been finding myself drifting away from Him lately, though steadfastly refusing to completely let go.

The thing about God ripping off the masks and loving us anyway really touched me. Inside, I know that He can see the real feelings I've been having lately, and that He still loves me anyway. But that doesn't take away the guilt I feel for the way I've been feeling about Him. Does any of this make sense? I hope so...

Anyway thanks for the post. It touched me.

Allen,

I'm sure you've heard this a million times but here it goes anyway:

Romans 8:28 (King James Version)

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And here is a non-scripture way of looking at things: That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger

Keep the Faith!!

MacE

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stevenpd 
Posted: 01-Mar-2005, 08:24 PM
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There's a story that plays every once in a while here on CR.

It's about a man that walks with the Lord through his life and in looking back at the footprints that he left in the sand with the Lord he noticed that whenever he was having a difficult time in life there were only one set of footrpints, not two. He questioned the Lord about this and the Lord replied, "I have never left you. You see, during the times that were difficult for you, I was carrying you on my back."

Peace be with you, Wizard.

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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 05-Mar-2005, 11:19 PM
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QUOTE (MacEoghainn @ 01-Mar-2005, 08:02 PM)
Romans 8:28 (King James Version)

28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

And here is a non-scripture way of looking at things: That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger

unsure.gif

But you know what?? Sometimes I'd give anything for some positive outcomes in the lives of people who have done what they thought God was leading them to do: be it the choice of someone to love, a job, or another major life decision.

I'm not the only Christian who has come to a point in their life where they realize that even tho they believed they were doing what God wanted them to do, things have not ended up like they thought they would... the disappointment is bitter sometimes, and Romans 8:28 is not the scripture that comes to mind. Rather, the one that says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." (If the hour weren't so late I could tell you where it comes from, but I'm drawing a blank...)
My heart is green around the gills right now.

I keep expecting that God is going to reveal some other plan that was unfolding all along, some other good that comes from the choices I've made... right now I feel like God has left me hanging. I keep looking back to see if I made some wrong move, some wrong decision, but it all looked right at the time.

SB
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 15-Mar-2005, 06:49 PM
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Got this from a Friend.

This was written by a Hospice of Metro Denver physician


The car started to choke . . .

I just had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and wanted to share it with my family and dearest friends: I was driving home from a meeting this evening about five, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and died. I barely managed to coast, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over.

Before I could make a call, I saw a woman walking out of the "quickie mart" building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay. When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes.

She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel. At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with three kids in the back (one in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95. I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying "I don't want my kids to see me crying," so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car.

She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, "And you were praying?" That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, "He heard you, and He sent me."

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling walked to the next door McDonald's and bought two big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left two months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan 1, and finally in desperation had finally called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about five years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there. I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, "So, are you like an angel or something?" This definitely made me cry. I said, "Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people."

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings . . .

Psalms 55:22 "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."

My instructions were to pick four people that I wanted God to bless, especially for the months in 2005, and I picked you. Please pass this to four people you want to be blessed. This prayer is powerful and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards, let's continue to pray for one another.


Here is the prayer:

"Father, I ask you to bless my children, grandchildren, friends, relatives and email buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask you to minister to their spirit at this very moment.

Where there is pain, give them your peace and mercy. Where there is self doubt, release a renewed confidence through your grace, In Jesus' precious name. Amen."

I know I picked more than four and you can, too. When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you please get that for me?" Being blessed is GOOD . . . being HIGHLY FAVORED is best! Don't settle!
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 15-Mar-2005, 07:37 PM
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QUOTE (Siobhan Blues @ 05-Mar-2005, 11:19 PM)
But you know what??  Sometimes I'd give anything for some positive outcomes in the lives of people who have done what they thought God was leading them to do: be it the choice of someone to love, a job, or another major life decision.

I'm not the only Christian who has come to a point in their life where they realize that even tho they believed they were doing what God wanted them to do, things have not ended up like they thought they would... the disappointment is bitter sometimes, and Romans 8:28 is not the scripture that comes to mind.  Rather, the one that says "Hope deferred makes the heart sick."  (If the hour weren't so late I could tell you where it comes from, but I'm drawing a blank...)
My heart is green around the gills right now.

I keep expecting that God is going to reveal some other plan that was unfolding all along, some other good that comes from the choices I've made... right now I feel like God has left me hanging.  I keep looking back to see if I made some wrong move, some wrong decision, but it all looked right at the time.

SB[/color][/font]

SB,

Sorry it took so long to respond, had to digest what you said for awhile.

Proverbs 13:12 (New International Version)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.


Here are some words on hope from some people smarter than I am:

The march of providence is so slow and our desires so impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.
Robert Edward Lee (1807-1870)

-Edythe Draper, Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992). Entries 5942-5944.

The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 19th century American poet. Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 2.

God never promised us "a Rose Garden" (read the book of Job). While at any given moment it may seem that he has forgotten about us, he is always there. I think I may have already mentioned this: That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger

My hope: I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25
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stevenpd 
Posted: 16-Mar-2005, 07:00 PM
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I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

Amen
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 30-Mar-2005, 11:33 AM
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artist.gif
Thanks so much for the words of encouragement, Mac. Thank you!

Its so true that "the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope." When we find ourselves caught in a situation we can't find our own way out of, it is discouraging indeed... what had me down has begun to pass now and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The wave has passed over me, and I've come back up for air.

Thinking back on my own history of God's action in my life, I should know better than to get discouraged! God DOES provide, God DOES intervene & teach & guide.
I've listened to Him now and cut loose those things that were binding me emotionally... I feel free because I've stopped trying to make things happen, and instead let Him lead me to the next part of my life. He will put me right where He wants me to be, as always!

A Re-energized Siobhan
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 12-May-2005, 06:04 PM
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From Sermon Fodder and Joke A Day Ministries. To subscribe go to http://www.sermonfodder.com or drop an email note to [email protected] Please leave this attached if you forward this to friends.


One Day At A Time. Forever.

by Joe McKeever

The exact words of the orthodontist, preparing me for radiation treatments in the wake of my oral cancer surgery, were: "I want you to repeat this process each night for the rest of your life."

He had just outlined the nightly routine I was to follow: squeeze fluoride from a tube into the soft plastic molds he made of my teeth, place over my lower teeth for 10 minutes, then the upper for 10 minutes, and go 30 minutes without rinsing, eating, or drinking. The steps are not difficult and certainly not stressful. But every day for the rest of my life on planet Earth? What a sobering thought.

At first, it felt as if I had been sentenced to a lifetime in a prison cell. It felt confining, burdensome, depressing. Then I began to put it into perspective.

The fact is I am doing plenty of things I expect to repeat each day for the rest of my life. There are the obvious ones like breathing, eating, sleeping, waking, and talking. But there is a long list of activities I have chosen to do on a daily basis and expect to repeat all the way home. These include brushing my teeth, bathing, reading my Bible, praying, taking my medicine, and getting some form of exercise. I expect to love my wife and family and work at obeying my Lord every day as long as I live. In no way do I find these restrictive or onerous. They are simply on-going payments I make as investments in the quality of life I have chosen.

My brother Ron is five years older than me, which makes him pushing 70, but don't tell him; he thinks he's still a teenager. While in his late twenties, Ron was diagnosed with diabetes. A pastor of Baptist churches in central Alabama for four decades, he has given himself two insulin shots a day ever since. Every day. For the rest of his life.

Milt Gabrielse was a businessman and lay minister of music in Missouri churches, and the father of Dr. Ken Gabrielse, chairman of the church music department of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Milt was one of the happiest, most joyful persons I ever met. Over the last decade of his life, he had serious heart problems which necessitated life-threatening surgeries on several occasions. All the medications he took for his heart finally destroyed his kidneys. During the final year of his life, he lived with a transplanted heart valve and a pacemaker, took lots and lots of medicine, and spent the night--every night--from 9 pm to 6 am hooked up to a dialysis machine. According to his wife Donna, every morning as soon as he was unhooked, Milt swung his legs over the side of the bed and called out, "Isn't God good--another day!"

In order to live for one more day, Milt paid a great price every night. For the rest of his life. He went to Heaven on December 10, 2004. His tombstone reads, "Isn't God good!"

How does that gospel song go? "One day at a time, dear Jesus." That, of course, is how any kind of life is lived, but in particular how the Christian life works. One day at a time, every day, for the rest of your life.

"Give us this day our daily bread," Jesus taught us to pray. I wonder if, up in Heaven, the Lord God ever looks at the six billion earthlings and goes, "Oh no--I have to provide for all of them, every day, for the rest of their lives!" Probably not. His resources are as immeasurable as the universe, and all our needs combined scarcely begin to tap into His reserves.

The dailiness of life is part of our problem, not one of His. Bible students recall how the Lord fed Israel with manna--the original angel food--six days a week for forty years during Israel's wilderness wanderings. God's people received a lasting illustration of the sufficiency of the Lord for every day.

The movie "Dead Poets Society" introduced the Latin expression "carpe diem" to most of us. "Seize the day" became the watchword for everyone committed to making the most of each moment. Once we realize that life is a gift from a good God, and not our right nor an entitlement, we're able to treasure each day and make the most of it.

David said, "This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." (Psalm 118:24)

After all, this day is the only one we have. Perhaps if we get it right, a good God will grant us another one.

--Comment on this article and read what others had to say at: http://www.joemckeever.com/mt/archives/000090.html
http://www.bibleteacher.org/wounded/WH_Enc80.htm
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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 18-May-2005, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for that article!

SB
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MacEoghainn 
Posted: 08-Jun-2005, 06:34 PM
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Here's an e-mail I got from a friend. Copy it and send it to your friends if you agree with the premise.

READ THIS. LET IT REALLY SINK IN. THEN CHOOSE.

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"
He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the
employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, "I don't get it!
You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it? He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood.?

"Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.?

?Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life. ?

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested.

"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was
released from the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be twins Wanna see my scars?"I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked

He continued, "..the paramedics were great.They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I needed to take action."
"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John "She asked if I was allergic to anything. 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, 'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead."

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.(New International Version)

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

You have two choices now:

A. Delete this.

B. Forward it to the people you care about.

You know the choice I made.

God Bless, and smile, it could be contagious
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