We live in an age of technology. Technology has been a marvelous creation, in all its forms, to better advance our lives in many ways. Yet, it has also disconnected us in many ways from the very fiber of our knowing and belonging to that which is human.
But... how we remember! We remember what it was to unfold the creased pages of a letter. Written and folded, thoughtfully and with great care, by someone who cared about us. Someone who cared enough to sit silently and write with their own had, words of greeting, tiding, good news or bad. We greatly anticipated the news the page or pages would bring. Many cries of joy and tears of sorrow slipped from our lips when learning the pages’ meaning.
Or the phone calls! How our hearts would quicken at the thought of someone calling us to send a greeting of "Happy Birthday" or "It’s a boy" or "It’s a girl." Oh my, the sound of the human voice! How wonderful, how enjoyable, how complex.
The please of human contact. Looking a person "in the eye" and having them look back at us, talking, gesturing, nodding, smiling or frowning. Seeing the other person display laughter or pain in their eyes, feeling the warmth in their touch, sensing their body language and knowing innately what they might be feeling.
Because we are human and, for the eons before our knowledge, humankind has sensed, learned and felt the nuances of human behavior and communication, we have felt a touch and inherently known its meaning. We understand deep within, because of our humanness created by God. We understand we are weak, but are strengthened by touch, eye contact and the warmth of others.
God brought Jesus to us in human form because he knew the love of Jesus, human and humble, could imprint the love of God on mankind. God created us. He understood us. He knew what we needed. He is the Creator and through Him we were blessed by His Son to come to understand the importance of touching and loving those near us. Jesus felt love and great pain. He also felt sympathy and sorrow. He became human and experienced human emotions. Jesus was sent to earth to bring us "good news" -- to help us understand that we need God. We can only get to God through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Christ, the perfect one without blemish, was hung on a cross to suffer and die for us, imperfect as we are. He was betrayed by those closest to him, mocked, scorned and belittled.He trusted His Father. God, the Beginning and the End, knew that only His Son, in human form, could make mankind understand our weaknesses and our strengths.
Technology can be used to deliver powerful messages to receive the Blessings of Jesus. Use it as a means to stay connected to those around you. God delivers powerful messages to us through technology. Don’t forget the "human component" in that process.
Recently, I received two CDs from my friend and author, Fern Nilson, about the birth and death of Christ. Even though I have been a Christian for many years, it literally brought to life the story for me in a new and exciting way. It is an incredible example of technology sending the message of Christ in a way I had not experienced. Jesus conveyed perfect love in human form. Listening to the story, as Fern told it, makes me want to be more Christ-like and less childlike. I want to be more giving and expect less. I am going to pray more. I want others to be curious about my faith. I am going to welcome questions. It may bring an unbeliever to Christ. I am going to look a fellow sinner in the eye and say "Peace be with you!" ... and mean it. I am going to go out of my way to be kind. I am going to love the unlovable. I am going to give more hugs. I am going to give the gift that Fern created, using technology, to convey the message of Jesus and what His life and death means to us.
I highly recommend the CDs Fern created in her own way to tell the age-old story of Christ. Listen to it. Get copies for your loved ones and friends. Make a copy available at your place of work. Help God spread the message about His Son through technology. What a wonderful and simple way to do so!
Merry Christmas and peace be with you.
Take time for prayer this Thanksgiving
As we enjoy the Thanksgiving Day weekend with family and friends, please remember to take time for prayer to thank our heavenly Father for our lives, our freedom and His bountiful blessings. Everything we have comes from our Lord and Savior, yet too often we do not take enough time to humble ourselves and thank Him.
Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection and strength; even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our founding fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Convention. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And being a gift from God, there was only one way to ensure protection and that was through prayer.
Our quality of life is a direct result of our spiritual strength as a community. Prayer needs to guide us and our leaders in our daily lives and our decisions. We must ask the Lord to bless our leaders with wisdom and protection, and that they will have the fortitude to overcome the challenges at hand.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12
Prayer has remained such an important part of our country that in 1952 Congress passed a law declaring the first Thursday of May as National Day of Prayer. Its constitutionality has survived several court challenges and the President signs a proclamation each year encouraging all Americans to pray on that day. Next year it will be observed on May 2, 2013.
For the past 21 years, our community has participated in National Day of Prayer with a breakfast and an evening prayer session organized by a committee of lay persons from a number of our churches. As a committee, we are reaching out to Hamilton County and asking for others to join the committee to ensure the continuance of these important and powerful prayer events.
As you pray, please ask for guidance on how you can support prayer in our community. If serving Him through National Day of Prayer is part of your answer, please contact Tom or Patti Kell at (402) 694-6370 or one of our other committee members: Cal Strong, Shane Thorell or Lisa Werner.
Amendment helps preserve freedom
The Second Amendment is very important. If we lose it, the rest of the amendments will fall like dominos. Our freedom will be gone forever.
The enemies and thieves will be overjoyed and enemies of freedom will love it.
The Native Americans lost their land because they fought each other. A house divided will fall.
Freedom and unity have to be so we can enjoy our American way of life. People kill people, not guns.
You can make a difference
Education Under Fire (EUF) is a campaign developed to address the Iranian government’s denial of the right to education for ideological and religious reasons.
Beyond the goal of encouraging specific action in order to mitigate the effects of these policies in Iran, the campaign will begin conversations on university campuses and within communities around the country in order to raise awareness of and shine a light on the importance of defending Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guarantees education as an inalienable right of every human being.
A new 30-minute documentary by the same title, Education Under Fire, focuses on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s three decade long policy of denying the members of its Baha’i community the right to attend any institution of higher education. In May 2011 the government launched a coordinated attack against the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education, raiding dozens of homes, confiscating computers and materials and detaining a number of that institution’s professors and administrators, some of whom continue to languish in prison without formal charges yet having been levied.
The Iranian government also bans students from pursuing higher education if they have expressed views, joined organizations or engaged in activities that are construed as critical of the government. In addition, the authorities have attempted to prevent instruction in several fields in the humanities and social sciences and have dismissed faculty for ideological reasons.
Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President (of East Timor) Jose Ramons-Horta, have written an open letter about these abuses addressed to the International Academic Community. The letter is on the website www.educationunderfire.com where you can read and endorse it and send it on to others.
You can make a difference. By helping to set in motion, promoting or attending a screening-conversation of the documentary on Nov. 19, 7 p.m., in the Alice Farr Library, you will be joining forces with countless others. By doing so, you will help shed light on the importance of protecting the right to education and access to information for all of the peoples of the world.
Aurora Bahai Community
Secretary of The
Local Spiritual Assembly
Let’s think about Lincoln's message
"You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of many by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help man permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."-Abraham Lincoln
Recently I found this quote from Abraham Lincoln. I feel all of us need to think about this message.