About | FaceOff – עימות חזית
A connection between his uncle and Lior is the result of the delusional and accidental encounter that took place somewhere in the Tanzania, African Africa.
After a few minutes of conversation about utterly boring and obviously unimportant matters, the two found out that not only do they share a shared and intense love of music in all its tones, but they are also two tireless “diggers” who drive those around them into tiring monologues about riffs, rhythms, g Annals, albums, performances and ensembles.
His uncle’s musical taste began to take shape in the early 1980s, in the holy triangle of the Allegro record stores,
“The Record House” and “Faz” and he went on to form among the heavy rock nights (he was then called) of “Cinema Dan,”
Through the dark dungeons of the parties’ Hfingooi estate “to the legendary performances of clubs H”roksn” and H”logos “in Tel Aviv.
Lior spent most of his adolescence on sticky pop songs and blind admiration for boy bands, but after going through a difficult and painful rehab process as a Ronson High School radio broadcaster and partner in the Logos (National Echo) project, he quickly caught up with the gap and began to gulp in determination and zeal for all rock music. And the issue.
The idea for the program came up during routine encounters between his uncle and Lior, after discovering how much they enjoyed confronting, bickering, protesting, arguing but mostly agreeing that “without music, life was a mistake” (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche).
So what are we doing here?
Realize a dream !!!
We have come to share with you listeners with the music we love, live and breathe, the opinions, information and experience we have,
But mostly we are here to get excited, excited and enjoy music!
Facade – Face / Off with Dudu Bar-Tal and Lior Maron
Dual radio show on Sundays from 11am to 12pm on “It’s Rock” radio
Playlists | FaceOff – עימות חזית
Playlists we have created especially for you
Slash – Show Set list
STP – Show Set list
Annihilator – Show Set list
Playlist in honor of the Corona
Isaac 70s’ 70th birthday
Playlist for Memorial Day
Neil Peart Special
Jinjer – Show Set list
Playlist in honor of International Radio Day
Soen – Show Set list
Iron Maiden – Show Set list
Progressive Rock Playlist (Base)
Ronnie James Dio Special
Bon Jovi – Show Set list
Wolfmother – Show Set list
Tears For Fear – Show Set list
Arch Enemy – Show Set list
Disturbed – Show Set list
UDO – Show Set list
Playlist in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day
Dream Theater – Show Set list
Eddie Hazel Special
Billy Joel Special
Special Alon Olarchik
Bad Company & More Special
James Dean Bradfield Special
Udo Dirkschneider Special
Ozzy Osbourne Special
David Bowie Special
Rod Stewart Special
George Harrison Special
Roger Glover Special
Joe Walsh Special
Slayer Show Setlist
Rick Emmett Special
Yngwie Malmsteen Special
Chris Cornell Special
Mark Knopfler Special
Don Henley Special
Bastille Day Special
Calm Down !!!
Go Crazy !!!
David Coverdale Special
Rush International Day 21.12
Danny Sanderson Special
Stronger in Tokyo
The Real Story Behind Learning Roots Change from Faceless Ch
“Why do your character illustrations show facial features now?”
“I liked the fact that you were one of few publishers that didn’t show facial features. What’s behind the change?”
“I’m surprised and disappointed with this move.”
“Is this part of a premeditated conspiracy, to water-down the deen of our children?”
These are some of the comments we’ve heard from our customers in recent times since we’ve started to illustrate our characters with facial features. At the very least, an explanation is due. And here it is…
First of all, this decision was taken after much research, discussion, debate and deliberation. It’s not something taken lightly and not without consequences. It reflects the development of our company’s journey with the matter, and so what you’re about to read will trace those experiences and reflections.
To understand the change, we have to go back to 2006 when Learning Roots first featured characters in its products. The characters were drawn with blank faces. Why so? Because we were aware of hadith such as the following:
Abu Talhah (R) narrated: “I heard the Prophet (S) say: ‘The angels do not enter any house in which there is a dog or an image.’” (Muslim).
Ibn ‘Abbas (R) narrated: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (S) say, ‘Whoever makes an image in this world will be told to breathe life into it in the Day of Resurrection, and he will not be able to do so.’” (Bukhari & Muslim).
No-one in their right mind would want to risk facing such punishment. So, we understood these hadith at face-value without much further research, depth or commentary. It was also the norm among publishers in Muslim majority countries at the time to draw faceless characters, and we followed suit when Learning Roots first started and it became part of our brand identity. But this decision wasn’t without challenge, and it didn’t take long for the struggles to manifest themselves…
One of the first products to feature characters was the Box of Manners which was first produced in 2006. The nature of the product demanded the expression of animated human emotion. Trying to convey that a character is happy, angry, upset or pensive without the use of eyes, a mouth and a nose is undoubtedly inhibiting. But we managed nonetheless and through the support of body language and context, we were able to get by. But that certainly didn’t mark the end of the challenge…
Limitations: The first edition of the Box of Manners would often show the back of a character or a silhouette to get around the faceless issue.
As our products developed, so did the demand for the effectiveness of our illustrations to demonstrate more complex messages. For example, if you can’t show facial features how would you differentiate ’tears of joy’ from ‘tears of sorrow’, or ‘curiosity of intrigue’ from ‘curiosity with doubt’? The differences between these compound emotions are very subtle. Even with the aid of facial expressions, it’s a challenge for many artists to convey. And without the aid of eyes, eyebrows, a mouth and a nose, it’s nigh impossible.
Showing Emotions: Is she happy or sad? She could be either. Sometimes, you just can’t tell without facial expressions.
So naturally, this situation compelled us to look into the Islamic legal ruling in further detail. We did what any thorough researchers would do. We gathered all the hadith and evidence we could find related to the matter. We perused the commentary to the hadith. We tried to widen the angle of enquiry by looking at how scholars of opposing conclusions reasoned their arguments. We discussed the matter personally with scholars. This process occurred over several years and still continues till today.
Bear in mind that we were just researchers with a student mindset seeking a better understanding of a small area of enquiry related to our field of work. We’ll summarise what we found, but we won’t go into the details with names and references because that’s not the purpose of this article. If you’re interested in the topic, we encourage you to do your own research, and if you do so with determined effort, the details will become clear to you. Here’s what we discovered:
This matter has been part of classical scholarly discourse, so it’s nothing new. Having said that, modern developments in photography, videography and the digital arts have given the issue new life among contemporary scholars.
There is a spectrum of scholarly opinions on the matter, ranging from those who consider image-making to be strictly prohibited with a few exceptions, to those considering image-making to be permissible so long as they do not fall foul of general Islamic guidelines.
And as you’d expect, there’s a body of scholars in the middle of the two sides who argue that only certain types of images are prohibited particularly those that open an avenue to shirk (associating partners with Allah) such as statues or portraits invariably crafted with the intent of veneration. But if the images lead to more benefit than harm, such as those used for the purpose of education or play, then these scholars deem them to be permissible.
There are lots of details contained in the arguments and even a cursory reading into the subject will reveal that the matter is far more nuanced than a simple black and white, yes or no. There are genuine discussions on the differences between digital photographs and hand-drawn images as well as 2D images and 3D statues.
What was unanimous in the findings of our research, however, is that there is an exception to the general rule when it comes to children. This was conceded even by those scholars holding the strictest line, based on the hadith:
Aisha (RA) said: “I used to play with dolls in the house of the Messenger of Allah (S), and I had friends who would play with me…” (Bukhari & Muslim)
And as you’d expect, there’s more scholarly discussion about how far this exception extends. Does it apply only to dolls? Were the dolls faceless dolls? Can the exception be extended to other items that have educational benefit?
Even if we accept the premise that 2D images for children cannot show animate objects, then several other questions arise:
- Does drawing a faceless human count as it being inanimate or a lifeless object without a soul?
- Does separating the head from the rest of the skeleton (as some scholars have suggested) reach safety under the ruling?
- Does a faceless character constitute a ‘new creation’ that is competing with Allah’s creation?
What this research did bring to fruit is how much of the implementation in this field is subjective.
To you and me, drawing a human face without eyes may mean it’s devoid of life, and therefore without a soul. But to others, it’s still a human life, just without eyes.
To you and me, a human without eyes is just that: a human without eyes. But to others, it may be a different type of creature that is human-like, but not human per-se.
Subjective Art: Is the character above a human without eyes, or a new creation that is human-like but not human per-se? This is not a fact-fiction question. You will get different answers from different people and no one answer will be definitive.
In all honesty, the more we researched this topic over time, the more we came to realize that this issue is in flux…
In the early days of our research, there was a significant contingent of scholars that prohibited photography and debated whether videography was essentially lots of photo frames put together to create motion. What would happen to the da’wah (calling to Islam) if video lectures or photo platforms were deemed impermissible today? With the proliferation of mobile devices and the digital world they support, it’s fair to say we’ve passed that point now.
What we did conclude, however, was that this issue is not as clear cut as we had first assumed. There are obvious exceptions to the rules for children’s resources and there’s plenty of food for thought in the details too.
But you may be surprised to learn that after all this research and despite being aware of this allowance to show facial features, we still decided that Learning Roots should stick to faceless characters.
After all, it was still the safer option, right?
One of the core values at Learning Roots is Ihsan (excellence) in our work through constant improvement. What got us to where we are today, will not get us to where we need to be tomorrow. To level up, we must up our game. Every day.
Part of that improvement was to build brand identity behind our characters. Up until now, our characters had been distinctive in style, but not in personality. If we were to make future strides, we’d need to build affinity and identity around our characters; boys and girls that a Muslim child living in today’s world can relate to and take as positive guides. Undoubtedly, a large part of the personal identity of a 2D or 3D visual character resides in the face. By opting not to use facial features, the door to this development is restricted.
Behind the Brand: Few would argue that faceless characters cannot build a greater affinity with children in the same way fully-featured branded characters with personality can.
But opposing views would argue that what we perceive to be advancement should never be at the expense of Allah’s pleasure. We agree. But to say the use of facial features in children’s products, in particular, is at the expense of Allah’s pleasure is a bold yet arguably weak statement. And so the case against showing facial features begins to wane.
One of the other qualities we’ve always been keen on at Learning Roots is to listen to what our customers have to say. And while we were occasionally praised for not showing facial features, we would consistently hear voices from the opposite end. Comments such the following were not uncommon:
“My child finds the faceless characters scary!”
“Even if you don’t show faces, my kids just fill in the blank faces anyway!”
“These faceless characters look creepy and very off-putting.”
While we may or may not agree with such comments, we do accept them to be genuine concerns for some. And that acknowledgement brings to surface concerns in child-psychology that we hadn’t previously been cognisant of. Does the continual exposure of children to faceless characters, or faces with partial facial features lead to negative psychological effects?
Whether you regard this issue as significant or not, we just want to highlight that it is a multi-faceted issue that permeates the Islamic legal rulings, application to modern advancements, effects on professional development as well as child psychology.
But if that wasn’t enough, there’s an even bigger elephant in the room that we’re all aware of, but doesn’t often get a mention in the discourse of image-making in Islam…
In our research we found a significant body of insightful scholars who looked beyond the technicalities of the issue and foresaw an even bigger wave that has already crashed on the shores of Muslim homes. While we’re discussing the finer details of a classical matter that has been debated over centuries, our children are today drowning in a sea of highly sophisticated, alluringly attractive, and in some cases, overtly nefarious sights and sounds from mainstream media.
Discerning this phenomenon (which only strengthens with the passage of time) has led some scholars to encourage the use of engaging full-featured imagery in Islamic learning contexts, particularly since the texts already allow room for this.
Missing the Woods for the Trees: Few children living in the West today don’t own a book, toy or video game without characters that don’t feature facial features.
Let’s be honest here; The average Muslim child living in the West, be they from a ‘practising’ family or otherwise, will at some point likely indulge in content from Disney, Netflix, television or YouTube. Or they’ll play video games, either on consoles or phones or tablets. And if it’s not on the screen, then they will almost certainly own some toy or book that contains living beings with full facial features. And if they’re truly part of the 0.1% that have escaped these ubiquitous offerings then such items are still likely to have unsuspectingly entered their homes from their child’s school, clubs or the wider world.
So why is there a different expectation when it comes to wholesome Islamic resources when they reside alongside mainstream resources on the same shelf in the same Muslim home?
At Learning Roots, we’re under no illusion about what we’re up against. Yes, we want to attract your child’s attention so we can direct them to Allah and His beautiful religion. And yes, we’re wrestling with the likes of Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks for that attention. To be frank, we’re not able to compete with a simple toolkit of faceless characters that fail to build an emotional connection with your child.
And so if there’s clear room afforded to us in our religion to expand our toolkit, we will not stand by and watch our children be lured into a chasm designed by people whose agendas are far removed from or even opposed to Allah’s glorification. That’s not happening on our watch. And that’s a matter of honour and duty for us.
Furthermore, our company culture doesn’t operate from a ‘protectionist’ mindset. We’re not motivated by the aim of shielding our children from the harms of mainstream media. Rather we’re driven by the dreams of what our children can and will become when they are raised by learning, loving and living Islam. When you come from this approach, you empower children to thrive in their Islam and the defence against harm comes as standard.
With the weight of all the arguments we’ve enumerated above, we made the decision that Learning Roots, a company that seeks to let the natural beauty of Islam shine on our children, and one that designs for young Muslims living in an ever-sophisticated, ever-alluring modern world, would now use the room afforded to it by Islam, to show characters with facial features.
It’s often said that many readers peruse the beginning of an article, skip the middle and search for a conclusion at the end. If that describes you, then here’s what you are searching for:
When Learning Roots began in 2004, we took the hadith prohibiting image-making at face-value and established our brand identity with faceless characters.From the outset, our creative team experienced the limitations of expressionless characters. We researched the topic thoroughly and knew there was a well-evidenced exception to the general prohibition of image-making for children, even among scholars holding a strict line. Furthermore, with art being so subjective, even drawing characters without faces doesn’t necessarily mean they fall under the ‘safe’ option.
Our constant push for improvement had been kept in check by our insistence to not depict facial features. And some of our customers were sending us a clear signal that child psychology was a factor that perhaps we’ve been blind-sided to in the past. But all the while as the years past, we continually witnessed Muslim children being allured by the increasingly attractive sights and sounds of mainstream media, while we stuck to the simple toolkit of faceless characters.
There came a point where we were simply unwilling to stand by and watch this happen, especially when our religion afforded us the room in this context to broaden our options and tackle the issue.
And so we proceeded, at times, tentatively with simple lines depicting eyes, until we went on to show detailed features with our Ramadan Activity Book which we launched in 2019 with the aim of introducing Learning Roots to a much wider audience.
Best-Sellers: The Ramadan Activity Books were the first Learning Roots publications to feature full characters.
It was a significant decision in our company history, one that was slow in coming, but the impact certainly was not Alhamdulillah. Our products and company have since enjoyed heightened popularity with both existing and new customers year on year. We’re especially pleased that children can now enjoy a greater emotional connection with our characters, and ultimately Islam, when using our products.
Of course, there will always be those who will insist that there is no barakah in doing the ‘wrong thing’. We appreciate the feedback and couldn’t agree more. As you can appreciate, where we differ is if this is truly the ‘wrong thing’. As we hope this article highlights, this issue is far from black and white, and even sticking to the ‘safer option’ is not so safe in the wider context of the world our children are growing up in. Furthermore, by showing facial features for children, we’re simply following a well-established, agreed-upon timeless ruling in Islam.
There are multiple ways of looking at any matter, even if we prefer one over the others. We’ve shared our journey in this article so you may gain a greater appreciation of our experience with the issue of faceless characters. At this juncture, after having undertaken the due diligence, we’re at peace with this issue and we end with these apt words of the finest of creation:
Wabisah ibn Ma’bad reported: The Messenger of Allah (S) said to me, “Have you come to ask about righteousness and sin?” I said yes. The Prophet clenched his fist and struck his chest, saying, “Consult your soul, consult your heart, O Wabisah. Righteousness is what reassures your soul and your heart, and sin is what wavers in your soul and puts tension in your chest, even if people approve it in their judgments again and again.” (Sunan al-Dārimī)
The Facebook-TikTok Face-Off – SoFi Blog : sofi
Latest from the SoFi Blog
July 29, 2020 at 12:19PM
Instagram Reels Aims to Compete With TikTok
Instagram, owned by Facebook (FB) is rolling out a new service to compete with ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok. The feature is called Reels—and similar to TikTok, it gives users a platform to record and share short videos with audio or music.
TikTok has 800 million active users across the globe, and the number of TikTok users in the US has grown 5.5 times in less than 18 months. TikTok has worked to draw users from Facebook and Instagram through massive ad campaigns on the respective platforms. Now, Facebook is fighting back. The company is paying TikTok users with millions of followers to create exclusive content for Reels.
How Does Reels Work?
Through Reels, users can share video clips on their Instagram Stories. They can also send videos to individuals, or add a new Reels tab on their Instagram profiles. Instagram has over 1 billion active users worldwide. It has been successful before in launching new features to compete with other platforms, like Instagram Stories, which mimicked some features of Snapchat (SNAP).
Reels will launch in the US in early August. It will also arrive in the UK, Japan, Mexico, and about 50 other countries next month. The platform has already made its debut in India, Germany, and France.
Facebook’s move into TikTok’s territory comes at a tense moment in the relationship between the US (home of Facebook) and China (home of TikTok). Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has indicated that the Trump administration has concerns about TikTok’s ties to China, and might place limits on the platform in the US.
Several weeks ago, TikTok announced it would pull out of Hong Kong due to conflicts about a new national-security law in the city. Just last week, India banned TikTok because of escalating tensions with China due to a border dispute in the Himalayas. India accounted for about one-third of TikTok’s users before the ban. Instagram Reels took the opportunity to launch in India to fill the gap.
Some TikTok users and talent managers in the US are wary of these rising tensions. Many are eager to build their presence on Reels as a way to have insurance in case TikTok is banned or limited in the US.
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Target or Walmart? – SlumberPod
Setting up your baby registry is an important pre-baby step. You can assemble a list of all your baby needs and share your excitement with friends and family. However, with so many registries out there, it can be difficult to choose the best option, so I took the time to compare two of the largest big-box stores out there: Target and Walmart. Who will come out ahead? Read on!
While studies have shown Walmart to be somewhat cheaper than Target across the board, the overall cost of baby-specific products is actually quite similar.
Target does offer an additional 15% on any baby items left on your registry, and if you sign up for their REDcard, you can save an additional 5% on all purchases; this could come in handy for items you will have to buy frequently, like diapers, wipes, and baby shampoo.
Larger products, such as changing tables, strollers, and car seats tend to stay within the same price range for both stores, but Walmart does offer a wider selection for some larger items and a few better deals when they are running sales.
For the overall cost, we rate Walmart slightly better than Target, but it depends on the product.
Perks and Discounts
Both Target and Walmart offer perks for expecting parents when you sign up for their baby registries, but with different benefits.
When you sign up for Walmart’s baby registry, you are eligible for a Baby Registry Welcome Box that includes a selection of samples; however, the process to get your Welcome Box can be confusing. After completing your registration, you must return to the baby registry main page and follow the link to this form. Walmart will send you a box of baby samples within 4-6 weeks. One great aspect of Walmart is its free return policy, which is helpful when you aren’t sure what to expect from your new addition.
Target’s baby registry Welcome Kit includes up to $80 worth of samples and coupons. When you register, you receive a barcode that is used to pick up your gift at your local Target. They also offer a 15% coupon for anything still in your registry eight weeks before your due date. You can use the coupon twice, once in the store and once online, and it even applies to items you add after you’ve received the coupon. What’s more, the coupon expires six months after your expected arrival date, so you have plenty of time to use it.
For perks, I rated Target over Walmart. Easy access to the sample box and the versatile 15% coupon were our deciding factors.
Ease of Use
When I set up Target and Walmart registries, the process was similar for both, but with some key distinctions.
Target’s registration is simple. Go to their registry page and click “Create a Baby Registry,” then follow the prompts to provide your basic name and contact information.
Your dashboard features a countdown to the baby’s due date, a customizable photo, and a message board for notes to your friends and family. They provide a link to your registry that you can copy into your invites and useful pre-formatted inserts for your shower invites.
Two particularly useful features of the Target registry are the Target Registry app, which you can use to scan any items you want to add to your registry and the universal registry, which allows you to add items from any website to your Target registry.
Walmart’s registry setup is made easy with an interactive owl Chatbot that asks for your information in a series of pop-ups. Once the registry is set up, you are directed to your dashboard. Unlike the Target registry, Walmart has an email option right on the screen so that you can send registry invites directly from the site.
I am once again choosing Target over Walmart for ease of use, due largely to their scanning app and universal registry option.
(And Target Coupon Codes Boost Savings)
Target seems to be the clear winner for various reasons, namely that extra 5% and 15% savings you can apply close to your due date, the ease of use when creating a registry, and the universal registry. Best of all, when you tack on additional savings through Target coupons and online promos, your dollars go even further.
Regardless of the store you choose for your baby registry, you are likely to need everything that is still on your list after your shower. So, when you’re shopping for a baby, be sure to keep an eye out for discounts, sales, and promo codes to boost your savings.
Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.
Note: Guest blog posts are shared for informational and educational purposes and may not reflect the official policy or position of SlumberPod (parent company, Dovetail Essentials, LLC), our employees and/or contractors.
Face-Off » Hockey Rivals Sports Books for Kids and Teens
Excerpt From Face-Off Sports Book:
As Mrs. McKendrick and Chris followed Jory into the living room, Brad and T.J. stared at each other. Finally, T.J. said, “Look, you’ve been ticked at me since practice. You’re mad that I got made cocaptain aren’t you? Come on,” T.J. said when Brad didn’t respond. “I’ve got just as much right to it as you do.”
Brad scoffed. “Hardly. I’ve been slaving on that team since I was a freshman.”
“So? It’s not like I’ve never played the game before.”
“It doesn’t matter. I’ve been playing for Bayview for three years and you haven’t even played one game for them!”
“Look, it’s not my fault that I got yanked out of Hayden! I didn’t ask to go to Bayview. You think I wanted to leave all my friends and go to a new school? It’s hard enough going there without you acting like such a jerk.”
“You’re the one who’s acting like a jerk, T.J.”
“You’re just afraid that I’m going to do better than you, and you can’t take it!”
“Are you kidding? You may be Dad’s precious genius, but you’re never going to be better than me at hockey. And if you think I’m playing on a line with you, you’re crazy. So let’s just see who Reynolds sends down a line, T.J.,” Brad challenged his brother.
“Yeah, well have fun playing with McCann,” T.J. snapped.
Brad shoved his brother into the refrigerator, and T.J. promptly pushed him back. They were grappling with each other when their father strode into the room and ripped them apart.
“What on earth is going on in here?” Mr. McKendrick demanded, his face red.
“Nothing,” Brad said.
“Nothing?” Mr. McKendrick asked.
“Nothing other than the fact that T.J. is an obnoxious jerk.”
“Hey, you’re the one who’s threatening to quit the line,” T.J. said.
“I’m not threatening to quit the line. I’m threatening to get you kicked off it.”
T.J.’s green eyes flashed. “Go to hell!”
“Look, I don’t know what this is about,” their father began, “but you two have an obligation to your teammates. You can’t just go back on that because of personal differences.”
“He started it,” T.J. said.
“I don’t care who started it. I just want it stopped.”
Condo Associations Face Off With Short Term Rentals
The buzz surrounding “short-term rentals” has been ever increasing over the past year thanks, in part, to websites such as Airbnb, Homeaway.com or VRBO.com. Websites such as these provide a platform for condo owners to rent their units on a short-term basis (sometimes as short as one or two nights). The ease with which they bring landlords and tenants together, coupled with their high profit margins, has driven their popularity.
While converting condo units into profit centers without much effort may be alluring to unit owners; condo associations, boards and management companies do not share in the excitement. Short-term rentals present a plethora of challenges most condo associations are ill-prepared to manage.
Most associations do not possess adequate security, be it cameras or twenty-four hour security guards, to monitor the increased pedestrian traffic and activity. Safety and the security of association members are placed at increased risk with an upsurge in non-resident visitors and guests. Not to mention most associations lack the equipment and personnel (luggage cart, doormen, concierge, and maintenance staff) required to assist short-term visitors with their stay.
Concern among the community association industry about the negative impact of short-term rentals has forced boards to face this issue head on. What boards can and should do is unique to each association and largely dependent upon their governing documents.
Is short-term leasing already prohibited within your association’s declaration, bylaws, or rules and regulations? For most associations, the answer is yes. Most condominium declarations prohibit leasing for terms less than thirty days. Nonetheless, many unit owners unknowingly violate this provision.
Associations can protect their community from short-term rental pitfalls with a well-drafted provision. Such a provision may include a minimum lease term, penalties and fines for non-compliance, and imposition of association legal fees against the violating unit owner.
Part of a board member’s fiduciary responsibility requires safeguarding property value and protecting the safety of association members at large. With the increase in short-term rentals nationwide, it is critical for condo association boards to proactively address this issue.
If you serve on a board of directors for a community association, it is important that you immediately take the following three steps: 1) Review your association’s governing documents to confirm they contain a provision prohibiting short-term rentals; 2) Implement a policy to effectively enforce and communicate such provision; 3) Consult with an experienced attorney to review your documents to ensure the provision and policy is appropriately enforced.
Thoughtfully drafted and consistently enforced short-term rental policies will enable condo associations to win the short-term rental battle.
90,000 Do people that God sends to challenge His people (for His glory) to have salvation?
I think the rest of the letter to the Romans can provide a comprehensive answer to this question. First of all, let’s keep in mind that the book was written by Paul (who previously persecuted Christians, but was called by God to become his apostle to the pagans) in a church in Rome, the capital of the empire that occupied the Holy Land, persecuted by Jews and Christians, was symbolic the successor to all the great bad empires of the Old Testament.It is safe to say that people who read the letter for the first time would be very interested to know if they, like the Romans, can be saved, and what can happen to other Romans who consider themselves against Christianity.
The theme of the book is stated in the first lines:
I am indebted to both the Greeks and the barbarians, both educated and ignorant, and therefore, on my part, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you in Rome. For I see no reason to be ashamed of the Gospel; it is God’s power for the salvation of all who have faith, primarily Jews, but also Greeks, for it reveals God’s saving justice: justice based on faith and turned to faith.As the Holy Scriptures say: everyone who is righteous by faith will live . (Romans 1: 14-17, NJB)
Thus, the text strongly affirms that salvation is available to everyone; and Paul’s personal story proves that even if he was “the enemy” before, it does not mean that he is cursed forever. Paul goes on to say that “there is no favoritism with God” (2:11), quoting Deuteronomy 10:17 (verse 19 goes on to say, “Love a stranger then, because you were once a stranger in Egypt”).Even worse,
Are we better than convicts? Not at all: we have already accused Jews and Greeks of being the same in the power of sin. (3: 9-10)
However, faith is available to everyone – the point is not that the action of the enemy of God cuts a person off from salvation. If this were true, then no one would have hope, since we are all slaves to sin. This topic is laid out throughout the letter. In 9: 25-26 Paul freely quotes Hosea, saying:
I will say to those who were not my people, “You are my people,” and I will pity those whom I did not spare.And in the very place where they were told: “You are not my people”, they will be told that they are “children of the living God.”
Even the governing bodies of Rome are supposed to be respected (13: 1-7, also 2 Timothy 2: 1-2, Titus 3: 1). So it is clear from these passages that even those who are opposed to God can be saved just like everyone else. This does not mean that they necessarily enjoy salvation, it is just that they are not “cursed.” Paul says at 13:14: “Bless the persecutors, never curse them, bless them,” which, of course, is a direct response to the words of Christ in Matthew 5: 43–44: “You heard it said, You will love your fellow and hate your enemy.But I tell you this, I love your enemies and I pray for those who persecute you. ”
The remaining problem in your question is whether people like Pharaoh can be“ automatically ”saved or blessed because they are fulfilling Paul rejects this possibility in Romans 3: 7-8,
It might just as well be said that if my unrighteousness compels God to demonstrate His truthfulness to His glory, then I should not be judged as a sinner.In this case, the libelous message that some people are spreading would be true: we teach that evil must be done in order for good to come out of it. In fact, such people are justly condemned.
Therefore, Pharaoh was unlucky: if God was able to make something good out of the bad deeds that he did, it does not mean that he got free passage. But more importantly, the “enemies” of your question have the same access to salvation as any other.
Chapter 37.Challenge Rank / High God
“Okay, we’ll do as the two head judges see fit and let Zhao Feng take part.” Sect leader Zhao Tiancang looked at Zhao Feng with interest.
After the consent of the head of the sect and the two chief judges, no one would dare to protest. This was the first time Zhao Feng felt a sense of belonging to his sect.
Zhao Tianjian trembled with anger. He couldn’t believe that Zhao Feng was able to return alive.
“The Gray Eagle has failed everything.” Given the strength of the Gray Eagle, how could he fail?
The judge said, “I have to explain the rules to you right now.”
“Yes,” Zhao Feng listened intently.
In this tournament, participants challenge each other. The first round of the Challenge of Selection meant that fifty outer disciples were challenging fifty inner disciples. If they win, they take the place of inner disciples.Every external student has three chances to challenge someone, and if he loses all three chances, then he remains an external student. Therefore, before the outer disciples challenged anyone, they first had to evaluate their strengths and select the weaker inner disciples.
“Zhao Feng, since you are late, you only have one chance to challenge.” The judge said sternly.
Zhao Feng nodded his head, “I understand.” With his strength, he can easily become an inner disciple. If Zhao Feng hadn’t been late and chose someone like Zhao Linglong, he would have won. Obviously, Zhao Feng would have been able to do this and challenge the strongest participant right away.
“Now you can choose one person. If you win, you can take his place. ” The judge warned.
“Good!” Zhao Feng jumped onto the stage and began examining the fifty members.
Fifty people, fifty seats, all arranged in order.
The order went from left to right, Zhao Linglong, Zhao Chi, Zhao Han, Zhao Qin …
The ten in the first row represented the ten best inner students. In the seventh seat in the second row, Zhao Feng spotted Zhao Yufei. Zhao Youfei looked at him and smiled softly. The two of them were neighbors and knew each other well.
Zhao Yue, Zhao Yijian, Zhao Gan, Zhao Guang were between the fortieth and fiftieth places. Besides Zhao Feng, there were only five others who became inner disciples.
Who should I challenge? Zhao Feng smiled as he looked at them. Zhao Linglong, who was sitting in the first place, closed his eyes as if he was trying to get an idea of something.It seemed that the tournament had nothing to do with him.
The inner disciples in the top row didn’t even bother. On the contrary, the students from the bottom row were very nervous. After all, Zhao Feng was the best outside student. He could easily break into the top ten with his strength.
“Second row … Sixth place …” Zhao Feng’s gaze rested on the student who was sitting to the right of Zhao Yufei.
“Number sixteen, Zhao Fei, please come out,” the judge said. Zhao Fei was sixteen or seventeen years old. He had cultivation at the peak of the third rank, but his aura was no weaker than that of the cultivators of the fourth rank.
“Kid, do not think that you can beat me just because you reached the fourth rank!” Zhao Fei calmly stepped onto the stage.
“Heh, this Zhao Fei is pretty strong. With his [Metal Block Corps], he has already defeated two pseudo martial artists. ”
“Zhao Feng could not have advanced so quickly.”
In terms of winning, Zhao Feng clearly had a better chance.But the strength of his opponent was not much weaker, so it will be a tough fight.
“Palm of Metal Sand!” Zhao Fei only used intermediate martial arts.
Damage was higher than most high level martial arts.This is because he was trained to peak levels!
Zhao Feng only moved slightly. Among all the students in the external competition, only he trained intermediate to advanced martial arts. The point is that Zhao Fei’s Metal Sand Palm complemented his Metal Block Corps. Thus, this palm could defeat Zhao Yijian’s Sword of Flowing Ice.
“Zhao Fei’s strength is no less weaker than a half-step from martial arts.”Some of the inner disciples nodded in approval.
Fist of Burning Metal!
Zhao Feng casually threw the blow. He used a Core-level martial art. Moreover, he did not add Inner Strength to this.
This scene shocked many people.If he did not use the Inner Power, then he did not have any advantages.
“Kid, don’t try to be cool!” Zhao Fei took a deep breath and extended the Metal Block Corps and the Metal Sand Palm to the maximum.
Initially, he was not going to beat Zhao Feng, he only wanted to mate a little.But because his opponent was so arrogant …
On the stage, two figures approached each other, and fist and palm collided.
Zhao Fei expressed impatience and happiness with his whole face.But the reality was brutal.
His second hand hit his fist, he felt an irresistible force, and his hand went numb.
Zhao Fei broke out in a cold sweat. He sensed that Zhao Feng was as powerful as a bull.
Zhao Fei did not even understand what was happening, as he already flew to the side.One move. All it took for Zhao Feng to defeat Zhao Fei was one move. While it was not surprising that Zhao Feng could win, his victory in one move was unpredictable.
“He won with Core level martial arts, he didn’t even use Inner Strength.”
“Zhao Feng learned the high level martial art of the body …”
“Zhao Feng, challenge successful! At the moment, you are getting the sixteenth rank. As for Zhao Fei, you have three chances to challenge someone … ”the judge said.
After defeating Zhao Fei, Zhao Feng calmly made his way to the sixth place in the second row. To his left was Zhao Yufei.
“Your Metal Wall Technique has reached at least the third level,” Zhao Yufei said, slightly surprised. Zhao Feng learned this skill from her grandfather.
According to her, knowing the Metal Wall Technique was very difficult to train. Her grandfather said that Zhao Feng would only be able to train her up to the second level.But judging by Zhao Feng’s actions, his Metal Wall Technique has reached at least the third level.
“Yes,” Zhao Feng smiled. His Metal Wall Technique has already peaked at Level 4. There was a huge difference between the third and fourth level. Zhao Feng did not even use half of his strength when he fought Zhao Fei.
Meanwhile, on the stage, the fighting continued.According to the rules, Zhao Fei had another chance to challenge someone. Soon, Zhao Fei successfully defeated some student and finished twenty-sixth.
The tournament was delayed because Zhao Feng appeared suddenly.
Since there were fifty places for internal disciples and there were fifty-one people, one disciple was expelled.
Zhao Feng and five other outer students became inner students.
“Tackle Challenge Complete…” The Judge sighed and began announcing the start of the next round. They should have moved on to the Rank Tournament.
As previously announced, the top twenty, ten and top three were expected to receive various awards.
Especially the top three, they could choose the martial arts of the highest level.
This worried Zhao Feng the most. It was obvious that the competition would be very fierce. In addition, the inner disciples of rank determined their honor and glory. They were all young, about eighteen years old or under, and they had a desire to win.
“The second round of the“ Tournament of Rank ”means that you all have three opportunities to challenge someone. If you do not win, your chances are reduced by one … ”, said the judge.
The rules were very clear.
The lower ranked student will challenge the higher ranked student.If he can win, he will receive the rank of the enemy. Each had only three chances to challenge someone. If the challenge succeeds, he still has three chances, but if he fails, his chances are reduced by one.
Got it. Fifty people nodded their heads.
Disciples from the last places challenged other students first.Students of the fiftieth rank began.
However, as for those disciples who were at the end, they were already very happy to become inner disciples, and they knew that they had no chance of getting into the top twenty.
Thus, there were few disciples who challenged others between fortieth and fiftieth places.
But, even if they were, and just wanted to show themselves, they would have received a higher rating without receiving any awards.
Fortieth place … Thirty-ninth … Thirty-eighth …
The ratings were decreasing, getting closer and closer.When the turn came to the twentieth or thirtieth place, the battles became more and more fierce. Students like Zhao Yue and Zhao Yijian all reached the top thirty. Zhao Yijian reached twelfth place and Zhao Yue reached fifteenth place.
Overall, the first twenty inner disciples had the power of pseudo-martial arts. Zhao Feng and Zhao Yufei were both true martial artists, so no one dared to challenge them.There were at least ten students in total who reached the fourth rank of the Combat Path.
After the top twenty was confirmed, the battle for the top ten began. Soon it was Zhao Yufei’s turn to challenge anyone. Zhao Feng had to throw his own right after Zhao Yufi.
There were many inner students from the top ten who did not reach the fourth rank of the Combat Path.
Zhao Yufei decided to challenge number six and she easily won the victory.
After reaching the top ten, Zhao Yufi gave up her chance for another challenge. Thus, she still had two chances for the next two rounds.
“Number sixteen Zhao Feng, now it’s your turn.”The judge announced at this moment.
Martial God Asura | Chapter 3996Must challenge
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Chu Feng concluded that even if the pearl is dangerous, he must challenge it.
If he does not challenge the pearl, even if he chooses not to help the fox spirit remove its lock, he will still die.
Where will he die?
The escape from this isolated space may have been a deadly trap.
Or perhaps he will be killed in other ways.
Despite this, Chu Feng was almost certain that summoning the pearl was an absolutely necessary step.
Moreover, he had to succeed.
Otherwise, he certainly won’t come back alive.
Why was Chu Feng so confident about this?
This was when the gates of the world formation opened on the Pearl. This thought occurred to Chu Feng the moment the pulling force appeared.
Although the pulling force was very powerful, Chu Feng was able to sense a portion of the world aura inside the pearl, through the world formation gate.
Despite the fact that this world was very scary, it had a special aura. It was like a pulling call. Intuition told Chu Feng that the Pearl was the stone box’s true destination.
This is why this thought occurred to Chu Feng.
Chu Feng was not sure if the fox spirit was aware of this.
It didn’t matter to him, though.
In the end, once Chu Feng found out about this, he no longer had to make a choice.
He had only one choice: to challenge the pearl.
– Young Master, your World Spiritist Cloak is a rare treasure.
Suddenly the voice of a fox spirit was heard.
Chu Feng discovered that the fox spirit was staring at his cloak of the Holy Nine Dragons.
The Holy Cloak of the Nine Dragons was always worn by Chu Feng. However, until he uses his power, he will not manifest himself.
It was only the moment Chu Feng used this power that the Holy Cloak of the Nine Dragons manifested itself.
Chu Feng saw greed in the fox spirit’s eyes.
She seems to be very interested in the Holy Cloak of the Nine Dragons.
– Young lady, what did you do with the people that died outside? Chu Feng asked the fox spirit.
He asked about this because there were no bone marks in the room.
Chu Feng felt that the fox spirit must have taken care of them.
“If the young master can return safely, I will tell him,” said the fox spirit.
Hearing this, Chu Feng did not pursue the topic.
Instead, he stopped resisting the force of gravity and allowed himself to be pulled into the Gate of the World Formation.
– Rumble ~~~
The moment Chu Feng entered this world, he felt as if he were in a vast starry sky.
Although the world was incredibly huge, there was no starlight in it. There were only countless terrifying forces wreaking havoc everywhere.
Each of these powers resembled a strange giant dragon.Their size was invaluable, so much so that they filled the entire vast world.
As soon as Chu Feng entered, these powerful energies reacted as if they had found their prey.
In the blink of an eye, Chu Feng found himself entangled in powerful forces and was pulled into the depths of the world.
Meanwhile, the fox spirit began to closely observe the situation inside the pearl.
– Considering how well this little guy analyzed things before, I thought he had some amazing ability.But it turned out that he was also instantly consumed by these forces the moment he entered.
– Forget him. I’ll wait two hours and see.
After examining the pearl once more, the fox’s spirit decided to lie down on the bed.
The world formation gate on the Pearl was still open. However, the fox spirit did not seem to be impressed.
At this moment, the fox’s spirit was lying on the bed in a seductive pose.
She no longer displayed the cute behavior she used to.Instead, she behaved very casually, as if she were the master of the palace.
Whether out of boredom, or out of habit, she fiddled with her tail with her hand, like a cat playing with itself.
At the same time, from time to time she glanced at the pearl.
But she could no longer find Chu Feng inside the pearl.
Suddenly, the corners of her lips lifted into a smile.
– This little World Spiritist dress was really interesting. If I can absorb it, then perhaps it will greatly increase my strength.
– Come to think of it, even if he dies there, things won’t be so bad.
– After all, I’ve waited all these years. There is no reason to wait any longer.
The fox spirit did not try to hide anything when she spoke these words. Instead, she spoke openly. Perhaps because she knew that Chu Feng did not hear her.
Time passed quickly. Two hours flew by in the blink of an eye.
– Why hasn’t he thrown away any treasures yet? Maybe this kid is still alive?
The fox’s spirit got up and began to carefully examine the pearl.
Gravity was still present. Standing in front of the gates of the world formation, the long hair of the fox’s spirit was also touched by the attractive force and began to sway violently.
However, she stood very steadfastly. As strong as the force of gravity was, it seemed unable to absorb it.
– Not dying in two hours, looks like you have some skill.
– Okay, let’s wait a little longer.
– In the end, in three hours there will definitely be a result.
Having said these words, the fox spirit lay down on the bed again.
Another hour soon passed.
The fox spirit rose again. Moreover, disappointment was written on her face.
– No one has ever lived there for more than three hours.
– It looks like he, like the previous guy, died there, but none of his treasures were thrown away.
– Maybe once they reach a certain place, even if they die, their treasures won’t be thrown away?
– Ah, have pity on me.I have been waiting all this time, but I haven’t achieved anything.
– What bad luck.
The words spoken by the fox’s spirit expressed her disappointment.
However, despite this, she still opened her palms and activated the power of her special bloodline.
This time she closed the gates of the world formation on the Pearl.
In fact, she planned to complete what she started.
– How can this be?
However, soon after she unleashed the power of her bloodline, disbelief appeared in her eyes.
– Why can’t I close them?
– Maybe this guy is still alive?
– Is he really still alive after three o’clock?
The eyes of the fox spirit filled with terror. She began to examine the pearl carefully. Even her gaze began to change. She seemed to be using a special kind of vision.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard she tried, she was unable to find any sign of Chu Feng.
The reason for this was that Chu Feng had arrived at the deepest spot in the pearl world.
Chu Feng was still enveloped in countless powers.
It’s just that these forces are dissipating now.
Finally, Chu Feng’s figure appeared.
His eyes were tightly closed and his aura remained calm. Looks like he was fast asleep.
– Oosh ~~~
Suddenly, Chu Feng opened his eyes.
The moment he opened his eyes, he changed a lot.
Nothing bothered him anymore. In fact, he became abnormally emotional and began to choke with an expression of alarm on his face.
He seemed to be terrified.
– Where am I?
– What is this place?
Upon seeing his surroundings, Chu Feng became embarrassed.
However, he did not pay much attention to this. Instead, he looked around and started shouting loudly.
– Wang Qiang! Wang Qiang!
Chu Feng shouted Wang Qiang’s name several times. In addition, besides fear, anxiety gradually appeared in Chu Feng’s eyes.
However, in this barbaric world, there was no one other than terrifying forces intertwining and fighting with each other.As for Wang Qiang, he simply could not be there.
– Why does this place seem familiar to me?
After inspecting the surroundings, Chu Feng’s gaze changed somewhat.
Suddenly, his expression changed dramatically.
– Now I remember! Chu Feng exclaimed in dismay. Then, subconsciously, he looked at his right hand.
Chapter 1481 | The God Who Challenged the World
Chen Xiang watched L.V. Tsilyan and found that there was a hard look in his eyes, which gave him a bad feeling. While it looked like L.V. Quilian wanted to talk quietly about the living, murdered method, he knew that it would not be easy for her to compromise with this woman’s personality. Moreover, she was deceived by Chen Xian so that he did not hate her.
-Then we first need to talk about something. – he asked carefully. At that moment L.V.Qiliane was so calm that he felt a little uncomfortable.
– First, tell me why you came to me.You must have other important things to do, right? ”L. V. Quilian had a charming smile on her face, that smile was filled with confidence, which made her even more beautiful and charming.
-I want to buy some medicinal herbs of the Immortal variety. The first and second steps are mainly used to increase the innate Qi or strengthen the body as well as the Divine Soul. ”Chen Xiang went straight to the point and told LV Tsilyan the reason for his visit.
LV Qilian sipped his tea lightly, with a smile in his eyes, making Chen Xiang’s heart flutter with fear.
“You want to challenge the defenders of the Divine Palace, but you do not have enough strength, so you need a lot of high-level herbs to concoct pills. Qilian set his cup down on the table and smiled softly, as if he saw through everything that touched Chen Xiang. “I didn’t expect you to know how to perfect the pills of immortality, you are much stronger than I imagined.”
Chen Xiang was most afraid that L.V. Qilian would easily understand what she was thinking, and she could even predict what you would do next.
– That’s it. Chen Xiang threw up his hands, “You must have these ingredients.”
-Yes, but I won’t sell it to you. Quilian laughed. “Don’t even think about making a deal with me, I won’t give you any chance. You should know that I have no shortage of spiritual crystal, and I have no shortage of anything else. ”
With that, she threw the small jade box to Chen Xiang and continued to say, “This is a seed, and I will return it to you.
Chen Xiang took the jade box and secretly took a deep breath.He knew that L. V. Quilian was going to counterattack.
“That is, you do not plan to discuss the issues of suppressing the Heavenly Devil Reverend. Chen Xiang frowned, “Didn’t you say we need to have a good conversation?”
Lv Qilian said: “we need to talk well, but I didn’t say I want to talk about it, so everything is fine, but if you listen to my agreements, we can continue to cooperate, I can even provide a large number of immortal medicines and of immortal pills to help you increase your powers and allow you to challenge the defenders of the Divine Palace.”
-But I don’t think you will agree, so we have nothing to talk about.”
Chen Xiang nodded his head: “Now you understand me perfectly, I will not agree to that. Since this is the case, we really have nothing to discuss, so I’m leaving. ”
Chen Xiang is already up. This kind of decisive attitude, in fact, surpassed the expectations of L. V. Tsilian. “Just don’t tell me you don’t want this method of living death.”
-I can get it myself .- Chen Xiang folded his hands as a megaphone and started to leave.
-I am stronger than you. If you have a request to me, why don’t you want to follow my orders? It’s good for you. ”It was hard for L.V. Quilian to understand. In her opinion, Chen Xiang should be very happy to agree to her request.
-Why don’t we discuss this properly? We must listen to all of your orders, and you are not necessarily right. If you listen to your orders, then there is a very high probability that it will harm me, roughly speaking, even if I do not trust you, and you are too confident, you still will not listen to my opinion.Chen Xiang sighed, “My request is not too overboard, this is for the two of us to cooperate and discuss countermeasures.”
LV Tsilian said: “Then go, you are really powerful, I may be wrong, but I like to control everything, and I have been that way for many years. I do not allow any variables to interfere with my plans, and also, do not look for me here in the future.
Chen Xiang went to the door and said, “Even if you knew where the dead method was hidden, you could not have gotten it without me, because it was left especially for me by my father.Others cannot get it if they forcibly take it away, it will only lead to the destruction of this place. ”
– Thank you for the reminder. ”
Chen Xiang left the palace of hundreds of flowers, he was not surprised that L.V. Tsilyan would behave this way. This man was a strong woman, her competitive spirit was extremely strong, and she hated men so much that Chen Xiang was definitely not able to discuss important matters with her.
-As you would expect from a flower emperor, you have character, you little rascal, just don’t tell me you’re going to give it up like that.Long Xueyi laughed.
Chen Xiang walked down the street, looked at the pharmacies and said, “initially there was no enmity between her and me, and after our failure there was only righteousness and righteousness. Now she is angry with me. ”
-In her eyes, I am still a weak person. She despises cooperation with me and only wants me to listen to her. So then I can only rely on myself. ”
LV Qilian thought that Chen Xiang had deceived her and felt that she had some understanding of Chen Xiang.She felt that Chen Xiang was just that, but she still understood very little of Chen Xiang and only knew his facade.
However, she is too arrogant, and cannot let go of her dignity, so after that she will definitely fight me in the dark. I think she’ll come up with a way to prevent me from purchasing any of the ingredients in the Immortal Cure. Chen Xiang said, “I think she is hoping to use some methods to make me go astray. In the end, she will find her for help and then submit to her.
Long Xueyi laughed. “This flower emperor wants to conquer you, but she definitely won’t do it that easily.”
Chen Xiang laughed, “Whoever gets defeated in the end will definitely be her.”
“Put her on the bed.” Long Xuei laughed ominously.
Chen Xiang laughed ominously, then entered the transmission system and returned to the ancient palace of the Immortal Stars. He was in no rush to investigate the divine devil cult as he was not yet strong enough.
“Master, help me find out where Yang Zilan is and I need to find her.” Chen Xiang knocked on Huang Jintian’s door.
Huang Jintian did not open the door, but instead shouted from within: “I heard that the sisters went to the land of the Divine Thunder of Immortality, go and find out, with the help of the sisters’ abilities, they should be able to make a name for themselves there.”
-Then I will stay there for a while. I’ll leave this place to you, old man. ”
Yang Jilan had outstanding management skills and a very wide network of people.Chen Xiang wanted to find her to help him buy some of the ingredients of the Immortal Medicine.
Yang Jilan, Du Yanyo, Yun Zhu and Bai Xing were all named sisters. Chen Xiang had helped them many times, but now that he was about to ask them for help, they definitely would not refuse him.
Holiness of God »Library soteria.ru
7. War and Peace with Holy God
If a person was not created for God,
Why is he only happy with God?
If man was created for God,
Why is He so opposed to Him?
The Bible is full of stories of men and women who wrestled with God.The very name Israel means “striving with God.” God is holy. He is superior to us, He is transcendental. And yet He is God with whom we can fight. In this “match”, the goal is not final war, but final peace. Some have found it. In this chapter, we will turn to people who entered into a duel with God and left the battlefield with the world. We will talk about Jacob, Job, Habakkuk and Saul of Tarsus. Then we will consider the question of what it means to be reconciled to God.
Jacob was a fraud.His name means “cunningly taking someone else’s place.” It was a man who deceived his father, wooed his brother, and entered into an unholy conspiracy with his mother. It is hard to imagine that Isaac’s son and Abraham’s grandson could have been so corrupted. But life made him a completely different person, he underwent a complete transformation. It began at Bethel: “Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran, and came to one place, and stayed there to spend the night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones from that place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place ”(Gen.28:10, 11).
Traveling in ancient Palestine was often an ordeal. The evening brought with it the danger of attack by robbers and wild beasts. There were no hotels at that time and Jacob had nowhere to hide for the night. He walked until the sun went down. Then he made a halt under the stars. A stone served as a pillow. When he had just started to fall asleep, he had a dream. This dream changed his life: “And I saw in a dream: behold, a ladder stands on the earth, and its top touches the sky, and behold, the Angels of God ascend and descend along it.And so, the Lord stands on it and says: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham, and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie, I will give you and your offspring. And your offspring will be like the sand of the earth, and you will spread to the sea, and to the east, and to the north, and by noon, and all the tribes of the earth will be blessed in you and in your seed. And now, I am with you, and I will keep you wherever you go, and I will return you to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I told you ”(Gen. 28: 12-15).
The ladder that Jacob saw in his dream is usually called “Jacob’s ladder”.She served as a bridge connecting heaven and earth. Until this point in his life, Jacob had not been a person in any way in contact with heaven. He deeply felt the absence of God. It seems strange that the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham could be such a “worldly” person. Abraham talked to God. It is safe to say that young Jacob heard the stories that his father and grandfather told in the evenings, when the whole family gathered around the fire. He must have known about the command that God gave Abraham – to sacrifice Isaac on the altar on Mount Moriah.
Jacob’s life took place on the surface of this world. Any “heavenly” conversations did not make much of an impression on him. All his thoughts were directed to the earthly. As for him personally, in his understanding, an insurmountable abyss stretched between heaven and earth. If God existed, then He was so distant, so infinitely transcendental, that He had nothing to do with Jacob’s life. Before this God, about Whom Jacob’s parents spoke, he could not reach – He was too far away.Until Jacob had a dream.
In this dream, he is said to have seen a staircase. The staircase was a place of contact, a link between the kingdom of the saint and the kingdom of the worldly. Jacob saw angels going up and down the stairs. They moved in both directions, from earth to heaven and from heaven to earth. This movement was incessant. They went from the presence of God to the presence of people. At the top of the ladder, Jacob saw the figure of God. Addressing him, God confirmed the promise that He made earlier to Abraham and Isaac. The promise of God will now pass to Jacob and will remain in force for future generations.Jacob will be the bearer of the covenant oath that God has given. God promised to be with Jacob wherever he went and to stay with him until all the promises were fulfilled.
What happened to Jacob’s ladder? This image practically disappears in the Old Testament history. Centuries pass without a single mention of her. Then suddenly this image appears again, this time in the New Testament: “Philip finds Nathanael and says to him: we have found the One about whom Moses wrote in the law and the prophets, Jesus, the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.But Nathanael said to him: Could anything good be out of Nazareth? Philip says to him: go and see. Jesus, seeing Nathanael coming to him, says of him: Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile. Nathanael says to Him: Why do you know me? Jesus answered and said to him: Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you. Nathanael answered Him: Ravei! You are the Son of God, You are the King of Israel. Jesus answered him: you believe because I told you: “I saw you under the fig tree,” you will see more of this.And he saith to him: Truly, truly, I say to you: from now on you will see the heavens open and the Angels of God ascending and descending to the Son of Man “” (John 1: 45-51).
These words of Jesus to Nathanael are of fundamental importance. He, in fact, announced that he is Jacob’s ladder, the bridge that connects heaven and earth. This bridge is thrown over the abyss between the Transcendent and mortal people. Angels of God descend to Him and ascend to heaven. He makes the Absent among us become Present.Was it not a pale shadow of this that Jacob saw in his dream?
When Jacob awoke, everything changed for him. The feelings caused by sleep flooded over him: “Jacob awoke from sleep and said: how awful is the cue place! it is nothing but the house of God, it is the gate of heaven ”(Gen. 28: 16,17).
The place where Jacob had a dream became known as Bethel. The Hebrew word for Bethel means the house of God. There was no tabernacle, no temple, no church. Jacob called this place the house of God, because it was there that holy God was revealed to him.The words spoken by Jacob can be said by modern people. Today, man also feels the absence of God. We see no burning bushes, no pillars of fire, no Christ in flesh walking among us. We feel abandoned, thrown into the waters of a hostile or, even worse, indifferent universe. It seems to us that we are locked in a world from which there is no exit, in which there is no staircase leading to the stars.
Jacob experienced the same feelings until he had this dream. His words apply to our current situation.”Truly the LORD is present in this place, but I did not know it!” God was present all the time. He was not far from Jacob, but Jacob yearned for Him all his life. He didn’t know that God was here. Millions of people today are tragically unaware of the presence of God. God is near, but we do not know about it. At the moment when the awareness of His divine presence arises, at the same time, the most difficult inner struggle that a person can go through begins. The vision did not end Jacob’s inner struggle.This was the beginning of a struggle that was not destined to end all his life. From that moment on, he entered into a struggle for his own soul.
“This place is terrible!” This is how Jacob reacted to being in the house of God. As a rule, people in the church do not experience these feelings. There is no awe caused by being in the company of the One who makes us tremble. People who are in awe will never complain of boredom in church.
Scholars argue about the exact date of Jacob’s conversion.Some believe it happened here at Bethel when the feeling of God’s presence swept over him. Others are of the opinion that Jacob was converted a few years later, at the fateful hour when he wrestled with God: “And he got up that night, and taking his two wives, and his two slaves, and his eleven sons, crossed over Jabok into the ford … And taking them, he transferred them over the stream, and translated everything that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And Someone wrestled with him, until the dawn came, and, seeing that he was not overpowering him, touched the structure of his thigh, and damaged the structure of Jacob’s thigh when He wrestled with Him.And he said: Let me go, for the dawn has come up. Jacob said: I will not let you go until you bless me. And he said, What is your name? He said: Jacob. And he said: From now on, your name will not be Jacob, but Israel, for you fought with God, and you will prevail over men. Jacob also asked, saying, Say your name. And He said: Why do you ask about My name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of that place Penuel, for, he said, I saw God face to face, and my soul was preserved ”(Gen. 32: 22-30).
Obviously, the “One” who fought with Jacob was not a man – he was an angel of God.The fight was fierce, it lasted all night, and none of the fighters could prevail. In the end, the angel used the all-conquering power of God and, touching the composition of Jacob’s thigh, damaged it. As a result of his “victory”, Jacob only survived. He left the battlefield, but left with a limp that remained for his life.
Talking about names with an angel is very significant. The angel asked Jacob to say his name. In those days, when a person in a similar situation called his name, then by this he seemed to give up, confirming his subordinate position.This is analogous to the custom of using a patronymic along with the name of a person who, in terms of his position and age, is higher than us. For a fighter, saying his name meant acknowledging the superiority of the other side. This was an act of surrender.
When Jacob gave out his name, he betrayed his soul. He gave up power over his own life. At the same time, a new name came, a new personality was born – Israel.
In his defeat, Jacob still hoped for a draw, a “score in the match” that would leave his pride intact.Even a compromise solution would do. He told the angel, “Please tell me your name.” Pay attention to the difference in intonation of the interlocutors when talking about names. The angel demanded that Jacob give his name and Jacob named it in confirmation of the superiority of the enemy. Jacob made a polite request to the angel and did not receive the desired answer. This was the final act of God’s victory. With God there can be no “anyone” and no compromises. When we fight the Almighty, we fail. He alone in the whole universe is invincible.
Man cannot fight with God and come out of this fight as a winner. But there is also consolation here. Jacob fought with God and survived. He was defeated and crippled. But he survived this fight. From this at least we can infer that God will draw us into an honest fight with Him. We can fight a holy God. Indeed, in a sense, we must fight Him so that God’s transforming power can change us and our lives. We need to know what it is like to fight with God all night long if we want to also taste the sweetness the moment we give our soul to Him.
No one has ever had a more lively and harsh debate with God than Job. It seems that if there was a person in the world who had the right to challenge God, then Job was such a person. God Himself declared Job to be righteous, and yet he suffered immense grief. Job’s drama gives the impression that the poor man was nothing more than a pawn in the cosmic battle between God and Satan. God allowed Job to be tested. His property was stolen. His family members were killed. And finally, he fell ill with a painful illness – abscesses covered his entire body.He couldn’t find relief from the pain. Soon, bodily anguish took its toll on his soul.
I once had a conversation with an elderly woman who was fighting desperately with cancer. She underwent chemotherapy sessions. She suffered from the side effects of the treatment, including nausea. I asked her how she managed not to lose heart, and I heard the most honest answer: “It’s hard to be a Christian when you don’t get out of the closet.” This woman understood that there is a close connection between body and spirit.It is extremely difficult to think about spiritual things when you suffer from incessant bodily anguish.
However, Job did not blaspheme God. He exclaimed, “Behold, He is killing me, but I will hope.” Even his wife tried to persuade him to find final peace. She gave a simple and straightforward advice: “Blaspheme God and die.”
Job refused to look for an easy way out. He listened to the reckless advice that friends gave him. Finally, he raised his voice and challenged God.He stood face to face with God and fought with Him, seeking an answer to the question: why and for what all these misfortunes fell on him? God’s answer can hardly be called comforting: “The Lord answered Job out of the storm and said: Who is this who darkens Providence with words without meaning? Now gird your loins like a husband: I will ask you, and you explain to Me: where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me if you know. Who put the measure to her, if you know? Or who stretched the rope along it? On what basis are its foundations established, or who laid the cornerstone of it, with the general exultation of the morning stars, when all the sons of God shouted for joy? Whoever shut the sea with a gate, when it was pulled out, came out as it were from the belly, when I made the clouds his clothing and the darkness his shroud.And he confirmed My decree for him, and put locks and gates, and said: “Hitherto you will reach, and you will not cross, and here is the limit to your arrogant waves”? ” (Job 38: 1-11).
It was a difficult oral exam. Job demanded answers from God. Instead of answers, he received a whole bunch of questions. God rebuked Job for casting a dark shadow over the wisdom of God in his ignorance. It was as if God had said, “Okay, Job, do you want to question Me? Fine, I will answer your questions, but first answer a few of Mine. “Questions rained down like a machine gun, one more difficult than the other. Finally Job began to speak: “And Job answered the Lord and said: behold, I am worthless, what will I answer to You? I put my hand on my mouth. Once I said – now I will not answer, even twice, but I will no longer ”(Job 39: 33-35).
Think about the image that Job used. He said he “puts his hand on the mouth.” He forced himself to be silent. He covered his mouth with his hand so that no more reckless word would escape his tongue.He regretted daring to challenge God. He realized the presumptuousness of his words. He said whatever he wanted.
But the interrogation continued. God has not finished the exam yet. He continued to bombard Job with questions: “Do you want to overthrow My judgment, accuse Me in order to justify yourself?” (Job 40: 3).
It is quite clear in whose garden the stone of Job was thrown. His challenge was directed at God’s justice. His accusations are insults to a holy God. God’s question rings in Job’s ears: “Do you want to accuse Me in order to justify yourself?” There is no doubt that Job longed to be justified.He was sick of accusations from friends. He did not understand why and for what he had to be so poor. He sought rehabilitation. But his desire got out of hand. He was willing to trade God’s justification for his own. In the heat of the argument, he crossed a line, suggesting that God may have done evil. God asked him bluntly: “Do you want to accuse Me in order to justify yourself?”
This question of God overtook the scales – and the questions of God fell on Job with all their weight. He was almost crushed.Finally, he took his hand from his mouth and spoke again. This time, there was no accusation in his words. He broke his vow of silence only to express repentance: “I know that You can do everything and that Your intention cannot be abandoned. Who is this that darkens Providence, not understanding anything? – So, I talked about what I did not understand, about things wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, I cried, and I will speak, and what I will ask You, explain to me. I heard about You with the hearing of the ear, but now my eyes see You, therefore I renounce and repent in dust and ashes ”(Job.42: 2-6).
When reading this portion of the Book of Job, one might get the impression that God is teasing Job. Job cried out for an answer, and God said He would answer his questions. But there were no answers. More precisely, God promised to answer on one condition: Job must answer first. But Job failed the exam. Then God did not answer.
Yet Job was satisfied with this. Despite the fact that God did not give answers, the confusion in Job’s soul subsided, and he had no more questions. He heard something higher, more complete than any direct answer could give him.Job’s questions were answered not by words, but by God Himself. As soon as Job saw who God was, it became clear that this was all he needed. When the veil of mystery, covering God for Job, dissipated, he could already live in peace with several questions that remained unanswered. The appearance of God forced Job to repent, and he had no time for questions and no time for challenging God. His rage was given a new direction: now he was angry with himself. “I renounce and repent in dust and ashes.”
Now we will talk about one more person that the Old Testament tells us about.He also challenged God.
Prophet Habakkuk reprimanded God, because what He had done offended Habakkuk’s sense of justice. The Prophet resented that God’s people had to suffer at the hands of a more wicked people than themselves. At first glance, it seemed that God did not fulfill His promise to the Jews, and, becoming an apostate, began to patronize the depraved Babylonians. Habakkuk was like a modern Jew wondering if God was on Hitler’s side during the extermination of the Jews.Habakkuk expressed his indignation in a full voice: “How long, Lord, will I cry out – and You will not hear, I will cry out to You about violence – and You will not save? Why do you let me see the wickedness and look at the calamities? Robbery and violence are before me, and enmity arises and strife arises. Because of this, the law lost its force, and there is no correct judgment: since the wicked prevails over the righteous, then the judgment is reversed ”(Hab. 1: 2-4).
Avvakum tore and threw. He expressed his complaint so passionately and with such bitterness that he went overboard a little.He said: “There is no correct court.” (In the English text: “Justice never prevails.” – Approx. Transl. )
Of course, unfair deeds are happening in this world that must eventually be corrected, but to say that justice never prevails is still an exaggeration. Like Job, Habakkuk demanded answers. He went out to battle with God and prepared to settle the dispute in this battle. He stood on the watchtower, waiting for an answer from the Almighty. When God finally spoke, the reaction of Habakkuk was similar to that of Job: “I heard – and my insides trembled, my lips trembled at the news, pain penetrated into my bones, and the place swayed beneath me” (Hab.3:16).
The Prophet felt like a little child who is being scolded by his parents. His heart began to beat faster, and his lips began to tremble. We’ve all seen babies about to cry. They try to hold back their sobs, but their lower lip trembles, giving them away. And now we see a grown man whose lips begin to tremble in the presence of God. He felt something like internal decay, decomposition entering his bones. It seemed that his skeleton was turning to dust, that he was about to collapse. Legs buckled – he came in contact with the mysterium tremendum.My knees trembled. He left alive after the battle with God, but left, barely dragging his feet.
As soon as God appeared, all the angry protests of Habakkuk ceased. Suddenly the tone of his speech changed. Now, bitter despair has been replaced by unshakable confidence and hope: “At least the fig tree did not blossom and there was no fruit on the vines, and the olive tree changed, and the cornfield did not give food, even if there were no sheep in the corral and cattle in the stalls, but and then I will rejoice in the Lord and rejoice in the God of my salvation ”(Hab.3: 17-18).
How deep was the abyss of despair in which Habakkuk was before, so high is the peak of the joy he is experiencing now. Now he could safely rely on the incomprehensible wisdom of God. If we translate his words into modern language, they would sound something like this: “Even if the budget is not balanced, may the price of my shares on the stock exchange fall, and food prices will reach incredible heights, may the production of domestic steel yield to Japanese imports, and the industry will collapse, and banks will close their doors, even if the Russians rob our country, and the national baseball team loses in the Cup Winners’ Cup – but then I will have fun about the God of my salvation. “
All of them: Jacob, Job and Habakkuk – went to war against God. They all stormed the heavenly fortress. All three were defeated, but recovered from the battlefield. They paid the price with their pain. God allowed a dispute, but a heated battle preceded the establishment of peace.
Saul of Tarsus went through the same trials – he was also completely and completely defeated by God. He was a zealous Pharisee, a zealot, and the emergence of a new sect called “Christians” caused him the deepest revulsion.He made it his goal to wipe Christians off the face of the earth. Acting with the approval of the authorities, he went from house to house, raided the early Christians and threw them into dungeons. When Stephen was stoned, he stood by and welcomed the act. He rejoiced when he received a new assignment to go to Damascus and continue the pogrom of Christians there. It was there, on the way to Damascus, that he met the holy God. This is how he told about it when he was judged before King Agrippa: “In the middle of the day on the road I saw, sir, from heaven a light that surpasses the sun’s radiance, shining on me and on those who walked with me.We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice speaking to me in Hebrew: Saul, Saul! why are you persecuting me? it’s hard for you to go against the prick. I said: who are you, Lord? He said: I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, but get up and stand on your feet, for this is why I appeared to you, to make you a servant and witness of what you have seen and what I will reveal to you, delivering you from the people of the Jews and from pagans, to whom I now send you, open your eyes and so that they turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, and by faith in me receive forgiveness of sins and a lot with the sanctified.Therefore, King Agrippa, I did not oppose the heavenly vision ”(Acts 26: 13-19).
Saul strove for righteousness with all his zeal. He was a Pharisee of the Pharisees who dedicated his life to thoroughly following the Law The irony is that the more zeal he pursued his goals, the more he actually did God’s work, It’s not that God dislikes when someone -this is seeking righteousness. God is “for” the pursuit of righteousness, but He is “against” pride and arrogance.He opposes those who are swollen with complacency. Deeply convinced that he was fighting for God, Saul actually fought against Him. And in this full of irony battle, the moment of direct confrontation with the very Christ, against whom he was going, inevitably had to come.
One of the names by which God is revealed to us in the Old Testament is El Shaddai. This name means “Thunderer” or “Almighty”. It was under this name that God appeared to Job. Job experienced the awesome power of God the Sovereign, a power that conquers all men and that no man can overcome.Saul met the All-Conqueror on the road to Damascus.
Saul begins his account of his experience on the desert road with a sudden blinding light. On a deserted road at noon, the sun was especially bright, its incandescent rays blinded, passing through a very thin atmospheric layer. Under normal conditions in this geographic area, the sunlight is very intense. In order for any other light to become visible against the background of this “white sun of the desert”, it must be extremely bright.Saul talks about light that is brighter, more dazzling than sunlight. He described it as “light from heaven.”
The expression “light from heaven” (in the English text: “light from heaven”. – Approx. Transl. ) does not literally mean light descending from our “earthly” sky.
Saul found himself in the presence of God’s heavenly glory. The glory of God is the outward manifestation of His holiness. His fame sparkles with such radiance, it is so bright that it overshadows the sunlight. In the Book of Revelation we read about the appearance of the new Jerusalem, a city descending from heaven: “But I did not see a temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, and the Lamb.And the city does not need either the sun or the moon to illuminate its own, for the glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb ”(Rev. 21: 22,23).
There is no sun in New Jerusalem for the simple reason that the city does not need the sun. The glory of God and His Christ is so bright that the sun itself turns pale before its radiance. Paul was blinded by her rays. Think about what happens if you look directly at the sun? During solar eclipses, people are attracted by a strange sight – a shadow covering the sun.However, if you look directly at the sun even during an eclipse, it hurts your eyes, and this is dangerous for your vision. Before solar eclipses, the media explains to us that eyesight can be seriously damaged by looking directly into the sun. How powerful should a brilliance be that is literally brighter than the sun? The glory of God reaches a degree of brightness that far exceeds the brightness of the sun when it shines in full force.
An angel did not appear to Saul to fight him.Instead, some supernatural force threw him to the ground. And instantly Saul went blind. There was no warning, no breeze to alert him. A higher power nailed him to the land of the desert.
Along with the light, a voice also came from heaven. This voice is everywhere described as the sound of many waters, thundering like a waterfall as the water cascades down and hits the rocks. Paul defined that Someone speaks Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus. The voice addressed Saul personally, repeating his name twice: “Saul, Saul.”This form of address, when the name was repeated twice, meant a greeting addressed to a loved one. In the same way, God spoke to Moses when he spoke to him from the burning bush, and to Abraham at the altar on Mount Moriah. Jesus resorted to the same form of address when he wept over Jerusalem and cried out to the Father in His darkest hour, on the cross.
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” Note that the voice did not ask why Saul was persecuting Christ’s church. The question was precisely “Why are you persecuting Me?” To attack the church of Christ is to attack Himself.And then the phrase: “It’s hard for you to go against the prick.” Rojon is a wooden frame attached to an ox cart. Sharp spikes were inserted into this frame. The frame was strengthened behind the oxen in such a way that when the oxen began to be stubborn and refused to move forward, the thorns dug into their legs and forced them to move on. Imagine how dumb an ox must be to get angry and kick after the thorns have dug into its legs. The more he kicked, the more pain he inflicted on himself.
A voice said to Saul: “You are an unreasonable ox! How stupid it is to kick when the thorns dig into your feet! Your battle is in vain.It’s time to surrender. ” In response, Saul asked a simple question, but this question had a subtext: “Who are You, Lord?” Saul did not know who the One who had just defeated him was, but one thing he did not doubt – whoever it was, it was the Lord.
After experiencing this, Saul became Paul, just as Jacob became Israel. The fight is over. Saul fought with God and lost. And like Isaiah, he learned about his calling – to be an Apostle. His life changed and the course of world history changed with it. In his defeat, Paul found peace.
After telling his story to King Agrippa, Paul added these words: “Therefore, King Agrippa, I did not oppose the heavenly vision.” No matter how zeal Saul may have shown in the struggle against Christ, in the struggle for Christ his zeal has become incomparably greater. He directly saw the holiness of God, and the impression was so strong that he could no longer forget it. He meditated on it and clarified its meaning in all of his epistles. He became a man who understood what it meant to be justified. For him, the holy war is over and the holy world has come.He became the Apostle, whose writings awakened Luther in the monastery and who gave the Christian church a recipe for how to be at peace with God.
The essence of the struggle we are waging with a holy God is the conflict between God’s righteousness and our unrighteousness. He is just and we are unjust. This tension creates fear, hostility, and havoc in us towards God. An unjust person does not crave fellowship with a just judge. We become refugees trying to hide from the presence of One whose glory can blind us and whose justice can blame us.We are at war with Him until (or if) we are justified. Only a person who has been justified can feel at ease in the presence of a holy God.
The apostle Paul speaks of the gifts that justification brings with it. In the Epistle to the Romans, he explains what happens to us when we are justified, when we believe in Christ and His righteousness covers our sins: access to that grace in which we stand and boast in the hope of the glory of God ”(Rom.5: 1,2).
The first fruit of our justification is peace with God. For the ancient Jew, peace was a luxury that he did not often enjoy. What is happening today in the Middle East resembles a repetition of ancient history. From the conquest of Canaan to the occupation of Judea by Rome, there were only a few years in the New Testament when Israel was not at war. Geographically, Palestine was located in such a way that it served as the main bridge connecting Africa and Asia. This made it a corridor where there was not only trade, but also constant war.Tiny Israel was often caught between the rock and the hard place of various rival forces. In military operations, it was used as a kind of ping-pong ball.
The Jew longed for peace. He dreamed of the day when “swords will be hammered into plowshares.” He waited for the day when the Prince of Peace would come and put an end to the ongoing hostility. The pursuit of peace has become so important to the Jew that the very word peace has become a daily greeting. Whenever we say “hello” or “goodbye,” the Jews simply said, “Shalom.”
To this day, the word “shalom” is an integral part of the Hebrew spoken language.
The main meaning of the word “peace” is the end of a military conflict. But this word also had a deeper meaning. The Jew was also deeply worried about the inner peace, the peace of the soul, the cessation of the confused state of mind. We have a similar concept, which is characterized by the phrase “peace of mind.”
I remember a sultry summer day in 1945 when I was playing cricket on a street in Chicago.My whole world at this moment consisted of a piece of land from one hole to another. The only thing that worried me was when it was my turn to pick up the bat.
And I was very annoyed as my first serve was interrupted by the sudden chaos and noise around me. People ran out of their apartments. They shouted and beat the frying pans with spoons. For a second it seemed to me that the end of the world had come. Anyway, it was the end of my cricket game. In the midst of all this mad turmoil, I saw my mother.She rushed to me, tears streaming down her face. She grabbed me in her arms and pulled me to her, repeating over and over again through sobs: “It’s over, over, over!”
It was 1945, Victory Day over Japan. I did not fully understand the meaning of what was happening, but one thing was clear: the war was over and my father would soon return home. We will no longer send letters by airmail to distant countries. We will not listen to the daily news bulletins with reports of human casualties on the battlefield.Silk banners decorated with stars will no longer hang on the windows. There will be no food cards. The war is over and peace has finally come to us.
This moment of exultation left an indelible imprint on my childhood consciousness. I learned that peace is an important thing, a reason for unbridled joy when it comes and bitter regrets when it is lost.
On a Chicago street that day, I had the impression that peace had come forever. I had no idea how fragile he was.It wasn’t long before the newspapers were full of threatening warnings about the growing military power of China, about the nuclear threat posed by Russia, and about the blockade of Berlin. The peace for America was very short, soon it was interrupted by the war in Korea and then again in Vietnam.
Fragile. Unstable. Shaky. These adjectives can characterize the ordinary world on earth. It seems that peace treaties, like laws, exist to be violated. A million Chamberlains may shout from the balconies, pathetically shaking their fists: “We have achieved peace!”, But their exclamations will not change the fact that human history is a history of endless wars.
Pretty soon we get used to not taking the world too seriously. War invades peaceful life too quickly, too easily. But we all continue to yearn for a lasting peace, one that we can rely on. It is about this kind of peace that the Apostle Paul spoke of in his Epistle to the Romans. When our war with the holy God ends, we, like Luther, pass through the doors of paradise. When we are justified by faith, the war ends forever. Together with the cleansing from sin and the proclamation of divine forgiveness, we conclude a peace treaty with God, and this peace will last forever.This world is holy, unshakable and transcendental. This is not a peace that can be disturbed.
When God signs a peace treaty, He signs it forever. The war is over and will never begin again. Of course, we still sin. We, as before, rebel. Over and over again we show hostility towards God. But God, unlike us, is not at war. He cannot be dragged into the fight against us. We have an Intercessor before the Father. We have a Mediator who stands guard over the world.He keeps the peace, because He is both the Prince of Peace and the world itself.
We are now called the children of God. This name, as a blessing, was bestowed on the peacemakers. Now our sins are dealt with by the Father, and not by the commander of the enemy army. We have the world. This world is our property, it is sealed with the seal of Christ and guaranteed by Him.
Our peace with God is not fragile. It is stable. If we sin, God will be displeased and will take steps to correct us and condemn us for sin. But He will not go to war against us.His bow is no longer drawn, and the arrows of His wrath are no longer aimed at our hearts. He does not shake his weapon every time we break a treaty.
The world of justification is not only the outer world. The deepest need of our heart – the need for inner peace – finds satisfaction in Christ. Saint Augustine once prayed: “O God, You created us for Yourself, and our hearts will not find rest until they find rest in You.” We all know what it means to be tormented by inner anxiety. We are familiar with the gnawing feelings of emptiness and guilt generated by our alienation from God.When peace is established, a terrible void is filled and our hearts can rest.
The New Testament calls this world so: “the peace of God, which is above all mind.” This is a holy world, different from the ordinary earthly world. This is the kind of peace that only Christ can bestow. This is the world that Christ Himself possessed.
We know from the Gospels that Jesus did not have much in this world. He had no home, no place to lay his head. He had no business of his own, no shares.His only property was a tunic. This tunic was stolen from Him by those who were instructed to carry out the execution. One gets the impression that He died without a penny, leaving nothing to His heirs.
We are the heirs of Christ. At first glance, it may seem that we are heirs without inheritance. But the Bible clearly states that God was pleased to give the kingdom to His beloved Son. Jesus received an inheritance from His Father, and He passed this inheritance to us. He promised that someday we will hear the words: “Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
But our inheritance is not only the Kingdom of God. In His last will and testament, Jesus left to His heirs something else, something very special: “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you: not as the world gives, I give you. Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not be afraid ”(John 14:27).
This is the inheritance of Christ: peace. It is His peace that we inherited. He gives His gift in a different way from the custom of giving gifts in this world. He has no ulterior motives, no guile, no deception.He gives His peace not in order to get some benefit from it, but for our good. This is a gift from another world, presented as given in another world. He is ours forever.
Peace is only one of the blessings that come with justification. Something else is added to this holy world: access or entrance. The word access is crucial for any person who has ever struggled with God. Announcements are everywhere in the world. On one ad it may be written: “No entry”, on the other: “Entry restricted.”There was a time in history when a sign hung on the gates of paradise: “No entry”. Even in the Old Testament temple, an ordinary person was denied access to the throne of God. Even for the high priest, access was “restricted.” He could approach him only once a year and with very special precautions. A thick curtain separated the holy of holies from the rest of the temple. The entrance was practically prohibited. Limited. For the average believer, there was no access there.
The moment Jesus was killed, the moment the Just died for the unjust, the curtain in the temple was torn.The presence of God has become available to us. For Christians, the sign “No entry” was removed from the gates of paradise. Now we can safely set foot on the holy ground. We not only have access to His grace, but we have been given something more – access to Him A justified person no longer needs to tell the Holy One: “Get away from me, for I am a sinful man.” Now we can be calm in the presence of a holy God. We can turn to Him with our questions. He’s not so far away that he doesn’t hear our screams. We come to Him as people whose sins have been covered by the righteousness of Christ.I repeat: we can feel at ease in the presence of a holy God. It must be emphasized that we still come reverently, with reverence and admiration, but the news of the utmost importance is that we can come: “So, having the great High Priest who passed through heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with us in our weaknesses, but who, like us, is tempted in all things, save sin. Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need ”(Heb.4: 14-16).
The Bible encourages us to approach the throne of grace with boldness. (In the English text: “with confidence.” – Approx. Transl. )
As justified people, we can confidently draw close to God. Daring should not be confused with frivolous self-confidence. Oza approached God not with confidence, but with arrogance. Nadab and Abiud have crossed the line beyond which confidence ends and an insult to the greatness of God begins. We must come to Him boldly and confidently.There is no need to move away from Him or hesitate before entering. But when we come, we must remember two things: Who He is and who we are.
For the Christian, the holy war is over and peace has come. Access to the Father is now ours. But we must still be in awe of our God. He is still holy. Our thrill is the thrill of awe and admiration, not the thrill of a pagan or a coward flinching at the slightest breeze. As Luther said, we must fear God not by the slavish fear of the prisoner before his tormentor, but by the fear of children who do not want to displease the Father.We come to Him with confidence. We come to Him with boldness. We have access. We have a holy world.
90,000 Read the god who challenged the world
In Russia, this business model is just making its first steps, while more than 400 virtual operators are already operating all over the world, ”his words are quoted in a press release. MTT will challenge the big three “Read more”.
It is unlikely that Sir Frank’s team will have enough strength to challenge the reigning champion, but a step forward compared to last year’s third place in the Constructors’ Cup is quite possible….
MTT will challenge the big three “- RBK daily
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Movie actress: Terapia de Casal (2016), Happily Ever After (2016), The Trap (2011), The Man Who Defied the Devil (2007).
Sin is what happened in the angelic world, when the angel Dennitsa, close to God, wanted to distance himself from God, because from his pride, which apparently arose when comparing his powers with the powers of God, he wanted to live according to his own law.And any distance from God, who is absolute.
Williams “. Pedestal Battle – Gillette Race 2015
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The Taiwanese company ASUStek has challenged the $ 200 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet reader, which is in great demand, Sotovik.ru reports. IN THE WORLD ..
We read the Scripture.Orthodoxy in the world. This podcast contains the song The World Thrown by God “by the Time Machine” group. I so want to live, the One who throws a ray of light into this thrown, thrown, thrown by God, the world. ”
But if Dmitry Medvedev is going to challenge Putin in 2012, he will have to restore political life with all its serious and negative consequences for the country.