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ACAD – Praise: Leviticus 19

The Lord Is Holy

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Every one of you shall revere his mother and his father, andyou shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God. Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the Lord your God.

“When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten the same day you offer it or on the day after, and anything left over until the third day shall be burned up with fire. If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is tainted; it will not be accepted, and everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned what is holy to the Lord, and that person shall be cut off from his people.

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God.

“You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.

“You shall not oppress your neighbor or rob him. The wages of a hired worker shall not remain with you all night until the morning. You shall not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

“You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor. You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life[a] of your neighbor: I am the Lord.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

You Shall Keep My Statutes

“You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.

“If a man lies sexually with a woman who is a slave, assigned to another man and not yet ransomed or given her freedom, a distinction shall be made. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free; but he shall bring his compensation to the Lord, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, a ram for a guilt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the guilt offering before the Lord for his sin that he has committed, and he shall be forgiven for the sin that he has committed.

“When you come into the land and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall regard its fruit as forbidden.[b] Three years it shall be forbidden to you; it must not be eaten. And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, an offering of praise to the Lord. But in the fifth year you may eat of its fruit, to increase its yield for you: I am the Lord your God.

“You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes. You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.

“Do not profane your daughter by making her a prostitute, lest the land fall into prostitution and the land become full of depravity. You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord.

“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the Lord your God.

“You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord.

“When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

“You shall do no wrong in judgment, in measures of length or weight or quantity. You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin:[c] I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt. And you shall observe all my statutes and all my rules, and do them: I am the Lord.”

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 19:16 Hebrew blood
  2. Leviticus 19:23 Hebrew as its uncircumcision
  3. Leviticus 19:36 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters; a hin was about 4 quarts or 3.5 liters

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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I can’t breathe.

wpid-20141203_221430.jpg

Last night I sobbed myself to sleep.

Not cried. I literally choked on sobs. I sobbed for sons I have not borne yet. For their sons. The wives and sisters who will love the men and boys who generate from my body. I sobbed for my brothers, my dad, my uncles and my grandfathers. And all the women who have loved them. I wondered how in the world did my people grieve during a time they had no possible legal recourse for a lynching, a shooting, a beating, a killing? How did the generations before me get up again when the lives of their loved ones and community members were taken and destroyed indiscriminately? How did they continue on?

My prayer last night was a prayer that echoed through me from the moment I heard one of Eric Garners’ killers would not be indicted on any charge for his death. There would be no trial. There would be no justice. For yet another murder. “Father, how are we still here? How is it possible that you have not destroyed us all? What is keeping you from incinerating the earth? What type of world do we live in that we can witness a murder and not charge the murderer?”

I will demand blood for life. I will demand the life of any animal that kills a person, and I will demand the life of anyone who takes another person’s life.

“Whoever kills a human being
    will be killed by a human being,
because God made humans
    in his own image.

Genesis 9:5-6

Last night, as I marched through the streets of New York City, I wondered what would I offer for the lives of people on this earth? The only offering I have is my life. And quite honestly, I was ready for violence last night. Had a riot started, I would have been in the midst of it. Had someone been handing out flames to torch this city, I would have lit up as much as I could until I was taken down. That’s how I felt. And I kept on thinking, “But God! You gave Your Son for the people on this earth! I am having difficulty understanding why You gave up Your Son for these people. For us. I would hide my son away!”

How can a people created and preserved in such love, be capable of such hate and injustice? I have no answer, so I sob. Humans are so lucky I am not God. If I were, they would have no hope of salvation or redemption.

Now I am thinking about the Son God gave the world for payment of its sins. Jesus, sweet Jesus who Himself for a time felt forsaken by His Heavenly Father. Jesus, who Himself asked for the cup He had been given to be taken from Him. Jesus, who is the best representation for pure love we have, said:

“Don’t think that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I have come so that

‘a son will be against his father,
    a daughter will be against her mother,

a daughter-in-law will be against her mother-in-law.
A person’s enemies will be members of his own family.’ Micah 7:6

“Those who love their father or mother more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Those who love their son or daughter more than they love me are not worthy to be my followers. Whoever is not willing to carry the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who try to hold on to their lives will give up true life. Those who give up their lives for me will hold on to true life.

~ Matthew 10:34-39

Jesus Himself wept.

Will You Be There by Michael Jackson

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Articles 1-30

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. ^ Top

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty. ^ Top

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. ^ Top

Article 4.

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.  ^ Top

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  ^ Top

Article 6.

  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.  ^ Top

Article 7.

  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.  ^ Top

Article 8.

  • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent  national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.  ^ Top

Article 9.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.  ^ Top

Article 10.

  • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.  ^ Top

Article 11.

  • (1) Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence.
  • (2) No one shall be held guilty of any penal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a penal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time the penal offence was committed.  ^ Top

Article 12.

  • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.  ^ Top

Article 13.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.  ^ Top

Article 14.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  • (2) This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.  ^ Top

Article 15.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a nationality.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.  ^ Top

Article 16.

  • (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution.
  • (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.
  • (3) The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.  ^ Top

Article 17.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
  • (2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property.  ^ Top

Article 18.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.  ^ Top

Article 19.

  • Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.   ^ Top

Article 20.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
  • (2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association.  ^ Top

Article 21.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • (2) Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • (3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.  ^ Top

Article 22.

  • Everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security and is entitled to realization, through national effort and international co-operation and in accordance with the organization and resources of each State, of the economic, social and cultural rights indispensable for his dignity and the free development of his personality.  ^ Top

Article 23.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  • (2) Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  • (3) Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  • (4) Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.  ^ Top

Article 24.

  • Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.  ^ Top

Article 25.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
  • (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.  ^ Top

Article 26.

  • (1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
  • (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.  ^ Top

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.  ^ Top

Article 28.

  • Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.  ^ Top

Article 29.

  • (1) Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.
  • (2) In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society.
  • (3) These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.  ^ Top

Article 30.

  • Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.  ^ Top

Learn more here: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

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ACAD – Giving Thanks: Daniel 6

Daniel in the Den of Lions

[a]It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”

So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den. Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.” So King Darius put the decree in writing.

Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help. So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?”

The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”

Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.” When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.

Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”

So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den.The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:

“May you prosper greatly!

“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.

“For he is the living God
    and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
    his dominion will never end.
He rescues and he saves;
    he performs signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.”

So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus[b] the Persian.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 6:1 In Aramaic texts 6:1-28 is numbered 6:2-29.
  2. Daniel 6:28 Or Darius, that is, the reign of Cyrus

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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ACAD: Giving Thanks – Leviticus 22

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons so that they abstain from the holy things of the people of Israel, which they dedicate to me, so that they do not profane my holy name: I am the Lord. Say to them, ‘If any one of all your offspring throughout your generations approaches the holy things that the people of Israel dedicate to the Lord, while he has an uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord. None of the offspring of Aaron who has a leprous disease or a discharge may eat of the holy things until he is clean. Whoever touches anything that is unclean through contact with the dead or a man who has had an emission of semen,  and whoever touches a swarming thing by which he may be made unclean or a person from whom he may take uncleanness, whatever his uncleanness may be — the person who touches such a thing shall be unclean until the evening and shall not eat of the holy things unless he has bathed his body in water. When the sun goes down he shall be clean, and afterward he may eat of the holy things, because they are his food. He shall not eat what dies of itself or is torn by beasts, and so make himself unclean by it: I am the Lord.’ They shall therefore keep my charge, lest they bear sin for it and die thereby when they profane it: I am the Lord who sanctifies them.

“A lay person shall not eat of a holy thing; no foreign guest of the priest or hired worker shall eat of a holy thing, but if a priest buys a slave[a] as his property for money, the slave[b] may eat of it, and anyone born in his house may eat of his food. If a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she shall not eat of the contribution of the holy things. But if a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced and has no child and returns to her father’s house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father’s food; yet no lay person shall eat of it. And if anyone eats of a holy thing unintentionally, he shall add the fifth of its value to it and give the holy thing to the priest. They shall not profane the holy things of the people of Israel, which they contribute to the Lord, and so cause them to bear iniquity and guilt, by eating their holy things: for I am the Lordwho sanctifies them.”

Acceptable Offerings

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons and all the people of Israel and say to them, When any one of the house of Israel or of the sojourners in Israel presents a burnt offering as his offering, for any of their vows or freewill offerings that they offer to the Lord, if it is to be accepted for you it shall be a male without blemish, of the bulls or the sheep or the goats. You shall not offer anything that has a blemish, for it will not be acceptable for you. And when anyone offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock, to be accepted it must be perfect; there shall be no blemish in it. Animals blind or disabled or mutilated or having a discharge or an itch or scabs you shall not offer to the Lord or give them to the Lord as a food offering on the altar. You may present a bull or a lamb that has a part too long or too short for a freewill offering, but for a vow offering it cannot be accepted. Any animal that has its testicles bruised or crushed or torn or cut you shall not offer to the Lord; you shall not do it within your land, neither shall you offer as the bread of your God any such animals gotten from a foreigner. Since there is a blemish in them, because of their mutilation, they will not be accepted for you.”

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “When an ox or sheep or goat is born, it shall remain seven days with its mother, and from the eighth day on it shall be acceptable as a food offering to the LordBut you shall not kill an ox or a sheep and her young in one day. And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. It shall be eaten on the same day; you shall leave none of it until morning: I am the Lord.

“So you shall keep my commandments and do them: I am the Lord. And you shall not profane my holy name, that I may be sanctified among the people of Israel. I am the Lord who sanctifies you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I am the Lord.”

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 22:11 Or servant; twice in this verse
  2. Leviticus 22:11 Hebrew he

English Standard Version (ESV)The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

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Who Is Righteous Before God?

This post, “Who is Righteous Before God?” summarizes quite a bit of the process I’ve been detailing for years in my own walk. The process of being separated from worldly influences and desires. Not for the purpose of becoming “self-righteous” — for who can make themselves righteous before God? However, we can get right with God by submitting ourselves to His pruning, weeding, cleansing and watering.

“So who is righteous in God’s sight? It is the person who believes the true Gospel, repents, follows Christ, and obeys the law. Not the written code, but instead, the law of the Spirit. And what does that entail? It entails “circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit”. This is the person God will praise by declaring righteous.

“And what is this circumcision? It is a cutting away from the heart that which is corrupt, defiling, God-hating, idolatrous, sinful, and wicked. Just as a male’s foreskin is prone to harbor disease, so the sinful nature, infected with sin and susceptible to more vileness, grows in the unregenerate heart, hardening it toward God. It must be sliced off. And it is the Spirit who does this for the person who believes, repents, asks, and submits to the process by willingly crucifying the sinful nature. This process is rarely the time-span of a prayer, but a “birthing” done however God pleases, and of which we are not meant to know how to completely explain.” {Click to read the original post}