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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for June 17, 2015

<i>Adam and Eve</i>, unknown Art Nouveau artist ca. 1900.
Adam and Eve, unknown Art Nouveau artist ca. 1900.



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Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Even if you have never heard this before, the melody is easy and the lyrics are supplied — sing along!

Good Morning Heavenly Father

Thank You dear Lord, for protecting and preserving me during the night and for giving me this new day. Good Morning Heavenly Father, and thank You for the glory of the sun. And thank You for the health I have to get my duty done. I shall devote the hours of this golden day to You, by honoring Your Holy Name in everything I do. I will pursue my daily art without complaint or fear and spend my every effort to be friendly and sincere. I know there have been many days that I have whiled away. But this is one that I will try, to make Your special day. And so once more, Good Morning Heavenly Father. And please depend on me because I want to honor You for all eternity.


For Effort

The things, good Lord, that I pray for, give me the grace to labor for.


For Open Eyes

Lord Jesus, light of the world, open my eyes to notice the magnificence of creation. Open my eyes that I may always value and appreciate all who are part of my life. Open my eyes that I may be quick to notice when people are going through difficulties. Open my eyes so that I share your vision and see truly and deeply, outside of myself.



[How is the sin of sloth different from the normal, unsinful human activity of rest and recreation?]


As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.

Round painting of Christ from Patras Cathedral

Searching for Happiness

“And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history — money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery — the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

~ C.S. Lewis

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 12:27-31 (ESV)

A House Divided

Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.”

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Notes on the Scripture

Few people would correctly identify the common phrase, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” as having originated with Jesus. But fewer still would know that it was originally applied to Satan's minions!

Christ seems to have tired of the accusations from the Pharisees, that when he cast out demons, he did so by the power of hell. It was, really, a stupid accusation. We see this in every sphere from people who lack intellectual honesty: If there is somebody that they have decided to oppose, they will resort to making ridiculous accusations.

And so Christ points our the logical flaw in their argument. Why would Beelzebul (now usually called “Beelzebub”) commission someone to go around undoing his work? How could Jesus be using the powers of Satan to cast out demons, when possession by demons is one of Satan's purposes?

Jesus slave

He then points out another error: inconsistency. For the Jews also would cast out demonsExorcism was practiced by the Jews of the time. In addition to the inference from this passage, Josephus, the great Judeo-Roman historian (37-100 A.D.), describes in great detail a Jewish exorcism ritual in his work, The Jewish Wars. An account of driving away a demon is central to Tobit, especially Chapters 6-8. . Christ thus told the Pharisees, in effect, “why don't we let the Jews who cast out demons judge by what power they are cast out?” As Hamlet put it, he “hoist them with their own petardA line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, spoken by the title character, meaning to blow someone up with his own bomb..”

If the Pharisees had shown intellectual honesty in the matter, they would have had to admit that it was by God's power that Christ cast out demons. But here, if one needed it, was evidence of the Pharisees' corruption, proof that their opposition to Christ was not in complete good faith: they made ridiculous and illogical accusations against him.

And it is still so with those who despise Christianity, for one hears the most absurd and historically incorrect accusations against the religion and the church, especially the Catholic Church prior to the Reformation, with no acknowledgment of earthly good deeds. Anti-Christians, for example, will claim that the Church was responsible for slavery, or at least supportive of it; and they will misquote the phrase from Colossians, “Slaves, obey your masters”, as if it were encouraging slavery.

Without denying the considerable corruption of the Renaissance Church, it was, nevertheless, the only real anti-slavery force in European politics at the time. In 1435, several papal bulls were issued, forbidding the enslavement of colonized natives (first of Christian converts and later of any person), on pain of excommunication.

Enforcement was periodically relaxed, especially as the Church reached its nadir of corruption around the time of Roderigo Borgia (Pope Alexander VI). It seems to have come in cycles, reflecting the cyclical struggle within the Church between piety and political corruption. That is to say, the Church (and many Protestant churches, after the Reformation) would periodically turn a blind eye to slavery or even relax its stated opposition. Still, as a matter of stated principle, the Catholic Church generally opposed slavery and continued to issue edicts against it; and it was the only institution in Europe to do so.

endless knot

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“ Praising God Is A Honor ”

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John 14:6: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

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