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my two cents ....
Thank you, Sammyd for your sharing. I was sipping coffee @ Starbucks and pondering over your interesting thoughts. I think it was Howard Shultz, the founder of Starbucks who said that the vision of his company is to build trust, build hope and build community. I am amazed at the magnaminity of their vision and fellow friends, Starbucks merely serves coffee! Likewise, we should all do the same here. Let us build trust, build hope and build community in this forum. There is enough tearing down of one another in the world and the least we could do is to minimize the same. Let us offer one another dignity and decorum in such an open forum. Nevertheless, I think the intent of everyone's submission is to help explain, clarify and sometimes in our best attempts to do so, our emotions get the better of us and thus the inadvertent spillage of some not so pleasant expletives. We also need to remember some are beginners in the English language and their choice of words may not be plentiful and thus let us be gracious to one another.|
I find your discourse on cigarettes, religion and business quite a revealation. I respect your opinions although I do not subscribe to them. The wonderful thing about such a forum is that it is alright to agree to disagree.
In a church family, there are ones who have been called into full-time ministry. They have sacrificed what would have been a good career in the secular world to serve God and His people. If the church family is not able to look into their well-being, more of needs rather than wants, what will they subsist on? And also simply because we believe that all that
we have comes from God (and this includes our ability to earn our living) and we are merely giving back a portion of what rightfully belongs to Him. At the end of our sojourn on earth, just like we have come with nothing, we will also leave with nothing. Unilke a U-Haul truck where we can lug all of our possessions to our new home in another place, our funeral hearse has no provision for a U-Haul truck! While not denying the wrong doings of some preachers, they have often become targets of criticisms. He has to speak the truth in love and often, truth hurts. In the community that I come from, the full-time workers live frugally and expensive cars and houses are a misnomer!
There a number of good virtues you have also shared although I would view it somewhat differently. Amongst them,
- prayer is a relaxing experiece. For us, prayers is more than that; it is experiencing God.
- always do the right thing. Because no one is good in the eyes of God (every person is capable of doing wrong thing), we strive to do what God says is right and not what we think is right.
- there is no fear inside of me that I'm doing the wrong thing. We fear God, our Maker, also the Alpha (beginning) and Omega (end) of our life.
I also like your sharing about Mother Theresa. Mother Theresa is a shining example of love of God transformed into love for one's neighbour. In a speech at the United Nations (Sept. 3, 1994), she said, "When we die, we will come face to face with God .... my prayers is that you may have the faith to see and love God ...".
Thank you Sammyd once again and much appreciation for lending me your ears, fellow forum members.