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A New Year Prayer

December 31st, 2009

Holy Father,

God of our yesterdays, our today, and our tomorrows. We praise You for Your unequaled greatness. Thank You for the year behind us and for the year ahead. Help us in Your new year, Father, to fret less and laugh more. To teach our children to laugh by laughing with them. To teach others to love by loving them. Knowing, when Love came to the stable in Bethlehem, He came for us. So that Love could be with us, and we could know You. That we could share Love with others.

Help us, Father, to hear Your love song in every sunrise, in the chriping of sparrows in our backyards, in the stories of our old folks, and the fantasies of our children.

Help us to stop and listen to Your love songs, so that we may know You better and better.

We rejoice in the world You loved into being. Thank You for another new year and for new chances every day.

We pray for peace, for light, and for hope, that we might spread them to others. Forgive us for falling short this past year.

We leave the past in your hands, and step out into the unknown new year knowing You will go with us.

We accept Your gift of a new year and we rejoice in what’s ahead, depending on You to help us do exactly what You want..

I say it again, we rejoice!

Come, Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Risen Christ, Be with us today and always. Be our Light, our Guide, and our Comforter. Be our Strength, our Courage, And our Sanctifier.

May this new year be a time Of deep spiritual growth for us, A time for welcoming Your graces and gifts, A time for forgiving freely and unconditionally, A time for growing in virtue and goodness.

Come, Holy Spirit, Be with us today and always.

In Jesus name, Amen.

Happy New Year 2010 to all

Source: STGJ Newsletter

NOOMA Rhythm | 011 Rob Bell

December 31st, 2009

What does it mean to have a relationship with God? What does it look like? For a lot of us it’s a hard thing to understand. If God is an infinite spirit with no shape or form, how can we possibly relate to that? And what about Jesus? He said he came to give everyone life in its fullest. He came to show us how to live. Maybe it’s through trusting Jesus and living the kind of life he taught us to live–a life of truth, love, justice, compassion, forgiveness, and sacrifice–that we have a relationship with God. Maybe the way we live every day, every single choice we make, determines how in tune with God we are.

Topics: Relationship, Harmony, Full Life, Compassion, Truth

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NOOMA Lump | 010 Rob Bell

December 30th, 2009

A lot of us have done things in our lives that we’re ashamed of. Some are small things, and some of us have really big and devastating things. Some of us even have things that people close to us don’t know about. Personal junk that we keep to ourselves so we don’t have to deal with it. Because we don’t know how to deal with it, do we? We’re afraid that if we try it’s just going to make everything worse. But no matter how big our junk is, no matter how much what we’ve done has impacted the way other people feel about us or how we feel about ourselves, it hasn’t changed how God feels about us. God loves us, he always has and always will, and there’s nothing we can do to change that.

Topics: Guilt, Forgiveness, Shame, Unconditional Love, Hiding

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Life without Love

December 29th, 2009

Intelligence without love makes you perverse.
Fairness & justness without love makes you inflexible & stern.
Diplomacy & tact without love makes you a hypocrite.
Success without love turns you arrogant.
Wealth without love makes you mean & tight–fisted.
Poverty without love turns you into a radical.
Beauty without love makes you capricious.
Authority & power without love lead to tyranny.
Labor without love turns you into a slave.
Naivety without love deprives you of values.
Prayer & worship without love turns you into a egotist.
Faith without love turns you into a fanatic.
Bearing your cross in life without love becomes a terrible burden.

Source: STGJ Newsletter

NOOMA Bullhorn | 009 Rob Bell

December 29th, 2009

God loves everyone, so a Christian should, too. In fact, Jesus said that the most important thing in life is to love God with everything we’ve got and love other the same way. But it’s not always easy to love everyone around us, is it? Sometimes we strongly disagree with other people’s political views, religious beliefs, behaviors, or something else, and it makes it hard to love them when we feel like we’re right and they’re very wrong. But Jesus doesn’t separate loving God and loving others. So maybe the best way for us to show our love for God is actually by loving other people no matter how hard it sometimes is. Maybe it’s the only way.

Topics: Condemnation, Loving Others, Unconditional Love, Judgment, Self-Righteousness

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What did I do to deserve this?

December 28th, 2009

Sometimes we ask ourselves: What did I do to deserve this? Why does God let these things happen to me? Here is the explanation…

A daughter tells her mother how everything is going wrong for her; She probably failed her Math exam, …Her boyfriend just dumped her… for her best friend.

In times so sad, a good mother knows just the thing to cheer up her daughter… “I make a delicious cake.” In that moment the mother hugged her daughter and walked her to the kitchen, while her daughter attempted to smile. While the mother prepared the utencils and ingredients, her daughter sat across from her at the counter. Her mother asks, “Sweetheart, would you like a piece of cake?” Her daughter replies, “Sure mom, you know how I love cake.”

“Alright…” the mother said, “Drink some of this cooking oil.” Shocked, the daughter responded, “What?!? No way!!!
“How about a couple of raw eggs?” To this the daughter responded, “Are you kidding?”
“How about a little flour?” “No, mom, I’ll be sick!”
The mother responded, “All of these things are uncooked and taste bad, but if you put them together……They make a delicious cake!”

God works the same way. When we ask ourselves why does he make us go through these difficult times, we don’t realize the what/where these events may bring us. Only He knows and he will not let us fall. We don’t need to settle for the raw ingredients, trust in Him… And see something fantastic come about!

God loves us so much… He send us flowers every spring… He makes the sun rise every morning… And anytime you need to talk…He is there to listen!

He can live anywhere in the universe… But He choses to live in your heart!

Source: STGJ Newsletter

NOOMA Dust | 008 Rob Bell

December 28th, 2009

Believing in God is important, but what about God believing in us? Believing that we can actually be the kind of people we were meant to be. People of love, compassion, peace, forgiveness, and hope. People who try to do the right thing all of the time. Who act on the endless opportunities around us every day for good, beauty, and truth. It’s easy for us to sometimes get down on ourselves. To feel “not good enough” or feel like we don’t have what it takes. But maybe if we had more insight into the culture that Jesus grew up in and some of the radical things he did, we’d understand the faith that God has in all of us.

Topics: Self-Acceptance, Choices, Insecurity, Discipleship, Inadequacy

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NOOMA Luggage | 007 Rob Bell

December 27th, 2009

Maybe a friend turned his or her back on you. Maybe someone you loved betrayed you. We all have wounds and we end up carrying these things that people have done to us for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. It isn’t always easy to forgive these people and after a while these hurts can get really heavy. So the only way to feel better seems to be somehow getting back at the people that hurt us, to get revenge. But does revenge ever truly satisfy? Maybe forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else to let them off the hook. Maybe forgiveness is about you. God didn’t create you to carry these wounds around. God created you to be free.

Topics: Forgiveness, Freedom, Resentment, Betrayal, Revenge

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NOOMA Kickball | 006 Rob Bell

December 26th, 2009

We always think we know what’s missing from our lives in order to really make us happy, don’t we? If only I had that car, or that job, or if only I could lose those 15 pounds, then I’d be happy. Really? How often do we want something only to find out that it wasn’t that great after all? Sometimes we ask God for things and if he doesn’t deliver right away, we start questioning whether God really understands or even cares. Do we really trust God? Do we trust that God is good and sees a bigger picture than we ever could? It’s easy to want what’s right in front of us, but maybe God knows what’s better for us, and sometimes we just can’t see it.

Topics: Trust, Faith, Desires, Wants, Needs

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Who is Santa Claus

December 25th, 2009

Saint Nicholas of Myra is the primary inspiration for the Christian figure of Santa Claus and has nothing to do with that white-bearded man popularised by Coca-Cola. He was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia, a province of the Byzantine Anatolia, now in Turkey. Nicholas was famous for his generous gifts to the poor, in particular presenting the three impoverished daughters of a pious Christian with dowries so that they would not have to become prostitutes. He was very religious from an early age and devoted his life entirely to Christianity.

The tradition of Santa Claus entering dwellings through the chimney may reach back to the tale of Saint Nicholas tossing coins through a window, and, in a later version of the tale, tossing coins down a chimney when he finds the window locked.