“Life Is Very Hard. The Only People Who Really Live Are Those Who Are Harder Than Life Itself.”

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There are hundreds of definitions about ‘Life,’ but none gives me its true meaning, than this quote by author Nawal El Salaawi, “Life is very hard. The only people who really live are those who are harder than life itself.”  But who is this woman?

Nawal El Saadiaw has been pilloried, censored, imprisoned and exiled for her refusal to accept the oppression imposed on women by gender and class.

In her life and in her writings, this struggle against sexual discrimination has always been linked to a struggle against all forms of oppression: religious, racial, colonial and neo-colonial.

In 1969, she published her first work of non-fiction, Women and Sex ; in 1972, her writings and her struggles led to her dismissal from her job.

From then on there was no respite; imprisonment under Sadat in 1981 was the culmination of the long war she had fought for Egyptian women’s social and intellectual freedom. A Daughter of Isis is the autobiography of this extraordinary woman.

Author Nawal El Salaawi

Zero 5Nawal El Saadawi, also spelled Nawāl al-Saʿdāwī   (born Oct. 27, 1931, Kafr Ṭaḥlah, Egypt), Egyptian public health physician, psychiatrist, author, and advocate of women’s rights. Sometimes described as “the Simone de Beauvoir of the Arab world,” El Saadawi was a feminist whose writings and professional career were dedicated to political and sexual rights for women.El Saadawi was educated at Cairo University (M.D., 1955), Columbia University in New York (M.P.H., 1966), and ʿAyn Shams University in Cairo (where she performed psychiatric research in 1972–74). In 1955–65 she worked as a physician at Cairo University and in the Egyptian ministry of health, and in 1966 she became the director-general of the health education department within the ministry.

In 1968 she founded Health magazine, which was shut down by Egyptian authorities several years later, and in 1972 she was expelled from her professional position in the ministry of health because of her book Al-marʾah wa al-jins (1969; Women and Sex), which was condemned by religious and political authorities.

El Saadawi was jailed in September 1981, and during the two months of her imprisonment she wrote Mudhakkirāt fī sijn al-nisāʾ (1984; Memoirs from the Women’s Prison) on a roll of toilet paper using a smuggled cosmetic pencil.

In 1982 El Saadawi founded the Arab Women’s Solidarity Association (AWSA) and later served as editor of the organization’s publication, Al-nūn. In 1991 the government closed down Al-nūn and then, several months later, AWSA itself. Due to her outspoken views, El Saadawi continued to face frequent legal challenges from political and religious opponents, including accusations of apostasy.

In 2002 a legal attempt was made by an Islamist lawyer to forcibly divorce her from her husband, and in May 2008 she won a case that had been brought against her by al-Azhar University, the major centre of Islamic learning, that included charges of apostasy and heresy.

El Saadawi’s novels, short stories, and nonfiction deal chiefly with the status of Arab women, as inMudhakkirāt tabībah (1960; Memoirs of a Woman Doctor), Al-khayt wa al-jidār (1972; The Thread and the Wall), Al-wajh al-ʿarī lī al-marʾah al-arabiyyah (1977; The Hidden Face of Eve: Women in the Arab World), Al-ḥubb fī zaman al-nafṭ (1993; Love in the Kingdom of Oil), and Al-riwāyah (2004; The Novel).

The oppression of women by men through religion is the underlying theme of El Saadawi’s novel set in a mental institution, Jannāt wa Iblīs (1992; Jannāt and Iblīs). The female protagonists are Jannāt, whose name is the plural of the Arabic word for paradise, and Iblīs, whose name refers to the devil.

http://goo.gl/HrS2nD

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Jesus Christ: The Carpenter Who Became A Superstar

EMMA

Jesus is one of the world’s outstanding religious leaders, a teacher, philosopher and a prophet, even though the Bible doesn’t mention his name as one of the prophets.

He was an ordinary young Jew born into a family of Carpenters and he passed through a painful death of crucifixion. The fact about this great teacher is: He never commanded an army, but today many people from all walks of life and army generals bow to revere him.

He wasn’t an author, but books about him are widely read and handled by the best literature professors. He never ruled a nation but today, some world presidents, politicians and monarchs of high esteem adore him.

He never had any university education, but twenty centuries later, his works are being preached, archived and thought by best professors in science, arts and religion.

The great teacher said: “I am the light of the world.” John 8:12. Yes! He is the light of science, politics, literature, humanity and civilization. The greatest liberty ever given to man by God is ‘choice.’

Would you therefore emulate and imitate this great teacher, to be happy, faithful, sincere and healthy in life or you simply like to walk in the opposite way? In God’s kingdom, there is nothing called ‘Failure or Impossible.’

The two words of stumble block, are the tools of unbelievers, the reason many fail in life, while others succeed in life. Take away those shackles of your mind and let your faith and the truth set you free to prosperity and success.

Combating Vaccine Extremism In America

Polio 5Vaccine against Polio in Africa contaminated, giving birth to Africa’s Aids crisis today. Polio victims in Sierra Leone.

Article by Barbara Loe Fisher and published in National Vaccine Information Center Health Magazine.

2016 will be my 34th year as a vaccine safety and human rights activist. For more than 20 years I have been warning that the day would come when vaccine extremists and profiteers would move to legally force Americans to buy and use all government mandated vaccines and punish those who refuse. 

Still, it was a shock to see it happen in California this year, even as I know that preparations are being made by vaccine extremists to attack the religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions in more states next year.

But knowing and predicting what will happen is very different from watching it actually happen.

Born in Minnesota to a mother, who was a nurse, and a father, who fought on the beach at Anzio and then re-enlisted in the Army after returning from World War II,  I was raised with a deep respect for the values and beliefs upon which this Republic was founded and for the natural rights and principles of democratic government outlined in the U.S. Constitution. 

Like so many others who are grateful for freedom of thought and religion in this country, my abiding faith in a Creator of the natural order sustains me during my life’s journey and I believe Americans will not give up the natural rights and cultural values that define who we are as a nation without a fight.

Earlier this year, when vaccine extremists and profiteers used a few cases of measles at Disneyland to attack freedom of speech, thought, religious belief and assembly, my heart sank. It was painful to watch good people be demonized for simply criticizing poorly tested vaccines and inhumane one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.

Then, when dozens of pharmaceutical and medical industry-backed bills were introduced in multiple states to eliminate religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions so citizens could be tracked, discriminated against, segregated and punished for making vaccine choices that do not conform with government policy, I held my breath.

What would the people do? Would they bow down and cower before their oppressors, or would they stand up and defend their natural rights and civil liberties?

In a remarkable display of outrage, common sense and courage, we witnessed mothers, fathers and grandparents from every walk of life in California show up by the thousands to testify in legislative hearings and hold rallies in Sacramento opposing a forced vaccination law that was rammed through the legislature, despite the biggest public protests in that state Capitol since the Viet Nam war.

The same thing happened in Vermont, where industry lobbyists strong armed enough legislators to eliminate the philosophical belief vaccine exemption despite overwhelming public opposition, even as spirited citizen action in Texas and nine other states was successful in blocking the passage of bills stripping away personal belief vaccine exemptions.

Continue reading: http://www.nvic.org/NVIC-Vaccine-News/December-2015/combating-vaccine-extremism-in-america.aspx

How Violence Takes Away Our Joy And Peace

Aiport 2Tighter airport security is necessary but are we free from terrorism?

Everyone wants to live a peaceful and happy life, instead many wake up in the morning with fear, because of constant violence erupting around us. Innocent victims, including children are caught up daily, in heinous crimes and violence, making living more difficult.

Many, including religious people, feel that violence is the right answer to provocation, in this way, they kill and praise God for that killing. It’s actually difficult to understand the reason some religious people praise God for killings.

I can understand why many have lost faith and even think God doesn’t exist, but the Bible teaches that violence originated with the archenemy of both God and man: Satan the Devil, whom Jesus Christ called “a murderer.” (John 8:44)

Apart from terrorism which continue to steal our happiness, most of our own misery comes from our homes. The world’s infatuation with media violence, games and unwholesome programs, influence children to indulge in crime. In America many children take gun to school.

The question people often ask is: Why is there so much suffering? Does God care about what humans are enduring? You can find answers to these questions when you read the Bible.

“Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.  And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.” Matthew 11:11-20.

In the midst of fear, hopelessness and uncertainty, we need to ask, who are we to depend on for our deliverance or safety? Are we to depend on politicians or church of leaders?

To me politicians have ruined our society more than the terrorists terrorizing us. As for church leaders, some have signed contract with the devil to please them, the reason many have gone astray.

In our present generation, one shouldn’t count on politicians and or some church leaders. The only way we can live in peace is to find ways to make positive changes in our behavior. We should cultivate the habit to forgive and forget, because forgiveness brings relief and comfort.

Above all we should always remember the words of the great teacher, Jesus Christ: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39.

What Has Happened To The Precious Dignity Of A Woman?

 

Nude celebrities spoiling the names of other women

This is not a fashion but the abuse of the precious dignity of a woman.

The concept of life is a reality to me. If there is no baby, there is no woman and if there is no woman, there wouldn’t be a baby. They all come from the mother’s womb. Woman’s creation is therefore seen as a symbol of crown, dignity, honour and beauty. Women are therefore special. I believe women see themselves in the same way too, that’s the reason all over the world they are fighting against disrespect, discrimination, sexual harassment, abuse, and violence because the importance of women has been marred for centuries.

Unfortunately, the fight against factors affecting or degrading women in the circles of life, is far from victory, because the same women (Some celebrities) and porn stars are spoiling the essence of the dignity of woman, by flooding the internet with pornographic materials and naked pictures for everyone to see. A woman’s body is meant to be sacred, secretive etc, but today all you see is woman’s vagina staring at you on the internet.

Some celebrities now prefer to attend functions, parties, fashion shows and entertainments without underwear. It sounds strange but it’s a reality. They deliberately set to expose their hairy or shaved vagina, while others pose by lifting up their dresses for photographers and everyone around to see them nude in public. What a world are we living in? It saddens me, as women meant to be decent mothers and industrious, yet they do this to themselves.

I am not a celebrity, therefore I don’t know how one feels to be one, but if being a celebrity triggers mental instability, I wouldn’t like to be one for even a second. In the African society; women are held in high esteem, despite their domination by some religious sects. In some clans and tribes, because of the importance of a woman in the society, during a marriage ceremony, the man is prevented from seeing the woman, until the ceremony is over.

It may take weeks or months to see the nude legs of your wife, let alone her thighs or the golden box. This is not the case in Europe and America. It seems when a celebrity doesn’t appear online nude she isn’t classified as a human being among the human race, while in the African culture, a woman who doesn’t wear pant is considered a lunatic.

In another development, a Kenyan pastor has told his female congregation to feel free in their mind and body and stop wearing underwear and bras to church on Sundays. Reverend Njohi of Nairobi’s Lord’s Propeller Redemption Church further warned there would be grave consequences if the female members did not adhere to the rules. Hearing of such things reminds me of the fulfilling of the scriptures. “Many false prophets will rise, and will deceive many,” said Jesus. Matthew 24:11.

Why do some women do such things in public knowing that the dignity of a woman lies in moral and physical purity? The thirst for fame, publicity and the challenge of doing something (stupid) they think it’s extraordinary, for the press to write something about it, is all that they are looking for. Media attention and cheap publicity have blinded them to the extent that they don’t know what shame is.

Adults that need to educate the children from such immorality are now exposing their naked parts on television and in the public for the children to follow. No wonder teenage pregnancy and rape have significantly increased. It is disgusting and an eyesore to see the precious and sacred body of a woman advertised for public view. It takes a million people to build a good reputation but one stupid fool to destroy everything they had done. These celebrities are tainting the dignity of women and dragging their faces in the mud.

The range of female influence and experience in the society has slowly been brought to the fore: from politics, powerful leaders, model women to the social and religious power of female priests. Is it necessary for women to fight against disrespect in the society when they continue disrespecting themselves? The hardest problems have solutions. The restoration of women’s dignity should be a priority to every woman. They can fight to make the internet clean by discouraging nudity on the internet, to make the internet safer for the children.

Incest: Can A Brother Marry His Own Sister?

 

Incest

Is incest is no more a taboo? Brothers marrying sisters is now becoming common

Superstition, beliefs and performing of rituals are associated with many tribes and ethnic groups, in different parts of the world. There are many things considered a taboo. For example, Saturday is Sabbath for the Jews. It is a day for religious services and abstinence from work. Clans, tribes and people carrying out traditional values, believe in punishment when the law is broken.

Something from ages people considered a taboo is an incest: Sexual intercourse between very closely related people. But as the generation advances some of these taboos are no longer taken into consideration. Son sleeps with his mother, a father has carnal knowledge with his daughter. The news is disturbing, but they are true.

Incest is a common issue these days, even though it is illegal or prohibited.There are many stories of accidental incest love affairs. For example, a Brazilian couple looking for their mothers who abandoned them when they were children, found out later that they were searching for the same person.

Leandro had no knowledge that she lives with her own sister, Adriana. They already had a six-year daughter in their seven- year common-law marriage. That’s accidental anyway, but it’s hard to believe that now a days, many young men can’t resist the nakedness of their own sisters, hmm!

A young man interviewed over his relation with his sister said “I don’t see anything wrong with this. People look at us like we are from a different planet. I love my sister and we have a baby now.” The question is, does incest poses any health hazard? The Holy Bible speaks against incest in many ways.

Also, social scientists believe that children from incestuous affairs have higher risks for hereditary disorders. Whatever people may view incest, we have to admit that we are now in a world, people will go to the extent of fulfilling their heart wishes and desires, without thinking of any future consequences.

That ‘golden box’ God gave a woman is the most powerful thing on earth, which can push a man to follow any direction without looking back. If you want to be sure of what I’m saying, ask former American president Bill Clinton, he will tell you more about Monica Lewinsky and ask golf superstar, Tiger Woods, he also has a story to share with  Joslyn James. The two great men lost focus and concentration because of the power of the ‘Golden Box.’

God Of Elijah, God Of Elisha, But Where Is the God Of Gehazi?: How Greed Prevented Gehazi To Get Elisha’s Blessing.

Prophets 2

Elijah and Elisha are two of the most well-known prophets of Israel. They both served in the northern kingdom of Israel. Elijah is first introduced in 1 Kings: 17, as the prophet who predicted a three-year drought in the land. After being miraculously fed by ravens, he later stayed with a widow and her son, and that family experienced God’s supernatural provision of food.

After Elijah’s defeat of the prophets of Baal when he called down fire from heaven, the drought ended. Rain fell and Elijah fled from Ahab’s wife, the evil queen Jezebel, who had vowed to kill him (1 Kings 19). Reaching Mount Horeb, Elijah heard the voice of God tell him to anoint two kings as well as Elisha as a prophet. He did this, and Elisha immediately joined him.

Elijah later condemned King Ahab for murder and the theft of a vineyard and predicted Ahab’s death and that of his wife, Jezebel. In 2 Kings 2, Elijah called down fire from heaven to destroy two groups of 50 men sent from King Ahaziah. A third group of men was led by a captain who begged for mercy and was spared judgment. Elijah went to Ahaziah and proclaimed the king would die from his sickness, a prophecy that was soon fulfilled.

Elijah and Elisha crossed the Jordan River on dry land, and Elisha, knowing that Elijah would not be with him much longer, asked to be blessed with a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. Elijah was taken directly into heaven by a chariot of fire. Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle and used it to cross the Jordan again on dry land.

He received the double portion he had asked for and performed many miracles in Israel. Some of Elisha’s miracles were the turning of bad water into clean water, causing a widow’s oil to fill many jars, and even raising a boy from the dead.

Before he was taken to heaven, Elijah left a letter for King Jehoram of Judah that spoke of judgment against him. It stated, in part, “The LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions, and you yourself will have a severe sickness with a disease of your bowels, until your bowels come out because of the disease, day by day” (2 Chronicles 21:14–15). The prophecy soon came true (verses 18–20).

Elijah and Elisha were both greatly respected by those in the “school of prophets”  as well as by the kings of their nation. Their impact led to revival among some of the Israelites during a dark stage of its history. During the wicked reigns of Ahab and Ahaziah, God had His men leading the charge for righteousness.

Elijah and Elisha’s combined legacy continued to influence Israel for some time. Even the New Testament speaks of the expected return of Elijah, a role fulfilled by John the Baptist, the forerunner or the one to announce the coming of the Messiah (Mark 1).

The Tragedy of Gehazi by Reverend Clayton E. Williams, D.D

Hebrew maid told Naaman, the Syrian prince had come to the prophet to be healed of the disease which harassed him. Despite his reluctance to fulfill the prophet’s conditions, his mission had been successful and his gratitude and joy over his recovery, both in body and in spirit, prompted him to offer his benefactor rich gifts of silver and festal garments, all of which were immediately refused.

Stern and uncompromising Elisha wants to avoid the thought that he sold his powers for personal gain, as the sorcerers did their magic charms. After the cure of his leprosy, Namaan left. Gehazi wasn’t happy that his master didn’t collect Namaan’s offer, thus; his greed shut his mind immediately to choose evil instead of good.

At last he set out to take things into his own hands, and running after Naaman, he overtook his chariots. On seeing him, Naaman was concerned lest he might be the bearer of evil tidings. Gehazi, however, assured him that all was well, but that two young men of the sons of the prophets has arrived unexpectedly, and Elisha had sent him for a talent of silver and two changes of raiment. Naaman was delighted to show his gratitude and pressed upon him double that amount, much to Gehazi’s satisfaction.

Elisha, in the meanwhile, missing his servant, had guessed the reason for his absence, so he sent word that, upon his return, Gehazi should appear before him. And there he stood, condemned for his covetousness with a condemnation that left a mark upon him forever after, for he had contracted the leprosy of Naaman. But the leprosy of his body was of little import; he had already fallen a victim to leprosy of the soul.

He had been a good servant, far better than most. He had had a rare experience, living daily in the presence of a great prophet, sharing in his work and witnessing his power, but that did not save him from a great failure! Indeed, it helped in his case to bring it about, for the secret of his trouble lay in the fact that Gehazi was ruined by “familiarity with sacred things”.

Day after day he had gone out with the prophet and had seen his power flow out into life, changing it, restoring it, renewing it. I do not doubt that in the beginning he had been much impressed by the wonders that he saw and that the things he felt had moved his heart. No doubt he had followed Elisha with genuine admiration and had attached himself to him from the purest of motives.

His very obedience was evidence of his loyalty. But little by little – and here lies the tragedy – the unusual became commonplace, the wonderful became ordinary, and the luster that creative contact with God can give to a life was dulled. He lost a sense of their supreme significance. Life had been drained of its wonder by repetition and familiarity.

There is a very subtle danger here. It lies in the fact that those things which should always be sacred, tend to become commonplace. It ought to be the other way around: the commonplace should become sacred. We should worship God in the common task and find divine glory in everyday living.

Like Gehazi, one can live so continuously and so carelessly in the presence of fine things that they lose their significance. But mark you, it isn’t because we live so continuously in the presence of God that it means nothing. It is because we live so continuously and so carelessly in His presence. That was the trouble with Gehazi; he had lost his sense of faith’s reality in his own life.

God’s power demonstrated in another’s life meant little to him because he himself did not feel dependent upon God’s power for his own life. Religion had become a formal affair of fulfilling certain duties which life imposed upon him. And since his own life knew no deep need of the miracle of grace, he had, in consequence, no real appreciation of Naaman’s need and, therefore, no realization of what had been done to him. If we do not feel the urgency of our fellows’ need of God, isn’t it often because we, ourselves, no longer feel God is indispensable, no longer know the radiance of His presence, no longer sustained by His love?

We are not greatly moved by mankind’s desperate need of God. We think man needs a great many things: the solution of his economic, international, and personal problems, but I’m sure we’re not concerned about his need of God, or we would do something about it. If a man is not over concerned with making it possible for others to know God, it’s because God doesn’t mean very much to him? Isn’t it?

Gehazi didn’t count spiritual health worth very much because it didn’t mean much to him. He was much more interested in how much Naaman appreciated his restoration to physical health. All he saw was a man healed of a disagreeable disease. For which he thought he ought to compensate the one who had cured him.

He saw the process and its results, but not the hand behind it; the miraculous was not a window through which to catch a glimpse of something wonderful beyond – an earnest of the power or willingness of God to break through the limitations that life seemed to impose – the source of a new hope, a new faith, a new vision. It was something to be exploited.

You see, Gehazi had lost the capacity to wonder, to marvel, the most precious power we have, for there is a time in everyone’s life when the world is full of wonder, and to be a child is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness and to believe in belief, to see a miracle in every common process; but as time goes on we become accustomed to miracles and take them for granted, and wonder is supplanted by sophistication.

Our smattering of science, which is all the best of us have, convinces us that everything can be explained. We are tempted to think. Since we see how God works, that we can dispense with religion. We have seen behind the scenes, like the country yokel who went to the theater for the first time in his life and was wonderfully impressed by the storm that was staged during the play, but whose wonder suffered a collapse when they took him backstage and he saw that the thunder was made by rolling heavy balls about in a box, the rain by quivering of great sheets of metal, and the wind by whirling fans, and he remarked, “Well, I thought it was something marvelous, but I see it wasn’t anything after all!”

I fear that is the way we often feel about God’s wonders. Like the small boy who took apart the watch to find out what made it run, we have taken the world apart. We have found the wheels that make the ticks and discover what makes the hands move. But for all that, we have missed the Mind that produced it and the Spirit that sustains it. We live in a day of miracles, miracles that should touch our spirits with awe and wonder at the wealth of our universe.

Miracles are doorways through which to catch faith-creating glimpses of another world and if they can break our earthborn bonds and give birth to a spirit of divine expectancy, they can renew our courage and inspire our hearts. But too often, like Gehazi, we have thought of them merely as a means to serve our temporal ends.

Gehazi had ceased to wonder at the miracle and had turned his attention to the contribution it could make to his physical comfort and pleasure. His interest in the miraculous had shifted from the point where it brought a vision of God’s presence and power to the point where it represented a way to get something he wanted. He thought of God’s wonders as something to be exploited for personal gain and advantage.

There are some people who look upon faith as the touchstone to their heart’s desire. “Faith works miracles”, they say to themselves. “If only I can have faith enough, I’ll have no troubles.” They think of religion as a way to get what they want in life. When someone begins to use the best things in life for what he can get out of them, they begin to lose their spiritual significance, and he begins to lose his soul.

The secret of the miraculous does not lie in having something so unusual happen that it bludgeons our poor dull senses into seeing it. The secret of the miraculous lies in the delicate sensitiveness of a soul so responsive as to see God’s hand at every turning and to stop and marvel at the grace of it. Only most of us haven’t the eyes to see them or the heart to wonder at them.

The pursuit of the commonplace obscures them. It isn’t that we live in a humdrum world, but that we live in it and seek no more than that in it, and so we see no more in it, missing the best for which life exists. Seeing miracles in life is seeing God in life, and missing them is missing Him. And everything is an opportunity.

We have lost something from our life with all our cleverness and all our conveniences and comfort, something very precious: seeing the hand of God and marveling. The tragedy of our civilization lies in our not seeing the world with all its beauty, its glory, its miraculous possibilities, its abundant opportunities as the gift of God, a revelation of God’s love, a miracle of grace, but seeing it only as something to exploit to use for our own selfish purposes.

Prophets 1

That’s the tragedy – to face the world in the moment of revelation, when God’s love manifest in Christ lingers by us and to say, “All is well, give me I pray Thee, two changes of raiment and a talent of silver.” “All is well; All I need is pleasure, adornment and security.” That is the tragedy. Gehazi thought that was what he needed when what he really needed was a miracle in his own life. He needed a miracle of grace to open his eyes, to make him see and appreciate God’s love and power in His world. And that is what we all need, a new vision of God’s love and power to redeem life, a new experience of God’s grace.

http://www.ecclesia.org/truth/gehazi.html