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Monthly Archives: May 2014

The importance of sport in developing a spiritual life: the John Paul II way!

The late Pope John Paul II was known for his love of sport as a means of building spiritual character through excellence in sporting skills and fitness, discipline and self-sacrifice.Image

In his life and teachings, Pope John Paul II showed that he believed in sport not as an end in itself, giving rise to the danger of becoming a vain and harmful idol, but as an instrument given by God for the spiritual and comprehensive development of the person: “Every sport, at both the amateur and the competitive level, requires basic human qualities such as rigorous preparation, continual training, awareness of one’s personal limits, fair play, acceptance of rules, respect for one’s opponent and a sense of solidarity and unselfishness”.

Throughout his youth he was passionate about many sports including football, mountaineering, skiing and swimming. It is recorded that, when he was at school in Poland, during football matches between Jewish and Catholic groups he would often volunteer to play in goal for the Jewish team. During his papacy he continued to run, climb and swim in private until ill health overtook his physical abilities.

John Paul II’s greeting to those taking part in the European Games for the Blind in 1985 sums up the inspiration of all disability sport, right through to the elite level of the Paralympics. “Your sporting activities are a sign of your great human capabilities. You do not allow yourselves to be overcome by difficulties. You are determined to overcome them. In this you show great gifts of mind and will.”

Pope John Paul ll’s legacy includes the John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport. This was launched by Pope Benedict XVl during his visit to Britain in 2010. The new Catholic charity has since October 2012 been promoting sport as a catalyst and conduit to enable all people to embrace a greater vision of, and higher values for, themselves and those around them.

In fact it is fair to say that John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport was building on the London Olympics ‘legacy’ well before the 2012 summer of sport. When everyone was talking about legacy we were doing it!

The charity’s aim is to make use of sports grounds and facilities belonging to catholic schools and colleges across the country with spare capacity to offer. These are being organised to provide opportunities for young people, who have no access to existing clubs or teams, to channel their energies into constructive, healthy sporting activities, thereby improving their own lives and performance and helping others to achieve their potential.

The dream is to generate as many new sports facilities as possible so that young people can get off the streets and play a sport – ‘from gangs to clubs’.

JP2F4S to date helps support 15 sports clubs (the first JP2F4S club opened nine months after the charity’s launch in October 2011) – two London examples are set out below to show the influence the organisation has already had:

The Sports Squared initiative at Sion Manning offers football to girls and primary school children; dance for primary and secondary school girls and basketball to the VI Formers at St Charles VI Form College.

At Cardinal Wiseman 50 students- 30 boys and 20 girls – are trained by coaches from Brentford Football Club which has just won the Award as Community Football Club of the Year 2014.  Assemblies have been delivered in the schools as the Foundation seeks to integrate the 12 virtues of JP2 into the lives of the children.

Article Source: Independent Catholic News 

 

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Facts about the Bible

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How many books are in the Bible?

The Bible contains 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments.

How many books are in the Old Testament?

There are 39 books in the Old Testament.

How many books are in the New Testament?

There are 27 books in the New Testament.

What does “testament” mean?

Testament means “covenant” or “contract.”

Who wrote the Bible?

The Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by over 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book.

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Which single author contributed the most books to the Old Testament?

Moses. He wrote the first five books of the Bible, referred to as the Pentateuch; the foundation of the Bible.

Which single author contributed the most books to the New Testament?

The Apostle Paul, who wrote 14 books (over half) of the New Testament.

When was the Bible written?

It was written over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 B.C. (the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D. (following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

What is the oldest book in the Old Testament?

Many scholars agree that Job is the oldest book in the Bible, written by an unknown Israelite about 1500 B.C. Others hold that the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) are the oldest books in the Bible, written between 1446 and 1406 B.C.

What is the youngest book in the Old Testament?

The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C.

What is the oldest book of the New Testament?

Probably the book of James, written as early as A.D. 45.

What is the youngest book in the New Testament?

The Book of Revelation is the youngest book of the New Testament, written about 95 A.D.

What languages was the Bible written in?

The Bible was written in three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek.

When was the Bible canonized?

The entire New Testament as we know it today, was canonized before the year 375 A.D. The Old Testament had previously been canonized long before the advent of Christ.

What does “canon” mean?

“Canon” is derived front the Greek word “Kanon,” signifying a measuring rod. Thus, to have the Bible “canonized” meant that it had been measured by the standard or test of divine inspiration and authority. It became the collection of books or writings accepted by the apostles and leadership of the early Christian church as a basis for Christian belief. It is the standard by which all Christians throughout the ages live and worship.

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When was the first translation of the Bible made into English?

1382 A.D., by John Wycliffe.

When was the Bible printed?

The Bible was printed in 1454 A.D. by Johannes Gutenberg who invented the “type mold” for the printing press. It was the first book ever printed.

What is the oldest almost-complete manuscript of the Bible now in existence?

The Codex Vaticanus, which dates from the first half of the fourth Century. It is located in the library of the Vatican in Rome. There are older fragments of the Bible that are still preserved however– the oldest being a tiny scrap of the Gospel of John was found in Egypt, dating back to the beginning of the second century. (It is currently in the Rayland’s Library in Manchester, England).

What is the longest book in the Bible?

The book of Psalms.

What is the shortest book in the Bible?

2 John.

What is the longest chapter in the Bible?

Psalm 119

What is the shortest chapter in the Bible?

Psalm 117

What is the longest verse in the Bible?

Esther 8:9

What is the shortest verse in the Bible?

John 11:35

Which book in the Bible does not mention the word “God?”

The book of Esther.

Who was the oldest man that ever lived?

Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old (Genesis 5:27).

Who were the two men in the Bible who never died but were caught up to heaven?

Enoch, who walked with God and was no more (Genesis 5:22-24). Elijah, who was caught up by a whirlwind into heaven (II Kings 2:11).

Who does the Bible say was the meekest man in the Bible (not including Jesus)?

Moses (Numbers 12:3).

How many languages has the Bible been translated into?

The Holy Bible has been translated into 2,018 languages, with countless more partial translations, and audio translations (for unwritten languages). (This is an enormous amount of translations. In comparison, Shakespeare, considered by many to be the master writer of the English language, has only been translated into 50 languages.)

Is the Bible still the best-selling book in the world?

Yes, indeed!

Article Source: Minister Book
 

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The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is my Shepherd

The Lord is My Shepherd

Confidence in God’s grace and care. – “The Lord is my shepherd.” In these words, the believer is taught to express his satisfaction in the care of the great Pastor of the universe, the Redeemer and Preserver of men. With joy he reflects that he has a shepherd, and that shepherd is Jehovah. A flock of sheep, gentle and harmless, feeding in verdant pastures, under the care of a skillful, watchful, and tender shepherd, forms an emblem of believers brought back to the Shepherd of their souls.

The greatest abundance is but a dry pasture to a wicked man, who relishes in it only what pleases the senses; but to a godly man, who by faith tastes the goodness of God in all his enjoyments, though he has but little of the world, it is a green pasture. The Lord gives quiet and contentment in the mind, whatever the lot is. Are we blessed with the green pastures of the ordinances, let us not think it enough to pass through them, but let us abide in them. The consolations of the Holy Spirit are the still waters by which the saints are led; the streams which flow from the Fountain of living waters. Those only are led by the still waters of comfort, who walk in the paths of righteousness. The way of duty is the truly pleasant way. The work of righteousness in peace. In these paths we cannot walk, unless. God lead us into them, and lead us on in them.Discontent and distrust proceed from unbelief; an unsteady walk is the consequence: let us then simply trust our Shepherd’s care, and hearken to his voice.

The valley of the shadow of death may denote the most severe and terrible affliction, or dark dispensation of providence, that the psalmist ever could come under. Between the part of the flock on earth and that which is gone to heaven, death lies like a dark valley that must be passed in going from one to the other. But even in this there are words which lessen the terror. It is but the shadow of death: the shadow of a serpent will not sting, nor the shadow of a sword kill. It is a valley, deep indeed, and dark, and miry; but valleys are often fruitful, and so is death itself fruitful of comforts to God’s people. It is a walk through it: they shall not be lost in this valley, but get safe to the mountain on the other side. Death is a king of terrors, but not to the sheep of Christ. When they come to die, God will rebuke the enemy; he will guide them with his rod, and sustain them with his staff. There is enough in the gospel to comfort the saints when dying, and underneath them are the everlasting arms.

The Lord’s people feast at his table, upon the provisions of his love. Satan and wicked men are not able to destroy their comforts, while they are anointed with the Holy Spirit, and drink of the cup of salvation which is ever full. Past experience teaches believers to trust that the goodness and mercy of God will follow them all the days of their lives, and it is their desire and determination, to seek their happiness in the service of God here, and they hope to enjoy his love for ever in heaven. While here, the Lord can make any situation pleasant, by the anointing of his Spirit and the joys of his salvation. But those that would be satisfied with the blessings of his house, must keep close to the duties of it.

Article Source: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

(Biblehub.com)

 

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Learning from a Flock of Geese

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We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV)

You have probably heard someone call another person who has done something foolish, “A silly goose!” Well, I can tell you that geese are not silly! We can learn a lot from the goose. For example, I am sure that most of you probably know that when geese fly, they fly in a “V” formation.

Have you ever wondered why the geese fly in a “V” formation?

Recent scientific studies have given us the answer. It has been learned that as each goose flaps its wings, it gives a lift to the one immediately following. It has been determined that flying this way gives the geese about 70% more flying range. Of course, that means that the lead goose is working harder. When the lead goose gets tired, he falls back into the formation and another takes his place. Now, that’s team work!

If you have ever seen a flock of geese flying, you have also noticed that all the time they are flying, the geese are “honking.” They do this to encourage one another. It is always easier to do something difficult when you know you aren’t flying alone, isn’t it?

Sometimes, a goose becomes sick or is injured and falls to the ground. When that happens, two other geese go down and stay with it until it is well. If it dies, they join another formation and continue on their journey.

Do you think the geese are silly?

geese It sounds to me like they are pretty smart! What lessons do you think we could learn from the geese?

  • We could learn that it is important for all church members to share the responsibility within the church rather than letting the same loyal ones work until they drop!
  • We could learn that it is important to “honk” encouragement to other workers in the church.
  • We could learn that it is important for us to look after those who are sick or in need.

There is a lot that we can learn from the goose, isn’t there?

Dear Jesus, help us to use the gifts that you have given us to serve and encourage others. Amen

Original Article Source: Unknown

 

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