Reblogged with permission. What MY Faith tells me to do!

Cut and pasted from my dear friend, Robyn. The following is lifted with permission.

A wonderful and beautiful message from my (Robyn Berkley’s) brother Don Sosnowski who is an evangelical Christian… Read on and feel free to pass along (permission granted by him)!


OPENING a Can of Worms here…..And it’s going to take more than a sound bite to get my point across.

I keep hearing people talk about how we no longer have God in our schools and this is the reason all these terrible things
are happening to us. I am a Christian but I have some major problems with this way of thinking.

Which God would you put back into schools? America was largely founded by Christians and I have no tolerance for historical revisionism that denies this. The Bible was the reader of the colonial school, and most schools were connected to churches. However, it’s not your great granddaddy’s America anymore. We live in a RELIGIOUSLY PLURALISTIC society, and we had better get used to it. Buddhists and Hindus don’t believe in a personal deity; Jews don’t believe in Jesus as the expression of God Incarnate; we have Muslims who worship Allah, and Mormons, JWs, Atheists, and Agnostic families that make up our society. Whose God do you “put back” in schools? Even Christians don’t agree on how to express their common faith in Jesus.

How exactly would you put God back in school? When I pray, I pray to Jesus as God Incarnate but would not force anyone to pray this way. How would that ever inspire children, benefit schools and decrease violence? And we cannot make the Bible a school book. I would not trust a non-Christian teacher to explain it to my children in a way that squares with my beliefs. I’d rather they don’t even try. I cannot imagine how we bring God into school without violating the freedom of religious expression (which by the way is God-given free will). Can someone please tell me how we do that?

So what do we do? We teach values again in schools. Lofty ideals and ethics that come from the Bible and other books of faith. We teach Respect, Love, Compassion, Fairness, Peace, Forgiveness and we model it through our teachers and administrators. We take children on field trips, do service projects, discuss universal values in meaningful conversations. We create zero tolerance policies for disrespect, violence, abuse, and bullying. But this still won’t cure what ails us.

Our society is disconnected. Community is going away. We don’t even know our neighbors, so how we could possibly care for them? When I was in seminary, a young man in our small school lit himself on fire in an attempted suicide. One of the administrators laid responsibility at all our feet and said we had relinquished our power and responsibility to prevent this. I was incensed at his comments at the time. Now I agree with him.

I don’t believe what we need is a whole bunch of new laws to control guns and I don’t carry an NRA card for this perspective. Laws cannot fix what ails us, and neither will arming teachers. This act was a random senseless act of violence. Perhaps the only person who could have prevented it was his mother and she missed her chance to do so. We may never know why. I believe the best we can do is strengthen our own families, church communities, and get back to basic human compassion for the people we meet every day, especially the mentally ill and disabled. I am my brother’s keeper and my faith tells me that.

What does yours tell you?

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” – Mr. Rogers (quote found by Karen campbell)

How we value each other

Last week, my pastor, Bob Palumbo, mentioned a very gifted scholar who lived in the middle ages who, in spite of  his education, lived much of his life as an impoverished itinerant.

I forgot if Bob mentioned the man’s name so I went to my favorite Medieval historian, Lois Huneycutt, for her expertise and she helped to guide me to the story of  Muretus and the profound statement that reinforces the need for those of us that have been blessed with good things like intelligence and/or health and/or prosperity to not think too highly of ourselves and that every human being has the right to be treated with dignity and reverence simply (and for no other reason) that they are in God’s image and because it is for them that Jesus came to this earth and suffered and died.

The following is paraphrased from this linked site.

Hundreds of years ago in Italy lived an itinerate scholar whose name was Muretus. Although he was well-educated, he was impoverished and when he became extremely sick, was taken to a hospital for the destitute where no one knew he was a scholar. The doctors were discussing his case in scholarly Latin saying he was poor and of no value to anyone and, in their opinion, he was not worth spending money on his care he was that worthless as a human.

Muretus looked into their eyes and declared in perfect Latin, (translated into perfect English,) “Call no man worthless for whom Christ died.”


My favorite worship song right now

This is my favorite worship song I find myself singing when I’m in the car and no one is there to hear my horrid singing.

Prophecy and fulfillment

The Bible is full of prophecies foretelling details of Jesus’ work on this earth and one of the richest focal points for these prophecies is the time and circumstances surrounding Jesus’ incarnation and birth.

The following is a list of prophecies and their fulfillment.

Enjoy ❤ ❤ ❤

Jesus is descended from King David. The prophecy can be found in Isaiah 9:7 and its fulfillment is recorded in Luke 1:32.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem which was prophesied in Micah 5:2 and fulfilled in Luke 2:1

Jesus’ birth was timed in Daniel 9:5 this timing is recorded in Luke 2:1

Jesus was born of a virgin which was foretold in Isaiah 7:14 the fulfillment can be found in Luke 1:26.

King Herod’s atrocity was foretold in Jeremiah 31:15 and the slaughter of the Innocents is found in Matthew 2:16.

Finally, the flight to Egypt is prophesied in Hos. 11:1 and was fulfilled in Matthew 2:14.


Objects d' Art 2010 004

Jennifer’s First Christmas (written for Fi’s first Christmas, edited and illustrated for Fi’s second Christmas)

Dear Fiona,

You might find this hard to believe but a long time ago, your mommy was my wee babe and this is the story of her first Christmas.



Jennifer’s birthday is December 21 which was the first day of winter. On Christmas Eve, I received a call from Grandad (who was just dad back in those days) Grandad had taken his motorcycle to work that cold day to save money on gasoline and because the weatherman predicted a dusting of snow. The dusting turned into several inches of snow and the bike stalled out on the on ramp from the Roosevelt Bvd to the Schuylkill Expressway.



These were the days before cellphones and Grandad had to walk over a mile to City Line Avenue to use a pay phone to call. In the meantime, no one was available to rescue Grandad so I bundled Jessica and Jennifer and headed through Valley Forge Park to the Schuylkill Expressway and took the City Line exit and, by some miracle, found Grandad in the lobby with the pay phone.

We arrived at the on ramp and Grandad’s bike was obscured by several inches of fresh snow.


I sat in the car with the girls while Grandad attempted to load his bike into the trunk of our old LTD but try as he might, he could not manage to get the bike loaded and not one passer-by stopped to help so I got out of the car and helped him get his bike loaded and off we went in the enchanted night back home to wait for Santa to arrive but Santa paid a visit to Great-grandad’s (he was just plain old Grandad in those days) because the heater broke in the apartment complex and it was bitterly cold outside.



But Grandad’s house was warm and the cookie tins were full and it felt like Christmas at last and now Jennifer is your mommy and has her own style of adventure that does not involve lifting heavy motorcycles in the snow on Christmas eve three days after giving birth.


The End.

Today I retake the GRE

Say a little prayer for me as I am taking the GRE this morning.

I feel a little foggy-headed and not on top of my game and I’m a wee bit intimidated by the notion of a four-hour-long test marathon.

That’s all.


God wants me to learn patience

This is a recurring theme which isn’t particularly surprising when you consider the time of year but God really seems to want me to be patient and I keep flunking out of class.

Today is no exception. I forgot a few grocery items and found myself in line at Target and the woman two ahead of me had two items without any bar code and no price.

Patience, Debra. So I smiled and a woman got in line behind me and I told her she really didn’t want to be behind me in line and she looked a little offended and I felt bad so I told her God was teaching me patience by waiting in the slow line and I didn’t want her to unwittingly participate in my lesson so she smiled and gladly went into the other line. In the meantime, I was working hard not to think ill of the woman that didn’t have any evidence of the price target would expect her to pay for two items in her basket.

This is important because I have coped with waiting in tedioius lines by using sarcastic wit against the person I was blaming for my situation and I felt clearly that I was not to engage in sarcasm or smug superior attitudes.

It isn’t nice so there I stood until another woman opened up another register.

Although the woman who was behind me did finish faster in the other line which I did point out to her and she left the store laughing with me which is far better than sarcasm.

john pavlovitz

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