Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Reflection - Father John Chrysostom's comment

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Question 2, Page 61.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Father John Chrysostom
PHOTO: Father John Chrysostom
Posted by Ambrus Nemes, Uploaded on Sep 20, 2011
Title: 13 "Our Father"

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Reflect on Church Father John Chrysostom's comment on how the gift of God can be quenched or kept alive. What is the gift that God has given you? How can you be sure to continue using it and not lose it?

Reflect on Church Father John Chrysostom's comment on how the gift of God can be quenched or kept alive.
A Faithful and Zealous Steward [1]
In whichever case, the message is: "Use it or lose it!" The "gift from God" would atrophy (deteriorate) if it is not used adequately or well, and this may be the result of diminished passion for the gospel. As the Church Father John Chrysostom wrote in the 4th century, "For by sloth and carelessness it is quenched, and by watchfulness and diligence it is kept alive." [3] The "gift of God" may also refer to the Holy Spirit himself, through whom all spiritual gifts are received. [4] This would explain Paul's reference to "the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us" (2 Timothy 1:14). [1]



St. John Chrystostomos Preaching

PHOTO: St. John Chrystostomos Preaching
"St. John Chrystostomos (c.347-407) Preaching Before the Empress Eudoxia (c.404) c.1880 (oil on canvas)" by Joseph Wencker; Original size (cm): 440x608; Location: Musee Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, France; Medium: oil on canvas
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http://www.easyart.se/canvastavlor/Joseph-Wencker/St.-John-Chrystostomos-Preaching-305021.html


[2] Chrysostom was in no sense a sentimental optimist. His diagnosis of the human situation was stern and grim. He lived in a time when the Church was suddenly invaded by crowds of nominal converts. He had an impression that he was preaching to the dead. He watched the lack of charity, and the complacent injustice and saw them almost in an apocalyptic perspective: We have quenched the zeal, and the body of Christ is dead. He had an impression that he was speaking to people for whom Christianity was just a conventional fashion, an empty form, a manner and little more: Among the thousands one can hardly find more than a hundred of them who are being saved, and even about that I am doubtful. He was rather embarrassed by the great number of alleged Christians: an extra food for fire.

There is some unusual flavor of modernity in the writings of Chrysostom. His world was like ours, a world of tensions, a world of unresolved problems in all walks of life. His advice may appeal to our age no less than it did to his own. But his main advice is a call to integral Christianity, in which faith and charity, belief and practice, are organically linked in an unconditional surrender of man to Gods overwhelming love, in an unconditional trust in His mercy, in an unconditional commitment to His service, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. [2]

 

What is the gift that God has given you?
Bible verses about talents (gift of God) [5]
Our awesome God created everyone with unique abilities and talents to help serve our brothers and sisters in Christ. Sometimes were not even aware of the talents that were given by God until we run into different struggles in life.



Our awesome God created everyone with unique abilities and talents to help serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.

PHOTO: Our awesome God created everyone with unique abilities and talents to help serve our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Picture posted by Yosho on 2 April 2015 at 18:26
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Give God thanks for all He has given us. Our talent can be our special personality, our ability to give kind words, musical ability, determination in life, giving, preaching, wisdom, compassion, teaching skills, charisma, communication skills, or anything were good at.

Be wise and put them into use to help others. We are all part of the body of Christ. Stop letting Gods gifts to is catch dust. Use it or lose it! He gave them to us for a reason. [5]



Identifing our gifts (things we enjoy doing) [6]
Step 1: Answer the question: What do you love?

  Identifing our gifts (things we enjoy doing)


PHOTO: Identifing our gifts (things we enjoy doing)
Picture from wikiHow
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http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents

  • Walk in the park / PCN (Park Connector Network), simple exercises
  • Blogging
  • Gardening, planting plants with fruits and flowers
  • Photography, Sightseeing greenery, landscape
  • Listen to music, Songs (Mandarin)
  • Photoshop / Photo-editor editing

    Step Two: Answer the question: What do you loathe?

    Things we hate doing
    PHOTO: Things we hate doing
    Picture from wikiHow

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-whnw-gRZZ4s/VX7Bktj1opI/AAAAAAAAgVU/w1q8WiN7zHg/s1600/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-9.jpg
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    http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents
     
    • Working with / for unreasonable people (create very miserable feeling)
    • Being with people mocking unkindly / making fun of us / ridicule (feel shameful and embarrassing)
    • Dealing with heavy work (physical torturing)
    • Being with dominating people (very stressful)
    • Being with revengeful people (bad outcome)


    Step Three: Discover the Seven Seeds of your Soul

    Discover the Seven Seeds of your Soul PHOTO: Discover the Seven Seeds of your Soul
    Eliminate activities (those we enjoy doing) that are unable to fulfill the following 6 questions
    Picture from wikiHow

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HgpsQmMYEm4/VX7Bj4-oUTI/AAAAAAAAgU4/L2dPtsHws-U/s1600/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-6-Version-2.jpg
    http://pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/e/e6/Discover-Your-Talents-Step-6-Version-2.jpg/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-6-Version-2.jpg
    http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents



    Start with the top item on your list of Things I Love Doing and ask yourself each of the six questions below as it relates to the activity. Each answer should be a definitive yes or no.

    1. Even if you didn't get paid a cent for it, would you still do this?

    2. Would doing this inspire you every day?

    3. Does doing this come as naturally to you as breathing?

    4. Do you feel you've been given a special gift to do this?

    5. Does time seem to fly by when you're engaged in this activity?

    6. Can you possibly make money doing this?


    People often have difficulty answering yes or no to Questions No. 4 and No. 6.

    For Question No. 4, keep in mind that while you might not yet be a master of this activity, if you feel passionately about it and/or spend a lot of time engaging in it, you may have been given a special gift to do it. In such cases, your answer to Question No. 4 is likely to be yes.

    For Question No. 6, base your answer on whether you can possibly make money performing the activity, not whether you're currently doing so. If you have a genuine gift, you can monetize virtually any hobby, interest or endeavour. Therefore, your answer would be yes.

    If any of your answers to these six questions is no, cross out the activity and move to the next item on your list of Things I Love Doing.

    Continue this process until you reach an activity that results in a yes to all six questions.

    When I completed this exercise, one of the activities that came up with all six yes answers was:
    • Walk in the park / PCN (Park Connector Network), simple exercises
    • Blogging

    When you arrive at an item with six yes answers, circle it and then ask yourself this final question:
    7. Does performing this activity involve anything on my list of Things I Hate Doing?


    The final question - Eliminate activity involve anything on my list of Things I Hate Doing

    PHOTO: The final question - Eliminate activity involve anything on my list of Things I Hate Doing
    Picture from wikiHow
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HqJesfUzLU4/VX7BjR4XCjI/AAAAAAAAgUw/I8W-otkNefE/s1600/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-4-Version-2.jpg
    http://pad3.whstatic.com/images/thumb/5/56/Discover-Your-Talents-Step-4-Version-2.jpg/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-4-Version-2.jpg
    http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents


    For the beloved activity to pass the criteria of The Seven Seeds of Your Soul, it has to match no more than two of your hated activities. (Virtually any activity you engage in will include some aspects you dislike. The discomfort level just has to be low enough to be tolerable.)

    If you can answer yes less than three times, double circle the activity because you'll be returning to it.

    It's possible that your inherent gifts won't appear in the first half or even the first two-thirds of your Things I Love Doing list, so be patient and work through every item.

    Now, write down the activities you double circled. If you came up with more than three, chances are you weren't being sufficiently honest with yourself. In that case, try again.

    Once you've identified three or fewer activities, your last job is to identify synergies between them and/or choose the specific nouns or adjectives that best define your gifts. These will typically be the first words of your activity statements.

    In my case, they were:

    • Walking and exercise, and Blogging.

    After thinking more deeply, I realized they were all part of an over-arching theme: Healthy lifestyle, Information Sharing.
    This represents the first part of the "What" equation - my true gift.


    This represents the first part of the 'What' equation - my true gift.

    PHOTO: This represents the first part of the "What" equation - my true gift.
    Picture from wikiHow

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VJA46cJXqZg/VX7Bj7Kp0mI/AAAAAAAAgVQ/XoM7x5YSNbY/s1600/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-5-Version-2.jpg
    http://pad2.whstatic.com/images/thumb/e/e8/Discover-Your-Talents-Step-5-Version-2.jpg/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-5-Version-2.jpg
    http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents



    Review your results and write down your gifts using one or, at most, two words for each. If possible, identify an over-arching theme.

    If you can pinpoint your gifts and complete your "What" equation by also identifying the vehicle you will use to share your gifts with the world and the people you're most compelled to serve, you'll probably feel like you've thrown a 500-pound bag of sand off your shoulders.


    We've thrown a 500-pound bag of sand off your shoulders

    PHOTO: We've thrown a 500-pound bag of sand off our shoulders
    Pursue living as who we were born to be and we'll achieve our true destiny.
    Picture from wikiHow
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zt17csII0UI/VX7BimIObQI/AAAAAAAAgUs/k17vLf30JI4/s1600/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-10.jpg
    http://pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/5/58/Discover-Your-Talents-Step-10.jpg/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-10.jpg
    http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents



    Identifying your "What" is often a very emotional experience. It should move you and put a fire in your belly.
    Pursue living as who you were born to be and you'll achieve your true destiny. [6]


    How can you be sure to continue using it (gift of God) and not lose it?
    • Continue to use God's gift. The best approach to keep Gods gift is to continue to use it in respect to His principles. At this level someone may be sure that he will always have Gods strength. [7]
    Continue to use God's gift
    PHOTO: Continue to use God's gift
    The best approach to keep Gods gift is to continue to use it in respect to His principles.
    Picture from HR Value Partners, LLC.
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/--DM2kAbskFc/VX7Bl2TMH1I/AAAAAAAAgVk/zMsk9IDTzgc/s1600/Talent-Search-Tips.jpg
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    http://hrvaluepartners.com/partner-services/conducting-a-successful-talent-search/


      • Trust God. The Trust in God assures us a great serenity!
      Trust God. The Trust in God assures us a great serenity!
      PHOTO: Trust God. The Trust in God assures us a great serenity!
      Picture from imgarcade.com
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      http://imgarcade.com/1/jesus-calms-the-storm-lds/


      • Have self confidence. It is also important to have self confidence because God has confidence in us when He makes us a gift. What we may do in return, will be to have confidence in Him and in us. As a pastor used to say "God is a business man and He cannot invest in you when He thinks that He will lose." Unfortunately, we are so many who do not have confidence in God and who think that God made a wrong choice when he gave us a task or a gift. That's why we want to help Him to keep the gifts that He offered us. And when we want to help God, we fall into sins.
      Have self confidence
      PHOTO: Have self confidence
      It is also important to have self confidence because God has confidence in us when He makes us a gift. What we may do in return, will be to have confidence in Him and in us.
      Picture from wikiHow
      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-mSFg2pTW3cE/VX7BivsgLBI/AAAAAAAAgUk/zjyhIYVoUp4/s1600/670px-Discover-Your-Talents-Step-1-Version-2.jpg
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      http://www.wikihow.com/Discover-Your-Talents


      • Many people think that they may help God. I know that I used to think like that before. It is ridiculous!  Willing to help the Ancient of days! I?
      Ridiculous to think that we may help God.
      PHOTO: Ridiculous to think that we may help God.
      Posted by Helene Beland on Friday, 17 April 2015 at 11:07, Giving of themselves ...
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      http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/madam_irene/post359613200/


      • Ask God for forgiveness and help. If we have God's gift and are afraid of losing it, acknowledge this fear before God; ask him for forgiveness for the fact that we don't trust Him enough and don't trust the choice that He did which is us; ask for His help to teach us how to have confidence in Him, and start to use this gift for His glory in a good respect of His words. [7]
      Ask God for forgiveness and help
      PHOTO: Ask God for forgiveness and help
      God's work is perfect. When He forgives, sins are forgiven, removed, cast away, and not called to his mind anymore. We need to ask God to forgive us for not fully trusting Him.
      Posted by The Academy of European Arts and Culture on 18 July 2013
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      https://i0.wp.com/artlemon.ru/imagesbase/1/big/leighton-frederic/ger-leighton-clytie-artfond.jpg
      https://alsharqawy.wordpress.com/tag/art/page/2/



      Bonus [5]
      Matthew 25:14-21 Similarly, it is like a man going on a trip, who called his servants and turned his money over to them. To one man he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, based on their ability.

      Then he went on his trip. The one who received five talents went out at once and invested them and earned five more. In the same way, the one who had two talents earned two more. But the one who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and buried his masters money. After a long time, the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came up and brought five more talents. "Master," he said, "you gave me five talents. See, I've earned five more talents." His master told him, "Well done, good and trustworthy servant! Since you've been trustworthy with a small amount, I'll put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master's joy!" [5]


      The one who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and buried his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.

      PHOTO: The one who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and buried his masters money. After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them.

      The man who had received one bag of gold came, "Master," he said, "I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you."

      His master replied, "You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

      Take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags
      ".
      Posted by S.Editor on Thursday, June 5, 2014

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      http://www.oasteadomnului.ro/2014/sa-nu-ti-ingropi-fricos-talantul



      My Creator, let me use my gifts to further your work on the earth

      PHOTO: My Creator, let me use my gifts to further your work on the earth
      Give me the Opportunity Lord...
      Dear God, I place my humble needs before you:
      My need to meet my responsibilities in the world.
      My need to use my God-given talents and abilities.
      My need to fulfill my place here on earth.

      I pray for Your guidance now to show me the way to the perfect opportunity to do what I love, to do what I can do well, and what will fulfill my needs mentally, spiritually, and financially. Help me to walk in faith as You show me the way!

      Thank You, Lord. Amen!
      From prayers for employment to help you get a job that suits your needs and financial obligations
      http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/Prayers-for-Employment.html
      Picture posted in oesiaspreferidas.wordpress.com on 1 January 2014
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      https://poesiaspreferidas.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/lee-bogle.jpg
      https://poesiaspreferidas.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/a-paz-sem-vencedor-e-sem-vencidos-sophia-andresen/


      Reflection - Father John Chrysostom's comment, by Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



      Reference

      [1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright  2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART ONE: UNITED WITH CHRIST, Chapter 4 "United with Christ in Service and Suffering" (2 Timothy 1:8-18), Page 47.

      [2] William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus and Philemon, The Daily Study Bible, rev. ed. (Bangalore: Theological Publications in India, 1975), 148.

      [3] John Chrysostom, Homily 1 on 2 Timothy, 1:6, trans. Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Father, ed. Philip Schaff, first series, vol. 13 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing, 1889). Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/230701.htm.

      [4] Philip H. Towner, 1-2 Timothy and Titus, The IVP New Testament Commentary (Downers Grove, Leicester: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 160. See also Hughes and Chappell, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus, 174.

      [5] Bible verses about talents, http://biblereasons.com/talents/, Posted by Fritz Chery on 9 May 2015.

      [6] How to Identify the One Thing You Were Born to Do, http://www.nextavenue.org/how-identify-one-thing-you-were-born-do/, by Steve Olsher on 19 November 2013.

      [7] Are you afraid to lose Gods gift?, http://eugenielonmene.over-blog.com/article-7068127.html, Posted by  Eugenie Lonmene N on Monday, 27 August. Published in: Jesus is my Healer and he can be yours.


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      2 Timothy 1:8-18 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+1%3A8-18&version=NIV

      2 Timothy 1:14 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+1%3A14&version=NIV

      Matthew 25:14-21 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25%3A14-21&version=NIV