CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

April 2, 2011

A Theological Perspective on Child Abuse

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON CHILD ABUSE

With The Rev. Monte W. Holland

     Some important questions arise when speaking of theology and violence, abuse of children, spouses, family and friends. Below is an attempt to answer some of them.

  • Children must be MADE to OBEY (their parents, their caretakers), right?

Obedience IS important. Ephesians 6:1-4 and Colossians 3:20-21 instruct children to be obedient. But this directive does not stop there. It goes on to instruct PARENTS not to PROVOKE their children (to wrath). Implied is a mutual RESPECT: respect that begets respect. “Nobody ever hates his own flesh, but rather nourishes and cherishes it just as Christ does for the church…” (Ephesians 5:29) Our children are born out of our love, part of a continuation of our flesh. We should not treat them with hate or hateful actions.

  • Does not the Bible state that to spare the rod is to spoil the child? (Proverbs 13:24)

     Nowhere in the New Testament—the “new law”—is abuse justified. Rather, the opposite is expected, that you love one another as I have loved you. (John 15:12) The Great Commandment directs us You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:37-40) Our family members—our spouse, our children, and sometimes our parents—are our (more…)

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October 29, 2010

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter H

26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET:

THE LETTER  H

Monte Holland

Several persons have expressed an interest in having my husband, the Rev. Monte W. Holland, post an online series of devotions. Through their encouragement, Monte will post a weekly devotion on CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS. To read the introduction click on 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction. Click on  26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter G to read the previous post on the letter G.

Return to this site each Saturday to read his devotions.  Carolyn C. Holland

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 ALPHABET OF THE BIBLE – THE LETTER H

Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Exodus 20:12)

     A central tenet of the Christian faith is the Great Commandment : love God, neighbor and self with heart, soul, mind and strength. In a sense the faith is a three-dimensional relationship—God, others, and yourself.

     The current day practice of the faith often strongly tilts toward a two-dimensional relationship—between God and self. Self-fulfillment, every person for themselves, and freedom from the constraints and expectations of family, government, and society in general, seem to permeate religious practice inside and outside the church structure.

     Our H verse serves to remind us that relating to God can never be separated from good relationships with others. God has used our parents as a conduit to our entry and growth in this world. God has used us to be the conduits for our children. In our case, one of our children is adopted. God still uses us as a conduit for our daughter’s growth. God expects us to honor our parents. This is honoring God as Creator. This verse starts a process of thankfulness for all of God’s creation—our lives, the lives of those around us, and the whole created order.

     The term embedded became part of our vocabulary with the term embedded reporters, used in the Iraq War. The reporter in the midst of conflict was expected to fully experience the war and share that experience with others.

     God has embedded each of us in this world. Thankfully, our parents introduced us to this world and set our direction toward the future. No matter how well or poorly our parents performed the task, they got us started. It is up to us to acknowledge our start through our parents, and to ultimately recognize God’s grace. It is up to us to build on this and find our purpose in the world we live in. Jesus helped us by claiming the centrality of the Great Commandment.

     Do we seek that our days be long in this world? It all begins with honor and thanksgiving to our parents and to God for the start of our life. Then it is up to us to continually honor our parents for the start they gave us by living as responsible persons in this world—using our gifts to make a unique contribution back to God by upholding and enriching the lives of others and by respecting the rest of God’s Creation.

     Is this all part of honoring father and mother? I think so. After all, who we become will contribute in part to how our parents are remembered.

To read 26 DEVOTIONS BASED ON THE ALPHABET: THE LETTER I, click on: 26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: The Letter I

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Don’t miss Monte’s devotions.

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ADDITIONAL READING:

26 Devotions Based on the Alphabet: Introduction

Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath

A Father-Daughter reunion after 30 years

Two Photographers Named Cornell

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 1

March 13, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 22

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 22

Monte Holland

This is the Twenty-second in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 21Today’s photographs feature the cross on top of Otterbein UnitedMethodist Church in Connellsville, PA. One photo shows how it was damaged when lightning struck it in 1997. To view click on: 

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When Jesus instructed us to “love neighbor as thyself,” He was quoting Old Testament teaching: 

18Stop being angry and don’t try to take revenge. I am the LORD, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself. Leviticus 19:18 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

In addition to Jesus’ three Gospel statements of the Great Commandment, Jesus offered another valuable teaching about dealing with our neighbors:

19Respect your father and mother. And love others as much as you love yourself.” Matthew 19:19 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Elsewhere in the New Testament we find further affirmation of this commandment:

a. 9In the Law there are many commands, such as, “Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others.” But all of these are summed up in the command that says, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” Romans 13:9 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

b. 14All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. Galatians 5:14 : Contemporary English Version (CEV)

c. 8You will do all right, if you obey the most important law [a] in the Scriptures. It is the law that commands us to love others as much as we love ourselves. James 2:8 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

      The Upper Room reading author for March 12, 2010 shares some insight:

The parable of the Good Samaritan gives me an example to follow. The Samaritan was not intending to become the wounded man’s best friend, but he took care of the man’s needs. —Caroleah Johnson (California, USA)

What is loving self? It isn’t about how much we have—material possession or a multitude of friends. It comes back to stewardship. We really love ourselves when our love of God overflows into thankfulness for what God has put in our care. The act of caring becomes ultimate, no matter whether it is our best friend or a person we have just met. Loving one’s self is reflected in our unselfish use of the gifts God has entrusted to us. The result becomes loving neighbor as self. It is something that goes on irrespective of friendship—this is a matter of stewardship among God’s people.

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EXERCISES:

Exercise 1: There is ample evidence from the above scripture verses that loving your neighbor as oneself is a key commandment. To accomplish this is a (more…)

March 12, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 21

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 21

Monte Holland

This is the twenty-first in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/ 

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 20

Today’s photographs feature Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Ligonier, PA. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-21.html

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Yesterday we began looking at the Great Commandment:

28One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

    29Jesus answered, “The most important one says: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31The second most important commandment says: `Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.” Mark 12:28-29

     As we saw in yesterday’s devotional, Jesus stated two basic teachings—to love God and to love your neighbor as self. Today we examine loving God.

The First Part of the Great Commandment: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’  Mark 12:29-30

We previously looked at one passage:] 5So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. 6Memorize his laws 7and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you’re at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. 8Write down copies and tie them to your wrists and foreheads to help you obey them. 9Write these laws on the door frames of your homes and on your town gates. Deuteronomy 6:5-9:

          Verse 5 has the very words that we find in the Great Commandment. This passage goes on to tell us how to love the Lord our God—memorize God’s laws, tell the laws to our children, make positive use of our tongue by reciting God’s laws to all who will hear, and write down visible evidence that we know and love the Lord God and God’s laws.

EXERCISES:

Exercise 1: How do YOU love (more…)

March 11, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 20

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

A DAILY ONLINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE: DAY 20

Monte Holland

This is the twentieth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

https://carolyncholland.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/a-daily-online-lenten-study-guide-introduction/

 To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 19

Today’s photographs feature Egliese Saint Pierre et Saint Paul (Saints Peter and Paul Church) in Lewiston, Maine. A proud symbol of the faith of the French Canadian settlers in Lewiston that has become not only a city landmark, but also a National Landmark since July 14, 1983. To view click on: http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/2010/03/daily-online-lenten-study-guide-day-20.html

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     In the preceding devotionals we have seen that the Law as recorded in the Ten Commandments is basic to the Godly, moral life. They tell us how to relate to God and how to relate to others. We looked in a little detail at each of the Ten Commandments, one by one.

     This Lenten series will now examine the Jewish leaders, who confronted Jesus because they were jealous of how well he got along with the common people. These leaders attempt to trip up Jesus when he speaks about the Godly life. More than anybody in history, Jesus was fully aware of God’s expectations of humanity.

     We will look at three passages that relate to living the Godly, moral life—two are statements from Jesus and the third from the Apostle Paul. Our goal in the following devotions is to familiarize ourselves with the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule, and the Love Chapter.

Today we examine The Great Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40)

34After Jesus had made the Sadducees look foolish, the Pharisees heard about it and got together.

35One of them was an expert in the Jewish Law. So he tried to test Jesus by asking, 36“Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”

    37Jesus answered:

   Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38This is the first and most important commandment. 39The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophetsare based on these two commandments.

Read in Luke:

 25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. Luke10:25-28

Read in Mark:

 28One of the teachers of the Law of Moses came up while Jesus and the Sadducees were arguing. When he heard Jesus give a good answer, he asked him, “What is the most important commandment?”

    29Jesus answered, “The most important one says: `People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. 30You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ 31The second most important commandment says: `Love others as much as you love yourself.’ No other commandment is more important than these.” Mark 12:28-31

     Jesus stated two basic teachings—to love God and to love your neighbor as self—which were not new to the people of Israel. We can find them in the Old Testament. The Jewish teachers who were challenging Jesus must have known them. Jesus brought these two statements together and established them as the greatest demand on anyone who would serve God. In a capsule they put together the more detailed teachings of the Ten Commandments.

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EXERCISES: 

Exercise 1: Memorize the (more…)

March 19, 2009

Basic Biblical Teachings for the Godly and Moral Life: 4

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

BASIC BIBLICAL TEACHINGS FOR THE

GODLY AND MORAL LIFE: 4

Guest writer Monte W. Holland

For some time, my husband, Monte, has been concerned about today’s young generation and the ethical behavior, which they are exposed to in today’s society. He sees the inconsistencies in what they experience in society and what is taught by Biblical Scripture, where lessons on “The Godly, Moral Life,” are presented.
As a step in counteracting society’s UnGodly, Immoral life lessons, he developed a series of six lessons, one for each week in Lent. Each lesson has seven daily sections. His entire work is posted by host site the Open Hands Ministry, a service of the United Methodist Churches in the Ligonier, PA, area. This organization provides layettes for WIC babies in Westmoreland County, and operates second-hand clothing and furnishings stores in Stahlstown and Jeannette.

AN ON-LINE STUDY GUIDE FOR THE LENTEN SEASON– “Basic Biblical Teachings for the Godly and Moral Life”

Our goal this week is to become quite familiar with the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule, and the Love chapter.
LESSON 4   Wednesday March 18 – Tuesday March 24, 2009
In the preceding lessons we have seen that the Law as recorded in the Ten Commandments is basic to the Godly, moral life. Very specifically we are charged with obedience in our relationship to God and obedience in our relationship to others. We have looked in a little detail at the Ten Commandments, one by one.
Now we turn to the message that comes from Jesus as he was interacting with the Jewish elite of his time. We find that these leaders were jealous of the rapport Jesus had with (to continue reading this post and/or to see previous posts in this Lenten series, click on: http://www.methodists-care.org/ , then click on ONLINE STUDY).

ADDITIONAL READING:

Writer’s calls for submissions, competitions & events March 1, 2009
Kathy Kelly, of Voices of Wilderness: On Peace

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 1

KEEPING PEACE IN SOUTH AFRICA Part 2

I BELIEVE GOD INVENTED DANCING

Basic Biblical Teachings for the Godly and Moral Life: 1

Basic Biblical Teachings for the Godly and Moral Life: 2

Ashes to Ashes: A Devotion for Ash Wednesday

A PASTOR’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE Part 2

CHILD ABUSE AND SCRIPTURE

ABRAHAM, SARAH, HAGAR and sons ISHMAEL and ISAAC

WHAT? MARRY A PROSTITUTE, HOSEA ASKED GOD

DRESSING FOR BLESSING: GOD AND FASHION Part 1

ARE YOU LIVING IMPAIRED?

BUSY—I’M SO BUSY!!! Lent Devotion #28

Online Sites for Caretakers & Families of Brain Injury Victims

SITE LINKS:

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com/

www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com

www.beanerywriters.wordpress.com/

www.barbarapurbaugh.com

www.pennwriters.com

ellenspain.com

http://ligonierliving.blogspot.com/

http://www.methodists-care.org/

 

March 22, 2008

SHALOM! MY LORD AND MY GOD! The Easter Story as told by Mary

CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

SHALOM! MY LORD AND MY GOD!

The Easter Story as told by Mary

COME, GATHER ‘ROUND ME, YOUNG AND OLD:
THE EASTER STORY WILL BE TOLD!

     In long, long ago times, a special baby was born.
I’d love to share that birth story with you—the miracle of birth itself, the struggles, hopes and dreams of and for this special baby—but that is the Christmas story.
We are here today to hear the Easter story.
Not the story about

(more…)

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