Written by Clint Nobles

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"A false balance is abomination torepparttar LORD: but a just weight is his delight." (Pro. 11:1) God's word declares that if one man increases another must decrease. Jesus' ministry could not begin until John's decreased so much that he died. Thereforerepparttar 126936 Biblical precedent had been set,repparttar 126937 fleshly man cannot increase withoutrepparttar 126938 spirit man decreasing. If your flesh feasts . . . your soul must famish. It is a law of God.

In our everyday lives we fight and, byrepparttar 126939 everlasting mercies of God, we must win this battle of flesh and spirit. "Forrepparttar 126940 flesh lusteth againstrepparttar 126941 Spirit, andrepparttar 126942 Spirit againstrepparttar 126943 flesh: and these are contraryrepparttar 126944 one torepparttar 126945 other: so that ye cannot dorepparttar 126946 things that ye would." (Gal. 5:17) We are commanded to "Love notrepparttar 126947 world, neitherrepparttar 126948 things that are inrepparttar 126949 world. If any man loverepparttar 126950 world,repparttar 126951 love ofrepparttar 126952 Father is not in him. For all that is inrepparttar 126953 world,repparttar 126954 lust ofrepparttar 126955 flesh, andrepparttar 126956 lust ofrepparttar 126957 eyes, andrepparttar 126958 pride of life, is not ofrepparttar 126959 Father, but is ofrepparttar 126960 world." (I John 2:15-16) Therefore, let us learn fromrepparttar 126961 mistakes ofrepparttar 126962 past and remember always that though God "gave them their request" he also "sent leanness into their soul."

Clint has had many of his articles, stories and poems published in a variety of newspapers and magazines and is a contributing writer for the local newspaper.

Martin Luther Would Be Proud

Written by Gary Shirley

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Clearly intrigued, and impressed with Jeff’s insights, Tom said, “Are you saying that good Catholics can actually deepen their state of sin by following their conscience instead of a Church teaching that they find difficult or confusing? If you are, then where liesrepparttar hope ofrepparttar 126935 Christian life? Where, indeed, isrepparttar 126936 mercy?” With a quick glance at Rose, who was enjoyingrepparttar 126937 dialogue, Jeff responded, “Two issues, Tom. First, I am drawing that fine line between truly not knowing a certain teaching ofrepparttar 126938 faith versus knowingrepparttar 126939 teaching in your heart and ignoring it willfully. This distinction is crucial. Do you think there’s a Catholic out there who does not know thatrepparttar 126940 Church is against all forms of artificial contraception? Yet, millions of Catholics wantonly disobey this teaching. How about capital punishment? The Church has come out inrepparttar 126941 Catechism and inrepparttar 126942 media againstrepparttar 126943 taking of human life for any reason, including those on death row. The position has been made clear many times. Now, poll your fellow Catholicsrepparttar 126944 next time an execution is scheduled. The result? ‘Killrepparttar 126945 guy,’ many will say. ‘An eye for an eye...’ and allrepparttar 126946 usual clichés will come easily offrepparttar 126947 tongue. Where’srepparttar 126948 support ofrepparttar 126949 Church’s teaching? Where’srepparttar 126950 deference to her authority? Where’srepparttar 126951 obedience? Ifrepparttar 126952 Church does not possessrepparttar 126953 one truth, who does? Once again we have “protestantized”repparttar 126954 faith. Pick any teaching ofrepparttar 126955 Church, it really doesn’t matter which one - fromrepparttar 126956 executive who thinks “white” lies are acceptable business practice, torepparttar 126957 feminist who refuses to acknowledgerepparttar 126958 sacredness of new life, torepparttar 126959 student who insists thatrepparttar 126960 cheating he does now is offset byrepparttar 126961 good he will do as a doctor inrepparttar 126962 future. In each case, they know in their hearts that they are doing wrong but to absolve themselves they vilify Holy Mother Church for solemnly reminding them of Christ’s call to perfection.”

“Sounds to me like it’s better to not knowrepparttar 126963 faith at all and plead ignorance atrepparttar 126964 feet of God when I die,” remarked Tom. “Sure, Tom,” responded Jeff, “and Our Lord should have just sat under a palm tree eating dates and not bothered to teach his flock. That brings me torepparttar 126965 second issue - never forget that we have an obligation to form our conscience. This obligation is serious, it is difficult and it is lifelong. We cannot hide behind the, ‘I’m following my conscience’ defense when we fail to properly form that conscience. We haverepparttar 126966 resources to meet this obligation inrepparttar 126967 form ofrepparttar 126968 Deposit of Faith. The Bible, Catechism, writings ofrepparttar 126969 Fathers, Saints, Doctors and Councils all provide insights intorepparttar 126970 wisdom ofrepparttar 126971 ages, ably presented to us by our bishops, priests and deacons. With these profound resources we are equipped to handle life’s moral and spiritual challenges. The problem is that most Catholics attempt to get by with an eighth-grade understanding ofrepparttar 126972 Church’s teachings or, worse, they adopt society’s spin onrepparttar 126973 profound issues of our day. That’s like turning to a Ford dealer to discussrepparttar 126974 virtues of owning a Chevy,” Jeff concluded.

Roundingrepparttar 126975 curve into his subdivision, Tom seemed pensive. Jeff read his brother’s face and asked, “What is it, Tom? Are you still convinced that your pastor was wasting his breath today?” “Quiterepparttar 126976 contrary,” replied Tom. “I now realize he was doing his job by keeping us aware of our Christian obligations. Like many inrepparttar 126977 congregation, I put up my personal filter screen to block what I did not want to hear. It’s always easier to sit inrepparttar 126978 pew and mockrepparttar 126979 message.” He continued, “I feel somewhat overwhelmed byrepparttar 126980 work I need to do to raise my level of understanding. What do you recommend?” Jeff, sensing his brother’s sincerity, replied, “I recommend we start with a pot of Linda’s excellent Colombian coffee, then we’ll crack open that beautiful Catechism you have in your study. You know...repparttar 126981 one still inrepparttar 126982 shrink wrap,” he teased, as only a brother could do.

Gary Shirley, his wife, and three children are members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Gary serves as catechist in the adult education program.

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