We are the World! Happy New Year!

Praying for blessings to all of you around the world. May we all come together to find what is best in each of us. Love surely is better than hate. Working together, standing together, loving together will make the difference. If you are upset about something, find your voice. Go on Twitter, Facebook, start a Website, care and share positive ideas and progressive thinking instead of crying in a corner. We can all light the place where we stand and that light will shine enough to change things.

Be blessed with much love, joy, and happiness!

Sharon & Erick

We are the world!

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving

Losing my religion for equality

Although this article was published in 2015, when I discovered it today, I thought it important to share. ~ Sharon Rule

Jimmy Carter
Published: April 27, 2015 – 11:12AM

Women and girls have been discriminated against for too long in a twisted interpretation of the word of God.

I HAVE been a practising Christian all my life and a deacon and Bible teacher for many years. My faith is a source of strength and comfort to me, as religious beliefs are to hundreds of millions of people around the world. So my decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention’s leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be “subservient” to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service.

This view that women are somehow inferior to men is not restricted to one religion or belief. Women are prevented from playing a full and equal role in many faiths. Nor, tragically, does its influence stop at the walls of the church, mosque, synagogue or temple. This discrimination, unjustifiably attributed to a Higher Authority, has provided a reason or excuse for the deprivation of women’s equal rights across the world for centuries.

At its most repugnant, the belief that women must be subjugated to the wishes of men excuses slavery, violence, forced prostitution, genital mutilation and national laws that omit rape as a crime. But it also costs many millions of girls and women control over their own bodies and lives, and continues to deny them fair access to education, health, employment and influence within their own communities.

The impact of these religious beliefs touches every aspect of our lives. They help explain why in many countries boys are educated before girls; why girls are told when and whom they must marry; and why many face enormous and unacceptable risks in pregnancy and childbirth because their basic health needs are not met.

In some Islamic nations, women are restricted in their movements, punished for permitting the exposure of an arm or ankle, deprived of education, prohibited from driving a car or competing with men for a job. If a woman is raped, she is often most severely punished as the guilty party in the crime.

The same discriminatory thinking lies behind the continuing gender gap in pay and why there are still so few women in office in the West. The root of this prejudice lies deep in our histories, but its impact is felt every day. It is not women and girls alone who suffer. It damages all of us. The evidence shows that investing in women and girls delivers major benefits for society. An educated woman has healthier children. She is more likely to send them to school. She earns more and invests what she earns in her family.

It is simply self-defeating for any community to discriminate against half its population. We need to challenge these self-serving and outdated attitudes and practices – as we are seeing in Iran where women are at the forefront of the battle for democracy and freedom.

I understand, however, why many political leaders can be reluctant about stepping into this minefield. Religion, and tradition, are powerful and sensitive areas to challenge. But my fellow Elders and I, who come from many faiths and backgrounds, no longer need to worry about winning votes or avoiding controversy – and we are deeply committed to challenging injustice wherever we see it.

The Elders are an independent group of eminent global leaders, brought together by former South African president Nelson Mandela, who offer their influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity. We have decided to draw particular attention to the responsibility of religious and traditional leaders in ensuring equality and human rights and have recently published a statement that declares: “The justification of discrimination against women and girls on grounds of religion or tradition, as if it were prescribed by a Higher Authority, is unacceptable.”

We are calling on all leaders to challenge and change the harmful teachings and practices, no matter how ingrained, which justify discrimination against women. We ask, in particular, that leaders of all religions have the courage to acknowledge and emphasise the positive messages of dignity and equality that all the world’s major faiths share.

The carefully selected verses found in the Holy Scriptures to justify the superiority of men owe more to time and place – and the determination of male leaders to hold onto their influence – than eternal truths. Similar biblical excerpts could be found to support the approval of slavery and the timid acquiescence to oppressive rulers.

I am also familiar with vivid descriptions in the same Scriptures in which women are revered as pre-eminent leaders. During the years of the early Christian church women served as deacons, priests, bishops, apostles, teachers and prophets. It wasn’t until the fourth century that dominant Christian leaders, all men, twisted and distorted Holy Scriptures to perpetuate their ascendant positions within the religious hierarchy.

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views.

Jimmy Carter was president of the United States from 1977 to 1981

May 4 2015

Want equality for all? Then spurn organised religion.

This story was found at: The Age

In Memoriam – Victims in the Oakland Fire

My note: Because we live in the area, I think this nightmare has affected us more than maybe some of you. Nonetheless, I am sure as you read this memoriam, and look at these beautiful faces, you will be unable to not feel it personally.

These victims were going to, or teaching in, schools in the Oakland Area, as I understand it. One of the victims was a student of Professor Chris Johnson at California College of the Arts. (My daughter graduated from CCA, and Professor Johnson has had a major influence in her life, and ours.)

Tragedy occurs when one least expects it. I imagine these victims were either living in this warehouse, or attending the party. I can envision them…artists, musicians, students, and educators–immersed in their life’s dream, creativity running rampant, determined to pass on the gifts they had been given by sharing their unique ability to see the world just a little differently than most.

Our hearts are aching for the losses their families and friends are feeling. Our prayers are covering all of them.

Let us remember these people–their names, their faces. We will keep them in our hearts forever.

 

Oakland Fire Victims

  • askew
    CASH ASKEW
  • emb
    EM B
  • bernbaum
    JONATHAN BERNBAUM
  • barrettclark
    BARRETT CLARK
  • cline
    DAVID CLINE
  • danemayer
    MICAH DANEMAYER
  • dixon
    BILLY DIXON
  • dolan
    CHELSEA DOLAN
  • ghassan
    ALEX GHASSAN
  • gomez-hall
    NICK GOMEZ-HALL
  • gregory
    MICHELA GREGORY
  • hoda
    SARA HODA
  • hough
    TRAVIS HOUGH
  • igaz
    JOHNNY IGAZ
  • jo
    ARA JO
  • kellogg
    DONNA KELLOGG
  • kershaw.jpg
    AMANDA KERSHAW
  • lapine
    EDMOND LAPINE
  • madden
    GRIFFIN MADDEN
  • matlock
    JOSEPH MATLOCK
  • mccarty
    JASON MCCARTY
  • mcgill
    DRAVEN MCGILL
  • mendiola
    JENNIFER MENDIOLA
  • morris
    JENNIFER MORRIS
  • pines
    FERAL PINES
  • plotkin
    VANESSA PLOTKIN
  • Wolfgang Renner
    WOLFGANG RENNER
  • ruax
    HANNA RUAX
  • runnels
    BENJAMIN RUNNELS
  • siegrist
    NICOLE SIEGRIST
  • sylvan
    MICHELE SYLVAN
  • tanouye
    JENNIFER KIYOMI TANOUYE
  • vega.jpg
    ALEX VEGA
  • wadsworth
    PETER WADSWORTH
  • walrath
    NICK WALRATH
  • wittenauer
    BRANDON “CHASE” WITTENAUER

 

Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions

12/06/2016 Climate ChangeThe science has long been settled: climate change is real and it’s happening all around us right now. Our new five-session discussion course on climate action will help you take action to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Presented in an interactive ebook, this new discussion course experience integrates video, audio and printed content with action plans that help you roll your sleeves up and get started taking action toward a better tomorrow.“Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up. In contrast to optimism or despair, hope requires that one actually do something to improve the world. Authentic hope comes with an imperative to act. There is no such thing as passive hope.” – David Orr, introduction to Hope Is an Imperative: The Essential David Orr

The science has long been settled, climate change is real and it’s happening all around us right now. Our lifestyles are not only a contributing factor, but the root cause, despite what many politicians and talking heads would have us believe.  Those of us hoping for real solutions often despair at the unnecessary political gridlock and the lack of traction for widespread solutions.But there is reason to hope: many ordinary citizens desire to make positive change in their daily lives, in their communities, and in the world at large.

Yes, climate change is already happening. Yes, it is getting worse. But people working together to take action can find real solutions.The choice is ours – take action now or react to even larger systemic problems later.Climate Change link

Source: Change Is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions

Standing, Stronger Together

My Note: This is a great example of people standing together for what is right. I am 1/64th Creek Indian, so this whole situation has been tearing at my heart. I am so impressed and inspired by the resolve of all the people who were protesting.
Bernie Sanders

I appreciate very much President Obama listening to the Native American people and millions of others who believe this pipeline should not be built. In the year 2016, we should not continue to trample on Native American sovereignty. We should not endanger the water supply of millions of people. We should not become more dependent on fossil fuel and accelerate the planetary crisis of climate change. Our job now is to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels, not to produce more greenhouse gas emissions.

Worried Enough to Pray?

by Max Lucado
Last week’s blog struck a nerve. I wrote a piece entitled “Decency for President.” The premise was a simple one. Shouldn’t a presidential candidate who claims to be Christian talk like one? When a candidate waves a Bible in one speech and calls a reporter “bimbo” in the next, isn’t something awry? Specifically, when Donald Trump insists that he is a Christian (“a good Christian” to use his descriptor) and then blasts, belittles, and denigrates everyone from Barbara Bush to John McCain to Megyn Kelly, shouldn’t we speak up?

If the candidate is not a Christian, then I have no right to speak. But if the candidate does what Trump has done, wave a Bible and attempt to quote from it, then we, his fellow Christians need to call him to at least a modicum of Christian behavior, right?

Again, I struck a nerve. More than three million of you read the article in the first 36 hours! Thousands of you weighed in with your comments. They were fascinating to read. (Not all of them pleasant to read, mind you. The dozens of you who told me to stick to the pulpit and stop meddling in politics– I get it. By the way, I’d like to invite you to attend our services. My upcoming message is “Kindness”.) Detractors notwithstanding, your comments were heartfelt and passionate.

I detected a few themes.

You have a deep sense of love for our country. Patriotism oozed through your words. You cherish the uniqueness and wonder of the USA. You have varying opinions regarding leadership style, role of government, and political strategy. But when it comes to loving the country, you are unanimously off the charts.

You have an allergy to “convenient” Christians. You resist people who don the Christian title at convenient opportunities (i.e., presidential campaigns). You would prefer the candidate make no mention of faith rather than leave the appearance of a borrowed faith that will be returned to the lender after the election.

You are concerned, profoundly concerned, about the future of our country. The debt. Immorality. National security. The role of the Supreme Court. Immigration. Religious liberty. The list is as long as the worries are deep.

So where does this leave us? When a person treasures the country, but has trepidation about its future, what is the best course of action?

Elijah can weigh in on this question.

He lived during one of the darkest days in the history of Israel. The Northern Kingdom had 19 kings, each one of whom was evil. Hope had boarded the last train and optimism the final flight. The leaders were corrupt and the hearts of the people were cold. But comets are most visible against the black sky. And in the midst of the darkness, a fiery comet by the name of Elijah appeared.

The name Elijah means, “My God is Jehovah.” And he lived up to his name. He appeared in the throne room of evil King Ahab with a weather report. “‘As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word’” (1 Kings 17:1).

Elijah’s attack was calibrated. Baal was the fertility god of the pagans, the god to whom they looked for rain and fertile fields. Elijah called for a showdown: the true God of Israel against the false god of the pagans. How could Elijah be so confident of the impending drought? Because he had prayed.

Eight centuries later the prayers of Elijah were used as a model.

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops” (James 5:16-18).

James was impressed that a prayer of such power came from a person so common. Elijah was “a human being” but his prayers were heard because he prayed earnestly. This was no casual prayer, comfortable prayer, but a radical prayer. “Do whatever it takes, Lord,” Elijah begged, “even if that means no water.”

What happened next is one of the greatest stories in the Bible. Elijah told the 450 prophets of Baal: You get a bull, I’ll get a bull. You build an altar, I’ll build an altar. You ask your god to send fire; I’ll ask my God to send fire. The God who answers by fire is the true God.

The prophets of Baal agreed and went first.

“At noon Elijah began to taunt them. ‘Shout louder!’ he said. ‘Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.’

“So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention” (1 Kings 18:27-29).

(Elijah would have flunked a course in diplomacy.) Though the prophets cut themselves and raved all afternoon, nothing happened. Finally Elijah asked for his turn.

“Then Elijah said to all the people, ‘Come here to me.’ They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the LORD, which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, ‘Your name shall be Israel’” (1 Kings 18:30-31).

Elijah poured four jugs of water (remember, this was a time of drought) over the altar three times. Then Elijah prayed.

“LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.   Answer me, LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again” (1 Kings 18:36-37).

Note how quickly and dramatically God answered.

“Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, ‘The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!’” (1 Kings 18:38-39).

“Pow!” the altar was ablaze. God delighted in and answered Elijah’s prayer. God delights in and answers our prayers as well.

Let’s start a fire, shall we?

If your responses to my blog are any indication, you are anxious. You love this country, yet you are troubled about the future. You wonder what the future holds and what we can do. Elijah’s story provides the answer. We can pray. We can offer earnest, passionate prayers.

It’s time to turn our concerns into a unified prayer. Let’s join our hearts and invite God to do again what he did then; demonstrate His power. Super Tuesday, March 1, is the perfect day for us to step into the presence of God.

Dear Lord,

You outrank any leader. You hold sway over every office. Greater is the occupant of Heaven’s throne than the occupant of the White House.

You have been good to this country. You have blessed us in spite of our sin and guarded us in spite of our rebellion.

We unite our hearts in one prayer. Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done. Please, speak through the electoral process to reveal your leader.

This we pray in the name of Jesus,

Amen

© Max Lucado
February 29, 2016

Wings like Eagles

 

Dear Lord,

I seek to have my strength renewed.

I know you are strong enough to carry me.

And YOU always soar!

You know why I feel lethargic.

Help me to know what is causing it, and how to combat it.

Please help me to be able to soar again.

Thank you.

In Jesus’ Name,

Your child,

Sharon

‘Passion of the Christ’ star Jim Caviezel says playing Jesus sunk his career

Despite a long list of woes that include being labeled an anti-Semite, having a violent temper and allegedly breaking the teeth of the mother of his youngest child—Mel Gibson has a friend in Jesus—or, at least the actor who played him in 2004’s “Passion of the Christ.”

“Mel Gibson, he’s a horrible sinner, isn’t he?” Jim Caviezel asked members of the First Baptist Church of Orlando, FL during an appearance Saturday night. “Mel Gibson doesn’t need your judgment, he needs your prayers.”

Caviezel, 42, spoke at the 14,000-member church in a speech the local paper described as “giv(ing) witness to his faith, (urging) others to share it and to sell a new all-star audio production of the Bible that he has produced.”

The staunch Roman Catholic recalled when Gibson first offered him the role of Jesus, he warned that it could end his career.

“(Gibson) said, ‘You’ll never work in this town again,’” Caviezel explained. “I told him, ‘We all have to embrace our crosses.’”

During the 20-minute talk, Caviezel said he was “called” to be an actor, noting that it was no coincidence that “in my 33rd year, I was called to play Jesus.”

He even joked about his initials– J.C. –with Gibson during casting, which “freaked [the director] out a little.”

Caviezel said taking on the role of the Son of God limited his career, saying that he was “rejected in (his) own industry.”

“Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been,” Caviezel said. “Not much has changed in 2,000 years.”

But Caviezel has no regrets, saying “We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth,” and adding that he’ll get his reward in heaven.

 

From my heart

Please bear with me as I am still recuperating from surgery. I have such great intentions–to read your messages, comment, or at least “like” them. But I am falling further and further behind.

I’ve even worked on the “Sunshine Award”, and posted it; however, I haven’t sent you the congratulations letter. I also want to do another “Sunshine Award” post and add all of the others of you that I follow, to the award nominations. I’m frustrated because I have so little energy. As I sit here today, contemplating all that I want to do here on the site, I am in major physical pain. Because I can’t take pain meds because of the effect they have on me, I am going through this recuperation on my own with the help of  God and my husband.

Just sharing my heart with you, with the sincere hope you’ll just understand.

Much love and blessings,

Sharon

 

Prayer changes things!

A banner on the wall in my home church when I was growing up

kept us reminded of that wonderful personal relationship

we can have with our Lord by just talking to Him.

Prayer Changes Things!

He knows what’s going on.

He just wants us to talk to Him about it.

He wants to talk to us, too.

He wants to know we care enough to stop what we’re doing

and offer up our concern to Him.

YSIC,

Sharon

Prayer Request for me

Just wanted to ask for prayer for tomorrow morning.

I am having hiatal hernia surgery at 10:30 in San Francisco. I’ve had this hernia for over 10 years, but recently it became very enlarged, about 1/3 of my stomach is protruding through the wall of the diaphragm.

Everything should be fine, but surgery always brings a sense of anxiety for me.

I appreciate the support of our friends here on sharin’ His love.

Much love and blessings to all, and meanwhile I’ll be:

Needs in our Community

Thoughts have been running through my mind for days as to how to post about what is going on in our lives.

We really need your prayers and support as we continue to minister in our community–a community of many who have deep needs. Our friend who is terminally ill with cancer has needed our help in preparing her to move to live with her son in Nevada. Emotional,  physical, spiritual support has been needed and we have been obeying God to fill those needs.

Others have needed guidance, prayer, and all kinds of other support.

There are those in our community who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, so your prayers for those specific needs would be greatly appreciated.

We feel God has given us the gift of love in action. It takes a lot of energy and spiritual strength. Of course, in the process, the devil is attacking us, and we have been physically sick in the middle of helping those who need us.

All of the things going on has kept us from coming here with any consistency, and I know you all understand. We get a lot of strength and encouragement from each of you, but have been unable to take the time we used to, to read what you all are writing. But know that each of your ministries are important to us, and that we keep you all in our prayers, daily.

Much love and blessings, especially during this time as we celebrate the life of Jesus and the Greatest Gift we have through Him.

Sharon & Erick

 

 

 

Update regarding our friend, Lori Kennedy

Thank you all for your wonderful sentiments, prayers, and love.

Here is the latest update:

The service for our friend, Lori Kennedy, will be at 3:00 pm Thursday at the Parent-Sorenson Mortuary, 850 Keokuk St, Petaluma, CA. Phone number is (707) 763-4131 in case you want more specific information. The service will be in the Chapel, with a non-denominational pastor saying a few words, with a total of +/- 30minutes. Her friends and neighbors here at her apartment complex at The Commons on Enterprise Dr in Rohnert Park will have an additional gathering in honor of Lori at a later date to be announced. The coroner is supposed to do the autopsy tonight. If it is an obvious cause of death, then the family will let us know as soon as they know. If they have to do a more involved autopsy, the results may not be available for a few months. We do know that she died between 7:00 pm Friday night, October 21 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Neighbors and friends had not seen her per her usual routine and called the police, who contacted our apartment complex manager, who let the sheriff into Lori’s apartment, at which time they found her lying on her face in the hallway between the bedroom, bathroom, and living room areas. She had an emergency necklace which she wore constantly, even in the shower. The police or 911 operators had not received any indication from her pushing the button on her necklace. Therefore, we, at this time, assume she died so quickly that she didn’t have time to push the button for help. The family came today and all of us supported them in any way they needed help. Some of the furniture and pictures were removed from her apartment today and given to anyone who expressed an interest in having a memory attached to any of those items. The family will come back tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday at which time we will all wait in the wings for their instruction on how everyone can help. Several people have brought flowers, pumpkins (since she loved pumpkins so much), and a candle and placed them outside Lori’s apartment door. We have all met together quite a few times, including about a 12-hour sitting together on Saturday. We talk our feelings out. I express to them who from her facebook and personal friends are seeking information and sending condolences and tell them about how much each of you cared for Lori. I will continue to update any of you as I get any new information. There will be an announcement of services in the Press-Democrat Newspaper. Do not hesitate to contact me if we can help answer any of your questions or be of help in any other way. We know this is a particularly hard time for all of you who cannot be here personally. I know that your heartfelt expressions of love is appreciated by Lori. God bless each of you. Sharon

Related article:

https://sharinhislove.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/we-just-lost-one-of-our-best-friends/

We just lost one of our best friends

One of our best friends passed away yesterday. We are helping our other friends deal with this loss, and we will be helping the family in dealing with their loss.

Lori was 56 years old, had suffered from Brittle Bone Disease, but coped very well with it. Walking, pulling together neighbors to become friends, hosting holiday feasts, etc. She was one of a kind. A truly beautiful, loving person. One you could never out-give. She will be missed so much, because she was the hub of our community and a dear friend to all of us.

We are all still in shock. She had had an asthma attack that night, but had used her inhaler and everyone thought she was ok. We don’t know the circumstances of her death, except that the sheriff’s office found her lying face down in her hallway. Some of the neighbors had not received their regular morning telephone calls from her, and no one had seen her outside. She usually walked her dog early every morning. So the neighbors called the police and they took it from there. We were not able to see her body, because of the position they found her in. The coroner’s department said he couldn’t let us see her like that. We have to wait until tomorrow to find out about funeral arrangements, and we will be clearing out, and cleaning her apartment. This is going to be so hard for everyone involved.

We would appreciate all of your prayers as we try to minister to these other people.

God bless you and thank you for your prayers and support during this time.

Yours in Christ,

Sharon & Erick