Apollonia of Alexandria springing into the fire of her own accord

About her it is said she was born to a mother who was barren as long as she prayed to her heathen gods, but conceived when she resorted to Christian intercession.

Around ad 249, during the reign of Emperor Philip “The Arabian,” Roman citizens throughout the empire celebrated the first 1,000 years of the existence of the city-state. (Tradition says Rome was founded around 750 BC.) As part of the big bash, the people offered sacrifices to their pagan gods.

Apollonia of Alexandria had become a Christian as a teen and eventually a deaconess in the church of Alexandria. After Metras, Quinta and Serapion were killed after cruel tortures she went to comfort other Christians who were in prison, reminding them that suffering here is temporary, but the joy of living with Christ is eternal. Her courage cost her her bodily life. According to tradition, Apollonia was seized by the mob on this day, February 9, 249.

First she was beaten on the jaw so hard all of her teeth were broken. Then a large bonfire was built and she was threatened to be burned alive unless she renounced Christ and repeated blasphemous words after them. Perhaps Apollonia pretended to think it over. She asked them to loose her for a moment and they did. Rather than risk betraying Christ, she immediately sprang into the fire of her own accord.

Those who saw this were astonished. How could faith give her such courage in the face of so cruel a death?
Some became Christians. The early church respected her faith and courage, but a few wondered if her action were not a form of suicide. Eventually, Augustine of Hippo decided that her death was no more to be questioned than Samson’s when he pulled down a pagan temple on himself to kill his enemies with strength God had restored to him in answer to prayer.

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To decide what to do with the time that is given


“All we have to decide is
what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien


Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Beslissen wat we moeten doen met de gegeven tijd

Beslissen wat we moeten doen met de gegeven tijd


“Het enige dat we moeten beslissen,
is wat we moeten doen met de tijd die ons is gegeven.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien


English version / Engelse versie > To decide what to do with the time that is given

Niets van de wereld eisend


Wanneer je niets van de wereld eist,
noch van God,
wanneer je niets wilt, niets zoekt, niets verwacht,
dan zal de allerhoogste staat onaangekondigd en onverwacht tot je komen.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

English version / Engelse versie > Demanding nothing of the world

Demanding nothing of the world


When you demand nothing of the world,
nor of God,
when you want nothing, seek nothing, expect nothing,
then the supreme state will come to you uninvited and unexpected.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie > Niets van de wereld eisend

A truth to face often to do with time

A truth we all have to face is that the days pass by and that we are always limited by time. It is the ticking of the clock which may remind us that we have to take in account the time. Day and night bring us to face the reality of the day, where we have to make a distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception.

We may not forget that “Truth” is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. Truth might be unrecognised, but it will not be changed. Truth applies to everything that God created, and only what God created or allows to exists is real and true. This is beyond learning because it is beyond time and beyond the limited awareness of processing thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.

Truth has no opposite; no beginning and no end. Truth is real, unchanging and it is the serene peace of faithfulness.

Manny may be looking for truth at the wrong place. We would like to know that the best place to find truth is the Bible.

As we come to the end of 2018 it is perhaps not bad to check how media distorted truth and how much we were confronted with fake news. True news shall be that we soon shall have to face an other year with again new steps to undertake. People should know that there is also the truth that time is starting to run out. Every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, we are getting closer to the moment of truth. Before it is so far, make sure you are ready. Come to know who is the way to God and how you should be ready for hard times to come.

Today we are still connected to the time, not able to escape it. We are not able to stay young and healthy. We are all confronted with difficulties in life and illnesses. And at a certain point in life we shall have to face it that we shall not be able to be under the living on this earth. We even shall not be able to stop the time when we die. Then our body shall decay to become dust and nothingness again.

The truth of life is that there is no nothingness. When you get drown in the idea of being a nothing or to live in a nothing, you are strangling yourself. Speak of nothing can bring to mind a sense of desolation and darkness, plus can bring you in a space where you feel the emptiness

Although we may describe times of our life interchangeably using nothingness or emptiness, they have different meanings for Christians.

We should not be afraid of the time passing, of empty moments, of scaring moments, of darkness coming over this world. By time we should come to see the signs of the times the book of books speaks so many times. We as Christians are to pour ourselves out in time, treasure, and talent and be ready for others to help them come through the times. When others are afraid of darkness or certain times coming we can show the the light in that darkness.

When at 24.00 hours today sounds the fireworks and light up the skies, we should be happy, because we know we received again one more year to be here on earth and to come closer to better times. And let us not forget, having time, it means also we have to consider our obligation brought by the time. Our responsibility to make the best out of time and to take up a responsible position in times to come. Are you aware of the content you are going to bring in time, this coming new year?

For the time being, we hope you had a nice 2018 and wish you all the best for 2019.

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Concerning time, read: Coming to the end of 2018

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  2. A cogitative and brief interpretation concerning time
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  4. Nothing Remains
  5. Ego, you go
  6. Nihilism – not waving, drowning.