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June 2017

How Do You Spell MONEY?

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Spelling M-O-N-E-Y Biblically

M - MANAGE it; never let it manage you. It is a great slave and a poor master. Love people and use money; not the reverse. It is not money, but the love of money that is the root of all evil.(I Timothy 6:10). in fact, Ecclesiastes 5:10 says that the person who loves money never has enough. Management is what stewardship is all about. It is all God's money and He has given us management responsibility for it.

O - Let it bring you OPPORTUNITIES and let OPPORTUNITY bring money to you. It will enable you to embrace those opportunities as they come along and seizing opportunities for success will enable you to accumulate more. In Luke 10, the Good Samaritan could not have been as helpful to the wounded and robbed man if he had not had the money to pay for his care.

N - Take care of the NECESSITIES before you start on the frivolities. Though not always seen as a necessity by all, building a business, profession, or income form the future is essential. Build your source of income first before you build a lifestyle. (Proverbs 24:27). we also need to have the integrity to pay our bills before we purchase luxuries.

E - EXPAND the reach of your influence using money as a tool. Proverbs 11:25 says that a generous man will prosper. Proverbs 22:9 says that he will be blessed. Proverbs 17:8 says that "a bribe is a charm to the one who gives it; wherever he turns, he succeeds." Since verse Proverbs 17:23 frowns on bribes being received to pervert justice, this might be understood as a gift given to open doors in a business relationship. Money in good peoples' hands can do a lot of good in the world.

Y - Say "YES" to options, yes to people, and yes to God. How many times have you had to say "no" because you were in financial bondage to debt or lack of positive cash flow? Money can be a tool for freedom in its proper perspective. II Corinthians 1:20 says, " For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

The URGE to Change the World


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The entrepreneurial urge is the motivational edge of men and women who love to develop bold initiatives and who change the world little by little.

When Steve Jobs approached John Sculley, then C.E.O. at PepsiCo about coming on board at Apple, he posed this question:

"Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to change the world?"

No doubt, Jobs knew that the question would go to the heart of Sculley's "urge" and elicit the desired response.

Do you want to change the world?

That is what entrepreneurs do every day. They change it person by person, idea by idea, perception by perception, piece by piece. They do it the way you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

Here is an acronym for URGE. I am making it up as I write it here:

  • U = Urgency. That is what an urge is, an inner sense of urgency that says that something has to be done and it has to be done now and by YOU!
  • R = Resources. The entrepreneur may or may not have adequate resources, but she is willing to invest whatever she has and look for the rest. She is, after all, resourceful and sometimes that means being very creative.
  • G = Grandiosity. The entrepreneurial urge is to think big - bigger than is practical, vaster than the present reality, greater than others can imagine. You see it when others don't.
  • E = Energy. This is so vital to the entrepreneurial mindset and spirit. Energy flows and is directed toward the point of focus. The entrepreneur makes other people tired because he is tireless and does not quit.

Do you have the urge? Do you want to change the world?

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Forget About Winning

I am sure you already have learned this, but since I am learning it, I will share it.

I have never won an argument by challenging the truthfulness of the other party. They either know they are lying and will not admit it because it does not pay or, more likely, they believe their truth. Either way, your accusation will not pay you unless the payout is coming from an independent and logical panel of judges -- and it never is -- and they won't likely if you are mean to the other party ....

So ...

How do you win?

Forget about winning. It does not pay either.

What you need is to, first, find some common ground where you and the other person do agree. Then, agree that you may not agree on everything in the end but that it will neither end the conversation nor effect a potential relationship.

Then, gradually build as much agreement as you can. Where you cannot reach agreement, demonstrate the credibility and consistency of your argument by how you conduct it and by maintaining the process of developing it.

And gain respect by demonstrating that you, if only you, are willing to learn and to admit you are wrong when you are convinced that you are.

Be a partner in truth seeking and not an adversary. Seeking, ye shall find.

To Grunt or Not to Grunt

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From Top 10 Unwritten Gym Rules to Follow

I've been noticing that if I am alone and I spill something, break something, cut myself, do something stupid or have something stupid happen to me, my reaction is ....

{drum roll} ...


... loud, audacious silence.

I say nothing, grunt nothing, shout nothing.

That tree fell in the forest and no one heard a thing because there was nothing to be heard.

Which means ...

I guess when I grunt and shout over such things, I must be playing to the audience and there must be a reason I do.

When I am alone, I just stop and clean it, fix it, or bandage it.

                                        Let's just take care of business ... or whatever we need to take care of ...



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I think about the loss of civility in the public square with sorrow, frustration and the temptation to be uncivil about it ALL.

It seems to be directly related to the the relaxation of some very old values of respect, courtesy, and for a believer, recognition of the image of God in another.

If we cannot learn to practice this in our communities of faith as followers of Jesus, how can we translate it into the larger contexts of a world in conflict of ideals?

This brother's blog speaks to the issue within the context of Christianity where we tend to think being "right" is a license for being justified in all pronouncements.

I quote him here:

"When we speak evil of our brother, we are sinning in two ways. First, we are doing harm to one we are supposed to love. Why speak evil 'of' our brother, rather than speaking the truth 'to' our brother? Second, we are rejecting the Law of Christ, which calls us to treat our brother as we would like to be treated ourselves. In effect we are saying the law of love is just not that important." - Alan Rouse

Being nasty is not prophetic.



June 4 Worship with The Fellowship of Joy - Online Edition - Pentecost 2017!

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Welcome to worship. This is a virtual version of the order of service, scriptures, songs, and prayers we shall share together on Sunday, June 4 at 11 AM at 4141 N. Fresno St., Fresno, CA. 93726. You are welcome to join us there or here.

Let us begin!

Hymn - Pentecostal Power

We shall be singing a more standard, but equally heartfelt  version:

Lord, as of old, at Pentecost,

Thou didst Thy power display,

With cleansing, purifying flame,

Descend on us today.


Lord, send the old-time power, the Pentecostal power!

Thy floodgates of blessing, on us throw open wide!

Lord, send the old-time power, the Pentecostal power!

That sinners be converted and Thy name glorified!

For mighty works for Thee, prepare

And strengthen every heart;

Come, take possession of Thine own,

And never more depart.


All self consume, all sin destroy!

With earnest zeal endue

Each waiting heart to work for Thee;

O Lord, our faith renew!


Speak, Lord! before Thy throne we wait,

Thy promise we believe,

And will not let Thee go until

The blessing we receive.



God, our Father, today we celebrate the gift and invasion of Your Holy Spirit. You promised Him. You sent Your promise. Now You are with us and in us and we rejoice. We are consumed by power of Your presence. We are indwelt by Your Son. We are infused with Your might, enabled by Your gifts, and empowered by Your calling to go forth in Your Name. Our hearts, minds, and voices worship You this day. We are truly and deeply inSPIREd. We are ready to sing Your praises. Receive what we offer to You as worship as we pause reverently before You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


        Acts 1:6-14  and Numbers 11:23-30

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READ Acts 2:1-21

             READ Numbers 11:23-30


We Are One in the Spirit

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord

And we pray that our unity will one day be restored

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side

We will work with each other, we will work side by side

And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

All praise to the Father from Whom all things come,

And all praise to Christ Jesus, His only Son,

And all praise to the Spirit Who makes us one.

And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love

Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

Peter Scholtes

Sweet Holy Spirit

There's a sweet, sweet Spirit in this place,

And I know that it's the Spirit of the Lord;

There are sweet expressions on each face,

And I know they feel the presence of the Lord.


Sweet Holy Spirit, Sweet heavenly Dove,

Stay right here with us, filling us with Your love.

And for these blessings we lift our hearts in praise;

Without a doubt we'll know that we have been revived,

When we shall leave this place.

There are blessings you cannot receive

Till you know Him in His fullness and believe;

You're the one to profit when you say,

"I am going to walk with Jesus all the way."


If you say He saved you from your sin,

Now you're weak, you're bound and cannot enter in,

You can make it right if you will yield,

You'll enjoy the Holy Spirit that we feel.


Doris Akers

Spirit Song (O Let the Son of God Enfold You)

O let the Son of God enfold you

With His Spirit and His love

Let Him fill your heart and satisfy your soul

O let Him have the things that hold you

And His Spirit like a dove

Will descend upon your life and make you whole

Jesus, O Jesus

Come and fill Your lambs

Jesus, O Jesus

Come and fill Your lambs

O come and sing this song with gladness

As your hearts are filled with joy

Lift your hands in sweet surrender to His name

O give Him all your tears and sadness

Give Him all your years of pain

And you'll enter into life in Jesus' name

John Wimber

Responsive Reading - Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

Leader - O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

 Congregation - Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.

 Leader - There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

 Congregation - These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

 Leader - when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

 Congregation -  When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

 Leader -  When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

 Congregation - May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works--

 Leader -  who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

 Congregation -  I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

 Leader - May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the LORD.

 Congregation - Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!

Scripture from Epistles - 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

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Prayer Time - Please send your personal prayer requests to us via email.

 Father, we seek Your face this day.

We know that we are unworthy and we stand in the need of prayer.

We have sinned and come short of Your glory.

We have been stubborn, prideful, ungrateful, rude, unkind, and full of our selfish desires and ways.

We have moved to the front of the line when we ought to have served.

We have spoken when we ought have been silent and listened.

We have remained silent when we ought to have spoken.

We have sinned in ways that our hearts confess to You today with shame, embarrassment, and sorrow.

And we repent.

And we seek Your mercy and forgiveness.

We present our lives anew and afresh to You and we seek You.

We love You.

We need You.

We are burdened for our world, our nation, and our city.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our President and Cabinet.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our Congress and Courts.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our Governor and Legislature.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our Mayor, City Council, and Board of Supervisors.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our Chief of Police, Sheriff and their officers and deputies.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our military leaders and members of the service.

We are grateful for them and sorrowful for those lost in battle.

Comfort their families and grant that we may remember them in solemn gratitude tomorrow.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our first responders.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our business leaders.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our church and missional leaders and our congregations.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of our friends and family and the needs we name before You.

We stand before You and kneel before You on behalf of ourselves and our own need for strength, guidance, and holiness.

Have Your way in us and among us.

Hear our Spirits as they pray in Your Spirit.

Lead us today in Your righteousness and be exalted among us.

In Jesus' Name. Amen.


 What is in your hand to give today? What is burning in your heart? What great cause is God speaking to you about, moving you to share of your life and your material goods? What is the commitment to give that you shall make today? Make your offering in simple prayer to God now

 Gospel Reading and Sermon

The promise of the Holy Spirit meant three things to the early disciples and to us today: profound peace, proclamation power, and persistent presence.

John 20:19-23

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

  • PROFOUND PEACE It is not as the world gives. It is deeper. It is costly. It brings great joy.

 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (New International Version (NIV))

  • PROCLAMATION POWER We must receive this power and then, we must use it. When we do, he message we bring has the power to bring forgiveness of sin.

 John 7:37-39

 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit hOne Bread, One Bodyad not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (New International Version (NIV)) 

  • PERSISTENT PRESENCEThe Spirit flows into and through our lives with the persistence and force of a mighty river. He is given to those who believe. Those who become recipients and channels of His Spirit walk in His presence and bring that presence to the world.

The Lord's Supper

One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.

And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.

Gentile or Jew, servant or free, woman or man no more.

One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.

And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.

Many the gifts, many the works, one in the Lord of all.

One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.

And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.

Grain for the fields, scattered and grown, gathered to one for all.

One bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless.

And we, though many, throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord.


Decision and Benediction

“Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden, I will give you rest.” (Matt 11.28)

Blest Be the Tie

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love.

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

Meanwhile, Back in 1970


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It was 1970 and I was in high school, sitting in my room, doing homework or writing, listening to the top 30 station.

I could not be prepared for what I heard next. It jarred me, awakened my heart, renewed my hope, and brought tears to my eyes.

Judy Collin's angelic voice began peeling this a-Capella rendition of Amazing Grace and it stopped me dead in my tracks.

This is the rendition. It blessed me then and it blesses me now. It is a keeper!

Don't Give Up

Don't give up

Don't give up.

Never give up.


The future belongs to those who press on. Persevere.

The space between here and ultimate victory has not been defined or created.

Our interim future is in the making. With God's help, we can invent tomorrow. There are no indicators in our precarious times that have the power to dictate your failure.

Your choices are the only predictors of success or failure.

Even failures cannot defeat you if you get up and get going again.

Your value is not diminished by  your failures.

Nor is it enhanced by your lack of failures.

You are of value because you are valued. 

Keep on keeping on.

Don't give up.

Never,never, never.

You are loved.

See the words on Rick's Site

National Doughnut Day Every Day

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… on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. – Revelation 22:2

It is National Doughnut Day. Doughnut shops around the country are giving them away. The Salvation Army started the celebration in 1938. It seems that during World War I, some of their members went to the battlegrounds to serve baked goods to soldiers. The day honors those volunteers.

Every special day has some sort of history, meaning, significance, or ulterior motive behind it.

Did you know that May 3 was Lumpy Rug Day?

That’s OK, because the next is National Candied Orange Peel Day and next Sunday is Clean Up Your Room Day. There are about 20 special days in May and in every month of the year. They are proliferating.  

They are as predictable as the flow of a mighty river. Solomon was right when he said that for everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.

It is OK too! There are "God-Made" Holy Days and "man-made" special days and God made every day for celebration of life and commemoration of His presence.

John saw a vision of a day when our experience of God’s blessings would be consistent, day after day, month after month.  May, June, and January are all the same in God’s city. The river of life supplies refreshment to the tree of life, and life grows from her.

What John saw in Heaven is a future promise and a present spiritual reality. That which flows from God is ever new and always refreshing. The river that nourishes the tree of life nourishes us and produces healing fruit in our lives.

Remember, every time you see a flower, that it is seasonal and dependent upon the right weather, food, and water.

Remember every time you see spiritual fruit that it is also dependent on the right spiritual conditions, but especially, an eternal and consistent source who does not depend on special days, months, or seasons to bring life.

Remember when you see a doughnut, that it is probably not as good for you as the fruit that grows by living water ... but you have permission to eat one ... maybe ...  today .


Read : The Origins of "Doughboy"



Pyrocardia - A Heart on Fire - Energized Living

image from upload.wikimedia.orgRomans 12:11 –  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.

Half-heartedness is the curse of mediocrity. It is the spirit of lukewarm faith that so offended Jesus about the church of Laodicea in the book of Revelation. It is the polar opposite of the wholehearted worship, devotion, and service that is called for among people who know and love God.

In a recent sermon, I used a word that may or may not exist:  "pyrocardia," a heart on fire. That is what Paul is talking about as he describes the red-hot spirit of the believer serving the Lord. It is energized, vitalized, and emblazoned with passion. That passion ignites every dimension of the Christian’s life so that he or she is doing everything as service to the Lord.

Romans 12:11 lays it out and can be translated, “never short on zeal, always abounding in spiritual fervor, serving the Lord."

Lacking in zeal is literally getting a case of the "slows." Spiritual fervor is "heat."  Some have pointed out textual variations for “serving the Lord” so that some translations render it, “serving the time.” Most scholars agree that the best texts render it “serving the Lord,” it is not difficult to see how a few scribes might have gotten confused. All of our service to God is in time and space and requires seizing opportunities.  To understand that time is fleeting is to light a fire beneath our feet. To serve God is to serve time as well.

Energized Christian service with an eye on the clock is contagious and significant. The passionate devotion of one man or woman can light a fire that cannot be extinguished by discouragement or hardship. One person set afire by the Holy Spirit can inflame an entire community for Christ.

Half-hearted service will simply maintain. Whole-hearted service will affect transformation.

As we come to common table of the Christian experience in the church, may we catch and pass on a good case of “pyrocardia.


"One Anothering" One Another

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Christian Affection

Be kindly affectioned one toward another with brotherly love … - Romans 12:10a

There are three kinds of love described in the New Testament through the use of three different Greek words. The first is mandated in Romans 12:9 and portrayed as sincere love that abhors evil and embraces goodness. The next two are found in the very beginning of verse 10. They are affectionate love and familial love.

Affection is a warm and comforting emotion. It can also be painful because it is tender. It is manifested in kindness and in the “one another” qualities of the church as the body of Christ. It is something to be cultivated. There is an expectation that Christians will enjoy each others’ company, that they will laugh together, cry together, and share moments of intense togetherness.

Perhaps you have had the experience of lingering over dinner into the late hours of the night or closing a coffee shop with the conversation still alive just because you are enjoying the company of a fellow believer and cannot bear to part.

Likewise, you may have known the pangs of loss that come when the hour of parting comes through death or separation.

When we asunder part,

It gives us inward pain,

But we shall all be joined as one

And hope to meet again.

-John Fawcett

There is also the expectation of familial love – the kind that a parent has for a child and a child for a parent. It is the kind of love that is expressed in belonging and feeling at home. It has been said that home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in.

Thus is the church. It is home. It is the family of God. It is where we belong.

Not only is such love expected of us, it is one of the great privileges of belonging to the Lord.

Surrendering First Place

… in honor preferring one another. - Romans 12:10b 

You don’t have to have all the honor. Leadership is about giving the credit for great accomplishments to others. Any leader worth is or her salt in business or public life understands that in order to build morale and promote productivity, he or she should be far less concerned with receiving honor than with giving it.

The business world learned that principle from people who practiced the biblical teachings of preferring one another above self.

Everyone knows the saying, “There is no ‘I’ in team.” What we are likely to forget is that the team that functions as a healthy church functions is made up of people who go out of their way to build each other up and shrug at the possibility of self-glorification.

That is why superstar Christianity is such a contradiction.

I recently heard an international superstar celebrity who happens to be a Christian speaking about this issue. He lamented the wrong side out, upside down phenomenon that he called, “celebrity” as being at odds with the gospel. He asked why a rock star should get more glory than a teacher or a nurse. Finally, he conceded that since it was a reality, he would simply treat it as currency and be responsible for spending it in such a way as to do God’s will and promote causes that were dear to His heart.

It is hard to be humble against the backdrop of thunderous applause, but that is our calling, to always be pushing people out in front of us and lifting them higher than ourselves.

Jesus taught us that the way up is down and it is still true.



Every morning and evening, I check my garden.

I need to know what is thriving, what is surviving, what is striving, and what is fading away.

I fret over the dying plants and give them every advantage I can think of.

Eventually, I sometimes have to declare them dead and move. 

I found a scrap this morning to encourage me. I wrote it seven years ago:

Two of the plants I thought would die are showing signs of life. I will continue to water them and pray over them. The others are looking pretty good. I have a pile of money and a truck load of time in that vegetable garden now ... so I am going to KEEP INVESTING some time each day. Lessons for life from the garden of hope.

As a pastor, the executive director of a community benefit organization, a coach, a friend, a business owner, even as a writer, I know that life success is about the success of other people and that our part is making investments.

But, if we are going to give value and add value to others, we must become more valuable ourselves.

No investment is more powerful than time. Invest in things that matter.

May we be wise in how we spend ours today.


Beauty Assignment


Your assignment, should you choose to accept it.

Find the beauty around you.

Step one - Open your eyes.

Step two - Open your heart.

Step three - Open your arms to embrace it.

Step four - Open your mouth and sing.


Go and Do Likewise

Good sam

The Good Samaritan (1907) by Paula Modersohn-Becker.

Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. - Luke 10:36-37 

 We all know the story. It was prompted by a question, and occasioned by a teaching in response to a greater question. What we have here is the application: Go and do likewise. One question led to another, then to a story, and then to the lesson Jesus desired to imprint upon every heart: that everyone is our neighbor and that loving our neighbor is about making a practical and active decision to do so and following through regardless of our feelings.

A legal expert who sought to trap Jesus in His own words asked Him what was necessary to inherit eternal life. He turned the question back to him and to his knowledge and interpretation of the law.

“Love God and love your neighbor” was both the answer he gave and the one that Jesus  Himself gave on another occasion when asked what the greatest commandment was. Jesus commended him and told him to go and do likewise.

That wasn’t enough for the lawyer. He needed an escape clause, something that limited his liability and reduced his responsibility.

“Define neighbor,” was his retort. So Jesus told him the story of the Good Samaritan and put him in a real bind. He made the hero of the story an outcast from the social and religious life of the Jews. He told the story in such a way as to make the answer to the question obvious.

“Who was the neighbor? Was he one of those who left the poor man stranded by the road or the Samaritan who gave of himself and his means to help him?”

The lawyer answered generically and Jesus responded specifically, “Go and do likewise.”

Go; live like an outcast among outcasts if you must, but practice love as you go. Love is not revealed in the words we speak or the sentiments we feel, but in the actions we take in being neighbors to our neighbors. Go forth and live it.