HE IS VICTORIOUS: because of Christ’s victory, we do not have to be victims


Today is Resurrection Day, a time that recognizes the day Christ rose with all power in his hands!

Many people are also now referring to this day as Resurrection Day. I do as well. More people are realizing that term “Easter” has nothing to do with the recognition of Christ’s resurrection. Easter is actually a pagan worship of a false goddess (the word “Easter” stems from her name). The goddess is a fertility goddess (thus the symbolic us of eggs & bunnies, which tend to have many babies). Somehow, this pagan worship got confused with the timing of the day which recognizes the day Christ was resurrected. Christ went to the cross to save us. Eggs and bunnies did not go to the cross for us. 


Christ was always here from the beginning with his Father. 
John: 1:1-5 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2) The same was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

The “Word” is speaking of Christ. God sent Christ to earth as perfect flesh. He sent his beloved son to represent Him; sent his son to save humankind from death and sin. Christ was well-received by a multitude of people, but by others Christ was scourned, mocked and ultimately tortured & crucified. He went through this willingly because of his great love for us. Because of God’s great love for us, He sent His son to be the one-time solution to redeem us. God raised His beloved son and Christ lives eternally with the Father. Seeing as God & Christ have infinite love for us, it only makes sense that we genuine love for Them rises up in us, too. God the Father & Christ the Savior have done SO much for us, it only makes sense to recognize this and be eternally grateful. We did not deserve such a great love, yet it is given as a gift and a grace. 

Luke: 24:2-3 says, “And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 3) And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.”

John: 11:25-27 says, “Jesus said unto her, ‘I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live 26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?’ 27) She saith unto him, ‘Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.’ “

Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we do not have to be overcome with sin. Christ defeated sin and so through faith in him we can do the same. Christ defeated death and so through him we can do the same; being spiritually renewed. Even if we die in this earthly flesh, death in earthly bodies is NOT the end.  So what is important is that we can have eternal life in God’s Kingdom with our spirits (which do not die) inhabiting new, Heavenly bodies. Just have faith and live to do God’s will (which is best for our lives). 

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 states, “5) For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2) We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. 3) For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. 4) While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. 5) God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.

6) So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. 7) For we live by believing and not by seeing. 8) Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 9) So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10) For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.”

If you have faith, be strenghthened! If you do not have faith, I pray that you will so that you can have life in Christ!

Romans 10:9 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

“The Peace of Christ”, mixed media on foam core, 2015

I had done this drawing for a Christmas joint exhibit two years ago at my alma mater, Claflin University. The cross, of course, is a reminder of Christ’s great love for humankind; the salvation he brought us. The dove is a well-known symbol of peace. Purple is the color of royalty. Please forgive the blurry photo! Hope to replace this image with a sharper one, soon.


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MOORE, OKLAHOMA: tornadoes cannot destroy human endurance


Prayer moves things and heals. Pray for the people of Oklahoma.

Prayer moves things and heals. Pray for the people of Moore, Oklahoma.

From  time to time I post something that is not geared toward art, but geared toward something so important, I feel I must post.

On Monday, May 20th, a tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. It caught people in the middle of living their daily lives. It was was force that caused, as of today, 2 billion dollars in damage with EF-5 force winds (this involved speeds that at times went beyond 200 mph)! A quiet day became homes, schools, businesses torn apart like sturctures made of popsicle sticks. A quiet day became 24 people (10 of them were children) deceased. That number is as of a count on Tuesday, May 21st. A very somber time.

I cannot fully even imagine what the people in Moore, Oklahoma are going through, but I know one thing: they have the ability to be STRONG. I hope to be able to comfort people and to help people understand, here. God did not cause this. Moore Oklahoma isn’t Sodom & Gomorrah, it isn’t Egypt and the totures they caused on the Israelites. God punished those people, those places because goodness could not barely be found & the people did not take the chance that God gave them to change. Moore, Oklahoma was not hit by God, then. He has no reason to cause random destruction of no basis. This was a natural disaster in a chaotic and NOW imperfect & simply evil world. I want you to be assured of that. God would rather heal the people of Moore and heal the people of Oklahoma. Lean on Him for strength. He put strength in us and survivor skills in us; we are worth a lot to Him.

The tornado may have ripped away structures, but it didn’t rip away endurance. People were created to be survivors. God enabled us with a determination & will to make it & gain back at least some semblance of normalcy. One never forgets what happens, but we do heal. People survived by grace of God and by grace of God people are supporting each other and donating. The tornado may have taken bodies (sometimes people just cannot sustain particular injuries), but it did not take the spirits contained in those bodies. The body is important and is what we associate someone with physically, but it is not as important as the spirit. The spirit is who someone really is. God loves life so much that He provided us with spirits that survive beyond the body. The spirit is also waht connects us to God when we accept Him/receive Him. Your loved one is not dead. The spirit just waits for Judgment Day. The spirit does not die. Death is not an end because saying death is the end devalues everything you are and ever did in life. You would be devaluing your own life & worth. Your loved one was and is worth more than that. Be encouraged Moore, Oklahoma and all of Oklahoma. It will be a gradual healing, but YOU WILL BE FINE. Have faith. My prayers are with everyone in Oklahoma. Amen.

(When Revelations is nearing the end of being fulfilled and when God has completed giving humanity time to genuinely accept Christ and be righteous-because He is giving humanity time; that is grace and that is love-then Jesus will return. All will be well. All pain will end. A brighter day is coming and no amount of evil can change that. Be assured, be strong.)

Please meditate on these:

John 14:1-3 ESV  – “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV  – “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Romans 5:3-4 ESV  – “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,…”

James 1:12 ESV –  “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”

John 16:33 ESV  – “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Romans 12:12 ESV  – “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

How You Can Help:

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NEWTOWN, CT: this is a memorial, but this is not the end


BillySorrentino-SandyHookElementaryMemorialRibbon

As you can tell, this is not an art post this time. And it’ll be a little while before I post one; just need to work through the events that happened Dec. 14th. ‘Get my mind right’, 1st, if you will. This was kind of hard to begin because it is hard to find the right things to say to bring across the feeling of the terrible atrocity that happened, yesterday morning in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Dec. 14, 2012, like all dates when things like this occur, will be a date to remember for always. This happened in my homestate & in the same county (Fairfield) I was born in and raised until 4 yrs old before moving to New Haven County & yrs later to the South. Our family would often go back to the area to visit family. But, this post goes beyond homestate bias, I am just very saddened and my heart is with the deceased and family, friends affected by this. I also post this because, like all, I am tired of all the violence of any type around the world. I, as well, on a smaller scale lost a family member due to gun violence. What happened is often on my mind. I offer my deepest sympathies to all involved. My prayers are with you. This post is for the Newtown, CT victims, their family and friends and for anyone whom has ever suffered a loss due to gun violence. This post is also for anyone having difficulty grasping such situations. (Following this post, there are helpful links on grief support and more, resources about donations, sending condolences & etc. and informational articles.)

UPDATE:

ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN NEWTOWN, CT: Make Snowflakes: Sandy Hook Elementary School students will be in a new facility when they return to school, and the National PTA and Connecticut PTSA want to turn it into a Winter wonderland decorated with as many unique snowflakes as possible. They are asking kids and adults alike to make the most creative snowflakes they can and to send them by (they must be there by) Jan. 12, to Connecticut PTSA, 60 Connolly Parkway, Building 12, Suite 103, Hamden, CT 06514
Thank you. #SupportSandyHookElementary

Those whom were victimized will be remembered by loved ones and those whom they touched forever. Their lives had boundless reason and purpose. Those who knew them can forever hold on to the privilege of witnessing their dynamic beauty. Each and every one of them had and still have a presence in this world.

Yesterday, as most know by now, was the day 20 children and 8 adults lives were taken (one of the 8 adults being the murderer, whom shot himself). I have updated this, today. Before I did not want to type the shooter’s name, stating the reason being I didn’t want to give his name power as he did a very weak thing. Some may say it is catharsis and apart of grasping the situation and of healing to speak the name of the shooter and they are actually right, I realized. His name is attached to a person whom has no power over God and has no power over anyone in Newtown or the world, so I decided to type it. Adam Lanza. Don’t allow a name and the person attached to it have power over you. Reading or typing his name does not give him or his name any power as he did a very weak thing. You are stronger than him and his name.                                                                                                                               

(Yes, what he did was weak. We all know that. With shooting (using weapons owned by his mother, Nancy Lanza; one firearm of which is something only military should possess-an AR-15-type rifle also known in the US military as an M16). He snuffed out the lives of his very own mother at home (an assistant teacher at Sandy Hook), six adults and 20 children. Then he took his own life, which only compounded his cowardice. He was too cowardly to control his anger (whatever the source of it was) and too cowardly to remain on this earth to face punishment. But he has a far greater punishment than any he could receive on earth. He cut short innocent, beautiful lives and culminated it with a suicide (if you know about God’s Word and repentance, you know where I am going…). He did not even have a chance to repent for such a heinous act and so his spirit is lost. Satan gained that one soul. Still, as we send prayer up for those who knew the victims, we should also keep the shooter’s family & friends in our prayers, too. They did not ask for this to happen. Evil originates with Satan, the father of evil & rebellion. He used this young man as a tool, seeing that his weak will was useable. And even though I say that, that gives this man still no excuse for what he did. Noone MADE him do it: he did not use the self-control God enables us all with at birth. And his brother said that he suffered from some mental issues: but that is not a complete excuse, either, as if you read up on all that happened you will realize he planned and took steps. So he was in his right mind enough to know what he was doing.)

As I said above the father of evil did claim one spirit (the perpetrator), but he did not gain the rest. The spirits of such awesome, great adults and bright, beautiful children…be assured that they are safe and death is NOT the end. In life, these wonderful people had so much purpose and promise and their spirits are just carrying that on to another level; they are on stand-by for much better things!

Sorrow is normal. Grief is an excruciating reaction, but it can be alleviated with the warmth of healing; of the emotions calming. Not everyday will be so easy, some will be easier than others, but please be faithful to know YOU WILL HEAL. Hang in there… It is a process, but you will make it through. I am hoping this writing and helpful links below (like grievance support, for ex.) will be helpful. The first thought that mourners can remember is this: God is the Creator of life, He loves life; so much so that He will allow it to last forever one day. He was NOT the cause of such things. People use their free will more than they do His Will (therein lies the problem). God knows the number of every pore, hair, muscle fiber, etc. of every person He creates. He knows every smile, every type of laughter, every movement, every heartbeat, every breath of every person He creates. He knows the dreams and potential of every person He creates. He created the deceased with an absolute love; yes He loves life. He made all of us with that depth of detail and love. Wow. I do believe in God as do so many others. (And I guess here is where I touch on a very sticky subject:  theory of unbelief doesn’t erase a God that so many believers have personally experienced and have sought comfort from for millenium upon millenium; & yet if you are an unbeliever reading this, I assure you that God does love you and He does care more than you realize…while I will not force you to do so, I only suggest you seek His comfort; He’s waiting for you). I do believe in a God who loves us that much. When the 26 people were victimized, they did not really leave their loved ones; they were not really lost

…I pray that any readers whose loved ones were taken in this tragedy and whom have deceased loved ones period will find comfort in this true thought: the body is the shell that contains our TRUE living self-the SPIRIT. The spirit does NOT die. It leaves the body and awaits a brighter, better day to come. It is coming and there will be a restored joy and an end to all that is wrong. So evil still did NOT win. It lost. Evil can NEVER have the spirits of the innocent. God is over all and He restores what has been taken in one form or other, sooner or later. Please be rest assured in that. I pray that until that great day, that the loved ones of the deceased will remember that their dear ones are but waiting. I pray that the family & friends of those lovely adults and vibrant children will rememeber to lean on God’s strength for a level of comfort only He can provide. Yes, people provide comfort, but God can provide full peace and strength. Be strong, people of  Newtown, CT!! As the days go on, yes you will not forget, but you will HEAL. Gradually remember your joy & remember that smile that lights up your face. Don’t allow your capacity for joy to be stolen. Keep restoring yourselves with prayer and keep being positive. All is well; all of the world grieves with you, loves you and sympathizes greatly. Most of all God & Jesus  definitely love you very, very much.

Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.’

Matthew 11:28 Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.’

Psalm 119:50 This is my comfort in my affliction, That Thy word has revived me.’

Psalm 18:28 For Thou dost light my lamp; The LORD my God illumines my darkness.’

Faith and hope are powerful. Amen.

  • LIST OF THE PASSED ON (They are not gone, but waiting; so until that great day, rest well bright stars…):

CHILDREN

Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female (age 6)

Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male (age 7)

Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female (age 6)

Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female (age 7)

Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female (age 6)

Dylan Hockley, 03/08/06, male (age 6)

Madeleine F. Hsu, 07/10/06, female (age 6)

Catherine V. Hubbard, 06/08/06, female (age 6)

Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male (age 7)

Jesse Lewis, 06/30/06, male (age 6)

James Mattioli, 03/22/06, male (age 6)

Grace McDonnell, 11/04/05, female (age 7)

Emilie Parker, 05/12/06, female (age 6)

Jack Pinto, 05/06/06, male (age 6)

Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male (age 6)

Caroline Previdi, 09/07/06, female (age 6)

Jessica Rekos, 05/10/06, female (age 6)

Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female (age 6)

Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male (age 6)

Allison N. Wyatt, 07/03/06, female (age 6)

ADULTS

Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female (age 29)

Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female (age 47)

Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female (age 52)

Lauren Russeau, 1982, female (age 29)

Mary Sherlach, 02/11/56, female (age 56)

Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female (age 27)

HERE IS A LIST OF IMPORTANT LINKS:

  • EVERY LIFE WAS PRECIOUS & SOME OF THOSE LIVES, ADULTS & CHILDREN, BECAME HEROES (these may not be all of the heroes, but I included whom I know of here):

Dawn Hochsprung: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/12/15/dawn-hochsprung-sandy-hook-elementary-s-heroic-principal.html

Mary Sherlach: http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/news/fairfield_cty/newtown-mary-sherlach-56-school-psychologist

Kaitlin Roig: http://now.msn.com/kaitlin-roig-sandy-hook-teacher-recounts-saving-her-students-during-shooting

Maryrose Kristopik: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/14/elementary-school-shootin_n_2302498.html

Victoria Soto: http://www.people.com/people/package/article/0,,20656736_20657003,00.html

Anne Marie Murphy: http://newyork.newsday.com/news/nation/connecticut-shooting-sandy-hook-victim-anne-marie-murphy-mourned-by-katonah-parish-1.4339113

Various self-less heroes: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/15/15927932-lives-saved-by-teachers-custodian-and-even-children-in-connecticut-school-shooting?fb_action_ids=4813449664933&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_ref=AddThis_Blogs&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

And, of course, all responders to the scene (law enforcement, medics and more) are also heroes whom would humbly tell you they aren’t…

  • MORE INFORMATION ABOUT EACH OF THE PERISHED AND GETTING A SMALL GLIMPSE INTO THEIR AWESOME PERSONALITIES:

http://todaynews.today.com/_news/2012/12/16/15944642-slain-hero-teachers-family-she-loved-those-students-more-than-anything?lite

  • LIST OF SERVICES & VIGILS FOR NEWTOWN VICTIMS:

http://www.nhregister.com/articles/2012/12/15/news/doc50cca28b67c95213898938.txt

  • THE POSTAL SERVICE HAS ESTABLISHED A PO BOX TO SEND CONDOLENCES TO THOSE AFFECTED:

Messages of Condolence for Newtown

PO Box 3700

Newtown, CT 06470

  • YOU CAN SIGN THESE GUESTBOOKS WITH YOUR KIND THOUGHTS:

http://www.legacy.com/guestbooks/ctpost/guestbook.aspx?n=connecticut-shooting-victims&pid=161707001

http://www.tributes.com/show/Connecticut-School-Shooting-Victims-94901773

  • MORE VERSES TO COMFORT (for anyone grieving around the world):

http://voices.yahoo.com/15-comforting-bible-verses-grief-5613206.html?cat=34

  • HOW YOU CAN HELP NEWTOWN, CT VICTIMS’ FAMILIES (these are just a couple of many):

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22199597/connecticut-school-shooting-how-help-victims-families

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50208652/ns/local_news-hartford_ct/

http://richfield.patch.com/articles/how-to-help-families-affected-by-newtown-ct-school-shooting

http://helloladies.com/2012/12/3-ways-to-donate-to-newtown-families-3-resources-for-talking-to-kids-about-tragedy/

http://www.lilsugar.com/Ways-Support-Sandy-Hook-Elementary-School-Community-26322354

  • GRIEF SUPPORT (this is offered to everyone in any grievous circumstance):

SAMHSA: http://www.samhsa.gov/trauma/

Hello Grief: http://www.hellogrief.org/topics/faith-and-religion/

Griefshare: http://www.griefshare.org/

  • RETIRED SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER EMPLOYS HIS BULLDOG TO HELP WITH THE HEALING PROCESS:

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/15/15932029-conn-school-shooting-bulldog-and-owner-hope-to-heal-newtown-one-hug-at-a-time?lite

  • A PRAYER VIGIL FOR THE COMMUNITY AT WHICH PRESIDENT OBAMA SPOKE (Dec. 16, 2012):

http://news.msn.com/us/obama-at-newtown-vigil-us-will-have-to-change

  • MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY (Dec. 21, 2012):

http://abcnews.go.com/US/sandy-hook-shooting-moment-silence-victims/story?id=18034034

An extra note: Governor Malloy of CT, President Obama and other leaders, authorites have been handling all of this in a fine way. I pray that they will continue to be strong.

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