Sage Jason Velotta: For the people of Jericho, Zacchaeus was the lowest of the low. He was an outcast, the scum of the earth. No one is too wretched, too broken, or too guilty of sin. In fact, no matter what you have done, we are all in the same boat. We are all broken & poured out.

 

 

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+among+the+lowest+of+the+low&qpvt=images+jesus+among+the+lowest+of+the+low&FORM=IQFRML#view=detail&id=23BD9ABC5E6A08B88974D20C24CFB4D729F41F16&selectedIndex=76

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+among+sinners&qpvt=images+jesus+among+sinners&FORM=IQFRML#view=detail&id=57CD5AA41458905AAAAF2F48896D2B1B84F87E8C&selectedIndex=62

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=images+jesus+among+sinners&qpvt=images+jesus+among+sinners&FORM=IQFRML#view=detail&id=B7E9D0CDA49753AB230C044088D352192E74C6F2&selectedIndex=81

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http://jrv773.blogspot.com/2012/12/jesus-only-saves-certain-kinds-of.html

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Luke 19:1-9

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people say, “I need to get my stuff together before I come to Church…or come to Jesus.” I always say the same thing. Jesus didn’t come to save people who have all their “stuff” together. He came to save the lowest of the low…like me.

 

 

Luke 19:1-10 shows us a perfect picture of what this kind of person looks like. It is a very familiar story if you have ever attended Sunday School or VBS. Do you remember the song, “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he…” As a child, I didn’t know how true that was. Zacchaeus was not just a sinner. He was the lowest of the low in the minds of the Jewish people. Chapter 19 opens as Jesus is traveling through Jericho. In all the buzz and hype of Jesus’ visit, Zacchaeus wanted to see what the stir was about.

 

“And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.” (19:2-3). Saying that he was a rich tax collector doesn’t mean much to modern audiences, but for a first century Jew living under Roman rule, it was a stigma. The Romans used Jewish people to collect taxes from their own people and often encouraged them to take a little more than what was required. This is how many, including Zacchaeus, became rich. The people viewed these tax collectors as traitors against God and His people. For the people of Jericho, Zacchaeus was the lowest of the low. He was an outcast, the scum of the earth.

 

However, this is exactly the kind of person Jesus came to save. No one is too wretched, too broken, or too guilty of sin. In fact, no matter what you have done, we are all in the same boat. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. But Zacchaeus had one thing going for him. He would not let anything keep him from seeing Jesus. He was a short little man who couldn’t see over the crowds, and, because he was a tax collector, I’m sure the crowds didn’t make it very easy for him.

 

 

Zacchaeus didn’t have anything spiritually, but he wouldn’t let anything stand in the way. He climbed up a tree to see Jesus. Once again, it may not seem like much to us, but no dignified, first century Jewish man would ever be seen climbing a tree. Zacchaeus gave up his pride and dignity to climb up a tree like a child and lay eyes on Jesus. Zacchaeus had many things standing in his way. He was too short to see anything, he had the pride and dignity of a rich man, and he understood that virtually every good Jewish person hated him. He was a traitor to God’s people. Why in the world would Jesus care about him?

 

I really love this part of the story. Scripture says that Jesus was walking past the place where Zacchaeus was, and He stopped, looked up in the tree, and told Zacchaeus to come down because Jesus was eating with him today. I love that! Jesus and Zacchaeus had a divine appointment. When Zacchaeus came down, the people started grumbling because Jesus was going to the house of someone like Zacchaeus. Why would he go with that sinful traitor?

 

Of all the God-fearing, religious Jews that were thronging to Jesus, He stopped and took notice of this short little traitor. You see, Jesus came to save sinners. He came to restore the lowly to relationship with God. Today, we want to usher people (especially young people) into the Kingdom of God by a raised hand, a walk down a church aisle, or repeating a formulaic prayer. Yet, Jesus didn’t come to save people who don’t think they need a savior. He came to save sinners. He came to save the lost. It has been well said that no man can be saved unless he is first lost.

 

Jesus went to Zacchaeus’ house and ate with him. Zacchaeus was saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ. He said to Jesus, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” (19:8). No longer did Zacchaeus prize money more than anything. No longer did he seek to make up for his short stature by accumulating wealth and power. He had trusted in Christ and his heart was changed. I know this because Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (19:9).

 

Zacchaeus wasn’t saved because he gave his money away. Forsaking the idol of money and repaying those he had wronged was the evidence that his heart had changed and he had truly repented. You see, Jesus loves the wretched sinner, but He loves the sinner too much to leave him in that state. Jesus came to save the lowest of the low, but when He does, He changes the sinner from the inside out.

 

 

No matter who you are or what you have done, Jesus is a perfect and powerful savior. There is no one beyond his reach and there is no sinner too wretched for Jesus to cleanse. Don’t ever think you can “clean yourself up” before you come to Jesus. He didn’t come for the people who are clean. He came for the nasty and the dirty. He is the one who does the cleaning.

 

When counseling people in the gospel, I often say, “If you leave here thinking, ‘I am going to do better from now on,’ you have missed the point.” Jesus did it FOR you. You can’t do anything on your own. We simply trust in the savior. He has paid it all.

 

Jesus came only for a certain kind of person. He came for lost sinners. He came for the lowest and the reprehensible. If that is you, then Christ has a divine appointment for you.

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/my-wish-for-christian-keenan-1-corinthians-1510-filled-with-grace-within/

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http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=biblical+Paul+new+creation&qpvt=biblical+Paul+new+creation&FORM=IGRE&&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=1#view=detail&id=C5379FB4CAFBCDFD7999EEF48A6AA3F2C3C297D7&selectedIndex=0

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Asking For Help

Mindfulness Benefits

Dreaming

Free Your Mind

Morning Mindfulness Practice

Emotional Health

Tibeten Buddhism

Meditation Tips

Christies In China

Uyuni Salt Flats

Life After Life Kate Atkinson

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When you know that a Christian is dead inside (e.g. needlessly suffering by being angry with the world),  then it’s time for Biblical Paul’s recitation on inner Grace – being regenerated, called, sanctified  —

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a new creation, baby!!   

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The heretofore unsearchable/unreachable solace of Christ

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Grace gives us the desire and the power from God to do His will  —

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to give life a chance, baby!!

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  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_grace#Christianity

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/i-ask-myself-to-make-it-to-tomorrow-for-life-to-start-anew-i-need-to-move-beyond-todays-loss/

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http://bible.cc/1_corinthians/15-10.htm

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Rhema (inner voice) [pronounced “ray-ma”]  & life application  –

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/12/thriving-learning-having-wisdom-are-about-getting-up-each-morning-with-intention-clarity-commitment-to-seek-nurture-connection-along-lifes-healthy-healing-path-of-inner-nouris/

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http://blog.chron.com/lutherant/2012/11/global-child-poverty-changing-the-story/

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When it comes to helping people in need, one of the stories that should spark our imagination remains Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan

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The aspect of the parable I would point out here is its personal nature [very specific]

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To demonstrate how (and to whom) we ought to show compassion

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Jesus does not speak in generalities. 

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He gives a specific situation,

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where one individual (the Samaritan) must make a decision about how

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to treat another specific individual (the Jew set upon by robbers). 

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Christian mercy is not about generalized theories,

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but about specifics.

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Since Jesus lived in an oral culture,

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scholars expect that short, memorable stories or phrases

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as applications of Scripture

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are from Jesus.    

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For example, “love your enemies.”   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Seminar#Criteria_for_authenticity

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Turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of His audience:

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He/Jesus preached of “Heaven’s imperial rule” [traditionally translated as “Kingdom of God“]

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as being already present but unseen;

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He depicts God as a loving father;

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He squares shoulders with outsiders

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and criticizes insiders.  

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Christ evokes not simply an apocalyptic eschatology/end-time,

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but more critically a sapiential eschatology,

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which encourages all of God’s children to repair the world  NOW.

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Not just the Parables but the Beatitudes/etc. feature the

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dramatic presentation and reversal of expectations that are characteristic of Jesus.

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Based on several important narrative parables [such as the Parable of the Good Samaritan],

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scholars decided that irony, reversal, and frustration of expectations were characteristic of Christ’s style.  

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Does a pericope/concise passage illustrate opposites or impossibilities? 

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If it does, it’s more likely to be authentic.

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One-third of the Bible consists of Parables/Pericopes/aphorisms.

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The poor are accepted as constituting the primary recipients of the Good News and, therefore,

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as having an inherent capacity of understanding it better than anyone else.    

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-james-martin-sj/glenn-beck-vs-christ-the-_b_698359.html

 

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That’s pretty threatening for any comfortable Christian.

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For not only do we have to help the poor, not only do we have to advocate on their behalf, we also have to see them as understanding God better than we do!

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But that’s not a new idea:

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It goes back to Jesus.

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The poor, the sick and the outcast “got” Him better than the wealthy did.

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Perhaps because there was less standing between the poor and God.

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Less stuff [pride].

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Maybe that’s why Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew, “You will have treasure in heaven, and follow me.”

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhema#Modern_usage 

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Rhema is the revealed word of God (revelation received from the Holy Spirit) when the Word/Logos is read, as an

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application/utterance/”unction”/anointment from God to the heart of the reader via the Holy Spirit, as in John 14:26    

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Again, application of Scripture to this world.

“… the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

In this usage Rhema refers to “a word that is spoken,” when the Holy Spirit delivers a message to the heart as in Romans 10:17:

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (rhematos Christou)”

and in the Matthew 4:4:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word (rhema) that comes from the mouth of God”.

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Remarkable that one’s experiences span a century or more, if one is lucky enough to live into old age.       My uncle Masaaki 1903-1970 was 50 years older than me.    My grandson Silas is 50 years younger than me.    Uncle Masaaki is a century older than Silas.     My life experiences span a century between Uncle Masaaki and my grandson Silas.    Gatz!    Defy Father Time??

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Of course, one can stretch even longer life’s time span   –   my grandma [Uncle Masaaki’s & my dad’s mama] Tome was 70 years older than me.     I’m just short of age 60, so my lifeblood youngest progeny is my youngest grandchild, my granddaughter Maya, who is 59 years younger than me.     Not equidistant, but 130 years separate my grandma Tome from my granddaughter Maya.     

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Actor William Demarest 1892-1983 was 60 years older than me, thus meeting the equidistance measure, with my granddaughter Maya being 60 years younger than me — the total span being 120 years from William Demarest [or my uncle Bill Cappy Chun, also born in Demarest’s time] to my granddaughter Maya.      Here is prolific vaudeville/longtime character actor Demarest  –

William Demarest Picture

William Demarest(1892–1983)


Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons, replacing a very sick William Frawley. Demarest was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting role in the real-life biography…See full bio »

Died:

December 28,     1983         (age 91) in        Palm Springs, California, USA

Still of Humphrey Bogart and William Demarest in All Through the NightStill of Humphrey Bogart, Peter Lorre and William Demarest in All Through the Night
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Of course, this year’s 60th year Diamond Jubilee with majestic Queen Elizabeth had the most amazing aerial displays    –
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but let’s also  remember lusty [yes, con todo mi alma y corazon] Victoria‘s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 [my grandparents were hormonal teens bent on pioneering East to the Hawaiian islands of silk & honey][Victoria is current Queen Elizabeth’s great great grandmother][our greatest modern Hawaiian statesperson Pi’ehu Iaukea 1855-1940 pilgrimaged to England for this tremendous occasion — Pi’ehu was preceded in great diplomacy & leadership by Kamehameha III Kauikeaouli 1813-1854]

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Thence, my immigrant grandparents’ odyssey East transcended both Victoria’s & current Queen Elizabeth’s reigns –   my ojisans/obasans [tutus] experienced both divine queens in all their soulful reigns   – 115 years  [Victoria in 1897 & Elizabeth’s 2012 jubilee] spanning 3 centuries [1800s to 2000s]!!!    Wow!!

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I was 20 when my daughter was born, 40 when my oldest grandchild/mo’opuna kane was born, 50 when my middle grandson was born [among 5 grandchildren, 3 boys, 2 girls], and nearly 60 when my youngest grandchild/mo’opuna wahine was born.    

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My parents whom I worship and miss dearly were 40 years older than me.    My mature parents were tutus/grandparents to me in age chronology, & I am blessed by their mature wisdom/magnanimity & composure/equanimity.  

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My parents died 15 years ago 4 months apart [coincidence  — Mom died of a stroke/Dad died 4 months later from cancer].

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I felt like a grandchild blessed with the most loving & supportive tutus/grandparents in the world, though when I was a barefoot plantation toddler here in Wainaku [Ha’aheo Elem. School atop Kamehameha the Great’s most beautiful pu’u/hilltop]  — I felt terribly embarassed that my parents were fuddy-duddy oldsters vs. my village kid peers’ parents, and that my mom worked, so that I never came home to a homemaker mom who had cookies laid out for me on the kitchen table in our old plantation mill camp.    

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When my parents died 15 years ago, I suddenly crossed over to be a tutu/grandparent to my burgeoning mo’opuna/grandkids.     My grandparents 70 years older than me had died by the time I was born.

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I don’t remember being a child [in a most blessed sense], but undeniably I was blessed/gifted [of the spirits?  Cor./Romans/Ephesians/Peter/etc.] as a grandchild would be, with my dearest parents who were like grandparents to me in wisdom/countenance.    

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Nor do I remember being a parent [my daughter who is approaching middle age at 40  — laughingly tells me that I was a lousy party animal parent but above all else  — I loved my daughter more than anything/anyone in the whole wide world  — and this is the only thing which counted for my daughter, which is/means everything to her!!].    

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But now here I am as a grandparent [by default  — ha ha  ha — still a party animal], and wow, time flies, baby! !!

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And now I am by default/pied piper via hedonism/elan tutu again to 2 dearest “hanai”/emotional attachment — mo’opuna  — Colton age 27 & Jill age 22, grandkids to me in age chronology!   I ask Colton how may I be of service to him/Jill, & Colton shoots back, “Don’t!   Just be you!”    Gatz!   Who am I????   [ha ha    ;-)    ]   

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Foggy bottom, baby   — is my head — spinning like a top???!!    Ha ha!   Dig my hero George Harrison’s video   –   [40 years from age 20 to 60 for me  — go by in the blink of an eye!!][Maui resident Harrison died of cancer at age 58 after 9/11 & a year after this You Tube video was produced] 

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Yes, I hope to make it to age 80 & still feel like a passionate teenager in love!!   Ha ha ha!!        Enjoy [the treats below], baby!!!

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Age is a   figment of our imagination    — our core being is   ageless!       –

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See especially timeclock 4:19 to 5:05 of youtube below about Harrison’s opinion on aging as soulfully deepest youth enjoyed  –

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVnKjv4fK0&feature=related

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/03/writing-and-eventually-dying-a-good-death-expressing-sharing-love-to-the-end/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/i-write-to-live-authentically-having-been-is-the-surest-kind-of-being-per-great-sage-viktor-frankl/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/all-those-moments-of-life-will-be-lost-in-time-like-tears-in-the-rain-time-to-for-me-time-to-deal-with-myself-alone/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/sharing-grief-puts-a-healing-distance-between-us-and-the-pain-this-is-why-storytelling-matters/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/02/20/ambivalence-killed-jesus-the-people-waved-palm-branches-on-sunday-singing-hosanna-hey-come-friday-they-shouted-to-free-barabbas-same-crowd-when-you-stand-too-close-to-beautiful/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/acknowledging-ambivalence-is-best-way-to-cope-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/27/i-will-die-a-good-death/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/because-in-the-end-great-journeys-of-integrity-are-walked-alone-sage-steven-kalas/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/does-your-life-have-purpose/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/randy-pausch-steven-kalas-living-meaningfully/

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https://curtisnarimatsu.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/harriet-beecher-stowes-prophetic-engine-sage-joan-d-hedrick/

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