Thursday, January 10, 2019

Sunshine




Sometimes I question even the presence of God. Other times  the presence of God is palpable. I had one of those moments this evening. I hung out w/ my tall, handsome, bright son, Matt, as he slogged through some AP American History (APUSH).

A lover and deep feeler of music, often from my era, he pulled up one of the most beautiful:

Sunshine on my Shoulders

Just earlier that evening, another song of the sun touched me deeply and we listened to that together:

Here comes the Sun


Sun, Son, Hope, Bright, Deep Affection, Warmth, Tears of Joy

Where love abides, God is there. 

When you feel love in the depths, that is what God feels like. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Balance in Community




Effective spiritual communities achieve a balance between a single, overall community purpose and the various purposes of individuals within the community. This means the community has one overarching calling from God to fulfill and that this overarching calling embraces and unifies the various callings of those within the community.

We do not just want to have just one or the other. We should not have to choose between a single community purpose that every individual is required to mindlessly conform to, at the one extreme, and a multitude of unrelated, individualistic purposes that have no cohesion, structure or meaning together, at the other extreme.

We must have both community purpose and individual purpose. In fact, healthy community forms that context in which individual callings and responsibilities are expressed in order to fulfill the community’s corporate purpose.

                                                                             -Malcolm Webber, Healthy Leaders 2

Saturday, January 5, 2019

What happens




“Wisdom urges us to take maximal responsibility for our own acts and accept all that befalls us as God’s work. The temptation is to do just the opposite—blame fate, or God for what we do not control, even in ourselves, but indulge in self-congratulation, anxiety, self-pity, or remorse over what we deem our own domain.”

 

                                                       -Lenn Goodman (summarizing Jewish philosopher Bahya Ibn Pakuda)
                                                                             in A Companionto the Philosophy of Religion

Monday, December 3, 2018

Secure and Significant





Christ has made me secure and significant. Whether I feel it or not, it is true. I am instructed by God to believe that my needs are already met, and therefore I am to live selflessly, concerned only with the needs of others. The more I choose to live according to the truth of what Christ has done for me, the more I will come to sense the reality of my security and significance in him.
                                                            -Larry Crabb, The Marriage Builder

Friday, November 30, 2018

Loved and Approved



Do you carry the following idea around like a burden: "I should be loved and approved by almost every person I know and met, and live up to their expectations." Here are some scriptures that speak truth into this paralyzing and incorrect belief (Dr Paul's paraphrase):

Happy you are when shamed, lied about, and made to run away. Gush over with tears of joy and tell your friends the great news! For in the big picture, your paycheck is going to be massive! Just like you, the old-time prophets were run right out of town!          
                                                                               -Jesus, in Matthew 5:11

If the cosmos and even all its inhabitants bully you, hate you, or reject you, learn and know this: it bullied, and hated, and rejected me first. I very specifically picked you, and pulled you out of that false reality. So of course they can't stand that you even exist.
                                                                               -Jesus, in John 15:18-19

I have a choice. I can make it my chief goal and obsession to please, pacify, and accommodate people. Or I can follow scripture and seek to please God. I should not be rude or mean to others, I must love them. But putting God first delivers me from the impossible task of constantly trying to make everyone happy.