THE BLESSING OF TODAY

THE BLESSING OF TODAY

GOOD MORNING ALL

Welcome to a blessed Monday. Work, Income, Chores, friends. The sun always reminds us that today is a new day. The past is done. Today is not yesterday and HOPE is always the home of GOD. The concerns of the world today is in the heart of most. The SUN is our opportunity to anchor ourselves to OUR circle of living and our blessing of life. Enjoy today, whether a simple recline of thanks in a favorite chair, the kind hello from our work mates, a note from our friends. Too much news separates us from ourselves. I thank GOD for all the gifts that have brought me this far.

Cares and Prayers

ME, Mack and Jake

AGAPE LOVE

AGAPE LOVE

Agape love is not a manufacture of people, it is the creation from GOD. It is a state of realty.

Agape love is not a manufacture of people, it is the creation from GOD. It is a state of existence between two spirits as people. I am more and more convinced that the pleromic love JESUS speaks of (Love one Another) is not a one sided exchange. To be in ‘agape love’ is to be in a state of mutuality. If this emotion is not jointly held in common, it is not love but merely infatuation, or desire or lust, or business but it is not love. I believe that agape love is a shared emotion created jointly between two people. ‘Love’ is not a one way street as so many seem to present and/or live it. The word ‘Love’ often is used to mask possessiveness or control. It is often a word interchanged with lust or desire. I do not believe the ‘love’ to which JESUS refers is anything but this agape love that is a creation out of the mutual affection between two people that even the participants find difficult to describe. Once found, it becomes a most difficult emotion to duplicate for it depends on this mutuality between two people that is such a rare discovery. I have also found that its discovery is incomprehensible in its scope to the physical, its reality in a daily existence lived by just a very few who risk convention to pursue it. I do not believe that there are too many who truly believe that GOD can perform what seems to be impossible through something as elusive as this spiritual emotion people often casually refer to as love. That may be why it is so difficult to live its promise, we do not allow it to ourselves. We perceive it to exist only in a specific life structure that may, in fact, vary between the spirits that share it among themselves. Rather than be defeated by circumstance, this agape love has the power to overcome circumstance, but it can only do so in its mutuality, for that is the source of its existence. “What is impossible for men, is possible for GOD”. It is no wonder that the teachings of Jesus have seemed so radical. The basis for agape is so very elusive, even to those who have discovered agape love in one another. Agape Love is a different emotion. The risks of this unconditional Love can scare people from entering into it. The spirits know that ‘from the heart’ opens up the heart for hurt and risk. Yet the experience of it is profound. It’s power in its mutuality scared those who felt threatend by it and they could not accept it. Those who experienced it sacrificed themselves to carry its message to the masses.

Agape Love is not an idealism, it is not an attitude, it is a real gift from GOD.

 

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ON EARTH AS IT IS….

ON EARTH AS IT IS….

For years I have heard many sermons about living life for a future existence somewhere in a place called Heaven. Are you living to die? Or are you living to live?

Jesus said, “Pray to your Father this way: (Matthew 6:9-): Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come thy will be done ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation (but when we have been tempted -dw) deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen”.   

“ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.”  I have pondered these words over many many years and I keep hearing a similar thought over and over, again and again and again.

How do we perceive HEAVEN to be. I often talk to people who are so stressed out
because they feel that won’t make it. But Jesus is offering an alternative that has the potential to take you there, now. How about “ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN”.

If you believe you do things again and again and again,
what is your incentive to do it in any one particular way vs another?
Should Jesus be the way or perhaps Mohammed, Lao Tzu, or James?
How does your ‘way’ fit into Heaven on Earth?

When things are tough, do you bag this life and start over?
What is the point?

If the object is the experience, then experience it.
Take it in, enjoy what is there to enjoy; sorrow where there is sorrow,
hurt where there is hurt, heal where there is healing.
Leave a little behind before you go.
Breathe the air in the morning.
Watch the sunset at night.
Touch the lives you’ve been given,
Take care of your charge.
Learn from the journey.
Enjoy the stay.
Be thankful for the gifts.
Give what you can.
Lead by example.
Risk your heart.
Respect others.
Allow belief.
Realize that some have not arrived.
Learn from those who have.

And when the journey has run it’s course,
Be grateful for the opportunity. You may be asked
“Would you like the opportunity to do it over again?”
ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN…..

 

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THE ADVOCATE

THE ADVOCATE

The Advocate

It was one of those stormyish Midwestern nights. The kind of weather storm that comes in from the way west and you can see and hear it moving closer. The sky gets very still and the birds stop chirping and take cover in their nests and in bushes.

The little girl heard the thunder coming closer.

Mommy”

Mommy says: “It will be all right, I’m right here, just stay in your bed, Jesus is with you.”

The thunder came closer, and then the lightning flashed outside the bedroom window.

Mommy”

I’m right here, your OK Jesus is with you. Just stay in your bed, everything is under control.”

And then the lightning struck as though right outside the bedroom window. The thunder crashed to where the house shook and the china in the china cabinet even clattered downstairs. At that same clash of thunder and lightning the little girl was in Mommy’s bed.

Honey”, Mommy said, “It will be all right, Jesus is with you.”

But Mommy, I need Jesus with skin on”.

John 14v16(njb): “I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate (protector) to be with you forever, that spirit of truth whom the world can never receive….”

A good friend used to say to the the congregation on our retreats “You may be the only Jesus that someone ever sees…”

There will be many times in your life, whether you profess Jesus or disagree with all religion, when GOD will call upon you to become the advocate that is Jesus with Skin On. You will comfort them and be the messenger for “LOVE”. You will hold their hand, wipe a brow, comfort them in sorrow, pull them out of their river. You will be the friend, acquaintance, co-worker, or even stranger that reminds them that LOVE EXISTS ON THE PLANET EARTH. In that moment you will discover a special kind of love. Unconditional.

John 14 v 25-27: “I have said these things to you (Jesus to His disciples) while still with you: but The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name, will teach you everything and remind you of all I have said to you. Peace I bequeath to you, my own peace I give you, a peace the world can not give, this is my gift to you”.

Many I have never met have prayed for me. Many whose names, cultures, beliefs, and ideas have prayed for others under whatever banner they believe because GOD is not DEAD, but because LOVE LIVES. And because of your moment, you touched someone with LOVE and created JESUS with SKIN ON. That is what JESUS is all about. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. It is the message of Unorthodox Christianity.

But Mommy, I need Jesus with skin on”.

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HARD TO SEE

HARD TO SEE

THE RITUALS

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take. (A childhood prayer)

Come Lord Jesus Be Our Guest
And let this food to us be blessed…..Amen

The rituals of life surround us every day. I was out to lunch with my sister the other day and she bowed for prayer as we always did at home and prayed the above daily dinner prayer. I remember the many dinners as a family growing up and now passed. I stopped to remember the prayer I always prayed when I went to bed as my mother had taught me as a child.

The daily ritual:
Wake up, walk the dogs, or take a shower, or eat breakfast more often than not the same thing.
I turn on the news and watch our traditional morning program.
I drink coffee and off I go to work.
Now, for awhile, it has been the Pandemic. Am I 6’ away? Do I have my mask?           Is it safe?

The rituals of our new virus-day are, by now, pretty much incorporated.
With more time on my hands than I have ever had in my life, it almost feels uncomfortable.

I was walking the dog in the morning the other day and I was watching to cross the street to be sure I was at least 6’ away from the people coming toward me. I crossed the street again later for the same reason. Not because I worry about them so much, because I am at risk now and I am concerned about my health as well as others that I come into contact with. I said my ritual daily prayer that I have prayed every day at sometime for the last 30 years. I cleaned up from the dogs. I thought about when will work open?

And then it happened. I smelled something. It was the blooms from the maple tree. And then from from the bushes. The flowers that had been planted at the Park I walk to every morning. The recently mowed green grass. I looked up and around and the picture had blossoms on every bush and tree. It was a kaleidoscope of colors that I had walked right past. Sometimes it is too hard to see the blessings that are so obvious we fail to recognize them as blessings.
When I got home, I added this to the word that I forward everyday for my daughter and a few close friends.
Another day just full of opportunities to smell the trees blossoming and the flowers growing. The planting of a new world for us to partake of.
Take time to smell the roses and then thank GOD for the blessings of the day.

You see, Sometimes we forget. Sometimes we get caught up in the rituals. The gifts are like that drawer of cards from well wishers that meant a lot one day and made my day but have moved to the hard drive in my brain.
I remember the first day at work at a new job not long ago just before the virus took over the thoughts. I mentioned a common welcome to a new co-worker: “How are you doing?” I asked.
Blessed.” was the singular reply.
I hope that I can recognize that sentiment for myself every day for the rest of my life.

Count your many blessings, NAME THEM ONE BY ONE”. There is always something special to name each blessing. To move outside of the ritual to focus on each gift for awhile and rediscover just how blessed I have been.

GOD is always at work for everyone everyday. Thank you GOD for the blessings. I appreciate them all. Even the ones I don’t always see.