Good Friday. This day is a day unlike any other day in the course of human history. This day changed everything. This is the day God demonstrated the depth of His love. This is where God entered into the world of suffering, experienced the depth of what this fallen world has to provide regarding pain. He gave himself to such horrendous suffering so that there may be reconciliation. There are many who use the existence of pain and suffering to dismiss God. Some even consider a God who allows for the varied depth of pain to be a psychopathic despot lacking in love for allowing such. Love is then defined as sparing others from pain. Yet, in such thinking, there is a failure to grasp that God in his actions lead mankind a chance to be truly spared from pain. He took on pain so that in the grand scheme, any can be freed from the pain and suffering. Actions were given to change everything. It required God in the flesh, surrendering self to pain and depth to create a way. So he did meet that flawed definition of love, sparing others from pain. Yet, what God did was not a temporary answer but provide a chance for complete wholeness. Sure, the impact in this life, in this time, in this world of pain is not always immediately observed, but when you look beyond and past the temporary conditions we face, the reality of the depth and restoration provided at the cross is incredible. God gave us an act of love that brings us beyond the pain, beyond the suffering, and makes all things right.
Well it has been nearly a year since I have posted on the blog and prior to not posting there have been many stops and starts. The complete lack of posting was in part sorting out if posting here was more about me or about following God. There was a particularly sharp comment posted somewhere that suggested that the posting and blog was about my ego. This in turn led to silene as I had recognized plenty of comparisons going on in my mind. However, there have been many thoughst and comments that posting thoughts and such would be appropriate. At the beginning of the year I did feel God was telling me to return to blogging and posting thoughts, however, I did not immediately do so. Part of the reason for the disengagement comes from a struggling with balancing sharing my thoughts and views with my profession. As a mental health professional there needs to be some restraint and refinement in focus. For the purpose of this blog is to give voice about the things God puts on my heart and mind and to share it so that some may touched. The words are sewing seeds and using what God has given me versus sitting back in my own world and doing whatever feels best to me. I think the problem is that I did get caught up in my world and the concerns there in and got distracted from writing the things God was stirring otherwise. So, now the goal is to get back to writing and with the intent and focus to reflect back to God. It is time to speak forth what God spurs in submission and fellowship. It is time for this blog to be renewaled and hopefully people find a place of peace, depth, and reflection that is challenging of growth.
Today is Mother’s Day. It is the day in this culture that is set aside to Honor Mothers. It is a day where we are encouraged to express value to mothers. In general the concept is to honor those who you are a child of and those who you have children with. The day is one in which Proverbs 31:28 (ESV) “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her” is practiced. The verse covers both those who you are a child of and those who you have children with. In context that verse is referring to what occurs in the life of a virtuous woman as described in Proverbs 31. Honestly, most mothers fall short of the standard described in Proverbs 31. There are things done that hurt and cause pain and miss the standard of virtue. Yet, even so, there is the need to honor. There is the need to attend to that which is of virtue. The actions described in Proverbs 31 are really about proclaiming the virtue and giving witness to the good things, the virtuous actions. It is really giving acknowledgement to the good that has been done.
Personally, this writer does not yet have children. There are hopes, plans, and dreams of the same. Yet, on this day, with no children yet, there are words to say to life up the woman who will one day share the joy of bringing children into the world. There is honor in the steps she takes while awaiting the time of bringing children into this world. Admittedly each day the time gets shorter, but the time taken is of worth and value so that we both may be of virtue in raising children. So, this writer is proclaiming that his wife is a woman to be praised and valued. I honor her.
Now, as to this writer’s mother; there has been no one who has more impact on the man I’ve become then her. She engaged in much care and nurture. There were many actions taken that shaped my life course and development. She is even the one who identified and encouraged my life call and profession. She sacrificed on many levels to ensure that me and my brother had what we needed. It is certain, that my awareness of what she poured into my life is only partial for many things actions taken that were well beyond the awareness of a child (and yes, even beyond awareness of an adult child.) My mother did so much to love and build me up that it is need of honor and this writer greatly appreciates what she is done. My mother is one to be honored and blessed for the value of what she put into my life is beyond measure.
Now, for the readers of this post, please take time to consider the mother’s in your life. Praise them and rise up and call them blessed. Do so today, and do so beyond such days of cultural expectation. Find the things of virtue and honor that shaped you, and make it know, for as you bless, you in turn are blessed.
Filed under: culture, Gifts from God, Growth, Holiday relections, life | Tagged: blessing, elevation, encouragement, growth, Honor, impact of love, love, mom, mother, Mother's day, motherhood, nurture, Praise, virtuous woman, viture | 2 Comments »
Today 4/13/2013 news that Brennan Manning left this life on 4/12/2013. He was a man of God, a disciple who now has moved on. Yet, he was a teacher of much controversy. The top of the controversy was that he taught “contemplative prayer” with use of things like emptying thoughts and repeating words. This controversy exists and is out there, yet, I have no question that in He was a true follower of Jesus the Messiah. His teaching and from what I understand even his life was fractured and flawed. He knew fully what it was to experience God’s grace. Yet, he is really know different than any other disciple of Jesus. He tought things wrong, he did things wrong, he was flawed. Yet, he knew what it was to be loved by God. He was a teacher and preacher of God’s love. His messages focused on deepening the understanding of God and His love. This is true for me.
I heard Brennan Manning speak at Church of the Open Door in Minnesota two or maybe three times. When he spoke his words and presence displayed and shown the love of God. His words touched to the very core. I do not remember his words or his teaching at that time. I do know what he taught and spoke of on those days changed me. He gave words that brought closer awareness to the love of God. He taught in such a way that got beyond the fractured images I had of God the Father and God used to touch hurt and pain and let God’s love in. God used this man. And for that I am grateful. He served and was used by God and he touch my life and many others. There are a great many quotes out there that demonstrate the truth he taught. It is important to note in God’s economy the words of Love and truth have far greater impact than the things we speak that are flawed, dangerous, or destructive. Truth and love always have greater effect. In closing this article I am posting some Brennan Manning quotes that demonstrate the Truth and Love that he taught that impacted so many.
“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”
“In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”
“God is love. In human beings, love is a quality, a high-prized virtue; in God, love is His identity.“
“God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be.”
“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ, & I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”
“Christianity was not some moral code; it was a love affair, & I experienced it first hand.”
“If we conceal our wounds out of fear & shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”
Filed under: Amo Dei, Christianity, Faith, Growth, Intimacy with God, Joy in Lord, life, Musing on meanings, Obedience, Relational Holiness, Testimonial Stories, The Church | Tagged: Amo Dei, Brennan Manning, Brennan Manning quotes, faith, God as Father, grace, growth, healing, Identity, intimacy with God, kingdom of God, love, love and truth, Love of God, peace, Relational Growth, Surrender to God, True Peace | Leave a comment »
Jesus was a dangerous. Think about it. See he came to change things. His mission was to make things different. He posed risk to those that were in charge. He posed such risk that Herod the Great killed many infant males to try and kill one. He was so dangerous that the crowd tried to kill him on more the one occasion. Most had hoped that his dangerousness would mean the end of Rome and re-establishment of Israel as a country and kingdom. However, that was not what yes was about. He did not meet those expectations. This also made him dangerous. It was his dangerousness that led to his death. He lived God’s way. He was concerned for each individual. He loved and demonstrated concern for others over appearances of righteousness. He was so dangerous that they decided that He needed to die for the good of all. They considered Him so dangerous that the tried him at night, examining ultimately if He was one who is leading Israel astray and worthy of death. They decided He was and assured his death. Jesus was dangerous.
Jesus is a dangerous. Think about it. He changes things. Following him involves loss of control and submission. There is great risk in following Jesus. If you truly follow Jesus your life is will be the same. There is no one in history who unsettles people like even the name of Jesus does. Mention of the name can bring unease and unsettle others. See following Jesus involves trust and faith. It involves a belief without absolute certainty. It involves following a different way and going against the ways of the world. Jesus is dangerous.
Jesus will be dangerous. Think about it. There is a time coming when Jesus returns. It will be a time for those that do not follow him to fear for there will be wrath untold. The twisting on creation due to the impacts of life outside of dependence on God will be undone. All of creation will not go untouched. There will be wrath. There will be judgment. There will be making things right. Never before will there be any greater danger and no greater power unleashed. Jesus will be dangerous
Now that you have done some thinking. Realize that to some the danger of Jesus is the making of a villan because there is great danger. He does not meet expectation. If you follow Him you are good, if not, an enemy. Either he is Lord and King or not. See, there are many who want to live their own way. Many who think that they are good enough for they care about and try to look out for others and do other nice deeds. How dare the creator of the universe be told to show self and come in such a manner? How dare He require complete surrender? Yet, Jesus brings forth life. He sets things right and in all that danger He alone brings true peace. For all the danger that is there, the danger only exists if you reject and turn away. And there are those who have thought about it, recognize it and follow Jesus, this ever so dangerous one. The letting go brings far more than any risk and true life and peace are gained. So, yes, Jesus is dangerous, but in the end He alone brings about true health and wholeness. So accept the dangerousness and surrender. Once you do you will never be the same and it will be good.
Filed under: Christianity, Easter, Faith, Holiday relections, Obedience | Tagged: Christianity, dangerousness, death, death jesus, Easter, establishment of israel, fear, God, Good Friday, Gospel, Herod, Human Rights, Israel, Jesu, Jesus, Lord, peace, reconiliation, religion, renewal, risk, Rome, theology, villan, world jesus, Yeshua | Leave a comment »