Friday, April 30, 2010

Love as Jesus loves

23"Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me". (John 14:23-24)

But how do we show our love for one another? Well, how do you show someone close to you that you love them? There are many different responses to that, but eventually it all comes down to this: spending time with them. But wait! Jesus also said in John 14 that “if you love me, you will obey my teaching.” That certainly is true. We might take note of the order of his statement, however: if this, then that. Love comes before, and thus prompts, obedience. How will we know what to obey if we don’t check in with him for orders first?

This is why an understanding of the Scriptures and prayer as central for the disciple of Jesus in having daily communion with God. There are many spiritual disciplines, but these two are foundational both in the life of Jesus and in Scripture itself.

We must develop thehabit of spending time with God each day in two ways. Reading from his Word for wisdom, nurture, sharpening, help, etc. fills us with his instruction, shapes us for purity and action, and equips us to remain in his will and avoid the pitfalls of sin which harm us. Spending time in prayer positions us for God to transform us by the Holy Spirit who does his work in us. It is time spent both in speaking and listening to God.

We also need to develop the human element of community made effective by Christ’s presence among us. People need people; nobody needs to go it alone. Jesus taught that we need one another for help and support.
We’re on the journey together, discovering real life from Jesus in community with one another.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

God is always with us

15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." (John 14:15-21)

God’s love is always with us. In our darkest moments when we are doubled over in pain or grief, God’s love is over us, under us, within us and all around us. Even when we do not sense His love, His love is still with us. Because God is so much with us regardless of our circumstances, we can find His comfort at any time in any place. When you need God’s love the most, He is with you. When you think you can handle all things on your own, He is with you knowing there will come a time when your ego is deflated and you will need Him more than ever. We can let our sin come between us and God. However, God does not forsake us. God is always telling us to always turn to Him, always trust in Him, always believe in Him, and always have faith in Him…all because He always loves us. Although we cannot always express our love for Him, His love remains. Although we selfishly set conditions upon God’s love for us, God always loves us unconditionally. Although we have spots and blemishes in our sin, God loves us in spite of our spots and blemishes. Although we do not always give God the praise and honor He deserves, He loves us in spite of our selfishness. Although we think we have power, God still loves us even when He knows we are small and weak. Although we have burdens and needs interfering with God’s love in us, His love always remains with us. Although our words are feeble when we talk with Him in prayer, He is always able to read our hearts in spite of our feeble words…because He always loves us and His love is always with us.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What is compassion?

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-

3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass,
he flourishes like a flower of the field;

16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD's love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children's children-

18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

19 The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

21 Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.

22 Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, O my soul.
(Psalm 103 Of David)

David was expressing joy in feeling the compassion and goodness of God.
He had felt God's love and compassion in his life and this psalm was definitely his expression of feeling that compassion from God. David recognized that God understood and cared about our pain and our struggles.
Just as wisdom covers the intellectual or comprehending side of our nature, compassion covers the feeling side of our nature
Compassion is made up of two words. 'co' meaning together and 'passion' meaning a strong feeling. We are compassionate when we feel the pain of others. When we see someone is in distress and we feel their pain as if it were our own, and strive to eliminate or lessen their pain, then this is compassion. So all the best in human beings, all the Godlike qualities like sharing, readiness to give comfort, sympathy, concern and caring - all are manifestations of compassion.
You will notice also that in the compassionate person, care and love towards others has its origins in care and love for oneself. It is difficult to have compassion for others when we have none for ourselves. We can help others to see God's love in their lives only when we feel God's love for ourselves. We can feel the pain of others when we understand our own pain.
So in trying to walk in Jesus' footsteps, ones own spiritual development blossoms quite naturally from caring for ourselves into concern for the welfare of others. Once we have felt God's love and compassion for ourselves, it is then that we can share that love and compassion with others. You cannot give what you do not feel. You cannot fill others unless you are filled.
Jesus life and ministry illustrates this compassionate spirituality. Jesus could teach about God's love, because he felt it very strongly in his earthly life. He knew first hand about God's love and compassion. His ministry was about sharing this great compassion with those who did not know the feeling of compassion. They had not experienced compassion in their own lives, so they did not know how to share it with others.

Always remember that you are loved by God. Rest your souls in God's loveing compassion.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Gift that keeps on giving

17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
18"Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 19You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.'[a]"
20"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
21Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
22At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"
24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how hard it is[b] to enter the kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, "Who then can be saved?"
27Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." (Mark 10:17-27)

God has given each of us His perfect plan of salvation; Everlasting Life! It is His gift of grace to each and every one of us. We don't deserve it; we can't buy it, and we can't earn's simply a gift! All we have to do is claim it.

"For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

God has given each of us a free will to decide how we will live our lives here on earth. We can opt for good or evil; we can follow a path of disobedience or a path of's our decision. We have the power to accept or reject the gift.

We are not forgiven through trying our best to live a "good" life. We are forgiven by the great love of Jesus. God is willing to forgive us if we are willing to receive and accept His gift of grace and forgiveness in Jesus. .

Jesus Christ is our only path to eternal life with God, but you must open the door and invite Him into your life.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (Rev. 3:20)

If you believe in Jesus Christ and His gift to you of His life, please don't delay your decision any longer. Yield your life to Him right now. Invite Jesus to come through the doorway of your life. Your life will be miraculously changed, by simply, and earnestly praying to Jesus to be with you.

Realize that God loves you and believe that Jesus Christ died for you. It is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Who do you turn to in times of trouble?

Faith is simply a response to the promises of God. His promises are not just words to hang on a wall; they require action on our part. Hebrews 13:5-6 provides a wonderful demonstration of how we should apply God's Word to our lives: here is the promise: “…for he has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you.’” Here is how we should understand this: “…so that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do to me.’” One of my favorites is 1 Chronicles 28:20—in this case, our response comes first: “And David said to Solomon his son, ‘Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed.’” Here's the promise: “…‘for the LORD God, even my God, will be with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.’”
As you face difficulties, dig into the Word of God and ask Him to direct you to specific passages that apply to your specific circumstances. After all, this is no dusty book we hold; it is alive. Through His Spirit, this living book is able to examine our heart as well as meet our needs—“. . . the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

So, in your troubles do your part. Ask the Lord for help and to reveal His will and plan for your life. Commit yourself fully to Him. Walk in obedience to His Word no matter what the cost. If you take this approach, God will provide for you in ways that go far beyond human understanding.

Have hope and be encouraged: God is with us. God is infinite. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-capable. There are no limits restricting God. Yet despite this, to our own harm we, His followers tend to limit the power of God by erroneous thinking.

Matthew 19:26 ... [26] Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Peace and hope,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Is it better to be right, or is it better to be kind?

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (Ephesians 4:29-32).

Kindness is a language the blind can see and the deaf can hear.
A kind and courteous "no" hurts less than a rude "yes".

Being correct does not give us the right feel superior. Nor does it mean that it is OK to degrade someone else. It is important to be forgiving, but it is also important to try not to do those things that cause us to seek forgiveness. Treating others as we would like to be treated is not just a trite motto taught to school children, it should be a life rule for all those who follow Jesus. Sticks and stones can break bones, but name calling can cause injury that lasts a lifetime.
I believe that it is important to remember how Jesus spoke to people. His words were filled with kindness and compassion. He was never cruel.

So as we go through our day, we should error on the side of love. Kindness and compassion goes a long way.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

When did you last see Jesus?

So the disciples went away again to their own homes.
But Mary was standing outside at the tomb weeping. So, as she wept, she stooped and looked into the tomb, and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head, and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. They told her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don't know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, and didn't know that it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?"
She, supposing him to be the gardener, said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away."
Jesus said to her, "Mary."
She turned and said to him, "Rhabbouni!" which is to say, "Teacher!"
Jesus said to her, "Don't touch me, for I haven't yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brothers, and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had said these things to her. (John 20:10-18)

I want to share a line of thought with you that has
often been with me and I hope it makes you as uncomfortable as
it always makes me. I want to ask you a very searching question:
When did you last see Jesus? Do I hear anybody say, `What do you
mean? Nobody has ever seen Jesus in our generation. They saw him
2000 years ago, but nobody sees him now?’

But you see him every day…

Just as Mary did not recognize Jesus in the garden, we do not recognize Jesus when he appears in front of us as we go through our day. Jesus can appear as someone who needs assistance, or as someone who is there to give assistance to us. We might see him at the grocery store, or the bank, or the post office. Jesus is in all of those places.
We need to recognize that Jesus is in each one of us.

That's the good news. You can have a personal encounter with the living Christ. You come face to face with him when you experience love and mercy and when you experience forgiveness and pardon. That knowledge will revolutionize your life and you will never be the same again. There’s no thrill like the thrill of knowing Jesus Christ. There’s no emotional experience that can match the joy of knowing that you are loved.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Good News is that we are loved by God

36Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. 37When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 38and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, "If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner."

40Jesus answered him, "Simon, I have something to tell you."
"Tell me, teacher," he said.

41"Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii,[a] and the other fifty. 42Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?"

43Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said.

44Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

48Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven."

49The other guests began to say among themselves, "Who is this who even forgives sins?"

50Jesus said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you; go in peace."

Jesus spoke in very down to earth parables about life, His values and His vision of what our life could be. He preached a message of hope and freedom and salvation. He gathered thousands of people into a new community, a community in which there would be no vestige of the complex structure of laws and prohibitions and rituals that had so burdened their lives. Setting people free was part of His main goal. Bringing people back to His Father's family was part of His gift to us.
Jesus realized that the life He was sharing was fragile and easily shattered, so He gave His apostles the authority to reconcile those who had drifted or damaged their friendship with God. He also gave His disciples food, which would nourish the divine life within them. He promised His followers that when they accepted His friendship, He and His Father would come and live within them (John 12:44-50).
The gift of God's living within us is the basis for the natural growth of the divine life received in baptism, except in many cases the relationship is not nourished . The intimacy with God was the source of Jesus' own strength in His humanity. It flowed from the rich prayer life that He nourished constantly. This is the secret to intimacy with God. We must maintain constancy in prayer, because it develops within the soul a communion and a sharing of thoughts and feelings between the soul and God.
On earth, Jesus tried to help people understand that God knows our weakness and our efforts. He understands our struggling, our pain, and our determination to do better. As long as we are sensitive to the pain and loneliness of others, and reach out to heal, our own sins, as many as they may be, will be forgiven. This is the Good News!

Loving Spirit of Wisdom,
guide our thoughts and our memories.

In the light of your love,
may we see what is important for us to remember,
what is important for us to hold to our hearts,
and what we need simply to let go of in peace.

For we trust you to be our guide
even when the path seems unclear to us.
Through Jesus Christ,

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We are not servants, but friends.

9"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other" (John 15:9-17).
The freedom and peace Jesus talked about had to do not only with material things, but also with anything that generated undue anxiety. Despite the constant turmoil that surrounded Jesus, from the angry religious leaders to the constant crowds pressing in on Him, He displayed a remarkable calmness that proved the value of detachment that Jesus had from whatever could disturb His inner peace. The promise of peace was a promise Jesus wanted to share with His followers (John 14:27).
As concerned as Jesus was about spreading His Good News, He is not compulsive or driven like so many people with a mission. He lived His life, enjoying each day, making new friends, and maintaining warm relationships with His old friends. This, too, could be considered part of His Good News. He taught by His example how people could live with joy and serenity, and not allow themselves to be so driven that they lose their peace of mind and sense of balance. Through it all, they can enjoy an intimate relationship with God, which is built into the essence of being fully human.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What is the Good News Jesus came to tell us?

Jesus came to bring us the good news of salvation. But what does salvation mean? Throughout the New Testament, the words "save," "saved," and "salvation" have their root in the Greek "sozo" which means to save, to rescue, to deliver, to protect. "Sozo" is also translated in the New Testament with the words heal, preserve, save, do well, and to make whole. The Greek "soteria" (which has it’s origin in “sozo”) is the main word translated "salvation." "Soteria" is also translated to deliver, health, salvation, save and saving.
One can learn the full meaning of a Greek word by studying the scriptures where it is used and the way it is interpreted. You can easily see from the previous definitions that "salvation" means much more than a soul’s preparation for Heaven.
In Romans 1:16-17, the Apostle Paul writes, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God for salvation ("soteria") to everyone that believes… For there is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith."
Jesus came to bring us salvation, which means He came to rescue, deliver, protect, heal, and save us. He came to make us whole and to reconnect us with the God who loves us. He came so save us from our sin, our despair, our loneliness, our fear and our lack of faith (Mark 4:35-41).
After living in Nazareth for thirty years (Luke 3:23), Jesus began to deliver His message, which was called the Good News (Matthew 4:23). What was the Good News? In the time of Jesus, the people were burdened with laws that regulated the smallest layers of daily life. Besides the oppressive laws of their Roman conquerors, there was the body of Jewish law. There were not just Ten Commandments; there were 613 commandments and 365 prohibitions. When they could not measure up to the laws, the religious leaders cut them off from the society of decent people.
Jesus told people He had come to fulfill that prophecy, to bring them the Good News for which they had waited for so long (Luke 4:20-21). Part of the Good News brought to us by Jesus was that being fully human in the true sense of the word was true holiness. All the commandments and prohibitions did not make one holy. Being what God created us to be, just ourselves, good human beings was what made one holy (Mark 4:35-41). There is a profound revelation in that, and an important part of the Good News, that you could be ordinary, doing the ordinary, everyday things that people do, and underneath that simple, ordinary persona, possess extraordinary holiness.
How Jesus lived His own life as a human shows how we are to live ours (John 16:25-28). In His own life, Jesus lived simply. He was deeply in love with everything and everyone living, from God down to the simplest creature. He was gentle and compassionate, especially to those who were ostracized by society (Mark 2:17). He never gave an appearance of self-righteousness, but had a genuine humility and meekness and an understanding of others.
Jesus loves all of us as we are and reaches us where we are. That is the beauty of the Good News. We are OK to be where we are. We can be ourselves. We do not have to become like anyone else to be loved by Jesus.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

You Must Experience a Rebirth in Christ

"That you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:45).

The teaching, that you may be children of your Father in heaven requires us to act on our love of our enemies. The highest reward goes only to those who meet this high ethical and moral standard. When one holds the values expressed in the Beatitudes, one becomes like the Lord, mentally and spiritually. Symbolically, the New Testament speaks of this as a new birth. John records Jesus' explanation of this spiritual birth:

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again" (John 3:5-7).

Paul described how the birth occurs in his letter to the Romans:
“Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that we may rise with Him"( Romans 6:3-40).

Although this rising with Jesus is difficult, we need to remember that we do not have to do this alone. In order to experience a rebirth with Jesus, we must rely on Jesus to help us experience this rebirth. We need to realize that must place our trust and faith in Jesus in order to share in Jesus' life. Ask, and for help and it will be given to you.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Monday, April 19, 2010

We Become Signs of God's Love

”Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash your feet, you have no share with me.” (John 13:8)
To be spiritual means to live according to the knowledge that Jesus is present to us in the world helping us to work toward a personal, interpersonal, social, and even perhaps cosmic transformation. He is not just a historical figure; He lives in each one of us. We are relational beings and to be spiritually Christian we must live always in relations with God, our neighbor, our world and ourselves, following the example left to us by Jesus. We must be willing to love and serve those around us. We must allow His Spirit to work through us individually and collectively to transform the world so that we may bring forth the Kingdom of God here on earth.
For those of us who choose to follow Jesus, we make a choice to give up our life of selfishness and follow a life of love. The perfection of this love has to be the purpose of this life. The decision to become models of Jesus’ message of unconditional love is one of the most important choices of our lives. It is a radical decision. After all, the consequence of Jesus’ love for us brought Him to a death on the cross.
In our quest for true spirituality, Jesus speaks in to our darkness with His eternal message of love. We all long for true spiritual connections that transcend our hurried existence and from which we can leave our world of temporary and changing and secure a sense of permanent and unchangeable. We can only receive this security by developing our relationship with God/Jesus. Security will not come from a new age therapy, from the accumulation of wealth, nor from any of our earthly relationships. We must come to Jesus, embracing our spiritual bankruptcy and brokenness, and seeking His love and acceptance. We cannot come to Him on our terms, but come to Him on His terms.
“To see past apparent differences among people, we must look with spiritual eyes, not with earthbound eyes of flesh, because it is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail. In the same way we must look with eyes of the spirit at the bread of the Lord's table, trusting completely his words, words that are spirit and life.” (John 6:63)

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The heavenly King reigns in His people on earth

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

"For indeed, the kingdom of God is 'within you." Luke 17:20

" will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." John 14:20-21

"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words." John 14:23-24

"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered...." John 15:4-6

Could the reason many of us Christians live poorly is because our understanding of the Gospel has more to do with going to heaven someday than becoming part of Jesus movement now?
Does your understanding of the good news of the Kingdom of Heaven align with Jesus'?
If we understood the Gospel as the arrival of Jesus' kingdom, where we have connected with Jesus to learn His teachings, to love God by loving our neighbor, and proclaim the healing of the cross and resurrection starting now, for "the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand".
Would the people of Jesus look different, live different, and become a better witness for others?
Jesus has been given the title of the Great Teacher by many people who have studied and applied his teachings throughout history. The surprising thing is that Jesus was not the typical philosopher or preacher that people were used to. Unlike some other people Jesus tried to make His advice understandable to the common man, sometimes using stories or symbols, but always keeping His message simple, straightforward and practical.
So why is it that the message of the kingdom escapes so many of us?
Make no mistake, the Kingdom of Heaven is here. We don't have to wait for death to enter the kingdom. If you follow the teachings of Jesus, you have entered the kingdom. We help to create the kingdom in our homes, our communities, and our work. So where is the kingdom? It is everywhere you look right here on earth.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ten Things Christians Can Do.

Each of us is called to share our faith. We can no longer leave this work to the ordained, vowed, religious, and church professionals. Our mission in the workplace, the home, in social settings, and in the political arena is to proclaim and share the Good News. Take some time to reflect and discover your own response to the call to evangelize.

Ten things Christians can do for each other every day:

1. Treat others as you would have them treat you:
Treat other people in the manner that you want them to treat you. This is a hallmark of Christianity. Be kind to people, even when they are unkind to you. That way, you set an example for them; you become a representative of the Christian faith.
"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you" - Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 7:12 (NIV)

2. Help people:
In Matthew 25:34-40, Jesus tells us that we are to give food to those who are hungry, give clothes to people who need them, provide shelter for people who have none, visit people who are sick, and give comfort to people who are in prison.

3. Don't worry:
Do your best. Deal with life's problems. But don't worry. Instead, have faith in Jesus that all things will work out in the way they need to work out.
"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" - Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 6:27 (NIV)

4. Read the Bible:
If you read the Bible contemplatively every day, especially the four Gospels, this practice will give you better insight into them life and teachings of Jesus, the Son of God.

5. Give thanks and be joyful:
"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

6. Pray:
"This, then, is how you should pray:
`Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.' "
- Jesus, explaining how people should pray, as quoted in Matthew 6:9-13

7. Forgive your enemies:
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."
- Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 6:14-15

8. Be careful what you say about other people:
"But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
- Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 12:36-37

9. Know the Word of God and use it each day:
If you read the four Gospels - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, you will see many examples of how Christians should act.
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."
- Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 7:24

10. Be Christ for one another:
If you have found peace and salvation in the Bible, share it with others - tell people, write a letter, or create a Web site. Encourage others to read the Bible. Encourage family members and friends to attend church with you. Consider giving Bibles as gifts to others.
And always, pray for God's assistance in your evangelization efforts.
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
- Jesus, as quoted in Matthew 28:19-20

Peace and love,

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rest in God's Love and Strength

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,

3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.

5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.

9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields [b] with fire.

10 "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
(Psalm 46)

This Psalm 46 is a tribute to God's love and the writer's trust that God will always be our strength. But how do we gain this faith and comprehension of God's love and protection?
The answer to that question is prayer. Prayer is our way to communicate with God, but it should not be a one way conversation where we talk and God listens. The conversation should go both ways. Conversation is a commitment to falling more and more in love with God. The practice of prayer challenges us to let go of our agendas and make room for God to surprise us with our truth and the truth of others. We commit not only to speak to God, but also to listen to him. Normal conversation goes both ways and in our desire to develop a relationship with God, we must both speak and listen.
The fundamental stance of the person of faith is to listen. When we practice listening, we become more and more aware of the internal and external things that distract us. We listen with the ear of our heart The word heart does not simply refer to a physical organ or the seat of our emotions. It also includes other layers of meaning, such as inner understanding, feelings, will, desire, conscience, and the seat of courage.
Contemplation in prayer joins us to the One who dwells within, and enables us to see the world with God’s eyes. The soul that is united with God can see the world with God’s eyes. A true contemplative spirituality seeks to enter more fully into the depths of reality by resting in God’s presence while God works in the soul.
We need to learn to rest in God's love and strength. Prayer and contemplation helps us to do just that.

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How do we die to self?

"I beseech you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

So, how do we truly present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice? Briefly, we must die to our prior selves. This concept is wonderfully presented in this anonymous poem:

"When you are forgotten, neglected, or purposely set at naught, and you don't sting or hurt with the oversight, but your heart is happy being counted worthy to suffer for Christ; that is dying to self.
When your good is evil spoken of, when your wishes are crossed, your advice disregarded, your opinion ridiculed, and you refuse to let anger rise in your heart or even defend yourself, but take it all in patient, loving silence; that is dying to self.
When you lovingly and patiently bear any disorder, any irregularity, any annoyance; when you can stand face to face with waste, folly, extravagance, spiritual insensibility, and endure it as Jesus did; that is dying to self.
When you are content with any food, any climate, any society, any solitude, any interruption by the will of God; that is dying to self.
When you never care to refer to yourself in conversation or record your own good works or itch after commendation, when you can truly love to be unknown; that is dying to self.
When you can see your brother prosper and have his needs met, and can honestly rejoice with him in spirit and feel no envy, nor question God, while your own needs are far greater and you are in desperate circumstances; that is dying to self.
When you can receive correction and reproof from one of less stature than yourself and can humbly submit, inwardly as well as outwardly, finding no rebellion or resentment rising up within your heart; that is dying to self".

Peace and Love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Unchanging Ethics and Morality of Jesus

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (Matthew 7:24-27).

These moral and ethical behaviors are so explicit that we must consider them unequivocal in nature. They were not just behaviors to be observed by the people of the 1st century. Jesus reminds every generation and century of how one must live in the Kingdom of God. In addition to loving God, we must love one another. This is the part of the commandment that we seem to have a great deal of trouble with: "love one another". Yet Jesus laid out a roadmap for us to follow, the highlights of which are:

Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you
Pray for forgiveness and forgive others
No one can serve two masters.
Do not judge, or you too will be judged.
Jesus is the gravitational pull that brings everything together and gives them significance, reality, and meaning. Without Him, all things lose their value. Without Him, all things are but detached pieces floating around in space. It is not possible to emphasize a spiritual truth, value, virtue, or gift, yet miss Jesus, who is the embodiment and incarnation of all spiritual truth, values, virtues, and gifts. Seek Jesus, embrace Jesus, know Jesus, and you have touched Him who is Life. Moreover, in Him resides all Truth, Values, Virtues and Gifts in living color. Beauty has its meaning in the beauty of Jesus, in whom is found all that makes us lovely and loveable.
It is crucial to remember that our security can only be found in trusting Jesus with all that we are and have, being certain that He will never fail us. However, the Scriptures assure us that the Lord never gives up even when we fail in our commitment to follow Him, He continually reaches out to re-invite us to follow him, and to find real peace in the journey.

Peace to you,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who would you die for?

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us". (Romans 5:6-8)

Jesus' death on the cross was the ultimate testamony of love. It is very easy to say "I love you", but what does that really mean when we tell someone that. Love should not be selfish as in "I love you because you can do something for me", or even "I love you because you love me". Jesus' testamony to love what that he loved those who betrayed him. He loved without expecting love in return. He loved and was able to give up the most important aspect of his being, his own life. You cannot give up more than that to someone you love.
When we say we love, what does that mean we are willing to give up? It is something to think about. Jesus showed us that true love has no bounds. True love does not ask for anything in return. Loving someone may mean that we have to empty ourselves for the sake of someone else.
As Paul says in Romans, that Jesus gave us his life without looking for a reward; he gave up his life to those who really did not deserve his love; he gave up his life without the expectation of being loved in return.
Jesus showed us what it really means to love.
What a gift we have been given. We have received and still receive the gift of life from Jesus. His death brought us life.
Who would you give up your life for? Family? Friends? Strangers? Again, it is something to think about.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Does the world know that you are a follower of Jesus?

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:34-39)

Spirituality involves living out the details in daily life of the religious beliefs one holds. One of the criticisms that is brought against those who profess to be Christian is that it can be too inward looking, forgetful of the needs of the world in which we live. A truely spiritual person is one who is transformed inwardly and so moves outwardly in compassion to the greater needs of others. All the great religions of th world have love of God and love of neighbor as the litmus test of the holy person.
So how do we live out our lives as true followers of Jesus?
Prayer is necessary to maintain our relationship with Jesus. However we cannot forget the rest of the mission. Jesus prayed to his father and that is written very often in the Scriptures. But Jesus was also compassionate, caring, forgiving, and most of all loving. His loving and healing ministry was very visible. So as true followers, we must make our lives in this world a visible expression of our Christianity.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trust in God

Psalm 20
A psalm of David.
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.

9 O LORD, save the king!
Answer [a] us when we call!

This psalm is a prayer written by David, probably for use by all of Israel to pray for David himself and his army when they went into battle. This may seem presumptuous: David writes a prayer for others to pray, concerning himself. But rather than presumptuous, I think it shows the value that David placed on prayer. David knew that prayer was his best weapon when he went into battle. And so, David gave the people of Israel who stayed behind a prayer to pray. Through the important work of prayer, even those staying behind could share in the victory.

This can be a model prayer for us to pray for our political leaders as they lead our nation in battles of various kinds, as well as our spiritual leaders as they lead us in the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged. Our leaders need our prayers. Even the greatest leaders (especially the greatest leaders!) are subject to physical and spiritual trouble.

Paul tells us: "Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God" (Rom. 13:1). Moreover, God wants us to pray for our leaders, even even those we do not agree with: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (I Tim. 2:1-4).

This prayer of David's is also an excellent prayer for any of us to use for all our brothers or sisters who are facing battles, trials, or affliction. I know that in my own life I am asked by family, friends, and neighbors to pray for them, especially in their times of trouble. We must never forget that God is walking with us on this journey of life. Ask for God's help for others and for yourself as you are faced with the difficulties of life. God hears and answers all prayers.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Word to the Wise

Proverbs 12
1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.

2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
but the LORD condemns a crafty man.

3 A man cannot be established through wickedness,
but the righteous cannot be uprooted.

4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown,
but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

5 The plans of the righteous are just,
but the advice of the wicked is deceitful.

6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
but the speech of the upright rescues them.

7 Wicked men are overthrown and are no more,
but the house of the righteous stands firm.

8 A man is praised according to his wisdom,
but men with warped minds are despised.

9 Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant
than pretend to be somebody and have no food.

10 A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal,
but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

11 He who works his land will have abundant food,
but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.

12 The wicked desire the plunder of evil men,
but the root of the righteous flourishes.

13 An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk,
but a righteous man escapes trouble.

14 From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things
as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

15 The way of a fool seems right to him,
but a wise man listens to advice.

16 A fool shows his annoyance at once,
but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

17 A truthful witness gives honest testimony,
but a false witness tells lies.

18 Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

19 Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.

20 There is deceit in the hearts of those who plot evil,
but joy for those who promote peace.

21 No harm befalls the righteous,
but the wicked have their fill of trouble.

22 The LORD detests lying lips,
but he delights in men who are truthful.

23 A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself,
but the heart of fools blurts out folly.

24 Diligent hands will rule,
but laziness ends in slave labor.

25 An anxious heart weighs a man down,
but a kind word cheers him up.

26 A righteous man is cautious in friendship,
but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

27 The lazy man does not roast his game,
but the diligent man prizes his possessions.

28 In the way of righteousness there is life;
along that path is immortality.

As I read through these wise sayings, it occurred to me that even though these were written centuries ago, they are still true. I am especially fond of number 18.
"Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

Basically I think it says that you should think before you speak. Words that you say to someone can live with them for the rest of their lives. I am sure that every one has, running around in their heads, words spoken to them that will never go away, good or bad.
Jesus always used words very carefully. He thought before he spoke. He touched people with his words; he always spoke with love.
We have the power to touch someone's heart with love, or with hate. We can build up a person by saying the right thing, or we can destroy them forever. Words are important. The closer in relationship you are to someone, the more hurt or healing can come from your words to them, or from their words to you. Criticism must be tempered with love and compassion.
We must think like Jesus. Before we critizise, we should stop and think. I believe that we should look ot be a positive memory in someone's life; a memory of love and compassion.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Day without God is a Day without Light

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Essentially Jesus' life was about bringing life to people. John 1:4 describes Jesus this way, "In him was life, and that life was the light of men." He brought life. This means he brought hope and restoration to a world of hopelessness and brokenness. He freed some from the prison of sickness, others from the loneliness of being an outcast or low class, and a few from the grips of death itself. By his teachings Jesus also freed people from ignorance concerning God, his kingdom, the meaning of obedience and the way of salvation. He also freed some from their sins by granting forgiveness. Most importantly, this life Jesus brings is rooted in his sacrificial act of offering himself on the cross to take away the guilt of sin. John declared, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" (Jn. 1:29). And Jesus says of himself, "For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10:45).

Jesus came to display all the goodness of God through his caring acts toward people. He came teaching truth. He came to light our way to the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the light of the world.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Come Holy Spirit

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit will be with us.

15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."(John 14:15-21)

The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For many of us, this is a difficult concept to grasp. The Bible declares that there is only one living God, yet we learn from scripture that He comprises three separate personages. One way to partially visualize this concept is to examine the nature of water (H2O). Water is a single compound that can exist in three states – liquid, ice and vapor. An egg is another picture. It is comprised of the white, the yoke and the shell, yet it is still one egg. Of course, by no means do these examples paint a complete picture of our God, but they are illustrative of the fact that His three “persons” in no way invalidate His oneness.

The Holy Spirit is not a vague, ethereal life force. He is not impersonal or unthinking. The Holy Spirit is a “person” equal in every way with God, the Father, and God, the Son. The Bible tells us that all the characteristics of God apparent in the Father and the Son are equally apparent in the Holy Spirit.

In John, we learn that the Holy Spirit is our Counselor and teacher: “But the Counselor, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said to you.”

The Holy Spirit is the guiding light of our lives and the life of the Christian Church. When in doubt, pray to the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit will "teach you all things."

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Loving Spirit of Wisdom,
guide our thoughts and our memories.

In the light of your love,
may we see
what is important for us to remember,
what is important for us to
hold to our hearts,
and what we need simply to
let go of in peace,

for we trust you to be our guide
even when the path
seems unclear to us.
Through Jesus Christ,

Peace and wisdom to you all,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Do not be Afraid

Psalm 37:1-15 Of David.
1 Do not fret because of evil men
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.

9 For evil men will be cut off,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.

10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.

11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy great peace.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;

13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.

15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.

Needless to say, David had a great deal of confidence in God to protect and care for his people. He knew that there would be no future without God. He knew that even though it looks like evil may win the battle, they lose the war because of the strength of God. All evil would eventually perish, but those who stay faithful to God will live.

It is no different for us today. We see many tragic things happen in our world. We see war and death. We see famine and poverty. We see our fellow humans living under the peril of a government who does not believe in the sanctity of all human life. We see troubling times. We also think that this trouble is only happening to our current civilization. However, if you read Psalm 37, you see that God's people were experiencing similiar situations in David's time.
Evil, pain, and suffering will always be with us. But, if we stay faithful to God, we will prevail over any tragedy that we experience. God is there with us and God is stronger than anything that is evil.
Trust in God, just as David did, and you will not be disappointed.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In the beginning. . .

"Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food." And it was so.

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day".(Genesis 1:26-31)

I believe that line 31 says it all, "God saw all that he had made, and it was very good".

God did not look back on his creation and say that: 1. I could have done better; or 2. It looked OK; 3. What was I thinking when I created those people, they are going to be trouble. No, the story goes that God was very pleased with his creation. So, why can't we seem to see each other as being "very good". We are all made in God's image. I don't believe that means our outer appearance is like God's outer appearance. We are made in God's image because our soul, or spirit is part of God's Spirit. We are all given spirit from the same source.
In addition, God gave us the gift of free will. Our free will is like God's free will. We have the freedom to say yes and the freedom to say no. We just haven't learned to say yes to the right things; that is our human condition. However, we should not lose hope. Since we have God's Spirit within us, we have the help that we need to say "yes" to the right things. God is always there to help us if we ask and allow him to do so.
Just as a parent is looking to support their child's first step, God is there to help our steps along life's way. Just as the child tries to walk on her own, we try to get through life on our own. But God waits patiently for us to reach out to him.
We must not think that we have the exclusive rights to God's love and assistance. God has many, many children. Even though we fight each other, we have to realize that the people who fight us are God's children too. The people we do not like are God's children too. There is not one human that you see during your day who is not a child of God.
We should rejoice for the gift of one another and the differences in each other.
God does!

Peace and love,

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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The Case for God

Monday, April 5, 2010

Who is a disciple?

The Great Commission
"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:16-20)

The English word, disciple, is derived from the Latin, discipulus, meaning “a learner or pupil; one who accepts and follows a given doctrine or teacher”. A disciple of Jesus Christ, therefore, is a person (male or female) who accepts and follows his teachings. All who are baptized in the name of the Triune God and accept that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Lord are Christians and, by definition, disciples.

Here is some further help answering the question “Who is a disciple?” A disciple is a person who has faith in Christ and their faith bears fruit through keeping the rules of "Love God and Love one another": doing no harm by avoiding evil, doing good to all as often as possible, and practicing the means of gaining the grace of God through prayer, worship, taking part in the Lord’s Supper, reading and hearing Scripture, and performing acts of fasting and abstinence. Christian faith is exhibited by a life that strives toward holiness of heart and life (1 Thessalonians 3:11-13; Galatians 5:16-26; Ephesians 4:1-3; Philippians 2:12-13); perfection (maturity/ wholeness/ completeness) in love (Matthew 5:48; 1 John 2:3-6); “having the mind of Christ” (Philippians 2:5). A disciple is one whose life in the world is “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). A disciple’s life seeks wholehearted love for God through loving service in the world, especially with the poor, those who are sick, prisoners, lonely, tired, and lost (see Matthew 22:37-39; 25:31-46).

These are general rules for all Christians, regardless of denomination. They are simple, general, guides for living in the world as followers and friends of Jesus Christ. They are rules of life intended to help Christians to be mindful of the basics of loving God, loving neighbors and loving one another. They help disciples to attend to all of the teachings of Jesus and not only those that suit their temperament. A disciple, therefore, is a Christian who does his or her best to follow Jesus’ teachings every day of the week.

Peace and love,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Jesus of Nazareth

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Let there be Peace!

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

The power "Peace On Earth" lies in our capacity to bring people of various cultures, faith traditions and political ideals together as one united global heart and mind. The Message of Jesus allows us to sincerely focus on our mutual desire to serve, create and manifest true peace on earth while transcending our differences and celebrating our common humanity.
This does not only include humankind but 'Life in all Realms of Creation'. When we speak the words, "Peace be with you", we should imagine that the frequency and energy field of Love, Peace and Harmony reaches throughout humanity and also throughout all of God's Creation.
Each of us must move to inspire, and re-awaken the inherit consciousness of love, peace and harmony which exists in everyone through Jesus. Jesus words of "Peace be with you", should direct our minds and hearts to bring inner peace of mind and consequently to foster peace in God's world at large.

Peace be with you,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The empty tomb - Was it really empty?

The empty tomb was a subject especially noted by the Apostle John. In the 20th chapter of his account, John describes himself as the "other disciple" who ran ahead of Peter and reached the tomb first. Looking in, John saw "the strips of linen lying there" which had been the wrappings of Jesus' dead body (verse 6). He describes, also, that the burial cloth which had been around Jesus' head was "folded up by itself, separate from the linen" (verse 7).

John's description of the empty tomb gives details that are evidence of an eyewitness account. These were details that convinced John, himself, because he explains that "He saw and believed" (verse 8). The small detail of the face cloth lying separate and folded implies the recognition of a deliberate, careful action. Inasmuch as Christ's body received life, He awoke and deliberately removed the cloth, folded it, and set it aside. John, the beloved disciple, recognized the simple details and thought them worthy of specific report.

Was the tomb entirely empty? No! Evidence remained of a living Christ, a risen Lord. The significance extends further, yet. Because the tomb was empty and Christ was raised to life in the body, believers count on the promise of a like glorious body. "Who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body" (Philippians 3:21).

A body that defeats death and the curse of death is the inheritance of every believer. "And if the Spirit of him who raised Christ from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in you" (Romans 8:11). The completion of salvation through Jesus Christ is to be saved entirely, so that even the body is immortal through "the power of an indestructible life" (Hebrews 7:16, 25). Even now, "we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Romans 8:23).

Was the tomb really empty? No! It held the evidence of life from the dead - the hope of every believer. In that hope the Christian lives each day, though he may experience trials and hardship. Paul said, "We always carry about in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be revealed in our body" (2 Corinthians 4:10).

So have hope and believe in the Risen Christ. He has paved the way for us to someday experience our own empty tomb as we share the eternal life he promised to us.

Peace and Joy,


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Why did Jesus come to Earth?

John 3:17 “God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

John 6:38-40 “I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

John 6:51 “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

John 9:39 “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

John 10:10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Jesus 12:31 "Now the prince of this world will be driven out."

John 12:46 “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.”

Jesus 16:11: "The prince of this world now stands condemned."

John 18:37 Pilate said to Jesus, “You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”

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* To many Christians, the word "ransom" sounds like sacrificial language, for we sometimes speak of Jesus as the ransom for our sins. But it almost certainly does not have this meaning in the two places that it is used in the Gospels. The Greek word translated as "ransom" (lutron) is used in the Bible not in the context of payment for sin, but to refer to payment made to liberate captives (often from captivity in war) or slaves (often from debt slavery). A lutron is a means of liberation from bondage.
Jesus came to liberate us from ourselves. Jesus came to demonstrate to us the way of living that will allow us to share into everlasting life of God.

Peace and Love,

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)