“Dynamic” is one response.
This may seem an elementary question, but the views people carry about the cares in their life, in no particular order — faith, family, jobs, friends, hobbies — matter. We invest in the things we care about with our time, efforts, and money. We bring energy and ideas to projects.
Obviously, there is more than one answer to this question, “What is a Church . . .?.” Feel free to elaborate if you desire. I thoroughly believe Christians should share their ideas and beliefs with one another. Through my eyes this is what fellowship is mainly about: Spiritual enlightenment. Sharing with the faithful creates an environment for exchanging the concepts of our faith that help us to learn new views about our faith and, in so doing, sharpen our ability to share the faith to those who need to know more of God. What better way to expand your own knowledge of God than to share with those made in God’s own image. In Genesis, God makes humans in, “Our own image,” — which means you and each of those you worship with are somehow an “image of (the plurality of) God.”
“…this is what fellowship is mainly about: Spiritual enlightenment.”
We receive back in measure to how much we give, or in New Testament terms, “Reap what we sow.” And as our knowledge increases about a subject we understand it better and tend to be more supportive towards it. In this instance we are talking about ‘church’ and any of its aspects. If the question seems awkward, rethink it a little. Maybe “At church we…” or “What I like is …” So write us something…
A right-placed word for the moment.
"Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear." NASB
To the people near you . . . “give grace”.
Although this writing was for a church assembling together, I encourage you to apply this attitude wherever you go. Better yet — wherever you are; as God calls you to face an emptiness, longing, or sought-after confirmation within our living of this world.
I was extremely tempted to write about giving thanks but since a lot of people will be emphasizing thanksgiving I chose this. (But do be thankful for what you have. It always helps).
Be a giver of Grace. Not to horn-in on a conversation or control it; which is a great temptation.
Not to make sure you give the last word, having the last gotcha.
Only to bring a right-placed word, if needed.
In these “Covid times” a well-placed word might be wanted and needed. And you might be the right person to speak that word.
25“This is why I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?
26Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they?
27Can any of you add a single cubit to his height by worrying?
28And why do you worry about clothes? Learn how the wildflowers of the field grow: they don’t labor or spin thread.
29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these!
30If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t He do much more for you — you of little faith?
31So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat? ’ or ‘What will we drink? ’ or ‘What will we wear? ’
32For the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
34Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Quote from Jesus, the Christ
Version: Holman Christian Standard Bible
Block editor is not copasetic with me so I will be finding another host for this site.
Leviticus 25 begins with the Sabbath. Then moves into the year following 7 groups of agricultural’s 7-year cycle (the 50th year) letting the land rest and enacting profound social changes.
A year of jubilee!
יוֹבֵל. A Hebrew word pronounced: Yobel. A wind instrument— a ram’s horn— is used to ‘wind’ this note. A “Triumphant Blast” = a “JUBILEE!” And a WHOLE YEAR of JUBILATION!!! (Imagine Whoville at Christmas Whobilation. Thanks to Dr. Suess.)
A year of celebration in signifying the lifting of socio-economic inequalities. God wanted to call attention to how we are to be in company with each other.
Why mention jubilation during a pandemic when people are so afflicted? Radical ideas are needed in these times. Could it be time for a complete forgiveness of all debt and a reconciling of all pay scales, including benefits? I believe God thinks this way of doing business is advantageous for our society in general, pandemic or not. Continue reading “It is only $$ — Leviticus Economic Policy”
Jesus makes reference on how important it is to live your life the way God wants us to live. In this instance some people followed Him after He journeyed overnight to another location. Jesus perceived their wanting another meal, after all, who would not like a second meal if the first was pleasing and, quite frankly, a bit of a miracle? He uses the situation as a springboard to highlight the importance of listening to God in our daily life. Eating is important — we can’t live too well without it. It’s just that living in the Kingdom is also necessary and healthy for us.
Paul correlates eating and the Kingdom of God in Romans 14:17. The Holy Spirit’s entanglement with righteousness, joy, and peace in his comparison means more than the eating of food.
Take time to truly nourish your soul: build some time with Jesus, set apart some time to pray, listen. Chew the cud on God’s Word. Consider Luke 16:13 (and surrounding verses). You either serve God, or you are tied to the tethers of this world.
this is not what i signed up for
this is not the way it should be
this is not what i voted for
those who know justice
maybe they dont
is an awful lot like me
human and divine like you, Lord
i wanted a nation of free peoples
but look at where we are
see what we have become
the spider spread its web over the area
waiting to cull
catching the biggest prey
reminds me of Jesus
pharisees rigging the jury
the ones who decide the fate
this is not to see
this is not to be
this time 4 officers
each of us with sins to hide
an officer with too much force against blacks
a black who has seen that force
the one who knew the spider’s heart
and could offer the best testimony
against the spider
what IS truth
“it is as you have said”
“i can”t breathe”
innocent of requiring death
not denying power
the power to save or destroy
killed for the fear of enclosed spaces
an officer unable to de-escalate
please, sir, i cant breathe
the gloating over the prey
parading around on display
for all to see
the crown of thorns
who will save you now
George, the one slain
is a little bit like me
i could interact with authority
Jude — Ah-a-al-l-l-l-l-l of it
Jude is tucked away at the close of the New Testament, just in front of Revelation. When perusing through the Bible don’t blink or you’ll miss it. It is 1 chapter in length, sincerely compelling us to “contend for our Faith”. But the word “contend” is used in many translations. It is defined as an ongoing effort, a struggle — I think upwards or uphill against gravity like climbing a mountain, with thorn bushes and obstacles along the path — towards a goal. This goal is knowable, defined and is obtainable, reachable.
Jude’s unction for writing is to preserve a genuine Faith, the True Faith. Giving examples of how God rewards the faithful he then begins a laundry list of worldly ideas. Sometimes to know what it is we a talking about we take a look at what it is not. I wish we could do without this but to know the True Faith it is sometimes good to remind ourselves what to stay away from. This litany seems to drag on but verse 17 turns a corner.
In verse 20 you look to yourself and in prayer in the Holy Spirit you “strengthen” yourself. Do not turn aside but keep the goal in mind. Continue to tread towards the summit.
To carry this Faith you must know what the task is. And use the Faith you already possess. Could it be you are honing your Faith? Like a pilot of an airplane flying to a destination making course changes along the way. At takeoff the heading is established but nudges are needs to stay on course. The Faith is summed up pretty well in Matthew 5.
Another practical application in these Covid 19 times is to watch yourself and stay healthy. Watch how often you expose yourself to catching this disease or spread it to others. I live in New York State and Gov. Cuomo has become the herald for lowering the transmission of Covid. I applaud this attitude, others do not, which is their right to choose. But for you: you take responsibility for your health and the health of people around you.
The voids inside oneself from social distancing can become a time to deepen your relationship to God.
Evagrios the Solitary, also known as Evagrius of Pontus
Lived 346 – 399CE (disputable) as an early ascetic pioneer
Texts on Discrimination in Respect of Passions and Thoughts
Let us stand firm in the fear of God, rigorously practicing the virtues and not giving our conscience cause to stumble. In the fear of God let us keep our attention fixed within ourselves, until our conscience achieves its freedom. Then there will be a union between it [this freedom] and us, and thereafter it will be our guardian, showing us each thing that we must uproot. But if we do not obey our conscience, it will abandon us and we shall fall into the hands of our enemies, who will never let us go. This is what our Lord taught us when He said: ‘Come to an agreement with your adversary quickly while you are with him in the road, lest he hand you over to the judge, and the judge deliver you to the officer and you are cast into prison (Matt. 5:25). The conscience is called an ‘adversary’ because it opposes us when we wish to carry out the desires of our flesh; and if we do not listen to our conscience, it delivers us into the hands of our enemies.
Continue reading “Evagrios the Solitary – On Passions and Thoughts #3”
Philippians 2: 3-5
Can you see we are at war with the adversary tiny? The “unseen enemy” is upon us. Watch our flanks. No, the enemy is directly ahead. It’s within our ranks, one of us has succumbed. What are we to do now. Don’t let down your guard.
CONSTANT VIGILANCE!!! (Thank you, Professor Moody.)
But, maybe, the true fight is inside ourselves.
To be at peace with myself and God.
Continue reading “Covid Outbreak – We’re at War!”