talk about your social distancing. . .*

“I am alone now, truly alone, and absolutely isolated from any known life.  I am it.” Astronaut Michael Collins, Apollo 11

Remember Astronaut Michael Collins on the first moonwalk 50-years ago?  No, I don’t either. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Actually I do.  About every 2-hours Michael Collins, in the Command Module, Columbia, flew over Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong after their descent to the lunar surface in the Lunar Lander, Eagle, and were the astronauts who first walked on the moon.

. . . and one plus God only knows what on this side.  I feel this powerfully — not as fear or loneliness — but as awareness, anticipation, satisfaction, confidence, almost exultation.  I like the feeling.

Let’s backtrack a little.  3-Days earlier the Columbia crew fired their main engine, for TLI, that is Translunar Injection.  This ‘burn’ set their trajectory away from orbiting earth in favor of traveling to the moon.  That is: they pointed the Columbia to travel to where the moon’s position would be 3-days (approximately 40-degrees) ahead of the moon’s present position.  You have to plan ahead, you know.

I have fortunately lived in the space-era, the ‘space race’ — ‘we HAD to beat those Russians’ to the moon, no second choice in the matter!  Amazing what a little ‘friendly competition’ can accomplish.  President Kennedy said in outlining the mission to go to the moon AND RETURN safely, “. . .not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” Continue reading “talk about your social distancing. . .*”

Pray: for Covid 19, itself, to flatline

The book of James has much to say about deepening prayer.

I am cautious when combining these particular Bible verses in this way because they relate independently.  Chapter 1 is about how we think.  Chapter 4 is on material goods.  Chapter 5’s subject matter is on  remission of sins.  Never-the-less. . .

 

I am asking you and those whom you share this with to pray the Corona virus outbreak out of existence.

1:5-6  Wisdom can be gained by asking in Faith

To me, ‘Wisdom’ that comes from God gives us hope and a backbone to seek God and His strength.

4:1-3  If you fail to ask you just might end up with nothing.

The simple truth is we want stuff without asking God first.  And without asking God we turn to our own way of accomplishing our goals — by massaging our passions.

Thus, I am asking you and those whom you share this with to pray the Corona virus outbreak out of existence.  Let it flatline.  Let God do His work.  Let us be aware that people are of much greater value than money.

As James 5:16 says the prayer of the Faithful can accomplish things with its great power.

-Jeff
(obviously, paraphrasings are mine)

Covid Prayer this April 14th

I would set in motion a prayer for healing.  I have been pondering this for a week and the wording for what I want to express is a little evasive to me.

Sometimes it is worth defining something by what it is not:  the economy, travel restrictions, possibly even life or death issues.

But it is about you, as you take God’s Peace out of the box, to grip it.

Allow it to grip you.

You are on God’s mind.

 

Thomas Merton’s Joy (by way of prayer)

“The true contemplative is not one who prepares his mind for a particular message. . .” Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton is portrayed as owning a great joy.  In Dialogues With Silence, a book of Merton’s writings and drawings, Jonathan Montaldo, editor, embodies Merton’s thoughts.  And captures the “joy” surrounding Merton with Merton’s own words:

(this is verbatim from pages xii and xiii)

. . .situated him among those rare human beings who love the life they are leading and who have found their own true place.  He reflects his typical joy as a monk in this journal entry dated May 21, 1963: Continue reading “Thomas Merton’s Joy (by way of prayer)”

Listening Prayer

Matthew 14: 25-29

There are many aspects to Prayer.  Examples: procuring items, plea for healing, calm your mind.

the ideas
may be jumbled

Let’s look at Listening Prayer

When you place your thoughts in God
God places thoughts in you

If this seems daunting to you try a small amount.  Begin with a minute.  Set your timer if you want,

 

“Lord, if you want,
I will climb out of the boat”

“Come” Continue reading “Listening Prayer”

Prayerful, watchful, thankful

Colossians 4:2

A verse to help us “cope and not loose hope” during this time “Covid 19”.

Prayer – there is more to prayer than God answering a list of wants and needs.  Try listening to God and meditative prayer.

Watchful – The early church faced opponents of the New Faith on the block, yet they were preaching and teaching.  How about us — be sensitive to the times — help stop the spread of Covid 19 and you may also meet someone who needs to see your Faith.

Thankful – take time to list, mentally or on paper, what you have to be grateful for.

-Jeff

Things of this world

1 Corinthians 7:31

[paraphrasing] This age will pass away but use the things of this world “lightly”, do not put your trust in them but trust God.

Advertising is meant to grab and hold the human attention; and usually works very well. Which is why advertisers continue, endlessly with their ads.

Buy this. Do that. You can’t live without this!  Be happy, spend money.

Amongst many of the ‘worldly pulls,’ Christians are to live ‘apart’ from worldly things — Ideas, religions, philosophies, societal rituals. . .  Holiday traditions, family traditions, and the notion, “When in Rome do as Romans do”. . .  Cars, airplanes, other physical items too numerous to mention.

 

The things of this world help us in our daily living

And teach us realities of Heaven

Of God, and Christ and the Holy Spirit

But they are not Heaven

They are symbols, and are transient

-Jeff

Pray: Covid 19

Search fields are wonderful.  For the fun of it I typed in “Covid 19” and “toilet paper” came up as the top search query add-on.

Anyway, to state the obvious, pray — you probably already are — about the pandemic spreading around the world today.  I will refrain listing suggestions so you pray in the way God wants you to, not according to my thoughts.

-Jeff

Submit to Each Other (Become One)

The Jesus – God relationship is what our relationship (you and me) is to reflect.

Ephesians 5:21

Also Philippians 2:3
John 17, verses 11 and 22
Romans 14:5,

Submission: one of the more difficult areas of Faith.  Submit to a group, organization, individual person, God alone.  What is God’s will?  How is it qualified, quantified?  Confusion and competition when so many people and organizations want our attention, obedience.

We need to focus on Christ.

I foster the personal side of our relationship with God; where God communicates with us (substitute the word “me” for “us”) directly, unencumbered, open, raw — a relationship available for believers and non-believers, on an individual level.  (Admittedly, it would be hard for an unbeliever to have this personal thing going on while not believing).

I consider this relationship:

higher – it lives in Heaven above Earthly standards
more important – directly influencing
deeper – the most meaningful
our story – what we were meant for
further – wears better, like some old tattered jeans
more encompassing – a relationship without bounds
beyond – not held by Earthly bonds

Example:  As a Christian Musician, an ability not mentioned very much in this blog, I run across songs and instrumentals, or let’s say, ‘some melodies with words attached’ and ‘melodies without words’.  I am inspired by both! and I know both would be inspiring to Christians in the context of worship.  Yet when meeting with church musicians and pastors, I usually discover a much different view of which piece of music is “inspiring”, with the vast majority are “melodies with words attached”.  It causes me to wonder if we are losing the art of instrumental music in our worship services?

Do I listen to what I deem an “urging”, the call of the “Spirit within”, or not?

Continue reading “Submit to Each Other (Become One)”