typed text is belowContinue reading “After the Resurrection”
Judging . . . Anyone
Dear Ones –
I note no end to the amount of judging happening in today’s world. Mark 4:24 declares to us the danger of how we, or ‘I’ process information. How we receive news, then act upon it will, in turn, give us our, — or give me -my’ — reward.
What if I listen to one side of a story, then another tells their side and the two sides round out the issues quite a bit. If I act on one opinion only, my reward may not be what I am expecting since I am ignoring qualified opinions pertaining to the issues.
Never forget there is a God who is a God of Justice and Truth. A God who gives right decisions and teaches us how to do the same. James, in verse 20 of chapter 1, says righteousness does not show in the works of human origins — we need to learn God’s thoughts. This follows verse 19 — be eager to listen, then measure your words and your anger.
God knows we will judge issues — but we want to act in His manner.
In Him, Jeff
Consider Matt. 7:1-5, John 7:24 and Luke 6:36-37
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”
Build yourself up.
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.
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.
“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)”
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
Consider Hebrews 5:11 through 6:3.
The mature Christian Faith is defined as “beyond the cleaning rituals” used in preparing for a worship service. And for that matter, this Faith surpasses ‘judgement for eternity’, ‘laying on hands’, and ‘defining what eternity will be like’. So, true Faith, the way I envision it, is not the ceremonial aspects or traditions; but is rather the motivations behind our actions. Why we do something, sometimes, might be of greater importance compared to what we do. (I invite your comments about this).
But as is said a few verses later,
“We should have a life in the Spirit.”
(There are several verses on this Spiritual Life sewn throughout the New Testament). This “life within God’s Spirit” is the life Jesus “let out of the bag” to us.
The Spirit takes our hand leading us to a deeper relationship with God and, thus, a renewed relationship to humanity around us: seats us in relationship with God. I emphasize “with God” specifically because, for example, we can talk to a person and not be talking with that person. Talking with a person is a 2-way connection. We talk to God and God talks to us.
After elaborating upon the above these passages, Hebrews 6:10 reassures us in that God is aware of our (your) deeds and amid the dreams, trials and accomplishments of this life, rewards you (and me).
Earth. Lord. Fullness. = Nice.
sharing God’s character
reveling in God’s ways
I see ripples of this fullness
weaving through our daily lives. . .
Psalm 24: 1 “The Earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof. . .”
אֶרֶץ – Earth (pronounced eh’-rets)
יְהוָֹה – the LORD (Jehovah)
מְלא – Fills, fullness, multitude (Mel-o’)
[The other English words: the, is, and, thereof – are for clarity in the English language.]
Earth. Lord. Fullness. = Nice.
sharing God’s character
reveling in God’s ways
So many times gods are characterized living above this world, detached from it, yet controlling and manipulating people and events; inanimate objects — rocks, mountains, trees, earthquakes here and there; yeah, even the wind, rain, sun, lightning bolts; well, let’s throw in entire planets, gravity, the whole space-time continuum. After all, a god is a god and can do anything they well please to do. Can we, PLEASE, have the choice of a god who has a different mindset?
How about a Deity sitting back, assessing the condition of humanity and surmises, “Just as it is difficult to recapture water that is seeping into the ground, after it is poured from a cup: humanity is lost . . . and should be retrievable“.
Retrievable. Second chance. Relocating. New Life. A better way than what we, humanity, knew before.
Knew before what: Continue reading “In Time, God Comes Through (Christmas Thoughts)”