Spiritual Observation

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How are we going to look at life today?

The fullness of joy is to behold God in everything.”

– Julian of Norwich

If we are experiencing a challenging time can we be joyful that God is with us? That has been a challenge for me and one I continue to work on as problems arise. God is with us. All the time.

My prayer for us today is to talk with God about our observations. Will we focus on our view or His view? Our will or God’s will? Let us talk with God about who he wants us to meet and where He needs us to do His work. There is much work to be done and we all are needed!

Transformation

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During my talk with God this morning, I reviewed my personal transformation since accepting Jesus as my Saviour. One reminder God provided is that transformation is not a one-time event. I believe it is daily, even minute by minute, even a second by second process.

“Jesus not only teaches us the Christian life, He creates it in our souls by the action of His Spirit. Our life in Him is not a matter of mere ethical goodwill. It is not a mere moral perfection. It is an entirely new spiritual reality, an inner transformation.”

– Thomas Merton

My prayer for us today is to reflect and meditate on this quote. Let us talk with God about how He wants us to be transformed vs how we think we should be or want to be.

 

Thank you so much for being here!

 

Divided We Fall

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It’s hard to miss the coverage of national and even local athletes refusing to stand (or at least kneel) as a form of protest during our national anthem before sporting events.

As I talked with God about this, the first reminder He gave me is that He granted us free will.

The question for all of us is, what do we do with our free will?

Another issue is doing nothing at all. During my talk with God this morning, I was guided to share the following:

“Nonaction is a kind of action. Omission is directly opposed to justice…because it is non-fulfillment of a good of virtue  but only under the aspect of what is due, which pertains to justice.

– Thomas Aquinas

My prayer for us today is to talk with God about our own actions and our personal free will. Talk with God about what He wants us to do and who He wants us to see. There is so much need in our hurting world. I pray for us to be a gentle witness to those in need and spiritually seeking.

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to be here as we continue to discover and share God’s grace!

Hearing Voices

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Yesterday, I had some extra time before an appointment and decided to call a wonderful friend. A friend I had somewhat lost contact with. I knew where she was and that she was ok, but it had really been a long time since we talked.

It was so awesome to hear her voice and get caught up!

Is there someone in your life that falls into this category….perhaps a phone call would bless you both today!

What about hearing God? As I have written, I really struggle to quiet myself. It is really important to be still if, as Dan reminds us, if we wish to hear God’s whisper.

My prayer for us today is about relationships. Perhaps a relationship that needs some attention…some getting caught up time. And of course, a relationship with Jesus! Let us communally pray for a quieting of our internal “noise” so we may hear God’s whisper. It is a wonderful day to hear His voice!

“The first requirement, then, for the contemplation of wisdom is that  we should take complete possession of our minds before anything else does, so that we can fill the whole house with the contemplation of wisdom. It is also necessary that we are fully present there, concentrating in such a way that our aim is not diverted to other matters.”

– Thomas Aquinas

More Than Good Works

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During my talk with God this morning, I was guided to share the following:

Jesus not only teaches us the Christian life, He creates it in our souls by the action of His Spirit. Our life in Him is not a matter of mere ethical goodwill. It is not a mere moral perfection. It is entirely new  spiritual reality, an inner transformation.”

– Thomas Merton

Early on my walk of faith, I remember thinking “I’m a good person.” I also remember thinking “I try to help those in need.”

As my walk of faith continued, I realized it is of course, a fine quality to help those in need and to be considered a good person. However, there is more.

As Thomas Merton states, “It is not a mere moral perfection. It is entirely new spiritual reality, an inner transformation.”

My prayer for us this weekend is to meditate and pray about this quote. There is more to our walk of faith than being a good person and doing good works. I pray for our pastoral community to spend more time preaching and teaching about God’s Holy Spirit because again, as Merton points out, there is an “inner transformation.”

Let us also ask God where He would like us to be and to guide us, as a gentle witness to whom He would like us to help in His name. Let us pray that we can quiet ourselves enough to hear, as Dan reminds us, “God’s whisper.

Thank you for being here today. Thank you for sharing this writing with your family and friends and perhaps you pastoral leader. I am humbled by your presence and so appreciate every comment!

Our Hurting World

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Once again, I read about the events taking place in our country and around the world  and I am heart-broken. God guided me to share this with you today:

I believe in the spirit – That Jesus bought into the world – In the brotherhood of all nations – I believe it is up to us – What our earth becomes – A valley of tears starvation and tyranny – or a city of God – I believe in a just peace – That can be achieved in the possibility of a meaningful life – for all people – I believe this world of God’s – Has a future.  Amen”

– Dorothee Soelle

I pray for us to communally pray and ask God where and what is our place in this hurting world? What does He want us to do? Who does He want us to gently minister to? I pray for every person reading this to draw closer to God. May your faith and spiritual resolve be strengthened. What can we do, as it so states in the above reading to prevent and heal a valley of tears, starvation and tryanny? God has the answer.  Let us be still. Let us listen. Let us act.

 

Spiritual Collateral Damage

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At times, the media will report on collateral damage, generally in a war zone. By mistake, a hospital or school gets bombed or most recently, a convoy of aid vehicles came under attack.

What about spiritual collateral damage?

I believe this can happen in several ways. A person visits a church for the first time and hears a message about hell fire and damnation. Perhaps they were looking for a message of hope and redemption.

If a person is known as a Christian, there are certain expectations for behavior. When that person steps way out bounds in terms of behavior, it could be observed and thought of as the “typical” hypocritical Christian.

Let us ask God to guide us on our walk of faith. Ask God to guide us to where He wants us to be and who  might be in need of a gentle witness. We can ask God to guide us to that person who attended church that one time and hasn’t been back since.

“Good is more powerful than evil. As long as we are living, we can never be so stuck in evil that divine grace cannot get us out.”

– Thomas Aquinas