Forgiveness.

Forgiveness.

One simple word that can evoke a wide range of emotions, for both the “offender” and the “forgiver”.

Christians know we are required by God to forgive, or face God in our inability to extend forgiveness. (continued below)

From the Gospel reading:

Matthew 18:21-35

“Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.”
– Then Jesus told this Parable;

” ‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’”

We all have times in which we find it difficult to forgive. What child wants to say “okay, I forgive you for breaking my favorite toy?” Right. Or, how about the husband to the wife “oh, geez, ummm you threw away my favorite sweat-shirt because it had a tear in the hem?” Yup. Those are the easy ones too, aren’t they?

What about the big things? The ones that tear you to your soul, leaving your heart wide open, bleeding? There are so many things that hurt us this way, a drunk driver causing a car accident that paralyzes your mother, backing into the driveway and accidentally running over napping Fido, who is old and deaf.  Spoken words that cut like a knife and wound your soul.

We all have things.

Every one of us.

They leave deep scars.

My own range from having a mother who didn’t want me, who had no trouble telling someone, with me just a few feet away that “I would have aborted her if it was legal”, she was emotionally detached from at least two of her three children. – My ex-husband who abused me emotionally, mentally and physically for many years, leaving scars both literal and figurative. What do you do with that?

Forgive. Jesus tells us to Forgive. My mother, was easiest. I cannot relate to her in any way shape or form. I pity her for the upbringing she had, her inability to bond or grasp what love is. I won’t pretend it doesn’t hurt, because there are times that it does hurt but – I have forgiven. I also have no contact with her any longer. Sometimes that decision must be made and my choice was very well thought out, including with the help of professionals. I’ve done my work.

My ex-husband? Not so much. Forgive him? What – are you kidding? I couldn’t even stand to realize the hell I had lived in for so long that I allowed myself and my kids to do (oh…. good timing here, forgiveness of self! – we cannot forget that). Well, I did learn to forgive him and it remains the most difficult act of forgiving that I have ever done. I prayed about it for quite a while (I mean months, maybe even a year or two). One day, someone suggested rather than pray how to forgive him, to pray for him. What a concept!

I did. I prayed for him. I wasn’t happy about that idea at all, why should I do something “good” for him anyway? At this point I was still terrified that he would find me one night and kill me, “stab you to death while laughing staring into your eyes, as I watched the life fade from them” (oh yes, he said that and a good deal of other things).

My love for Jesus Christ called me to forgive him, to pray for him, so I forced myself to overlook my self centered dislike, fright – and pray for him. He is the father of my sons and they to date are the biggest gift God has graced me with. I prayed. I cried and I prayed. I prayed – and one day, I smiled because I was able to let go and forgive.

Forgiveness doesn’t always mean you say the words to someone. In fact, I doubt I ever would even have to opportunity to do this with my mother or my ex-husband. In my heart and soul though, I forgive them. I feel sorry for them. They were both incapable of loving me as I should have been loved. In the ways most daughters are loved by their mothers and wives are loved and treasured by their husbands, people who love and protect them at all cost.

I never had fear of God’s wrath if I did not forgive these two people because my love for Him knew He understands my heart and how I was treated. In time my heart began to heal, it had to or I would allow those terrible emotions to follow me and into my own relationships for the rest of my life.

One thing I do know about myself. I am an awesome mom. I love my boys to the moon and back. I’ve loved other kids too, that’s what moms like me do. My kids love me very much, they come to me for an ear to listen, advice, love (to give and receive) and … they bring others to me. Always have. Always will. One day, by the grace of God, I may also have that loving relationship in my life, which I could not have, if I had not learned to forgive. My heart would have hardened and become bitter.

If there is someone who is or has been in your life that you need to forgive, pray for them. In time, you will be able to forgive – and – you will heal ♥ By the Grace of God.

Originally published 2016

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?

A misstep?

A slippery slope ensues.

So many opinions, theological studies, religious views. Hebrew, Aramaic? I have read Jews at that time understood both languages.

Does it matter?

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?

 

While I am a person who is often compelled to delve into details, and I would hasten to add I am sure over time this phrase has been interpreted and reinterpreted so many times – who knows the original or exact meaning?

Regardless of your personal standing on the belief of God, I am going to ask you to follow along, view the video, read what I write and perhaps – view the video again. Meditate on it. Consider – Jesus was a man. We too often forget that fact when we speak of Him. Flesh and blood. Human.

Very much a favorite song of mine.

Listening to K-Love Radio on my way to work the other day, I heard a review of a new movie “The Young Messiah” that depicts what the writer feels Jesus may have been like, lived like as a child of seven. While I am in favor of faith based movies, this is not something that interests me.

Biblically, we can read excerpts of the life of Jesus in His birth, age eleven at the temple then nothing again until He is thirty. I believe it is dangerous to put too much mystical credence to His existence in those years we have not heard about. Those years have been untold to us for a reason. I would go so far as to challenge there are probably more documents that have not been, nor ever will be released publicly, on His life. Based on historical / religious facts of that era it is all but certain that Jesus was a married man, a father with children. He was a Rabbi. Truth? These things matter not in the grand scheme of loving our loving God.

Often times, more so in recent months I find myself contemplating Jesus – the man. A man. The Catholic Church celebrates Mary the Mothers parents Sts Joachim and Anne, however there is no historical evidence of them. The church also teaches Mary was born of an Immaculate birth (meaning she was without original sin when she was conceived). This has no bearing on the mission of Jesus Christ.

Most people who hear of the Immaculate Conception think that is Catholic wording for the conception of Jesus Christ. A couple of weeks ago I spent the day with one gal friend and Sunday with another – both Cradle Catholics, both were totally shocked to hear what the Immaculate Conception is. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter. We can agree that as the mother of Jesus, Mary was an important woman – but salvation for Christians is based upon Jesus Christ.

I wonder if Pope Francis has this in mind as he has been pushing the Gospel, encouraging reading the bible, having a tendency to turn focus away from miracles being as they have been presented. I am sure miracles occurred – I have no doubt, but there is a propensity for some Catholics to put focus on visions and pieces of toast that resemble Jesus, perhaps spending more time talking about the toast than the Word. I actually know a married couple who left the church because of that.

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The true miracle of Jesus Christ is that his life and death has brought millions / billions of people to God. Jesus Christ is not about “miracles” and “religion” he is about a way of life. Living a good, helpful life of service, with happiness and love. Turning from Sin, because sin is anything that hurts us (or another).

Why does it matter, the words He cried from the cross? Jesus was a man, a human, who was violently beaten and crucified – who died for our sin in order to bring us closer to living a Godly Life, to the arms of our Loving Father.

The true lesson here is the Holy Spirit filled Jesus Christ who returned to our Father. He walks among us today, in our thoughts and actions. If you look, you will see heaven on earth.

As Lent draws to a close, draw yourselves ever near to God. Follow the teachings of Christ, Matthew 22: 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Don’t get wrapped up in all the details of when he was conceived, who his parents or grandparents where. Understand this truth – Jesus did not die on the cross for religion. He died to bring us to His (Our) Father. Jesus was a radical in His time, loving all, standing up for those in need. Do you walk in His footsteps? What can you do to be more like Jesus as you walk your path?

It is we, individuals who follow in Christs path to share love of God, service to man (remember the Beatitudes!) that needs to be embraced. Religion is important as it brings us together to worship, live and love and serve God. Our choice of religion should accentuate these beliefs, not detract from the true purpose here – the true purpose being living in one with our Lord, God. The Father, Son & Holy Spirit.

Consider a world where we can all accept, love and honor each other? Work for the best and good of all? Never intentionally cause harm. Heaven – on Earth.

Love God. God is Love – Love is God.

 

The Purpose of Parables

In  Gospel reading  of St. Mathew 13:10-17  the disciples question Jesus on why he teaches crowds in parables, and the privilege of discipleship. I think considering today’s environment these teachings remain the same today. If only more could come to understand the word of God, live and love each other, tear down barriers – work together for the greater good of all. This is not something for a select few, it is for all of us.

St. Mathew 13:10-17

The Purpose of Parables.

The disciples approached him and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted. 12 To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand.’

14Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:

‘You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see. 15 Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and be converted, and I heal them.’

In this reading Jesus explains that many of those listening “hear” and “see” but they do not believe he is the begotten son of God. He teaches in parables, using simple examples of daily life to teach important and deep spiritual lessons.

“For the heart of this nation has grown coarse, their ears are dull of hearing, and they have shut their eyes, for fear they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their heart, and be converted and be healed by me.”

Jesus knew many would not want to hear the loving teachings of God, those with a good heart would understand His teachings, those with hardened hearts would not – because it meant they would have to correct their ways of living.  Disciples place God and others first, live simple lives not in palaces with gold and glitter. Live to love all and serve God, those in their lives – and strangers.

The Privilege of Discipleship.

“16But blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17 Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Because the disciples were pure of heart, they understood He was the Begotten one, they understood He spoke for God and the better way of life.

Walking in His path is a lifelong commitment to God. To learn, continue learning, opening of mind, heart and soul. Some may seem more committed to growth than others, but that is not what God looks for. He looks for an honest and sincere heart. He knows us as he formed us. We have different learning and teaching styles. The most important things to remember is God first and all else will fall into place.

 

 

 

He knelt and wrote in dust

One of my favorite events written about in the Bible, is when Jesus stood strong against the scribes and Pharisees who brought a women before Him, caught in adultery. I remember this from my childhood, though I know I had no idea what adultery was then. I just knew a lady was being accused of sin by a group of men and Jesus stood up to them saying “who among you is without sin, cast the first stone” and they left.

As an adult, I fully understand what adultery is and I realize the writings are telling us the story of men who, trying to set Jesus up to fail, brought before Him a woman accused of a great sin. Adultery. They brought a woman before Him, scared and alone, in the center of the group. Jesus knelt to the ground and in His handwriting, began to write with His finger. There is speculation about what he was drawing or writing. One source I came across, but have not had time to look further into, is that when people were accused of a crime their names and the crime would have been written in dust while tried (as writing in dust or sand was temporary not “written in stone”. This theory sounds the most likely to be. The truth is – we will never know.

What we do know is this – rather than condemn this woman to death by stoning, Jesus stood and said “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” Interesting thought here – Jesus did not cast a stone either. . . I will have to ponder this thought, my human Jesus ♥ he was a good man – He never said He was perfect, which makes Him all the move approachable, no? He stood up to teach and say “Let he who among us, who is sinless, cast the first stone”. As they walked away, He told her – “go, your accusers have left. Go and sin no more”. {Footnotes on this at the USCCB website indicate this portion was added to original writings of the bible, style seems more in line with book of Luke authors, though is accepted Canonically}.

This event is important, regardless of when it was written, what Jesus really wrote on the ground, whether the woman had really committed adultery – those things don’t matter. What does matter is Jesus stood up for what was right. Don’t bring me the woman accused of a crime without the man or men she is accused of sinning with, as they have sinned too. This is a sin that hurts hearts and souls, such sin is not a sin of one, and in fact she is a victim too. We need to look into our hearts and souls and feel and love with compassion and empathy – to heal hearts and souls. Not condemn, beat, maim. Jesus has taught us that God is Loving. When we love we are acting with God. Love is the proper response.

Holy Bible, Book of John 8:1-11 For the full readings please refer to the United States Catholics Bishops Conference website – which also provides foot notes.

A Woman Caught in Adultery.7:53 Then each went to his own house, 1while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.* a 2But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.* So what do you say?”b 6They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.* 7* But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them,c “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8Again he bent down and wrote on the ground.9And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. 10Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”d 11She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”

 

 

Jesus was raising a ruckus!

The gifts Jesus brought to us, are often told in parables. In my essay Discipleship I shared verse from the book of Mark, which is where Jesus explains He taught with parables, He did not teach in literal terms in order to help the peoples of that time learn, He taught in a manner that all listening could understand, despite where they fall upon a learning curve. It is so important to understand the written word, is taught by Jesus, in parables.

Recent mornings reading of the Gospel:

Gospel                                                                              John 5:52-59

The Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said.

Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
He taught this doctrine at Capernaum, in the synagogue.

Reading the footnotes on these readings on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, they tell us “Spirit flesh: probably not a reference to the Eucharistic body of Jesus but to the supernatural and the natural, as in. Spirit and life: all Jesus said about the bread of life is the revelation of the Spirit.”

There is actually quite a bit to be found on the history and celebration of the Eucharist – in the Roman Catholic Church. There was a day when it was a very simple (but deep) reminder of the love of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father. The Church has changed teachings on this as well as other sacraments over the years. I have enjoyed reading some of the things various Saints have said about the Holy Eucharist and do plan on reading more about this sacrament.

What this all points back to is our lord, Jesus Christ. He is to be a true focal point in our lives, as part of the Holy Trinity. What is He telling us in this reading today?

Jesus was sent by our Lord, God the Father to bring us to Him. We are not reading about literally drinking His blood or eating of his body in this text. He is teaching us; cling to my words and my actions and I will lead you to Our Father. Our Lord God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, in Him we shall live forever. Jesus perhaps refers to coming down from Heaven because we look up to our Lord, God.

Jesus was God’s gift to us, to teach us how to live lives of love and peace with one another through God our Father who gifts us with all. We are all, each and every one of us part of this – together. Our lives are not about dying in body, but dying in spirit to be reborn to a new way of life, living, giving, sharing – loving. In God.

I will encourage you once again to read your bible – and pray. There is much to be learned about life and love within those pages. There is much to be learned about life and love through our prayer life too.

What can you do today, that will bring heaven into your midst? Love. Love as Jesus has taught us, love with heart mind and soul. Everyone.

Unfit for the Kingdom of God???   ~   Reflections of St. Luke 9:51-62

Jesus taught in parables. His manner of teaching is taught as fact, and then ignored – or perhaps only understood by a few ? can be distracting at times. I sat listening to a talk in which this reading was explained in the literal sense. I found my lips moving (thankful the voice box was off!) saying “oh, no – that is not what Jesus said”.

What is Jesus talking about in these readings? It sounds scary (what is it about some readings that cause people to tense, become fearful and say… um no???”). Presentation. So, lets take a look at  our master teacher Jesus, and His parables.

Gospel Lk 9:51-62

“When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled,

he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,

and he sent messengers ahead of him.

On the way they entered a Samaritan village

to prepare for his reception there,

but they would not welcome him

because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.

When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,

“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven

to consume them?”

Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village”.

If we look back to Luke 9:2-5 which I have discussed in my post The Mission of the Twelve we read; 2and he sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal [the sick]. 3He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither walking stick, nor sack, nor food, nor money, and let no one take a second tunic. 4 Whatever house you enter, stay there and leave from there. 5 And as for those who do not welcome you, when you leave that town, shake the dust from your feet in testimony against them.” So, it would be natural for Jesus not to be surprised that they were turned away from any location and to chastise His disciples – their reaction was out of line with His teachings.

As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him,

“I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus answered him,

“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests,

but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”

Parable? Right. Traveling along on this mission, it’s clear they were turned away from lodgings. We already know He did have a Home as did the rest of the Disciples. In this case – they were traveling.

And to another he said, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.”

But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead.

But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

And another said, “I will follow you, Lord,

but first let me say farewell to my family at home.”

To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow

and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Here, Jesus in His normal teaching style is saying “Follow me”, I can almost picture Him standing among a group of people or sitting on a boulder, getting off His feet for a bit and having a refreshment. Right? Casual discussion, important lessons. We know He is the fisher of men. He knows not all will follow. Here, we see a frank exchange, a discussion. “Lord, let me first go and bury my father” Christs reply? “Let the dead bury the dead”. Another states “let me first say farewell to my family at home” Christs reply? “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom.”

Say … what? Jesus is pulling in His net, let’s see which fish He has caught. “Let the dead bury the dead” is stated in translations as let the spiritually dead bury the dead. Now while that is quite possible, I tend to see this more as a case of “don’t use your aging father as an excuse to not spread the “word”. We really are not give a lot to work with here so it is purely speculation. However, when we consider the next sentence “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom.” It is clear, Jesus is saying “Look here folks, if you really are going to follow me to our Father then stay on task (on the path), you’ve put your hand to the plough – don’t back down now. Carry forward. You are called to be a disciple”

We are not being told we have to give up our families. We are not being told we are to give up our friends or home. In fact, what we are being told – clearly is; If you say you will follow me you will spread the word of God. In those times (as even today) it can be dangerous to travel to certain area’s to spread the word but we can do so and we can go with our families too.

Jesus – did not leave His human family and friends until He physically died.   Why would He expect a human being to live life on earth without intimate lifelong loving relationships???  Nonsensical – mixed up by humans unable to see the difference of parable – and *living the blessed life God gifted each and everyone of us with*. 

In truth, we really do not know that Jesus the human was not married.  There are indications that He may have been.  Mary M. was the first person He appeared to upon resurrection.  She was financially self sufficient if indications that she financially supported Him and the ministry – she did not need to be taken  in when He passed.  Being without sin certainly does not indicate He was not married . . .  His mission is what we learn of, His lesson.  He had loving relationships that very well may have included a wife and children (remember – Rabbi’s were married).  We could go back and forth on this but in the end it is not worth a real argument.  It ends with “we do not know the truth in this”.  We do know – God made us for Love as human beings, designed for human relationships, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  We do know for a fact Jesus both lived at home and traveled with – and died in view of those people who were His loving human family, friends and beloved.

In the Church of Latter Day Saints, young adults “How long is a mission for a Mormon? Many missionaries learn a new language at a missionary training center as part of their assignment. Missions typically last two years for males, 18 months for females, and 6 to 18 months for older couples. The LDS Church strongly encourages, but does not require, missionary service for young men.” I remember reading about this when I was younger, and it came to mind again when I came across an article on Elizabeth Smart and that she and her husband met abroad, on “mission”. – My Christian (Protestant) grandparents used to offer financial and emotional support to missionaries. They assisted several couples over the years (some whom I had met).

It is I think a sad thing, that the simple words of Jesus, taught in parables are too often taken literally. In reality, our loving Father did not create His children only to directly serve Him. Love (God) created love. He who created us, did so in a manner that we would be drawn to loving and helping each other, in peaceful and loving relationships. Yes, that parable of Adam and Eve does explain free will (which is not all bad) but we also have the Holy Spirit within to guide us and help us grow through life with each other, in God, toward our Heavenly Father.

In what ways do you serve as a Disciple of Christ?

“You have turned it into a robbers’ den!”

As Christians, we are called to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Noon reading 2 Corinthians 13:4

“He was crucified through weakness, but still he lives now through the power of God. So then, we are weak, as he was, but we shall live with him, through the power of God, for your benefit.”

Through the weakness of man, He was crucified, died and buried.  By the Power of our loving Father – He was raised from the dead as a means to save through bringing us to His Father.

Sometimes people confuse this verse to mean Jesus died due to His human weakness, but this refers to the choice of others not to accept His teachings.  His teachings in the Gospel are really radical, full of love and compassion for others.

The Law that Jesus teaches us to follow are these:

greatestcommandment

He followed the Ten Commandments and we are expected to.  He also taught through beatitudes11.jpg

Over the centuries many other teachings, rules and laws have been put in place by people both within and outside of religions.  These are the Christian teachings – of Jesus Christ.  My heart was warmed this past Monday morning, I attended Mass.  An elderly Priest was there to serve Mass.  He spoke of God and faith, religion – and – made up laws.  Truly, I could see and hear a  change and know the Holy Spirit must have touched him deeply. In the past he towed a very hard, harsh line.

~

There are times I picture Him  (Jesus) in our churches (note the plural tense – not in relation to any “one denomination”) Raising His voice, turning over table and saying “not in my Fathers house!”.   I can see why others have moved on to do their good works for our Father.

Gospel St. Luke 19:45-48    (Today’s Gospel Reading)

“Jesus went into the Temple and began driving out those who were selling. ‘According to scripture,’ he said ‘my house will be a house of prayer. But you have turned it into a robbers’ den.’

 He taught in the Temple every day. The chief priests and the scribes, with the support of the leading citizens, tried to do away with him, but they did not see how they could carry this out because the people as a whole hung on his words.”

Indeed.  A robbers’ den.  Thing is – when most people read this they are thinking this reading is all about money.  Of coarse in part it is.  However, let’s be real here – what do you really think Jesus is talking about? 

What I see is a man (God the Son) filled to the brim fed up,  watching those in power, steal and destroy human beings at their core. 

We know that God chose His only Begotten son, Jesus to teach the err of our ways, instruct us how to live – loving lives.  To bring us to our Father who has gifted us with so much.  While there is some financial greed in churches, inflated ego –  the real theft is of person.  

Destroying the Divine Love (light within) in humans that only God can give!!!

When one considers we are all born in His image;

Genesis 1:27 “27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” 

Psalm 139:13-14″For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

How many times have people been ostracized for not fitting the mold of man made laws and rules?  Millions of times?  Billions? 

Of course we need some type of structure to our lives and the very word organization – means organize.  That does not mean we should be stepping on – and removing, human rights from individuals as a people, religion – or denomination. 

If we are brutally honest, we will see the err of ways. See and accept the simple teachings of Jesus Christ, and, bring others to God the Father. 

With love, kindness and the help of the Holy Spirit, may we all consider these words and make what  choices or changes can be made to correct the lack of real, true love that has been tossed aside – and not embraced by all who claim to love and follow His teachings. 

May there be an awakening of those in power, through the Holy Spirit, love of Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit.

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Consider too – God is not in a box.  His works are outside of a bubble, and found living in the world.  Just as Jesus taught in the temple, lived life and did the majority of His work in living life.  That’s how people find Jesus. That’s how people find God.

 

Those that don’t know God – won’t enter a church.  We are called to bring God to people , and to him throughout our lives.  Make sense?

 

Thoughts worth contemplating.

 

Blessings ~

 

Is Jesus all we need? ? ?

There is a continuing trend by some Christians to strongly state  “Jesus is all you need” (or) “God is all I need”.  

There is a problem with making such a statement.  This is one of the things I believe St. Paul refers to in   1 Corinthians 13:1 “If I speak in human and angelic tongues* but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.a

I was recently reminded  of this.  Yesterday, I found myself reflecting on the times I have heard these words spoken in the past.  I found a  very real need to address this. I do this in hopes of others finding perhaps a new understanding of what negative impact such statements may have.  There are those who have yet to find Our Father, new to faith, those who love God (but follow these words rote) and know they are to believe those words but that simple sentence/statement holds  no real depth or meaning, therefore they find themselves struggling for the meaning behind the words.

There is a misconception when one states “Jesus is all we need”.        
As stated this may confuse (upset) and cause others to lose faith – or not find it!     

This phrase is often said, as a stand alone comment by long-term, well-meaning Christians in an attempt to bring people to God, uplift a person who is in crisis.  It falls flat when there is no attempt to look below the surface and discuss the true gifts we are blessed with by our Father, and how they play into our lives.  How difficult, challenging and even times of sadness and mourning can be brought to see His light.  If evangelizing, if you don’t dig below the surface you short change the person with whom you are speaking – and God the Father.

Jesus brings us to God the Father, God the Father gifts us with Holy Spirit. God the Father is truly who we need, and must remain “in”, in order to receive all three as a oneness. In saying this, we also must acknowledge that God is within us.

The truth is we do need loving human relationships and God does gift us with this love.  It is a matter of truly opening our hearts to understand and feel this. Sadly, there are those that block this out for a variety of reasons, hurts from their past, fear – and religions that say this is something that God requires.  God does not and has never asked us to block any type of love from our heart, soul – being.

God is love, love is God.
We are called to remain open to loving relationships, by the design of God. 
We are called to remain open to the possibility of Love  because God is Love.
God created us with full intention of living our human lives, to experience for ourselves the vast array of experiences and emotions in our lives. 

Our Father, sent Jesus to bring about a new way of life, the Holy Spirit to bring about a new way of thinking, feeling, loving – and hearing Him.

Someone recently stated to me “Jesus is all we need–I am enjoying my “graying” years for the deepening growth and intimacy of my relationship with Him. Like you, I had some “hard knocks”, and the invisible scars are still in the process of healing; I am happily single and solitary–it makes life simpler for me.”

This person states they are happily single and solitary.  While it is not for me to say that is wrong for her – it is wrong for me and most humans.

Happy and simple is not really the life God calls us to, is it? 
Sit in a corner, read and not experience?  No

He called us to Liveand Love and be open to Love.

Our entire lives should be spent in deepening growth and intimacy of our relationships with Him. 

We care called to this very factIt is a fallacy to believe anyone can only be committed to this belief, this growth if they choose singledomGod tells us this! 

Spouses are called to bring each other to God, Parents are called to bring their children to God, Friends are called to bring Friends to God, All of faith are called to bring non-believers or “un-knowers” to GodTo suggest a total focus is on God is not a truth, but a yarn that is spun. 

God never called anyone to forgo the life he gave as an offering to Him. 
Relationships, true Godly, human relationships require true selflessness
as we know we are to see God in each other. 

In having these healthy relationships, we offer witness to the love that God has provided to us.  There are lessons we can only learn in committed, loving human relationships – which is why the bible contains such relationships from the first chapter throughout. 

God’s gifts to His children.  Do we turn our back on His gifts?

The other thought I had in regards to what someone shared is this… single and solitary is not what God asks of us. He challenges us to continue to grow. God designed us to be loving, giving human beings. There may be something within our own being that we are by His design, to impartto share with another.

In healthy, loving relationships there is a continual self-emptying of self. God has designed us this way (biblical) … while it may be easiest to stay single/alone – we really need to discern if that is what God wants of us and/or how to fulfill what His desire for us is. There are *many gray-haired loves and marriages in the bible. From Genesis throughout the new testament, to the Apostles & St. Peter.  Intimate, loving relationships are throughout the bible. 

There are some who know they have had their great human love and experienced Gods gifts and lessons

Though they may no longer be (passed away), that love remains forever in their hearts and they look to the day they are called home to our Father to be once again by their side.  My grandparents had this love, it was beautiful to witness. They grew in God together here on earth and I am sure are happily reunited now. 

This is the true gift of God.
 He is all we need –
God is love, Love is God – God is within Us. 
When we truly share this selfless Love with another, we experience the Love of God.

Dear gray haired lady,

Thank you for reminding me of a very important topic and prompting me to write today. 

Gods gifts are many, Jesus came to bring us to God and in order for us to live abundantly in His gifts, one of those gifts being the Holy Spirit who will guide us in ways to live, here on earth that life of abundance, if so blessed – with another.