A Greater Rule

“Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Mark 13:1-13  A woman with two copper coins has just given all that she has as an offering in the Temple. Upon leaving, one of Jesus’ disciples is enamored with the building! How quickly we become distracted by the obvious and forget the basic rules of life. When people like this woman give all that they have great things do in fact happen. So it is, in this journey, we give all that we have and do what we are able out of glory and honor to God, that we may see the works of God’s hand and not of our own. My prayer for each of us today is that we not become distracted by the obvious and remember that God’s plan for us happens from within and is far greater than any building.

Mark 13:1-13 Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.…and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 

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Love Them More

But when he came to himself… Luke 15:11-32  I really like this part of the story, the moment at which a wayward child has a “revelation” about her life. After having made a series of bad decisions we can find ourselves in some of the worst conditions physically, emotionally and spiritually. One of the things I gather from this parable is that the prodigal son has come to this revelation by way of his life experience. He made up his mind about what he wanted and his Father gives it to him. We often want our children to make the decisions we have already laid out for them forgetting that God has a plan for them in the same way he has one for us. It’s usually not the same plan.

Once in a conversation with an aunt about my concerns for some of the decisions made by my son, I expressed some frustration. She in turn shared that her daughter was dealing with something similar with her son. Then she said; “Sometimes you have to let them do what they have in their mind to do even though you already know exactly what is going to happen as a result of the choice they’ve made. When that happens you just love them more. As painful as it sometimes is to watch your child on a not-so-wise path, the joy that you receive when they “come to themselves” is overwhelming.” I didn’t ask but I suspect that she was speaking from her own experience, assuring me that my joy would be the same. So my prayer for us today is that, if in our foolishness we feel as though we’ve lost everything, we too will “come to ourselves” and know that God loves us more than we could ever fathom, and is especially joyous when we redirect ourselves back into his fold.

Luke 15:11-32  “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate. 

Who Else But God?

“This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  Luke 15:1-10 Many years ago I was asked what was the most important relationship in my life. While others responded that their relationship with a significant other or children as the most important, I responded that it was my relationship with God. I did wonder for a little while if my feelings were skewed or distorted in some way, but then I remembered that God’s love for me is perfect. The relationships I have with my spouse and children can not compete with that perfection. So it made sense to me to put what is perfect before what is imperfect. This perfect love that God has for me is what I strive for in my relationships. I wouldn’t know how to do that if God had not given Christ into the world (John 3:16; 10:7-10). Because we are imperfect as human beings, in every physical aspect of our lives – life, death and resurrection is an ongoing process until we reach spiritual perfection of eternal life. When we hurt, disappoint and frustrate one another is it not God’s love through Christ that calls us back into relationship (Mark 12:28-33)? This I believe is what the Pharisees and leaders like them today miss. While the physical law” (of Moses or any other law) disciplines, it does not love, it does not forgive. God’s law also disciplines, but it always loves, and always forgives. So my prayer for each of us today is that as we continue to grow in understanding of God’s perfect love for us, we grow and live into the manifestation of God’s perfect love for one another with the knowledge that we are imperfect yet always striving towards the goal that is perfect in Jesus Christ (Phil 3:2-15). “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.” Luke 15:1-10

Mark 12:28-33  …you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” …“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.      

John 10:7-10  I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Salty

‘Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? Luke 14:25-35   Who ever heard of salt losing it’s saltiness? On the other hand, it is possible for us to lose the desire for the taste of salt, or at least too much of it. My mother used to say, “A little bit of salt makes a whole lot of difference.” No doubt, salt in biblical Palestine as it is today is not without great value. However, we don’t always recognize how valuable salt really is. This message of consideration from Jesus comes after a discourse with his followers concerning the cost of discipleship. At some point in our lives we have to decide what is “salt” and the price we are willing to pay for it’s saltiness (hint: money isn’t necessarily involved).

Let anyone with ears to hear listen! Luke 14:25-35

And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are true words of God.’ Then I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, ‘You must not do that! I am a fellow-servant with you and your comrades who hold the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.’ The Revelation of John 19:1-10

Credo In Delray

Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!”  Mark 9:14-29  There are times when we need help with believing. I’ve been away since Monday without access to internet and today was the first I’ve been able to get connected. I was given a gift of an all expense paid trip to Delray Beach Florida for a retreat conference and although I have been disconnected, I have been pleasantly surprised and uplifted. Credo (I believe) in Delray Beach Florida has been a blessing and opportunity to help me remember that I still believe and what it is that I believe in. Praise be to God. Thank you all who have continued to read and respond. Sometimes it is difficult to let go of the things you love so much and this blog is one of the things I love to do. Although retreats sometimes can be hard work, this one has been well worth the time put into it. Thanks for your patience and I will be be back with you on Monday. In the meantime never lose hope – only believe. Peace and Blessings

Jesus said to him, ‘If you are able!—All things can be done for the one who believes.’ Mark 9:14-29

White Gloves On Sunday

“…one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.Luke 12 13-31  Growing up as a child my mother used to say that she never knew she was poor. She could not remember when she did not have food to eat, a place to stay and white gloves on Sunday. She accomplished many things in her life and yet she would tell you that her greatest possession was God’s love for her, her love for God, and the love she had for her family, exactly in that  order. Wealth by the world’s standards consists of many possessions. But blessed by God’s grace and mercy it is for us to look past the world’s standards, seek Wisdom and live according to God’s truth; according to God’s love.

Luke 12:13-31 For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 

Proverbs 3:13-18

Happy are those who find wisdom,
   and those who get understanding,
for her income is better than silver,
   and her revenue better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
   and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
   in her left hand are riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
   and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
   those who hold her fast are called happy. 

All Saints

“Lord, if you had been here… John 11:32-44  I never thought to ask this when my mother died. As a believer, instinctively I knew he was right there. The hardest part for me were the very last moments between her living and physical death. Of course once she had died I did not expect Christ to open her eyes. Yet oddly enough in her death it was my eyes that Christ would open. In my opinion, everyday is a day of celebration for all of God’s Saints in his kingdom, both heaven and earth.

John 11:32-44  “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

Wisdom of Solomon 3:1,9  But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them. Those who trust in him will understand truth, and the faithful will abide with him in love, because grace and mercy are upon his elect, and he watches over his holy ones.