As the wind whistles through the trees
So does the breath of God
As the shining sun wraps its warmth among the earth
So does the welcoming spirit of God
As rain pours from the clouds above
So does the compassion of God
As the Spring flowers blossom showing their vibrant colors
So does the creativeness of God
As the stars sparkle in the night sky showcasing the universe
So does the infiniteness of God
As a smile tenderly lightens another's face
So does the goodness of God
As our hearts reach out to those who are neglected, unheard, and outcast
So does the love of God
As the world continues to work toward peace
So does the harmonious nature of God
Let us breathe deeply and know God is with us
For God is in all things
May you find God wherever you are today!
This week please sit and thank God for the beautiful creation around you!
My wife and I were able to vacation to Iceland a few years ago. We learned about the country, the people, their origins, and of course the food. One interesting thing we learned was the Icelands use of names. They do not use family names but only go by their first names. What would be called their last name is made up of their fathers or mothers first name with the addition of (son) or (daughter). Hence a persons name could be Jon Magnusson indicating Jon's fathers name was Magnus. If another person has the same name then they would add their paternal grandfather's name as well. I enjoyed hearing how the country had kept this tradition throughout the years which formed part of the overall country's culture. I know last names in the US are often passed down and hold significant meaning for our heritage and to have a different perspective was good. This interesting tradition got me thinking about the importance of names in particular the scripture Isaiah 43:1.
"I have called you by name, you are mine."
There is a comfort in someone using your first name. It's personal, down to earth, and lacks the formalities of tradition. To me, friends and loved ones use that name showing authenticity and genuineness. They know and understand who I am deep within behind the niceties of life. Deep relationships are built knowing who the other person is and calling them by their name. It is in that name where identity is known and created. The identity we have formed through the contexts of life that we have found ourselves in. Somewhere there is a true self who if we searched for each one of us can find that is already known by the divine.
As indicated in the scripture above God calls each of us by name and calls us God's own. We are God's beloved children. Just as the stars in the sky we are God's creation and expression of life. How precious it is to think that God knows my name, sees my inner self, and knows who I truly am through all the guilt, shame, and facades present. It is in this personal, genuine calling that I am known and loved for all that I am and can be, without judgement. What a special thought to have? To know no matter what I do there is a God that continues to uphold the love of creation beholding the people of this world.
We are never alone! God is there and will always be there with you. That's the message today. If you are struggling with something, feel alone, rejected, or outcast, know there is a Jesus that is constantly standing with you saying, "you are mine". Love surpasses understanding and even if we cannot conceptualize it, God's love is there. All it takes is your belief!
Please reach out to me or another christian organization if you would like to talk, pray, or whatever you need at this time.
To reiterate this message check out this incredible song by David Haas titled, "You Are Mine."
May you hear that voice calling you by name saying "You are mine, you are loved, you are not alone."
Thank you to all those following along. We appreciate your support and kindness for this continued ministry.
This week look in the mirror and tell yourself, "You are loved."
My wife was a high school math teacher for 6 years at Wichita West High School. One of the classes she taught was math applications in which they have to apply the math they use into real life situations. In one project her students had to create model homes out of foam paper to size. One student in particular had a pool in his back yard. Part of assignment was adding the costs for the house and building materials. She noticed a really high price for water so she asked further about how they came to that price. Her student had calculated how many 20oz water bottles were needed to fill the pool at the rate of a 20 pack of water. It's funny to think about it this way but those in the class had no idea of other ways water could be accessed to fill the pool.
I tell you this story because sometimes how we think about our current faith journey's, church, abilities, etc. may not be the only ways to think about them. What if there were other possibilities out there that may make it easier for us and fit our needs better? What if a new perspective could further our journey with the divine?
Check out this short video by Minister T.D. Jakes specifically talking about the stories we tell ourselves and how it impacts our lives.
Sometimes we are walking our faith journey doing everything we are supposed to be doing and come across a feeling of just not feeling right. We change, grow, and develop and suddenly the faith we once knew doesn't fit our worldview. For some reason we expect our faith to stay the same when everything around us changes. This expectation is just unrealistic and puts unwanted burden on our spiritual life. God wants us to continue to grow into who God is calling us to be. Sometimes that means we regress back trying to get back to where we were. Unfortunately this neglects a part of your journey which is now a part of you. That part has changed you and that needs to be embraced just like God embraces it. Other times we have certain people helping us navigate the waters of change to develop new perspectives about ourselves and our faith. Often others have different opinions and perspectives then our own. It is in that communication where we learn and process how it impacts our own stories.
It's important that we are always seeking that relationship with the divine in our own personal lives. This means we might need to read articles that challenge our point of view, talk to those that are on a different faith journey, or seek wisdom from those people we look up to. As far as reading materials go, there are some outstanding articles out there providing insight into our spiritual life. Shannon Crane writes a beautiful piece titled "Balancing Faith and Perspective". Another article titled "Changing my Religion: Processing Thoughts about Faith" by Charles Lee is a reflection of his experience in evolving form the faith he once new. These are just a few of some wonderful articles out there.
Think about your faith journey. Where are you filling the pool with filtered water? In what ways can you grow or change your perspective?
I appreciate everyone following along. We have slowed some of our blog posts recently but still plan on bringing you wonderful content when we can.
This week think about your faith journey and what you can do to help bring other perspectives into it different then what you know.
The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Community of Christ. We believe individuals should be allowed to have their own opinions and be at different places in their faith journey.