Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Climb

When Jesus saw the crowds, 
He climbed a hillside. 
Those who were apprenticed to Him, 
the committed, climbed with Him.
Matthew 5:1-2

Jesus was about to deliver the Beatitudes,
the moral code of the new Law.
It would be harder to fulfill than the old.
His apprentices needed to climb to hear.

That "new" moral code still challenges us--
clinging to the law seems easier at times.
Climbing up with Him is the only way that 
living beyond law is even remotely possible.

"The simple moral fact is that words kill.
Making your speech more religious 
makes it less true. If someone takes 
unfair advantage of you, 
practice the servant life.
Love your enemies. 
Dont judge or you'll be judged.
God gives His best to everyone.
Grow up. Live generous and gracious 
toward others, the way God lives toward you."
Oh dear.
Sometimes "the committed" 
have forgotten to climb.
We have used words that kill hearts.
We have used Christian rhetoric 
void of love, filled with judgment.
We haven't given our best to everyone.
We have been stingy.

He is loving, generous, and gracious
to us, and we must be that to others.
The "committed" must climb up with Him
and refuse to come down.
Because up is not only better;
it is utterly requisite.

It is only there that we learn to
both receive and give the gift of mercy.
"God's mercy carries the day." Ps 52:1

Sunday, June 12, 2016

When "Reality" Strikes

Most of us know that we need to 
keep our thoughts positive.
But sometimes, our eyes are 
staring reality in the face, and
we see things that say otherwise.

Some days the loss, struggle, illness, 
disappointment or failure are all we can see.
On these days, it can be hard to require
our weary minds to see differently.

When our circumstances overwhelm us,
our focus must funnel to this present moment.
We mishandle the gift of this moment when
we cross the borders into the past or future.
We have to fence in our thoughts--
NOW is the only dimension they may go.

When we stay within the borders of NOW,
we can stand in the eye of any storm.
The Holy Spirit always leads us beside
the still waters of this present moment.
And, here, our eyes see clearly and
our thoughts become right.
NOW is the only safe dimension, 
and we must choose it all day long.
When "reality" strikes, we must make
adjustments to ensure we are standing in 
the sacred stillness of this present moment.

 God deals out joy 
in the present, in the now.
Ecc 5:19 (Message)