Resurrection not resuscitation

Comment

Resurrection not resuscitation

Those following Christ are people of resurrection not simply resuscitation. This is a beautiful time to contemplate what this means! Eastertide, is the fifty days after Easter Sunday leading up to Pentecost Sunday. Though you will not find an Eastertide observation requirement in Scripture, I would suggest that reflecting on the biblical understanding of Easter will assist in a cognitive and spiritual sense of what it means to be people of resurrection.

Some Scripture for practices:

  • Reflect on the fact that death has been swallowed up (1 Corinthians 15:54-56)
  • Think of how the resurrection of Jesus is a precursor to your own resurrection (1 Corinthians 15)
  • Meditate on what the resurrection means of the character of Christ (Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:25-28)
  • Reflect upon the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you (Ephesians 1:15-23)
  • Consider how the resurrection gives us “new birth into a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3)

Eastertide allows us to think deeply, meditate, and pray on what it means to embody resurrection. This will change everything. No more frantic resuscitation, grasping for air, life, and momentum. Resurrection is the power to move about freely with force, gentleness, and love. This changes everything.

Comment

“A Poem For Good Friday” by Emily Dickinson

Comment

“A Poem For Good Friday” by Emily Dickinson

To know just how he suffered would be dear; To know if any human eyes were near To whom he could intrust his wavering gaze, Until it settled firm on Paradise. To know if he was patient, part content, Was dying as he thought, or different; Was it a pleasant day to die, And did the sunshine face his way? What was his furthest mind, of home, or God, Or what the distant say At news that he ceased human nature On such a day? And wishes, had he any? Just his sigh, accented, Had been legible to me. And was he confident until Ill fluttered out in everlasting well? And if he spoke, what name was best, What first, What one broke off with At the drowsiest? Was he afraid, or tranquil? Might he know How conscious consciousness could grow, Till love that was, and love too blest to be, Meet — and the junction be Eternity?

Comment

Recovering from me

Comment

Recovering from me

For many year I was nothing but self-centered ego with a body and a name. I was only interested in me, my way, my life, my ego. It was a very fatiguing way of life. Letting that portion of my life go was (and still is) a painful process. I hurt so many people. In returned I was hurting myself and more importantly, I was hindering the gifts and calling upon my life. I've been in recovery from myself for quite a while. Fact of the matter is, you probably have been as well. The healing process is a long, steady one.

Following Jesus is obviously not centered around us, but we cannot overlook how we were made / wired. As we live our lives, we slowly become more aware of who we really are - what makes us tick. In our self-awareness, not tending to issues that are possibly laying dormant under the surface of our lives is more detrimental to our faith journeys than we sometimes realize. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.' This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: 'Love others as well as you love yourself.' These two commands are pegs; everything in God's Law and the Prophets hangs from them."

Self-hatred, as well as pride, are two of the biggest obstacles of true worship. They distort the true image of God. Since we were made in our God's image, we should treat ourselves as the image-bearers we are. That is itself is an act of worship. When was the last time you let yourself be loved for who you are, and not for who you should be?

“If you want to benefit from [worship], I suggest that you allow yourself to be loved...as you are, and not as you should be. Christianity does not exist in what we do for God, but what God does for us. It always starts with what God does for us. All He asks is that you be astonished at the fact that He bothered at all”. - Brennan Manning.

How effective can we be at loving each other as we love ourselves, if we don't truly allow ourselves to be loved? Read this passage from Psalm 139, and meditate on it. "Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother's womb. I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day."

"A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you." -Manley Beasley. Our personal, relational, and spiritual evolution will move us more and more towards Jesus as we pursue truth (John 4:23) and surrender our control to the One in ultimate control. By resolving to allow ourselves to be loved as we are, we will change.

I believe that being at peace with who we are and how we were made (in the image of God), will define how we live and how we treat each other. Ultimately, it will help define the mark that we leave on our society, family legacy, and communities. God's peace be with you as you center yourselves on the unshakable love and acceptance of the Maker of the universe.

Comment

Noise (Part Two)

Comment

Noise (Part Two)

Continuing to recalibrate our lives due to the noise we experience can be easier said than done. As far as Centering Prayer goes, it is not meant to replace other kinds of prayer. Rather, it adds depth of meaning to all prayer and facilitates the movement from more active modes of prayer — verbal, mental or affective prayer — into a receptive prayer of resting in God. Centering Prayer emphasizes prayer as a personal relationship with God and as a movement beyond conversation with Christ to communion with Him.

The source of Centering Prayer, as in all methods leading to contemplative prayer, is the Indwelling Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The focus of Centering Prayer is the deepening of our relationship with the active, living God. The effects of Centering Prayer are ecclesial, as the prayer tends to build communities of faith and bond the people together in mutual friendship and love.

So, if this is the case, what would be the barrier between us and centering ourselves? Distractions, noise, fear of losing control, busyness?

If we as the Church are going to continue to BE who we say we are, we must return to our origins. Stilling ourselves will calibrate everything else in our lives. We will be more compassionate, patent, productive, and engaged.   “There is only one problem on which all my existence, my peace, my happiness depend: to discover myself in discovering God. If I find God I will find myself and if I find my true self I will find God.” ― Thomas Merton Many of us find it difficult to press pause on life and even give ourselves permission to be still. It is one thing to find a rich contemplative life, it is another to simply begin the path. Making time to slow down or even make an effort to turn down the noise in our life is a good way to start. Please consider this:

If you have a 30 minute commute to work, you could take half of the trip in silence. That’s 75 minutes of silence if you were to only do it 15 minutes one way, each day of the work week. 300 minutes of silence per month may be very peaceful even though you’re still navigating the drive to / from work.
If you spend 2 hours per day on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, imagine only spending 1 hour. Use the other hour to be still, silent. That’s 5 hours per work week. 20 hours per month!

So, you still don’t think you can find time? Time finds you. So, we should find time to invest into our cognitive and spiritual well being.

Here are a few great books that I believe can assist with this pursuit. 1. Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr 2. The Sabbath by Abraham Heschel 3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton 4. The Cloud of Unknowing

Comment