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?
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.
"The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders and interfering with God's work within us". A.W. Tozer
Luminous Anglican Parish
We are excited to announce that we're planting an anglican parish here in the Franklin / Nashville area. Personally, I feel as though this has been 40 years in the making. It's as if I've always sensed the call to do this work, and God may have been waiting for me to catch up to his plan while being prepare for this ministry.
We have begun gathering as a launch / core group, and this Fall, we will begin to meet once per month (see Calendar) together as an extended group from the Franklin / Nashville area. Our intention is to fully launch weekly gatherings in early 2016. We are currently architecting luminousparish.com. Once it is launched, it will have all of the information you may be curious about. What I can say is that this community will center in the liturgy, sacraments, Spirit, while celebrating sonically with modern and ancient hymnology. Much of what we have done with Luminous CITY will be represented at Luminous Parish.
The greater Nashville area has over 2 million people. Having lived in the area for 17 years, there are many indigenous components to the culture that make it ripe and ready for a new parish rooted in the anglican way. Where there are many church plants continuing to move to the Nashville area, there is a great need for new anglican churches (either high or low church).
For those who know of the origins of Luminous, we are are transitioning the efforts and expressions of LUMINOUSproject into Luminous Parish. We are encouraged to say that we will continue to do the LUMINOUSproject gatherings within the alignment of our parish work. Stay tuned for more information and dates for #LUMINOUS16. There may even be more Luminous CITY music in the works as well.
If you are interested in being a part or interested in partnering in the work of Luminous Anglican Parish, please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon! The great and worthy work is going to require a lot of prayer, effort, time, and resources. If you are asking yourself "how can I help?", one or any combination of those needs would be a wonderful place to start.
As a legal 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations are tax-deductible.