"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Breath of God


"The real and lasting practice for each of us is to remove what obstructs us so we can be who we are, holding nothing back." --Mark Nepo

Scripture tells us that the hope of our glory is Christ in us (Col. 1:27).  Myles Munroe in his book, "365 Days to Understanding, Releasing and Maximizing Your Potential" says that because Christ is already in us, "Our task is not to get Christ into us, but out of us."  This brought to mind a well....
This pump handle (which is no longer attached to a well) was once used to draw water from a well.  I remember using such a pump at my greatgrandparents' house in the 1950's.  It was their only means of water and it was located on the back porch.  Their very sustenance depended on getting that water out of the well and into their buckets so they could drink, cook, and wash.  

When Jesus visited the well in Samaria he told the woman that He was the living water (John 4).  He told her that the water that He gives will become in her a spring of water welling up to eternal life.  This is what Munroe is talking about....letting that water, which is welling up in us, out.  As Mark Nepo puts it, we need to remove what obstructs us from being who we are--vessels of God's love.  We are made in the image of God.  When we accept the gift of salvation, we receive Christ into us, our hope of heaven.  We are therefore Christ-like--we are in His "image" which means "the essence of the being."  Even when we fall far short, it does not change who we really are.  

Too often I think we let our failure at appearing Christ-like define who we think we are.  This is a defeatist attitude.  Instead, how much better it would be to seek to learn what is obstructing the natural flow, the welling-up of the living water that is in us.

This morning Ken pointed out to me that I breathe twice as fast as he does, even in sleep.  I know this to be true because I tend to breathe shallowly and therefore have to work twice as hard to get the oxygen I need.  Breath is such a fundamental element of life just as water is.  I realized that if I were to pay attention to my breath and exhale fully with each breath, I'd automatically breathe in fully.  The obstacle to my exhaling fully has always been my shallow breathing.  Just like the obstacle to being fully who I am is like that pump no longer attached to the well, I need only make sure the pipe is extended into the well and attached to the pump.  

Perhaps I have the pump sitting out in my garden as decoration?  Or might it be attached to something that looks like a well, but instead is merely a dry hole?  As I breathe deeply drawing in oxygen, I'll ponder this question and see what answers bubble up from my well of living water.

Father, slow my breathing down so that I may partake of your living water--the breath of life, Your Spirit.

Link to scripture: http://mlbible.com/job/32-8.htm

Take action:  


Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Way of Love


  1. ♫Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
    Mold me and make me after Thy will,
    While I am waiting, yielded and still.♫



  1. ♫Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Search me and try me, Master, today!
    Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
    As in Thy presence humbly I bow.♫

  2. ♫Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
    Power, all power, surely is Thine!
    Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.♫



    ♫Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
    Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
    Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
    Christ only, always, living in me.♫



  3. Father, it's not about following the rules.  It's about letting You into my life at all levels at all times.  It is Your Way--the way of Love--that I desire and in order to follow in the path you've prepared for me I must relinquish my way.  In this I ask for help.

    Link to scripture:  http://bible.cc/john/15-4.htm

    Take action:  Abide in Christ

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Unity


"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths –- that all of us are created equal –- is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth." --President Barack Obama, 2013 Inaugural Address

I found President Obama's speech yesterday to be very inspiring and it was hard to pick a passage I wanted to highlight.  This morning, however, when I read the day's passage in Mark Nepo's "The Book of Awakening" I realized it would be on the theme of unity.  Nepo states, "Everything that divides and separates removes us from what is sacred, and so weakens our chances for joy."

President Obama reminded us of the "We" when it comes to the people of this country....."We" as opposed to "us" or "them".  The pursuit of happiness (joy) the Declaration of Independence hoped to make possible is dependent on the "We the People" as stated in the Constitution, "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."  Furthermore, the Declaration of Independence states that "We" are created equal....."our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth." 

I'd like to state this idea of unity in a different way.  It is a well-known fact that people will often come together against a common enemy such as when We, the people of the United States, fought in WWII "alongside" Communists in order to defeat Nazis.  In that vein, I say it's time we start seeing our problems as the common enemy and not each other.  When President Obama said, "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate" I was cheering right along with the assembled crowd.  Nepo put it this way, "....realize there are no wrong turns, only unexpected paths" when it comes to finding peace, living peace, and being restored to our original Oneness--humans made in the image of God.


President Obama illustrated this point by reminding us we have made friends with former enemies.  He said, " We are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war; who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends -- and we must carry those lessons into this time as well."

I stand with our President, with my prayers and my intentions, to seek to solve the problems in our society, our country, our world with a renewed attitude of the Oneness that has always existed....the Oneness on which our country was founded....We the People....dedicated to the preservation of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness....for all.

Whether or not you agree with the programs and policies this Administration is attempting to institute, we should all come together to debate, respectfully, the issues at hand--not letting our personal preferences or beliefs to cause us to take sides before the discussion even begins.  We must acknowledge that sometimes what looks like a wrong turn is merely an unexpected path to the right path.  As a Christian I'm of the belief that God is ultimately in control, and my heart, when given over fully to God, will guide me in what I do and say.  It's not my place to judge others for their behavior or beliefs.  Even the outcome is not up to me.  My job is to love my fellow man, no matter what.

Father, my pledge of allegiance is to You, first and foremost.  I thank you for placing me in a country that allows me to do so.  May I always exercise that freedom with love and respect for my fellow humans, no matter what.

Link to scripture: http://niv.scripturetext.com/colossians/3-12.htm

Take action: Pledge for Unity


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hope and Faith


"We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.  But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope." --Barack Obama


Today is the official Inauguration of President Obama's second term in office.  I found the above quote in today's reading in Alan Cohen's "A Daily Dose of Sanity".  Cohen went on to quote President Obama's response when asked if he had doubts whether or not he'd win the election.  He said, "Yes, I had doubts that I would be elected.  But I did not doubt that I could be elected."

I think this is why I supported Barack Obama's bid for the Presidency then and again for another term.  His outlook on life and what he hoped to accomplish as President has always been positive and from a desire to serve.  And even though he did not accomplish everything he'd hoped to accomplish in his first term, I think he will be an even better President for having learned more about his own strengths and weaknesses and how he should proceed. 

I think he sets a wonderful example of what faith is--it's believing that anything is possible and then seeking to do one's part in making it happen.  Cohen points out that we close the door to miracles when we start believing in our limitations and those of others instead of believing that anything is possible.  Christians, of all people, should not have to be reminded of this!  Jesus tells us, "With God all things are possible."

Father, may I never lose sight of the possibilities that are always there waiting for me to claim if I would just believe.

Link to scripture:  http://mlbible.com/matthew/19-26.htm

Take action:  Lord, Help Me to Know You