“Therefore Sarah laughed within herself saying: ‘After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being so old also?'”  Genesis 18:12

“Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, ‘Lord save us! We are perishing!'”  Matthew 8:25

“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof.  But only speak a word and my servant will be healed.”  Matthew 8:8

I heard a fascinating exchange on television today that really crystalized  some thoughts that I wanted to share.  Now the discussion was between a highly educated, historian, businessman and politician (HBP) and a newspaper person(NP).  In retelling the exchange I’m not going to get into details of the discussion itself because what they were discussing is not germane to the epiphany; it was how the interaction was framed that was so enlightening.  It went something like this:

(HBP): Most everyone I talk to says this about that

(NP):  But the data, the facts say that is not true

(HBP):  Well maybe, but that’s not what they feel.  They feel that this is true about that

(NP):  But again, all the data points to that not being true!

(HBP):  Look, I’ll go with how people feel and you can stick with what your data proves…..

Now this is not the first time I’ve come across this sort of interaction.  In my career as an Organizational Behavior/Improvement facilitator, I often come across very strongly held opinions/fears.  Yet when I try to get to the root of the opinion or fear, the actual experience or data that supports them; most often that data or personal experience doesn’t exist.  Yet they feel that the negative risk is out there.  It’s not only toward negative things.  I find that it is not uncommon when people want some change to happen and you start to discuss the potential questionable impacts of the change on the organization based on business or other data; they are often quick to dismiss the data because the change would make them feel better.

What does this have to do with our spiritual life?  Everything, I believe!  You see, we may be studying the Word of God, may be listening to and even agreeing with sound of profound preaching.  In our head, we may know that God is the Creator, that Jesus Christ is His only Son our Savior.  We may acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is a gift from God, sent to help us.  All those things we may acknowledge from a standpoint of knowledge and yet that acknowledgement can be irrelevant to our very lives and salvation if it does not evoke some sort of feeling about it.  I say that because it has been my experience that we much more often behave based on how we feel then what we think, although the two are not mutually exclusive.

The bible is full of examples of this.  Sarah did not doubt that God existed.  She had witnessed His grace to them in their journey to the promised land.  Yet she felt that having a baby in her 90’s and Abraham over 100, was ridiculous so she laughed when the angel of the Lord promised it.  At least some of the disciples had witnessed Jesus baptism and heard God’s proclamation about His Son.  They had witnessed the miracles, heard His preaching, knew He was the Son of God, yet; when the storm arose, that knowledge did not keep them from feeling terror and crying out to Jesus, though none of them expected Him to silence the tempest.  It’s not only lack of feeling or faith, the Roman Centurion felt so confident of Jesus’ power that he humbled himself and told Jesus not to come to his house but just speak the word and the Centurion’s servant would be healed.  David felt so confident in God that he went out to face Goliath, not with sword and armor, but a sling and stones because He was confident in the power of Almighty God.

Thus for us Dear Sisters and Brothers, the question is, not so much what do we know but, how do we feel about God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Now please understand, I’m not trying to disparage reading the bible or taking other steps to learn about God; no far from it.  Yet my questions for you and I are: when we finish reading a scripture passage; how does that make us feel?  When we say “Amen” at the completion of our prayer; what emotion do we have?  As we walk from a church service or bible/spiritual class, do we feel any different?

Dear Sisters and Brothers I feel that it is vital that we feel.  The whole nature of our relationship, the most significant commandment is not about knowing it is about feeling; feeling love, first for Our Heavenly Father and then for each other.  When is it appropriate to feel fear?  What or who should we feel confident in?  Jesus Christ came that we might experience the feeling of His Peace, His Joy.

So a paramount question for you and I, especially when it comes to Our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit is how/what are we feeling?  A second, follow-up question is; why are we feeling that?

Dear Sisters and Brothers, please feel.  In this world full of data, proof and desired logic; FEEL! Feel the love of God from God and feel a love for God in return.  Feel the love of God for each other.  Feel a sense of confidence in Jesus Christ.  Strive to feel His Peace, His Joy.  Feel those and then act on those feelings.  And should those feeling flee; pray.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to fill you and bring you back into a feeling of close relationship with the One who feels so strongly a love for you and I; that He sacrificed His Son for us.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, in Your perfect wisdom, You have granted us the ability to feel; to have emotions, to love.  We thank You for the love that You have for us and ask that, through Your Holy spirit, we may learn to love You completely and share Your perfect love with each other.  Forgive us when we either let feelings of fear or doubt drive us from You, or try to minimize or discount the power of our feelings through the search for knowledge.  That with feelings of confidence, compassion, forgiveness, joy, peace and most of all love; we will act upon those to bring praise to Your most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen


“But the Lord sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea….”  Jonah 1:4

“Immediately he arose, took up his bed and went out in the presence of them all so that they were amazed and glorified God……”  Mark 2:12

“..He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm…..and they feared exceedingly and said ‘Who can this be that even the wind and sea obey Him!'”  Mark 39,41

So, have you ever been in a situation where you’re responsible for getting a message across to a group and they are not paying attention?  Now this could be your family, or a business group, or church group, but it is a message of vital importance and when you start to speak to them, they seem oblivious to your presence?  Think of what you’ve done to get their attention.  Maybe, you talked loudly and if that didn’t work raised your volume progressively until you were shouting.  Maybe you tried to make a loud noise to shock them and snap them into listening to you.  Maybe, especially if you were dealing with a younger group, you promised them some treat or present if they paid you some heed.

Now imagine that you’re God and you’re trying to get the attention of your creation.  Jonah tried ignoring God, disregarding Him, running away from speaking with God.  God caused a great tempest to arise to show Jonah, He meant business.

What about Jesus Christ; He is God, was God even when He walked the earth; when He started His ministry it was not as if He was getting much notice or many followers.  Scripture tells us that it wasn’t until people witnessed the miraculous healing He accomplished that His fame spread throughout the land.  Even in witnessing those healings, His disciples didn’t understand the complete totality of His power until they witnessed Him calm a raging sea and wind with just a few simple words.  Without the healing, had their been no storm to calm; how much notice would He have garnered?

What’s my point?  First let me state categorically that I do not know the mind or speak for the acts of God, in any one situation.  That is to say that I make no claim that I know God’s purpose for any cataclysmic event or can definitively explain the rationale for some specific healing or blessing.  I can not!

Yet I have observed this, having gone through some major storms of nature in my life; I find it typical that the reaction; whether before, during or after in general by the public is one of; focus on the storm, a sense of powerlessness concerning the storm and a sense of awe concerning the impact of the storm after it has passed.  Likewise, my wife is a cancer survivor. She has gone past the time when, just decades before, the vast majority of patients didn’t survive.  Both with cancer and other diseases we are hearing phrases like “miracle drug, miracle treatment or miracle cure”, thrown around.

Yet the storms do pass.  If cured, life continues with a sense of new normalcy.  And therein lies the challenge:  Is God in our normal?  Not only “in”, is God at the head, is He the priority of our normal?

You see Dear Sisters and Brothers, God absolutely knows the danger, the devastation, the personal and eternal destruction that comes from a life, attempted to be lived without relying completely on Him.  He knows there is an enemy out there, literally hell-bent on our eternal death and destruction.  The enemy, Satan, could care less if we believe in Satan or not; as long as we don’t care about, give attention to, have any worship for, let alone love, our Creator, Almighty Father, God in Heaven.

Now here’s the thing, I don’t know about you, but I can and do fall into that trap.  It’s not as if I consciously reject or state hatred for God, no; but I get so focused on some aspect of earthly life, vocation, relationship, recreation, economic, that I lose all focus on God and live and make decisions as if I was the person in charge, I was the one ultimately responsible and with ultimate power.  Sometimes this comes in the depth of trials, but also, it can come at prolonged periods of success as well.

I praise God and am so thankful that, at those times, when I neglect Him, living my life without recognition of Him or reliance on Him, that He does not turn His back on me or leave me to travel the pathway to certain doom and destruction.  No, there is many a time that God has reached out in some way and gotten my attention; returned my focus to Him, sometime through a healing or blessing and sometimes through a storm.

So it would behoove us to ask frequently, unceasingly, with humility and utmost honesty, does Our Heavenly Father have our full attention?  Are our thoughts a product of a focus on Him and His teachings?  Do our acts reflect a connection, a relationship of love, first with Him and then with each other?  Are we seeking, knocking and asking?

Again, praise be to God Almighty that He gives us tools to help us focus on Him.  He gives us the ability to communicate and fellowship with Him through prayer.  He has striven to leave us lessons to guide us, that we can live by in His Words of Scripture.  He has blessed us with fellowship gatherings of our peers; where He has promised to with us as we gather in worship services.

Finally, Our Heavenly Father, gave His Only Begotten Son, to die in our place; that we may be able to be in relationship and live with Him, now and forever.  If that’s not enough to get and keep our attention then heaven help us.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father; we declare that You are God alone, the author of our salvation and through You all blessings, peace, joy and especially love come.  Forgive us Most Merciful Father, when we are tempted to live our lives on our own terms, while ignoring Your presence.  We thank You, that You do not abandon us, but take measure to retrieve our attention and bring us back to You.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us that through study of Your word and regular prayer, we may keep our focus on You and Your desires for our lives.  That by focusing on You and abiding in Jesus Christ, we would live lives of praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.



“…’A prophet is not without honor except in his own country, among his own relatives and in his own house’…..Now He could do no mighty work there….and He marveled because of their unbelief.”  Mark 6:4,5,6

“Jesus said to him: ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes'”.  Mark 9:23

So I should start out with a statement of honest humility as it applies to the title.  For that I would call any of the posts that I have made “an explanation”  or say that they contain an explanation may very well be stretching the definition of the word explanation to incredible limits.  If there are any nuggets of understanding that have come from these pages they are the work of the Holy Spirit and not the wisdom of yours truly.  Yet this particular instance in the bible so profoundly intrigues plus befuddles me to an astounding limit.  Yet the lesson, the observation that we must take from it is vital to the salvation of our very souls.

So let’s begin with a couple of givens:

  1.  It is very clear that Jesus Christ is the one true begotten Son of God.  As such Jesus Christ is God.  God has come down to dwell on earth with His creation.
  2. As God, Jesus Christ is omnipotent, omnipresent, perfect without fault always victorious, never vanquished.

Now let’s set the stage for what happens in Mark (also chronicled in Matthew).  Jesus is well into His ministry.  He has been baptized by John, He has chosen his 12 disciples, He has taught His “Sermon on the Mount”, He has healed countless people throughout the land of Judea.  And now He is returning to His home town, Nazareth to teach and heal.  He starts to preach in the local synagogue, He starts to heal some people and an amazing thing happens.  In so many other places, people marveled at Jesus’ teaching, at the authority that He had.  So often they flocked to Him and brought scores of the sick and demon possessed to be healed by Him.  Plus upon Jesus healing, they gave glory to God for the miracles they were witnessing.

However, all the marveling, the flocking the praising, that doesn’t happen in Nazareth.  No, the people who knew Him best, friends and even some relatives, they took offense  at Jesus.  They thought Jesus was acting too high and mighty, after all they knew Him, they had grown up with Him, played with Him; how now could Jesus be claiming and doing what He was doing?

Now we get to the truly mysterious perplexing part for me; not that people would take offense at Him, I can certainly understand, not condone, but understand their jealousy.  But Scripture tells us, that because of their lack of faith: Jesus could do little in Nazareth.  Note Scripture doesn’t say that Jesus got mad and left, that Jesus decided to turn His back on them.  No, it appears this loving God, Son of the Most High God Almighty, desired to heal and preach the good news of salvation.  Yet, because of their lack of faith; Jesus could do little.  Jesus was prevented from accomplishing the blessings that He wanted to bring, because of their lack of faith.

I would not begin to  assume that I know or understand the Mind of God, that He, the perfect Creator of all things, would plan it so, that His creation can impact His use of power based on whether they believe or not.  And amazingly, when you look at all the aspects of creation, we seem to be the only part of creation with this attribute.  One doesn’t get the sense that the sun can say, I don’t think I’ll shine, or planets, I don’t think I’ll revolve because I don’t believe in you God.  Clouds don’t decide to rain or not based on their concept of God.  Birds or salmon don’t decide to migrate to find food and reproduce based on their agreeing that Jesus is the Son of God.  In some mysterious, yet still perfect attribute of God’s plan; our belief in Jesus Christ is a critical component to the release of God’s power in and through us.

Yet here is the vital observation.  Whether I understand it or not, scripture is very clear: FAITH MATTERS!  And please understand this Dear Sisters and Brothers, it’s not just some faith or as long as we believe in something, it is a very specific faith.  In faith we must first believe that Jesus Christ is the One True, born of a virgin, Son of God.  We must believe that He is our Savior; that He died for us and rose from the dead.   Yes our faith in Jesus Christ not only matters, it is the thing that matters.  Without that faith we can not abide in Jesus Christ and He warned us Himself when He declared:  “Without Me, you can do nothing”.

Yes, faith matters.  Yet I also confess I am too often like the man who cried to Jesus to heal his son by starting the request:  “If you can……”  Jesus replies to the man that he needs to believe that Jesus can do this.  To which the man cries out in desperation: “Lord I believe, help my unbelief!”  You see the people of Nazareth, did not want to believe, saw no reason to believe.  I on the other hand, want to believe, need to believe, am desperate to believe.  However, because of my fallen nature, because I will allow the devil to influence me, I will most certainly have times of disbelief.  Yet even at those times, Christ is merciful, our Heavenly Father does not desert us.  For we have within us, the gift of the Holy Spirit, who will fight and defeat the devil and bring us back into belief.  This is what I have faith in.

Have faith in Jesus Christ Dear Sisters and Brothers.  May we never find ourselves in a place or time where Christ can do little because of our lack of faith.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we proclaim that You are God above all and Creator of all things.  We further testify that we believe that You sent Your Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ to dwell with us and to die for us, to be our Salvation.  Forgive us Most Merciful Father, when our faith falters and we are tempted to rely on our own understanding.  Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us that we would never take offense at Jesus Christ or You.  Bless us with increased faith, that as we abide in Jesus Christ, we may accomplish those things which will bring praise to Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen


“This is My commandment that you love one another as I have loved you.  These things I command you, that you love one another.”  John 15:12, 17

Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done…and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.”  Ecclesiastes 2:33

“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s own life for his friends.” John 15:13

Using the ever present internet I attempted to look up the author of the saying: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”.  Alas, I could not find anything authoritative concerning the person who first spoke this oft quoted mantra.  What I did find; however, was an amazing amount of articles extolling the wisdom of this comment and some who were dead set against that philosophy.

In my own experience as trainer/facilitator of adults in many different subjects over three decades, I can tell you I have seen a shift in the approach and philosophy toward work.  Decades ago,  I found there to be more a focus on work; whether it be a daily job or a life long career, toward the stability of employment, the ability from a financial standpoint to provide for one’s self and family and a modicum of time that one could spend away from work in the pursuit of other things.  The concept of “loving” work was not very prevalent.  Although, I will surely admit that there was a desire for a certain amount of “job satisfaction”; rarely did I find that to be the overriding measure of the success of “work”.

Yet over time, and partially amongst different generations, I experienced that concept shifting.  I started to hear and continue to increasingly hear more about the need  for most every aspect of effort that is being applied to “work” or vocation to be personally fulfilling and rewarding.  There needs to be a deep, sustainable joy encapsulated in virtually each day’s work shift or there is something wrong with the job or vocation chosen.  The unending quest, the “Holy Grail” if you will of work,  is the complete connection to, the earthly evaluation of the worth of effort being generated, being tied to evaluation of the worth of the self; where the ultimate goal of work is not defining what “we do” but rather “who we are”!

A reader might get the sense that I prefer the attitude of “the good old days where work was a bad four letter word” to today’s quest for the meaning of life in work.  I assure you that is not the case at all. For in that “old style” thinking of work it was far to easy to compartmentalize it.  Often people would see work as having nothing to do with God and therefore, He was never a part of it and thus I could act however I pleased while in the process of work.  God was in the church on Sunday; Monday through Friday, God never made it onto the plant floor or through the office door.  Solomon seems to have a fairly dark, depressed notion about life in general in his biblical book; Ecclesiastes, yet he several times mentioned that the proper outlook to have was to look at the work completed by one’s hands as a gift from God.

Yet when I look at how God described work to Adam as he was being driven from the garden, when I look at what Jesus told his disciples when he sent them out two-by-two to teach and heal in the towns in the country side of Judea, when I read what the risen Christ said in the “Great Commission”; never did I come across the word “love” being used as it applies to our work or even our vocation.

Why do I think this is so important?  Because of what and when Jesus Christ was talking about when He did decide to speak of love.  Understand Jesus spoke at great length about love.  Yet it seems that love was a very special way of being.  That love, being in love, the state of love was to be specially reserved for God first, then only one other aspect of creation; primarily each other.  Love was and is a gift from God to be cultivated for and returned to God and then shared with our fellow human beings.  True, those human beings may very well be our enemies; but they are still living, breathing human beings.  Jesus was also very clear; love should not be for inanimate things; money or lavish houses or costly perfumes.

When Jesus talked about an example of love; true love, He talked about the actual laying down of one’s life for the object of that love; in this case being, a friend.  Yet I believe I have seen people who love, truly love their work.  I have seen how they are willing to sacrifice virtually everything, their friends, their spouse, their children, even their health; sacrifice it all for the “work” that they do.  They so identify with what they do, that it becomes the only reason for their existence, with any and all other aspects of their life coming in second.

Dear Sisters and Brothers, none other than God, Himself warned us that He is jealous over us.  Time and time again, He showed His extreme displeasure when we put anything; built any idol which we placed in a higher priority, that we love more than Him. Can we enjoy our work? Can we see blessing and joy from our vocation? Most assuredly.  I very much enjoy writing.  I experience in writing a connection to God and a reason to love God all the more.  Yet should I ever find that I love writing more than the people that God has blessed me with by bringing into my life, should I find that I either sacrifice myself to or worse yet, sacrifice my family, friends to this process of, this work of writing; then I believe I am committing a grave sin.  Should that happen, I believe God will be swift and perhaps harsh in getting my attention to repent and change from that sacrifice to an idol.

Love God through your work.  Indeed, use your work to love others.  With that sort of outlook on work, that sort of setting of priorities; blessings will come to you through the work that you do.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father; You have blessed us in that there is no aspect of human endeavor, except sin, that if we seek You we can not find You; even work.  Yet we confess that we are tempted to take an earthly view of work, elevating it to an equal status of love, an equivalent impact in our lives as You are.  Forgive us we pray, Most Merciful Father and pour out Your Spirit upon us allowing us to see that love is to be reserved in sharing first with You and then with our fellow human beings.  That all other things, earthly created should not share in our love, whether it be possessions or vocations.  Help us to seek you out, daily in the work that we do that we might find the true blessings You intend for us through the work You have appointed for us.  That in having the correct priorities; we would live lives of praise, not to us and our efforts, but to You and Your loving gifts to us.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

“Now, behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.”  Luke 24:13

“Simon Peter, Thomas, called the twin, Nathanael of Cana, the sons of Zebedee and two others of His disciples were together.   Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing’. They said to him, ‘We are going with you'”.  John 21:2,3

Post Easter life?  I’m posting this in late September, about 6 months away from when we last celebrated Easter.  What’s up with that?  Of course if you consider it, really consider it; while we celebrate and commemorate Easter ever year it’s by many estimates approximately 1,986 years since the actual Easter events took place.  Where am I going with this?

On one level, let’s say the historical, 30,000 foot level, there can be little dispute of the impact of Easter and what happened afterward.  Not only is the the personal salvation of all who believe in Jesus Christ as the One True Son of God, who died and rose again from the dead, who believe and call upon His name for our salvation a blessed outcome.  There was also the spreading of His Word and the starting of faith communities that have become powerful, powerful churches, a process that continues down through this very day.

Yet I think we need to reflect on a different level, in my case about the 6 foot 3 inch level or whatever height you happen to be.  What about the personal, life altering, faith affirming, joy living, devil defeating impact of Easter?  What about our post Easter life?

In turning to scripture for an example, we might think that all who followed Jesus, upon hearing that He had risen, immediately went out with the mission of spreading His gospel.  Yet scripture tells us something different.

In one instance two followers, who although not of the 11 remaining disciples were still close enough to the disciples to have heard about Jesus having risen from the dead about the same time as the disciples,  decided to leave Jerusalem on that very day.  We’re not sure what business they had in Emmaus, but 7 miles is a significant journey on foot.  And while yes, they were discussing the happenings of the past weeks, one gets the sense they were talking about in terms of a tragic memory versus an event that was motivating them to action.  They were going on their way.

Okay, but obviously the disciples handled it differently.  Obviously upon hearing that Jesus Christ had risen and seeing the empty tomb; they made immediate and profound plans of action.  Well scripture does tell us that they did meet together in an upper room.  Though again we’re told this was out of fear of what might happen to them.  In an another instance in John; many of the group decide to go fishing.  Not going fishing to be “fishers of men”; but going fishing to be fishers of fish…..for dinner.

Okay now Doug, you’re forgetting one critical thing, you might be saying to me; you’re forgetting Pentecost.  No, not really.  I realize that Pentecost had not happened yet and I absolutely agree about the power that filled them when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them in grace and blessing.  In fact, it is an important aspect to my thesis here.

You see when Jesus Christ was praying after the “Last Supper” and before He was arrested in the garden; He not only prayed for Himself and then His disciples, but then He prayed for you and I too.  He prayed for all us who would hear about Jesus Christ and believe.  He prayed that we would be One in Him, just like the disciples.  Pentecost happened.  The Holy Spirit came and the Word spread.

So now back to the 6 foot 3 inch level.  Often there is a glow to Post Easter and Post Christmas for that matter.  Especially with Easter and its location in Spring, we see the renewal of the earth and it speaks; nay, it shouts to us of the old becoming new, of God’s promise of abundant life and salvation, of a promise of rejuvenation and restoration.  But then the months drag on; Spring becomes Summer and Summer, Fall.  And if we’re not careful, Easter becomes a memory, a pleasant one, but a memory all the same.

Why?  The world and the prince of this world tries to intervene.  The enemy throws worldly life at us; there are careers to be focused on, children to be raised, bills to pay, vacations to take.  There are things to buy and things to fix.  Alas, even in our houses or worship, the year progresses.  There is the current budget to fret over and next year’s budget to plan for.  We have to fill all those upcoming committee vacancies and hopefully come up with a “bless their socks off, Christmas pageant.

Are we walking to Emmaus?  Are we going fishing?  What I love, so totally love is Jesus Christ’s response in these two situations.  He doesn’t get angry and berate them for not being focused on Him with grand plans for spreading the kingdom.  He doesn’t threaten them with eternal damnation if they don’t get their act together!  Instead, He feeds them.  In both the two men walking to Emmaus and the disciples fishing; Jesus Christ, Creator come to Earth, God, sits down and feeds them.  Jesus Christ not only feeds them physically, taking care of their physical needs; but feeds them spiritually as well.

Jesus Christ longs to fellowship and feed us as well.  He knows that we have the grace filled blessing of the Spirit within us.  Because of His experience on this earth, He also blessedly knows the temptations we face, the struggles that we hold to ourselves instead of sharing with Him.  He knows how hungry, how famished we are; even if we do not.

Easter matters.  Easter matters in Fall, just as much as it does in Spring.  Easter is love.  Easter is an expression of love, grace and salvation which surpasses all understanding which we dare not turn away from.  Jesus Christ died for You and I that we might have life.  Let us turn to, let us fellowship with, let us feast upon the salvation, the grace, the love which is truly meant to be our Post Easter Life.  In the Name of Jesus Christ.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we can not praise enough, proclaim enough, be thankful enough for Your Plan of Salvation that transpired at Easter.  Forgive us when we neglect any effort, any attempt to try.  Turn us back through the Holy Spirit to focus on abundant life You have in store by abiding in Jesus Christ.  Let it be that we strive to lead lives that tell a distraught and downtrodden world that Easter matters, that their salvation is at hand.  That through our lives, the Spirit would beckon those whom You are calling to follow You.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.  Amen


“Now in the morning…..He departed to a solitary place and there He prayed.”  Mark 1:35

“..when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father in secret and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”  Matthew 6:6

“He went a little farther, and fell on the ground and prayed…..”  Mark 14:35

“…pray without ceasing, in everything giving thanks, for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16

As the title suggests; it is my experience that we are a process oriented people or culture; especially in the “west”.  It goes something like this; knowledge of proper process drives the appropriate behavior.  Appropriate behavior drives the desired outcomes.  Desired outcomes equals long term success.  Thus knowing and following correct processes will lead to ultimate success.  Has to happen, case closed.

I believe that this notion is ever increasingly reinforced in our technologically based, information age.  What’s an example?  Turn on your laptop; it has to “boot-up”, it has to run through its configurations and if you do something to interrupt that process, at the very least, you’ve caused chaos and additional time to be added to the process.  At the worst, you’ll cause the machine to “lock-up” requiring a return to the beginning and repeating of the process.  Again, don’t get me wrong, I applaud and try to embrace the opportunities that this new technology brings.  This very post and site would not exist except for the new technology which supports it.  However, the challenge that arises with so many of theses processes is that process completion, that is successfully moving from one step to the other until the process is completed, becomes our basic motivation driving our behavior without understanding or embracing the fundamental reason the process exists in the first place!

So now that brings us to specific topic to explore today; is there a process for prayer?  In many books about, sermons about, blog posts about prayer, there often seems to be.  Again, what are some examples?

First, let’s start with time of day to pray.  Some would say that the very first act after becoming conscious enough to function, should be to pray.  There is an aspect that says that anything that is done before the morning prayer is not “spiritually covered” because the day has not been prayed over.  For others, the appropriate time to pray is in the evening.  This allows for the full days blessings and sins to be covered by thanksgiving praise and contrite confession.  Some set an alarm to remind them throughout their busy day to stop and take time for prayer.

How about posture?  Is prayer more effective when kneeling or is sitting okay?  On a side note, I was raised in a denomination where kneeling was the appropriate posture for prayer thus each pew had a kneeling bench.  How uncomfortable I was when I would go to a church who had no kneeling bench and we sat and prayed!!!  Can I pray while standing or even walking?  Do I have to close my eyes when I pray? (Oh by the way if your answer to this is yes; please, please don’t pray while driving)  What do I do with my hands while praying; fold them, clasp them together, is holding hands with someone else better?

What about my words and/or their sequence?  Using the Lord’s Prayer as a guide, I’ve heard it preached that every prayer needs to start with an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, a confession, a petition and proclamation of praise.  And what about Amen?

So let’s take a look at Jesus Christ and His examples.  Did Jesus pray in the morning; most certainly.  Yet His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane was in the evening.  Jesus posture for prayer?  The only reference to Jesus’ posture while praying was in the garden and the gospels referencing Him kneeling and falling face down.  Jesus Christ did give us some guidelines about praying in secret.  Jesus also gave us the Lord’s prayer as an example.  Yet He also told us we could pray for anything and His examples of prayer the night he was betrayed, in John’s Gospel, reflect other than the strict words of the Lord’s prayer.

What’s my point?  First, Jesus prayed.  Jesus, God Himself, the One and Only Begotten Son of the One Father, God in Heaven, prayed to His Father.  Yet one get’s the sense that Jesus prayed as a characteristic of life, a way of being in relationship with His (and our) Heavenly Father.  Prayer wasn’t a task to be performed, a ritual to be completed or a process to be followed.  Prayer was not solely (or souly) a means to an end, but a wonderful experience in and of itself. The goal of prayer was not to lead to a blessing, but the ability to pray to, to connect to, the Creator of all the universe was a blessing in itself.

Dear Sisters and Brothers; do you pray in the morning; awesome, in the evening; wonderful.  Are there times when you put a note, set an alarm, ask a friend, to remind you to pray; I can dig it.  Do you pray kneeling, lying down, standing up, walking, running, even driving; given that your goal is to connect in relationship and love with Almighty God; more power to you.  Do you use the Lord’s prayer? Are there special words that you believe come from the Spirit that help to focus your being on connecting with God that you use with each prayer; fantastic.  Bottom line, is prayer more than just another something Christian to do, something required in a certain way, a specified number of times, a specified position over a specified time frame?  Is prayer less about a desired outcome after prayer, but more the coming into relationship with Our Heavenly Father during prayer?

My prayer is that you and I will experience prayer as something more than a process to be completed, but as connection to be exceedingly cherished and a need ever more constantly fulfilled.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise You and give You ceaseless thanksgiving that in Your Mercy and Love towards us, You have seen fit to provide for us the avenue to come to You with our thoughts, our concerns, our fears, our desires, our praises and yes, even our confessions through the connection of prayer.  Pour out Your Spirit upon us that we would see prayer as more than a process but the natural way of being and interacting as Your Creation, with You the Creator.  Forgive us when we fall to the temptation of looking at prayer as nothing more than a menial process, to be robotically completed with little focus or intention.  Allow us to experience You, Your Love, Your Mercy, Your Power through prayer that we may find ourselves ever more desirous to be in that relationship with you.  That in and through prayer we will continue to praise Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen



“And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him”  Mark 5-18

“Jesus did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.”  Mark 5-19

I can certainly understand and agree with John’s conceptualization at the end of his gospel that there are not enough books to contain the things that Jesus did and accomplished during His short time on this earth.  Although I am constantly amazed, I shouldn’t be concerning the incredible amount of grace and spiritual/life education that is derived from each of Jesus Christ’s actions.

Take for instance the healing of the demoniac among the tombs and the herd of pigs.  We could focus on the world trying to heal or at the very least detain and deal with the forces of evil to no avail.  We could focus on the world’s fear of the man and Christ’s complete lack of it.  We could talk about the power of the healing itself.  We could learn from the instant recognition by the demonic legion of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  Orrrr, we could even investigate the seeming grace of Jesus Christ in granting the desperate request of the demons to leave the man and enter into the pigs.  All those things are worthy of our deeper exposition.

Yet, in this post, I want to focus on the interaction at the end of the story.  I want to explore Christ’s understanding of the “big picture” and how He uses the man (and will use us as well) to best fulfill Our Heavenly Father’s Plan of love, mercy and grace.  So here goes….

First, the man was definitely healed.  Mark tells us that when the people of the city came out after the report of the herd of pigs running into the sea, they found the man, clothed and in his right mind, sitting with Jesus.  We don’t know how long the man had been demon possessed but it was long enough that people of the adjoining area had tried several times to subdue him, but to no avail.

Second, we are told that the people of the surrounding town witnessed the dead herd of swine as well as this man, now healed and they reacted in fear.  It is interesting that no one came forward to acknowledge and greet the now healed man or express pleasure in his healing.  Instead, witnessing the power of God come to earth, the carnage of the herd of pigs, the unearthly healing of the man they had written off; they pleaded with Jesus Christ to depart from them.  Jesus agrees to do so.

So if you or I had been the man, having experienced the miraculous power, mercy and grace of Jesus Christ in our own being; what would have been our response?  I believe we would have been extremely grateful.  I also believe, like the man, when we saw our Savior leaving us; we would have been greatly moved with desire to continue to be with Him; to follow Him, to serve or repay Him.  In our hearts we might feel that the only way to repay His healing, also understanding that we had a debt of servitude is to be right there at His side, to accomplish any task He would have for us.

However, then Jesus steps in.  The man pleads with Jesus to allow him to follow Jesus; but what does Jesus see.  This is the region of Decapolis, that is ten cities, 10 CITIES; ten cities of population, ten cities of lost lambs needing His Salvation.  Jesus also realized that the populations of these cities might not be so open to hearing His message of the Kingdom of God and the wonderful fruits that come from following Christ.  After all, they had just witnessed an amazingly disturbing scene of miraculous healing and swine death.  As the previously possessed man was scary, now Jesus Christ was just as scary.  However, Christ does not want to leave these people alone in their fear.  Jesus does not want them to be ignorant of the graceful plan of salvation that their Heavenly Father has for them.  So, Jesus sends the, now healed man to them.  His mission for the man was a straight forward one; tell about the compassion that you have experienced through the Lord.

Straight forward yes, but was it easy.  I find it interesting that Jesus Christ uses the description, “friends” when telling the man who to go to.  I find it interesting because these were the same “friends” who had tried to seize him and put him in chains.  Do “friends” leave you to live among the tombs and smash rocks into your head?  No one would blame the man for wondering what reception he was going to receive when he went back to his home.

Yet the man did go.  The man followed the call of Christ by not physically following where Christ was, but following the command of Christ to carry out his appointed mission.  Thus again, we come to you and I.  If you have continued to read to this point, something tells me that you, like I, proclaim that you are a follower of Christ.  What I have to constantly reflect concerning myself is; on the basis of whose terms do I define “following Christ”.  I think we must be careful to ask ourselves, are we following Christ based on our own desires; our own definition of what following Christ is?  How would we know?

Dear Sisters and Brothers; we have God given talents.  And like the story of the three servants, God does not want us to “bury” our talents, either by not using them at all or only using them as we deem fit.  Jesus Christ has also promised us the Holy Spirit, who will dwell within us.  Part of what the Holy Spirit will do for us is to reveal to us how we are best to serve Our Heavenly Father.  We may want to push back.  We may disagree.  Yet, whatever our misgivings, let us never get the point where we refuse to go.  Never let us decide that it is our way or the highway as far as deciding what proper following is.  For that highway is wide and will lead to our destruction.  Let us be open to the guiding of Jesus Christ.  Let us desire to serve and follow as Jesus Christ would have us follow.  In so doing, not only is there the promise of blessings, joy and peace for us; but also the spreading of joy, blessings and peace to others along with the message of Salvation through Jesus Christ.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, may it be that we long to follow You.  Thus we call on You to pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us that we might be truly led to know how You want us to follow You.  Forgive us when we are tempted to decide for ourselves what following looks like, refusing to humble ourselves in Your service.  Allow that in our following You, we might share the Good News, of Your Love and Salvation to a world so in need of both.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen


“….He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.  And demons also came out, crying out and saying: ‘You are the Christ, the Son of God!'”  Luke 4:40,41

“…there met Him, two demon-possessed men….And suddenly they cried out:  ‘What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God?  Have You come here to torment us before the time'”  Matthew 8:28, 29

If this post is to have any value, to not be a complete waste of time, you the reader need to understand that there are a couple of premises on which the post is based.  First, that scripture is true.  That is to say, what it depicts in the above instances actually happened.  That, these are not just metaphoric or allegorical figures of speech.  Thus additionally, that means that demons actually exist.  Demons are the agents of the devil and they attempt to act against the will of Our Heavenly Father.

Just to digress a moment, I find it interesting that there is a segment of society and even some within the faith, who see the discussion of the devil and even more so demons as some questionably fringe or fanatical aspect of faith, to be avoided or shunned.  In some ways I can understand this because of how demons and dealing with the concept of demons has been handled by the entertainment industry as well as, indeed, some unique sects and individuals within the Christian Faith.  Yet it is interesting that few within the faith would argue against the existence of angels; curious.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  Demons, being real, plagued the lives of people.  As agents of Satan, their mission was and is to drive a wedge between the Creator; God and His creation, us.  They have various means and tools to achieve their aim.  On the one hand it could be an aspect of physical distress.  Here, understand that I am not saying that all illness is some sort of demonic possession.  Demons, also can vex and attack the mind.  Again, not all mental illness is demonic possession.  Demons, as well can fill a person with all forms of wicked, horrible tendencies and desires and then set about having the person carry them out.  But enough about demons and their processes of which I am not an expert.  This is just to stress and drive the point home that, in every aspect, the existence of demons and all their actions are diametrically opposed to the existence, the mission, the Love of our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

So here’s the fascinating point (at least to me).  According to scripture, the demons had absolutely no trouble recognizing Jesus as the Christ; the One True Son of God Almighty.  Second, they were exceedingly fearful of Jesus.  The demons seemed to have understood the omnipotent nature of Jesus Christ and their complete and utter powerlessness against Him.  Thus, all they could do was scream, cry out, wale against Jesus Christ and the impending doom they felt for themselves at His presence and power.

It is interesting in a sad sort of way, how hard it was for so many back then, as well as so many of us today; to be able to recognize Jesus Christ in the same way.  There will be some who refuse to believe that Jesus Christ ever existed.  There are some who will say that Jesus was a historical figure; but just a human leader of a particular sect.  Still others will acknowledge that Jesus lived and even proclaim that He was a good man, for some even a prophet, but with no divinity associated with Him.  Sadly, among the faith, there is a portion who will proclaim Him, Son of God, yet define that proclamation by stating that Jesus was not virgin born, but rose by His own righteousness to a level where He attained the title of Son of God; man first, God second.

Why is so difficult for us to see Jesus Christ; the true way that He is, even though our declared enemy, who is quite literally hell bent on our destruction, seems to have no trouble seeing the true Christ?  Why are we partially and in some cases totally blind to that vision?  One reason, one challenge we have is how worldly, how physical and secular our society has become.  We gravitate to those things which we feel we can prove through our human methods and understand with our human intellect.  That may seem to fly in the face of what seems to be the “New Age” movement toward all things spiritual.  Yet even here, what I’ve found, is that the spiritual nature that they talk about is all things that are knowable and understandable and to a great extent even controllable by human kind.  That there is an unseen spiritual realm, populated by entities who are beyond our understanding, much less our control and in fact are able to exert control over us which we are not able to defeat on our own; is a vision, a reality, many choose to stay blind to.  However, close your eyes and walk toward the wall in your room.  Being blind to the wall will not keep you from running smack dab into it and hurting your nose (that was only for example purposes – please don’t go walking into a wall).

Dear Sisters and Brothers take heart, for we are not destined to be left blind in this existence.  Who is the Great Physician who has come to restore our sight and defeat our enemies?  Who is it who proclaims to us “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”?  Jesus Christ.  How can we truly see Him?  We must humble ourselves, knowing we have no earthly process that will bring us to the accurate vision of Christ.  It is by the Grace of our Father in Heaven, by the gift of the Holy Spirit that we can come to the true realization of Jesus Christ.  Fortunately, we don’t have some arduous test we must pass first, come up with some exorbitant sum to pay first, sacrifice our first born child to bring about this miraculous transformation in our sight.  For Jesus Christ, passed the test, paid the price, made the sacrifice for us.  What we need do is believe in Jesus Christ and ask and allow the Holy Spirit to work within us; to not only see, but also experience the fullness of Jesus Christ.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we humbly confess that we at times have our vision clouded or even become blinded to the true nature, power and purpose of Jesus Christ, Your only begotten Son.  Forgive us, Most Merciful Father, when we accept some lesser vision of our own making versus the true vision which You have provided for us.  We call on You to pour out Your Holy Spirit, that through the Spirit; we may see and experience Jesus Christ in all His Glory.  That in having the true vision of Jesus Christ and through His power, we would lead lives triumphant over all spiritual and earthly enemies to the praise of Your Most Holy Name.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else be loyal to the one an despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.” Matthew 6:24

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”  Mark 8:36, 37


Oft while striding the road of life
I come across separate paths of choosing
One path promises safety, stability and gain
whilst the other is about dreams, calling and risk
All too often I try
to tread both paths at once
Only to find their direction diverging
each step on each path requiring more effort
Until virtually no forward motion is possible at all
I then realize my folly for both cannot be tread together
I find that I can no longer stand an am forced to
my knees to cry out
God which path finds you at destinations end?
God which path serves you?

Mammon?  In the passage referenced above in some translations the word used is treasure.  On the website dictionary.com, the definition is riches and material wealth.  Here’s the challenge, for this seems to be a hotly contested concept in our world today, is about the obtaining of wealth or the focus on it?

Ahh, but here’s where I have an easy out, I might say to myself.  For you see,  I am not wealthy in any worldly sense (or at least compared to the “wealthy” in my own country).  Okay, I do have a nice, modest sized house, two cars, the standard electronics with the standard connections (cable, internet, etc.).  Thus, because I am not “rich”, do not have a stack of or the gaudy accoutrements of wealth; because I’ve started a blog page where I write posts hoping to praise God, I most assuredly must by serving God and not mammon right?

As I hope the poem above illustrates, the question about whom am I serving is not an easy one, hardly ever is just a one-and-done inquiry and, if we (or at least for me) are not careful, our choices can stop us in our tracks.  You see because “to serve or “serve”, also defined on dictionary.com, means to render obedience or homage to.  Let that concept soak in for a moment; render obedience or homage to……….

Here’s where I (I will not speak for we) get into trouble.  Here’s where gaining the world can put my soul at risk.  You see it doesn’t matter what the world concludes are riches, but what do I conclude are riches or a treasure?  What are my priorities built around?

Finally, where do I see God?  And based upon seeing Him, how do I serve Him?  Again in the poem above, I use the visualization of two paths; but I would encourage you to read King Solomon’ s description of his search for meaning in the Book of Ecclesiastes, because there you’ll find many different paths or perhaps mammon.  For material wealth can be mammon but so can, having a great professional title, or having a beautiful wife and many children.  Having tons of leisure time and activities along with considerable food and drink can also be mammon.  Even great education and fame can become a treasure.

So Dear Sisters and Brothers how can you or I know, if we are paying homage to, we are being obedient to mammon?  If we are open to it, if we will be still and listen, I believe our soul; given explicit warning from the Holy Spirit, will tell us.  For a soul, especially a soul once connected to God; despises becoming lost.  Being the spiritual creations of God Almighty that we are, our spirits yearn to be connected to God, to serve Him, to reject the treasures of this world and store up the treasures of God’s Eternal Kingdom.  The challenge is we are not just spiritual creations but material creations as well.  There are times when we allow the world, the desires of the world as well as the fears of the world,  for remember, quite often we’re not obedient to something out of desire for, but from fear of, to set our priorities and drive the choices we make.

In some practical terms; do I perceive that the gain, however humble it might be comes from the vocation that I do?  When faced with a choice of time, effort, focus and desire; is my first inclination toward the earthly job that I do, calculating that it is the job from whence my ability to live comes from?  Conversely, this dream that I have, this passion that I feel is on my heart; is that about bringing glory and fame to myself?  Is my overarching plan about achieving self promotion or personal adulation?  Do I see God in my choices and do I see His Kingdom as the desired destination of my journey?

I have found that this decision, God or mammon, is not a one time thing or determination.  The world and the prince/enemy of and in this world, will continue to throw mammon of all types at us; either mammon to gain, or the fear of losing the worldly mammon that we have.  Satan will try to convince us, that we are responsible for what we have and thus our focus must be on the responsibility as well as what we have.

Yet take heart Dear Sisters and Brothers.  Jesus Christ, came and was tempted.  Jesus Christ knows our struggles.  Jesus Christ took upon Himself the burdens of our sins.  The grace of Christ’s salvation has included the Holy Spirit sent to testify to and strengthen our souls that we may withstand the temptation to focus on mammon.  Are you facing a decision today?  Does their seem to be ambiguity between what is mammon and what is God?  Take a moment to pray and be silent.  You and I will be instructed on the path, narrow as it is, too take and tremendous blessings both now and eternity will come in selecting God’s path for us.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we humbly confess that we stumble over whom to serve mammon or You.  Pour Out Your Spirit upon us, testifying to us what path You would have us choose and when we’ve strayed off that path.  Help us, through Your Mercy, to see only one true treasure, which is stored up for us in Your Kingdom.  Forgive us when, either through desire or fear, we are tempted to or even start down the wide path toward earthly mammon and destruction.  In Your love, guide us back, that our lives in and through You would be faithful examples of lives in service to You.  We pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.





“Then Judas, His betrayer,….was remorseful…saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’  And they said ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’  Then he departed and went and hanged himself”  Matthew 27: 4,5

“Woe to you…For you load men with burdens hard to bear and you, yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”  Luke 11:46

“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”  Matthew 5:44

You’ve made your bed, now you’re going to have to sleep in it!  Those responsible should have to pay!  There’s a commercial out from an insurance company that has “rate suckers” that is people who’s bad driving record drives up everyone else’s rates!  Over and over again there seems to be a desperate cry in today’s society to differentiate the blamed, separate out the wrong doers, isolate and punish the responsible.  There is a moaning and groaning taking place all throughout society concerning the lack of accountability; the lack of condemnation for wrongdoing, the need for harsher judgement.  Even in the church, too often we seek to want to divide out the “wicked” based on our definition and cast them from our midst.

I think if I listen hard enough, I can hear the groaning that might be happening as you are reading this post (if you haven’t already clicked off).  Yet I’d ask you to understand this; I am not “anti-casting”.  That is so say, I believe that there is evil and wickedness and that we should not sugar coat its existence nor try to justify it in some way.  Also understand, scripture is very clear; Sodom and Gomorrah, Pharaoh, the priests of Baal, King Saul, Ananias plus Sapphira his wife in the Book of Acts and yes Judas were all held accountable; were all destroyed.  However, notice Who destroyed them; Who passed judgement on them; Who it was, Who had the unstoppable judgement of condemnation; Our Heavenly Father.

Yes, the world has much wickedness in it, much hatred and pain.  Yet here’s the question for us Dear Sisters and Brothers:  What’s that got to do with us?  We, who have found a peace and joy, in the midst of trouble, that surpasses all understanding; What have we to do with this unbelieving world?  I believe Jesus Christ would answer to us: Everything.  You see Dear Sisters and Brothers, one of the things that strikes me about the account in Matthew 27 about Judas, is that Matthew says that Judas was remorseful.  Now whether it was true repentance or the attempt of some earthly dodge I can’t say.  Yet in some sense Judas was sorry for what he had done.  So where was Judas to turn?  Where would someone go who wanted to find forgiveness and/or some aspect of redemption?  Would they not, at that time had gone to the synagogue?  Would they not today come to our church; or at least seek out a believer?

But what if our response is like the response of the leaders of the synagogue: “What is that to us? You see to it.” What if we were to either outright say to them or at the very least imply; you got yourself into this so it’s up to you to get yourself out of it?  What if we gave them the impression that we were a group of saved, righteous people who can only be joined by other already saved, righteous people?  I don’t believe Jesus Christ would be pleased.  I believe He might address us by saying “Woe to you………!”  I believe He’d be likely to include us with the Pharisees, Sadducees and lawyers of the time He was on earth, calling them and us hypocrites.  Explaining to us that we were piling burdens on the hurting, shutting up the kingdom against them, yet by our own actions not entering in ourselves either.

What has it to do with us?  Everything!  Why?  First because, to any extent that we might call ourselves or be called righteous, it is a gift of Grace from Almighty God.  We have not earned our salvation.  Our salvation was a gift freely given by Jesus Christ to us while we were yet sinners as well.  God’s Grace, not our innate goodness, is the only difference between us and the world.  Second, Jesus did it.  We must remember that so much of, if not the majority of Jesus’ time on earth was spent in the company of sinners.  I imagine that we think that those were rather harmless sinners, maybe a few lies, some petty thefts, but from the intense reaction of revulsion that the Jewish leaders had, I think there were some people we’d put in the “pretty disgusting” category.  While we hardly scoff at adultery today as a society, back then it was a capital offense, yet Jesus forgave it; did not trivialize it, but forgave it.

So where are the hurting to turn today?  Where are the remorseful to go?  How would those who are mad at God or who, today, are against any and all precepts of God ever get any sense that they have not burned all bridges with God? Where might they be able to look to, to see that God still loves them today; still longs to forgive them and have a loving relationship with them?  Would it not start with the very people who say they are children of God?  Would it not start with you and I, desiring nothing more than to be like Christ, earnestly attempting all we can to bring love and peace into their lives?

Finally, Dear Sisters and Brothers, do not think that this is either easy or able to be accomplished solely (or souly) on our own.  Should we try to have the love of Christ, the forgiveness and grace of Christ without abiding in Christ; we will fall back to our worldly judging ways.  Yet we have a Heavenly Father who does not want us to fail in this.  We have a Heavenly Father who is willing to send us a wise counselor of infinite strength; the Holy Spirit to reside in us and through Jesus Christ accomplish the love, even and especially for our enemies, that He desires us to have.  If you have ever had the experience of going on a service mission trip as I have, you’ll experience and witness the pain of people hurting.  Yet even then, the joy and peace of being able to share the Love of Jesus Christ with them will so surpass the sense of worldly hurt that you see around you.  What has this to do with us?  By and in the Grace of our Heavenly Father; everything.

Our most Gracious Heavenly Father, we humbly proclaim that it is only through Your Grace that we are saved and have come to know You.  Forgive us when we believe in our own righteousness and turn our backs on those we deem to be less worthy.  Pour out Your Spirit upon us that we would have the strength to love our enemies, help those who are hurting even if they do not follow you, risking persecution and ridicule in this world.  Bless us with Your Favor as we try to be beacons of Your Light, shining on this dark world.  We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

%d bloggers like this: