From the Mouth of Babes

I awaken each morning,

awed as a newborn seeing

the newness of the day.

I am not a perfect person,

but I know that as a weak human,

I am made authentic by the presence

of God in my life.

I am powerless whether

I will live another day.

The Grace of God is my protector.

I am authentic but not perfect;

God has allowed me to become

authentic in the frailness of my human body.

God forgives my misdeeds,

blesses me with His Grace.

I follow the teachings of Jesus,

fulfilling my duty to my fellow man.

I have worked at this for many years and

even though retired from a paying job,

I continue to serve through prayer and other ministries.

Wisdom has built her house within me –

that I may share God’s will.

When hard times visit me,

I do not fret . . .

or become alarmed.

I am always on my inner watch

and guard any negative or

forlorn thoughts

that enter my being.

As I do this,

I am as free as a child

frolicking in his play yard,

© Russell Kendall Carter

“Li gen la vi nan li” (Haitian Creole) There is Life in Her!

We are Not self-created; from before our birth, we are conceived by God; we are his property; we are redeemed by Him, and every day we are regenerated by Him. These are the three claims that tie us to God for our lifetime. But why does this matter? Because we live our lives as if we are alone in this world; we practice our greed; we practice not loving one another; we hoard. We elect leaders who will not allow people to have livable wages and to be self-functioning in their families as creatures of God.

As God’s creation, he asks us two things: to love him and to love one another as ourselves, not love one another as we love ourselves, but to love one another as ourselves. This means that we must see others as if we were that other, which means that when we see this lonely man sitting on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that says please help and we disregard him, we are disregarding ourselves, condemning ourselves to a life of poverty and hardship. We merely fail to realize how our personal futures are affected by out lack of brotherly love.

Women are especially important to God; this was often shown through the actions of Jesus. He elevated women to a greater stature than society allowed them. From the woman at the well to the blessing of Mary Magdalene as she met Him outside of his tomb. God blesses women as the humans who bring new life into this world. Women are immortal. There is something inside of women that will last throughout eternity. Through women, God creates life. “Li gen la vi nan li” There is life in her!

Mothers answer when you call; mothers strengthen and teach children to life. God gives the world women to nurture, to love, and to bring all humanity to the love of His tender mercy.

Abundant Simplicity

We have forgotten our roots in Christianity; Jesus walked the earth preaching goodness, love, and simplicity. His only worldly possessions were the clothes on His back. Yet, He lacked for nothing. His relationships lack material possessiveness; and He invited us into the abundance of God’s presence.

In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he writes, Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. But we have not done this. We are hypocrites throughout. We pay more to Amazon than we do to God. our quest for riches has turned us into a brood of vipers.

We consume our own flesh. Our government gives enormous riches to the already super rich, and in doing so, robs what little the poor have, taking away housing, well-paying jobs, and basic human rights, such as quality education and quality health care.

If I were an Old Testament prophet, I might write that God will strike down our kingdom and spread us far and wide for not following His way. He has sent a plague upon the land, taking our loved ones from us, separating us from family and friends. And nevermore shall our land rule the earth.

But I am not an Old Testament prophet; I am a retired mentor of youth, genuinely concerned about the world they are inheriting. Are there leaders among our youth who will bring us back to a more reasonable path that we can follow, which will emphasize abundant simplicity and not overpowerful material wealth? I can only pray that there are.

Wonder Woman

a super hero

overcoming all
passion as her shield

she nurtures with love
serves with grace
nothing can defeat

her strength, her love; 
she comforts my fears
her brass bracelets
shining with reflected

light of tenderness
fearing nothing
she faces my torment
soothes my damaged ego
comforts my riven body

standing by my side
she brings me children
renewed youth
each morning

fighting the battle
of everyday life
standing tall, standing strong

with her lasso of truth
she bring us love	

a true superhero

© Russell Kendall Carter

If We Listen

He was born 
in a small insignificant town.
A son of a carpenter,
He is forever known as One!

He was a precocious child,
arguing with rabbis at the age of twelve;
He probably drove his parents insane,
but we know this not.

A friend of thieves, lepers,
and society’s forgotten,
He prayed,
He healed,
He showed the way!

For Truth’s sake,
He lives within us,
even now,
a millennia later.

He lifts us up,
to unimaginable heights;
He allows us to flourish,
if we listen!

His presence guides,
if we listen!

© Russell Kendall Carter

Known by Love

We are not well;
yet no doctor needed.
We are sick,
but do not need to bed.

We ignore the inner
forget our strength.
We lack trust and
our ability to live.

We have mercy;
we sacrifice;
we are not righteous, yet
we are not sinners!

We reform,
we repent,
we refresh our souls,
and search for what God has given . . . 


© Russell Kendall Carter

Freedom with a Yoke

Jesus asks us to share His yoke. This is not a constricting device that the term implies; it is more of a voluntary union that we can accept, a union built on freedom. I again must change the meaning of a word; freedom does not mean running amok from one idea to the next; the freedom I speak of is the freedom to know that our cares are not solely our own. When we walk on the lighted path shown to us by Jesus, we are freed from the mundane worries that try their best to crush us under a load of false promises.
Our true personal freedom becomes a reality when we humble ourselves, recognizing that there is a power greater than us. This frees us spiritually to investigate what lies ahead. When we believe that God will provide, as the Bible repeatedly offers, we are relieved of the fear of what lies ahead. Jesus repeatedly invited us to the realization that God always gives life to those of us willing to listen. Our world is full of people who hear, but do not listen. God’s rivers flow with living water.
The Psalmist repeatedly reminds us that God knows us, knows what we say before we utter the words. This should be a comfort for us. I don’t think there is a person alive who really thinks he or she knows themselves. We think we do, but too often we find that we are doing things we never thought we would do. How many of us begin planning one career goal, only to find that we are heading in a different direction? There is not a word that I say or a step that I make that God does not know about beforehand. God may not make us do a certain ting, but he does open doors for us to go through. 
God always gives eternal life to all who are willing to listen. When we encounter Jesus in our prayers and daily lives, our hearts swell, giving us the promise of God’s eternal life. God is not some distant imagined deity sitting on a mountaintop sending down selfish edicts to his minions. God is the living truth within, comforting us in times of trial, and lifting us above the mundane pressures of our world. Once we accept this, we are enriched with a comfort, an unexpected ease in our hearts and souls. 
When we accept God’s true light, love, and presence, our lives are enriched and eased by an inner emotion of confidence.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Personal Ministry

     One of the gifts of Easter is the invitation to serve one another. This is made truly clear in the scene in the upstairs room when Jesus kneels to wash the feet of his apostles. We need this scene; we need this scene to stay in our minds, otherwise our need, our need, will never be truly realized. 
     This is not to say that we serve others for our benefit; we serve others, for Jesus showed us the way. Our compassion for others always, always leads to something greater. When we sit with our brotherhood and sisterhood, we are emulating Jesus in being a servant of God to the needs of others. And, in doing so, we establish what I call our personal ministry.
     I have found that when ministering to others, the pain they feel, and the pain I feel, turns our heartaches and sadness to the richness of community and love. We are all in one Love, the Love of God. It is the foundation of humanity and the only way we can build universal love for mankind and for all of God’s creation, this pea-sized orb floating in space, our bright light that brings warmth to our bodies and ourselves. 
     We are trees loving and living beside the clear, flowing rivers . . .  growing love and spiritual nourishment in God’s Eden of Love. God’s compassion for humanity allows us to share this holy compassion with all mankind; we are spurs driving life to move forward. The love we share through our ministry is the fruit of the love and healing power of Jesus. We are invited to bring His fruit to His people.
     We may weep for the loss of our communities during this time of isolation, but may we also use these tears to enrich God’s tree of love.

© Russell Kendall Carter