Trinity

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Trinity, a concept based on faith, not fact. But, then again, our lives are based on faith. Without faith in God, we would be floundering in the depths of the troubles in our lives. When we speak of the Holy Spirit, we are in fact speaking of God within us. This was a promise of Jesus, the only son of God, and the face of God when we pray. This way, the Trinity comes to life for us and within us.

Every time we pray to God, He speaks to us; we merely have to listen for the Spirit within us. When we are open to the Holy Spirit, we receive the outpouring of Love that God graciously gives us. That Love gives us hope that we can build on when facing the troubles in our lives. That Love is the Holy Spirit guiding us, keeping us safe. All we need to do is listen.

The only thing that we must do is open ourselves to the transforming word of God that comes to us through the Holy Spirit. As I write these words, I am picturing God; the face I see is the face of Jesus. Jesus speaks to me, giving the word that God is always within me, helping me through this troubled world.

People called me a good teacher; well, Jesus is the perfect teacher, the perfect mentor, bringing the Truth of God’s promise, God’s Love. All we need do is love God and Love our neighbor. We try to remain open to the word of God as brought to us through the Gospels and other sacred writings that god instructed man to write.

Love, Life, Hope, and Promise are all words I associate with God, because I believe that we cannot have these without the presence of God in our lives. I listen to the voice of the Spirit within me, allowing me to hear what God is saying to me. Love, Life, Hope, and Promise, God within us, the Holy Spirit within us, Jesus walking beside us.

Healing

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I love all people, but I have a special place in my heart for those who need God’s Love. Those whom I meet in this state teach me so much about what it means to have faith in God. Together, what we accomplish is so much better than what we do alone. Together, we do God’s healing work; we heal ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. God does the healing, but together we open our hearts to His healing touch.

Many prophets in both the old and new testaments tells us that God will restore us to health and heal our wounds. In our modern world, we overlook these promises. This may be due to our being raised to be self-sufficient. I have many friends that are so willing to give help when asked but will not ask for help when they need it. Pride? Or weakness?

I am one of these people, too. So, I think I can say that it is a weakness. We are not complete people until we can work together to improve our condition, be it mental, physical, or spiritual. Jesus said that whenever two or more are together in my name, I will be among you. Not, but two or three. This should tell us something about God’s purpose.

God is not this old, bearded white man sitting on a throne somewhere in heaven. God is the creator that remains within us to heal us, to cure us, to make us whole. He does, however, ask us to do it together. When we look for healing, when we look for blessings, when we look for truth, we turn to God. The healing, blessings, and truth are meant for all, not just for one. The response from God is much greater when we join in our prayers.

 God’s work is healing, healing us and making us whole. I pray that the prayers I share with others carry the strength of our uniform call for the healing of individuals and all humankind.

Life is a Gift

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Our mortal life is a gift and comes with no guarantees. We live with this understanding. Friends die young, sometimes. My first experience was as a ten-year-old when one of my friend’s accident shot and killed with his police officer father’s service gun. They were playing and took the gun without their father’s knowledge.

I lived most of my life being self-centered and thinking only of my wife and children and their needs. When I was fifty-one, my life expanded immeasurably. I began a new life as a teacher, the most rewarding thing I have done. My inward-looking life opened to include the lives of all of the high school students I mentored.

When I was confronted by the problems of my students, I realized that regardless of what I had lived through was preparing me to show empathy and to love my students beyond anything that I ever imaged. The lives of my students were given to me by God; these lives opened my eyes and heart to others and deepened my faith in God as the loving provider. I saw the face of God in my students. I also so the face of need and deprivation, perhaps the same need and desperation that Jesus worked against in his thirty-one years as a man.

Our spiritual life does come with guarantees. In the Bible, Timothy writes: “Take hold of the eternal life.” And Paul writes in Romans: “The gift of God is eternal life.” Faith in God ensures that our lives are eternal. God knows us before we are born and also knows us after we end this mortal existence. All this supports the idea that our life as we know it is enriched by those we meet (and vice-versa), and our eternal life is of God’s Love.

 

Liberation

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We are born to celebrate our liberation. Our faith in God and the reality of His presence in our lives is so great that the problems of our daily lives, our health, and our emotions are reduced to insignificant bumps in the road. All of us who live and walk in God’s light are called to spread the good news that we are liberated from earthly problems through the grace of God. Nothing in this world exists outside of His grace.

Every person, every tree, every plant, animal, or bird as different as we are share the one true manifestation revelation and that is the Grace of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Each one of us is the divine manifestation of God. We are born in the liberation of God’s love; all we need do is share this love with all humankind, all animals and the very earth itself. This is what God asked Adam and all his followers to do.

Our liberation from evil, the eternal gift from God, is the anchor that keeps us secure; there is nothing in nature that can break us loose from His Love and Grace. The only certainty in our lives is the love of God. We lay down our doubts and fears when we talk with God. Some people say that the time we offer prayers to God are the times that we are talking with him. I reverse this belief. I believe that through the liberation we have from God, when we pray, we are hearing His voice as he speaks to us.

We listen for His voice and are many times disappointed by the lack of an answer; but when we understand that when we pray, God is truly answering us, we understand that this communication liberates us from our worries. As a prayer minister, offering prayers to God for the needs of others is a gift that I have been blessed with. Every time I sit with someone and pray with or for them, I am healed, liberating me, me, from the trials life threatens me with.

My prayers are the words of God, liberating me from the mental stress of life.

 

No One Who Prays is Useless.

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Anna Mow, a very influential author writes: “No one is ever useless to God. No one who can pray is ever useless. There are many people to perform the needed activities, but too few to take the time for prayer. I suppose the hardest thing about being an invalid, about being “useless,” is that it is much harder to receive help than to give it. It is much harder to be still than to be active. That is why it is important to learn how to be a gracious receiver as well as a gracious giver.”

We sometimes believe ourselves to be not worthy of God’s love and attention; this is a lack of trust. We must swallow our ego and offer our lives to the grace of God. I open my meditations with the words,” Dear God, I am enthralled by the nearness of you in my life. This assures me that I am a child of God. I glory in the aura that fills me when praying. I am filled with God’s divinity when I am able to pray with others for His grace. His grace allows me to engage with others in their times of trial.

Our cultural differences are celebrated by the life of Jesus; he showed interest in all people and spoke their language. We can celebrate our differences also by accepting that all people are alike. We discover this through our prayers to God. Others discover this the same way. It is prayer that unites us; therefore, all who pray rejoice in their relationship with God and therefore with each other.

I am always both pleased and amazed by the unity of people when we remove our differences, including our definitions of religion. When we strip ourselves of our taught prejudices and realize that we are one in prayer with God, we have no real differences, no differences that God sees. God only sees the beauty in his creations – us.

 

Waiting

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We wait. But what do we await? Regardless of our age, we wait for things as a child awaits the good things to come. We struggle to know who we are, listening to what others say. When we stand for something, we merely repeat things we have learned or read. Humankind is wired to protect what our shadows are supposed to project not what God  expects of us. We are numb to the realization of our own negativity, the negativity ingrained in us by society. Our society has made our personal egos the very foundation of our personas. We wait for enlightenment and understanding.

How difficult is it to accept that we are part of one body, and therefore, we cannot separate ourselves because we think we are different? What are we waiting for? Edith Stein, a German philosopher who died in Auschwitz in 1942, wrote that when we suffer or are happy we have our feet firmly planted in the earth, but by living a life in Christ, is to laugh and cry with all in the world who sing praise to God. This is the eternity that we as Christians are awaiting. That means all of us. Can we stop waiting for something that was never meant to be? As humans, we suffer through lives of disinterest and problematic social and political upheavals. These are not God’s plans; these are our creations.

Our basic problem of combining our diversity of culture with our unity under God seems always to be addressed by every generation. But hasn’t this been resolved by the very nature of our relationship with God? By recreating this dichotomy with every new generation, we end up waiting for God to correct a problem that does not exist. Only we make it important. What is important is how we as humans respect ourselves and each other. Jesus reminded us that we are to love God and love others. I believe that the word god and the word love are interchangeable. The love we show to others is the love we have for God. We need not wait for it; it is there for our recognition.

From the bosom of God comes the words that love is the key to our existence. All other human practices need to display this love in all that we do. Anything else harms us.

 

 

Abide with Me – A Meditation

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The Christian Hymn Abide with Me includes these words: “Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide; when other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”  Abide with me; what does this actually mean to you and me? Do we abide in God’s love, allowing Him to abide in us? Abide in me are powerful words. We ask God to be with us every day, all day. It’s not easy; it requires us to practice this all the time with whomever we meet. It requires prayer.

It requires a concerted spiritual effort, one with the assistance of God to do this. Many of us use such safe words as: “I love my enemies,” “Turn the other cheek,” “I am not racist.” No matter how boastful we are about this, our actions defy the words. I don’t need to set examples; we know what I mean. We speak one way, but actions will not affect daily routines. We are unwilling to contemplate the truth. What we need to do is have a transformational conversion in our thinking and our actions.

We make gods in our own image, and we worship them. I, for one, wear a cross every day. I want people to know that I am a man of faith. I make the cross more important, because I want to spread my joy to the world. Is this making a god of the cross?

How many of us praise public leaders or popular entertainers, turning them into idols? We do this through jealousy, wanting to be like them. And yet, they are merely human, as we are, no better, no worse; at least in God’s eyes. And, isn’t that more important? We also can make idols of ourselves, as in my example above, wearing a cross. We want to build our reputation to bring glory to ourselves, when we should be bringing glory to God.

So, what can we do? Fannie Lou Hammer, a women’s rights activist, once said that Christianity should be about our fellow human being, not about building a million-dollar reputation while there are people sleeping on the streets, begging for a handout to feed themselves or their families. The United States is the richest country in the world, but we don’t see this with all of the homeless people suffering. Jesus, a revolutionary in his time, was not safely in the synagogue, praying to God. He was out with the little person, suffering right next to him. And, he was executed by the powerful because he was a threat to their super-egos.

So, dear Lord, “. . . with me abide; when other helpers fail and comforts flee, help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.”