Living in Simplicity

What is God saying to me today? Am I growing in prayer for all humanity?

Where can I improve my relationships with others, with Jesus, with God?

These are questions I ask myself every day. My goal is to rename myself; The Lord is Here. I open my Bible, read whatever chapter falls open; this is always random. I then turn to my Bible in a Year App and Read the selections for the day. Then I look to the other inspirational sites I read each morning. I take my pen and my daily diary and jot notes from each of these.

Then I put all aside and begin my morning meditation which includes a prayer of thanksgiving for my life and those dear to me. I invite God into my heart and meditate on my relationship with God and God’s relationship with me. At times, worldly issues delay my immersion. All the while, I am deep in conversation with God, our eternal Abba.

Eventually, I know that you and I are marvelously made and fully known to God. I pray for assistance to practice this all day long. I keep it simple – I try to see the face of God in all whom I meet. My desire is to assure that my relations with all are wrapped in one simple word – Love. Love comes from God into my heart. It’s that easy. 

When this is complete, I open my word document and write in my blog. Something simple, such as this, will appear the next day. I also write a short poem on my topic for the morning:

Take your favorite pen;

find a blank page in your diary.

Hear the knock; open the door;

let God enter your heart,

and the marvelous city

of simplicity will enter.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Bien Vivre

Good living . . .

Our universal vision must change as to what the definition of charity is. When we withhold equality in all parts of life, we obfuscate the  meaning of charity. Jesus calls us to protect the most vulnerable in our society. We must stop the denial of our history of inequality, since the first of our ancestors stepped on the shores of Virginia and Massachusetts. What we can do is recognize the errors made and reverse them for all humanity, and by extension, all of God’s creation.

Equal rights, be them for people of color or by gender, are supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, but lawmakers have passed laws limiting the rights of those who are on the fringe of society and will not allow their prejudices to be reversed. This is why religion and the churches in the United States must take a lead on this issue of equality.

Like it or not, we are all make in God’s image; nowhere in the words of Jesus does it say that we are to discriminate against a certain class of people. It is time for all people of faith help repair the virulent divisions created by duplicitous politicians. Jesus gives us certain instructions when it comes those left behind by society; “what you do to the least of these, you do to Me.” We cannot say we love Jesus and not love all people.

What Jesus asks is not easy; but, if we truly love Jesus and praise God for the gifts given to us, we cannot ignore the two greatest of the commandments. We are all poor in our humanity; the economic standards of the poor in Israel two thousand years ago may not be the same as they are today, but spiritually, we are just as bankrupt. We need to recognize God within us all. I pray that 2021 will bring us closer to Love.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Prosperity

Let us All Prosper

With the new year, we all make resolutions to improve ourselves. I say that we should only make one: reduce the greatest difficulties in our lives. The only way we can do this, I believe, is to take a greater interest in our fellow man (and woman), be kind, be patient, and accept each as a child of God who is just as damaged as we are and are looking for a way to survive this pandemic-threatened world.

Give charity to one another and not just in monetary form. Lift those we see and those we do not see up to God in prayer, asking for God to lift all of us from suffering, from envying, and from egotism. Jesus invites us to love one another; love is not a word; love is a deed, a function of our lives. The only way we can prosper is through love. It is all God asks.

We are now separated from our families, our friends, and our neighbors, all around the world. Our community is divided because of this virus. Some take precautions, some do not, but all are in our family. We must turn toward each other in love and compassion, share our stories of isolation and quarantine.

If we want to survive this pandemic, we cannot add to it by hate and opposition. We look upon the face of Jesus and see God. We must look upon the faces of others and see Jesus before us; see the ocean of Love pouring forth in a gentle torrent. It is there for all to see. None of us have seen the face of God until we recognize it in the faces of those we disagree with. Accept what we see; go, let us all prosper.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Go in Peace

Go in Peace

Our minds are filled with the peace of God. With God’s peace and love, and our faith in God’s presence within us, removes fear of troubles in our lives; faith becomes our guiding light, and in this light, we overcome all worries, are healed from evil threats. 

When we live with the faith in God, we experience a great hope that supports are efforts to continue on the lighted journey of our life. We never give in to our bodily troubles. We are blessed that the Holy Spirit, which wraps us in protection, is shared by others, and when we recognize others as children of God also, our hearts are lifted by joyous goodness.

When we share, we see the brightness of God in their hearts, and this good news brings us and all gracious health from our Lord. How many times in the Bible did Jesus tell us that faith has saved us, and we are to go in peace. We listen, we learn, we hear and feel the Holy Spirit. Let our faith support us as we turn the corner on the new year.

Cherub, go in peace

It is the way of the lord

In faith find release

© Russell Kendall Carter

Body and Soul

Body and Soul

It is good to have a body. Without this necessary entity, we cannot do what we are asked to do. Primarily, what we are invited to do by Jesus: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” A simple but many times a difficult invitation to uphold. We are too quick to judge others by their appearance.  

Just take a look at that family on the side of the road; you know, the one with the father standing there with a cardboard sign reading, “Help, we have no jobs and no place to live.” How many of us just pass them by, perhaps thinking that if we stopped, we might be infected by the filth they are forced to live in. Or, worse still, we say to ourselves and sometimes shout it out the window telling them to get a job and stop cluttering up the highways.

What we think affects our bodies. But negative feelings about these poor people, many times people pf color or immigrants, do affect the way our bodies respond. Stress, acidity in the stomach are two symptoms that come to mind. But when we look at these people with sympathy and reach out to them giving the a few dollars, our opinions of them change, as do the reflections within our bodies.

Personally, I feel pity, anger, and shame. Pity comes first because I came from a relatively poor background in the 1950s; not a beggar’s life, but a life of an unsure future. What we had back then was hope. Hope is a spiritual refuge that secures our souls directly to the loving arms of God. hope protects us from the depths of depression that can overwhelm us in hard times. Anger and shame because our society of greed causes this grief.

Hope also in couples with faith; faith that ties us directly to God. Hope is repeated many, many times in the stories of Jesus that we read in the New Testament; but is also is present in the promises of God’s Love in the Old Testament, when the prophets speak of the coming Messiah. Hope is not present unless we also have faith, a faith in an every-loving God. our faith is in something not visible to the human eye; it is only visible when seen and received from the heart.

How many times did Jesus, say that faith has healed you? Healed, not cured, a healing is much more permanent than a cure. A healing cleanses one’s soul, that part of the human existence directly tied to God’s Love and Compassion. Your faith has freed you, so you can live in peace. Let our body, our soul, and our faith be one.

Our body, our soul

One is limited by time

One is saved by faith

© Russell Kendall Carter

Being a Watchman of God

Being a Watchman

God offers so much; we are born to live for such a short while. We cannot allow our neighbors to live in ruins. They are in pain because of our turning away from what we are too ashamed to see. We know we are wrong when we feast at the table and others go hungry. It is not enough to just open food kitchens. Our neighbors need these kitchens because we close the door to their prosperity.

We have the strength to lift them from poverty, keeping them healthy, and giving them well-paying employment. Yet we keep them from this because we do not want to give others a place at the table. We fear that what God produces in His abundant fields will not be enough; therefore, we hoard.

We forget that when others suffer needlessly, we also feel their pain; we just turn from it in embarrassment or fear. We forget that we are on earth to serve, not to hoard. We cannot love unless we allow God’s light to shine upon all. We celebrate the birth of Jesus every year, but we forget that He was born into poverty and lived His entire life in poverty. Yet He rose to great heights, inviting us to come with Him and walk in God’s light.

His lessons are of truth, eternal abundance, love, peace, and community through our sharing the Eucharist. All He asks is for us to open our hearts, listen . . . to understand our lives, the lives of others and how that without God, we are all weak. If we walk the lighted path shown to us by Jesus, our journey will lead to wonder.

In a world suffering with war and pandemic, we can rise above the turmoil by listening to God with our open hearts to receive true wisdom and love. We cannot heal others of their problems unless we ourselves are healed. This occurs only through God’s love and grace.

When we arm ourselves with God’s Love and Grace, we can rise above all earthly cares and not be slaves to the evils of war and pandemics. For your sake and mine, we must not be silent and turn our eyes from the hardships of life that are created by our fears. It is time to free our self-imposed shackles and live the lives that only God can provide.

© Russell Kendall Carter

A Christmas BLessing

In Him is Life, and the Life is the Light.

The light of all people shines on a bright Christmas morning. As the shepherds I the fields, the world is filled with wonder, the wonder of a grace-filled God born among us to suffer the hardships of mortal life. This is not just an experience for those of us who are called Christians. This light is for all people, all of God’s creation. Nothing can separate us from God’s Love and Grace. The Love that Jesus brings is so massive and so bright, we must close our eyes and see it with our hearts.

Only the majesty of this loving God can invite us to understand it, then, and only then, can we out our trust in the message that Jesus brings. As Christians, our God-given duty is to pray that others will be opened to realize and be strengthened by this Love. We must not force them to do so; we must only offer God’s invitation to do so. The Spirit of God is within us all to realize when we listen for His words with our open hearts.

Jesus asks that we love God, love ourselves, and love one another. We cannot love God, nor can we love Jesus, if we do not love one another. That means that no matter what a person looks like, what religion or gender that person is, or what color that person is, he/she is invited to hear the light of Jesus and the light of God wit their open hearts. If we do not love one another, we cannot absolutely love God, for God created all on this earth and love and respect for all His creation is all He asks of us. Remember, Love is the very character of God.

We spiritually climb to the heights of the His holy mountain to truly feel the warmth of Love that is all around us. We step carefully to show respect for God’s creation. We feel the warmth and bask in the light that only God can give, and Jesus can bring to us. The Lord our God will keep us from all harm and watch over us for eternity. This is the message of Jesus.

Proclaim the Greatness

               Proclaim
  
 Proclaim the greatness of our Lord!
 Proclaim the good news to all!
 Proclaim the coming of eternal love for all!
 Proclaim the humility and love
 For those who hear the Word and obey!
 O Creator of all, O majesty of Grace. Let us
 proclaim the lowness, the humility,
 the caring for the least on earth!
 Proclaim that the kingdom of the world 
 is again in our midst!
 Proclaim the patience, kindness, and love of
 Jesus Christ who showed us the way!
 Proclaim the greatness of our Lord! 

Holy – ASimple Advent Prayer

 
 
                     Holy – A Simple Advent Prayer
  
      God, you made the earth before us; sanctified our existence by forming us from elements in your creation. You made the earth holy; therefore, we also are holy. As you look upon Your Son, we praise You for being among us. Holy is His name. He brings peace to all who accept Your Word. During Advent, we remind ourselves that His presence and Your Love are gifts we must cherish.
      Each year, you open our door to the Holy One, reminding us that we too are holy in your eyes. May our actions during the holy season let our Love for You and Your Love for us shine brightly, restoring the eternal bond between Us. As Mary said, “Holy is His name.” may we keep His holiness in our lives throughout this coming year.
  
   

Diamonds

 Diamonds! Everybody has them, too many to count; but we walk around keeping them hidden. We listen not; we hear not; we share not. Our diamonds are hidden , in a jewel box, or a safe, out of touch, out of reach, out of sight. Our diamonds are hidden by our pasts, by our fears. 
 We dress in them, in our ears, in our noses, hanging on a change, or around our wrists. We show them off; see, I am rich, rich with my diamonds. Sometimes we put them on the soles of our shoes. Then we return them to our hidey-holes. Hidden, worthless; we think they have value. We think we are rich. How blind we are.
 Take them out; give them away; give them away. After this, look around; see all the diamonds you have. More than before, give them away. If we don’t keep them, we have more, many, many more. Our diamonds are not baubles to hide and bring out only when we try to impress. If we hide them, they fade away and are worthless.
 Our diamonds come from within. They are treasures meant to share. The more we give them away, the more we have. We sparkle like diamonds when we share.