Will I Hurt Again?

Our mortal lives are filled with disappointments and traumas. There is no question that we will feel pain be it physical, mental, or psychological. The loss of a loved one is especially traumatic. These are unavoidable painful times in our lives, feeling that our world is coming to an end. We turn to God, Jesus, or the Virgin Mary, depending on our faith. We are comforted by the presence of these holy and spiritual entities that remain with us always, especially in these traumatic hours. We give that’s to God for the goodness and love given unconditionally.

There are other pains that we can avoid. When we anger at others or hold a grudge against them for something they did or did not do to us. When we hold on to this type of unloving thought, we suffer with a different kind of pain that many times will not leave us for a long time. We keep score; we suffer we hurt. These are times when we must turn to God. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our beings is there, but we ignore this. We suffer! This is when we must turn to God, accept His Grace, and forgive. We thank God for the work He does in us and in all people.

 © Russell Kendall Carter

The Least COMMANDMENTS

 After the Beatitudes, Jesus goes on to speak about breaking these least commandments. We are asked and invited by Jesus to do and teach them. When we do as asked, we lift our voices to God and receive his compassionate attention in our contemplations. Personally, I feel all the negativity we are subjected to each day by our society. also, with our teaching we tend to reduce the presence of mistrust, fear and, negativity surrounding us.

The love that we create secures our relationship with God and rebuilds our inner strength to spread this love between ourselves and one another. Jesus came into this world to wage a campaign against all evil and our goal should be to continue the work of our Christ. through our prayers and meditation, we stand at the doors of heaven knocking and if anyone hears our voices the possibility of a spiritual awakening for our nation and all nations opens our ears to hear the word of God allowing peace and understanding throughout the world.

Jesus asked us to open our own doors to allow the strangers to enter; together when we kneel in the presence of God, we ask for repentance for all the damage we do to ourselves, to others, and to the earth itself. God wants us to act in gracious courtesy and compassion to all of humanity, to all of the animals, and the vegetation and forests that God created for our benefit.

In my contemplations each day I pray that this be so.

 

 

 © Russell Kendall Carter

 

 

 

And God Laughs

Laughter is a gift and when done in earnest goodness, it is very refreshing

and love spreading. Only when done in derision is laughing harmful.

 

I enjoy a good joke and I love a good comedy show of any type. I am told I have a belly laugh, which to me is preferable to a horse laugh. I laugh often because I look at life with humor and love. Although I laugh at funny things, I laugh most often at myself. And I believe that God laughs with me. One of my favorite sayings is: “When man makes plans, God laughs.” Yes, I believe that God laughs; if we are made in His image, then if we laugh God laughs.

When we truly connect with God through the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we are gladdened by the change in our life. We smile, which is the mildest form of laughter, and it is initiated by the presence of God and Grace in our lives.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Forbid Him Not

I am a spiritual person; I am a man of peace and a man of faith. I attend a Christian Church, but I am very familiar and have studied deeply the old Hebrew religion and the Islam religion. These were all created by the followers of Abraham and are similar in many ways.

I also have a semi working knowledge with some of these southern Asian religions, such as Hinduism and Sikhism. I respect all people of faith who love God no matter what name they call him. I criticize none for their practices even though I may disagree with them.

But I do have to say this: although I attended an Episcopal church, and I love the liturgy and many of the homilies, but it is most often the fellowship I love. Love is spread around the congregation by our rector, an Episcopal priest, an associate rector, also an Episcopal priest, and a curate, our third Episcopal priest. All are loving and kind people; all are devoted to their work. Although, I think that I have flourished in the Episcopal religion and it has broadened my scope of interest with an observation of religions all around the world, I come back to what Jesus said when his disciples accused a man of healing in Jesus’s name. Jesus said forgive him, forbid him not. What does that mean, forbid him not, if he is practicing in Jesus’s name. Need he be a priest; did he need to have studied for three years at seminary?

This is one of the only places where I disagree with organized religion. I believe that anybody who is a man or woman of faith can heal in Jesus’s name and bring God into others’ lives

A very good friend of mine had decided that he was going to remove himself from life-prolonging artificial means. He was worried that God would punish him for “committing suicide.” I told him that God loves him and probably put the thought in his head. I also told him that God forgives him for all of his sins. This is what Jesus taught us and died for.

I was very emotional that a good friend had opted for death, even though it would end his suffering. I drove to my church, asked to see the rector, and related the conversation to her. Instead of comfort, she rebuked me for telling him that God forgives him of sins, the reason, only an ordained priest can grant this from God. I left both disappointed and angered.

The Gospel reading this week tells the story of Jesus telling His followers that they should not rebuke someone who heals in His name. Jesus said, “Forbid him not!” I wonder why my rector rebuked me.

© Russell Kendall Carter

End of Time

As each day ends, our time pauses. We sleep through the night and awaken the next morning to a new day and a new world. Our time is renewed. Personally, I begin each day refreshed by the morning Sun, cleansed of all of the problems and sorrows of the previous day. We are nearing the time of renewal and birth as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. We celebrate the new world with song and praise.

Through God’s Love, we are blessed by His Grace and protected by any dangers that come near; God directs us to the hidden treasures She places within us. Spiritually, Jesus holds my hand through anxiety and need. I trust He will also comfort me when I face the end of my time on Earth. Jesus’s resurrection demonstrates that there is no true end of life.

I know if I ask anything of God, She hears me. I also know that God will answer my prayers, but not necessarily in the way I want or expect. My time is not God’s time. My life is a projection of God’s Love; this love means that the end of time is a man-created concept, not God’s. All our hopes, dreams, and help come in the name of God. It is She who made heaven and Earth.

© Russell Kendall Carter

God’s Kingdom

Stop searching

it is not visible

neither high nor low

for the eye is blind.

The mystery is within

feel it, open your mind

to your loving heart.

The mystery is without

feel it as the leaves rustle

and the songs of birds.

The mystery encircles

a loving family

and generous neighbors

and distant unknowns.

The Kingdom is within

and all around.

We cannot see it

with our eyes –

we can only feel it

in our heart.

“The Kingdom is

inside you,

and the Kingdom is

outside you.”

©Russell Kendall Carter

Gifts

Humanity needs saving;

we have abused all of God’s creation.

Our leaders speak of planet Earth

as if it is ours to rape and plunder at will.

We care not for our future or

the future of our children or grandchildren.

Our greed is destroying our very existence.

Our desire for the artificial dream of

wealth through money is leading us to destruction.

More is our prayer for the future.

The false God, money, or mammon

as named in the Bible, promises us

a glorious and fanciful lifestyle.

It need not be this way!

Reading Jeremiah, we note that Yahweh

withdraws aid to the people Israeli and Judah

for not following His will,

that the country if filled with false profits

and religious leaders,

pretending to offer the word of Yahweh;

He is tired of the leaders doing just

the bidding of the rich.

But this is only the Old Testament;

and our country is a Christian country.

We know this for our political and religious leaders

promise us that we are different

because we follow Christ.

Yet how many of our leaders spurned the will of God.

How important is wealth in this country.

The average voter is promised equality,

but all benefits go to the rich.

Our religious leaders support the big money

in religion and politics.

We are no different than the ancients in Israel and Judah.

Our actions condemn our words.

We vote for leaders who promise us the world

and deliver nothing to us.

We do this with every election.

The extraordinary tax cuts will not be rolled back,

because if the leaders do this, they will be voted out

because we will be convinced that the richer

the rich are, the better off we are. We do not learn.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Strangers

Define stranger. One of the definitions is a person who is not a member of the family, group, community, or the like. In other words, a strange is an outsider. But we are all strangers in a strange world! There are no outsiders. No matter how far someone goes from his home nest, his place of birth, he is still part of the family of man and therefore cannot be a stranger, and outsider.

Can we do any less than welcome him as God welcomes us? Are not we all strangers in some sense, but always welcomed as a child of God? We are not outsiders; we belong to God and therefor to each other. When we vilify the other as a stranger, we are only inflaming conflict. And conflict always leads to war. I have had enough of war. God has had enough of war.

The human person is both body and soul; the important, eternal part is the soul, the perfect creation of God. Jesus taught us to see others as ourselves, to love others as ourselves. When we follow Jesus, there is no conflict; there is no war. They true way to right this problem to open ourselves and reflect God’s truth and love.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Times of Trouble  

I am hopeful and do not drive on a road of continued despair. When I detour into depression or despair, my true hope is getting closer to God. Jesus said to abide in Him as He does in me. Jesus is not only a shield against troubles, but also a silent den in which I can meditate and pray.

Times of trouble are temporary by my becoming optimistic to God’s grace and love. I am not afraid to cry out to God in anger; He loves me and understands. As a believer in Christ, I am never alone in my struggles. My pain, confusion, and momentary sense of failure is surrounded and embraced by a compassionate God.

I thank God for the uncompromised presence within me.  I thank him every day for walking with me, even when I doubt and am filled with anger. My prayers are initiated by God because His words begin all conversations. His silent voice breaks the silence of my heart. His light shines through me to enrich the lives of others.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Minds. . . and Hearts

I question what is in my mind that always keeps me on thin ice. Often, I feel that my world is near ruin; I long for something; I seek the unknown. Even though I know the Holy Spirit guides me, I long to awaken in God’s heaven and earth filled with His Grace. I long to repair the world humanity is destroying.

I pray that God, will fill heaven and earth with Grace and Spirit, allowing us to share in His bounty. But we can never know the mind of God; we are amazed at His mercy towards us, His forever forgiving us for our sins. We refuse to see our violence to our planet; the home God gave us. We destroy ourselves. I pray for the awakening of humanity to at least try to live up to God’s wishes for us.

We joy in the new life Jesus promises, yet we refuse to accept the wisdom that goes with it. My prayer today is for us to open our minds to accept the love that God shares in our hearts.

© Russell Kendall Carter