Faith is the Substance

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1).

I think (maybe) too much about faith and Substance. One Truth I never ignore is that God is the only true Substance there is, and I am permanently a part of this Truth. I cannot ignore my feeling that this substance directs my heart to prayer every morning I arise to face God’s re-created world. I am faith, but it is more realistic and more relevant that I say that I am more than faith; I am trust.

I meditate often and at times (most of the time) I over-think what I should just accept. Maybe this is because I am so used to requiring my college students to do so. I put my complete trust in God. There is no doubt in my mind that I am His child and therefore a perfect creation. But as with many people before me, I discover that there is a void within me that requires something more.

What digs as me constantly is my need to live a life of prayer. It is God’s desire for me to do so for a life without prayer leads to an unending void. God is not a specter that appears and disappears in my mind’s vision. God is. . . God is a true Substance. My need to pray comes from my soul, and my soul is my heart, and my heart belongs to God. How can I not live a life of prayer for the issue of prayer is not me; the issue of prayer is God. This is when He speaks to me. This is where and when my heart legitimizes the fact that I trust.

The knowledge and trust that comes from the substance of God within me, of the Holy Spirit within me, comes from the fact that living a life of prayer enables me to live the life that Jesus exemplified, a life of Wisdom, a life of prayer, and a life of humility. This is faith; this is substance.

©Russell Kendall Carter

Time to Change

We are all hypocrites!!! We scurry through life with chips on our shoulders, trying to impress those that we meet as to how in we are with those of seeming importance. We try to impress people with how in control we are, and we boast about how generous and giving we are. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

I know this is not true. We proudly proclaim our authenticity, yet we walk by the homeless person sleeping in an alley. We attend our church, or synagogue, or mosque and proclaim how holy we are and upon leaving return to be thinking about the next killer deal we will make that pads our pockets with gold. Nowhere in any of the holy books of our desert religions is there praise for the accumulation of wealth. All are devoted to praising God and serving others. Think of all the stories we learned similar to the prodigal son or good Samaritan.

We need to change our direction in life; if we want to be drawn closer to God, we must practice true authenticity; we must Love others; we must serve God by serving others. We must open our hearts and proclaim “Lord, I am listening!”

Gracious God, whatever be thy name, bring me back to your fold, allowing me to be the humble servant you desire me to be. Allow me to see the devastation that society is doing to your children. Strengthen me with the determination to strike down those powerful forces that increase poverty and devastation to your children. Let me find others so that we may defeat those who are only concerned with the accumulation of wealth, not allowing all to benefit from your grace.

©Russell Kendall Carter

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Prayers are Spiritual

 

We open our hearts to God as we listen to His prayers; our prayers come from God and are therefore His. This is why all prayers are holy and all prayers are of Love, Divine Love, God. Prayer is our first nature; our first being. We are prayer before anything else, therefore, we are Love before anything else. We pray to listen to God; we pray to hear the teachings of Jesus. We pray to be comforted with the loving presence of the Holy Spirit.

My very image and nature changes when I pray; this is God’s doing. Although I am an imperfect mortal creature, when I pray, I become one of God’s beautiful flowers, pleasant to see, pleasant to touch and hold in your arms. This is not my doing; this is God’s. I become a perfect beautiful creation. Love. Truth, Life itself.

I write prayers daily. I do this because the world does not make sense. It is evil, malicious, and so threatening and uncaring that we tend to lose confidence in God’s message of Love. Prayer helps to comfort us in these dark days of our mortal existence. Each morning when I awaken, I write, I am reborn in God’s image. I share His words. I become Love. The light of God’s image shines through His words that I put on paper.

My prayers are His writings to me, to us. My prayers are His and therefore holy. My prayers are His and therefore spiritual.

©Russell Kendall Carter

 

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Let Jesus Lead

When we follow the invitation of Jesus to love our enemies, we open our hearts to the possibility of our self-healing from prejudice and hate. This is Jesus’s message about all of us together as one body of Christ, regardless of who we are or where we live. Jesus leads us to unity and Love and empowers us to be His messengers, spreading His healing and Love to all we meet.

Following the teachings of Jesus, we become vulnerable to all those we meet. This may seem to be a challenge, but we are empowered with God’s Love that cannot be defeated by mortal egos and evil thoughts. We walk the path of Jesus free of the rules and regulations imposed on us by modern, mortal-centered religion. We are free to be God’s true disciples led by His nature and Love. We become messengers of the Good news for all.

As with the mortal man Jesus, we may not be beautiful, and we definitely are not of the privileged class. We are servants. God sends the Spirit to dwell within us, blessing us and all we share the good news with. We travel a bewildering path on this spiritual journey; but being led by God, we are safe and assured of our destination.

Personally, as a caregiver and spreader of the good news, I am the image of the old well-used tool, dented, a little rusty around the edges, worn beyond good looks, but still extremely useful to the master craftsman. That craftsman is God. And I am His trusted tool, led by the teachings of Jesus.

©Russell Kendall Carter

 

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Meditation as a Gift

There are two types of meditation that I practice by necessity. Sometimes, I go against the pros who preach that I must empty my mind to truly meditate. But when I am in need of spiritual uplifting, I always clear all thoughts that come my way. Regardless of which method I use, I revel in the one true course and that is to serve God and then with His guidance, serve others. My meditations comfort my soul for I am with God in this holy time, and I know that I am His child and a follower of Jesus’s refreshing light.

While I meditate, God teaches me that I must be willing to be open to His Grace, exposing the grace in me and all others. He also reminds me that He has known me long before I was in my mother’s womb and am His child only.

We all should meditate; how else can we discern what mountains we have climbed erroneously. meditate and open your heart and mind to God. Follow this as I have been taught, recognize where we are today, ang engage in the hopes and values that God offers us freely every day of our lives.

©Russell Kendall Carter

 

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Seekers and Dreamers

From the time that we are able to think and plan for ourselves, we are on the prowl, searching for something: fame, success in sports, riches, and companionship. All but one of these are concerns that mortal man cares to procure; save companionship. This can be purely physical, or, if we really care to investigate, is, not will be, the most important and most fulfilling quest.

God cares for us, blesses us, and is mindful of all we do and need.

I open my heart for the presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s guide enabling me to find Truth. I am a pilgrim of sorts, not searching for exotic places to visit, but deepening my understanding of my relationship with the Trinity and how my life is bonded to the presence of God in my life, through Spirit. This shocked me! My concept of God exploded in my presence from a mystical concept to a vastness that is greater than the universe I perceive when looking at our massive universe and how small it is compared to God.

My primary quest is to be in the understanding and truth given to me by God; Jesus shows me the path to walk, a simple life rejecting societal comforts to be with those whom societies abandon. My life has no meaning if I desert these whom Jesus loves. Truth gives me an honesty that only God understands for He has blessed me with this loving burden.

The burden is both easy and difficult because I must speak up in support of those Jesus loves. I cannot be silent; I must speak from the platform that will free these people from poverty, allowing them the freedoms that all must enjoy in God’s universe.

Seekers and dreamers, join me on this path that Jesus created for us to follow; let us use the power that God gives; let us spiritual heal those in need, allowing society to see their worth.

©Russell Kendall Carter

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Eros

Too much has been implied of a sensual need when people speak of eros. I understand! When we talk of eros, we really mean sensual love – in a word, sex. I look at eros as wholesome love, deep love, everlasting love. This is a love that lasts the tests of time. Yes, it is a desire between two people, but it goes much deeper; it is a deep lasting relationship that time cannot weaken.

The Greek word erasthai (erotic) brings to mind a strong sensual desire. But is that more of a modern understanding or conception? What about the Platonic conception of erasthai is the deep eternal love of all things beautiful? Or do we in the 21st century consider this too limiting? I think the Platonic view has greater power. I love of things of beauty lasts; our sensual desires do fade over time.

My wife and I have been married for 55 years. As young mid-twenties children, we shared passionate moments, i.e., we have two very talented and loving children. But in our late 70s, our love goes much deeper. I look at my wife with all of the lines in her face, her physical appearance vastly changed since our wedding, and I see the most beautiful woman on earth. This is a deep, passionate, everlasting love that nobody can change. Physical love changes, falling to the ground like the leaves of autumn serving no purpose as they lie withered under the tree.

But deep love, the love between two people, the love between God and man is truly the most passionate, creating the most need between two, and fulfilling that need that only true beauty can fill. Yes, eros is passionate physical love; but it is so much more. The deep relationship between two passionate people brings this wholesome understanding that this bonding of two is truly eternal bliss.

©Russell Kendall Carter

One response to “Eros”

  1. Andy Oldham Avatar

    Awesome, Russell! Her heart has grown close with yours, just as Gof intended when He made you one! Beautiful post!

    Like

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The Paths of Heaven

My desire is to always walk on the lighted path shown to us by Jesus 2000 years ago. To my highly educated brain, and to my uneducated brain, life shows me that this is the only path of Truth that there is for mere mortals, like me! This blessed path shines God’s light on my hidden life, the life God prepares for me; the hidden life I find in my hours of contemplation. I let go of my ego and let God lead.

Nothing can bother me when I do this for, I never face obstacles alone. God and family are always with me. When I feel God’s presence, all of my worries become very small; I do not fear, even death, because I know that my destiny lies with God.

I am a very human person; being a former history professor, I read the news; I care about what happens to our human society. We have created a very violent world. Guns, violent mobs, erratic police action, and uncaring, aloof political leaders are causing to many of my brothers and sisters to lose their human lives. My only comfort is knowing that God welcomes them home. Just this morning, I learned of a mass shooting in a Memphis hospital. More people killed by senseless violence.

We must pray and then work to correct the direction we are headed. If our hearts are honestly tied to God, we have no other choice. We cannot pray for something and then deny its existence. Through faith, not religion, we can correct our paths of life and find the path of heaven. But we must act upon our prayers. We must strive to right the wrongs of society and turn the light of truth upon them. This is the only way to God’s Grace.

Lord our God, we praise your name by bearing witness to and trying to correct the evil we see and replace it with Your Truth. As John writes: “. . . if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another. . . (1:7),” and we find the true paths of heaven.

©Russell Kendall Carter

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Good Things

I always wonder whether we recognize, truly recognize, the good things in life. These can be perfect; but they can also be the antithesis of perfect, but still, they can be good. As humans, we are wounded. As children of God, we are perfect. Even though we do not recognize this all the time. The most precious thing in life is our belonging to God, not the wealth we attain or the possessions we grab hold of.

Jesus invited and reminded us that our most important commandment, and therefore rule of life, is to love God. A very close second is to love others as ourselves. There is no cost to this, except giving up ego. As I wait for the traffic light to go green, I hand the person asking for help a five-dollar bill and get a toothless bless you or may God be with you. This is precious. This is one of the truly good things in life.

With the love we show individuals such as this, we demonstrate our love for God. God hears us when we love these people who are destitute, and when God stops to hear us, we are blessed with eternal Life and eternal, everlasting Love. With God’s Love, we can overcome anything.

I am a wounded creature for I am mortal. With God’s Love, I can overcome my woundedness. Physically, I suffer from Asthma and COPD. Although at times it is difficult to breathe, I am able to look beyond this mortal deficiency and continue to pray, to write, to serve God through being a Stephen Minister, a prayer minister, and the chaplain for the local Marine Corps League. With a little fortitude, I overcome my wounds and enjoy the good things God gives me.

My suffering opens my eyes, allowing me to see the suffering of others and try to help heal them as God heals me. God blesses me by sharing His Wisdom with me so that I may share it with others. This is a good thing!

I rarely ask for God to forgive me, because I know He always does and always will. But I do ask God for the Wisdom to forgive myself for my faults and failures. For by forgiving myself, I can see the perfect human being hiding behind the false façade others put up in defense. This is how I recognize others as children and God, which makes them my spiritual brothers and sisters. And this is the best good thing there is on earth.

©Russell Kendall Carter

 

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Awe

I lift my eyes to wonders in awe of greatness

To the infinity of the universe above me.

The vastness of this star-filled sky

challenges the core of my imagination,

asking “What is the magnificence of God?”

 

©Russell Kendall Carter

Photo by Marco Milanesi on Pexels.com

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