Go Ahead – Move

We are all in this life for a purpose; only God knows this purpose, and it is up to us to find our true calling. With the glory and beauty of God within us, we bring His word to our deeds and the work of our hands. This is our day to do God’s work. God made it for us. We want to be part of God’s army that works continually to assist those in need. We cannot do this alone; all members of our community must come together to pray and work for those left behind by society. Dear God, we long for You and the Glory You grant us to do Your wishes.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Jesus Teaches

I do not know about you, but Jesus’ teaching on the Mount makes me look at my life and I am ashamed. Although I have spent years helping others, I have not done all that I could have. Fortunately, God gives me the grace to learn from my mistakes and misjudgments. I am a man who has no strength without God by my side. Mercy and truth guide my life. God’s Grace is my power because I am a mere mortal. God wants me to spread my love with all I meet.

 I believe God joins works with me to shed light on others. I give thanks unto the Lord for his presence and guidance and help when I am deficient toward others. I believe that Love is good, and God helps me share this love with others. We are lost when we leave God out of our relationships. When Jesus speaks of the forgotten in the Beatitudes, He tells us to care for others and do the best we can to help them. We are not perfect, but God loves us when we do our best.

© Russell Kendall Carter

My Whole Self

With the presence of God in my life, the wisdom in my mind strengthens my soul, the core of my heart. I am a faithful witness to God’s love; therefore, I have a treat all people as long-lost family, loving them unconditionally. With my strong heart, my ancient flesh flourishes because I serve God in all I do. Sharing God’s strength, bring His light and grace into my heart and my mind.

His Holy Spirit is truly upon me. With God within me, I am Holy, not by what I do, but by the presence of God. I open my heart and mind for God will teach me and lead me in my life. When I meditate God invites me into the thin space in my life allowing me to be close to His Truth. I leave my personal wilderness to share the gifts I receive with all whom I meet in life journey.

I am a faithful witness by being able to love all whom I meet for all of us share God’s Holy Spirit. For today in our besieged world, it is time for all to come together and live the life that Jesus wants for us. It is then that we will be able to enjoy the plea in our prayer, save me from my time of trial.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Practicing the Presence of God

I find it very difficult to actually meditate in any prescribed way. I also find that I spend my time excluding thoughts that enter my mind. Saying this I have adopted another way of meditating. Each morning I rise with a small prayer of thanksgiving for being alive. Knowing that my days are full, I try to spend the first hour after waking reading Bible passages from both the Hebrew and Christian texts.

From this, I orient myself in the mode of prayer, opening my soul to welcome the presence of God within me. This practice allows me to feel His presence in me in everything that I do and with every breath I take during the day. (My spiritual advisor calls this praying all day.) In my prayers and chores during the day I listen for the Word; this keeps me focused on the tasks at hand, knowing that God is guiding my actions. Love is with and within me.

As I sit and write on my patio, I am surrounded by God’s creation; we recently discovered a Goldfinch nest in one of our bushes. Knowing that this small family has found a home with us gives me pause to thank God for all He does for me and for others. Our true home is in the loving arms of God. And, as the little finch, we feel safe in our small world.

With members of my church, I have tried several times to try to bring God into my life in various ways. I know that chanting is very big with many people; at St. Georges’ Episcopal church, we have a very active Taizé service. Unfortunately, this is more of a distraction to me than an aid to bring meditation and God into my being.

I return to my form of meditation which is an awakening to my breath. With every breath I take over the course of the day, I expel what harms me and I inhale the Love, Wisdom, and beauty of God’s presence in my life. In a word, I am practicing the presence of God all the time. It is a gift from Him that I cherish and share.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Who Do You Say that I Am?

Asked in the Gospels.

When I meditate, I am firmly planted in the Garden of Eden, naked, but not afraid. I am comforted knowing that I am truly blessed to be a child of God. In the center of this Garden is a beautiful tree, a glorious creation of God to show me that I am perfect in His eyes.

That tree is Christ, boldly standing there with His arms outstretched, not impaled on the wood, but the wood itself, His arms reaching to God as an example as to how I am to live my life. I await the loving hand of Jesus to plant my feet in the rich loam of God’s Eden, so that I too can become a tree of promise for others.

Jesus reminds me to accept His invitation to love God and to love my neighbor as myself. However, it is more than a simple invitation; it is also an invitation to brotherhood. Loving my neighbor is only the beginning; we must join together to share our lives. When I hurt, I must allow myself to be vulnerable and open myself and my pain to others; likewise, I must lay my hands upon my neighbor when he is in pain. Together, we can bring love, peace, and healing to our world.  

By making this promise and being this tree, I become the very answer to Jesus’s question, “Who do you say I am.” You are the tree of my life, allowing me to spread my arms towards our loving Father in heaven, comforted by the warm, loving presence of Him in my life. And, I must help others to become trees and the circle widens.

© Russell Kendall Carter

The Kingdom of Heaven

Gather around her;

lay your hands upon her.

Pray for healing,

for comfort for love.

Connect with others;

with quality community and prayer;

create a bond of friendship and love.

With heart and mind open

become an agent of God;

relate and pray with others.

With prayer and love,

God forgives all sin;

His heart is eternity.

Realize the Kingdom of God.

© Russell Kendall Carter

God’s Justice – Our Gift

We normally swing between two separate gods, anger, and lust. We approach them as human beings and not as children of God. We try to fit together as human beings and find it difficult for we anger at our brother’s success or seek monetary gain over our brother. We can never truly be brothers under these terms.

What we forget that there is a God above who cares for us, who loves us. We forget that His Holy Spirit dwells within us. We forget that without recognizing that presence in our lives, we cannot be successful in anything we try, particularly brotherhood, particularly love.

We need to reunite as brothers and sisters of love to experience God’s true grace. Without this we will remain lost in our reverie of the seesaw life of anger and lust.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Peaceful Wildness

I wrestle with myself in the wilds of my mind,

struggling with mundane matters;

but God lifts me from these depths

of my depression and my worries.

I soon become calm and peaceful,

even when surrounded by the wild.

I think of God who then thinks of me.

I live in the reality of His Sabbath,

God’s day of rest in the grace of our world.

I adopt the manly virtues of Jesus . . .

compassion,

humility.

Purpose, and

I return to the peace of this wildness.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Perfect in Weakness

To love God, I must be weak.

I must be ready; I must be holy.

To love God, I must be good to the poor.

I must receive His wisdom.

To love God, I must be like Jesus,

tending to the poor, the hurting,

the hungry, the sick,

And the dying.

To love God, I must love the drunkard,

the thief, the murderer.

I bring only hunger, dear God.

I bring the love of Your Son.

I bring the brightness of Your sun,

the light of Your moon,

the rustle of the trees in Your breath.

I bring the love of Your limitless glory.

In my mortal weakness

I am perfection in Your countenance.

© Russell Kendall Carter

Living a Spiritual Life

     Living a spiritual life can be difficult unless we can adopt patience as a way of life. Only when our inner self attains dominance, or at least equity, with our material lives can we achieve any depth of true spirituality. When we allow nothing to separate us from God’s all-encompassing Love, we enter the realm of spirituality. We become a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit to live within us.

          As mortal man, I am nothing, but dust controlled by the wind. But when I open my heart to God, I become the great creation He has made. I become an image of patience and thanksgiving, sharing God’s Love with all humanity.    Spiritually, I am certain that I can never succeed unless all humanity succeeds. I know that as a mortal man, I sometimes have difficulty practicing this, even if I consciously work to succeed. I believe that this is the only thing preventing me from living a complete spiritual life.

          Each morning I awaken praying that I will be a sanctuary for the Spirit of God, sharing His eternal Love with all I meet and living a truly spiritual life.

© Russell Kendall Carter