Christians carry two passports: one for the country in which we find ourselves, and another for that baptismal nation being made by God from all the nations.” Will Willimon applies Eberhard Arnold’s vision of the kingdom of God to the world we face in 2017:
The most revolutionary political statement we can make is that Jesus reigns; that God, not nations, rules the world: All political, all social, all educational, all human problems are solved in a concrete way by the rulership of Christ.
MY TWO CENTS: Many of us have accepted Jesus as our Savior……that’s the easy part. Many of us have said we accept Him as our Lord (Ruler)…… that becoming a reality is the hard part. It takes at least a life time. We are often programmed by our parents and even more so by our culture to value many things that may not be evil, but in reality can become more important to us than the rule of God. Unlearning is harder than learning, because we don’t realize we need to do it.
Even “good” things can become idols. Sometimes we aren’t called to give up our values, but to turn them over to God and trust enough to hear Him just for the next step on our spiritual journey. This applies to Christians on both sides of any issue.
Sometimes the temptation to give up the struggle to not let old age torture us into a twisted version of ourselves is overwhelming. And while some of us may have been that way from birth or soured when old age put paid to our unrealistic expectations, I know from my own and my husband’s daily jousts with life, that for the naturally hopeful – running out of physical strength, mental acuity, and the illusion of better future possibilities – casts a funeral pall on hope. You really only have two choices to help you bear the reality and sadness of limits in old age: be angry about everything all the time or learn to focus on the beauty of God in the small things in each moment while reveling in the pure grace of laughing at ourselves.
There’s always plenty of trouble,
got enough to go around.
If you ain’t got it already,
I can show you where it’s found.
Yeah, I can show you where it’s found.
Trouble grows like Jesus’ loaves
with fish enough to spare.
And trouble is ‘bout the only thing
that everyone will share.
Yeah, the only thing we all share.
So, let’s call trouble riches
and instead of craving things,
more people will be happy
and the poor will feel like kings.
Yeah, the poor would feel like kings.
So, let’s call trouble riches, so we all can feel like kings.
This illustrates the base for all ministries: prayer!
Communion. Midnight. Children. Shootings. Jesus. Hookers. Drug dealers. Ministry.
Yeah… those were the days.
In this vignette, I will now tell of the night we stopped a murder with a communion service. This was truly a highlight in my life and ministry. Perhaps we could call it clandestine consecration.
Special Agent D (SAD) and I were learning clandestine consecration. Here is how we figured it out: When we heard the name of a rumored drug dealer out on 65th Drive (and then passed it on to a handful of little grannies in a prayer circle back at church), those drug dealers would wind up going to jail. It was quite remarkable. It only took a couple of weeks worth of prayer before God seemed to move in dramatic fashion to bring about change in the lives of these guys.
First we heard about a guy named “Blue.” We passed…
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I spent the day cleaning our three bedroom apartment in spurts of about five minutes with fifteen minute rests due to back and arm pain. At this rate, the day I finish the last room, the first will be furry again!
At seventy-nine, I’m not exactly spry. And if you want me to remember something, you better write it down. Neither am I affluent enough to donate a significant amount to any charity. But I am not dead yet.
My women’s group at my small church are mostly between their late sixties to late seventies with a sprinkling in their eighties and one ninety-four year old. None of us are very financially affluent, but we have been disturbed by hearing of more and more single mothers and even grandmothers raising grandchildren who are living hand to mouth in roach motels in constant danger of ending up homeless. We couldn’t figure out what we could do, Several other churches are serving free meals either monthly or even weekly. We were pretty sure we couldn’t take that on by ourselves. So, I started gathering information both on people needing help and what various groups are doing already. It turns out that there are a lot of people wanting to help, but almost no communication between groups or publicity on what’s being done. But there are ways to connect with most local groups on line, so I’m finding groups with facilities but no volunteers, and other groups with funds and food but no system of transportation. I’m beginning to reach more and more organizations and I plan to share the information in an email newsletter to both those with ministries and also those who might be able to help them, plus give it to the newspaper and radio stations. I got side tracked by the holidays, but now the project is picking up speed.
Whether this helps will depend on others’ responses, but at least I found a way to try to help that was within my physical and mental limits.
Also I can still drive, even at night, so I have started going to the NAACP meetings and will also be going to my local political party meetings. And if there seems to be a way for my LOL (little old lady) friends to help at those, I will be able to give them rides to the meetings.
I am not sharing this to brag and I am well aware that with my husband’s and my health problems, what little I am doing might come to an abrupt halt.
What I am trying to do is encourage people like me with limited resources, but free time, to be creative in exploring ways to make a difference in these challenging times. Most men and women under sixty -five and many over that age are working full time. Churches and other Charitable and Political organizations are desperate for volunteers. Our local Help Center needs people to just sit and check expiration dates on canned goods and use a sharpie to mark through the bar codes. If we can’t use a computer, we can do telephoning. If our memories are scatty, we can write down instructions. Our society’s needs may be great, but many joining together to help in small ways can make a difference. We can find a way, no matter what our limits are. Joining with others strengthens our commitment. And joining with God in prayer at every step of the way empowers us.
ridges and hollows
flames of red
of silent frozen bones
Some times that is so real for me, that it’s a sensory experience. Other times it’s something I not only believe, it’s what I know first hand from remembered experience, even when I don’t “sense” it. Mystics of all major religions know this.
The title quote is from Act 17:28
“Emma.” Nanu exclaimed, “Why are you out of your bed?”
“I’m scared of the monsters hiding under there,” Emma sobbed.
“Oh! I understand,” nodded Nanu, as she held out her arms.
With Emma snuggled into her lap, Nanu whispered in her ear,
“I remember when I was a child and used to get scared.”
“What did you do?” Emma asked, whispering back.
“Hiding under the covers was my favorite safe place.”
“But what about the monsters? Weren’t you afraid?”
“Well, I’d leap into bed from at least two feet away,
right into the safe space, smack-dab in the middle.
Then, I’d yank the covers up over my head,
staying perfectly still, with my eyes shut tight,
my legs close together and my arms at my sides,
so not any part of me would hang over the edge.
Then I felt safe from anything under the bed.
I’d wake up next…
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Too good to not share.
Microcosms this week is a picture prompt
Norman thought of himself as meticulous; Daphne thought him slow. He started many jobs always intending completion. Rarely did it happen. However the construction of an air-raid shelter was one project Daphne determined Norman would finish.
Norman’s problem was a Victorian urge to over-engineer. The neighbours dug a simple pit which they covered in corrugated iron. Norman hunted out precious bricks, while assessing ground conditions and the best prospect – east-facing he thought.
Progress was slow. Bombing raids came and went. Daphne and the boys sheltered with the neighbours. Meanwhile Norman pottered and pointed and pontificated.
The boys joined up and still Norman built. VE Day passed in a blur for Daphne as she imbibed more oak leaf wine than was recommended.
When she returned, as the rain blew away, Norman was waiting. ‘It’s done.’ At the top of…
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