Monday, August 13, 2012

Separation or Unity

 This is a subject that may be controversial but I am going to tackle it - with God' help. This past week I have been focusing on 2 Corinthians and this struck me.

Separation -  2 Cor 6:14-7:1. 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?   2 Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

 What is this verse talking about obvious it is referring to those that worship idols and do evil things. It is not taking about having fellowship with other Christians that may believe in a different way of doing baptism whether it is by sprinkle or submersion, or a part in confessing- separation of Lutheran from Catholic or Baptist from Methodist or Latter Day Saint from Orthodox. That is only a beginning the list goes on and on. I have come to the conclusion a cult is a religion that keeps to itself and will not break bread with someone of slightly different faith or color, or with a person that is generally good in intentions and thought but may not wear the same garb. Joseph in the bible wore a coat of many colors why is this specifically mentioned it is because we are of many colors in faith.

The Truth is John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. This powerful verse gives me goosebumps , it is so wonderful. God loved everyone even the unworthy, not just the christian or the Hindu or the Muslim or the the Sikh- God loved everyone. It would not be wrong to say , he even loved the sinner. He only asked us to accept that simple truth. If you feel separate or apart from God because of a teaching , then that is a false teaching. God wants us to feel loved and not be separated, whatever your taught that should be the main truth.

Perhaps we are not clear on how powerful and reaching God's love is and should reflect on Unity as a part of our vision. We are to even love our enemies , how can that be. In other words Peace can only be gotten through love, not just a treatise. Love is an everlasting treatise , and an everlasting peace. Now where can we find common ground certainly in Love and Peace. This is the Truth.


Friday, August 10, 2012

The Corporeal or corporate world

 We often hear of being worldly or corporeal. Unfortunately it is the world in what much of Americana is about. Certainly we are patriotic and fight for freedom or do we really. I served my country in the military for eight years and also lived in the corporate world for 30 years. The military is protecting the interest of the corporate world and the corporations are formed for profit. There is no true liberty in the sense most of us expect. The corporate world a few at the top plan out their weekends of golf and pleasure while those at the bottom struggle sometimes working two jobs and those in the middle plan out their weekend work routine to finish out a 60 work hour week.  Repeating this week after week and year after year until their health gives out or they come to the realization there is another existence.
  The corporate world eventually traps you with temporal wealth and leaves you to escape to video games or save up for an expensive vacation that provides relaxation until it is over. You live in a godless society that is centered on wealth being the success and path to happiness. Yet - we see the children of the wealthy and most successful committing suicide  by drugs or alcohol, they have no other reality other than the one created by the corporeal sense of being.
 If we live a minimalist life style not totally devoid of all necessity but a balanced life, we will be much happier and less controlled by the corporate world. Forget keeping up with the Jones a metaphor often used, live a simple life and learn contentment of mind , body and spirit. Godliness with contentment is great gain - even more than wealth. I am all for prosperity but not as a ultimate goal. A healthy mind, body and spirit are first if prosperity follows then that is ok. The spiritual guide to riches is only a corporate underling and not the true faith. Not something you will find in most countries where capitalism is not preached.
 Perhaps that is why doctors are so prosperous, the mind and body eventually break down under such stresses and there is never time for spirituality. Please take a moment and prioritize your life - Christ first , in mind , body and spirit and do not get caught up in the corporeal world. In the book of 2 Corinthians we see how the apostle is teaching the church about the corporeal world and how it can rob you of happiness. We see it on the TV where it is constantly being fed into the mind, learn to control your environment - what enters your mind becomes your reality- let it be spiritual.
-peace and contentment.

The Son

 It came to mind that if we take the T and E from the word STONE we are left with SON. Does this have any significance Jesus being the cornerstone, probably not. It only shows one thing the way my mind works. It seems to decrypt phenomenal things that may go unnoticed. I noticed my grandson is the same way. He was looking at a tree , some may have glanced at the tree but he told me there was a bird that just snatched a worm from the tree and he was wondering how the tree felt , the bird felt and the worm felt. He is very compassionate and assumed all things had feelings - this from a four year old child.
 We are reminded that to enter the kingdom of God we must be as a child. That does not mean to be unlearned in the ways of the world but it means to have the same thirst for knowledge. It is when we loose our thirst we become know it all, but that is contrary to all knowing or God. So , we come back to the the Son who did not claim to know when the world would pass , only the Father knows the time. It is an appointed time not a random occurrence - Yet it is kept from humanity. All humanity has appointments we are appointed a time for Salvation, appointed a time for various moments of births and Yes- eventually death.
 Now when Jesus was praying in the garden of Gethsemane , he prayed the cup be removed from him.
This cup was the cup of wrath which seemingly was disturbing Christ. He was only a day away from the crucifixion and wanted his most beloved disciples to pray with him through the night , however they kept falling asleep. This was a time of great agony because he knew it would be easy to leave and take flight. It was not to be though , it was an appointed time for Christ to do the will of the Father. Like so many times we have an appointment with fate and can be distracted. It takes  prayer to do God's will and sometimes we need the help of others to pray along. Even Jesus recognized the prayers of his companions would be needed to get through the ordeal.
 Yes- the Son of man was human but divinely called to do the will of the Father. As many are stones in time called , and few answer to become out of a stone a son to do God's will. It is not enough to know God's will but to do it takes prayer even into the wee hours of the night. Find a prayer partner or group you cannot go it alone.


Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Ring

 As Jesus forgave the thief on the cross , I believe he forgave me.

 Over four decades ago a young man was sitting at the dinner table as his father slumped over into his hot bowl of soup. He was taken to the hospital and would spend the next year there in surgery and recovery. Earlier that day he was injured at an assembly plant and the car door struck his neck, his wallet was taken and a gold watch, which the son was awarded by the Trenton Times newspaper and he had given to his father for fathers day.
Meanwhile the lad was faced with taking care of his siblings two sisters a brother and a mother.
There would be occasional visits to the hospital to check on the fathers progress and it was a gradual recovery.
 Soon the family funds became depleted and it was then he became a thief. Already delivering two paper routes a morning Trentonian and the evening Trenton Times after school and caring for lawns on weekends it did not seem enough. Also delivering the groceries for some elderly for a dime tip taking orders on the paper route. One night decided to go to the nearby farmers field where sometimes we would fish in the pond. Yes- with a small sack and flashlight picked through cabbages and would bring them home for cabbage soup. One particular night the farmer came out with a shotgun and fired some shots overhead. A stubborn cabbage left me stuck there as I lay closely to the ground hoping not to get caught.
 I waited till the farmer left and went quietly home , the next morning noticed my most valuable possession a silver school ring was gone. I went back and searched and could not find it.
 About a year later my father returned home from the hospital in Philadelphia , Pa we went to the nearby market and bought some cabbages -ugh, I thought not another cabbage. As I was ripping off the leaves a very strange thing happened - what fell from the cabbage was a dirty ring. I rinsed off the dirt and located the initials , Yes - it was mine. I am not sure if it was a miracle but it certainly was amazing that of all the cabbages at the farmers market we purchased that particular one. The chance of that happening was astonishing and it was a gift from God.
 It was a terrible thing to become a thief and I never took anything again. When I hear the story of the thief on the cross , often am reminded of my own miracle. The ring reminds me of forgiveness and Gods love , it seems like through all adversity there is a lesson to be learned.
 Thank you Lord for watching over me and returning the ring even though I did not deserve it.