World events in the last few weeks have given me cause to wonder. In both positive and negative ways. I’m naturally a reflective person, so any time events happen, my heart turns to mulling over ideas and trying to understand. It’s been heartbreaking to see the response to attacks of terror, especially from those who label themselves Christ-followers or Christians. The response of fear, hatred, anger and venom have reflected something that is very Anti-Christ. It’s completely against the Good News that we are supposed to carry. So, this morning, I just wanted to take a moment and wonder what would be different if we chose to live in a place of wonder. To wonder and reflect on those things that we need to be challenged by and work on, and to wonder and reflect on those things that are brilliant and stunning and beautiful and filled with love and goodness.Read More
Nieces, nephews, god-children, and friends.
Yes, you can be honest to goodness *friends* with a child without any weirdness. Some of my most clever and insightful friends are 2, or 5, or 7 years old.
And sometimes it makes me sad how suspicious we adults have become. I watch my younger friends and their approach to the world, with wonder and awe and beauty and humor.
They run around freely. Completely.
Are you ready for it?
It is, after all *your* life.
But what does that really mean?
One day, you will decide to wake up, and take ownership of your life. It will become your own. It won’t belong to anybody else, and no one else will be responsible for it. And this possibility is both liberating and terrifying.
Liberating, because the only person who will hold you accountable is yourself. You’ll begin to realize that your life isn’t about what other people want from you. You will begin to see that other people’s expectations really don’t have any bearing on your own expectations. When people try to tell you how to behave or believe, you can simply ignore them. You begin to realize that you have the power of both Yes and No in your own hands. You get to decide just how much of your time, your passion, your talent, your treasure goes to other people. You can reclaim your own destiny.
Liberating, because you’ll have complete freedom to pursue the things that *you* want to pursue. You’ll be able to make your own decisions regarding the things you love and want to follow. You can begin to carve out your dream space and your own desires and hopes for your own living. You’ll begin to believe again.
Liberating, because nothing is now impossible for you. You will be taking charge and going forth with enormous ambition and desire and passion, right?Read More
This post will be the first in a series of three. My original single post wound up far too long, so I figured wisdom dictated breaking it up. All three posts are grounded in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 4, verses 1 to 24.
There are two portions to this text – the testing in the desert, and Jesus’ return to his hometown.
Jesus and His Trials in the Desert
There are three tests here:
- the temptation to turn a stone into bread (here in Part One)
- the splendour and authority of the world (read more in Part Two)
- a wild leap of faith (read more in Part Three)
Henri Nouwen, in his In the Name of Jesus, deals with these three trials. If you haven’t read it, I strongly recommend it. I’ll be working somewhat from his work, and also moving forward from my own reflections.
Test 1: A Stone into Bread
Jesus has been fasting for 40 days (which in the Bible normally translates as an inexplicably long time). And wouldn’t you know it, he’s hungry. We’re in the beginning of Lent, in which we can give up things or take up new disciplines in order to come closer to understanding God’s purpose and presence in our lives, as well as the things that Jesus gives or takes up in his journey to the cross at Easter. Lent can be a special time. But have you ever noticed that the more that you cannot have something, the more that you want it? For example, I don’t eat pork or shellfish. In general, I have a cheeseburger about once a month or so – if not less frequently. But one year I went kosher for Lent. I hoped that I would learn more about a Godly perspective on food – which I did. But I’ll tell you, I also craved bacon and cheeseburgers and just about everything that I couldn’t eat while being kosher. It didn’t matter that I didn’t eat them regularly, it just mattered that I wasn’t supposed to eat them.
And Jesus was hungry.