Category Archives: Holidays

4th of July Working Poor

4th of July 2015

On this 4th of July holiday, I am deep in thought about being American. The holiday celebrates the “greatness” of the United States, the land of the free and home of the brave.

But I am troubled about what I teach my son. Is there a place for him, for us? Will our mixed-race family be accepted among the sea of white families wearing red, white, and blue, waving the stars and stripes, driving nice cars to nice picnics and nice fireworks shows? Is this nice? Is this the picture of greatness?

The Working Poor on the 4th of July

My husband just started a new job. He desperately needs this work after a long period of unemployment. But his boss called and unexpectedly required him to work a shift from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am for the 4th of July. The job was over the river and Oregon state line in Vancouver, Washington. It is very difficult to take the bus there during peak times, and there are simply no buses that run there in the middle of the night. When he told his boss this fact, she accused him of lying. She has never taken a bus, but she says she “knows” that they run all the time.

So now we must choose between paying for an $80 taxi ride, jeopardizing our rent this month, or refusing the assignment and jeopardizing his new job. (He will also be basically working for free because he won’t make much more than $80 on the shift).

Of course we choose to pay for his job, because we do not want to struggle again with unemployment, and the job is good in the long run. But it is so sad that in the land of the free, we, and so many others, must worry constantly about rent.

Oh, the irony. This scenario must be happening to millions of low wage workers around the country on this holiday celebrating the independence of this “great” nation. My husband will be working an event that costs hundreds of dollars to attend. He must give up his few dollars and his own holiday to make sure the rich people have a nice time on their holiday.

I guess in the land of the brave, the low wage workers are the bravest people, sacrificing their own holiday, and their own money, so that others can have a nice holiday.

Teaching my son about the 4th of July and bombs bursting in air

While my husband is at work, I need to decide how, or if, I will celebrate with my son. He is five and beginning to understand social studies, fairness, and a world far beyond his family and friends. Right now he is interested in the civil rights movement. At the library he checked out kids books about sit-ins and Martin Luther King, as well as books about peace.

What do I teach him about celebrating a nation that still judges people on the color of their skin and the content of their bank account? How do I explain to him the meaning of peace in a holiday glorifying “bombs bursting in air,” in a country that has been in almost continuous war since its founding?

WWJD?

What would Jesus do?

Jesus never celebrated Roman holidays although he lived in a Roman land. Jesus celebrated God’s miracles on the Jewish holidays. Jesus never talked about celebrating countries and earthly independence. Jesus preached often about God’s heavenly kingdom and the importance of  human interdependence.

Jesus celebrated Peace. Love. Caring for one another. The poorest on earth are the richest in heaven.

The brave path of Jesus means sacrificing greed and power to welcome God’s kingdom on earth. If the United States will embrace peace and compassion, rather than bombs and power, we will truly be a great nation.

A 4th of July Prayer

On this 4th of July, I bless the least of these. I pray for all the low wage workers forced to choose between their families and their jobs.

I pray for a nation that engages in peace and love, rather than racial and class warfare. I pray for a nation that practices greatness by leading in compassion and world peace. I pray for a nation where someday everyone will be free of fear of homelessness and hunger.

I pray for a nation that will someday follow the brave path of Jesus, sacrificing greed and power to welcome God’s kingdom on earth.

Father, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen

Be blessed, American friends, on this 4th of July.

 

dangerous love, two peace doves on Valentine's Day

A Dangerous Love: Valentine’s Day Message

On this Valentine’s Day 2015, I am meditating on the love of Jesus. The love of Jesus is a holy love, a love of astounding grace, a love that intimately knows all our sins, all our failures, all our darkness.

Two days ago, I read an article about Christians and Valentine’s Day. “No, Jesus isn’t my boy friend,” Juliet Vedral blogs in the Sojourner. She is speaking of the boyfriend Jesus, a popular saying in many of today’s “seeker sensitive” and Charismatic churches. I agree with her.

The love of Jesus is not a boyfriend love. The love of Jesus is a perfect and dangerous love.

A Perfect Love

Jesus gave up everything in his love for us. We must give up everything in our own pursuit of holiness. We must learn to love God and others. Jesus told religious leaders that Love is the greatest law. Loving God is primary, but loving your neighbor as yourself is also required to fulfill God’s whole law.

Mark 12:28-31 (NIV)
28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Jesus preached to the crowds that anyone can love their friend, but God calls us to love our enemies. We must learn reckless love. Indiscriminate love. We must learn to love those who don’t deserve love. Love them into the kingdom. Perfect love.

Matthew 5:43-48
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

A Dangerous Love

Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan, a man who practiced radical love. He bound up the wounds of the Jew who was bloody, beaten, and left to die on the roadside. This was a dangerous love on a dangerous road filled with violent thieves and hateful religious disputes. The Samaritans and Jews warred over doctrine and ideas of God, much like Muslims and Christians today.

The story of the Good Samaritan is the story of Jesus’ love for us. While we lay bleeding on the road, beat up by the world’s systems, not looking for God’s kingdom, dying in pride and foolishness as we built our little kingdom of wealth on earth, Jesus found us. He cleaned up our wounds, paid for our care, and took a chance on us.

He knew the danger that once we healed from our sins, once that precious seed was planted in our soil, the cares and pleasures of this world could lure us away once again.

A Dangerous Cross

In his love for us, Jesus faced the ultimate danger. In his love for us, Jesus died on a cross. He died an excruciating death as a criminal to a world who could not understand his love.

Jesus loved the poor, the orphan, the widow, the misunderstood, the prostitute, the sinner. While I was still His enemy, Jesus loved me. Jesus died for me. Jesus showed me the radical, holy, dangerous love of God.

What is my response to this love? What is your response? We must follow Jesus in the dangerous love of the cross.

Picking up my cross to follow Jesus has been a dangerous love and a wild road. I have given all my possessions to the poor whom Jesus brought my way. I have experienced homelessness and hunger. I have been rejected by the church but accepted by my gay brothers in Christ, by my poor single mom sisters in Christ. I have seen hatred by pastors, men and women who started a good road, but whose lamps have gone dark as they disparage the poor and hurting. I have seen love by prisoners, the light and acceptance of Jesus shining in their hurt eyes.

Holy love is a dangerous love. What kind of love will you embrace today on Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love? Find Jesus, find love, find life.

Jesus and the Super Bowl, football player

Jesus and the Super Bowl: Sunday Message

Today, on the hallowed American holiday of Super Bowl Sunday, pastors are preaching sermons about the Super Bowl in churches all across America. Pastors preach about Jesus and the Super Bowl. They call their congregations to be “champions” for Jesus (well, champions of the capitalist society).

Pastors use Jesus and the Super Bowl to compare the Christian life to a cosmic football game, full of adoring Jesus fans filling rah-rah stadiums. This is not necessarily a bad picture. But these Jesus fans should not be cheering on just some game, they should be cheering on the poor and the oppressed, Jesus’ brothers and sisters. The Super Bowl for super souls.

Pastors publicly pray for their favorite team to win the Super Bowl. This I do not agree with. These pastors presume that, in a world full of suffering and pain, a callous world where children die of hunger and poverty, a violent world where adults die of human hatred and war, God somehow cares about the outcome of an American football game.

Jesus and Super Bowl Violence

American football is a game that glorifies war and violence. Yet churches uplift the game. Some churches even broadcast the Super Bowl in their sanctuaries, areas that are supposedly sanctified to holiness. The Super Bowl is far from holy.

I have also heard Christians say that if Jesus was alive today, he would certainly attend the Super Bowl.

But would he? The Roman society, which Jesus inhabited, oppressed and impoverished his people, the Jews. Roman society was violent and divided by class status, not too different from American society today. Yes, we are a little more civilized. Rome put their protestors on a cross; we put our protestors in jail. Rome killed their gladiators in Colosseum games; we give our players concussions and broken bones in football games. WWJD? What would Jesus do? Would he celebrate the violence?

Not too long after Jesus’ death, Rome decimated the Jews and destroyed the temple in 70 AD. Rome took the temple spoils and enslaved the Jews to build the Colosseum, opened in 80 AD. They used the Colosseum to murder early Christians, followers of Jesus.  The Romans set wild animals lose to create human blood baths, believers perishing as entertainment for the people in the stadium.

Yet today’s American Christians cry that they are “persecuted” when somebody says happy holidays to them, or when they are not allowed to lead Christian prayers in public schools. How far removed they are from the agonies of the cross!

I do not believe that Jesus would celebrate the spirit of the Super Bowl, a game that glorifies war strategy and violence, winners and losers, haves and have-nots. In history, rich and the poor spectators sat in separate Colosseum seats. Today, rich spectators buy Super Bowl tickets for thousands of dollars, the tickets a status symbol of wealth. Gladiator glory and multi-million dollar football player contracts are not too different.

Jesus, a Champion for the Poor

Jesus is alive today, but you won’t find him in the Super Bowl stadium or the Super Bowl pulpit. You will find him in the streets, sharing chips and dip with the hungry. You will find him in the charity hospital of sickness, healing the people and paying their bills. You will find him in the prison of hopelessness, giving a party to the lonely.

If Jesus did preach a Super Bowl Sunday message, he would tell us to give up our lives and worldly glories and become champions for social justice. He would explain the game strategy of lifting people out of poverty, freeing the wrongfully imprisoned, bringing peace and justice to a warring world. He would tell us how he resisted the political wars and violent games of his day. He would remind us what true persecution looks like, and to stay strong when society tries to destroy you.

Jesus and the Super Bowl: A Prayer for Peace

Dear Jesus,

I pray for peace today on Super Bowl Sunday. I pray for the kingdom of the Father to come to earth, and the American football stadiums to be full of intercessors for the poor and least of these. I pray that you will humble our hearts and make us champions against the powers of darkness that seek to destroy the human soul. l pray that we will stop destroying each other and playing soul-crushing games of winners and losers.

Jesus, please change hearts on Super Bowl Sunday. Help us learn to give our millions of dollars to change society, not just to win a big game.

Amen

Looking Forward to 2015: New Year Prophecy

Today is New Year’s Eve, always one of my favorite days of the year. I celebrate the fresh start and new adventures ahead of me. I am looking forward to 2015. I am looking forward to a year of growth and prosperity of my soul in my relationship with God.

I Am Looking Forward to Moving in 2015

I am looking forward to moving to Rhode Island soon. There I can start  a new chapter in my life, a chapter of destiny beyond a daily struggle to survive. I am looking forward to writing by the ocean, hearing the lullaby of the waves, tasting the salty air, and looking at the lighthouses in the fog, a picture of the storm through which Jesus has led us.

I am looking forward to 2015 and moving to the home that the Father has long promised us.

I Am Looking Forward to Growth in 2015

Kylan, our son, will be turning five in January, right after the New Year. This is a big year of growth for him because he will start kindergarten and his formal schooling. He is so excited about this.

I prophetically see his schooling as a beginning and an end for our family. Ever since Kylan’s birth, when I had to beg the electric company not to shut the utilities off on a newborn in the middle of winter, and when I had to leave the birthing center, still sore and bleeding, to ask for rental assistance, we have experienced a journey all over the country, seeing all kinds of human evil.

For five years, people have shown us lack of compassion and even downright plotted against us. Through this we have grown as disciples of Jesus, learning to be gentle as doves and wise as serpents. We have grown in trusting God and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We have taken up a cross to become intimate with the struggles of the poor, the oppressed, and the least of these.

Just like Kylan has grown from a baby to a school-ager, we have grown from baby Christians into full readiness for the ministry. We have graduated our Holy Spirit training of hardships and trials. Our tree has survived the winter and I see the beautiful pink blossoms of spring. We are growing into summer and the fullness of our destiny. As Kylan begins his school, we begin our church.

I am looking forward to 2015 and all the new growth as we launch our ministry of love.

I Am Looking Forward to Peace in 2015

I proclaim that 2015 will be a year of peace.

2014 was a turbulent year. I lost two jobs through no fault of my own. I was let go from KinderCare in February 2014 because I had an asthma attack at work after my boss required me to come in for a week with the flu.

I got a new job at Little School Saint Paul, then my boss laid me off in November 2014 because I sprained my ankle. This was even more hurtful because my boss there was a pastor’s wife, but she showed me no compassion when I cried that she would make my family homeless at the holidays.

These were stressful times, but God took care of us. He sent compassionate people to donate and we stayed housed through the holiday 2014. People even donated Christmas presents to Kylan.

I am looking forward to 2015 as a year of peace. We have seen new friendships sprout up, and God has raised up more people for us than against us. The peace of the Holy Spirit will surround us and bless us in 2015.

Looking Forward to 2015: A Prophecy

God says,

Amy,

2015 will be a year of blessing and spiritual prosperity for you, your family, and the people you disciple. Those who bless you bless me, and those who curse you curse me. I am so proud of you and your growth on the holy road.

As you watch the ball drop tonight I want you to see it as a prophetic sign of all my good things to come for you. Let the ball drop on your pain and bitterness from those who have mistreated you. You have been refined in the fire, and you glitter like the ball. Prepare for the dancing in Times Square as I use you in my movement on the East coast.

Jesus says,

Amy,

I am proud to call you my disciple. The way of the cross is hard. I see you struggle with fear and doubt, but I want you to remember that I am the good shepherd and I always provide for my sheep. You have journeyed the valley of death, and 2015 will be your year of green pastures. Trust me, your redemption is at hand.

The Holy Spirit says,

Amy,
I am going to increase your healing gift. Your pain will heal others. I love you, and I will teach you to grow even more in compassion. I also am surrounding your son, teaching him wisdom as he grows. He will be a great prophet and teacher.

Enjoy 2015, my little dove.

Happy New Year, friends. I hope you are looking forward to 2015. This is a fresh start and a fresh year for you to leave behind hardships and anything that is troubling you. Contact me if you would like a personal prophecy about what God is saying over your 2015.

looking forward to 2015, abstract firework
Image caption: [Pixabay] Geralt Licensed under CC0 Public Domain.
Christmas 2014

Christmas 2014: The Government of Jesus

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I reflect on Jesus and his wonderful kingdom. Look once again at this famous passage from Isaiah: “the government will be on his shoulders.” That is heavy. The government of Jesus is so unlike any earthly government we have now.

Jesus Experienced Humanness

Jesus came to earth as a baby. Just like all of us, he pooped his diapers and made messes. He cried a lot. The song Away in a Manger says “no crying he made” but Jesus was human, just like us. He cried as a baby, he wept as an adult.

As Jesus grew up, he experienced the same learning process we all go through. He made mistakes, he probably experienced bullying and abuse. I wrote what I saw prophetically about his early experiences of rejection that led to his compassion with the miraculous feeding of the fish and loaves to the crowds. Jesus also grew in wisdom. He was divine, but he learned things on earth.

Luke 2:52
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.

God, through Jesus, experienced human life on earth. This is a great mystery of compassion and love.

Jesus Showed Us the Heavenly Kingdom

As a young adult carrying out his ministry to the crowds, Jesus spoke often of the Father’s kingdom. He compared it to a treasure of greatest price hidden in a field, and a great wedding feast to which many are invited but few come.

Jesus’ disciples tried to grasp this heavenly kingdom and bring it to earth. They wanted Jesus to rise up and fight the Roman empire oppressing the Jews. But Jesus rebuked his disciples for trying to bring rule through fire. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He carried the government of heaven on his shoulders, and he taught his followers how to find the kingdom inside. The way of the kingdom meant the great suffering of the cross, not the riches of earthly power.

Sadly, many churches today forget this principle. They try to take the power and glories of  government for themselves. They proclaim that the United States should become a theocracy, and all morality must be legislated. They create violence as they have law enforcement jail women for miscarriages. They are so far from the compassion of Jesus, who stopped the bleeding of a woman whom her society deemed unclean.

As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I deny the riches and power of this earth, I take up my cross, and I celebrate the heavenly kingdom which Jesus showed us.

Jesus Will Reign on the Earthly Kingdom

Jesus came the first time to earth and died on the cross to bridge the divide between our sin and God’s grace. He taught us about the joys of the heavenly kingdom.

But Jesus will return again someday to reign over the earth. He will hold the government on his shoulders in a wonderful millenial kingdom. The poor and the oppressed will find their day of deliverance and justice in this kingdom.

As I celebrate Christmas 2014, I celebrate Jesus’ return someday to rule over an earthly kingdom of peace and righteousness. A kingdom where everybody loves each other and practices sacrifice for their neighbor. A kingdom ruled by the Prince of Peace.

On Christmas 2014, I look forward to a kingdom ruled by Jesus’ social justice. A kingdom of holy justice.

Have a blessed Christmas 2014, friends.

Thanksgiving blessings

Thanksgiving Blessings: Journey of 2014

God has given us many Thanksgiving blessings this year. The great Provider, Abba Father, surrounds my family with love and courage here on Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season. He tells us that we are in the final leg of our hard journey in Minnesota. He sends the Holy Spirit to enfold my aching body in love and her soft healing touch.

I lost my job two weeks ago. You can read that story on our family gofundme page.

This tragedy was my midnight hour, the dark fear of homelessness during the holidays. Since then, I have seen Thanksgiving blessings pouring in, friends helping us, people expressing their love and sympathy for us. The love is a glimmer of light, the faint hint of dawn on the horizon of our new ministry, our new life.

God is telling us prophetically that we have crossed the midnight hour. He says we will receive favor from the worldly justice system, and in a few months the judge will allow us to leave Minnesota and head to the next stage of our journey, the East Coast. I am fascinated by the spiritual parallel of our journey with the physical fact that a new Exodus movie is coming out next month. The mystical Jewish teachings show us that the Exodus is both an allegorical and a historical journey. Yahweh leads the seeker through the gatekeepers and the exodus journey of the heart, while also performing natural miracles.

We must remain faithful as we leave Egypt soon and face the miracle of the Red Sea. In our life, I think the sea is represented by the mountains of snow, just like when we left Oregon. Oceans and snow, realms of the spirit. I take comfort in Thanksgiving blessings today and look toward the miraculous abundance on our journey forward.

Thanksgiving Blessings

Today is a day of rest and holiday, and we patiently count our blessings as we inhabit the waiting place. Here are my 2014 Thanksgiving blessings:

  • Safe housing, warm in Minnesota winter
  • The abundance of a donated Thanksgiving meal
  • Generous friends who have prayed for us and donated to us in this rough patch of losing my job
  • Unemployment insurance giving me time to heal and a chance to find a job more compassionate to my chronic pain
  • The companionship and love of my prophetic husband and lively son
  • The hills, valleys, wisdom, and miracles of my prophetic journey

A Prayer for Thanksgiving Blessings

Father God,
Thank you for my daily bread which you always provide, even when things look bleak. You give us the blessings of heaven in a dark world, the daily manna in the desert. Thank you for giving us an abundance of food and a breakthrough in our finances as Thanksgiving blessings.

God, bless those who have blessed us on the journey, curse those who have cursed us. Your blessings go beyond Thanksgiving down through generations of those with a right spirit.

Holy Spirit, thank you for blessing me with your daily wisdom and shekinah glory. My soul is shining in your love even as my body is battered by the journey. Thank you for your rest and peace and abundant Thanksgiving blessings.

Amen

all saints day

All Saints Day: The Veil is Thin

Today is All Saints Day in the Catholic tradition and Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. It is a holy day, the day after Halloween, the hallowed eve. On this day, the veil between the living and the dead is thinnest of the whole year. Today, the spirits whisper into the physical realm. Today heaven opens and touches earth. On All Saints Day, we are most awake to the other side.

The saints and mystics of old reach out from the spirit realm to all who are seeking wisdom and understanding here on earth. The cloud of witnesses cheer on the seekers to finish the race of faith. Sainthood is the crown at the finish line.

Many start the race, but few finish. Faith is a marathon, an endurance race of exhilarating sprints and excruciating sprained ankles, mountains of marvel and deserts of drudgery, times of strength and times of weakness. Each part of the journey molds and changes us as we ascend to sainthood, and gain that crown, the place at the divine table.

It Is Good to Honor the Dead

Many Catholic and Orthodox churches will light candles and hold services today to honor the saints on All Saints Day. I love the peaceful, illuminating glow of the soft candle, the mystery of the light that quenches the darkness. Meditative. Communing with the saints is a healing place, a place of wholeness, a place of goodness.

In Mexico with Dia de los Muertos, and other places that celebrate holidays honoring the dead, altars will be erected and cemeteries visited. The spirits of our ancestors, our friends and family who have crossed the veil, want to communicate with us. It is healing for them and for us. It is good. Today the lines of communication are clear as they ever will be.

Some churches preach that it is evil to speak with the dead. Some Catholics embrace All Saints Day but reject communicating with ancestors or the dead who have not been declared saints by the church. Protestants reject all communication with the dead.

Certainly, communicating with the other side muddies the Protestant understanding of a black-and-white heaven and hell. But Catholics understand the middle place of purgatory, and Jesus spoke of outer darkness. Spirits roam the earth in this place of decision, longing for healing and reconciliation with their loved ones. They also learn about the divine kingdom, and they work through the agony of purifying their hearts of greed, anger, bitterness, and hatred. To ascend to higher realms, they must make amends for any wrongs and injustice they committed on earth. Altars, candles, and incense help in this communication. It is good. It is healing. It is love.

Take a look at this interesting passage:

1 Peter 4:6 (KJV)

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.

The gospel, the good news of the kingdom, can be preached to the dead. All Saints Day, when the veil is thin, is an ideal time.

Thin Veil

There is only a thin veil, a sheer curtain, a mist, that separates the living and the dead, the seen and the unseen. All Saints Day is the easiest day to peek through the veil.

What would you like to learn today? Sit at the feet of a wise saint and ask questions. The easiest way to do this is with a private journal, pen and paper. Don’t censor what you hear, just listen. You can do this at a church, a coffee shop, or at home. Use a candle, an altar, or just your imagination. Use your intuition. The Holy Spirit will not lead you wrong if you seek her wisdom.

Honor the memory of your deceased family and friends on this Dia de los Muertos. Visit them at a cemetery or in your imagination. Talk with them.

Have a happy and illuminating All Saints Day, friends!

salvation when all seems lost

Salvation When All Seems Lost

Frequently salvation comes precisely when it appears as though all is lost.
Leo Tolstoy

I am staring at the face of fear once more. I fell and injured my ankle, and I am having a hard time healing. The pain interferes with my job, but I need to work. It is tempting to fall into the fear that all my hard work since moving to Minnesota seems lost.

The fear is a growling bear, hungry, wanting power over his cave. The fear is a prowling tiger, cunning, plotting evil against those she sees as weak. I feel the fear, but I know that the bear’s cave and the tiger’s lair will be overcome. Light always vanquishes darkness, good always overcomes evil. It is written in all our fairy tales, the Book of Life, our deep human psyche.

Fear is uncomfortable, but fear will never win. Salvation when all seems lost.

When it rains, it pours

Things were finally going smoothly in our life. I found a stable job with stable hours that paid our bills. We were treading water, even seeing dry land, overcoming our drowning unemployment over the last few years.

Then, three weeks ago, I fell and hurt my ankle. I have written more about my accident and my running shoes and ankle pain. On top of this, our apartment just unexpectedly raised the rent beginning in November. When it rains, it pours.

My boss is letting me work on crutches, which is a big relief. Still, she cut back some on my hours, and November will be a short hour month to begin with. Fear of low hours means the fear of homelessness and hunger rears its ugly head once more in our life. I am praying to Jesus and waiting for salvation when all seems lost.

In the Rain, There Is Healing

The holidays seem to be a hard time for us every year. I’m sure it is the same for all my brothers and sisters struggling in poverty. I think it is a spiritual transaction, the power and lies of Thanksgiving and oppression, the celebration of white middle class retail culture at Christmas. The holidays are merriment for the rich, hardship for the poor. This influences my view on Santa Claus.

The holidays are also a time of rain and snow, a change in seasons from the colors of fall to the repose of winter. There is healing in the change, in the rest, in the rain. The older trees understand this, and I am sure they patiently explain the winter season to the fearful young trees, salvation when all seems lost.

The healing comes in the midst of hardship. god used a flood to cleanse the world of wickedness, and he can use rain in our life to cleanse our souls, wash out the wounds left by fear and doubt, and grow us in beautiful Holy Spirit wisdom.

Salvation When All Seems Lost

Tolstoy was wise when he said that salvation comes when all seems lost. God always provides. Sometimes he waits to see if people will help before he intervenes supernaturally. Sometimes the salvation gets caught up in heavenly battles, like in the Book of Daniel. But the salvation always comes.

Father God,

I trust you in this time of fear. I trust you to heal my ankle and guide my doctors in caring for me. I trust that I will get the hours I need at work, and I trust that we will have all our basic needs met.

I pray your promises over our life, promises for a future of hope and riches of wisdom. I know you are guiding me, preparing me for greatness and redemption of my hardships and story.

Jesus, I patiently and boldly await your salvation when all seems lost.

Amen

International Day of Peace

International Day of Peace

Today is September 21, the International Day of Peace. Every country is encouraged to put down their arms and observe a cease-fire. Every person is encouraged to reflect on their place in the human connection, their story of the human experience, their role in the international day of peace.

World Conflict: The way of ego

Sadly, our world is full of conflict created through greed and ego. Bullies destroy lives and pillage dreams as they lust after land on the global playground. Fundamentalists declare that their way of life, their culture, their religion, is the only true way, and they take up weapons, emotional and physical, to defend this way. The rich destroy the poor. The strong destroy the weak. War is a game that destroys the sanctity of life and mocks the international day of peace.

International Day of Peace: The way of the kingdom

Blessedly, our world also has corners of peace, hidden places where tears are dried and hope restored, pockets of heaven on earth. Heroes on the world playground rebuild lives and restore pillaged land. Healers bandage the wounded. Visionaries stand against violence and embrace all the colors and cultures of the human race on the international day of peace and every other day.

We celebrate these people on International Day of Peace. Their lights shine bright and cannot be extinguished by the darkness of evil.

We celebrate every person of every creed, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, age, ability, talent. Every life is valuable, every person is a child of the Creator, loved by God. Peace is our spiritual right and inheritance.

Peace is holy.

Peace is justice.

Peace is how Jesus showed us the way of the kingdom. Peace is the lion laying down with the lamb. Peace is every nation and person laying down their differences and embracing love. Peace is the heart of God.

Happy International Day of Peace, my friends.

end nationalism, bald eagle flying toward heaven

End Nationalism, Embrace God’s Kingdom

September 11

As a nation, we take time today to reflect on the events of 9/11 over a decade ago, the flames, the terror, the senseless loss of life. I pray healing over the families forever torn apart, the people’s lives forever changed. How can we redeem the carnage? Is there hope in loss? Can we end nationalism and embrace universal love?

A Kingdom Ruled By Love

There is hope. End nationalism on earth, embrace God’s kingdom in heaven. Close your eyes to the terror outside, and focus deep within your soul. Hear the whisper of the Spirit calling you to childlike faith. Jesus taught us about a kingdom that transcends national and religious borders. A kingdom without fear. A kingdom ruled by Love.

Warped religiosity and destructive nationalism spawned the events of 9/11. Muslim jihadists, believing in a nationalistic Islamic state, drove airplanes into buildings in a murderous act of terror. Innocent civilians lost their lives, families were destroyed, and a nation was shaken to the core.

In a nationalistic response, the American government sent the military to wage war on countries tangentially involved. Because of our military actions, innocent civilians lost their lives, families were destroyed, and nations were left in unstable ruins. All war affects the enemy and the civilian alike. Terror and the thirst for power drive nationalism.

Of course not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Americans support a militaristic response. Far from it. Still, this day of remembrance invites us to reflect on the dangers of nationalism. What if we all decided to follow Jesus, make peace with our enemies, and embrace the Father’s kingdom?

If America did this, really embraced the peace and love of Christianity, took care of the poor, forgave our enemies, and pursued the the Father’s kingdom, we would shake the core of the earth.

End Nationalism

Nationalism teaches us to make our global neighbor into our enemy, to destroy that enemy through hijacked planes and automatic weapons, to hate that enemy through boots on the ground and bombs in the air. Not what Jesus taught at all.

Jesus taught us to love our global neighbor, to embrace them as a special child of the Creator, to learn from their cultural customs and worldview, and to share our culture and views in a universal kingdom of love.

Nationalism teaches us to chase power and land, to raise a flag over the vanquished enemy as the blood waters the land.

The kingdom teaches us to see the blood, understand that the fallen enemy was someone’s son or brother, a mother leaving behind orphaned little ones, a young scientist who could have unlocked the cure to cancer.

When one person falls through violence, we all suffer. On this day of remembrance, I invite you to end nationalism and hatred in your heart. Start down the kingdom path of light and love. Find God’s kingdom.

End nationalism. Find life.

end nationalism, lily of peace in God's kingdom
Image credit:Razabar.Licensed under CC0 Public Domain