Tag Archives: existentialism

american individualism, american capital

American Individualism: Sunday Message

America prides itself on being a “Christian” nation, a nation “under God” with “liberty and justice for all.”

But is it really liberty and justice for all, or is it just liberty and justice for the individual, the “successful” individual, the individual with the right skin color, the right family and neighborhood, the right access to wealth and opportunities?

We worship at the altar of American individualism.

Our nation “under God” is the nation of the individual. We cherish a national belief that if “one” only works hard enough to pull oneself by his (or, more rarely in the metaphor, her) bootstraps, one will find success.

In this nation “under God,” we also cherish the idea that the grace of God covers all. How can we be under a God who created  every human being  with love and grace, while worshiping the accomplishments of the individual?

See the irony?

Is American Individualism a Godly Trait?

American individualism and the idea of American exceptionalism go hand-in-hand. American individualism says:

I worked my way up the ladder at this job.

I earned this car and this McMansion.

I built this empire.

I am an exceptional individual in an exceptional nation.

American individualism ignores the plight of the collective. American individualism has no time, or desire, to love one’s neighbor. In America, so many people are treated as mere dust under the feet of the “successful.” Those people trapped in poverty by family, skin color, or a bad economy, do not have any bootstraps to pull themselves up. They are left in the dirt in a primal struggle to survive. People locked out of the job market with disabilities, or a history, or family responsibilities are disdained as “nonproductive individuals.”

Imagine. We as a nation have the disrespect to call children of God nonproductive individuals.

Whatever happened to community? Who is their brother’s keeper in this system of individual achievement? Is this God’s plan for a “godly nation”? Did He change His mind since the Old Testament when he continually told Israel to care for the poor, the orphan, the widow? Is God’s plan different for America?

No, American individualism is not God’s plan. Over and over in the Bible, God told us to love and take care of each other. The mighty prophets of old spoke God’s voice to Israel to take care of the poor and to practice hospitality. Jesus said that to love one’s neighbor as oneself fulfilled all the Law and all the prophets. We now have the Holy Spirit to whisper God’s word in our heart. She teaches us the wisdom of Love.

Neither God, nor Jesus, nor the Holy Spirit teaches us to be selfish, greedy individuals. We are all children made in God’s image. No one is greater. I cannot find exceptionalism, American individualism, or even a pair of bootstraps anywhere in Scripture.

American individualism is a national, and personal, sin.

American Individualism and God’s Grace

The American Protestant church, for the most part, follows the Calvinist doctrine of grace alone. John Calvin proclaimed that God chooses people individually for salvation, and that Jesus’ blood only covers these individuals.

Calvin’s doctrine teaches that we are saved by God’s grace alone, not by any of our works of faith or charity. Taken to the extreme, people turn this doctrine into a magic salvation prayer. They believe that if they say one prayer to Jesus asking for God’s grace and forgiveness of their sins, they are saved for eternity. They have no responsibility to change their life or do works of charity.

The Calvinist salvation prayer is their ticket to heaven, get out of hell free card. They treat the blood of Jesus like a game of monopoly.

I have even heard American Calvinists actually speak against works of helping one’s neighbor, saying that works are vain boastfulness (Calvin himself believed in works of charity as evidence of faith). These lazy, greedy Christians disobey all of Scripture that commands us to care for the poor and least of these. They pursue the reckless rat race of American individualism, covered themselves with the “grace of God.” What blasphemy.

Now, I do believe that salvation starts by the grace of God. He calls us out of a human life of sin, selfishness, and greed. We would not pursue selfless kingdom living in our own dark human hearts. His work of grace transforms us into people with the capacity to love and live selflessly.

What I don’t understand is why those Christians who believe in grace alone do not extend that same grace to their poor neighbor, their struggling employee, their sick brother.

No Place for American Individualism in God’s Kingdom

God’s kingdom is a wedding feast to which all are invited, but few come. Jesus’ kingdom is a narrow road of picking up your cross, giving your riches to the poor, and being a good Samaritan on the road of the hurting and the oppressed.

God’s kingdom is not a place of the exceptional individual, but a place of a servant who is a living sacrifice.

Romans 12:1-2 NIV

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Reject prideful, greedy American individualism today. Embrace the humble collectivism of loving your brothers and sisters in need. Follow Jesus in the way of the cross and the holy kingdom. Then we will truly have a nation under God, with justice and liberty for all.

hands grasping for hierarchy against kingdom living

Kingdom Living Has No Human Hierarchy

American society is infatuated with hierarchy. We idolize those at the top of the corporate, entertainment, and sports arenas. We disdain, even harm, the lowly and oppressed, the “nobodies.”

Our cliches are filled with hierarchy. “Climb the corporate ladder.” “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

But is God’s heart in this “rat race?”

Sigh.

I hear these kind of platitudes all the time in the church. Christians just tend to qualify it as “prosperity” or “God’s blessing.” American living at its finest. Kingdom living at its worst.

America is a Land of Hierarchy

The American education system is a major contributor to hierarchies. I read an article recently about the equalizing pull of cheap or free online education to the brick-and-mortar, traditional university (“Creative Destruction” The Economist).

In the  article comments, one person argued that the physical university will remain as a place for the children of the elite to meet each other, a place to further their connections to Money. This person also claimed that egalitarianism was unheard of in society until the 20th century, and the growing economic inequalities of the 21st century are merely a return to the normality of the ruling elite. This person claims that the “land of equality” was always a myth.

This article was published in The Economist, a politically conservative magazine. Apparently this commenter has never read a Bible. Throughout the Old Testament, God frowned on the ruling elite and economic inequality.

God is the King of Kingdom Living

Through Samuel (1 Samuel 8), God bemoaned Israels desire for a king. God said Israel had turned away from him and all his miracles in bringing them out of Egypt. He longed to be their king, completely just and righteous. He knew the corruption that power brings to the human heart, and he warned Israel of the oppression they would face under a human king and a hierarchy. But, through heavenly tears, he gave them their free will.

Some may argue that God ordained kingship through the Davidic line. We must remember, though, that He chose David from the peasantry to overthrow the ruling elite, Saul. Clearly, God did not believe in rule by birth. God always judges by the heart, not by elite status of human hierarchy.

Fast forward to the New Testament, and we find  that Jesus’ life and teachings center around the idea of kingdom living with God as king. Although Jesus had every right to claim kingship over Israel, indeed kingship over the whole earth, he lived a simple servant life with nowhere to even lay his head. Through his parables and his sermon on the mount, he lifted up the meek and humble. Jesus blessed the poor who had been thrown to the trash dump by the world’s hierarchies.

Jesus Teaches Us the Way of the Servant

One day, the disciples began to argue about who was the greatest. I hear this same tired bickering around me all day every day, especially in ego-driven, appearance-adoring, hierarchical American culture. In response, Jesus said something profound:

Mark 9:35 (NIV)
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Read that again. The first to enter the kingdom of heaven will be the servants of this world.

I don’t see many people practicing this around me, least of all those who call themselves Christians, “followers of Jesus.” They claim to “serve” Jesus by showing up to church on Sunday, or singing some song with a rock-star worship band. Meanwhile, they prevent their homeless brother from entering the sanctuary, they renounce their sister who is a poverty-stricken single mom, they rage against their gay brother looking for love. They create human hierarchies in the very church that should be practicing kingdom living.

Hierarchies of hatred. The antithesis of kingdom living.

Jesus sees and loves these precious ones that the church rejects. Take another look at his words in the parable of the sheep and goats recorded in Matthew 25 (NIV):

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

The poor and oppressed shall stand in judgment. There is no place in the heavenly kingdom for those who set themselves up as the ruling elite on earth.

There are no hierarchies in kingdom living.

trust god, sunlight streaming through trees

Trust God: He Cares for You

The Trees Trust God

The trees take in the rain,
the mist, the snow, the sun,
each season of its own.
Reaching to the heavens,
looking to the creator for provision.

The trees do not worry.
They do not gather, store, plan.
The trees just be.
Always looking to the sky,
and the great I Am.
The trees trust God.


Learn From Nature How to Trust God

When I look at the trees outside, I marvel at their ability to trust God. They are storehouses of wisdom, growing and existing longer than mortal human life. They spend hundreds of years on the earth. Yet, they don’t spend time in fret and worry, they don’t gather and store, they don’t trample on each other trying to gather the best thing for themselves, the best status. They just trust that the Creator will take care of them.

Jesus said that the Father cares for even the lowly sparrow, therefore, we should not worry because he cares so much more for us. In Matthew 20:29-31, Jesus drove home the point to his disciples. He said that two sparrows sell for only a penny, yet the Father makes sure they are fed and housed. We are worth so much more than a penny to God. Jesus says that the Father even has the very hairs counted on our heads.

We Gather Possessions and We Don’t Trust God

We run around so much, gathering more and more for ourselves. We worry that the Father will not feed us, so we fill our refrigerators, cupboards, freezers, and even cellars with an abundance of food. Meanwhile, the child down the street looks on hungrily, her own cupboards bare. Trust God for food and share with those in need.

We worry that the Father will not clothe us, so we fill our drawers, dressers, walk-in closets, even entire spare rooms, with an abundance of clothes. We make sure that they are of the latest fashion, so others will think well of us. We have so many clothes, that sometimes we even leave some unworn at the back of the closet. Meanwhile, the homeless family packs into the warming shelter, their hole-ridden garments unable to protect them from the wet and the cold. Trust God for clothes and give to those in need.

We worry that the Father will not house us, so we build our own houses, and we add a few thousand extra square feet to hold all of our hordes of stuff. We like to impress our friends with our auspicious dwellings. Meanwhile, billions of people around the world will go to sleep tonight with a dirt floor, at best. Trust God for shelter and work to house the homeless.

Jesus Teaches Us How To Trust God

trust God, Jesus carries cross
Image credit: [Pixabay]Nemo Licensed under CC0 Public Domain
Oh, how far we have strayed from Jesus’ message. If you look further at this passage, you will find Jesus’ mandate to his disciples. Jesus said to trust God.

Not only did Jesus tell the disciples that the Father would provide, he also told them to live a radical lifestyle by not carrying any money with them on the journey. He told them that they would be persecuted by government and friends. He told them that their own families would turn against them. He told them that the way would be excruciatingly hard, but this is the price of the cross. The reward, though, is everything. The Message Bible paints this passage in the most descriptive light.

Matthew 10 (The Message)

The Twelve Harvest Hands

1-4 The prayer was no sooner prayed than it was answered. Jesus called twelve of his followers and sent them into the ripe fields. He gave them power to kick out the evil spirits and to tenderly care for the bruised and hurt lives. This is the list of the twelve he sent: Simon (they called him Peter, or “Rock”), Andrew, his brother, James, Zebedee’s son, John, his brother, Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew, the tax man, James, son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon, the Canaanite, Judas Iscariot (who later turned on him).

5-8 Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:

“Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.

9-10 “Don’t think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don’t need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.

11 “When you enter a town or village, don’t insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave.

12-15 “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.

16 “Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be as cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.

17-20 “Don’t be naive. Some people will impugn your motives, others will smear your reputation—just because you believe in me. Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.

21-23 “When people realize it is the living God you are presenting and not some idol that makes them feel good, they are going to turn on you, even people in your own family. There is a great irony here: proclaiming so much love, experiencing so much hate! But don’t quit. Don’t cave in. It is all well worth it in the end. It is not success you are after in such times but survival. Be survivors! Before you’ve run out of options, the Son of Man will have arrived.

24-25 “A student doesn’t get a better desk than her teacher. A laborer doesn’t make more money than his boss. Be content—pleased, even—when you, my students, my harvest hands, get the same treatment I get. If they call me, the Master, ‘Dungface,’ what can the workers expect?

26-27 “Don’t be intimidated. Eventually everything is going to be out in the open, and everyone will know how things really are. So don’t hesitate to go public now.

28 “Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being. Save your fear for God, who holds your entire life—body and soul—in his hands.

Forget About Yourself

29-31 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

32-33 “Stand up for me against world opinion and I’ll stand up for you before my Father in heaven. If you turn tail and run, do you think I’ll cover for you?

34-37 “Don’t think I’ve come to make life cozy. I’ve come to cut—make a sharp knife-cut between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law—cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. Well-meaning family members can be your worst enemies. If you prefer father or mother over me, you don’t deserve me. If you prefer son or daughter over me, you don’t deserve me.

38-39 “If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.

40-42 “We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do, accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”

I challenge you to ponder this passage and see how much your life resembles this. Do you trust God? Are you growing in this trust?

I am learning this on my own journey, too. Trust is a life-long process. Ask Jesus for courage to bear your own cross and live the radical lifestyle as His disciple. The journey is hard, but the reward is pure joy.

Trust God.

moral courage, man holding sign stating "a better world takes courage"

Moral Courage: The Narrow Road

It takes moral courage to cast aside defense mechanisms and the veneer of culture, and peer into the void of mortality and meaninglessness.

(David C. Funder, Personality Puzzle, pg. 481)

I am studying Funder’s textbook, Personality Puzzle, for a psychology course. I love this quote about moral courage. It is true on many levels. I enjoy studying and discussing existentialism, and I am constantly evaluating my own life, looking for the meaning.

I often contemplate my earthly mortality and the great joy that lies beyond. I am not scared to die; I welcome death as a respite from this hard life. While I remain on earth, I will lean into Jesus to find the moral courage to make this world a better place in every way that I can.

The Veneer of Culture

I like how Funder says to cast aside the “veneer of culture.” I think culture is often used as an excuse to not search for deeper meaning. Many people don’t seem to realize that there is a deeper life experience beyond the singular culture of one’s birth.

Too many people, especially in Western culture, are satisfied to just give up their soul to some dead-end job, slave away all day for someone else, and then go home in the best car they can afford, to the best housing they can afford, to watch television on their flat-screen. Too many people live their lives vicariously through their preferred celebrities, and their favorite entertainment venues, that feed them the veneer of culture.

Television is a master of the veneer of culture. Everyone on television lives a nice, middle-class life with a car, a house and furniture. They wear fashionable clothes and fashionable hair and makeup. They make lists of the “must-have” Christmas gifts and gadgets of the year, reinforced by the ever-flowing commercials. They rarely talk about their poor neighbor, or making the world a better place for others. The veneer of culture is a selfish place. Following this crowd does not take moral courage.

Would Jesus drive a car to his nice home in the suburbs, avoiding the poor and broken-down areas? Would Jesus worship the latest celebrities? Would Jesus silently follow the crowd, or would Jesus have the moral courage to change the crowd?

Following the Crowd is a Tragedy

The normal American life of following the crowd, “keeping up with the Joneses,” is a tragedy. Free will is the innate human condition, yet far too many people give up their free will in a Faustian exchange for comfort and the facade of material wealth. Few people question their societies, their upbringing, all the “rules.”

I like the movie Revolutionary Road. The theme of the movie is this question: “Who made all these rules anyway?” The couple in the movie buck the system of their upbringing to chase their truest dreams, their truest self, but they experience how the revolutionary road is harrowing. It takes great courage to look into the “void of mortality and meaninglessness.” If enough people would find the courage to rise up and question all the rules, society would change.

The Deception of the Individual

Part of the problem is the Western focus on the Individual. Eastern philosophers have a different take. The Buddha taught that everything and everyone are interconnected now, and not only in this moment, but also across time. This is our true reality; we are all sons and daughters of the Creator. We separate ourselves from Him and from each other through sin and through idolizing our own individual image. The mirror is a powerful devil.

Our culture places far too much emphasis on the individual in the mirror. Forgetting our connectedness is to the detriment of caring, compassion, and other human attributes. If we truly understood that we are all connected in an eternal human consciousness, we would be loathe to harm, directly or indirectly, our fellow human being.

The harm happens every day, in large and subtle ways. The banker robo-signs foreclosures, the middle-class mom tries to shield her children from those “ghetto people”, the well-to-do yuppie glares as he passes the homeless guy downtown. These people may all have to reconsider their actions and attitudes if they understood we are all connected. The homeless guy is no better or worse than the yuppie, the people living in low-income neighborhoods lack opportunities the middle-class mom takes for granted, the family in foreclosure was simply less lucky than the banker. But helping others takes moral courage.

Helping Others Takes Moral Courage

Our Western culture continues to glorify the “successful” individual, to glorify money and power, to glorify the material life. This road is wide and easy to follow. It takes no courage to ignore social injustice.

But Jesus calls to us to the narrow road. He wants us to find the moral courage to make a better world. He cries as the abuse of society continues unabated day after day, year after year. So few people bring Jesus a cup of cold water in the hot street, or a healing hand in the cold prison.

I look forward to the day when our culture finds enough courage to face the existential questions, embrace the love of Christ, and in so doing, find the moral courage to change society. In helping the least of these, we find the answer to our own earthly mortality and meaning.

prophetic word 2012, girl walks into mysterious light

Prophetic Word 2012: New Year

God’s prophetic word 2012 to the American church for the New Year:

2012 will not be a year of prosperity for the American church. I have given you more than enough. I am sick of blessing you with abundance and seeing you squander it.

Prophetic Word 2012 for the Church Buildings

God says:

I have given you giant church buildings to serve your communities, but you let these buildings sit empty all week. I have given you paid staff to tend to the needs of your neighbors, but you wile away your time on video games and porn. I have filled your offering plates so that you could bless the poor, but you have pocketed all of the money for yourself. I have even seen you take special offerings specifically for the poor, and then use that money as a Christmas bonus to yourself. This is an abomination in my sight.

I have sent the poor to your church doors to test you in this, and you have turned them away. You let the homeless man starve in the street while you got fat on the abundance I supplied. You let the disabled child die in the cold, while your church building remained snug and warm on my dime. You turned away the pregnant woman, saying you had no money to help her, when I had filled your coffers. You forced her to the doors of the Planned Parenthood, so I hold both her weeping tears and the blood of her baby on your hands.

Rather than use my money for a good purpose, you have spent it on making yourself famous. This is not my prosperity. Prosperity by theft of the people is a grave sin.

Have I not told you to do your works in secret? Yet you take my money and install expensive video cameras in your expensive churches to use for expensive air time.

Prophetic Word 2012 for Church Fame and Fortune

God says:

You use my money to buy top-quality instruments and sound systems, and you set your worship teams up as rock stars. You say that you want only the best for me, but you worship the musicians, and you steal worship from me. Your best should go to my sons and daughters struggling in poverty, not to your fancy stages.

You make yourself famous on television, you make yourself famous on the stage, but you degrade my name and make me into an unknown god. I am coming to restore the name of Yahweh on the earth, and I hold you, church, responsible for this desecration.

You spend my money organizing endless rallies in which you curse those less fortunate than yourself. I have sent my son Jesus into your midst as a poor man, as a gay man, as a woman struggling with an unplanned pregnancy. Yet you rally against Jesus and you mock my name. This is an abomination in my sight.

Because you have misused my funds and embezzled my blessings for yourself, I am withdrawing my prosperity from you. Spiritual poverty and curses will come on you in the night. Who are you to say that you do not want to enable people? In you arrogance you forget that I enable your very breath. What if I decide that I no longer want to enable you, church?

Prophetic Word 2012, the Arrogant Church Will Perish in Sin

God says:

You, American church, will perish in your sin while I invite those whom you rejected to my wedding feast. Your clothes are red with blood; you have no place in my kingdom.

I will go out to the streets and find those who are more worthy than you. My kingdom belongs to the poor in spirit, to the humble, to the meek. My son, Jesus, told you these things, but you refuse to listen.

You want to be called my child, but I do not know you. You are a bastard child, and your father is the devil. If you were my child, you would do as I command. As it is, I have given you years of chances to repent and turn to me. You call on my mercy, but you forget my judgment. My patience is wearing out. Your sins far exceed those of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Prophetic Word 2012: The Church in Governmental Seats

Gods says:

2012 is the year of judgment on the American church. I will allow your Christian leaders to fill seats of government. This is not my heart, it is my judgment. Because you have desired power over my presence, I am giving you over to your sinful desires. These Christian politicians will tear down the economy of the United States, and the empire will collapse.

If you do not repent and seek my face, the land will groan under your greed. I will cause great floods, earthquakes, and storms to come to the United States. In this I will reveal the selfishness and the greed of the American Christians to the entire world. The world will see it and shake.

Repent While There is Time

God says,

Repent, American church, while there is still time. Bring your tithes and offerings to me and I will distribute them to the deserving. Give up all that you have, and I may turn from my anger. This is your last chance to produce fruit before I cut down your tree.

I am sending my prophets to you. Hear their words and repent. Beware of the false prophets who preach abundance and prosperity. They are sent of the enemy, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will lead you to hell.

Repent and turn to Yahweh, judge of the heavens and earth. Learn my name and learn my ways. Humble yourself in the sight of Yahweh, and do what is just and right. Let 2012 be your year of repentance.

Hope

Hope.

How can one continue to hope when everything seems so hard in life?

I have applied to over 300 jobs, and I have received few interviews and no job offers. My finances are difficult; I am living by going to school and taking out loans. How can I ever hope to repay these loans? How can I ever hope to find a job?

Living in poverty is so hard. People constantly take what little money you do have. There are endless bank fees, raises on bus fare, raises on rent. There are clothes and diapers to buy for a fast-growing toddler, and food that grows ever more expensive.

Yet my hope is not in a job, or a career. My hope is not in money. My hope is not in a big house, a fancy car, beautiful clothes. My hope is not in a powerful position of fame and authority.

My hope is in YHWH, creator of heaven and earth. My hope is in YHWH, creator and lover of my soul. My hope is in YHWH, giver of abundant and eternal life, both now and in the future. My hope is in YHWH, loving father who supplies all that I need.

As I celebrate this Shabbat, I meditate on hope.
I find hope in a simple life of loving and being loved by YHWH.
I find hope in the love of my small family.
I find hope that life is worth living even when the future seems bleak.
I find hope in the beauty of today, forgiving the pain of the past and letting go of the fear of the future.
I find hope in life.

My life is a beautiful gift to be discovered, unwrapped, enjoyed. Life does not consist in number of possessions or number of friends. Life consists in beauty, spirituality, the deep rivers of the soul.

YHWH is hope. YHWH is life.

Today is hope. Today is life.

Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of YHWH