16 Jun

The Jealousy Tree

The seed of envy sprouts from the soil of pride and grows into the tree of jealousy. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Envy and jealously were the driving forces in the conflict between God and Lucifer, Cain and Able, Joseph and his brothers, David and Saul as well as Jesus and the Jewish leaders. Envy, jealousy and pride are the key ingredients for crime. The jealousy tree seeks to be the center of attention without regard to cost.

Love does not envy and is not jealous. Love is the antidote for the poison that destroys otherwise thriving relationships. Recognize the signs of envy and jealousy in your life and eliminate them by pouring on love and swallowing your pride. (Song of Solomon 8:6, 1 Corinthians 13:4)

12 Jun

True Love

“True love is best identified by what it does. The next time you tell someone, “I love you,” make sure that person can reply, “I know,” because he or she has seen your love in action.” ⁃ David Jeremiah, Ever Faithful

09 Jun

What do we want?

We want more but of what we do not know.

We complain but aren’t sure what we really want.

We want to be happy but are unclear of its source.

We want answers but can’t form the questions.

We want peace but continue to stir.

We want love but are searching in all the wrong places.

We want joy but hold onto hate.

We want success but are unable to define it.

We want to unlock freedom but can’t find the keys.

We want things and we want things to be better but things are only getting worse.

What we really want, but fail to realize, is God. What we long for is Him more than we know.

We want His will but aren’t certain where it is found.

The wants and desires of our hearts are hidden in the delight in the Lord.

When our wants are His wants we find all we are looking for in Him.

The answer is not in what we want but rather in what He wants. There within we find all we could ever want or need.

When we want Him we find Him. When we search for Him, He will be found and in Him we discover all we could ever hope for.

09 Jun

The Furious Love of God

“When the night is bad and my nerves are shattered and the waves break over the sides, Infinity speaks. God Almighty shares through His son the depth of His feelings for me, His love flashes into my soul, and I am overtaken by mystery.

I have two choices. I can escape below into skepticism and intellectualism, hanging on for dear life. Or, with radical amazement, I can stay on deck and boldly stand in surrendered faith to the truth of my belovedness, caught up in the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God. And learn to pray.”

“Abba I belong to you.”

— Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing for God

“I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.”

Song of Solomon 7:10 NASB

03 Jun

Anyway

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God; It was never between you and them anyway.

Mother Teresa’s version of the Anyway poem

19 May

Love is the way

The inspiring sermon by the Most Rev. Michael Curry from the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is provided below. He nailed it!

It‘s different from what he delivered at the ceremony but it contains all of the insights from the sermon, beginning and ending with a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King and even comparing the power of love to the power of fire.

Read the transcript below:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”

There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it. Anyone who has ever fallen in love, knows what I mean. But think about love in any form or experience of it. It actually feels good to be loved, and to express love. There is something right about it. And there’s a reason.

An old medieval poem says it: “Where true love is found, God himself is there.” The Bible, 1 John 4 says it this way. “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; Everyone who loves is born of God Whoever does not love does not know God For God is love.” (1 John 4:4-8)

There’s power in love. Love can help and heal when nothing else can. Love can lift up and liberate for living when nothing else will. And the love that brings two people together is the same love that can bind them together, Whether on mountaintops of happiness and through valleys of hardship. Love is strong as death. Its flashes are flashes of fire. Many waters cannot quench love Love can see you through! There’s power in love.

But the love of which we speak is not only for couples getting married or just for interpersonal relationships. Jesus of Nazareth taught us that the way of love is the way to a real relationship with the God who created all of us, and the way to true relationship with each other as children of that one God, as brothers and sisters in God’s human family. One scholar said it this way: “Jesus had founded the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement built on the unconditional love of God for the world and the mandate to live that love.” (Charles Marsh’s The Beloved Community)

And in so doing, to change lives and the world itself! There’s a reason. An old spiritual may suggest why: “If you cannot preach like Peter, There is a balm in Gilead. And you cannot pray like Paul, To make the wounded whole, you can tell the love of Jesus, There is a balm in Gilead. How he died to save us all To heal the sin sick soul.”

“Just tell the love of Jesus, how he died to save us all.” He didn’t sacrifice his life for himself Or anything he could get out of it He did it for others, for the other, for the good and well being of others. That’s love.

How does St. Paul say it? Love is not jealous, rude, or boastful. Love does not insist on its own way. Love is unselfish, sacrificial, kind and just. Love seeks the good and the well-being of the other. Love makes room and space for the other to be. (See 1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

This love, this is the way of Jesus. And it’s game changer. Imagine our homes and families when this way of love is the way. Imagine our neighborhoods and communities when love is the way. Imagine our governments and countries when love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when this love is the way. Imagine our world when love is the way. No child would go to bed hungry in such a world as that. Poverty would become history in such a world as that. The earth would be as a sanctuary in such a world as that. We would treat one another as children of God, regardless of differences. We would learn how to lay our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more. There would be a new heaven, a new earth, a new world. A new and beautiful human family. The very dream of God Love is strong as death. Its flashes are flashes of fire. Many waters cannot quench love

The late French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, was at once a scientist, a Roman Catholic priest, a theologian, a true mystic. His was one of the great minds and spirits of the 20th century. He suggested that the discovery and harnessing of fire was one of the great technological discoveries of human history.

Fire made it possible to cook food, thereby reducing the spread of disease. Fire made it possible to stay warm in cold climates, thereby marking human migration possible. Fire made the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Revolution possible.

If you drove here this morning, you did so in part because of harnessed fire. I flew here from the U.S. due to controlled burn of fire. Fire is involved in broadcasting this wedding around the world. And we can text, tweet, email, and otherwise socially engage one another due to fire. Fire was one of the great technological discoveries of humanity.

In light of this, de Chardin said that if human beings ever harness the energies of love, then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire. Love is the very fire and energy of real life!

Dr. King was right: “We must discover the power of love, the redemptive power of love. And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world a new world. Love is the only way.”

My brother, my sister, God love you, God bless you. My brothers, my sisters, God love you, God bless you. And may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.

Amen.

09 Apr

Love, where are you?

Is love a solid or is it a gas? Wherever it goes it gets there fast.

Love so solid, you know that it’s there, then love so fragile, it vanishes like air.

Sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you feel it and sometimes you won’t.

Love when it’s out, where does it go? You thought you had it, but then you don’t know.

Love fills you up, like a poet to paper but next thing you know, it turns into vapor.

Some say it lasts, it’s now and forever. While others chase it, they never will savor.

Love can come and love can go. Here for a while and then hits the road.

Love causes pain and love makes you suffer but life without love is certainly rougher.

Some say they love you but surely they don’t. They continue to hurt, when they say that they won’t.

Love is a feeling, a desire and a need. When true love is found, good hearts can still bleed.

Find true love, hold on while you can, it is there for a moment and then slips from your hand.

Love where are you? I need you today. Though prone to wonder, please won’t you stay.

Hold onto love. Keep it well within sight. Embrace it tenderly but hold onto it tight.