Thought for the day…on God’s love

God’s love is so immense and infinite… beyond our wildest imagination. Here’s a quote I ran into:

Divine love can rake a dunghill--Spurgeon  [Words on image: “Divine love can rake a dunghill, and find a diamond!” –C.H. Spurgeon]

Hope you have a good day and a great week…and that you find God’s divine love in amazing places as you go about your “ordinary” tasks of living.

Until next time, Amen! 

Children Explain Prayer

At my church this summer, we’ve had a sermon series on prayer. One major theme has been that prayer is primarily about relationship–our relationship with God.  In the very first sermon, we explored how Adam and Eve “hid” from God after they sinned, and yet, God still reached out to them. God knew what had happened, and yet called out to them, asking why they were hiding.

Like Adam and Eve, sometimes we “hide” from God, afraid or avoiding prayer because we think we don’t know how to pray, or we are not worthy. Despite this, God reaches out to us in various ways because God loves us, no matter what may have happened.  We think we are “hiding” when all the while God is watching over us, like a loving parent or kind teacher. No matter what we’ve done, good or bad, God still wants to be in relationship with us.

We can trust that God wants to be in this relationship with us because God keeps reaching out to humans again and again in biblical history despite people failing him again and again. God’s love is so unconditional that he sent his son (that is, God came to earth in the form of Jesus Christ) and died on the cross while people were still steeped in sin.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. —Romans 5:8

I was thinking about these things when this short video of children explaining prayer appeared in my Facebook feed. Their hearts are open and trusting. Creative. Honest. Compassionate.

Being fifty-something doesn’t stop me from learning from these children. Their freshness and youth inspires me to be a little more honest with God, a little more free-flowing–and less worried about “if I’m getting it right.”

But aren’t we sinners? Yes, but we also God’s children, for it is God who gave us life. Little children don’t worry if their words aren’t elegant or sophisticated–and the loving parents around them continue to value what they say. We don’t stop loving children when they make mistakes or have difficulties. God enjoys having quality time with us, just we enjoy having quality time with our children.

Will you pray with me?

O God,
The next time I try to run from praying
because I am ashamed, guilty, or afraid,
please send your Holy Spirit to remind me
that you are the God of Mercy and unconditional love.
The next time I feel “I don’t have the right words to pray,”
remind me that I can say whatever I want or feel,
or even express myself to you in wordless ways,
trusting that you understand my heart
and love me just as I am.
The next time I want to pray, but feel inadequate,
please remind me that prayer is about
spending quality time together with you,
not mastering fancy words or passing an imaginary test.
Thank you, Lord,
for your constant love and attentiveness to us,
and help us to always place our trust in you.
This I ask in the name of Jesus
and in the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

 

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin on the energies of love

Today’s quote on compassion comes from French philosopher, scientist, and Jesuit priest, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

35 Lent--Week 5--Compassion--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It is an interesting image, to think of love as a powerful energy. Energy “brings good things to life,” as an old General Electric commercial said. The wind, waves, tides, and gravity all exhibit a dynamic movement. They are not “stuck” or “dead” like a rock. So it is, that love moves, love creates, love transforms our lives.

And so it is, that when we truly discover the energies of love–and harness them for real, as a culture, as a planet–it will be as big a transformation as the discovery of fire.

Until next time, Amen! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus’ teaching about forgiveness

For my Lenten images, week 4 is about forgiveness/mercy. (I should have started this yesterday, but ya know how sometimes things come up…)

Jesus showed mercy, love, and forgiveness again and again. If we are to be followers of Jesus, this means we are called to do the same. That doesn’t mean we allow people to keep hurting us. There are times we have to remove ourselves from a situation to keep from getting hurt (such as, domestic violence).

26 Lent--Week 4--Forgiveness--Jesus 7 times (click on image to enlarge)

I find this teaching of Jesus sometimes easy and sometimes extremely difficult. I don’t always do it very well, and I still have lots of ways in which I need to grow in forgiving others.

What do you do when you find it hard to forgive someone?
(Please share ideas in the comments.)

Blessed to be a blessing for others

Today’s quote about almsgiving and sharing is from John Calvin, key figure and theologian during the Protestant Reformation days. This quote caught my eye because of today’s political/religious climate.

25 Lent--week 3--almsgiving--Calvin

“Love one another” means being willing to share with others. The Christian way is a spiritual path that seeks to give to others more than to receive from them. It can be difficult to remember this in the midst of media bombardment about the latest recipes for good looks, wealth, and material things.

Will you pray with me?

Come, Holy Spirit,
remind us often
that everything we own–
belongings, money, time, talents–
comes from Creator God…
Inspire us often to share with others,
and give us the courage to let go
of all that we ought to share with others.

Until next time, Amen! 

Many kinds of “almsgiving”

There are many ways to “give alms”… I think the main point is to think of the needs of others and to share the gifts you have with them. Some gifts are monetary or physical possessions, like clothes and dishes. Others are the talents we have been given by God to use for the good of ourselves and others.

24 Lent--week 3--almsgiving--Bush(click on image to enlarge)

Until next time, Amen!