What are the words that have formed you? That's what I had the opportunity to contemplate and meditate on as I prepared to preach last Sunday - as I focused on a prayer that is a part of my life.
"If you look for the helpers, then you'll know that there's hope." Fred Rogers It's overwhelming, really, where we have found ourselves. True, we do see the great needs in the world a little bit: the hurricanes and other natural disasters are often in the headlines, but let's be honest: scandal sells and attention is often drawn away from the great needs of the world (which can actually broaden our worldview), and are often given to the most negatively sensationalistic stories that the headlines can muster. Some studies actually show that the psychological effects of the negative sensationalism in the news actually can result in the watchers to begin to catastrophize worries in our own lives. [...]
“The consumption society has made us feel that happiness lies in having things, and has failed to teach us the happiness of not having things.” Elise Boulding Even from an early age, the words of Jesus found in the Gospels have resonated so deeply in my mind and heart. I've always seen Jesus, not as a blue-eyed, pale-skinned, white and tidy figure, but an olive-skinned, dusty-footed rabbi: joyful, passionate, and driven, as He took the Kingdom of God wherever He went. So close to my heart are some words from the Sermon on the Mount: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor [...]
I love music and spoken word that challenges and teaches. Here's one of my favorite poets, Joel Mckerrow, and his poem, "For Tomorrow." When we were watching this as a family, toward the end, my daughter turned to me and said, "That's Heaven!" and I smiled and said, "Yes it is, honey." The Kingdom of Heaven, a reality that is both now and not-yet, is something that I believe we hunger for. When we long for justice, for hope, and for wrong things made right, the compass of our hearts -as broken and imperfect as they are -point north again. Something stirs in us, and our hearts start to resonate with the heart of God [...]