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Pieces of Discord

Our world is a suffering place right now.  Political opinions are causing rifts with friends and family members.  “Their way” is the right way.

It is not a “Christian” thing; it is a PEOPLE thing.  Praying, calling your political leaders, signing petitions, this is how to make change.

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How NOT to make change is belittling or bullying those who think differently or remain silent.

Jesus turned the other cheek on a daily basis, and yet – change came.  Centuries later there is still deep unrest in the Middle East, wars continue to kill people of all ages, terrorist attacks and school shootings are the modern version of strife during the Roman empire.

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Genesis 13:8
So Abram said to Lot, “Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren.
Prayer from Gregory Coles, Penn State University
Bring an end to violence and hatred and discord. Steady the feet that rush into war and the finger poised on the trigger. Bring justice to the downtrodden, restoration to the marginalized and abused, hope to the hopeless. Guide all those in positions of power—whether that power is political or physical or social—and give them wisdom to use their power wisely. Give them, and all of us, the grace to admit when we are wrong and to seek forgiveness. Give us the grace to forgive.
Help us see your face in the faces of the people around us. Give us courage to love one another even when love seems like a risk. Give us compassion for those who are unlike us. Teach us to listen to those we disagree with, to hear stories that make us uncomfortable. Heal the hatred in the world around us by healing our own hearts first.
Give us peace by making us agents of peace.

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Pieces of Opinion

I wonder, back in biblical times if there was a lot of judgement and opinion making of others.  I’d have to believe that people were petty even back then.

We can be one of the most thought provoking, upstanding and prayerful person, yet inside – judge others with our thoughts or even eye rolling.

What we tell ourselves is equally as bad as what we tell others (gossip for example).

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ALWAYS BE KIND

Proverbs 11:13
A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.
Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
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2014 Pieces

I found my first “Pieces Journal,” dated January 22, 2014.  It seems so long ago, but it also shows me the walk I’ve taken along Jesus; is just a moment a time, and my faith has continued to grow; year after year.  I’d like to share with you some of the earlier “scraps of paper, devotions and musings” from my journal.  May you find your own special “pieces.”

It’s in the act of faith that courage becomes reality and the Lord’s grace rushes in to supply divine power.

Dear God, I want to be gracious and lovely in Your sight.  Open to receiving.  Take me away from the things that waste my time and rob me of meditative time with You.

I am encouraged by the mighty works of God.  “Prayer” has become a powerful word in my vocabulary, and one that gives meaning to my life.  I pray for HOPE, what a beautiful gift; and, it is free!!!  He walks with me in the garden of my life.  We talk, I learn, I am blessed to know Him as my Father, and Friend.

Keep your defense strong, trust in God.  Pray when anxiety seeps in.

Take it to God.  When you are low or upset, even when it feels contrary to do so; tell Him, share your heart.

I see so many parallels in my past and current life; except now I am grateful for all of it – the hard, hurtful times along with the peaceful.  I believe it’s more than ‘equal parts,’ rather how Jesus wants to live in me; “Grateful for all of the pieces.”  In this way, everything is a subject for witnessing.

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Impossible situations are opportunities for the Lord to teach us valuable lessons that we’d never learn any other way.

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Forgiveness

Much is written and talked about regarding “forgiveness.”  It’s a difficult concept for the human being to comprehend, all situations that need forgiveness are difficult.  It’s AS hard to forgive, as it is to be forgiven.

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My Christian walk had been littered with plenty of unforgiveness, until through bible study and my own personal devotion, did I realize what I was saying to God.  “I’m expecting/asking/hoping you will forgive me for everything I do wrong on a daily basis, because Your Son gave His life for mine, but I’m unwilling to forgive “A, B and C” because they don’t deserve my forgiveness.  What they’ve done is WAY worse than you can imagine.”  OH THE GALL (of me)!

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Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
holidays

Eastertide

To be honest, I had never heard of “Eastertide” until today, and as a new-to-the-Episcopalian-faith, I wanted to make sure I was understanding it correctly.  It seems to be a beautiful time of celebration. It is based in Christianity & Judaism and although I attend a “certain” church, I do not believe that Christ put his “stamp of approval” on a particular religion.

Eastertide:  Another term for Easter season, the Great Fifty Days. As used in English-speaking churches, “tide” is an old word meaning a festival and its season. For the church, this is, in fact, still Easter. Easter is not meant to be just one sunny Sunday, marked by a hearty meal and pastel hues, but it is, rather, a full season of feasting. Each one of the “Great 50 Days of Easter” ought to be marked and celebrated as Easter. We are called during this season to find some way, every day, to celebrate and feast. We celebrate this great and joyful fact for a full 50 days, because learning what it means to live in the light of the resurrection takes practice.  It takes us 40 days of Lent to really learn that we cannot save ourselves or our world, and it takes 50 days of Easter for us to be gripped and transformed by the fact that God can.

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holidays

Easter Blessings

This time of year brings a myriad of thoughts to Christians across the globe.  The great anguish our Lord suffered at the hands of ignorant men, the burial and the restoration.

Click on this link to YouTube for Chris Tomlin’s moving rendition of the old gospel tune: “At The Cross.”

May you be deeply blessed during this time of grief, sorrow and celebration.  JESUS IS LORD!!! 

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holidays, Uncategorized

For God So Loved the World

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We have a promise of eternal life; but not because of the “good” we do or how righteous our life appears to others.  Because eternal life is a gift; for believing that God gave selflessly, His own Son; His life, for our life.  But why?

Easter is around the corner, and we know it’s not about chocolate bunnies or egg hunts, it is instead about the life, death and returning to life; to walk as a man until He was reunited with His Father once again.

It all seems so unreal doesn’t it?  But that is what walking in faith means, believing the unbelievable.  It’s the mystery of faith. 

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May you be blessed with unbelief this holiday season, may you be lifted in faith to a deeper level of learning, may you lean against Your Heavenly Father for strength, love and hope.