We often hear about the "Christian Right," or "Conservative Christians." Yet, if you think about it, Jesus was the original liberal.  He cared about motives more than the deeds themselves (Matthew 23:5 & Mark 12:41-43) and more about compassion than adhering to rules (Luke 6:1-11 & Luke 13:10-17). This blog will reflect liberal Christian values of compassion, tolerance, mercy, charity, a thirst for knowledge & understanding, and, above all, love.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Giving Thanks

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Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
~ Psalm 95: 1-2

I pray a lot.  I pray when I wake up.  I pray when I boot my computer up each morning, revealing a picture of Christ displayed on my desktop's wallpaper.  I pray when a friend tells me of their struggles.  And, I pray before I go to sleep at night. 

During these prayers, I always dedicate a line to thanking God for all He's done for me and all the good people He's put into my life.  

I say the line every time.  The problem was, I was regurgitating the line, somewhere in the middle of a laundry-list of requests, without really thinking about the line.  It was a line, but I wasn’t feeling the thanks.

Saying, "thank you," without feeling gratitude is hollow, just empty words.  

Thanksgiving is upon us; a holiday based on giving thanks.  I think it may be a good time to a prayer, purely of thanks, to my daily repertoire. 

My Father in Heaven, thank You for all You've done for me throughout my life and all good people You've put into my life. I say thank You in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Question Of Perfection

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"You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." ~ Matthew 5:48
A few days ago, I was talking about religion with a friend, and self proclaimed WICCAN.  Yes, I know religion is supposed to be the proverbial third rail among friends.  I'm sorry though, there comes a point in a friendship, where if you're still only discussing superficial things (the Kardashians, Real Housewives of Omaha, and Star Trek), it may be a stagnant relationship
Anyway, my friend asked, "If God made mankind perfectly, why have people such as Hitler existed?"
I puzzled and I puzzled until my puzzler was sore.  Eventually, I told her we were a perfect creation, but what we do with that creation is up to us.  She went home satisfied with my answer
I'm not
The answer is based on the idea that people are born with the same number of; abilities, resources, and opportunities; and our lives are shaped by our choices.  It's a nice fluffy thought, but BUZZ, sorry, wrong answer!  Thanks for playing; Rod Roddy, tell them about their consolation prize. 
We don't start out on an equal playing field.  Some people are born with chronic physical and/or academic challenges.  Others are born into mind numbing poverty.  Thousands are still being born into slavery to mine diamonds.  We aren't all created equally or perfectly, at least not by our definition. 
 I still think of the Holy Trinity as being perfect.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit reverently robed, watching over us from a white marble banister, surrounded by a host of angels.  It's how I drew them.  (see above)
Yet, it's a perfection I don't understand.  We may be so close to a single thread that we can’t see the  perfection of the entire cosmic tapestry.  It's the best answer I can come up with.  Yet such an answer, while making me comfortable with my Christian faith, does nothing for the five-year-old digging for diamonds in Africa. 
I have faith in you Lord, but I don't understand your perfection.  Amen.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Casting Hate Away

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"Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness." ~ 1 John 2:9

Not long ago, I wrote a blog about hate.  When I penned that piece, I was writing about hate in response to issues & politics.  Since then, the issue has hit closer to home.  Two close friends of mine have chosen to hate each other. 

And yes, I use the word, "chosen," intentionally.  Hate is a choice.  We can't choose what others do, but we can choose how we respond to their choices. 

Some will say, hatred of a social injustice can lead to justice.  Such people are confusing hatred with anger.  A mother can be angry at Johnny for taking the cookie, but she still loves him.  Likewise, emotionally healthy people can feel anger over a situation without allowing it to morph and fester into hatred. 

The baffling part is that people who hate don't want to give up that hate.  They clutch it tightly, as if it's keeping them alive.  I don't know about you, but I've never known a hate filled happy person.  The hatred actually chokes out the happiness and keeps it from coming back. 

If one had a rock on top of their head, which was keeping them from being happy, they would remove the rock.  Heck, if they tip their head the rock will probably slide off.  Yet, haters use their palm to press the rock into their scalp to MAKE SURE they don't lose it, giving themselves a headache. 
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Prayer: Help us release our hatred and heal from its effects.  Amen.