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One of my favorite questions that I ask people when they are either going through the process of ordination, or are thinking about it and talk to me about it, is to ask, “Other than the Holy Trinity and the Apostles, who in the Bible do you relate to the most, and why?” What surprises me are the number of people who seem to get stuck on this question and have to sit back and really think about it. Yes I will admit that when that question first came to my mind, it took me a few seconds to think about it, but I did come up with an answer. One thing that did feel good was sitting in the Commission On Ministry meeting with someone who was there for their final interview before ordination, and while talking about the process mentioned that that question was something that they have continued to think about. It made me realize that this person was always going to continue to discern the things that they do in life and in their ministry.
One of the things that does happen is that those who are going through the process talk with each other and their experiences with the Commission, so the questions that get asked are mentioned. Now this is both helpful and a problem, as it means that people will actually have to spend time thinking about the questions and how to answer them, but it also has a disadvantage as people will come to generic answers to these questions. The problem with the generic answers, as you have probably figured out, is that it then makes it hard to really tell if the person’s calling is true or not.
Lately a new question has come to mind, and has made me wonder what answers others would give. I know why my answer has come to mind, and I think that it would surprise some people, but with others they As I thought about this question, I figured that I would have to put some qualifiers on it when asking someone the question, including myself. The reason for putting qualifiers onto these questions is because it makes it harder to give an answer without one having to of really really other things in the Bible. In the Episcopal Church we tend to concentrate and make of importance just four of the books within the Bible, but in reality we should give importance to the entire thing. A number of people who give homilies and sermons will concentrate on one of the lessons given, but won’t talk about the commonalities that are in all of the lessons that are given. But the disadvantage that we also have within the church is that in many congregations finding Bibles within the pews of the church, and I am sure that in most of the congregations where one will find a Bible in the pews, they are hardly ever touched, yet alone used.
When I was a kid, I went to an overnight camp that the local YMCA had. The second year that I went there, I decided that I was going to bring my Bible with me and try and read it all of the way through before I returned home. Well I did make it through a few of the books that were within it, but I didn’t make it all of the way through. In a way I am kind of glad that I didn’t, as I think that the words inside of me wouldn’t mean as much to me today as they do today. Oh sure the bragging rights would have been fun, but I don’t think that the words located in it would have meant much to me. Without realizing it, I was also pretty much a conservative person in my thinking and ways then, and I am sure that with some of the things that are written in the Bible I would have been a bigger pain in the rump than I already was. I have yet to this day read through the entire thing, and I may never read through it all, but still I can answer the question that came to mind. Now the answer could change in a year or two, or maybe even tomorrow, but it’s a question that I think everyone should ask themselves.
“Other than the Gospels and the Book of Acts, what is your favorite book in the Bible and why?” Well, let me re-ask that question another way. “If you were stranded on a desert island, and the only thing that you had to read was one book from the Bible, other than the Gospels and the Book of Acts, which one would you hope it would be, and why?” I would love to know your answer. Please post it into the comments on this blog page.
I know that I am not the only person that feels this way on the planet, as I am sure that there are a number of others that feel the same way, but for me, Christmas is not a time of joy that the world says that it is. Seriously. Yes it is great to spend time with family and friends, and it does bring people into the church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but it is not a time of joy for the most part in Christianity.
Imagine a child of yours saying to you that they want to go and try and bring the people of the world into the alignments of the rules that you have created. In reality, these rules are real simple in that you should love God with all of your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself. Real basic simple rules that we just can’t seem to get a grasp on.
Now imagine that your child also tells you that in the end they will suffer a horrible death to pay for somebody else sins. Yes they know that they could simply go down with a big thunder and roar to tell the people to get their act together, but they want to live among the people. Now they don’t want to live among the rich and powerful, but among the downtrodden, because they understand that in order to get the message across, they know that these are the people that will understand and truly hear the message. You tell the child that they should really live among the rich and powerful so that the downtrodden can see what it will be like to live in Heaven if they lived by the rules, but your child states clearly that the reason it would not work to live among the rich and powerful is that they will want to psychoanalyze and spend time debating what is said, which means that the words will never reach the downtrodden, and of what does will mean so much different than what was meant in the first place, that it would be a waste of time.
Now imagine trying to convince your child that dying by the cross is a very horrible way and should not be done, but that there are much quicker and easier ways. But the child looks at you and says that by doing it that way, people will look at that and think of how they died for their sins through different stuff that they look at.
Now imagine that your child will gather a group of people around them that they know one of them will deny knowing who they are three times as your child is being treated roughly by Roman Guards, and that they will also have one around him who will turn them into the authorities for some gold, but in the end will realize what they did was wrong and will take there own life, but your child will still love them for your child will know that it will cause trillions and trillions over the years to gather and give thanks and give praises to you, that child’s parent.
But your child telling you that it will be some of his women followers who will come to the graveside to do the final traditional things for the dead and that the men will not have the courage to come and even watch over the women to make sure that they are safe. And that it will be those women who will come back to the men to inform them of the things that happened at the tomb, but yet their will be someone who doubts it unless they see the palms of their hands.
Now imagine how you would feel about all of the other things that will happen during their earthly life, and how even with them suffering in the way that they have, they would be willing to suffer the pain of the soldiers whip again for each time that they sin again after that. But they realize that by that suffering their will be some who will truly and fully change who they are, and will try and bring the world where you might even think about permitting them to live in Eden again.
Also imagine the sadness that your child will have when they tell you that for many of the people they will celebrate your child’s birth by buying and doing things which are totally unrelated, like buying trees and putting lights and ornaments upon it, buying and wanting new things that have nothing to do with celebrating your glory instead of using that money to help feed and clothe the downtrodden of the world. How businesses will have a day were they will sell things to people at a price that they really should have been selling them in the first place in order to feed their the Money God that the celebrate instead of you, the one True God.
Think about the other things that surround the birth of the Lord and Savior that have nothing to really do with it.
Now I am sure that you have your plans together already, and have bought some (if not ALL) of the gifts for family and friends. You have made your travel plans, or have already invited others over for dinner and etc. But for next year I challenge you to do things differently. I challenge you to spend the season truly and deeply thinking about the child of OUR God and who you have Honored and Lived in the way that helped to bring others to live in God’s so simple rules. Think about how YOU would feel if that was YOUR child…
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This is a sermon given by a friend on All Saint’s Sunday…. Enjoy….
One of the things that I enjoy doing is watching documentaries, as they bring forth an understanding of things that one could never really clearly get a full vision of through books and/or magazines and other ways. I am currently watching a documentary called “Whaledreamers” that I borrowed from the library. As I watched it, it got me thinking about different things.
With a number of protest that I see, not only in person, but get reported by the press and other ways. Like many people, I would believe some of the stuff that the press and even governments would say about different things. Now I am sure that some who are reading this would say that I have been a fool for believing stuff like that, but if you truly think about it, even they have believed stuff that has been reported that is not valid at all.
One of the things that I don’t understand is why it is so important for people to download religions and religious beliefs of others? As I think about the stuff that I have heard from those who say they are Atheist, the more that I realize that their God us there belief system. I have a major problem with the different denominations in Christianity claiming how they are the only true denomination and/or that such and such group are really Christians, but yet I have yet to find in the Bible a single verse saying that any denomination is the correct one or the wrong one. Islam has a problem with those who are either Jewish or Christian, and the reverse can be said about each group disliking the others. We have problems when it comes to race, sex, sexuality, etc., etc., etc. The more that I think about these dislikes we have all over the world, but more that we as a species is headed towards extinction, and it will be our own fault.
One of the things that occurred in the film was that they brought people of different race and places from throughout the world together and had them sit down and talk about the history of their people. It is amazing the commonality that flows through all of them. As much as one would want to believe that something happened to just one group, it really isn’t that hard to find out that the same type of thing happened to others throughout the world. When one looks at the teachings of many of the religions throughout the world, it is amazing how many of them have what is really the same basic core and teach the same core values that we should live by, but we are so busy trying to be so right that we have forgotten to listen to one another and to try and find ways to not only not cause the extinction of our species, which we call Human, but to try to leave this planet in a condition that will allow other species to make sure that it continues if we humans should become extinct.
Lately also I have been watching documentaries about WWII. Now I have had a small fascination with that war since I was a child, some of which I think had to do with the fact that the Vietnam War was something that we would see and hear about during the nightly news. As I have watched them, and especially while the election stuff had been going on here in the USA, I realized how much we haven’t changed or learned since then. I mean that some of the stuff that I heard coming out of all sides sounded like some of the stuff something that Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party would of said. One example would be the Immigration issue. I mean if you really think about it, in ways you can replace the Jews with the Latinos in this country. We are talk how they are stealing jobs, committing crimes and other things, and how we should get them out of the country, but wasn’t the Nazis first attempt with the Jewish people the same thing?
As I think about things, I am becoming more and more in disagreement with science when it comes to language and communication with animals of the world. We humans look and think that we are the smartest species on this planet, so we really don’t think that the other animals can really talk with us. I think that God gave them that ability, but we are so into our own ego and greatness that we don’t and can’t understand what these other species of God are telling us. We as Christians forget the it was a serpent that spoke to Adam & Eve, and the thing we really don’t think about if that the serpent wasn’t human and that they weren’t surprised that the serpent spoke.
“But I don’t believe in the Bible, so that doesn’t mean anything to me,” I am sure some may be saying. Ok, then think about this. Animals do speak to us in a way that we understand. No they aren’t speaking to us in English, or Spanish, or French nor other languages that we use to communicate with each other, but when a dog comes up to you wagging it’s tail, we know when it is a friendly wag the dog is giving. We know what they are saying when they make some of the noises that they do. The same thing goes with other animals with the noises and actions that they do.
But if we think about it, couldn’t animals be trying to tell of far more than we are willing to listen to? Couldn’t they be trying to get through to us that we need to be making better choices as humans when it comes to this planet? Couldn’t God be trying to get us to listen when it comes to being better Stewards to this planet?
Plants also speak to us, but we never really think about that either. We can often tell with some trees when winter is coming because the leave on them change colors. We are so mesmerized at the colors, we don’t really think about it as the trees talking to us. When certain plants and grasses grow, it can tell us what time of year it is. People look at plants and know when it needs to be watered or many other things.
But as I watch this documentary, and thinking about others that I have watched, I begin to wonder what animals would say to us if they spoke in the languages that we do? Would they want to have a conversation with us about sports, movies or tv shows? I don’t think that most of them will, but am sure that some of them will.
What do I think the other species of this earth would want to talk with us about? I think that it would on a philosophical and theological level, and that level would be where they would actually have to talk down to us. I think that they would have ways of showing us how we as a species would become extinct if we continue the way that we are. I think that they would show us the dangers we could be causing in some of the things that we do when we think we are trying to be good stewards of this planet. I think that they would get it clear to us about the damages that we do to this planet through the way that we engage in war. I think that they would talk to us about the amount of wasteful stuff we produce on this planet. I think that they would make us think about all of the material things that we have, and for us to really think about what we really need in our lives.
I think that they would get us to understand how despite our religious beliefs, we are all of the same God, and that God Loves the good that we do on this planet and the real true praises that we give when it comes truly from our heart.
But I think that the most important thing that we will learn is that all species of this planet really need to work together in much better ways in order for us humans as a species will not become extinct as fast, and that if we continue to go the way that we are that will use the title of a Douglas Adam’s book and say, “So Long, And Thanks For All Of The Fish”.
So what do you think the other life species on this planet would say to us if we could have a conversation with them?
I was just looking through some of the files that I have sitting on my computer, and came across one that a was something that a friend of mine wrote. The title of it is the same as this episode of this blog is, and I suddenly began to wonder. With the decline of people going to church (not just the Episcopal Church, but all churches,) I began to wonder what it would take to turn this around?
I remember as a child going to church with my family, and in the congregation that we were in were other families and single people. If one was a Christian, church is the place that one went to on Sunday morning, there wasn’t a rule that one had to go, but it was the place that one went to. Church was the place that you met other people and grew spiritually.
Over the years until I got into my 30s, churches were not packed, but a good number of people would always be there. Then suddenly it began to drop. Now this wasn’t happening just in the congregation that I was in, but in many congregations. I also noticed that most of the people who came to church were not born in the USA. I noticed more and more that the people that I would see coming into the church were born outside of the USA. I thought that this was just happening in the congregation that I was in, but when I would talk with others they would realize the same thing.
I also noticed that the Evangelic congregations were growing as a fast rate, which made me believe that they had something that we didn’t have. I would watch the TV guys, and some of them would have wonderful and interesting sermons that would cause me to think, but I had a hard time with the shows because it seemed like 75% of the show was them begging for money. I would watch Jerry Falwell, and it got to the point that I new when to turn on his show so that I could hear his sermon. Now I am sure that some of you may be upset that I listened to him, but if you didn’t pay attention to the “off tv show” and listened to his sermons, they were quite interesting.
With all of the scandals that happened with some of them, I noticed that the number of people who paid attention to them began to drop, and in turn so did the number of people that I would see in congregations in many denominations. It was during this time that I really began to wonder if it was time to do church in a new way? Now I had no desire to get rid of the Bible in the church, for that is the core of what going to church is about, but I began to wonder about the services that we do and if we really needed the church buildings themselves? I wondered and wondered, but couldn’t quite figure out what needed to be done. I had (and still do have) my personal spiritual ways, but I knew that they aren’t for a large number of people, and that some of them will never understand them, but they work for me.
I would bring up ideas that I would think were great, but I would hear again and again about how they couldn’t work. I had this idea that it would be nice for several congregations to hold Bible Study together. I would hear about how each congregation did theirs differently, and that trying to get them to even consider it would be difficult. I pushed and pushed as much as I could, but it just hear excuses. It took me a while, but I realized that what would work was for each congregation to still hold there own Bible Study, but a way of merging from time to time came to mind. Wouldn’t it be nice if in months that had a 5th Sunday, the Bishop of the Diocese would recommend a film that congregants of different congregations could sit and watch together at one or two of the congregations that were nor far from each other. How this would work would be that in cities like Oakland, California which has 6 congregations, on each 5th Sunday people from all 6 would go to one of the congregations and watch the film together and have a conversation afterward. Each time it would move to another congregation in a rotation. Not only would this permit congregations to keep there own Bible Study going, but would allow the people to get to know each other. I mean wouldn’t it be nice to find out that the person who works in another office in the same building that you do, that you see on a daily basis worships in what is basically the same style that you do? I would bring this idea up and would hear tons of reasons why it couldn’t happen.
Another idea that I felt would be really good is for the Clergy and Vestry Leaders to sit and have a meal together once every 3 or 4 months. Here would be a good way for congregations to be able to connect with each other, and talk not only about upcoming events, but problems that they encounter that could help each other with, but I would hear all kinds of excuses on why this couldn’t happen.
Even though I keep hearing excuses as to why we can’t do something, ideas kept coming into my head. Then I began to wonder if I was going to the wrong people and that they were and are the biggest problem. I realized that what I was doing was going to the clergy with most of these ideas. An idea came to mind, and I decided that I wasn’t going to mention it to any clergy person, but that I would go to other laity themselves and seeing what would happen. I found it interesting in that people would want to do stuff together. I brought up the idea of doing Bible Study together, and explained what I had encountered. Some of them went back to their congregations and talked with their clergy person(s) and would hear all of the excuses. Some of us decided to give it a try without any involvement from the clergy. It was interesting in that we have done this for a few years, meeting once a month at somebodies place, having a meal, watching a meal and having a spiritual discussion afterward. The best part of the whole thing is that it has become a inter-religious thing now, which contains Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhist and others. Not a single one of us is ordained buy our religious affiliation, nor are we trying to convert one another, but to have a better understanding of each others beliefs.
Not to long ago, as the convention of the Episcopal Church, they came up with this idea of doing church differently. When I hear about it, I had to laugh. Another thing that is going on in the diocese that I live in is the idea of churches working and getting together in things that they are doing, which is something that I had tried to push at one time.
As I read the thing today that got me thinking about all of this, I began to wonder what was one of the big problems in the church today. The more that I thought about it, the more that I realized that the biggest problem has to do with what the church has as it’s 1%. It then hit me that if we push the 1% aside and the 99% really take control of things, I think that we could actually start to come out of the Black Whole of decline that we have been in.
Oh sure some may say that we need to the 1% in order for the church to do anything, but I disagree. You see, if the 99% stop coming, Christianity will survive in a much better way. It finally hit me not to long ago that the real reason that Jesus spent his time among the downtrodden instead of the 1% is that Jesus knew that they would really get and understand his message. If Jesus had spent all of his time with the 1% I really don’t feel that what he spoke would of ever gotten out to the masses. The 1% would be still dissecting the words, where as the lowest of the 99% actually go out and live into the words he brought forth.
If the church really wants to grow, I think that it is time that the 99% remind the 1% that the real leaders of our congregations is not them, but the 99%. When the 99% truly take control, then thing will change.
Change will require also that we do church differently. In some cases it will require that some of the building are sold, and that people be willing to open their homes to small groups of people to work together without going into a church building. It will require that the people who want to claim experiences in doing stuff to step aside and let others do. It will require that we be willing to open our hearts, souls and minds to new ways. It will require that those who have the most to say to listen to those with the least to say. It will require that we sit with the youth and young adults and ask them what they want to see the church look like in 5 or 10 years, and put those ahead of what the older ones say.
Change will require that we leave the old ways as much as we love them, and join the modern world and stay with it. Change will require those who have degrees to step back and realize that they still have tons to learn from those who don’t have any degree.
Change will require a lot, but if we want to emerge from the black whole that we are in, change will require things to happen that we all (including me) will not always be happy with. But most importantly Change will require that we truly open our hearts and minds into trying to live a life in the Holy Trinity.
One thing that I would like to see happen now, and it wouldn’t be a hard change. I would like for each of us to say to each other as we leave, “May The Peace Of The Lord Be Always With You” instead of Goodbye.
Some GREAT books for you to have in your collection
A few years ago some people started calling me Saint Clinton. I wrote about it in one of my blogs, so I am not going to repeat it here, as this is about someone that I really should be referred to as a True Living Saint.
I forget exactly where I was, but I heard about this woman who came into the Episcopal Church in my diocese. The story was really interesting as to her journey into the church, and it her story really shows the work of the Holy Trinity in someone’s life.
I then had the honor of meeting her up at what is called Bishop’s Ranch, and even though I already had a feeling that she should be ordained as a Deacon, and the moment that she was introduced to me I knew that calling is where she should be, in fact, I even said so to her. I don’t know what it was about her, and I knew very little about the role of a Deacon, but it fit.
I would run into her from time to time at different events, but rarely spoke to her, as I just watched. I could never get that feeling out of my gut.
Today I went to the Annual Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of California, I was standing outside talking with one of the Deacons when this person arrived and walked up. My feeling of what I had experienced before came back. This woman has a calling that will be nothing short of a Major Advancement towards bringing more people to the fold of the Holy Trinity.
A few years ago I was at an event where someone used the term YCMAD, which means “You Can Make A Difference”, and that has stuck with me. I do my best to live within YCMAD and at times I fail. As I thought about this woman during convention, I realized that of what I know about her, she really and truly lives it.
One of the things that has been on my mind is about the political statements that the parties are talking about how the “Middle Class” will or will not be hurt by something, but yet nobody has mentioned how what they will do will help improve things for those who are living in poverty. I realized that Jesus was within them because he knew that the poor would understand his message, where those who weren’t wouldn’t, and I see it in the church. But with this woman I realize that she is really living a life in Christ, as she is doing things to help those in poverty reach to higher places.
As I was on my way home, I began to think about people like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Theresa, Ghandi and so many others who did what they could to help those in poverty get into a higher place, and I see this in this woman.
In the church we have a title called Canon. I had thought about writing to the Bishop and suggesting that this woman be given the title “Canon To The Impoverished”, but then I realized that having that title isn’t good enough for her. This woman is something special and is really someone that is truly a Living Saint among us. I wish that we could have some kind of service to celebrate this woman and give her the title of Saint, but we don’t.
I strongly think and feel that we should know longer refer to her as Sarah Lawton, but as St Sarah. Yeah I know that there are all of these rules in the church as to whom could be declared a Saint, but the heck with the rules, for she is truly one. I feel that it is an Honor and Pleasure to know her in the small way that I do, but she is not just and Episcopalian, but she is a True Christian and in her works God is smiling upon her.
St Sarah, you are one that is truly blessed by the Holy Trinity, and we are Blessed to have you among us.
You should follow her tweets at https://twitter.com/sarahelawton
Besides from the ones from Heaven, I have heard other people refer to others as being an Angel. This is generally gone when someone has done something nice for someone else, or generally towards a child. There are people with that name and even sports teams with that name, but I really began to wonder today if we really have Angels in our mist?
Several years ago I was invited to a church service in San Francisco and decided that I was going to go, then a few days later I received another invitation to another service that same day but was going to be held later. The first service was one of the Spanish celebrations, and even though it was going to be held in Spanish, I felt that it was important to go. The second service is one that I had heard about, but had never gone to, and I figured that since I was going to be in San Francisco anyhow, I would be able to make it since it was going to be held a few hours after the first one ended. I enjoyed the first service, then went to a few places before going to the second service. The second service is referred to as “Open Cathedral”, and is done outside. I went to the service and really felt the Spirit move me. There wasn’t a lot of people at the one that I went to (they do it in several locations,) but I found it to be very moving. I knew that we had to start the same style service in the area that I lived. I brought it up to a number of people, but kept hearing excuses as to why they couldn’t get involved (which I seem to hear a lot of within the church, but that is for another blog.) Anyways, finally one of the Deacons took the steps to get it going. We now have what is called Sacred Space here in Oakland, Hayward and are branching out at some point to other places.
I am sure you must be asking what all of this has to do with Angels, so here it goes.
Even though I really enjoy my time with Sacred Space, what I have found myself doing every so often is to take some of the lunches that are suppose to go there and giving them out to a homeless encampment located at the administration building for this county. There are about 12 to 15 who live there, and the county is really nice about it, as the encampment will put there stuff out after about 7pm, and will put all of there stuff away about 6am. They cause no problems, and I have found them to be thankful when I have come by with the bagged food. One thing that I have found amazing is that they will not only thank me, but thank me for blessing them with food with a blessing. I have never said anything about it being a Christian ministry that I am doing for them, but just ask if they would like one and pray that things are and will get better for them.
Even though I had noticed them, as most people would notice this group, there is a woman who sleeps alone right down the street. Even though she is at a busy intersection, I don’t feel that most people notice that she is even there, in fact it took me a bit to even notice that she was even there. Once I did notice her, I was a little nervous about approaching her, as I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t living over at the encampment which she could clearly see from where she was, and figured that she might be crazy, but I went over anyhow.
I approached her with caution, and asked her is she would like a sandwich. I could tell that she was nervous, so I gave her two of the bags, asked her if she was OK, then left. I did this for a couple of weeks. I was over in the area one day and stopped by and asked her if the meals were OK for her. She gave me a big smile and said that they were and thanked me for bring them to her.
This past Sunday I stopped by with a couple of bags for her, and we talked for a couple of minutes before I continued on. I had a couple of bags left by the time that I got home and put them into the refrigerator not quite sure what I was going to do with them. When I awoke yesterday morning, I had some errands that I needed to do, and realized that I would be right across the street from her, so I grabbed the bags and put them into a plastic shopping bag and headed out.
As I approached her, she saw me, smiled and gave the peace sign. I walked up to her and gave her the bag and we talked for a bit. I think that we had a very nice conversation, and I did learn a few things about her. I think that I will stop by and see her more often.
As I was walking the street after seeing her, for some reason the word Angel came to mind, and I began to wonder what the real meaning of Angel is. I think that most of the time when we thing of Angels, they are living in Heaven playing harps and praising God, which I am sure that there are Angels doing that. I have also heard stories about in order for Angels to get their wings, they have to come and do something good for someone here on earth.
But then I began to wonder about something. Are some of the people that we see on a daily basis really Angels who have come back in order to earn their wings? Are some of those who die young actually Angels who have come back for a short time in order to earn their wings? The thoughts kept coming over and over about Angels, then something hit me. A question came to mind that I just couldn’t come up with any answer to. I was stuck.
I suddenly began to wonder if when the woman saw me approached her, she has started to think of me as a type of Angel? Then I began to wonder if I thought of her as an Angel? Then that question came to mind. In reality, are we all suppose to be and act like Angels here on Earth in order to gain not only entrance into Heaven, but to earn our wings? Are we the Angels that we hear and talk about, but because we have taught each generation to think more about Self than about others, we don’t know that is the real purpose of our life?
Sit back and think for a few minutes about our life and the strangers that have come into your life and done something good for you at the exact point that you needed it? These aren’t people that have stayed long in your life, but the ones that have been their for a few seconds or even for a few minutes. Are these people really Angels that we just don’t really notice?
Then sit back and think about the good things that you have done for others that have taken only a few seconds or minutes, and in reality even though you felt good for helping someone, in reality by helping them you changed and became a better person.
When it comes to standing before God and explaining your life, will you think that it will be the all of the big things and accomplishments that have done that you will be most proud of, or do you think that the things that you did for the least of God’s children that both you and God will be the things that you will be most surprise but yet most proud about?
I saw a film a few years ago called “Five People You Met In Heaven”, which is a very moving film in that it showed someone who had positive effects on five people that this person had effected in a positive way in there life, but had never realized it, as what the person did seemed like very small things. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for God to show you the small positive things that you did for people throughout your life in determining if you deserved to enter into Heaven or not, with it not being something that went for only a few minutes, but went on for hours?
So sit back and ask yourself who you could do better for the lease of God’s children and how by doing it they are making you a better person?
I ask that you keep Lorraine in your prayers, and thank her for touching me in a way that has made me think…
I was sitting in a Subway Sandwich store that sits across the street from a nursery school, and I watched as some kids were riding on the toy horses that one sees play on. I then began to wonder what these kids were thinking as they “rode” back and forth, then I began to wonder about something. As an adult, when was the last time that one as used ones imagination for stuff? Think about it. Yes we adults do use our imagination, but not in the same way as kids do, that is the kind of way that I am asking about.
As I sat and watched the kids, I got to thinking about when I was a child, and realized that some of the things that we did then kids are no longer doing. The Internet and game systems seem to of taken away the ability for children to go out and play. Oh sure it wasn’t fun at times when a parent would tell us to go out and play on a Saturday, as we wanted to watch TV, but what we didn’t realize is the exercise that we were getting then. We have all heard about the rise in obesity in the youth today, and I am sure that if science were to really look into it, one of the big reasons is that children don’t go out and play as much anymore.
As I sit and write this in the library, there is a woman holding her child in your lap at the table next to me. The child is having fun playing with her keys. I wonder what he is thinking as he plays with them? Oh sure supposed experts can will give an answer to the question, but does one really know what is in the mind of this kid?
Sit back and wonder how things would be in this world if we all used our mind like children do. Most kids don’t really know what racism is, or what sexism or any of the other “isms” of this world. Most kids really don’t have an understanding of what war is, and I think the world would be really more happy if war consisted of people pointing fingers at each other and going “Bang, Bang”, knowing that the person that they are “shooting” will get up again and continued to live a full life.
Children accept God with no problems, and with few questions. In them they either Believe or Don’t Believe in God, and don’t down those who believe a different way. Maybe that is part of the reason that Jesus saw the importance of children, but we adults don’t. I think that is we knew all of the things that Jesus did, and his interactions with children, I would bet that you would find him to be more of a listener of them than a teacher, as Jesus knew that children see an insight to the world that we adults no longer see.
I remember as a child, laying on the ground with my then best friend Michael. As we looked up into the sky and clouds, we saw them as Heaven, and in order for people to get from one cloud to the other, they used rowboats that were invisible and it would make the angels in them invisible. But I am sure that you are thinking about airplanes flying above the clouds, but this is what we thought. We thought that there were two levels of clouds, and in-between them was an invisible shield that prevented the planes from going above the higher clouds where Heaven is. I know, I know, “but what about Space Rockets, etc…”. Hey, God makes the schedule that NASA uses and makes holes that the spaceships can use, and has special shield that doesn’t allow the Astronauts to see Heaven. Yes, God can make it happen…
Anyways, let’s all plan for a day when we will think and imagine like a child. It all doesn’t have to be at the same time as everyone else, but think of the fun that you will have like you did as a child.
I found this on another blog, and felt it was important to post here….
I was at an event at Grace Cathedral not long ago, and there was someone who was talking about the current situation and future of the church. The person was showing a PowerPoint thing, and in one of them was the statement above. I thought about it for a quick second and realized that the statement was so true.
As I look around, not only at the Episcopal church, but at other denominations and religions, I am amazed at how many of them seem to get the words confused, and it also seems that not many of them talk about modern day Prophets and how one should aim at becoming one. Yes it is important that religious organizations need money in order to help spread the Good News, but has the goal of money really taken over religion? Think about it.
I will admit that I am one who has been really concerned about the number of people in the seat of the pews, but after reading that statement and thinking about it, it made me realize even more how important the work that Deacons do, and the importance of places like Sacred Space are to the world. Deacons do something that many of us don’t do, and that is they go out into the world and bringing Christ to the people that are not only the down trodden, but are also with many material things. Deacons and others are also doing such things as Sacred Space & Open Cathedral not only in Oakland and San Francisco, but in many other cities around the world.
Yes it takes money to keep the churches open and the offices of churches & dioceses running, but it seems as though some have forgotten to put the Holy Trinity at the center of everything. I see a number of churches that have concerts and other things, but rarely do I see them doing any of these events for free.
We seem to of forgotten that the Holy Trinity does not work only through the clergy, but through each and every one of us. Just because one has been ordained a Priest, Deacon or Bishop does not make one more special to the Holy Trinity than the homeless drug addict that we see. If that homeless person is out proclaiming the Good News to people along with acting in a Christian way towards ALL that belongs to the Holy Trinity, does that make them less in the eyes of the Holy Trinity compared the the Clergy person who is treating their congregation in a wrong way and not really getting them to live in Christ?
To me, the true Prophets of the world come in ALL shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds. At times people will wonder why I will spend time talking with kids, and not chatting with them in a “downward” way. What kids have to say about different things are incredible. By listening to the things that they have to say you will learn and here things that will really make you think.
But at times it seems as though the people of the church and Christianity are not willing to Listen to not only the words of the children, but the words of each other unless it is going to be something that the person wants to hear and already know that they will want to agree with. I often sit in meetings and notice how etiquette seems to of gone away. I’m not talking about hard things, but the simple thing of raising ones hand in order to speak. People seem to feel that it is more important to speak and say what they have to say before giving those who haven’t spoken, but have risen their hand, a chance to speak. If these people would simply give others a chance to speak, they might even get the chance to hear a prophet speak. Having degrees and knowledge doesn’t make one a Prophet, it mainly means that you have a piece of paper that says that you studied a field and have some knowledge about it, but in truth that doesn’t make one a Prophet, but someone with knowledge.
Churches seem to worry about money all of the time, which in other words can be they seem to worry much about the Profits, and they seem to forget that the most important thing is the Prophet. Sometimes I wonder if Money is their real God? Hopefully some of them will stop worrying about the Profits and concentrate more on the Prophets, as I think that the Profits they need to run will then truly come in.