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Giving

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Privatized Salvation 2.0

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Previously I dropped a post and spilled some opinions about  Privatized Salvation. Of some 36k views, this post was the second most read post from Ministry in Motion.

Today I was moved as I stumbled upon this quote from the late American Presbyterian minister, scholar, theologian, author, and poet, Eugene Peterson: “Jesus is our primary revelation that God is personal....Everything we know about God we know through and by means of Jesus. And Jesus is nothing if not personal--a living body and soul, who eats bread and fish and drinks water and wine."
The Apostle John wrote in his Gospel:“…And this is eternal life: that people know you, the only true God, and that they know Jesus Christ, the One you sent…” When I speak of knowing God, it is important to understand that I’m are not talking about an abstract or speculative thought concerning a heavenly deity.Or a mystical experience or a climactic event with the Eternal, but about a coming alive to God. Moses came down from Mount Sinai,…

Unity - A Dialogue of Nature, Art and Science

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Artist, naturalist and author Christopher Marley reveals the sometimes obscure beauty in nature through his three-dimensional work with animal, mineral and plant specimens. While wondering around the Houston Museum of Natural Science I was struck by this quote at his Biophilia Exhibit





"…Unity is the backbone of the Biophilia theory. It is because we are part of nature that we innately love it. And when we begin to see natural elements that relate to one another visually…it is enthralling…because it reinforces that fact that we also belong. Our love of nature is not just a star-struck crush or a hopelessly unrequited pursuit. If minerals and insects can match, if birds and fish can go together, if fossils and servants can form a perfect ensemble, then surely humankind belongs as well. When nature is unified, humankind cannot help but be included in the group hug…”
Unity. No matter our heritage—Jew or Greek, insider or outsider—no matter our status—oppressed or free—we were all given…

Faith & Flexibility

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Previously I dropped a post with some thoughts about rigidity: Political, Cognitive, Social and Religious inflexibility.In this post, we read of Christ’s encounter with the religious and political movers and shakers of his time, the Pharisees, Chief Priests and Scribes all  illustrated in Mark’s Gospel. Fast forward to 2019, in America, and we see, and are experiencing, an amalgamation of unyielding ideas and attitudes that is becoming deafening and defining. What causes a large community people to move towards societal rigidity?
Experts opine thatwhile each person is unique, several causes may be common. 
Two are: An early-childhood experience, trauma, can lead to the unwitting, unconscious, need to control other people and situations.Another consideration for excessive rigidity can be seen as an attempt to make an unpredictable world safe from confusion, doubt, and pain.Author and psychologist Andrea Umbach wrote: "Adults and children must find a balance between structure and spont…

Interpersonal Relationships

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How do you manage interpersonal relationships? I asked that question recently and to no surprise the answer I received was....poorly. An interpersonal relationship is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring.The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship.
Your interconnection with others is customizable,  with God it's vital to your Christian walk. Consider that social life, the health of your marriage, and your family relationships all reflect on your personal walk with the Lord. I'm motivated by these verses of scripture from the Greek Testament: "...And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live....Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one …

Rigidity - Religious, Political & Social

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In 2017 Pope Francis reportedly said:  “…many young people in the Church have fallen into 
the ‘temptation of rigidity’…”Catholic Herald What does the adjective rigid bring to your mind when describing a person? 
Rigid can mean unbending, strong, unyielding, righteous, fanatic, immovable, and/or stiff. These qualities can be assets or liabilities, depending on the situation.  Politically rigid ppl often view facts and evidence as simply inconvenient road bumps to their political ideals;  Cognitive rigidity. The technical definition of cognitive rigidity is “difficulty changing mental sets.” Simply put, this means switching from thinking about things one way, to thinking about them a different way. This trait is not unique — we all have it or express it, some more than others; 
In psychology, Social rigidity refers to an obstinate inability to yield or a refusal to appreciate another person's viewpoint or emotions characterized by a lack of empathy;  Religious or Theological Rigidity.Dogma…

Saying Grace Before a Meal Can Be Awkward

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A grace is a short prayer or thankful phrase said before or after eating. I grew up reciting a prayer that went something like this: "Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen." “Saying grace" is a term that comes from the Ecclesiastical Latin phrase gratiarum actio, "act of thanks." In Christian theology, the act of saying grace is derived from the Bible, in which Jesus and the Apostle Paul pray before meals (cf. Luke 24:30Acts 27:35).The practice reflects the belief that humans should thank God who is the origin of everything. The concept of giving thanks after the meal is based on the verse in Deuteronomy 8:10 “You shall eat, and give thanks and bless…”
President Franklin Roosevelt famously asserted, "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself." Take a poll of common fears that people share and you’ll often get results such as fear of tight places, bugs or maybe a fear of…

The Past - You can learn a lot from it

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The past - can you learn from it?
There is a difference between thinking about the past, living in it, and wanting to change or erase it. Sometimes we live in the past because it's familiar — we know what happened, so there are no surprises. Maybe, from time to time, we are tempted to revisit the past because we’re comforted by the “good old days” As an Enneagram Four I totally get that one of the biggest challenges I face is learning to let go of feelings from the past…sigh.
More recently there’s a media and social buzz about editing the past, because it makes some feel uncomfortable. But, One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.~Golda Meir
I suppose for some ppl living in the past allows them to avoid dealing with issues in the present. Consider that forgetting our own history, personal or social, sets us up for possibly not fully understanding the present and our role in it. To forget our story is to abandon who we are and why we ar…

Adaptability 1.0

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Is the Character of Adaptability and  Flexibility working in you? One definition of adaptability is the ability to adjust oneself readily to different conditions; the ability of an entity or organism to alter itself or its responses to the changed circumstances or environment. I think Christ was a classic quintessential example of adaptability: The Son of God also became the Son of Man. The Apostle Paul added some practicum to the subject of adaptability and flexibility when he wrote to the church saying: “…I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life…”
By being malleable, we …

Winds of Change

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When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living and gathered in Jerusalem. They were together out of respect for Shavuot, a Jewish holiday which celebrates God's giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.
No coincidence. In God’s perfect timing He shared the gift of Torah and the promise of the Holy Ghost, both given to propel his people into a different yet deeper story with their creator. So we acknowledge: God spoke through His prophet Joel, proclaiming — In the last days, I will offer My Spirit to humanity, a second gift. Now, your children will boldly speak the word of the Lord. Even your elders will dream dreams and young warriors will see visions. Today I shall offer My Spirit to all people - male and female, equally they will receive…