Monthly Archives: December 2015

Sometimes it Hurts

Journeys in Spirit

the-butterfly-song_reference Image: Queen Enigma – Coming out of the Cocoon

The thing about spiritual awakening is that sometimes it hurts.

We talk a lot about the way that everything gets a little brighter and how the world transforms before your eyes.  We relish describing how there’s this bottomless well of love hidden right inside your own chest and the way that your relationships – with yourself, with others, with the earth, with god – suddenly and drastically change for the better once you learn how to tap into it.  We take joy in sharing the beauty of the journey; but what we often fail to mention is all of the pain that must be endured along the way.

We neglect to talk about how much your feet start to grow tired and eventually bleed as you learn how to walk through rather than around the thorns and barbs in your path. …

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Commercialization of Christmas

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:6-7)

A child learns much from the words of a parent. However that child learns more from the actions of that parent.

One of the lessons children learn is money management.  Christmas is upon us; it’s a time to celebrate the birth of Christ by imitating God, the Father.  We imitate the act that God gave us Jesus by giving our best to others. 

Yet at this festive season some parents are teaching their children to misuse money by going in debt. My parents were poor.  We didn’t get the latest toy or the newest sneakers.  We got hand – me – down bikes and clothes for school.

As I reflect on this I realize that my parents could have gone in debt to give us things but they didn’t;  they gave us presence. When we awakened both were there to start off Christmas morning with us. Heck,  dad would even sing with us. Christmas was a happy morning.

My parents were teaching us to live within our means and enjoy each others company.  That’s what Christmas is about because there’s hope,  peace, joy, and love among family.  More than anything else Joseph,  Mary, and Jesus were family.  No room in the inn but hope, peace, joy, and love in their hearts. 

Spend time with your family this year and enjoy each others presence more than the gifts. For Christmas means Emanuel which is “God with us.”

What Is Hope?

HopeThere is a distinct difference between the definition of hope used from an ordinary human standpoint, and the definition of hope we find in the pages of Scripture. It is pretty common to hope, right? We hope we get a job. We hope our kids are well behaved. We hope we make enough money to pay our bills. But our human hope implies a degree of uncertainty, things are not sure, they are possibilities but not certainties. In Scripture, however, hope is void of uncertainty. In fact, certainty is at its core, because it rests in the stability of God, His character and His will, which are unwavering. Biblical hope, then, can be defined as, “the confident expectation and desire for something good in the future.”

 

We also see in Scripture the close connection between hope and faith. In Hebrews 6:11-12, the writer of Hebrews uses the term, “full assurance of hope”. This phrase is also used in Hebrews 10:22 and translated, “full assurance of faith”. Faith defined for us in Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is both the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. So hope is an element of faith looking specifically toward the future, while faith encompasses a belief and trust in God for our past, our present, and our future. This distinction is critical to understanding the confidence that lies in a biblically defined hope. Hope is essential to our faith.