Like Mother, Like Daughter

“Because we’re all recovering from something.”

I have reblogged posts by Beauty Beyond Bones, BBB, before.

Here is why:

And I was sitting in my little chair, looking at the painting, letting Jesus’ face make an impression on me, when my mom came in and sat next to me.

“You know the story behind this painting, right?”

And, truthfully, I didn’t. I know we got it a long time ago, but I just figured my mom’s bible study class gifted it to her as an end-of-year teacher gift.

BBB’s full post is worth reading.

 

(Comments are disabled here as usual. Thank you.)

BeautyBeyondBones

Have you ever been just drawn to something?

And I’m not talking the bakery case at the grocery store. Or the shoe department at Nordstrom.

giphy-2

I’m talking, a soul pull. A spirit attraction.

Ever since I’ve been home during my mom’s stroke recovery, I’ve discovered a little place in our house that I keep finding myself sitting in. Just ending up there.

It’s a little sitting area in front of the fire place, and focal point of this nook is a beautiful painting of Jesus. It’s called the image of the Divine Mercy. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.


But I’ll often find myself sitting, just looking into the eyes of Jesus in this painting.

Now, to be honest, I’ve never really considered myself a “religious art person.” I mean, I think it’s beautiful and great for, say, a church, but I don’t know. I’ve just never really given it much contemplation.

View original post 540 more words

If you keep my commandments

If you ever felt alone in the way you worship, if you think your theology is the only one, if you follow rules, if you don’t follow rules, you must read Paul’s post today. All are welcome. (Comments have been disabled, please comment on the original post).

Just me being curious

In just over four weeks’ time we have a glorious spiritual retreat.  A place of recharging our souls and each other.   A place much hotter than here.  A place to relax.  To slow down.  A place to have fun.  A place with new people. A place we have never been before.  A place without church or bible.

And without those two bits we name that “holiday”.  The unspoken teaching is that a holiday is of the flesh and indulgence (and a retreat is of the spirit and restoration).

I see no difference.

I wonder why the unspoken knowing is that God cannot (really) be found in a bar or a restaurant.  Nor (really) found on a beach by the sea.  Nor (really) in the laughter and bawdy banter around a table.  Not really in the quiet contemplation of a distant horizon … a small working boat … a passing beach…

View original post 410 more words

Be Happy, God will understand

I recently listened to an interview I found by happenstance of an old acquaintance.  I had always admired her brilliance and tenacity, her quiet way and her commitment to her religion. I don’t think it is important for purposes of this story to tell you what religion she is, it is enough to know that she was devout and humble all at the same time. 

I don’t know what made me think of her, but I was curious to see what she was up to. Last I had seen, she had the perfect career and perfect life, still devout and lovely. But this interview was different. It was many years later and life was not so perfect. Her religion had not changed , but her life had. So she was quick to meld her words to fit her life’s circumstances. My God would understand this, and He would understand that. I have to make myself happy and I cannot worry about what other people think. I was perplexed. Her God had remained the same, her devotion the same, but her life had not. So she fit her God into her life’s circumstances to ascribe to a “Be Happy God will understand” theory which completely blew my mind.

These thoughts were not unlike so many I have heard and areas which Paul has recently explored on Just Me Being Curious where he discusses openly the hypocritical Christian and their unconscious quest to use the bible as a weapon. Paul goes into an in-depth discussion of whether the bible is fiction and other deep-rooted and tough questions, but the message is deeper than that. While my old acquaintance sings a song of “Be Happy God will understand” the song that Paul’s talking about is more along the lines of “The only way to believe is the way I do.” Both schools of thought though steeped in religion are cloaked in secularism. Twisting our way into what “we” believe is right or wrong based on our own selfish notions. What bothered me about the interview was not the fact that she was still devout to her God. What bothered me was that she had made God devout to her.

This is a continued thought in our culture, in our world, where we make God just ours. The bible or Quran or Torah can have only that person’s interpretations, and there is no other room. It is this way or that, no room for exploration or understanding. It is the reason that modern-day religion is more secular than it is anything else.

I look to those who have criticized Mother Teresa’s care for the dying. She a Catholic, speaking to them and praying with them in their own religion, their familiar God. Restoring their dignity in the last breath with a comfort each individual will understand. She has played a great role for me in understanding the human person and Jesus, and the dynamic that exists between the two.

You see if we were really Christians, people would know. We wouldn’t make God live in a bible, or on an altar, or in a Sunday sermon, we would let Him live in us. It’s not a matter of conversion, it is a matter of being. I don’t seek to convert anyone other than myself to be the love that Jesus is or was. I don’t subscribe to the “Be happy God will understand theory” because taken in context that is a selfish way to be. The only way for me to live is ensuring that I am doing my best to invest my happiness in you. More like, “Be happy, invest that happiness, because I acknowledge Lord that it comes from you.”

When we get outside of ourselves and realize that God is much bigger than a t-shirt or a slogan, the real work begins. Because if we’ve discovered that life is not about our own self-satisfaction but rather attending to the needs of someone who will never be able to repay us, following Jesus gets real.

If you ask me if I’m a hypocrite I’ll tell you yes, that I am working on it. If you ask me if I’ll convert you, I’ll tell you I’m too busy working on myself. If you want me to show you God, I’ll try my best. But it will probably involve a cup of coffee, admitting who and what I am and asking for your forgiveness.

Unsure where to go? To the last place where God met you

“I had hoped my call as a Christian writer might lead me to “bigger and better” things. I saw my secular career as something I wanted to let go of, someplace God could never use. I thought that this placement was not intentional by God, that there was something “bigger” out there for me. So he let me leave my life behind and try a different life, the one I had envisioned in my dreams. He didn’t leave me, He just stayed quietly by me.”

If you know Melissa you will know she is beautifully vulnerable.  She writes stuff so many only think. So many fearful of what others might think (and even say back).

And they have “said back” to Melissa – as she acknowledges.  And yet …

You really should read the whole post.

 

(as usual, comments are disabled here – please comment over at Melissa’s place, thank you)

Paul

A Love that Lets Go

Part of me is jealous of Caralyn. Because she nails with such simplicity and tenderness what I struggle to describe. Unconditional love. And God. A real living relationship with something beyond my words.

Have a read and see what you think. And comments are open here. Because love is everwhere.

Thank you.

BeautyBeyondBones

I’ve spent a lot of time recently in my own head. Today marks the three month mark since my mom’s stroke, and there have been a lot of ups and a lot of downs.

And I’m learning a lot.

And honestly, I’m learning a lot about God’s love for us.

We’ve reached the stage in my mom’s recovery where…there’s a frustration within her about how things aren’t back to normal. And a gripping desperation for autonomy.

And I’m going to be really honest, being in my position, as her grown daughter, having come home to be her “sidekick” as I call it – there’s a really delicate balance of how much help is too much help. I want to assist her so that life runs smoothly, but I don’t want her to feel like a child or that I’m belitting her or discrediting her capabilities or contributions. And I’m finding…

View original post 656 more words

Are We Connecting On The Same Level?

There is a saying: “Preach the gospel always and where necessary use words.”

I think Agent X has given me and you a great example of this.

See what you think.

(and as (almost) always comments are disabled here, please let Agent X know what you think at his place, thank you)

Fat Beggars School of Prophets

Do you know that insurance ad where they show two people in two completely different scenarios using the exact same words to express almost opposite meanings?

What happens when we read the Bible (same words) and interpret it differently?

View original post

What’s Your Story?

“We are all living a story.
I believe stories have power. I believe that a good story, well-told can change the world.
There are five basic elements that a story must contain:
characters
setting
plot
conflict
them”

Mark Myers writes stories of great power. Each time I read one I am changed. If I had to analyse why it would most likely prevent the goodness in each story seeping into mine.

I think we all need to know good story-tellers. I think we are all good story-tellers. We each have the power to change. How we change is down to each one of us.

Have a read of Mark’s story. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

(as always, comments disabled here – please let Mark know your thoughts, thank you)

A Generous Helping

When I was a boy, I was big. Despite my size, I had great hands and a good arm. But none of that mattered when I put on my helmet and shoulder pads because the coach only saw big. I got in line with the boys trying out for quarterback and wide receiver, but he moved me to the offensive line and told me that the only time I got to touch the ball was if there was a fumble. And if there was a fumble, I was only allowed to fall on the ball – never, ever, never, ever, never try to pick it up.

Note the discontented #63 who is not #12 or #88

I remember one game, we were losing late and the coach called a screen to my side of the field. The play developed and I ran ahead to block. I don’t know what happened behind me…

View original post 568 more words