I cannot – so you must not

I get cross when I see some godly writings. I think those who run godly organisations should listen to this little rant.

First here is the gunpowder:

Something to think and pray about this week

Humility gives us the sacred gift of being able to learn from everyone. It gives us the ability to take advice from any person who gives it, not just the brilliant or the holy or the great, but from the simple and the ignorant and from those who may be far below our own position or station in life. It gives us the power to imitate Christ himself, who learned from Peter how to catch fish, and from Joseph how to make tables, and from Mary how to eat. It gives us the power to learn, even from those who do not appeal to us at all, whom we may not like very much.

The humble person knows he doesn’t know all things, knows that good advice, no matter what the source, is a rare gift, a gift that helps develop the wonder of self-knowledge. Very often, it is from people we may not like very much, or from people who are a little nasty and mean, that we learn how deep our pride is in reality and how far we still have to go before we have reached any real degree of humility. For such people will tell us what they think of us, will give us advice without bothering to be nice about it, will show us quite brilliantly and quite cuttingly, too, by the way, how proud we really are.

Real humility will give us the power to accept such words, and though they may hurt because we are still human, we will be able to take them and because of them grow even closer to Christ.”
– Excerpted from “With God in America” by Walter Ciszek, compiled and edited by John M. DeJak and Marc Lindeijer, S.J.

Now the fuse: “Very often, it is from people we may not like very much, or from people who are a little nasty and mean, that we learn how deep our pride is in reality and how far we still have to go before we have reached any real degree of humility. “

Now the match: “It gives us the ability to take advice from any person who gives it, not just the brilliant or the holy or the great, but from the simple and the ignorant and from those who may be far below our own position or station in life. It gives us the power to imitate Christ himself, who learned from Peter how to catch fish, and from Joseph how to make tables, and from Mary how to eat. It gives us the power to learn, even from those who do not appeal to us at all, whom we may not like very much.”

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Grrrrrrrrr …. !!!!

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The God Soft Hands Jesus I know doesn’t look at you and me and see one He does not like (very much) – does not see you and me as nasty and mean (a little) – does not see how proud we are (really).  He has no time for conditional measures.  He accepts imperfect as perfect.  He loves me.  As.  I.  Am.

Yet here we have a godly writing telling us we are not good enough.  A godly writing telling us to measure “it”.  Telling us to measure the “degree” of “it” we have achieved.  To seek to grow closer by measuring “it” to see if “it” is getting bigger.  As big as Christ’s “it”.  And illustrates “it” by saying “it” is okay to “not like” some people, that “it” is okay to find some people “nasty and mean” (a little!).

And the consequence?

Godly folk continue to justify being judgmental – to justify being able to love you “only” this much – to justify being “good Christians” who are close to God  – and who justify labeling (some) people as nasty and mean  – as not likeable – with the godly trump card: “We are just (still) human”.

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NEWSFLASH: I will be “still human” my whole life.

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So just why does the institution of godliness teach everything as an “it” when they also teach that my God Soft Hands Jesus does not look at me as a collection of “it’s”?  Why do they teach that my GSHJ sees me imperfect and yet loves me without condition?  Why do they teach that love without condition cannot measure how much “condition” or “uncondition” … that love is not an “it” to be measured …

And then teach all the “it’s” AND the real biggie (the biggie that godly institutions and good Christians have made exclusively their own):

“We are (still?) human – therefore I cannot (so you must not) love unconditionally.  God says.”

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Grrrrrrrrr …. !!!!

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No number other than one

“Most people want to help make this world a better place but many do not know where to start. I have found that the first place to start is right in my own head.

If I do a good job there, I can work outwards from there and bless others.   This site is a personal blog about the things I need to keep telling myself – not too many things.  Just the simple fact that very little is required to make life happy.

As simple as that sounds, I need to prove it in my mind everyday, time and again.  I do this through my passion for prose, free verses and non-factional opinions.  I do this because the dark valleys of life often slide in unannounced.  Nonetheless, as the saying goes, it is still better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

My joy will multiply if these musings ever help anyone that stumbles on them .”

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I believe in connections.  I believe God Soft Hands Jesus moves across these blogs.  I believe my GSHJ invites me to move in connection.

One simple “like” from a name unknown.  One unexplained sense to have a look.  A landing page post not written for me.  So why this sense it is of He?  To the “About” page to look behind, to taste the sweat of another on a keyboard far away.  And here is why, here is He.  This is why He whispered so quietly in me.

“Most people want to help make this world a better place but many do not know where to start. I have found that the first place to start is right in my own head.”

A better place – yes!  But what can I do? I am only me.  No one listens to me.  I can’t change anything or anyone.  Not really.  Not like I see others change lives.  Not like others have changed me.  Ah well … maybe one day …

“As simple as that sounds, I need to prove it in my mind everyday, time and again.”

A long time ago I watched a video.  The speaker was inspirational.  One of those guru type inspirational speakers.  I have seen a few.  I have even met a few.  And I have thought myself changed. The memory is of this speaker painting a picture.  Of approaching the Pearly Gates and being asked in breathless excitement, “How many did you bring me?”  How many saved souls.  How many lives changed.  “How many did you bring me?”

I looked behind me and saw no one.  And as well as inspired I was unworthy.  I brought no one.  Only me.  And here was this speaker.  He would have thousands behind him.  We all should have thousands behind us.  And I saw no one.  Make disciples.  Preach the Good News.  Save souls from an eternity of separation.  Bring thousands.  It is the clarion call I hear again and again.  Revival.  Mission.  Outreach.  Education.  Junior Church.  Mega Church.  Where did you find God this weekend.  When did you last admit you are a Christian.  Why are not at church each Sunday.  Wait until you become a mature Christian.

And I saw no one.

It took several years for GSHJ to get through my thick skull.  He used others.  He took the direct route.  He never gave up on my giving up.  And slowly – bit by bit – I began to hear.

The biggest gift – the best gift – the ONLY gift I can ever bring … is me.  The only “How many did you bring me?” my God Soft Hands Jesus ever wanted was …

One.

And it took me years to get that.  It took me years for me to get the “why”.  And my getting it – my “why” – is mine alone.

But what I hear Him ask is this.

“Tell them I have no number other than one.  Tell them one is all there ever is.  One is all and all is one.  Forget the big numbers.  Forget the worldly measure of “success”.  Forget the inspiration that tastes good in the mouth yet leaves your stomach sick.  Tell them I do not count and never have.  Tell them I never will.  I will never judge thirty years “service” better than none.  I will never applaud headcount other than one to one.  I will never hold higher one who gave more.  For if you give you – there can never be “more”.  Counting is conditions and conditional love.  That is why I only see one.  Unconditional never compares.  Unconditional love always shares.  Love without condition will never count.  Not more than one in one right now.”

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For all those who think “my blog is not enough” …

One simple “like” from a name unknown.  One unexplained sense to have a look.  And here is why, here is He.  This is why He whispered so quietly in me.

Who is this “name unknown” my GSHJ invited me to … ?  It is –

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AYOKA – Things I should be telling myself

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A sense to connect is yours alone.

All I ask is that you listen and hear without numbers.

That you listen to One.

Thank you –

paulfg

 

Dancing in Spanish Harlem

I have had a few birthdays. I know the routine. Decade ones are extra effort all round. In-betweenies are much the same – great fun and special (give or take a few giggles here and a few less giggles there).

Bu I have never written this about any birthday:

“We didn’t speak the same language, but we did speak music. We did speak joy.”

BBB does. Even on her own very special day BBB connects with something that draws me in (and a big bunch of others!). So here is her birthday post. Why not see if she draws you in?

 

(as always, for reblogs, comments are closed here – BBB replies to every comment – no matter how many there are – thank you)

BeautyBeyondBones

So yesterday was my birthday 🙂

And I’ll tell you what…if there’s one thing I took away from the day, aside from how special friends and loved ones are, it’s how infinitely beautiful and diverse the culture is in NYC.

Indulge me for a moment.

Yesterday was one of those days that literally goes on forever. I kid you not, I think I saw just about every walk of life in one afternoon.

My friend and I went to The Cloisters – which is a monastery-turned MET art gallery way up in Washington Heights, where we heard probably 5 different languages from the myriad of European tourists taking in our *culture.*

The rest of the day consisted of a walk through The Bronx, getting lost in Spanish Harlem, happy hour at a Puerto Rican bar in Harlem, dinner at an uppity/cross-fit/health nut/vegan place downtown in Greenwich Village, drinks at a…

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I have learnt that….Öğrendim ki….

Maybe we can all be Set Free with words like these.

 

 

(as always comments and likes are disabled here, please leave those at Semra’s place – thank you)

YA BAKİ ENTEL BAKİ

By changing our thinking,
We change our beliefs;

When we change our beliefs,
We change our expectations;

When we change our expectations,
We change our attitude;

When we change our attitude,
We change our behavior;

When we change our behavior,
We change our performance;

When we change our performance,
We change our life;

Life is like a book of three pages — first page is ‘birth’, last page is ‘death’, center page is ’empty’, it is up to us how we fill our page.

Hayat üç sayfalık bir kitap gibidir — ilk sayfa ‘doğum’, son sayfa ‘ölüm’ dür. Orta sayfa ‘boş’, sayfamızı nasıl doldurduğumuz bize bağlı.

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The one where I don’t give up my oyster card…

I bumped into “BrunetteKoala” (or “From the Koala Tree”) through a comment under another lovely blog post by Mark Myers – http://markmyers.net/2017/07/12/the-tenuous-gap.

And – as sometimes I do – browsing the first few blog posts at “brunette’s place” turned into a good old read and click to follow her blog. Here is why …

There is much written about global politics and the “war on terror”.  But I think “brunette” captures something very special. Something very good. Something of what I know my God wishes for us all. Something universal and timeless. Something too good not to share.

And I hope you agree ((hugs))

Paul

(and – as usual – likes and comments are disabled here, please add any thoughts under BK’s (aka FTKT) lovely post – thank you)

From The Koala Tree

So it’s fair to say that’s it’s been a rough couple of weeks for the UK. And I have to say that I’m so thankful to live in a country with decent gun control laws.

“Terrorism” has been something I’ve been aware of all my life. We were dealing with it long before September 11th 2001 before a certain American made it purely to be synonymous with “Islam”. Some of my earliest memories are of the Lockerbie bombing on the news and being evacuated from shopping centres because of IRA bomb threats. My friends who grew up in Northern Ireland have even more memories of what “terrorism” meant. Bombs and checkpoints were just part of daily life there for a long time.

I saw on social media before news officially broke that something had happened in Manchester. My friend posted a warning telling everyone to stay out the city centre because…

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roasted beets and marigolds

This will only take a few moments to read.

So why re-blog these few words from Rebekah?

Because I find these few words circulating like moths around a lamp. They keep going around and around.

And I think you might find the same thing.

That’s why.

Paul

(as always comments are disabled here, please share any thoughts and likes at Rebekah’s place – thank you)

My Beautiful One

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One day a lady walked over to me after church.  She did not introduce herself.  I didn’t know who she was.  I recognized her as the blonde lady who sits in the back, the one who wears fancy suits I’d never wear, and comes to church every week by herself.

She had a question for me.

“Do you have any needs?”

I didn’t know how to answer this question.  The kids were asking about their donuts when I started saying something like, “Um, well, camp just had a work day, so that was good.  There were lots of people here to help get things ready and cleaned up for–”

“No”, she cut me off, “That’s not what I meant.”

Dad takes the kids to the donut line.

“I mean family needs.”

Apparently she’d been hearing this nagging voice in her head telling her to go talk to me.  She’s afraid I’m going to think she’s crazy, and I assure her, in no way shape or form…

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Jesus was NOT Perry Mason

234 words my computer says.

So it won’t take long to read.

But these 234 words are packed full of goodness.

T F Thompson is worth reading.

Here is why …

(as always comments are disabled here, please leave any thoughts under the original post, thank you)

Hard Times Ministries

Among many Christian discussions today there is the atmosphere of legalism: One points out the Greek meaning while another suggests the Hebrew and still another indicates the etymology of the Latin. The end result is that fellowship opportunities turn into more or less games such as the tv show of Jeopardy.

This is not how it should be. Jesus did not present himself as an attorney. Too, all we are to present is the simple message of the Gospel, not some complicated maze where only the super educated can understand.

Last, the message of the gospel would much easier followed if the message was representative of what Jesus actually did and then commanded us to do.

Too feed the poor, assist the homeless, those in prison and to help orphans and the widows and to love our neighbor is not an intellectual endeavor, but an endeavor of doing, one of…

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