Friedens… April 5, 2013

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friedens colorFriedens. The word is German for “peace.” Yet when I first eyeballed it, it looked like it might be the word for “friends.”

Maybe those Germans have come up with something. After all, the best doorway to peace is to establish a gentle life with friends–and likewise, an excellent avenue to friends is to arrive with a bit of peace. Put the two together and you come up with the essence of faith.

Peace, friends, faith.

Peace: Dear God, I will find my life in You. It’s a promise. If I’m willing to lose the confusing mass of mixed signals that I call my will, I will gain my life.

Friends: I will let you into my life. There’s a certain vulnerability to the process of interacting with other human beings which is simultaneously frightening and invigorating. If I am not willing to let you into my life, it’s difficult to make a case for true friendship.

Faith: We have life abundant. Once I discovered my peace by finding my life in God, and I’ve humbled myself to let you into my life, the miracle of fellowship allows us to share life abundantly. friedens brick

Sunday morning I will be with the Friedens United Church of Christ. We will share a peace that will lead to friendship and culminate in faith.

 

 

Friedens

There is a place of peace

Where human fears release

Holding our trembling soul

Worry taking its toll

For then our mind will ease

Turmoil finally cease

And rest warm with others

Our sisters and our brothers

Breathe the scent Divine

Allow our light to shine

Sense what we dream to be

The truth that makes us free.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

Scrambled Eggheads … February 12, 2013

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Jon Signing“It could be this or it could be that, and of course, there’s a chance that it just might be…”

These are words you certainly don’t ever want to hear from either your mechanic or your doctor. Honestly, they’re not particularly helpful to hear from anyone. In this season in our country, when we are most in need of a defining message, what we have is a cacophony of voices screaming at us–usually offering a book for sale at the end of their proclamation of doom and gloom.

It just doesn’t help. Watching television news is like peering at a bunch of eggheads, who scramble around trying to argue their point with nobody able to make a good omelet. Let me boil down the scrambled messages being offered:

1. “You are important so find your talent.” Can I edit this? You are just as important as you allow yourself to believe that other people are important, and you may feel free to USE your talent–as long as you are humbly aware there is always somebody more accomplished than you.

2. “God doesn’t make mistakes, so be happy.” Well, it is my recollection that God was so disappointed with His creation at one time that He destroyed the world, and then later felt really bad about doing it. I do not need a God who is mistake-free. I would just like to have a God who catches His own boo-boos before He drowns the world. I don’t need God to be perfect in order for me to enjoy the process of watching the world move forward, perfecting.

3. “It’s a tough world, so cover your backside.” If you’re always looking around to see your backside, you’re never looking forward. In my experience, the minute you take your eyes off the road, you greatly increase your chances of ending up in a ditch. Here is a simple way of looking at it: take a few minutes to study the past, celebrate your present, and while you’re at it, get some idea and vision for what you want for yourself in the future, because it is all up to you.

Just with these three “screamers” from the eggheads spilling out, you can be overwhelmed with too much information, receiving mixed signals which only produce frustration instead of clarity.

Is there a message that is universal to human beings? Probably not–but I do know a first step that usually takes us in the right direction: share your fears. They’re not doing you any good. They hide inside of you and only to show up when your greatest opportunity for success is available, nagging you about the pitfalls of trying anything new.

A spoken fear is not only an unmasked enemy, but also establishes your humanity with the world around you and takes you out of the role of being a competitor and into the possibility of becoming a brother or sister.

Let me be the guinea pig:

  • I’m fat. At my age, I’m finding it very difficult to shed pounds. I’m wondering if my physical weakness is going to overtake my emotional and spiritual zeal and put me down.
  • My knees aren’t getting any better. I persist in walking, but can tell that it really isn’t helping me–just establishing my perseverance.
  • I wonder if I’m doing enough. When I think about doing more, I hit a wall as to know what to do, and dangerously reach a point of being unappreciative for my present accomplishments.
  • I’m afraid my children will not use faith to their advantage, but instead, will be absorbed by the worldly silliness around them, becoming flippant instead of fruitful.

Honestly, my dear friends, I could go on all day. And every time I speak one of my fears out loud, it shrivels–even as it wiggles out of my mouth.

The less fear you have, the more room there is for love. And if you build a space for love, all of the family can move in: understanding, compassion, humor, tenderness, awareness and intelligence. And if you have that family living inside you, you will use your talents. You’ll find a way to be happy and you won’t worry about your enemies because you’ll be too busy coming up with ways to creatively intimidate them … by loving them.

So you can continue to listen to the scrambled eggheads as they fry the truth and poach each other’s messages. For me, I am going to share my fears, and in the process, resurrect my love.

Because honestly, if love is not enough, maybe the world should end.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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