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Archive for the ‘The Purpose of Relationship’ Category

.In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came into being through him and without him not one thing came into being …and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father.s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:1,3a, 14)

.Swisch-dub, swisch-dub, swisch-dub. the beautiful sound of my baby’s heartbeat resounded in the little cubicle as the Doppler instrument broadcast the miracle of love deep within my body. I longed for each of my children. Many women long for a lifetime and never get to hear this sound. It had taken eighteen months to get pregnant and I sang the song of Hannah, sure that I was infertile, begging God to give me a child. Tears were in my eyes as I listened to that beautiful sound. I can still hear it and it.s been over two decades!
Did you know that everything in our bodies makes a sound? Sonograms of various body parts create pictures of these sounds. When an organ is dis-eased, it makes sounds that are not in harmony with the rest of the organ. These sounds help physicians diagnose the presence of disease if not the cause. Actually, everything in the universe emits a sound.
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Disturbing times we are in. No doubt about that. Parts of the earth have been washed into our oceans on several continents in the past year. Natural disasters which Pat Robertson calls acts of God have decimated the poorest men, women and children on our planet. Riots in the suburbs of Paris, suicide bombings in the midst of weddings in Jordan, another school shooting. These horrors bring out the worst and the best in our human nature.

I had a doctor’s appointment today for an infection in my eyes. I also have a chronic health problem that I deal with daily, in part through the use of self-hypnosis and in part by listening to what my body is trying to tell me. So, as my eyes have caused me pain, I’ve been asking myself – what is it that I don’t want to see? I think I know the answer – I do not want to see the fear. Nor do I want to see the power of evil.
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I have often been asked: “How do you pray for someone else?” and likewise, “What difference does it make?” For many years, I only prayed for others out of obedience rather than conviction. This only changed when I was the one being prayed for! Then, I knew the difference it made to me.

How to pray for another: This is called intercessory prayer and literally means we pray as if we were the other person. We stand in their place before God and pray on their behalf. The simplest form is to pray: “Lord Jesus, the other’s name” followed by silence. Then repeat for the time you have set aside to pray. As you do this, you may find images or words coming to you. Simply say (silently or out loud) “Lord bless.”
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Turning ourselves over to God is in reality returning to our original self. As the Christian faith moved across the globe toward the East and toward the West, there developed a theological division in understanding of our true nature in the 11th century. The church to the West, under the authority of the Roman papacy, took the path of emphasizing “original sin” . The church in the east, which we now know as the Orthodox Churches, knew none of this. This church considered the doctrine of original nature, known also as Imago Dei as foundational to understanding our relationship to God.
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The religion of Christianity is based on these words of Jesus as his summation of all scripture:

.You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

(from the Gospel of Matthew, New Revised Standard Version)

Although simple words at first glance, it takes a life time to understand and truly live these words. Bernard of Clairvaux wrote Four Degress of Love way back in the 12th Century. I have not yet found a better understanding of how to live these two commandments of Jesus Christ.
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I cannot remember a time when I did not know the presence of God. In fact, it was quite a shock to me to realize that many people seem to have no awareness of the reality of God’s presence. My desire to share the experience turned me into an evangelist – I remember baptizing my little brother Dale in our backyard pool when I was 9 years old. Dale just couldn.t seem to get the whole God thing. He still doesn.t! My evangelistic efforts seem to have come to naught but at least he didn.t drown.

This joy I know .in my bones. I have come to understand is a form of mysticism. I understand this to simply mean living in the light of God’s presence. For a more complete definition see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_mysticism

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I seldom read books more than once. The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Scrolls of Taoist Christianity by Martin Palmer is an exception. I have read it three times in the past several months. http://www.brogilbert.org/christ-culture/5christ_tao.HTM The beauty of the progression of the Christian experience in the earliest centuries, moving from it’s roots in Palestine to the hills of China, challenges and enriches my own experience. An example of two liturgies (i.e.prayers said in group worship) from this ancient and oriental understanding of the Trinity follows.
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