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Fully God, Fully Human

It’s Christmas time, and I’m trying to imagine Your Birth into this World and Your Life, Lord. You Gave Up Omniscience, Omnipresence, and Omnipotence to Enter our reality and Live Life from our point of view. I have a lot of questions for You, Lord:

At Your Birth, did You Feel the startling shock of Leaving Mary’s Womb and Breathing air for the first time?
As You Nestled into Your Mother’s Arms and Nursed, did You Think, “This isn’t so bad”?
Did You Have diaper rash, colic, colds, chicken pox?
Was teething hard for You?
Were Your First Steps taken in Egypt?
Did You Fall Down and Skin Your Knees? Did Your Mother Scoop You up into Her Arms to Comfort You?
Did You Run to Your Mom to Show Her Your First Lost Tooth?
Did You Play games with Your siblings and friends?
Were You at the top of Your class in Synagogue School? I’m sure You Were! You Were Wise beyond Your Years – as demonstrated in the Temple when You Were 12 years old. Did You have the occasional pimple and Feel Awkward and Shy around girls as a Teenager?
Did You Hang out with Joseph, Your earthly father, fascinated by his ability to make things out of wood?
Did Joseph’s big hand close over Your Little Hand as he showed You how to hold a hammer?
What did You Make during Your Years as a Carpenter? You Created the World for Heaven’s Sake!
Were Your Tables Artistic Masterpieces?
When You Felled a tree to shape into a beam for a home, did You Think to Yourself “I Remember Making this tree to grow”?

You Must have Appeared to Your neighbors as just another fellow human being before You Began Your Ministry, though, because they were quite astonished and skeptical by the Change that came over You at the age of 30. Your Mother knew, though. She knew You could Save the wedding feast in Cana when the wine ran out. You Protested, but She turned on her heel and basically said “Make it so” as She walked away, confident in Your Godliness. You Obeyed Your Mom : )

While You Were Among us, You got Tired, Hungry, Frustrated, and Angry. Sometimes You Were Surprised, as You Were when a woman touched Your Cloak for Healing. You Rejoiced when the 72 disciples You Sent Out returned triumphantly. I can imagine You Smiling Tenderly when parents brought their children to You to be Blessed and Prayed Over. You Compassionately Healed so many people with afflictions while You Were here. You Had Moments of Sorrow, as at Lazarus’s death and Judas’s betrayal. You Were Deeply Moved by Mary of Bethany’s Anointing of You before Your Death. You Felt Trepidation before Your Capture and Crucifixion. You Loved Your People and Felt Loved by Your followers – especially by the three Marys, John, and Peter. And You Felt the sting of hatred and rejection!

You Felt Intense Physical Pain, as well as Abandonment by all of Your disciples except John. You Made Sure Your Mother would be taken care of after Your Death. From the Cross, You Assigned John the task of being her new son – Aways Thinking of others…

And of course, the whole point is that You Felt Forgiveness!
And You Felt Victorious at Your Resurrection!

While You Lived among us, Lord, You Were Fully Human and Fully God. You Know what our life is like. You Empathize with our struggles and sorrows. You Rejoice in our victories. You Are a Deeply Personal, Loving, and Forgiving God!
Merry Christmas, Lord!

Amen ✝️❤️😊

Not enough faith

I look around me, and I just don’t have enough faith NOT to believe in You, Lord. The very existence of this Universe defies Newton’s laws of motion and the laws of thermodynamics. If for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, as stated in Newton’s third law, didn’t some Force have to cause the Big Bang? – or whatever the origins of the Universe are? I put a rock on a table once and sat there, waiting for it to move by itself. It never moved. I got bored and left.

In a isolated system, matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed. Yet, here we are : )

And if every closed system tends toward entropy – in other words, tends to fall apart into chaos – what caused subatomic particles to collect together to form atoms, the atoms to clump together into molecules, and those molecules to join together to make the Earth, stars, and planets and the rest of the night sky… And us? This is order forming out of chaos – the opposite of entropy.

There are underlying patterns and cycles throughout the Universe. Our Sun rises and sets every 24 hours. The Earth cycles through its seasons like clockwork. The Fibonacci sequence appears over and over again in nature. Stars are born, live, and die just like us. Each generation of stars is made in part from the “star stuff” of previous generations – just as the atoms and molecules, previously used by other beings, flow through our bodies – rivers of matter used and reused.

The mathematical odds of the order in our universe being a result of chance are so infinitesimal, it’s beyond my imagination. It would have to be fortuitous coincidence heaped upon fortuitous coincidence for billions of years for us to be here! The multiverse theory seems even more improbable without some Force behind the creation of them all.

Have you ever seen a little kid bowling for the first time? They push the ball with two hands. It slowly rolls down the alley until it comes to a dead stop in the middle. That’s because there wasn’t enough initial force to overcome the ball’s inertia and the friction acting upon it. Now imagine that the kid’s bowling ball starts to roll faster and faster toward the pins – picking up speed without any visible force acting upon it. You would have to assume there was a downward slope to the alley. Otherwise, there would be no explanation for the ball’s acceleration… Yet this Universe is expanding at an ever accelerating rate. If the universe’s expansion was a result of the energy released in the Big Bang, one would expect the universe to be decelerating. Scientists, as of yet, cannot explain what force is causing the accelerated expansion. They call it “dark energy” for lack of a better description. I’m just saying… ; )

So… if I can get past how all matter and energy exist, I’m still left wondering why I can ponder all of this. Why do I have consciousness? Our sentience is not explained by any current theory of chance. Humans are far more than the sum of their parts. We can create, learn, reason, analyze, visualize, remember and reflect on the past, and project into the future. We have complex language, with which we communicate thoughts, feelings, and ideas to other humans. We have a broad range of emotions – chief among them being love and hate. We don’t live by instinct. We think and feel our way through life. As much as I loved seeing KoKo the gorilla learn how to use sign language or like imagining intelligent dolphins saying “So long, and thanks for all the fish”, no other living being comes close to this level of human consciousness.

I could go on, but the upshot is that I just don’t have enough faith to believe that all of this and we exist by chance. To me, that takes a bigger leap of logic then to believe in an Intentional and Mindful Creator. A godless Universe contradicts science and math more than the existence of a Supreme Being.

Having faith means one believes in something that can’t be proven true. I can’t prove of Your Existence to others, Lord – though I know You Are with me. Someone once said something to the effect that “if I can believe in our existence, I can believe in anything.” That’s basically what I’m saying here. Our very existence is ridiculous to begin with! And without You, God, it makes no sense at all!

“The heavens declare the Glory of God;the skies proclaim the Work of His Hands.Day after day they pour forth speech;night after night they reveal knowledge.They have no speech, they use no words;no sound is heard from them.Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,their words to the ends of the world.”Psalm 19:1-4

Being

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Faith in God is not a religion – something adjunct to our lives. Faith is a Way of Being! We can either move through this world connected to or disconnected from You, God. These are really the only two choices we have. That’s what eating of the fruit of the Tree of Good and evil taught us (against Your Will, Lord)

Before our fall, we were joined with You at the hip so to speak, Lord. We walked with You daily, enjoying the Supreme Order of Your Creation. We knew “Good” before that first bite because You Are “Good”. The first bite taught us about evil – disconnecting from You and going our own ways. We found out that we can serve our own wants and desires. We have free will.

What a mistake that first bite was! Chaos entered Your Supreme Order at that moment – Perfection was shattered. We can’t really frown upon Adam and Eve because if they hadn’t turned away from You, someone else would eventually try it – me… ? 😔

So You Rescued us. You Met us where we are. You Washed us Clean with the Blood of Your Lamb, so we may stand blameless before You again despite ourselves. We can once again live our lives in Your Presence, God – drawing the Breath of True Life from You.

To reduce this personal relationship with You to a belief system is an understatement to say the least.

“Jesus’ Is my Savior not my religion” Matt Maher

We are already living our immortal lives in Your Kingdom. The odds for Love, Peace, and Joy in our mortal lives are now stacked heavily in our favor – though this life is still hard…

When we are in Your Presence, Lord, we soar on eagle’s wings. We are connected to the Creator of the Universe. How Awesome is that?! We are allowed to avail ourselves of Your Omnipotent Power According to Your Will, so that sometimes, miraculous events, which defy natural explanations, occur in our reality through our prayerful connection with You.

Our whole being shifts when we’re with You. We see with Your Eyes what is important. We are freed from the matrix that we humans have created. We are able to discern between Your Truth and evil’s false reality.

You Commissioned us to go forth and make disciples of all nations – to model Life in You, to Shine for You, so others choose Good over evil, and follow You.

Your Compassion and Longing fill us to overflowing. We long for everyone to know what it means to Live in You, Lord – for it’s the Path of Life. Your Will becomes our will. We have Purpose in our lives that surpasses the grave.

Show us how, Lord, to bring our fellow voyagers on this earthly journey to the Foot of Your Cross. Soul by soul, Your Supreme Order will be Restored. Then surely Your Goodness and Love will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

All Praise, Honor, and Glory To You, Oh God!

Amen ✝️❤️😊

The Cross✝️

Lord, one day while praying, I felt prompted by Your Spirit to wear a Cross around my neck. I thought that way, when I do good things, people will know it is You not me. The Cross is also a sign to others that I’m Your Child – Saved and Loved.

I have a faux gold and blue enamel Cross that I could wear around my neck. But then I had the thought that I needed to wear a wooden Cross- not a metal one. I was sure I could order one online but procrastinated – unmotivated to do so.

Time went by. One Sunday, I felt this nudge to go to the 10:30 church service, instead of the noon service I usually attend. I glanced around at fellow worshipers before church started. A solitary figure at the back of the church caught my eye briefly, but I was brought back to attention when the music started. Near the end of the service, I looked back at the figure again. This time I noticed a beautiful little wooden Cross hanging around his neck. I caught up with him after church and introduced myself. I admired his Cross, and I told him I felt Led to wear a wooden Cross around my neck as well. I asked him where he got his. He told me he carves them from a cherry tree in his yard. I asked him if I could commission one from him. He said no, he would make me one as a gift…

At this point, I was dazzled by Your Hand in this, Lord!

The next week, this kind man had a box of Crosses he had carved in different styles. He said he didn’t know which I would prefer. Oh my Goodness – such Generosity – the Fruit of a Spirit-led life! I chose the simplest of the Crosses, bound with leather and laced through with a leather lanyard.

I’m awestruck, Lord, by this Powerful Sign that You Will Always Provide for me. And You Taught me to wait for You to Lead when I’m obeying Your Will. You Will Light the Way.

When I put the Cross around my neck, the man warned me that it might attract harsh comments from strangers. I said that was okay. On the contrary though, I’ve had more pleasant conversations initiated by strangers than ever before. I think they approach me because of Your Cross around my neck. They aren’t all Christians… Your Cross still signifies Love and Acceptance to many people. I think people see me as a safe person to talk to. This is good news in the face of the bad press that Your followers often get because of nefarious acts falsely claimed to have been done in Your Name.

This is absolutely the Cross You Meant for me to wear, Lord. It Marks me as Your Child, and it reminds me of the Love, Kindness, and Generosity shown to me in acquiring it!

I finger it often – especially when life gets hard. Then I remember that You Are and You Are With me! It reminds me that although we are bombarded with bad news, You are still Here and In Charge. Therefore, there is still Good in the world, and Hope in Your Saving Grace.

Thank You, Lord, for this Gift – the symbol of Your Sacrifice for our Salvation and Your unfailing Love for us!

Amen✝️❤️😊

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

Baptism isn’t a sign of our commitment to You, God. Baptism is The Sign of Your Commitment to us. It is the Mark of Your Profound Spiritual Covenant, which Reverberates beyond our reality.

And Baptism isn’t a condition of Salvation. Salvation comes through Grace. Your Saving Grace means we do nothing to save ourselves. Your Gift of Baptism is Freely Given – available for everyone – even people who don’t undertand its profound Spiritual implications because of cognitive impairment, age, or other reasons.

What happens Spiritually at our Baptism then? It’s not a meaningless ritual, or You wouldn’t have been Baptized, Lord. Baptism is the Sign of our Adoption into Your Family. We are “tattooed” with the Sign of Your Cross. We claim our Places as Your Children, Father, Adopted through the Blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Lord, You Instructed Your Disciples (and us) during Your Time here. You Demonstrated how we are to come to God. Your Baptism was a visual and audible Sign of what happens at our Baptism. God’s Holy Spirit Descended upon You as a Dove. And God Spoke Aloud, claiming You as His Son.

“As soon as Jesus was Baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment, Heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God Descending like a Dove and Alighting on Him. And a Voice from Heaven Said, ‘This is My Son, Whom I Love; With Him I Am Well Pleased.'” Matthew 3:16-17

Baptism is Your “Stamp of Approval” for us. We are Forgiven! We have been “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” : )

All Praise, Honor, and Glory to You, Oh God!Amen ✝️❤️😊