Favorite FB Posts November 2014-February 2015
Healing of depression
We receive the gift of longer days (one more hour of sunlight) coming soon. A friend who has been suffering with depression shared recently that he dreaded Daylight Savings Time because the days were longer. This year he is thankful he is not feeling this dread of longer days. God is healing his depression. I speak hope and healing to those who are suffering with depression, especially from grief or loss, that the dread of longer days will be lifted and you will feel like yourself again.
Speaking Romans 8 from memory
Yesterday during a Memorial Service for Bill Bugey at Grace HB I read the assigned Scripture readings. I spoke Romans 8:31-39 from memory which enabled me to make eye contact as I was speaking the Word of God. I could see people were receiving this word like we sometimes receive a “prophesy” a prophetic “now” word for that day. I introduced the Scripture readings by saying, “The same Holy Spirit who inspired these readings is here now to comfort and strengthen you. Holy Spirit is our Comforter, Strengthener, Helper.” Speaking a passage of Scripture from memory seems to provide a way for Holy Spirit to empower and anoint the Word of God. I am continually amazed and blessed doing this.
Teresa of Avila’s favorite way of addressing God was “His Majesty!” I am thankful for her model of being a disciple of Jesus. I would change it to be “Your Majesty”. This helps me experience intimacy with God.”God’s love never had a beginning, but in it we have our beginning.”
Experiencing God’s Loving Presence
Julian of Norwich I am grateful that as long as I can remember I have experienced God’s loving presence, especially with Jesus, Immanuel. And then when I was 19 I met Holy Spirit who overwhelmed me with God’s love poured into my heart,spirit, will, mind, thoughts, feelings, soul and body (Romans 5:5). I especially enjoy participating in the love Holy Spirit, Jesus and our dear Father have for each other.
Beauty and Suffering Pierce the Heart
John Eldridge writes in his book, Journey of Desire, a quote from Simone Weil, “Beauty and suffering are the only two things that can pierce our hearts.” A recent study in “Emotions” stated that awe or wonder are good for our health. Anne Lamott describes 3 ways of praying,”Thank you, help and wow!” The “wow” prayer would be an expression of awe or wonder. Two years ago I experienced for the first time the Midnight Sun in Tromsø, Norway. I wasJohn Eldridge writes in his book, Journey of Desire, a quote from Simone Weil, “Beauty and suffering are the only two things that can pierce our hearts.” A recent study in “Emotions” stated that awe or wonder are good for our health. Anne Lamott describes 3 ways of praying,”Thank you, help and wow!” The “wow” prayer would be an expression of awe or wonder. Two years ago I experienced for the first time the Midnight Sun in Tromsø. I was surprised when tears started flowing during this awe filled moment.
Our First Freedom
The first freedom I have is the power to choose what I will allow my mind are living in the kingdom of the heavens) to dwell upon. Paul writes, “Since you have been raised with Christ (now set your hearts and minds on things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1-2. When I set my mind on God revealed in the Word of God, I want to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength (body). The simple lyrics, “Jesus loves me, this I know; for the Bible tells me so” provide a narrative that overcomes false ideas of who God is.
Reflection Questions for our Experiences of Testing
In today’s Gospel Jesus is driven by Holy Spirit to be “tested” in the desert. I invited everyone in my spiritual formation class to write answers to these questions (1) Name experiences of being “tested”–dark night of the soul, desert times, wounding, suffering of any kind, stuck places, unanswered prayer (2) From where do you get your strength when you are “tested”? (3) What are gifts God gave you as you received healing and overcame the suffering? I invited everyone to answer one or more of the questions, with permission to pass. This helped provide a safe place to share intimate stories. We also shared tissues for tears and received love from one another. My experience is people are longing for a safe place to do this.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Wedding Sermon
I am thankful for Roman Catholic followers of Jesus who celebrate marriage as a sacrament. German Lutheran pastor, theologian, and Christian martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was a champion for marriage. He wrote from a Nazi prison to his niece before her wedding: “Marriage is more than your love for each other. . . . In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed in a post of responsibility toward the world and mankind. Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal—it is a status, an office….It is not your love that sustains your marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love.” Andrew Comisky, evangelical pastor and author of “Strength in Weakness”, is a contemporary champion for marriage. He is recently celebrated the sacrament of confirmation as a Catholic Christian. He wanted to be yoked with followers of Jesus who carry the weight of this call to champion marriage.
Empathy is an Antidote to Shame
“Empathy is an antidote to shame. Empathy is the cornerstone of emotional intelligence. Empathy is connecting with love by being with a person without condemning, judging or shaming. When Jesus prophesies over Peter that he is going to deny him he does not shame him. He prays for Peter that when this happens he will be restored. After being raised from the dead Jesus finds Peter fishing and connects with Peter ‘s heart when he asks three times, “Do you love me?” Each time Peter responds, ‘You know I love you.” Jesus provides an opportunity for Peter to disidentify with a shameful identity, “I am the kind of person who denies Jesus.” His true identity is “I am a lover of Jesus.” “I am the kind of person in whom Jesus expresses confidence, “Feed my sheep, you are a loving shepherd!”
The Healing Power and Blessing of Touch
I am the kind of person who thrives on touching people with love through healing prayer with laying on of hands, speaking blessings, holding hands, all kinds of hugs, hand on a shoulder, fist bumps for kids. Years ago a nurse discovered through research that touch increased the hemoglobin content of the blood (which carries oxygen). MPPC tweeted these John Ortberg quotes on the power of touch; “Simply the power of touch, a hug, a hand on a shoulder…can bring healing to another soul. A touch can communicate an expression of love we could never put into word. To touch in love is to bless. Touch is never simply physical. It involves a spiritual connection because we are spiritual beings.”
February Ole and Lena Joke
My February joke never told before. A hooded robber burst into a bank in Lake Wobegon, Minnesota. He yelled at all the tellers to fill his sack with cash. Quickly moving toward the exit a brave Lake Wobegan resident pulled off his hood so she could see his face clearly and he immediately shot her. The robber turns back to others in the bank and looks at a teller who sees his face and he shoots him. Everyone is frozen in fear and silence looking down. The robber asks, ‘Did anyone else see my face?’ Ole raises his hand and says, “I think my wife Lena might have got a good look at you
Personal Testimony of Healing of Father’s Love
I appreciate all your prayers for doing Jesus’ ministry in Arizona. I received a FB post after being with the Vineyard Gilbert Church. “Thank you so much for your sermon and ministry at The Vineyard in Gilbert, AZ. Your father prayer and anointing for the congregation was extremely moving. As you prayed for me, I experienced the love of my Father as no other. Your embrace as I wept and you prayer in tongues unleashed in me a gratefulness that I have not ever experienced before. Thank you and bless you.”
January 2015 Joke, “One Thing I don’t Like about Jesus”
My first joke for 2015. How blessed you are. Ole is enjoying his studies at Bible school. His wife Lena tells Ole her strong opinion about drinking wine, very opposed to Christians doing this, big sin. Jesus was against it. Ole is unsuccessful in changing her mind. Then he has a great idea from his Bible School studies,He says to Lena, “How about Jesus, changing all that water into wine.” Lena says, “Ya, that’s one thing I don’t like about Jesus.”
Accessing the Kingdom
The kingdom of God is real, I access the kingdom when I read Scripture expecting God has something utterly personal to say to me. “It is not only God’s Word for the Church, but also God’s Word for us individually. We expose ourselves to the specific word until it addresses us personally. And when we do this, we are doing no more than the simplest, untutored Christian does every day; we read God’s Word as God’s Word for us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 82. What are some the ways you are accessing the kingdom of God?
2015 New Years Blessing
My 2015 New Years Blessing to all you beloved FB peeps! “I bless you with anticipation of “earthquake” experiences of God’s love, like the earthquake in Jesus’ soul when He heard our dear Father always near say to Him, “You are my son, I love you!” I bless you with surprises in your conversation with God, serendipitous moments when God’s loving presence is near and manifest and you hear clearly and know this is God speaking to you”
I am stripping off my old self with its practices (ill fitting stuff) and putting on a new self. I am wearing love, it is my all-purpose garment. I never want to be without it. My love wardrobe includes virtues of compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength and long suffering. I am strong because I live in the kingdom and because of who I am, “the one Jesus loves!” “one in whom Christ dwells and delights!’I am practicing humility by (1) not pretending I know more than I do or mislead by exaggerating my successes or what I know to look good (2) not presuming by judging a person’s motives, I assume persons have good reasons (in their mind) for doing what they do (3) not pushing to get my way, have the last word, instead wait for Holy Spirit to speak to a person, let go of my pride when I don’t get my way.
The Person I am Becoming
This is so good that I am posting it again. “The main thing God gets out of my life is the person I am becoming. And the main thing I get out of my life is the person I am becoming.” Last May I began my 8th decade doing soul keeping. When I was five years old I remember doing “devotions” alongside a creek in Canton, South Dakota with my best friend. I told Bernie if Jesus was on the other side of the creek I would walk on the water to be with Him. I believed Jesus would help me do this