The spiritual life is an answer to being ‘left behind’

What’s on my mind devotionally this week is a verse of scripture that is in the gospel. Jesus said: “Better to enter into life maimed than to have you whole body thrown into hell.”

The spiritual life Jesus offers is also an antidote to feeling left behind in life. Continue reading

Creation chorus: begin again

The creation

 

Six days unveiled the fresh green earth, the deep blue sea;

A display to behold of cosmic beauty.

Land and ocean rising in symphony.

 

At the end of each day, God’s greatness turned a page

And the earth resounded in God’s good grace.

 

God’s own, Adam and Eve, agreed; and

With a heart full of God’s undying love,

They celebrated the wonders they see.

 

 

A temptation and fall

 

In a garden of paradise, came a temptation.

From a certain one who

Fell to earth just in time for Creation.

 

Thrown out of heaven for wanting

To make the world in his image

And not God’s own, The Devil, once an angel,

Found a way to get into creation, and worm

His way into the heart of the man and woman of God

 

So seduced they were,

The temptation ended in a fall that poured out to everyone else,

May God grant the grace to everlasting life.

 

Take away the path to pain and

Prepare the way to life, again.

 

 

Justice

 

Jealousy ran deep and

Cain killed Abel

 

Blood ran from Abel’s body.

 

An innocent man’s blood cried out

As God said, Run, Cain, run,

You tiller of soil

The fertile ground has turned to red, cold blood.

You destroyed.

 

I seek an answer,

His blood calls out for justice,

A punishment so grave,

For this terrible thing you’ve done.

 

But may you confess and find in your heart the way out,

 

May you settle you in a town and

Become alive again

 

My son, my son,

Begin again

 

By Peter Veugelaers.

A vow of poverty to write

Do you give enough? I feel I don’t whenever I read the passage in the gospel of Matthew about the rich young man as if I am rich, which I am not.

Saint Francis of Assisi took the passage literally and lived a life of poverty. Isn’t the writer’s life the same? A vow of poverty to write. Not that I am in that boat at all… Continue reading

Choosing the better ones

Over a week, I wrote five devotions, which gave me a choice of which ones to submit to the editor. The first two I wrote were the right ones this time. I learnt once again , if that makes sense, that If I only have two devotions to choose from (two was the number I was assigned) I would question if those two were good enough to submit and could I have written another one better. So, having a few up my sleeve takes the pressure off. I can choose from four or five to get the sense of the best and work on the others later.

Submitting agony

There comes a time when I must decide on what devotions I am going to submit. The pain of it all. Agonizing. But somehow exciting. I honestly struggled and labored with the idea of what ones to send. It was a to-and-fro, back-and-forth decision, until I revised and revised again. In the end, I had five devotions to choose from, but picked a certain three because they fitted better. But with more revision of the other two, they are looking good for another assignment somewhere down the track.

Thank God for Jesus’ disciples

The servant does not deserve thanks for obeying orders, does he? "It is the same with you [Jesus' disciples]: when you have done all you have been told to do, say, 'We are ordinary servants; we have only done our duty'."(Luke 17:7-10, Good News Bible). Thank God for Jesus' disciples who brought us the true gospel. They did what they told to. They done their duty. Without their efforts there would not be the true gospel. So, with the gospel record, we can back and see what it truly is, because they delivered it to us. 

Grist to the mill

I have seven devotional ideas to write into devotions, with probably more inspired by my readings each day. I don’t like to have devotional ideas on the back burner, because I like to have nothing devotional pending on any given day. Ideally, I like to write a devotion a day based on being inspired by my Bible reading that day! But I have seven devotions pending…Is there such a thing as being over-inspired? It’s nice to start on a blank page. With nothing to call a “workload” or “catch up”. But I’m not complaining about that. Grist to the mill!

These two verses make better sense with an explanation

I find it interesting that a verse on giving is juxtaposed with a verse on not judging others. I don’t know why this would be, but a Bible scholar may have more insight into why this is the way it is, as the two verses seem contradictory. Why these seemingly two unrelated verses together? There must be an explanation, so I put both verses together in context, to arrive at a meaning, which may or may not be the original meaning, but sounds nice all the same. And it makes sense to me, despite the two verses being out of joint on the surface of things.

Here are the two verses, from the gospel of Luke, chapter six, v. 37-38.

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

Does it all make sense to you, in context? My guess is that it may mean this: Instead of judging others, give to others. Do quality giving, not quantity judgment. Give to those you’ve judged in some way.

Good proverbs for living

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
when it is in your power to act.
28
Do not say to your neighbor,
“Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”—
when you already have it with you.
29
Do not plot harm against your neighbor,
who lives trustfully near you.
30
Do not accuse anyone for no reason—
when they have done you no harm.
31
Do not envy the violent
or choose any of their ways.
32
For the Lord detests the perverse
but takes the upright into his confidence.
33
The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
34
He mocks proud mockers
but shows favor to the humble and oppressed.
35
The wise inherit honor,
but fools get only shame

(Proverbs 3:27-35, New International Version)

Binning one’s work may be premature

Once this week I thought: I’m still ruthlessly deciding on what devotional ideas to use or not to use. If any are worth writing up formally, so I can relax by writing less.

But the material’s mostly gone –been rubbished, binned and formally incinerated. Remnants, though, survive. Even those I thought I could recycle in another form are mostly gone. But as I say, some survived the burning process. And one has an eye on better devotions for the future.