Category Archives: Uncategorized

Images of God

What’s more important, the way I see God or the way He sees me? 

For several weeks, I’ve had this thought running through my mind, “Images of God”. I’ve even done an internet search for “images of God.” GOOGLE had 212,000 images. 

Angry God. Laughing God. A punishing God.  Far away God. Vengeful God. A Loving God. Non-existent God. A God “who keeps attendance/score”. A “vice principal” God. Allah. Buddha. A socially-conscience God. A political God. 

I was born knowing God loved me. Thx, Mom! ThkQ, Dad! But I thought He kept score. I thought He loved me more when I behaved myself. AND – was ready to punish me when I didn’t. 

About 9 years ago, I prayed: “God, teach me to trust you more.” That began an almost decade-long journey that has changed how I view God. It began with a change in my understanding of how God sees me. He taught (is teaching) me – He Loves Me!! He’s my “ABBA – Daddy,” NOT my Judge! 

More to come…

I WALK DOWN THE STREET

I remember the place, I could show you the seat in which I sat. I remember the man who quoted it. I remember the recognition of how it perfectly describes my journey. It’s helped me to remember – Take a Different Path!

THERE’S A HOLE IN MY SIDEWALK

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in
I am lost… I am helpless
It isn’t my fault
It takes forever to get out

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don’t see it
I fall in again
I can’t believe I am in this same place
But it isn’t my fault
It still takes a long time to get out

I walk down the street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I see it is there
I still fall in… It’s a habit…
But my eyes are open. I know where I am
It is my fault
I get out immediately

I walk down the same street
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it

I walk down another street

By Portia Nelson
1920 – 2001

AA Promises

Are these extravagant promises?

I remember the day. Sitting in an AA chair, listening  as this passage was read from The Big Book.(pg 84) I’d heard it dozens, perhaps a couple of hundred times or more, but this time was different. 

THIS TIME it hit HOME!!

Always before, I had seen the 12 promises of AA as just that – 

              PROMISES! – for the far distant future. 

 “If I work hard enough, long enough, these too may someday begin to become mine.”  But I doubt it!!

Then one day, without even knowing how it happened, the reading of the PROMISES changed for me. I realized they were becoming mine!! They describe a new reality for which I have long sought. 

I realized how much it accurately reflected the changes that had – and are continuing to take place in my life.

1.     If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. 

2.     We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. 

3.     We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. 

4.     We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. 

5.      No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

6.     That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. 

7.      We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. 

8.      Self-seeking will slip away.

9.      Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.  

10.     Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

11.      We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.  

12.     We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

   Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

I’m reminded of what “Nice Guy Bob” told me after my first meeting more than 4 years ago: 

           “It keeps getting better!”

I had no idea how right he would prove to be. 

GRACE    #48,49,50

From “50 Shades of GRACE     …opening tomorrow in a BLOG near U!

•  GRACE is, at times a set of guardrails. At other times it’s a roadblock. It is at times the red light in your rearview mirror. It is at times an arresting officer. MOST of all, though, it is The Gift from the hands of a Loving Father

•  GRACE can be gentle. GRACE can be tough. GRACE can be a nudge. GRACE can be a 2×4. 

(50)•  GRACE and Ur EGO will never be friends. They are, in fact, incompatible.  That may seem strange, because they’re roommates. They both live in U! (‘nMe)

To The Cross

The ONLY (best) place to carry the burden of another is to the cross

 This picture was taken at the New Life Church Kids Kamp last summer as the boys and girls were leaving the afternoon service. 

… 5 hrs after posting – I just added the word (best). The worst place to put another’s burden is on Ur back. BTW – That’s the voice of experience. Been there. Done that.


WHY SO MUCH PAIN?

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1791. Among other things, it restricts the severity of punishments that state and federal governments may impose upon persons who have been convicted of a criminal offense. 

Part of the reasoning behind the 8th amendment is the idea of proportionality. This says that the punishment must fit the crime. Proportionality also puts forth the idea that the value of something is based upon the price paid for said object. 

Some states have decided that the death penalty itself is a cruel and unusual penalty no matter how heinous the crime that calls for it. Many states and countries have done away with it completely. When it is used, the goal is to bring death in the least painful, most humane way possible.

As Easter approaches we often see the image of Jesus hanging on the cross. But in today’s world, most have little idea of the cruelty involved in the imposition of that type of death. 

My thought this morning is that Jesus not only chose to die in my place. (and yours) He also chose to come at a time when the death penalty was purposely cruel. 

At the time of Christ’s crucifixion, the Romans had perfected the “art” of death. It was a crucial part of the culture of the day. The colosseum was erected to be an arena for bloody battles to the death. The last man standing was hailed a hero, only to face another battle “next week.” 

The Roman guards were masters at extending the most excruciating death possible.

The primary goal of the crucifixion was not to just cause death, but to inflict as much pain and suffering as possible – for as long as possible.  

In the darkest moments of my life, I  have never considered suicide. But I have a compassion and an understanding of why a person would make that choice. I also know that if I did take that option, I would choose the easiest, most pain free way possible. 

When God sent His Son to die in my place, and Jesus chose to carry out that plan, why did He do it THEN, in THAT way? Why not NOW, when it would be far easier, much less painful? 

At this point, I don’t have all the answer, but I also have learned this; as I delve into tough Qs like this, I always come to a greater understanding of how God Loves us. So, it begs the Q! Why did God send His Son to suffer so greatly?

What part does the suffering of Jesus have to do with my life today? If all Jesus had to do was die, wasn’t there a softer, more gentle way for that to happen? Perhaps, even, in His sleep? Of old age? Think of all He could have accomplished, the miracles He could have performed if He’d lived to the ripe old age of 90! Like my Daddy!!

Why the intense suffering? Why the hours of excruciating pain and humiliation? Why then, at that particular point in history? Why in that way?

Perhaps it has something to do with the way God views sin. If the penalty for sin was small, then it would not have taken God to pay it. It would not have taken His Son. The enormity of the price paid is indicative of the enormity of the sin. 

Most individuals classify sin. The Catholic Church names 7 “Mortal” sins. We think a little white lie told to protect is not as consequential as the lie to cover adultery. So we excuse our sin by comparing it to the worse among us.

It’s a lie from the pit of hell to think: “I only commit small sins, so I don’t need as much GRACE as….” It’s also a lie from the pit – to think: “My sin is so much worse than…. There is no hope of GRACE for me.” 

If it was Love for me (and U) that kept the Son of God on the cross suffering to the point of such an excruciatingly painful death, that tells me HIS LOVE is far beyond anything I will EVER understand. 

The beauty of it is that I don’t have to understand it. All I have to do is accept it. The price has already been paid. In Blood. HIS!