I say I trust God, Read More
But do i.
I say I am listening,
But am i.
I say I feel God’s presence,
But do i.
I say I can smell God around,
But do i.
I say I can taste God in everything,
But do i
I say I can see God,
But can i.
There are moments that Read More
I know God is on my side.
I feel God’s presence
I hear the soft whispering in my ear
I smell those fragrances only I recognize as holy.
I see those signs that are just for me
I taste the freshness of creation in my foods
In all this I know something quite powerful
God is on my side.
I have always wondered why we spend so much time trying to understand and explain that which has already told us we cannot explain. Why is it that we are not okay with not being able to explain God. Why is it not okay to just say I do not know.
The more I try to conceptualize and theorize about this force many call God, the more I realize we will never be able to do more, in this realm, then have experiences which allow us to know we have just had an encounter with the Divine. For some it is enough that we sit in those moments where we know we have experienced the presence of the Divine.
One of the liberating lessons I have learned from my study of Toltec Wisdom is that it is what it is nothing more, nothing less. What if we sat with our experiences with the Divine in that way, not making more or less of the experience then it is. When we do are we not in some way dishonoring the authenticity and uniqueness of that experience. If we dishonor the experience, are we also dishonoring the Divine. Read More
Growing up in a Jewish household, there were a few stories my Bubby used to tell me which continue to shape me today. One story was about how when we are born God would take you to a field that was covered with bundles. The bundle signified the troubles that you picked up to bring with you to Earth. The teaching from the rabbis was that if God were to bring you back to that field at the time of your death to pick another bundle, you would pick the same one. We would not do anything differently.
Sometimes we think we have to come up with a plan for our lives. We don’t the plan is there, we just have to stop and listen. I remember about 16 years ago being in a space in my life where I felt as if my life was in a shamble. I was going through multiple losses, which included my mother’s death, the end of a 9-year relationship, and the near passing of my son. It was a challenging time and I did not understand anything that was going on. I remember telling God that I was tired of trying to figure it out, so as the song says lead me, guide me, and order my steps in your way and then the magic started happening. Read More
So often, when we think about our imagination and using it, we think about creating something like some of artwork or creative writing. We think of works of art that we see in museums, galleries, or hear at poetry readings, writing exchanges, or even at comedy nights at local clubs. We tend to think of things that occur with some sort of external presence we have experienced or witnessed. However, as I have been thinking about imagination one last time this month, I began to think about how we can use our imagination as a way of experiencing compassion for others in all aspects of our life or even gaining a deeper understanding of any sacred texts, which are a part of one’s faith tradition.
What if we imagined the Divine in everyone and every situation that we met? Read More
I have been struggling this month to find the words to write about hope. Each week I would hope for the words or inspiration about hope to come, but then I would fail and I had to be okay with that. It was when I found this video about the tightrope walker that I began to understand that this past month for me has been like the process of being a tightrope walker. Every time I sit down to blog, it is about climbing up to the tightrope. The climb up can seem secure, at least in contrast to being on the tightrope, but even in the climb, one can fall. Acknowledging that one can fall and climbing anyway is part of the practice of hope. You acknowledge what can happen and you move forward in faith on the hope that it won’t. Read More
Someone asked me what I do when I feel like giving up. I do a few things. I pray, I light candles to remind me to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel and I listen to some rock music. Rock music, in its own way always inspires me and reminds me the best is yet to come. Amongst my favorites are Jonny Nash’s song “I Can See Clearly Nos, Sly and the Family Stone’s “You Can Make It If You Try, Bob Dylan’s, “I Shall Be Released”, and Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” They all have a common theme. No matter what is going on in my life, the best is yet to come. As the song says all of the bad feelings will wash away and I will see clearly now because the rain has come. Read More
For those of you who have never joined us on Sunday mornings for Love & Inspiration on Zoom, we invite you to consider joining us. I know some of you go to places of worship, but for those of you who do not, call in. Why? Because during these calls, we have deep and profound conversations and we would love to share them with you. This month, we have been talking about faith. Yesterday’s conversation kept coming back to what faith is. Is it a possession, as in something we have and possess? Or is faith a relationship with our Higher Power, however, we define that. It is this conversation that inspired me to make it the Sharing Time question for the week and the focus of my blog.
So often we hear people talk about how much faith they have as if faith is a possession, something one owns. So if faith is a possession, what is it you really possess? Read More
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin captures an important aspect of faith in these lines from a prayer.
Breathing in: Trust in . . .
Breathing out: the slow work of God.
How many of us remember to trust in the slow work of God? Last year, one of my students said to me, “It sure would be nice if God could answer your prayers in the same amount of time it takes to get a Happy Meal.” I had to stop and remind him that Happy Meals do not always make you happy, at least not in the long run, and that they are not always healthy. However his question got at an important point. How often do we expect God to hear and answer our prayers instantaneously? Do we only trust in God when they are answered quickly or do we trust in the slow work of God? Read More
Recently I was asked if God still speaks to people. My response was yes and I shared a story about how God had spoken to me. The person said, but that is just you. Can you shareanother story with me? In my gathering of stories on faith for this person, I was led to this one, which really spoke to me about faith, so I thought I would share it with you this week.
A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had spoken about "listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice."
The young man couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?" After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray,"God, if you still speak to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey." Read More
I recently came across an article by Mark Batterson, author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, and Wild Goose Chase. I found this while doing some research on the five senses and faith. So I thought I would share this with you this week.
One Quadrillion Synapses
I came across an interesting factoid today as I was researching for my next book.
The human body has approximately 100,000,000 (one hundred million) sensory receptors that enable us to see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. And that is a testament to our Divine Designer. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. By the way, when was the last time you thanked God for each of your senses? We have seven million cones that enable us to perceive about ten million different colors. Doesn’t it seem like we owe God seven million thank yous? Read More
I was so moved when I watched this video on faith. In the cover article for our monthly newsletter, I had written about how faith is a multisensory experience. I had talked about how the Universe provides us with answers to our prayers in a wide diversity of ways. In the story told in this video, this man’s prayers were answered via a license plate. Something had to draw his eyes to that license plate. Normally, when we are driving, at least from my memory of having driven, we are not paying attention to the license plates of cars on the other side of the highway or road. Even if he had pulled over to the side of the road, as in the video, the chances of him having seen that particular license plate without something directing his vision seem minimal. Read More
After having spent a month reading about, reflecting on, and thinking about faith, I realized how natural it was to transition to trust. Trust is the belief in that in which we have faith. It is the ability to believe in what we know in the core of our beings to be true. We have faith in that which we trust. Simultaneously, we trust that which we have faith in, that which we know to be true at the core of our being.
Some people struggle to trust things that raise their consciousness and/or vibrational level. We sometimes wonder what we are sensing is really happening, or are we simply making this up because it feels good. So how do we trust that which can help us to grow and evolve in our connection to the Ultimate. Read More
Faith, for some, is about the relationship they have with their Higher Power. Faith is about one’s level of awareness and attunement to the presence of the Higher Power in our everyday lives. So deepening one’s faith is like developing any relationship. That deep knowledge of what the Divine can do in and through our lives develops over time. It is about our constant interaction with our spiritual partner. Through our interactions we
Practicing faith, then, is like developing any relationship. You have to give it time and attention. We have opportunities to interact with the Divine in every aspect of our lives and with all of our senses. Read More
Recently, I shared with someone that every step I take is in faith. They did not fully understand what I meant. Sometimes we hear people talk about walking in faith. For me, it is not just a spiritual faith walk, but also a physical faith walk. On October 15 2007, as I was opening my office door at the church I was pastoring at, I felt a pain shoot down my right leg, followed almost immediately by numbness and a sense of shock. I also found myself going why now God as within minutes, a special guest and his entourage arrived and I was bracing myself to figure out what was going on, how I was going to lead worship, and how I was going to manage to look like a calm, cool, collected leader in the midst of this storm that was suddenly and unexpectedly raging in my life. The words which kept floating through my spirit were peace, be still. Peace, be still. Through the grace of God and the support of my wife and good friends, my car and I got home safely. Read More
When I was pastoring, the song we processed into every Sunday was “Walk in the Light.” We never sang the whole song, nor do I think anybody knew the whole song, but they liked the rhythm and the notion of walking in the light. For a number of reasons, I have been thinking about this song quite a bit lately. It dawned on me the other day that walking in the light is fairly easy. When the lights are on, we can see details about our surroundings and others that we cannot see when the light is off. When we are walking in the light, we can see the path before us. We can see obstacles in our way. We can see the wide diversity of colors that surround us. We can see things and then associate the scents we are experiencing with them. We can see the signals that the weather is changing in the sky. We can see the clouds forming shapes. We can see flowers blooming, plants breaking through the soil, animals of all kinds feeding themselves and looking for food. We can see the plants and trees responding to the changes in the atmosphere. There is so much we can see when we walk in the light. Read More