Thank you, John Pavlovitz, for your post for Freeing Christians From Americhristianity

1-FL000011

The Louvre in February 2003 by Laurel O’Connor Akin

This is my first time to re-blog another person’s post, but John Pavlovitz says so well what I’ve been feeling that I’m doing it today. The hate and fear-filled language coming from some politicians and some Christians during the past week is, in my opinion, contrary to the example Jesus’ life provides for his followers and also helps the terrorists achieve their goals. I took the photo above the only time I’ve visited Paris, but I would love to travel there again.

john pavlovitz

CF1_0460-X2Dear World,

I’m a Christian who feels something needs to be said about my faith tradition.

Despite the ways we who practice it might declare otherwise (especially in weeks like this), it is intended to beautiful and joy-filling and life-giving. It is made of compassion and mercy and forgiveness and sacrificial love—or at least it is supposed to be.

It is supposed to be the most brilliant of lights in the dark places we often spend our days.

It is supposed to drive us to the places of deepest despair and greatest need, and fully burdened to make our home there until the low are raised up and the hurting healed and the captives freed.

It is also supposed to make us fearless.

The most-repeated words from the mouth of God/Jesus throughout both the Old and New Testaments to the faithful, is to not fear. At the very center of our religion…

View original post 881 more words

Making Connections

Reading Big Erik’s post yesterday prompted me to share my thoughts about the need human beings have to connect with others and be understood. Often, happily, that occurs with people in our families, faith community, social circles or work environment. Right now I am in that blessed place in my own life, but it hasn’t always been that way.

In thinking back over some periods in my life, especially the long-ago miserable teenage years, I can understand how some people get caught up in self-destructive relationships and situations. For me, even more important than growing closer to others has been growing closer to God and trusting God’s unconditional love. My spiritual journey brings me nearer to both God and others as I seek glimpses of the Divine in all Creation.IMG_2453

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place!

Image

Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place!For the past 20 years or so of my life, one of the places I’ve most strongly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit is Blue Lake United Methodist Assembly, particularly in the chapel, where I captured this image. Retreats, opportunities to learn about missions, the people I’ve met and the natural beauty of the setting contributed to, and continue to be a part of, my progress on my spiritual journey.