My relationship and commitment to God isn’t based upon a particular day or time, but an awareness that God is present in every moment of my life.
The purpose of a sermon is to uplift and encourage people to live in the light. Sadly, what we hear is how bad we are and how God is going to get us, which is an oddity to the nature of God. Who wants to get up early on Sunday morning, fight with the kids to get them out of bed and deal with bad traffic to hear a message about how sinful you are and how God can’t wait to punish you. Hmm, I think I will sleep in and enjoy my coffee. I’m just not interested in that message and it doesn’t change anyone. I just spoke with some dear friends who shared with me their concern about the message their preacher gave this morning. From our conversation, I gathered it was the same old boring message of judgment and guilt. I was thankful that I was able to counter that with the true message of God…that he loves you and understands what it’s like to be human and there is nothing to fear. You are okay! God knows your heart and is with you. That’s GOOD NEWS!
“Jesus at one point claimed to be “the way, the truth, and the life”. Jesus was not making claims about one religion being better than all other religions. That completely misses the point, the depth, and the truth. Rather, he was telling those who were following him that his way is the way to the depth of reality. This kind of life Jesus was living, perfectly and completely in connection and cooperation with God, is the best possible way for a person to live. It is how things are”. –Rob Bell
You must forgive yourself of the mistakes that you have made in life. We all make mistakes. Missing the mark isn’t an elective in life, it’s a required course that everyone will take at some time. Occasionally we are harsh to those we love and we are quick to judge those that we really don’t know, but for some reason we feel justified in making those judgments and then we later find out that we were wrong. As a result of this, feelings are hurt and relationships are broken. With all this negative energy surrounding our blunders it’s easy to get down and drown in despair and despondency, which, in fact, shrinks our happiness. It’s important to recognize that we cannot undo an action that has been acted upon. There’s no editing a situation; once it’s done you can’t go back and change it, but what you can do is move forward in love and kindness, which is the only way to heal pain, both your pain and the displeasure with your arrogance and bad attitude and the ones that you hurt. Mark Twain once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Being kind to those that you’ve hurt is an antibiotic that eats away the infected emotions that you’ve caused. Don’t give up. It may seem that your kindness is an act of futility, but it isn’t. Be consistent! Be authentic! Don’t fake it! A charlatan is easily noticed. If you want to rekindle those fragmented relationships, and recapture a sense of worth, it starts with loving kindness. -obr
Are you angry? Who are you angry at and why? Did you know that anger is a signal emotion that lets us know that something or someone has upset us. It’s important for us to know that uncontrolled anger is self-destructive and toxic and it will erode our spiritual DNA. Mark Twain once said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” At times, in our mind, we feel justified in being angry at a person who has hurt us whether intentional or unintentionally. We feel as though we have gained the upper hand when we are angry…I’m going to show them that I don’t have to be their friend….I’m going to make it my life’s aim to ruin that person’s life. But truth be told we are actually hurting ourselves. This is a lesson I’ve had to learn. I desperately wanted to be angry and was for a brief time. I was lied about by those whom I considered to be very close to me; those who I served with and prayed with and prayed for. The church (which I dedicated 16 years of my life) deceived, lied and tricked me and to say that I was ANGRY was an understatement! I was demonized by the so- leaders in the church. They mocked me in front of the congregation after I left. I know this because a very good friend of mine was there when they did it. The more I thought about this the angrier I became until I realized that I must let go, but not forget, and move forward. Once I was able to do this I started finding healing. It’s a constant battle for me and I’m sure it is for you as well. When you let go of anger, you need something to reach out toward; LOVE WELCOMES YOU! Love is what heals the pain in your heart. So, as Mark Twain said, Anger is an acid that does more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Who are you angry with? Let it go and step into Love and live!! -obr
I don’t care what you believe or why you believe it, all I’m interested in is how you live. Do you live with love and compassion? Stop trying to convince people on what is right or wrong and start loving people. Love will change, not your opinion. #loveistheway
This is the day the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps. 118:24). This is a verse that we’ve known since we were kids. We believe it, but do we really understand it? This is the day the Lord has made isn’t always easy. Life is tough! Life is full of decisions, some easy, some difficult. Life is also confusing, do I want to commit or should I run. Life isn’t clear; there’s always thunderstorms overhead trying to get the best of us. Living means that we will get sick. No one is immune to this. Oncologists get cancer, dentists get tooth aches and optometrists wear glasses. Life is an anomaly; a quest to understand the complexities of life and living. Robert Frost penned these words so eloquently: “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” Life does go on, but in order to enjoy it we must approach it with the right attitude and recognize its brevity. So, what is the Psalmist teaching? I don’t think he is suggesting that every day is going to be great. I’ve never met anyone who always had a great day, have you? Life is full of problems. You face them every day and sometimes you are the problem. Problems in life aren’t an elective, they’re a required course. Moreover, if we could avoid problems we wouldn’t grow. You might be thinking I’m crazy by that last statement, but problems can aid in helping us to see the importance of living in the now. Speaking of the “NOW”, I’m confident this is the meaning of our passage. We have the tendency to live in the past, focusing on what we should have done, or how things should have been, which handcuffs us from living in the present. We also look into the future and fantasize about our dream job, house, relationship, and in doing so, we forfeit the beauty of the day and the people who are around us and the good that we could do. I want to encourage you to live today, tomorrow, next week, next month and next year. Be committed to a lifestyle and attitude change. Do it! My motto for life is to live, laugh and love TODAY! I wish I didn’t have to experience the negative side of living, but there’s no avoiding it. Rather than let life get me down, I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it.
Meditation: Find a comfortable spot, close your eyes and become aware of the moment. In your heart say, I choose to live, not just exist. I awaken myself to all that is around me. Take three deep breaths allowing your mind, body and spirit to come into alignment and relax! I recommend practicing this meditation both morning and night. May the peace and love of God be with you all!