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Children of Abba

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    But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 19:14)   Children of Abba lift your eyes to Him.  He knows our hearts. He is Father. We are sons. Heirs of His grace.   He knows we work hard in trying times. He has known days of toil. Days of labour.   He knows we get burntout at times. He wept over Jerusalem and in the garden. Jesus wept.   He knows our tiny mustard seed faith faulters at times. He knows what it is to be tempted. Yet He endured.   Our childlike hands must join His as He guides us to safety.  Become childlike not childish.   Our weakness will fade like mist as His strength becomes our strength.  Become childlike not childish.   Our Abba, Our Father.  Lift your eyes to Him.   (A devotion originally written for team forum while working at Redwoods Caring Foundation with slight adjustments).           

Yellow

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 Yellow (Writing Challenge)  My favourite colour is yellow, with an autumn orange and a sky blue being close seconds. I guess the reason why yellow is a meaningful colour to me is connected to a childhood memory of going to nursery with mum holding a yellow toothbrush and yellow cup on a 'bring your favourite colour day.' I had decided and proclaimed at a young age that yellow was "my favourite."   On another level I like brightness and I like Autumn colours. Yellow, orange and blue are all colours of my favourite time of year.   Yellow is also often associated with the concept of light and light in a spiritual sense is something from within. But, even more so something that eminates and illuminates from Jesus the light of the world. May His light fill our hearts this day and always. Amen.

Lovers of the Light

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 One day, I was out with my two oldest children at a local country park. We were greeted by fallen leaves, a quiet garden, and a harvest of brambles. My little girl loves brambles, so she was delighted. As we toured the play parks and visited the play cafe, I wondered how quick life is. A thought that still lingers.  I have reflected on this point much of my life; our brevity. More so recently, with the passing of another friend from my L'arche days.  My wife and I have three kids and are starting to watch our own proverbial harvest grow. The days are long, but the years are short.  This leads to another important reflection on how important our influence on them is from an early age. I know there is a lot of judgement between different parents and professionals with different nurturing styles, but at the end of the day, God willing, the kids see the light break through the cracks in us.   I pray for my own family that they be good fruit in that greater harvest from above. That the

Live for Peace

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 Live for Jesus, Live for Peace:  Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” King James Version (KJV)   Fact for the day: Out of 193 countries that are currently UN member states, the UK has invaded or fought conflicts in the territory of 171. That’s not far off 90 per cent. Some invasions that maybe people don't know about include the UK and Soviet joint invasion of Iran in the Second World War or the war when elephants were used to invade Ethiopia. There is no such thing as a Christian nation, but if there was, the UK is certainly not one. I doubt much if any of these wars even fall into the category of the supposed Just War theory, let alone a more compassionate doctrine.   “The Church is the Church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

Suffering

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  Notes on Suffering:   I don't have all the answers. In fact, the truly faithful answer to some questions is "I just don't know," and that is the faithful answer.  I, like others, am on a journey when it comes to the theology and philosophy of suffering. In this little message are some ideas that may be of use to those exploring this topic, particularly those who follow Jesus.  It seems to me in our attempt to worship God, we sometimes think of Him as Sovereign in a twisted way, almost like a dictator with absolute power, micro managing everything and every detail of the world. But that would be a world without free will, a world we humans didn't choose (I suspect humans, angels, demons, and creatures have varied degrees of free will and arguably nature itself). This means troubles will come for not all use free will for good or in a way that doesn't have lasting negative consequences. There is a world of variables. There are good things and bad things. There

Render Unto God

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 'If we render unto God all the things that belong to God, there would be nothing left for Caesar' (Dorothy Day)  I find Dorothy Day's interpretation excellent when it comes to the possible meaning of Mark 12:17. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” His reply completely amazed them." (NLT) What if the whole point is that he (Caesar, 'the man') owns nothing? Sure, he'll have his coin for a time, but not for long. He can have his stinking taxes. Will it bring him glory? Will it lift his empire to be greater than the Kingdom of God? "No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand." (Is 40:15 NLT)

Love

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 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” (New Testament Community Bible Experience (2011) NIV p26)  In Luke it says a teacher asked how to get eternal life. The answer is put forth: Love God and Love others. Jesus says “do this and you will live”. John says elsewhere “whosoever believeth in Him shall have everlasting life.” So it seems trusting in Jesus and loving Him (and others) are joined to each other. You can’t love Him without true faith in Him and you can’t have true faith in Him without loving Him (and inevitably others and even yourself – all made in His image). Without faith you can’t see God and faith (as James says) without works is dead. If one has true faith there must be evidence. There will be fruit and that fruit is primarily love. We are not saved by works (writes Paul). It is all of Grace through faith but we are saved to do good and demonstrate our

Happiness Replay

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A positive moment in time was an autumn day when I was sweeping leaves on Kilravock Castle grounds.  These are some feelings in that moment:  Contentment. The gentle breeze touched my cold red cheeks. The leaves rustled as I walked and swept the drive way up to the Scottish Castle, my home and job of those years. A crisp beautiful sound comes from the leaves. It reminds of childhood and a simpler time. I could do this job forever. Not only because I suspected a gust of wind would mess up what I started (and frankly didn't mind), but also I found something I enjoyed. Hard work outside. It was a job of solitude suited to a contemplative introvert such as I. One of many tasks. But, a special one that made me feel useful and one with the wild wooded Highlands of autumn around me. I felt at home, though I always knew the Castle was not my home, but the home of an ancient clan. Though I simply worked there I found home, not in Castle walls, but in the beauty of nature. I found a moment o

Still Waters

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One of my favourite verses of recent years has been "Be Still and Know that I Am God." Although it doesn't specifically mention silence, I sense that it may be implied. How can we hear from God if we never close our mouths, if we never close out the noise of life, if we never even Sabbath for a few minutes?   We used to joke that lockdowns were a bit like a month of Sabbaths (more like years!). However, home life is not very silent in general, let alone when it was lockdowns. I would not change that for the world. I love my wee family, and they deserve a father or husband who gives them good attention. There is also now a demand for TV from our kids (which, as Wilkerson put, it can seem like a sewer running through your living room, I wonder what that makes smart phones for us adults!) Then my job as a support worker was hardly silent and certainly not that of calm solitude at times, equally so with my new job as an ASN Outdoor Learning Assistant. Care was an essential ro

Remember Your Enchantments

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10 of my enchantments   (things that bring me life other than family):    Gentle streams.    Mountains of wonder.    Trees.    Wild flowers.    Butterflies.    Otters.   Birds of prey.    Coral beaches.    Shells.    Sunsets and sunrises.   What are 10 of your enchantments?    (I originally wrote this list as part of The 2020 Writers Happiness Challenge Day 4)