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Even though I walk through the valley

of the shadow of death, I fear no evil,

for Thou art with me…

Because Your steadfast Love…

   …is better than life, my lips will praise You.

 

Ephphatha

Hear the Voice of God ; Speak the Language of Love

From Jesus’ Lips…

'attention' photo (c) 2005, Beth Punches - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

                     ” The Kingdom of God is Within You “

Rockin the Body

'Awesome Jesus Bus, Front Shot' photo (c) 2011, Joe Wolf - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/Some days I just wanna go ‘Partridge Family’ and get me a Jesus Bus and tear up Route 1.  I’d talk to anyone and everyone.  I’d yap up Jesus so hard that my jaw muscles would lock up in a permanent charlie horse.

Are you hearing me Brothers and Sisters !?

Despite my attempts to get my most ardent, Jesus-lovin buddies to weigh in on my pipe dream, they remain unmoved.  No biggie.  Like Noah, I’d scurry about, filling up the seats with every type of Christian.  2 by 2.  This heaven-bound heap of metal would tote every ecumenical flavor.  We’d be one big happy family going gospel for the Kingdom.

< silent pause >

You say we might dissolve into endless bickering over doctrinal differences?

You know where I am going with this.  It is about being One in Christ.  You love Him.  I love Him.  He loves Us.  That makes us brothers and sisters under One God.   So why is it so difficult for us to all get along?

There is something afoot with the fragmentation of the Divine Body.  It has the markings of Slewfoot and I don’t like it one iota.  The devil has a serious upper hand when the Christian Army is disenfranchised.  This jockeying for supremacy hails all the way back to the road at Capernaum (Luke 9:46, Mark 9:33).  Jesus attempted to quell that little brush fire with scant success.  The in-fighting continued prompting Paul to later appeal for Christian unity in his First Letter to the Corinthians.

Fast forward 2000 years and such appeals still persist.  Pope Francis apparently rang in on this topic just the other day.

…our communities continue to experience divisions, which are a scandal.  There is no other word for it: the divisions between Christians are a scandal…because they used Christ’s name to separate themselves from others within the Christian community.  But the name of Christ creates communion and unity, not division!  Baptism and the Cross are central elements in our common Christian discipleship.  Divisions, on the other hand, weaken the credibility and effectiveness of our commitment to evangelization…                                 Pope Francis – General Audience – 22 January 2014

Prayer Week for Christian Unity just flew by in a whisper.  Ashamedly, I confess having just learned of this initiative that is well over a hundred years old.  In accordance with Christ’s will “that they may all be one”, it serves as an ecumenical prayer-fest for the unity of all baptized persons.  What a beautiful way to storm heaven with a universal song.

Let’s face it, beautiful Remnant Family, we have to roll up our sleeves and get to work.  The surrounding territory is increasingly hostile.  American Christians, like many of our international comrades, may one day face overt persecution.  In a sweep of the hand, cloaked communion will become the order of the day and the colors of the Christian rainbow will commingle out of necessity.

Collectively we comprise the Body of Christ and have been given one another for this time of trials.

Just as geese trailing south overhead in the sky, the Faithful seeks a fixed form.  It seems that Jesus may be holding His Divine Breath; only to exhale once His Remnant Body is finally realized.

May this day come soon.

Until then, I remain.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

One Nation Under Selfie

selfie 1Vanity.  The blight of the beautiful and even the not-so-comely.  Some say it is the hallmark of youth and others claim women champion the cause.   Seems to me that we are in a world of increased self absorption whether it has to do with how one looks, what one eats, or whether one is breathing or not.

Please someone tell me what in tarnation is going on with this selfie movement?  Admittedly, I am old and more than a bit tarnished.  The only selfie you are ever going to see of me is right here in my recent wardrobe acquisition.

Taking pictures of yourself with your kids, family, and friends for the sake of posterity is not a moral crime.  I, for one, cherish the pictures I have of my friends and family.  Yet our country has become obsessed with pictorial diaries of every conceivable human moment, action, and whim.  Facebook pages seem to volley for who is having the most fabulous, selfie-consumed existence.  As a psychologist, I don’t believe for one cotton-pickin minute that everyone is having a glorious, toothy-smiled life.  If that is the case, explain to me the ever increasing rates of suicide, domestic abuse, self-cutting, depression, and anxiety in our nation.  Need I go on?

So what does Jesus think about all these selfies?

Oh…here is a clue:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”                                                      1 Samuel 16: 7

Evidently humanity has always been seduced by the outer shell.  It doesn’t help that the devil is all about luring us away from holy love of self and others.  He is the consummate “poser” and entices us into the same.  If we don’t actively resist the temptation, we spend our days building a shrine to self.

The art of navel gazing precludes the expression of God’s love in our lives.  Recently, in prayer, it was put on my heart that charity is the sure antidote to vanity.  What a beautiful thought.  Funny but I don’t worry about my wrinkles or dreaded muffin top when I am giving a hoagie to a hungry person.   It is true.  Charity to others propels us out of self-absorption at rocket-speed.

Enter Mother Teresa stage right.  No one disputes that this tiny woman gave herself over, hook-line-and-sinker, to loving others.  It was all she did.  So powerful was her life testimony, that she remains our cultural icon of charity.  And here is the kicker.  This tiny, living verb of service to others, privately endured the pain of a spiritual vacuum.  Posthumous letters detail this Saint’s interior disconnect from Jesus while endlessly doling out blankets, soup, and prayers.  Now that is sobering. 

If Mother Teresa was able to avoid the pitfalls of selfiedom without feeling the love of Christ, what is our excuse?  You and I are Remnant Soldiers.  There is no time to waste.  We must resist the red tide of self-absorption that is consuming our planet.  We may not be magazine-cover material in the world’s eyes but we are BEAUTIFUL to the One Who Comes.

Now get up and do something amazing for someone in need.  I dare you…you beautiful, magnificent Christian Warrior.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

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