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faith

We become stronger when we stop defending ourselves

I grew up being told to defend myself. You probably did too.

And I have to admit it: my instincts used to tell me the exact same. Sometimes they still do. But I know now that the best defence that I can ever get is not my own, or anyone else’s.

It is the wise, timeless and powerful defence from the One who is the master of everything we see (and cannot see).

Relying on God to do the weight lifting takes confidence in his love, trust in his ways and faith in his power to transform us.

We become stronger when we stop defending ourselves and let God defend us instead. While we might fail, he always succeeds and does exactly what needs to be done to deliver us from our oppressors and bring peace to our lives.

Relying on God to defend us is a daily exercise.

But his strength becomes our strength when we let him take over from us. All we have to do is step back and watch his love at play making the impossible possible in every aspect of our lives.

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faith

Wisdom comes from Love

Mystic practices keep us from enjoying God’s almighty power. We are called to walk by faith – forgiven, eternally loved and enjoying peace that exceeds all understanding.

It was only several months after my conversion that I realized how people who sought mysticism had a gloom to them, just like I had as an atheist. They couldn’t see it, but I could.

And I did not want that “life” anymore.

I wanted the glowing love and peace that I saw in people who relied exclusively on God and had a personal relationship with him. I knew that was only possible when we became completely free from a religion, denomination or practice.

Mystic practices and rituals like astrology, hypnosis, meditation and healers are for those who don’t walk by faith. For those who haven’t experienced the almighty power of God’s love yet.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone.

Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

James

As a catholic, I was open to mystic practices that never brought good to my life. I was even more open to them when I became an atheist, after realizing the God of religion did not exist.

Even after my conversion, I was still open to mysticism. The vast majority of us who call ourselves believers continue to be misguided about God’s calling and pursue rituals. But there is always time to turn completely to his loving wisdom.

There’s no greater power than the eternal love from the One who created everything, including you and I.

Thanks to Jesus’ teachings, we understand that all we have to do is believe onto him and love one another. Then God will make his home in us and lead us with his powerful loving grace.

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faith

Giving our worries to the One who can pacify our hearts

Our worries can sometimes paralyze us and rob us of the peace it takes to make good decisions. But we are not alone. And the One who made us wants us to give our worries to him.

When we seek him first, be it by reading his word, praying or by loving one another, we enjoy his peace.

And he lifts the weight from our shoulders.

I love reading his word while savouring my breakfast, to start my day with what’s most important in my life. And it is his message of love that nurtures and prepares me for sleep.

He teaches me to acknowledge my struggles, but let troubling thoughts go by like clouds in the sky.

When we engage with our worries, we invite them to stay.

Sometimes I stubbornly insist on being in control. That’s when I know it’s time to pray and cry to him about my struggles, instead of trying to figure them out by myself.

He always nurtures my spirit with his love, giving me the ability to forgive and go through the day with a grateful spirit.

When I humbly seek his wisdom, I know that I live better.

Trusting that he’s taking care of me makes me overflow with love in the spirit and all my worries are swallowed by his peace.

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Church of U2 faith

Our offerings of gratitude

Everything we “have” was given, so we don’t actually have anything in the sense that it’s “ours”, because it’s all gifts.

Living with this spiritual understanding humbles us.

Like in the worship song Gloria, by U2, we acknowledge that we don’t have anything. But if we did, we’d want to give it to God as an offering of gratitude for the eternity of love he gave us!

Oh, Lord

If I had anything

Anything at all

I’d give it to you

U2

When God calls us, we become expressions of his love by worshiping him with the talents he’s gifted us.

My offerings of gratitude to God are my writing and counselling/coaching with his Love as my “methodology.”

What about you, what are yours?

Categories
faith spirituality

When being wronged is good

We will be wronged a lot in the course of our lives.

Each of us has the freedom to either be wronged and not take action against our oppressor or pursue the justice of this world.

Yet it is when we have the willingness to be wronged and to suffer loss that we are given the opportunity to keep Christ’s virtue at a cost that this world is not willing to pay.

The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?

Paul

I know wonderful people who have suffered severe wrongdoings.

Thanks to their surrender and faith in the wise ways of God, they make a decision everyday not to pursue worldly justice. Their peace and joy overflow and inspire.

This way of life, which mirrors Jesus’ spirituality, resonates with few of us. Yet this is the life that rewards us with peace that exceeds all understanding. This is the divine life worth living.

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faith spirituality

The righteous will live by faith

I always hesitate to call myself a Christian. The first followers of Jesus were coming from religious backgrounds and pagan practices. They were later referred to as “the way”, but Jesus himself didn’t give any names to anything. So why should we?

Being a follower of Jesus is about being freed by God’s love, a love that we are blessed with through God’s grace. Paul himself a religious man converted to believer describes the fruit of this spirit perfectly:

love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Galatians 5:22-23

When Jesus came, there was already an ongoing situation with religion and religious people that was not surprising back then – and it isn’t surprising now.

If we come off as stiff, judgmental, hypocritical and legalist, that might still make us Christians, but certainly doesn’t make us Jesus followers. Christian world leaders using their religion to justify violence and discrimination is just one of many red flags rightfully attached to Christianity. 

Our attitude toward others ultimately depends on how much of a ‘fight’ we put up with the worst in ourselves. In other words, the evil that inhabits us is always there, but if we choose to live under God’s grace and not under the law or religion, we will make it – because the righteous will live by faith.

Categories
faith love

Happy Independence Day!

What a joy to celebrate the Independence of America, this beautiful, defiant country that inspires so many other nations and peoples with its pursuit of a better world.

May the Lord continue to bless America and Americans with faith in his will for them and with a loving heart. As U2 rightfully puts it: It’s not a place, it’s a thought that offers grace.

Happy 4th of July!

Categories
faith love

Why gender is irrelevant to God

I know it is important that we feel comfortable in our own skin. But only love provides that comfort. When we are filled with love, we transcend the body and live peacefully in the spirit.

We, believers, know that this world is full of struggles, so we don’t wrestle with it. Being accepted, liked or even respected aren’t our battles. Our only battle is with evil trying to keep us enslaved to the deadly systems of this world.

We know that the one who has loved us from the beginning was neither accepted, liked or respected in this world. So why would we?

God invites us to live in spirit and truth. He doesn’t care whether our bodies or genetics spell male, female or anything else in between this world fights for.

We can start living an eternal life – in the spirit – while still in this temporary body. But instead a lot of us are attached to the body.

And make no mistake, friend: this attachment is not just random. This focus on the body takes away the focus from the spirit and is just another way evil finds to keep us trapped in its many cycles of self-destruction.

The good news is that instead of wrestling with our bodies, we can choose to thrive in the peace that only the reality of God’s love gives us.

All we have to do is accept his love.

When we are filled with his love, we are able to love ourselves for who we are as a path towards who we were always meant to be.

Our imperfect bodies might not be able to reflect our spiritual perfection, but we can live a fulfilling life regardless. We just need to choose love as our master instead of idolizing gender.

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faith love

Take what was once used for evil and use it for doing good

There’s nothing more powerful than the idea that even what was once used for evil can become a way for us to do good. We just don’t always realize how this power operates in us, transforming us into who we were always meant to be.

How do we know that everything that we don’t like about us and think shouldn’t be there isn’t exactly how things have to be? It might just be that what we use it for now is simply not what it was meant to be.

One of the most impressive displays of God’s power in my life is my writing. I used to write novels when I was an atheist. They were dark, bitter, arrogant and a perfect reflection of who I was and my lack of spiritual foundation.

Then after my conversion, I completely stopped writing. I just couldn’t write about those things anymore. Darkness lost its grip on me.

It took me years to realize that the gift I have for writing was always meant to be used as an expression of God’s love. I absolutely thrive at seeking the most loving and inspiring ways of wording a message.

When we accept God’s love in our lives, he brings back to surface the person buried underneath all the darkness of this world. He frees us so we can finally become ourselves as perfect expressions of his divinity.

All we have to do is want it. He does all the heavy lifting for us.

Categories
faith love

A life too good for worldly words

I always hesitate to call myself a Christian. The first followers of Jesus, who is God incarnated, were coming from religious backgrounds and pagan practices. They were later referred to as “the way”, but Jesus himself didn’t give any names to anything. So why should we?

Being a follower of Jesus is about being freed by God’s love, a love that we are blessed with through God’s grace. Paul himself a religious man converted to believer describes the fruit of this spirit perfectly in Galatians 5:22-23:

When Jesus came, there was already an ongoing situation with religion and religious people that was not surprising back then – and it isn’t surprising now.

If we come off as stiff, judgmental, hypocritical and legalist, that might still make us Christians, but certainly doesn’t make us Jesus followers. Christian world leaders using their religion to justify violence and discrimination is just one of many red flags rightfully attached to Christianity.

Our attitude toward others ultimately depends on how much of a ‘fight’ we put up with the worst in ourselves. In other words, the evil that inhabits us is always there, but if we choose to live under God’s grace and not under the law or religion, we will make it – because the righteous will live by faith.