Categories
forgiveness

The joy of forgiveness

How we talk about people who hurt us says a lot about whether or not we have a relationship with the One who made us.

I met a Christian man recently who has been divorced for four years and talks in a resentful and bitter way about his ex-wife. According with him, she had no right before God to divorce him.

It was hard to listen to him. His voice, no matter what I talked about, was full of judgment and condemnation.

What he is missing in his life is not his ex-wife, but the joy of forgiveness. This is a gift that we receive from God when we allow him to make his home in us.

He attends church every Sunday and tried to discredit my faith when I said I wasn’t religious.

Yet no regular attendance to a place or membership to a group will give any of us the divine ability to forgive everyone. It comes from God when we are humble and willing to receive it.

It is only when we forgive everyone, and genuinely love and wish them well, that we experience divine joy.

Once we have tasted it, we always come back for more.

When this joy overflows in our spirit, our voices become an encouragement for others who can’t forgive and, as a result, can’t find peace in their lives.

If you are struggling with bitterness and resentment, pray for the willingness to be filled with love and forgiveness.

And you will joyfully taste peace that exceeds all understanding.

Categories
love

A fresh start with Love

On January 5th I celebrated 7 years since my conversion. It feels like I’ve lived hundreds of years, yet I feel so rejuvenated because everyday is a fresh start when Love is our master.

I’m taking the opportunity to share a bit of my story again today. I know it encourages believers and non-believers alike.

When I was an atheist, two psychologists helped me navigate and cope with a series of life events that crushed me. But they never healed me. 

To say that I was hanging by a thread would be an understatement. And although I have a lot of appreciation for deeply humane and loving psychologists like the ones who helped me, there’s only so much they can do. 

I couldn’t imagine myself going one week without therapy. At that point I felt emotionally crippled. My life was a full-time burden.

That’s when I did the unimaginable. One night I surrendered and asked God for help. Being an atheist, I had no idea what I was doing. But I had a crushed, humble heart as I called him. And God listened.

God healed overnight what two different psychologists couldn’t heal in years.

For the first time in my life I knew that there was one who loved me just the way I always wanted to be loved. And his divine love set me free.

God’s love worked in me to forgive others who had been the root cause of a lot of emotional turmoil in my life. And he also taught me to forgive myself.

Without God’s love, I could never have healed. 

It is his divine and eternal love in me that makes it possible to forgive everyone and the world everyday, regardless of merit. And heal.

Categories
forgiveness

Mercy always triumphs over judgment

When we see others acting in ways that don’t align with our conscience in Christ, we are called to be merciful.

We were forgiven by a merciful God who carried our sins on the cross and set us free to live a spiritual life filled with his love.

The world might judge and condemn, but we live under the power of grace. We speak up for mercy, forgiveness and love for everyone being crushed by the destructive systems of this world.

We must not keep silent when others are being crushed. Indignation has its place as long as we don’t lose our minds and become hostile, giving way to expressions of evil.

When it is necessary to confront others to assert our values, we must do so with calm and loving words.

We should pray with a hopeful spirit and ask that the One who made us converts the perpetrators of hatred and the ones being affected by it into expressions of his love.

His mercy always triumphs over judgment.

And when we allow him to make his home in us, and seek him first, his mercy triumphs over our judgment.

Without him, we would be agents of destruction. With him, we are agents of his peace and cooperators for his loving word.

Categories
love

Giving the Good News with the right Spirit

The Good News bring us hope and peace. Which is why we should never use them to crush others and frame them as sinners.

We are all sinners and capable of the same things.

As we start navigating the Word, we will realize all these horrible things about ourselves and others. But we do so with the confidence and peace of mind that God forgave us through Jesus.

There are also a million other sins we won’t be aware of. Possibly things this world looks up to. And with God lifting the burden of guilt from us with his forgiveness, we will be able to, under his grace, make better choices as we move forward.

It is only when we put love (=God) first that our lives reflect His love, peace, forgiveness and hope.

And the greatest of all these is love.

We are called to love one another, not judge one another.

Categories
spirituality

Mending our brokenness

We all come to a point in our lives where our brokenness becomes unbearable. When we reach this point of no return, if we humbly ask for help, help comes in powerful ways.

Yet most of us will spend a lifetime seeking help for our brokenness in all the wrong places. Going from numerology to philosophy. From therapy to meditation. From hypnosis to healers. From atheism to agnosticism. From buddhism to spiritism. I’ve been there. I just never tried drugs.

Seekers won’t listen if you tell them that none of it is going to work. I was a seeker and seekers are blinded by their own interests. They have to go through it all and see the truth for themselves.

And the truth is that until we hit rock bottom, we are not going to have the completely broken, humbled heart to surrender and ask for help from the only One who can help us.

It is only when we get to that point that we are called to believe in Jesus. And he will mend our brokenness with his divine love.

The peace and light that come with living in a love-filled spirit allow us to clearly see our battles and the beautiful way ahead as we go through them. These battles are our temptations.

Jesus experienced all the temptations that try us on a daily basis. Everything in this world that has crossed your mind has also crossed his, struck his senses and provoked identical feelings.

His humanity is not different from ours. He lived in the same body we have, had the desires we have and felt the brokenness we feel. It is only because he knows exactly what we go through, and yet was not overpowered by it, that he can help us.

It is God who operates in us both the will and the readiness to resist our temptations. We can’t resist them out of our own efforts. His calling is for us to rely on him in our struggles. But he is the only one who does the work and all credit goes to him.

When we don’t rely on him, we give in to paranoid responses to temptations. We become disturbed by each temptation and experience shame, to which we respond with obsessive prayer, fasting and repetitive requests for forgiveness.

It took God incarnated as a human to overcome all our temptations. Jesus’ humanity is our own and, knowing that we are forgiven, we should not feel ashamed. It takes God making his home in us and operating his power in us to resist.

We all need to learn to allow Jesus to walk us by the hand. Our calling is to believe into him and seek him first in our lives, so we can enjoy his peace while he works on us.

Categories
recovery

Finding cure in divine forgiveness and Love

When I was an atheist, two psychologists helped me navigate and cope with a series of life events that crushed me. But they never healed me. I never healed until I surrendered to Love.

To say that I was hanging by a thread would be an understatement. And although I have a lot of appreciation for deeply humane and loving psychologists like the ones who helped me, there’s only so much they can do. 

I couldn’t imagine myself going one week without therapy. At that point I felt emotionally crippled. My life was a full-time burden.

That’s when I did the unimaginable. One night I surrendered and asked God for help. Being an atheist, I had no idea what I was doing. But I had a crushed, humble heart as I called him. And God listened.

God healed overnight what two different psychologists couldn’t heal in years.

For the first time in my life I knew that there was one who loved me just the way I always wanted to be loved. And his divine love set me free.

God’s love worked in me to forgive others who had been the root cause of a lot of emotional turmoil in my life. And he also taught me to forgive myself.

Without God’s love, I could never have healed. 

It is his divine and eternal love in me that makes it possible to forgive everyone and the world everyday, regardless of merit. And heal.

Categories
love spirituality

Rebuilding our love bonds with a spirit of repentance

Every relationship that we have will experience cracks in its structure at some point. But we can mend those cracks, or even rebuild a broken bond, with a spirit of repentance.

Love teaches us to repent and live life with a renewed spirit that makes possible what wasn’t possible before. We are given a chance to do what is right and move on with a hopeful spirit.

While the world puts a lot of weight on “telling the truth”, repentance is about actions, not words.

We are called to rebuild our love bonds with repentance through a change in our attitude. It is our actions that express love.

This means that if a hurtful truth from which we wholeheartedly repent is bound to break our love bond, Jesus isn’t calling us to tell it and crush someone with its unbearable weight.

We’re not called to tell a truth that crushes. Destructive truths can only destroy. Instead, we are called to live the truth of our repentance and rebuild our love bonds with love.

Categories
love recovery

Speaking up about Love to heal our fears and division

I’ve been writing about rampant judgment in our communities since we found ourselves in these circumstances we’re now. Far from being humanitarian, many of us have turned to attack one another as we react to fear of death enhanced by mass hysteria.

Some even say that anyone who does not comply with the new rules should be denied help if they become sick. And this, my friends, is how we become so blinded by our self-righteousness that we start doing what’s evil in the name of doing what’s good.

We have to be very, very careful at all times, but these times are particular treacherous. There are many trials we are facing, but the main one is our ability to love one another.

When so many people start preaching violence, neglect and exclusion as means to do what is good or build a peaceful community, the darkness of this world is in full effect.

We are not loving one another by keeping silent to avoid conflict, when our hearts feel strongly against what is being said or done. We can, and should, show our love by speaking peacefully and firmly as we assert our values founded on Love.

We are not called to be silent and live in a spiritual cave, but to use every opportunity to be agents of peace.

We don’t pick sides, but we must take a stand. Love is our stand.

We are not called to oppress, but to speak up for Love, forgiveness, compassion, peace – and this not at the expense of others.

We don’t have to speak against anything or anyone. Let’s raise our voices to speak only about the Love that can unite us and not join any other conversation that is focused on dividing us.

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.

Categories
love recovery

Jewish conversion stories

After seeing the One for Israel ads on YouTube, a friend from a group of believers shared how touching these video testimonies were and I finally watched them.

It’s so inspiring to hear the stories of people whose lives were changed literally forever the moment they asked for help and received far more than just help. They received eternal life.

I hope you will be touched and encouraged by how the One who made us transformed these lives. What a blessing it is to know him and follow his gracious way!