You Are Worthy of Love.

March 19th, 2018

You are a person worthy of love. You don’t have to do anything to prove that. You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest, write a catchy tune that goes viral on YouTube, or be the CEO of a tech start-up who cooks every meal from scratch using ingredients plucked from your organic garden. If you’ve never received an award and there are no plaques proclaiming your exceptional gifts hanging on your walls, you still deserve all the love in the world. You do not have to earn love. You simply have to exist. When we see ourselves and see life more clearly, we come to rely on that. We remember that we do deserve the blessing of love.

— Sharon Salzberg, Real Love, p. 9-10.

[Photo: Portland, Oregon, August 9, 2014.]

Do not be Anxious about Anything.

March 18th, 2018

Verse for the day:

[Photo: Skerries harbor, Ireland, July 2001]

Desires vs. Entitlements

March 18th, 2018

Desires feature more positive motivation than entitlements. If what you desire is based on your deeper values, the act of desiring makes you a better person. For example, the desire to love makes you more lovable, that is, more loving and compassionate.

Desire is appreciative, not entitled: if I desire something I am more likely to appreciate it than if I feel entitled to it. I’ll appreciate a bonus for my good work, but I’ll demand my contracted salary. I’ll appreciate gifts, unless I feel entitled to them. I’ll appreciate my partner’s help, praise, reward, affection, and support, which I very much want, as long as I don’t feel entitled to them because I “need” them.

— Steven Stosny, PhD, Empowered Love, p. 29-30

[Photo: Glenveagh, Ireland, July 2001.]


March 17th, 2018

I’m having so much fun making memes, here’s a verse for the day:

[Photo: Burnside Farms, Virginia, 2016]

Jump in Together

March 17th, 2018

People are less like stationary stones than like rivers, always flowing, changing from moment to moment. The best way to see people is to jump into the river with them and form relationships. Then, at least, we are moving together. This is what relationships are: people in motion together. Only as we move together does it become possible to find stillness.

— Mike Mason, Practicing the Presence of People, p. 28

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, 1997]

A Meme! – God Is Not Mad at You!

March 17th, 2018

It dawned on me: I collect quotes *and* I love taking pictures. I’m going to start trying to make memes. Click on the picture for the full quotation and source.

[Photo: Sunrise, March 17, 2018, South Riding, Virginia]

God Is Not Mad at You.

March 16th, 2018

What I want you to know is that God’s attitude, God’s spirit, toward you is one of unwavering fatherly-motherly love. You have nothing to fear from God. God is not mad at you. God has never been mad at you. God is never going to be mad at you. And what about the fear of God? The fear of God is the wisdom of not acting against love. We fear God in the same way that as a child I feared my father. I had the good fortune to have a wise and loving father, and I had deep respect, reverence, admiration, and, perhaps, a kind of fear for my father, but I never for one moment thought that my dad hated me or would harm me. God does not hate you, and God will never harm you. But your own sin, if you do not turn away from it, will bring you great harm. The wisdom that acknowledges this fact is what we call the fear of God. Sin is deadly, but God is love.

I know some will be quick to remind me that the writer of Hebrews tells us, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” And no doubt it is. In the hands of God, there is no place to hide. We have to be honest with ourselves about ourselves. In the hands of God, we can no longer live in the disguise of our lies. In the hands of God, we have to face ourselves. And that can be terrifying. When the prodigal son returned home and fell into the arms of his father, I’m sure the boy felt afraid. We can tell by how he immediately speaks of his unworthiness: “I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” This wayward son has fallen into the hands of his father; his fate is in his father’s hands . . . and he is afraid. But there is no better place to be! This gracious father in Jesus’s parable is given to us as a picture of our heavenly Father! When the prodigal son fell fearfully into the hands of his father, forgiveness, healing, and restoration began. Just because the prodigal son felt fear as he fell into his father’s hands doesn’t mean he had anything to fear from his father. In his father’s hands was the only safe place to be. It was in the far country that the prodigal son was in danger, not in his father’s hands. When we fall into the hands of the living God, we are sinners in the hands of a loving God.

— Brian Zahnd, Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God, p. 19-20

Love by Consent

March 13th, 2018

The Cross reveals and defines God’s kingdom reign — and God’s very nature — as kenotic love. He rules and reigns through our consent, our yieldedness, our surrender — through our willingness to mediate his self-giving love into the world.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 134

Calvinism, Arminianism, and Universalism

March 12th, 2018

I simply want to point out that there is no reason why Christian universalism should be treated any differently within the Christian community than Calvinism or Arminianism. At least on the surface, there are biblical passages that seem to support all three theological viewpoints about the fate of non-Christians. This is not to say that all interpretations are equal, but it is to say that universalism is in very much the same boat as the other two options: all three positions have some passages that seem to support them, and they all must find ways to interpret difficult passages that seem to support other views….

Christian universalism simply affirms with Calvinists that God can and will do whatever God desires to do, and with the Arminians that God desires to save all people. Put those premises together, and you get the conclusion that God will save all people.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 15

Let Joy Take Over

March 11th, 2018

Paul wrote, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). So with joy. You cannot control joy, but you can give joy permission to control you. Let joy take over your life and it will.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 56.