Reblog: Honey and Wax

sandyfaithking:

I used to hate housework. I used to hate being a housewife. I had chosen neither motherhood nor housewifery (hadn’t chosen years of abuse, either). My culture views women who don’t work outside the home as somehow ‘less than’.
God showed me that what glorifies Him is not the same as what the world sees. Honey is sweet. Wax is useful. What can be better than being useful in the place where God has put you? :-)

Originally posted on Contemplative in the Mud:

Bee in Bangkok

Like a honey bee, while you are carefully making the honey of devotion, at the same time make the wax of your household affairs; for if honey is sweet to the taste of our Lord so are butter and honey while on earth, and wax also honours Him since it is used to make the candles which give light to those around us.
Saint Francis de Sales

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Enough

It snowed this morning, soft and silent. Made this urban landscape tranquil and beautiful. I was reminded of how God provided for the Israelites after they escaped Egypt.

The Lord said to Moses, “Now I am going to cause food to rain down from the sky for all of you. The people must go out every day and gather enough for that day…

…The Lord said to Moses, “…in the morning they will have all the bread they want. Then they will know that I, the Lord, am their God.”

In the… morning there was dew all around the camp. When the dew evaporated, there was something thin and flaky on the surface of the desert. It was as delicate as frost. When the Israelites saw it, they didn’t know what it was and asked each other, “What is it?”

Moses said to them, “This is the food that the Lord has given you to eat. The Lord has commanded that each of you is to gather as much of it as he needs…”

The Israelites did this, some gathering more, others less. When they measured it, those who gathered much did not have too much, and those who gathered less did not have too little. Each had gathered just what he needed.

extract from Exodus 16:4-18 (GNT)

CAM00666

Snow in the garden of our lovely house.

Watching the snow, I was reminded of how God IS, in the good times and in the bad times, how He made Himself a man; a man who walked and talked and ate and slept and did everything like an ordinary man – and yet:

“I am telling you the truth,” Jesus replied.

“Before Abraham was born, ‘I Am’.”

John 8:58

God loved us so much that He became one of us. I find myself continually asking ‘why?’

After the ‘why’, just ‘thank you’.

After the ‘thank you’, ‘what must I do?’

‘I ask you, God… let me be neither rich nor poor… give me only as much food as I need. If I have more, I might say that I do not need you.’

from Proverbs 30:7-9

EMDR 6: God Reveals Himself Piece by Piece

This Beloved of ours

is merciful and good…

This voice of his

is so sweet

that the poor soul falls apart

in the face of her own inability

to instantly do whatever he asks of her…

hearing him hurts

much more than not being able to hear him…

his voice reaches us

through words

spoken by good people,

through listening

to spiritual talks

and reading

sacred literature.

God calls to us

in countless little ways

all the time.

Through illnesses

and suffering

and through sorrow

he calls to us.

Through a truth

glimpsed fleetingly

in a state of prayer

he calls to us.

No matter how half-hearted

such insights may be,

God rejoices

whenever we learn

what he is trying to teach us.”

~ St. Teresa of Àvila, Interior Castle

Sweet Jesus,

May I never seek to be more.

May I never believe I am less.

May it all be for your glory.

Amen

Lessons from my Daughter

My daughter picked a DVD off the shelf. It had a 12 rating.

“Darling,” I said, “I know you’re nearly 12, but I don’t want you seeing things that aren’t suitable. Just because it says ’12’ doesn’t mean it’s good for you to watch it.”

12

“Mum,” Fluff replied with a sigh, “if you’re worried about bad language, don’t be. I hear it all the time on the bus.”

“On the school bus?” I asked, at the same time wondering why I was so surprised. It’s not as if I haven’t heard the way some people speak – effing and blinding in front of their toddlers. In our previous house we could hear the language through the wall as the neighbours hurled insults at one another at full volume, often in front of their four children. Nice :-/

‘Looking at it one way, you could say, “Anything goes. Because of God’s immense generosity and grace, we don’t have to dissect and scrutinize every action to see if it will pass muster.” But the point is not to just get by. We want to live well, but our foremost efforts should be to help others live well.’       

1 Corinthians 10:23,24, The Message

“Yes, Mum.” She shrugged. “The ‘eff-word’ and… everything.” She waved her hand to indicate ‘everything’.

Now it was my turn to sigh. “You know Mummy and Daddy don’t use that language, don’t you?”

“Yes, Mum.”

“Grandma and Grandad and Nanna don’t use that language either, do they?”

“No, Mum.”

“And you don’t use it?”

“No, Mum!” Fluff said, slightly exasperated in that on-the-verge-of-puberty-but-not-quite-a-teenager way.

“Well, you’re growing up. You’re finding out that the world is not a good place. But you don’t have to be the same. You can choose to be different. Following Jesus means choosing not to be the same.”

“I know, Mum.” Pause. Smile. “Thank you, Mum.”

Reblog: The Weight of Judgment

sandyfaithking:

Wonderful post.
Jesus said (Matt 7:1-3, John 8:7) if I want to judge others I must point the same accusing finger at myself. I know for sure I don’t want to do that; I have far too much to ask forgiveness for. I live only by the grace He has gifted.
Not judging doesn’t mean I ignore, or am deliberately unperceptive to, the sins of others (a head-in-the-sand attitude is what has led to so many travesties, esp. in abuse cases). Not judging others means being aware of the nature of love and of the nature of evil, and of rooting out, by grace, the seeds of evil in myself, so that the seeds of love blossom and bear good fruit (and so that evil is less able to disguise itself as ‘good’).
God didn’t ask me to be accountable for the sins of others, but I am accountable for myself – and judging is God’s business, not mine. Don’t get me wrong, I still catch myself thinking judgemental thoughts from time to time, but I’m learning to recognise them for what they are and to give them what they deserve – inattention. This applies backwards, too, for those of us who would over-accuse ourselves. To feel guilty over things beyond our control is wrong, and hence a ‘sin’. If God doesn’t point the finger at me for something, who am I to point it at myself?

Some beautiful words from Paul’s letter to the Galatians (who were presumably experiencing problems in this area and wanted his advice on how to address it):

‘My friends,if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbour’s work, will become a cause for pride. For all must carry their own loads… Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.’

Galatians 6:1-7 (NRSVA)

Originally posted on A Pastor's Thoughts:

The old men used to say, “there is nothing worse than passing judgment.”

They said of Abba Macarius that he became as it is written a god upon earth, because just as God protects the world, so   Abba Macarius would cover the faults that he saw as though he did not see them, and those which he heard as though he did not hear them.

——sayings of the desert

judgment1Some may think that the monk’s way of handling the faults of others is pure denial. I find that idea very realistic, but allow me to add a few layers to this saying on judgment. How much time do you spend agonizing over the faults of others? Do you use the faults of others as an excuse for your own bad behavior? Would admonishing others bring you any closer to God?

A wise person once said, “Become the change you want…

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