Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What I learned about the trinity from breathing.

I’ve been thinking about the trinity lately; about how I’m not sure if it’s really like an egg or an apple or water/ice/steam. Isn’t part of the beauty of God the fact that He’s a mystery? Let me ask the question in much less spiritual way. If the last scene of INCEPTION ended any differently would it have been as good of a movie? There’s something frustratingly beautiful about the unresolved tension of the unknown.  
There is a more full explanation of the following quote toward the end of this video start 7:45 - the end.


The Jewish name for God – Yahweh – was not spoken, but breathed.
Its correct pronunciation is an attempt to imitate the sound of
inhalation and exhalation. We do that every moment: our first and
last word as we enter and leave the world.
Richard Rohr

In Genesis we read the creation story and see the spirit moving across the face of the waters. That word spirit is “Ruah” and it’s Greek equivelant is Pnuma” which means to breath, more specifically to blow. Which is what we see happening as life is breathed into Adam. And we have Jesus referred to the “word in the beginning, that became flesh” All three of these things are very much connected to the mouth.

Life is sustained by breathing in the essence of God; by inhaling and exhaling love.
The Holy Spirit is that exhaled wind breath that doesn’t just sustain but forms and shapes. And when breath and exhalation are mixed with sound it creates the essence of love in truth, the word clothed in humanity.

Definition for “VOICE” by Webster.
c : expiration of air with the vocal cords drawn close so as to vibrate audibly (as in uttering vowels and consonant sounds as \v\ or \z\)

Loving God and Loving others is like inhaling and exhaling. Jesus is simply the perfect example of how to breathe. To live is pray without ceasing.

Israel Redeemed -Isaiah;43
1 But now thus says Yahweh who created you, Jacob, and he who formed you, Israel: "Don't be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Babies on planes that teach me about Jesus.


I was sitting on the plane on my way to Dallas, next to a single mom who was visibly concerned that her child was going to be disruptive over our next 90 mins in the air together. Apparently the previous leg of the trip was quite rough for the young one. That’s in the top five worst air travel scenarios right?
  1. Sitting next to a screaming 2 year old.
  2. Sitting between two people who just asked for seat belt extensions.
  3. Having a connecting flight that leaves 10 mins after the first one landed late and having to sprint to concourse double Q.
  4. Drawing the losing straw in the TSA pat down/naked x-ray game
  5. Being stuck in Baltimore for 3 days because of a snow storm.

But I was prepared; I had my new smart phone loaded with some movies to watch and the worlds largest set of noise canceling headphones. So imagine my surprise when the potential noise maker started making oogley eyes at me. Her mom held her close and the little baby girl started petting my arm, I was sort of distracted at first by my phone cinema. But she fell asleep, head on her moms chest, hand on my arm. I don’t think the mom even noticed and I honestly thought it was kind of cute.

We all do this sometimes, instinctively, we reach out somewhat blindly for comfort, to feel connected, to feel love. It’s not always a healthy or wise endeavor. It can get twisted and show up between adults in the form of misappropriated sexual activity, competitiveness, fame mongering and a number of other self centered outcries. The “me monster” takes over and we lose ourselves.

But deeper than all of that there is something good and right and true. Something waiting to be redeemed. An opportunity to respond to the kingdom and interact with the Gospel.

Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them.

Jesus' touch, His hands, were an instrument of wellness. God give me the grace and let my hands be like His. When my neighbor, friend, and stranger reach out, out of their brokenness and into mine, may they be met with redemption, restoration, and a loving grace that is covered and anointed in the very essence of Jesus. Jesus whose hands not only healed the sick, but also took nails and flowed blood so that none should perish.

Oh church let’s not forget that we are named as the very same; Hands of redemption. Broken that redemption may abound. Though the idea of being the "hands and feet of God" is not a direct bible quotation, we are the Embodiment of Jesus the Christ.

A prayer of St.Teresa of Avila
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet, on earth but yours.
Your are the eyes through which He looks
Compassion on this world
Yours are the feet
With which He walks to do good.
Your are the hands
With which He blesses all the world
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet.
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes, through which He Looks
compassion on the world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Who are YOU?


I'd like to start a conversation; with a question. What is it that defines us? 
For some it's work, faith, community, and so on. I'm not so much interested in the the "right" answer 
as I am in digging into the honest tension of identity. 

For those of you who are believers, that is you maintain some level of personal relationship with God. I'd like to take the conversation just a bit deeper and ask. 

1. What is your view of your spiritual identity and how did you arrive there?
2. what makes up the you underneath

There are lots of tools out there like "love languages", "strengths finders", core values, spiritual gifts, and others. Have you found any of these helpful, and in what ways?  Maybe you have a story of a moment when your identity became solidified in a tangible way. A mission trip that changed you or a family tragedy. 

Maybe your not a believer in the evangelical sense. What is it that drives you, motivates you, gives you purpose? 
My interest is not in debate, but rather in honest dialogue. My curiosity is in the human spirit and what brings it to life. What does the journey look like, what is the arc of the narrative of personal development? How self aware are you and why? 
What are the thieves of substance that rob us of who we are and who we are designed to be?