Holy Cross

Holy Cross

Some of you clearly remember Harry Caray, Cubs announcer, who’s famous exclamation “Holy Cow” could light up the airwaves with excitement. Today I’d like to exclaim “Holy Cross” for the sacrificial and all encompassing work of Jesus of Nazareth the Christ who came to share God’s message of brotherhood, sisterhood, and love to all people. He did this through his death and resurrection offering to the world a way of peace. Although Christ followers have not always displayed the love and mercy of their Savior his love is nonetheless real and available to everyone on the face of the earth.

Historically, the feast has been associated with the dedication on Sept. 14, 335, of a complex of buildings built by the Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337) in Jerusalem on the sites of the crucifixion and Christ’s tomb. This shrine included a large basilica and a circular church. Constantine’s mother, Helena (c. 255- c. 330), supervised the construction of the shrine, and a relic believed to be the cross was discovered during the work of excavation. Claims by the Church of Jerusalem to have the cross date from the mid-fourth century, and the pilgrim Egeria mentions a feast commemorating the discovery of the cross in Jerusalem in the late-fourth-century. This feast has also been associated with the exposition at Jerusalem of the cross by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius (575-641). He recovered the relic from the Persians who took it from Jerusalem in 614 when they destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Holy Cross Day provides an opportunity for a joyous celebration of Christ’s redeeming sacrifice on the cross.

While people debate about statues and monuments let’s lift high the cross as a symbol of Christ’s love for all humanity and the cure for hate which can divide.

Be Well…

 

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Posted in Christian Life Coach, Christian Life Coach Denny Meyer, Christian Lifestyle, Coach's Blog, denny meyer, Faith, Higher Power, life coach, Love, Mission, Pastor Dennis Meyer, Sacrifice, Scripture, Spiritual Coach - Denny Meyer, spiritual coaching, spiritual director, spiritual director, Spiritual Gifts, Spiritual Life Coach Denny Meyer, Spiritual Life Coaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Option B

There is a great book about resilience and facing adversity called “Option B.” In this Sheryl Sandberg (of Facebook) and Adam Grant (psychologist) explore how people face some of the most difficult challenges of life. Michelle Shumaker M.S.W., came to me awhile back and suggested we look at having a series of Grief Support gatherings this fall. So on September 17th at 5:00PM we will launch this group called “Grieving and Growing.” It’s limited enrollment but this is part of my plan B.

All my plans were tossed up in the air December 2015 and the pieces are still falling – still scattered – still picking up. However, I am in a better place today and want to share with others what the journey has been like. I think there is hope in sharing the pilgrimage of life with others. One step at a time there is healing. Perhaps a few others can discover ideas from the experiences that are shared. If you have been through it and ever felt alone, you know. I’ve been so thankful to have the support of some amazing people. Pray that this venture is successful.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”  Psalm 34:18

Be Well…

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Reminders

Reminders

Allison Krause sings a song that goes:

The things that I love
And hold dear to my heart
Are just borrowed
They’re not mine at all
Jesus only let me use them
To brighten my life
So remind me, remind me dear Lord

Roll back the curtain of memory now and then
Show me where you brought me from and
Where I could have been
Just remember I’m a human and humans forget
So remind me, remind me dear Lord.

It is so easy to look at where roads diverge and think, “What if I had gone down that road?” Little reminders come up once in awhile that refresh the spirit and are like notes of grace. David wrote about it too:

Remind me each morning of your constant love,
    for I put my trust in you. Ps. 143:8

I want to feel that love today and remember how good You have been, O Lord. The day unfurls with all its motion and it’s easy to be swept up in this busy world but let me pause and be reminded.

Be Well…

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Flood

Flood

It’s easy for us to talk about the weather in small talk. “Nice weather we’ve been having,” or “It’s been a dry summer,” we say. But when disaster strikes and weather causes misfortune for many we can talk or we can do.

Do something. Small or large take action. The Red Cross, Mercy Corps, Lutheran Disaster Relief – pick a good reliable agency and donate a few dollars to help. Galatians 6:2 says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Don’t just small talk the weather make a difference helping people who suffer. Even if it’s like the “widow’s mite” rob your piggy bank or change jar and give a few bucks. And if you have been blessed with lots of resources – be generous; don’t be a Scrooge. 

Be Well…

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500

500

As we approach the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation I am curious where the re-formation will go next. The one holy catholic Apostolic Church has never been quite “one” with it’s many divisions but we have been single minded and untied when it comes to Jesus. We love Jesus but it’s also Jesus that we can’t agree on. Was he a social activist or the sacrificial lamb who takes away the sin of the world and calls us to a deep spirituality that awaits his coming again and in the meantime evangelizes the world. One thing you can’t be when it comes to Jesus is neutral. He was either the Savior of humankind or a crazy prophet – a religious lunatic. He is a social activist but not just for the sake of being swayed by the ever changing cultural norms.

Martin Luther really wanted the Church to hear the Gospel clearly and each individual to have a relationship with the Christ. The Reformation was both deeply individualistic and a corporate shake-up empowering everyone to take their “call” seriously. Yet, in 500 years we still have vast church hierarchies and bureaucracies that span the globe but have at the same time lost the balance of the Law and Gospel. We have heard the “good news” without the personal responsibility and accountability to the law. Discipleship does not seem to cost anything. Christianity-lite goes with our beer and schedules. And if the Law is preached we may be accused of not being sensitive to people’s needs and emotions.
What is the cost of discipleship? Consider this: “Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship)
It will cost us more in the next 500 years and I wonder whether people will be willing to pay the price. What are your thoughts?
Be Well…

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Grand Experiment

Grand Experiment

Alexander Hamilton wrote, “Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of men will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice, without constraint.” Think about that and the times we live in. It is hard to have unity when the forces of government don’t show restraint in their speech. An uncivil society is created when government (and I would also say the church) fail to do their job.

The Bible says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col 4:6) The brilliance of our country is often found in the fact that we can disagree without being hateful and disagreeable. Our leaders need to call us back to a level of civility and righteousness that has made this Grand Experiment work. If not the consequences will be grave. Do your part and…

Be well…

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UN-CIVIL WAR

UN-CIVIL WAR

Robin Wright wrote in the New Yorker Magazine (a leaning progressive publication), “America’s stability is increasingly an undercurrent in political discourse. Earlier this year, I began a conversation with Keith Mines about America’s turmoil. Mines has spent his career—in the U.S. Army Special Forces, the United Nations, and now the State Department—navigating civil wars in other countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, El Salvador, Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. He returned to Washington after sixteen years to find conditions that he had seen nurture conflict abroad now visible at home. It haunts him. In March, Mines was one of several national-security experts whom Foreign Policy asked to evaluate the risks of a second civil war—with percentages. Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per-cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville.”

America may be coming unhinged and we need leaders who will speak up and lead from our Constitution and Bill of Rights but more importantly from the principals of the Golden Rule. Christians, Jews, Muslims, and almost every other faith community on the face of the earth has some form of this belief in their system of faith. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It seems as though the fringe is more and more driving the dialog of our nation. Included in this may be many in our own government. Shutting down speech and using pejorative messages toward dissenting opinions results in the attack of personalities and the shutting down of debate. It’s easy to do with the seeming anonymity of the internet and social media but it is driving a deeper and deeper wedge between the people of our nation.

The Civil War became a shooting war because diplomacy with words did not help. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” A failure of leadership by President James Buchanan Jr. put the nation in jeopardy of having no clear voice of reason in the public square. We are seeing that again today.

(Thanks for the lively discussion of the blog yesterday discussion is good when it advances understanding rather than shutting it down.)

Be Well…

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