It is Finished, Trusting in the Easter Truth

 

By: Jana Greene

Hello, dear Readers,

I’m hoping to write more regularly here at The Beggar’s Bakery. I hope, because there are about a baker’s dozen of life issues that keep ‘getting in the way’ of my creativity. Too much brain-space being rented out to things that are out of my control anyway. Know what I mean?

Yesterday was a super sick day for me. Caught something sometime in the previous week, and it camped out in my system until I became a blathering lump of self-pity who couldn’t get out of bed, even though I really tried. Mind / Body / Spirit = all connected.

There was also family drama. (Spoiler alert: You never stop worrying about your kids, no matter how old they get.) And job (or lack thereof) drama.

So I was under approximately 8 blankets and still cold when I brought this revered prayer to the Creator of the Universe:

“You never give me anything good to write about anymore.” It actually came all the way out of my parched mouth. What a whiner! (It’s okay,though.  He’s my Daddy and knows I get a little sassy when sick.)

What’s the rule about fighting fair? “Never say never, or always?”

Abba brought to mind the movie, The Shack (which I highly recommend seeing at least once) the scene where the God character reminds the protagonist that “When you focus on the pain, you lose sight of Me.”

Oh yes, that.

That pain thing is a real time and energy suck. But if adversity is good for nothing else, it makes for interesting written fodder on the other side of this.

On the other side. What ‘other side’ is there? We, who see through a glass so darkly, cannot differentiate one ‘side’ from another.

That’s where this very Eastery thought came into play. It’s really the Eastery-est thought I think I’ve ever had, and I want to share it with you.

Christ, by virtue of the Resurrection, is everything. Or he is nothing. We have heard that before, but let it rest on your brainspace for a bit and settle in your Spirit: ONE God. ONE Man. ONE Day.

Either the Resurrection changed everything, or it changed nothing.

Either everything matters or nothing does.

Either He died for all, or died for none.

Either It is Finished, or It is Incomplete.

(If its incomplete, holy cow – FINISH it already – this planet is a MESS!)

In class, I’ve been exploring the Incarnation as a voluntary deed on the part of Jesus. I had always assumed that God and Jesus were just doing what they had to do, begrudgingly, and Holy Spirit was left behind to sweep up the mess. Kicking and screaming. How tragic that I’d understood it like that all my 48 years!

The lavish and abundant Truth is not a concept, but a person.

And what if that Person loved you more than anything in all the universe He created?

What if He isn’t an Aztec-style god, demanding the ongoing sacrifice – or heads will roll? What if He is a God who cradles your head in His lap when you’re broken?

This grace doctrine…it is scandalous in its oozing of mercy, positively radical in its inclusion. I’m not suggesting that The Passion of the Christ be sanitized to appease the masses, but to embrace the loving God whose Passion is US. His blood was not a country club membership, carte blanche for those who tow the line. If the Creator fashioned this elaborate universe for only a select few to partake in, does that cheapen the lavishness of His love for all?

What if He rolled away the stone over 2,000 years ago so that He can meet you right now, exactly where you are, exactly who you are?

I believe in a God that allows – for whatever good purpose – his kids to experience consequences. I’m a parent. I’m on board with that. The god who withholds his love while they suffer? No thanks. My God is no sadist, enjoying pummeling His son with a cat of 9 tails so that we can enter the country club.

Easter is the most make-it or break-it occasion in the Christian faith. And according to Jesus, “It is finished.”

The hard part is learning to rest in that – no head-rolling necessary.

You are included in His finished work. Trust in that.

He is never mad at you.

He always loves you, even on this side – where you cannot see what’s around the corner.

Happy Easter, my friends.

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Trump acts in Response to Chemical attack, World Citizenry Reacts with Horror (but wishes to keep Kumbaya on the table as means of counter-attack)

index
By: Jana Greene
I hesitated to post this, as some have suggested that my blog platform should be about recovery issues only. They have shared their displeasure when I post about anything political. I am in no way an expert on anything geo-political, but I am an observer of our world, as are you.

This is a place where I blab about various subjects like middle-aged muffin tops, the time I ate an entire box of Oreos in one sitting, Jesus and his crazy radical grace, cats who try to drown their toy mice in their water bowls, thoughts on marriage and parenting, current events on occasion, which brings me to Syria.

If every post on The Beggar’s Bakery must be about recovery, how about this: Watching the news makes me want to drink.
There you go.
I try not to watch the news in any way, shape or form any more, because I would prefer my head not to explode. But waking up to the dozens of references about the Syrian situation in my Facebook feed, I figured I’d weigh in.
The CNN online headline declared today: Trump orders barrage in response to chemical attack.  And the sh*t  storm on social media is absolutely blowing up. War drums are beating. The Cult of Personality is already deciding to drown out the drums with screaming indignation.
Even CNN used the term ‘IN RESPONSE TO.’ Not just because Trump was in cranky mood and felt like starting a war, but ‘in response to’ or ‘because of’ the actions of terrorists. The line between war mongering and taking action for protect others from genocide have apparently become twisted.
Here’s the horror:  Collateral damage is a by-product of fighting the greater evil. innocent people have been killed in any and every act of battle. There are always civilian casualties; ask anyone who survived the Blitz.
If your heart breaks for the refugees and and you feel a sense of urgency about helping them flee, yet you think that the world should welcome them in other countries (and I do think we should as much as we can, while making sure the needs of our own hungry children and veterans are met), I think that gives us an incomplete picture. This leaves the wills of the oppressed people completely out of the equation. Some of us think shuffling them around, so that we can feel noble about it is the endgame, but these are human beings!  Their beloved HOMELAND is being destroyed. It’s where they have lived and raised generations of family, and have become cohesive communities. They risk losing their very culture. They MIGHT, if given the chance, want to stay in the lands of their fore-fathers. They are having to leave because they are being bullied and murdered by rebels. I’m sorry, but just relocating people and calling it a day? that doesn’t look like justice to me.
Bad Guys vs. Good Guys 101 –  evil  people don’t want to talk about stopping the carnage they are inflicting. They want to inflict ever more carnage.
Bad guys perpetuate atrocities. Good guys try and stop (or at least stem) the damage.
The same people who are angry about Trump’s move to kill the rebels are the people who think we can afford to absorb all the Syrian refugees. We cannot adequately feed and care for the American veterans who DID fight against the last World War –  and are now old and sick. That should outrage us just as much.
Its a messy, confusing, awful situation all around. If not addressed on the world stage, more and more refugees will be created daily. This is not 100 people in harm’s way we are talking about. And there are not 200 soldiers massacring them. It’s so much bigger than that.
Cut off the head of the snake, lest more and more eventually require fleeing their homes and and losing their communities, too.
The enemy is vicious – this one more so than ever, because there is NO honor in their fighting. They do not fight mano-to-mano, but weave themselves amongst the innocents. Do we not go after the bad guys now, because they are so manipulative and cowardly?
Howmany refugee babies and women would be acceptable to sacrifice before we really got serious about killing the scourge that is massacring them? Yet more will die at the hands of the evil doers than would be imaginable if we allow what’s going on now. Round up every single Syrian fMiky and place them elsewhere, and the evil just spreads out further. Surely no one is suggesting that we avoid justice for the refugees.
Some, I suspect, are especially upset about this turn of events because Trump is involved in it. Hey, I don’t like the guy either.  Not a big fan. I AM, however, a fan of putting an end to the unfathomable suffering the Syrians are currently going through.
We MUST grow a pair as a nation, because evil has been allowed to ferment and spread with no checks and balances for years now. We had become impotent against so much of the evil in the world. It’s as (again my opinion) Obama was thinking, “Oh hey, I’ll turn a blind eye to the genocides going on all over the world, and give them a good 8 years to marinate, become better armed. ISIS is not our problem, and by the way, UP YOURS, ISRAEL!” Alas, there is not one single thing we can do about the past, but we can surely move forward to promote justice for heartless killers.
But that is a blog for another day.
Here is the absolute and horrifying truth: If we want to stop the baby killing, you will likely accidentally kill babies, because the enemy used civilians as shields.  They nest among the same people they are wiping out. That should piss a lot of people off.
Does it?
Should we not gone to war against Hitler because there would be so many casualties? Six million Jews lost their lives during WWII, and may have faced racial extinction, had we not stepped in. The families in the UK, who lost people to collateral damage, understood in order to be free, some will die. Because there are BAD GUYS.
When did we decide to turn a blind eye to such large-scale torment of people groups? When did we decide to ‘negotiate’ with the Bad Guys?
How soon we forget history!
I freaking HATE war.
I hate that it is a necesecity. We should be done with pussyfooting around evill. My heart breaks for ALL of the innocents whose lives have been snuffed out or forever damaged.
I wish we could all sit around with all of Earth’s residents, coming in peace and singing folksy songs around a campfire. Oh how I wish it were that easy! Ask the poor refugees if they’d like to join in. I suspect the cannot, as  they are currently dying at the hands of monsters.
It’s tragic as Hell.
As a matter of fact, war IS Hell, according to General  William Tecumseh Sherman, who noted this pure truth during the Civil War. Had he not engaged anyway, the  barbaric and evil practice of slavery may not have ended here in the Land of the Free.
Join me in praying for all involved.
(*And yes, I am still sober. #PlatformFacts)
God bless us, every one.

Save

And the Band Plays on – Addiction Complacency / Grace-full Recovery

IMG_1948
“The sale of pills is at an all time high,
young folks walkin’ ’round with their heads in the sky,
Cities aflame in the summer time,
and the beat goes on.
Eve of destruction, tax deduction,
City inspectors, bill collectors,
Evolution, revolution, gun control, the sound of soul,
Shootin’ rockets to the moon, kids growin’ up too soon.
Politicians say more taxes will solve ev’rything, and the band played on.
Round and round and around we go, where the world’s headed nobody knows.
Ball of confusion,
That’s what the world is today.
Hey hey.” –
The Temptations, “Ball of Confusion”
By: Jana Greene
I just came across a post on my Facebook news feed by a friend who just lost someone she loved to the ravages of addiction. He OD’ed on heroin.
It started like so many, many posts I come across – RIP. Rest in peace.
I’m so tired of people resting in peace before their lives are lived to completion.
I never knew this friend of my friend’s.  I’ve  never heard his name prior to this event – but my spirit knows his spirit, and I pray his is at peace.
It’s easy to become numb to the loss of life from addiction. We are in the midst of opiate saturation and fatal / ‘functioning’ alcoholism, because the human condition is so confoundedly painful. It just really is.
Behind every story of death via substance abuse, there is a son or daughter. A mother, a father. A friend. A person of great and precious worth.
How does society deal with loss on such a grand scale?
Too often, by accepting the undercurrent of judgement as truth, and denying that addiction is a freaking brain disease.
Another day, another RIP memorial page on Facebook.
One more overdose victim. I guess he had it coming.
One more person who drank herself to death. She asked for it.
Nobody says it out loud, but the sense of exasperation is tangible.
Hey world-at-large – IT’S A DISEASE.
Meanwhile, the rest of us cannot afford to rest.
I’m glad that there are programs that allow participants the luxury of anonymity (and I certainly respect the anonymity of others) but I’m not sure how long we can afford to hide our faces. The faces of addiction, but more importantly – the faces of RECOVERY.
Because not all of us will RIP before our time, but surely stigma enables keeping the disease alive and kicking.
Every overdose should shock the shit out our systems. It should worry us when we start thinking of a lost life ‘just another.’ It should break our hearts.
Karl Marx is quoted as saying ‘religion is the opiate of the masses,’ and I think there is truth in that. But religion as we know it often carries the same numbing properties as any other opiate. Relationship with the living God is what the masses are really craving.
We are all just really jonesing for relationship.
If you can’t justify being compassionate because you believe addiction is solely a moral peril, I challenge you to consider it an act of compassion from one fellow human being in confounding pain to another.
One spirit to another.
The gentleman who died of a heroin overdose, he brought to mind tonight the parable of the lost sheep in the biblical book of Luke.

“…By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.”

Jesus gets it. He didn’t go after that one sheep to feed it opiates. He went after it because He couldn’t bear missing out on relationship with one who had so much worth.

It’s my honor to show my face and be non-anonymous. I am an alcoholic who did not die of my disease, but who still asks God for help in my recovery journey every single day.

I pray we as a society ‘get it’ too.

Save

Save

Sneaking Jesus In

ghost

By: Jana Greene

Somebody I love with all my heart asked me yesterday to “please stop sneaking Jesus in.”

Honestly, I though it was a pretty covert move when I collected all of my back issues of ‘Relevant’ and presented them to her – because she likes magazines.

I’m not trying to force anything on her, I just know this magical secret about the radical love of a real God, and I like to share about it. It’s kind of a big deal. I’d be a pretty crappy friend if I was in on this literal opportunity of a LIFE time, and forgot to mention it to you.

What I’m ‘selling’ cannot be forced.

I am so proud of this friend, who is currently getting sober. I have been praying for her for years. I knew her situation could have gone a couple of ways, getting sober being the optimal choice.

She has been clean a whole month now, Glory to God.

...Glory to a God she has decided that she can’t quite figure out, and isn’t anxious to know more about right now.

I have tried weaving meaningful Bible verses into our casual conversation multiple times and GUESS WHAT!? They went over like a bunch of lead balloons because she has (like most of us) been hurt by the church proper, and frankly, she isn’t sure she NEEDS a higher power yet.

Each time I would say, “The Bible says…” she COMPLETELY checked out of the conversation. Even though I am trying to ENCOURAGE her with it.

“Can you just please stop mentioning the Bible?” She finally asked.

“No. I cannot promise you that I won’t mention the Bible.”

And I didn’t promise, because there is a lot of really good stuff in there, all centered on The Word – in the person of Jesus Christ.

You see, she thinks she knows what it says already, and like most of us, grew up learning all the things God supposedly hates, and the various methods of bringing down the hammer for those smite-worthy creatures who test Him. I have been dodging that hammer most of my life!

Nothing she has been taught was presented in context. The Old Testament and New were just divisions in a book, much like parts of Moby Dick or Anne of Green Gables might be.

(Honestly, the New Covenant is something I’m just NOW learning about in a grace-based seminary program, and it is the most delicious and liberating nugget of wisdom in the history of EVER. It’s so easy, y’all. Accept and receive, and enjoy!)

I told her to consider her new recovery as an opportunity for bad-assery – the Super Hero kind, not the shallow tin-type Hollywood version. I cannot think of a more bad-ass thing to do than getting / staying sober. Behind every super hero worth his spandex, there is a force behind him.

You can’t usher The Force around in an old bed sheet, holding it by the hand and pretending it isn’t standing there.

And it was that odd visual – (Jesus’s sandal-ed feet peeking out from an old bed sheet like Charlie Brown in his ghost costume and my nagging Him to make sure the eye holes are properly centered) that gave me pause, and – as often happens – made me laugh. The God of the Universe schlepping around in a hole-y (HOLY? Get it?) sheet, incognito.

God wearing a bed sheet, and my shushing him to walk quietly behind me, being super stealthy. My sneaking him in a room and back out.  Gives new meaning to Holy Ghost!

And in that moment of laughter, I had a big, fat epiphany:

I don’t need to sneak Jesus in because he is, simply put, already in.

No sneaking required. He is in my breath, my being…. the essence of perfect love. He looks like His Father, who – I’m now learning – looks like me. And you, too. True story.

He didn’t beat people over the head with Truth (although I’m fairly certain he would indeed share his copies of Relevant Magazine; I mean, come ON!? Who wouldn’t want to read THOSE?)

A new thought occurred to me – There is an ever-blurring line between Jesus and I, and it’s not because I am anything special. It’s because of who HE is, inhabiting me and speaking through me and loving through me. And that makes me special. It’s what makes her special too; she just doesn’t realize it yet.

Blur that line, Papa!

I’m so happy that my friend is on her journey of recovery. I pray that she stays open to The Force, and realizes just how beautifully fierce and capable she really is.

I hope she gets curious about who is REALLY under that bed sheet.

Jesus, be everywhere and within me. Let me not ‘sneak around’ but exude your love, oozing Holy Grace. Give me oily grace – the kind of anointing that carries your scent and your love. I pray that you will be The Force in the lives of my children, my husband, my friends, and me.

Amen

Save

Be Still and Know that You’re Not God (Whew – What a relief!)

lovedsign

By: Jana Greene

“Be still and know that I am God.” – God

Yeah, but it’s HARD to be still!

Sometimes it’s almost unfortunate that our Creator has endowed us with this thing called “free will.”Free will has gotten me into a lot of jams.

God, if you knew me, you totally wouldn’t trust me to me.

You know, the will that keeps telling you that you don’t have a disease called addiction.

That you can stop anytime you want.

That you have a plan and it looks like doing what you’ve always done.

But if nothing changes, nothing changes.

Recovery in real time doesn’t look like a baby-steppable feat, but a free fall. Every single day, I surrender my will to my Father’s, because I know he only has my best interest at heart.

Every single day, I don’t drink today. No matter what happens, I don’t have to take a drink on this very day.

And tomorrow, I will wake up and surrender my free will again, just for tomorrow.

Bite-sized pieces, you see. Bite off enough recovery today to nourish yourself today. Then free fall into the love of a very real Father.

So often we try to do the opposite. Bite off more than we can chew by declaring we can never, ever drink again and poor pitiful us! And we chase it with ‘babystepping’ just to make it through the day.

This is not the life your Father desires for you!

You don’t fail God when you fail, dear one! That’s an old trick of the enemy. He wants you to feel like a failure. Don’t give that rat bastard the pleasure.

Instead, surround yourself with other people whose free wills are also prone to malfunction. Find as many as you can and watch what they do to just NOT drink. Take what you need and leave the rest, as they say in the Rooms.

Here’s the thing – God totally does know you. He isn’t tolerating you and your janky free will. He is madly and passionately in love with you, in all of your jankyness. He gave us free will so that when we choose to receive His love, it comes from us mind, body, and soul.

Be still and trust in His perfect will for you….

That He has only your best interest at heart.

That He knows you intimately and loves the bejeebers out of you JUST AS YOU ARE.

That He has the most amazing adventures for you to enjoy, and to enjoy SOBER so that you can be mindful of the  miracles as they unfold.

If you can’t be still and know that He is God, be mad that He is God. Let Him know that you relinquish trying to push Him out of a job, and if you can manage it, surrender your will to Him.

You’ve got this, daughter of the Most High, because He has YOU.

Save

Sufficient Grace in a Season of Suffering

suffering

By: Jana Greene

Good morning, God.

I woke up in a panic today. Sick and tired, and tired of being sick. I have basically been ill since I had shoulder surgery 3 1/2 months ago, and I’m so over it. Feeling like crap for nearly 4 months straight would depress dang near anybody.

I’m really fighting the emotional funk, and I know I’m not alone – so I’m posting my prayer here. I know several of my friends are fighting (or have fought) the same funk. Depression and anxiety are real bugaboos, even for believers. I’m so tired of the stigma that gets perpetuated in churches. Jesus People should be the LEAST stigmatizing, for crying out loud. (No, really, I have cried out loud a few times this week.) Being of good cheer seems out of the question. Getting dressed today might be doable.

Every day in February, I have declared that THIS is the day I shall get it TOGETHER already! Mind over matter, right? (Wrong.)

I tell myself that TODAY, I shall work on taxes, get caught up on seminary, write another chapter for the book (AND get busy on some other projects) and lose 10 lbs and basically be a better version of me – the me in her PJs 24/7 this week, the me bingeing on Munchos. The me that feels so weak, she can hardly sit upright for more than 30 minutes.

Everything seems to be beyond my control right now, and I need Your comfort. I am asking for more faith, which comes from You. Help me with that, please.

Weakness…..Hmmmm.
There’s a scripture for that….

Your Grace is sufficient, I seem to recall. Praise Jesus for that sweet, amazing GRACE!

In your Word, you tell me that radical weakness is not a character flaw, but an opportunity for You to really bring home the razzle dazzle. You know how you do. Paul said it best:

“…Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9 (MSG)

Save

A Case for Reasonable Happiness (or: God Grant me the Serenity, please oh please!)

serenitybutterfly

By: Jana Greene

Well, kids – here’s the bad news: At the end of the day, bad things are going to happen and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. That’s the truth.

You can march. You can holler. But morality refuses to be legislated and the planet is still a broken place.

If Jesus wasn’t spared suffering, we aren’t getting out of it either. I’m not here to feed you a line about everything happening for a reason, and God opening a window when you could really use an actual open DOOR, etc. etc. Every time someone says “When God closes a door, He opens a window” I want to punch that person in the face. Because what if the window is on the 21st floor?

Then I remember something important – my God is not a sadist. If you ask Him for bread, He will not give you a stone, because He is a good, good Father – it’s who He is. (Everybody sing along!)

A lot of bad things happen this side of the Kingdom that I don’t understand.

Nothing irks me more than Christians who talk of God as if he easily figured out. As if he is Russian gymnast coach, watching your every stance to make sure you stay perfectly aligned on the balance beam, or a lottery god who increases the odds of your winning the jackpot if you buy more prayer tickets.

Stop glossing over the sovereignty of the Almighty God in order to try to understand why the world isn’t a fair place. Of what use is a god your mind can figure out? A god so small you can understand him?

Ah, but that’s where this gets interesting.

I’m in seminary school right now, and loving every minute of it. It is a grace-based teaching, which takes into consideration the original Greek and Hebrew meanings and examines the context of scripture. It is blowing my mind, which is kind of mushy from 48 years of desperately trying to figure everything out.

Here is the GOOD NEWS, and my takeaway so far: Stop trying to manipulate the God of the Universe by suggesting ‘better’ ways of making things happen. Start believing – really believing – that the message of the simple Gospel isn’t trying to trip you up, control you, be a thief of joy.

It is LOVE. A love like none other. The God that spun the cosmos wants you to know that He is madly, passionately in love with Little Old You. And Little Old Me.

I love the Serenity Prayer. But hardly anyone reads it the whole way through – and that’s where the gold is hidden.

God Jehovah, grant me serenity!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

The wisdom to know the difference is key here. I struggle at times. I have a void, maybe you do, too. I was born with mine, like a birth defect – a life defect. A character defect, as they say in The Rooms. The void is a greedy and cavernous hole. Sometimes it is lined with depression or anxiety, sometimes frustrations and disappointments. I have, at various times, tried to pour alcohol in the hole, over eating, self-pity, various forms of people-pleasing … you name it. It eats the lining away for about five minutes (or until I finish the 12th brownie) and then just ends up being a bigger hole.

God heals it up every time. He tells me it isn’t a defect. He tells me the scar is beautiful. But sometimes I pick at it until it bleeds again.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;

I want the world around me to be a calm place, steeped in a lavender vibe, full of shalom.

I want to fall asleep easily at the end of each day, to feel the sweet cream of drowsiness anoint my spastic mind and soak into my every fiber until I can really finally, you know, rest.

I want people to be excellent to each other. And if not excellent, just shoot for not being a total jerk, for crying out loud.

But instead I have to be mindful in the moment, one moment at a time. And as I get better at mindfulness, I can appreciate the ‘now.’

Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;

I used to think this meant praising God for my infirmaries, as some churches had touted. As a person who has a number of chronic health conditions, let me just say, it is NOT HELPFUL to tell a hurting person to praise God for their migraine or bankruptcy. Holy cow, just stop it people, please. There is a difference between “Hey, Jesus, thanks for allowing me to go through this hardship” – and acceptance that Jesus walks the pathway with you, even through the hardships.

Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;

Not as I would have it. Not as I would have it. Not all lavender sweet cream and shalom. Not when the GOP and the Democrats align views and sing Kumbaya together. Not when people stop cutting me off in traffic. Not when I lose 20 pounds, become a legit writer, balance perfectly on the beam. Or win the lottery…..


Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will;


I surrender all. God grant me the serenity – not the complacency – to surrender all.

That I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely 
happy with Him forever in the next.

Reasonable happiness, what a concept! The joy endowed by Holy Spirit in us cannot be misinterpreted as ‘happiness.’ I may be happy AND unhappy a thousand times a day (menopause, what a ride!) but I’m promised supreme happiness with God eternally!

Bad things will happen and this world is a mess. We don’t have to understand why it isn’t a fair place, we just have to carry a message of love to the broken world.

Maybe we should agree with the world that YES, terrible things that make no sense happen and there is no denying it. But there is a Force of Life called Divine Love, and in the end, LOVE always wins. That’s all I know.

God, grant me the serenity. At the end of the day, help me to trust your sovereignty in this world…this messed-up world that you SO loved that you sent your only begotten son. Take the space in my void and fill it with Holy Spirit so that some of that sweet insatiable unconditional love spills out of me and into the world. And keep pouring. 

Amen

(The Serenity Prayer)

Save