Maybe It’s Simple!

One hundred and eighty three times Jesus was asked a question.  He only directly answered three.  What if Jesus’ message was hidden and most everyone is missing it?  What if his message was for all religions… all people… and we are so caught up in what we want to believe, we are missing the deepest part of his life?  What if organized religion has distorted his message, in order to self promote?  I like answers.  Daily I ask questions of the people I work with and I want them to give me definitive answers.  Maybe Jesus wanted us to think for ourselves.  It’s easy to follow rules that are written down.  It is much harder to search your heart, for guidance from the spirit.  It’s easy when someone says “do it this way”.  It’s harder if they say be creative and figure it out.  When someone gives us answers we feel secure.  We don’t have to worry about being wrong.  “you told me to do it that way”.  However,  when Jesus taught in parables.  When he avoided answering questions… it leaves it open to interpretation.  Maybe he wanted each of us to figure out who we are… and what is important, in our hearts.  Maybe he wanted to make sure we didn’t hold a bunch of rules over the heads of others, in order to make ourselves feel superior. Maybe the only thing that matters is the most important question he answered. “Love me with all your heart… Love others the same.”  Could it be that simple?  I think so!   Galatians 5:13-15

I Love You!

Perry

Love Never Rest!

As my wife and I got our room assignment I was surprised when I saw the number.  Thirty six floors is a long way up!  As I stand at the window, looking over Denver, I see many highways full of cars. Each with people in them.  I look down and thousands of people are moving along sidewalks, riding the subway, and going here and there!  So often I wonder how the image of God can be in each… but it is. Do they feel the love that comes from that?  I think of each story that is their life.  I think of the love they have, or do not have in that story.  As I survey the crowds of people I am not thinking of who they are or what their lifestyle is.  I simply see Gods’ children.  I feel him saying to me “you are to love them all”.  Does he know how hard that is?  Does he know how much patience that takes? He does! As he loves each with no motive or reason why!  He loves each because they are his!  He loves each because he sees himself in them!  Our ability to love is never at rest and so therefore can never be complete. Each day when our feet hit the floor, is another day to love those around us.  We don’t need to agree with their lifestyle.  We don’t need to look at the way they differ from us.  We simply need to love without judgement, but with compassion. When we do… Christ will shine from our heart!  Romans 14  

I Love You!

Perry

REBORN!

I have baptized many in my life.  When I baptized our son, at thirteen, I was told by the man directing baptism to make sure I got all of him under the water.  He then proceeded to tell me that if I didn’t, he wouldn’t be saved! YOUR JOKING! At thirteen I was baptized myself.  I had been taught, to inherit the kingdom, you had to be plunged under the water.  To be “born again”. When Jesus told Nicodemus one has to be “born again” Nicodemus looked upon Jesus with puzzlement.  Thru contemplation and study, I have come to realize that there is more.  What Jesus was telling Nicodemus was go back to the beginning.  Relearn all your ways of thinking.  Throw out your traditions, rethink your laws, relook at your attitudes, examine your position in life.  Before Christ, the law was the authority.  Now Jesus is saying I am the way, the truth, and the life.  I don’t follow the law,  I go further.  I don’t look to ways of living, to earn a place in heaven. I depend on the spirit that is within me.  What Jesus was telling us, when he spoke to Nicodemus was…  Your way of thinking,  the way you were taught since birth, has to be reborn. The act of baptism is simply a symbol.  The true change lies in the heart,  not in the water.  To be reborn means to learn to love unconditionally… without judgement. Just like a baby loves without hesitation, we must be born again to love the same. John Chap. 3

I Love You!

Perry

Humble Strength!

Breakfast on a ship is one of my favorite times.  I arose early to beat the crowd.  I found a seat that faced the window, which afforded me a chance to see the ocean moving past.  It was peaceful, and a good time to observe my surroundings.  She came past my table many times.  Each time asking if I needed anything.  Gracefully serving everyone she saw.  She came from Vietnam, with a smile to brighten up the world.  She had a servants heart, but I felt a strength in her that was undeniable.  She found pleasure… peace… in serving others.  We talked and I was amazed at the humble attitude.  The humble grace.  The humble presence.  Then it hit me.  She possessed what I call HUMBLE STRENGTH.   The strength that comes from knowing why you are here. A strength that shows confidence in a humble manner. Strength that says, you come first, because I love you the way Christ intended.  I don’t believe we truly understand the humble strength of our Savior.  Many mistook his quiet nature and his willingness to follow peace, as a sign of weakness.  A sign of passiveness.   If we truly… in our hearts… understood the strength he possessed, we would stand in awe.  At any moment he could have destroyed his captures.  He could have brought people to their knees.  Humbly he sought peace.  He sought love.  I learned a lot watching the young lady from Vietnam. She reflected Christ, more than anyone I have ever encountered.  Humble Strength.  It’s how we imitate our Savior.   

1 Peter 3:8 / James 4:4 (msg)

I Love You!

Perry     

A New Genesis!

Many years ago I tried to play golf.  My dad and father-in-law were avid golfers, so I tried.  Turns out, it is not for me.  There is one term in golf I used a lot.  Mulligan!  It’s a golf term for a do over.  Jesus life and death produced for us a new genesis.  A new day to start over.  In golf terms a “mulligan”.  A way to move past the law that surely condemns to a new time in the garden.  A time of peace… of understanding… before Adam ate of the fruit. Jesus’ life, was given to us, by God, as a way to erase what Adam did.  To take us back to a time of understanding, when as man, we walked in solitude with our God.  God told Adam “if you eat of this tree you will surely die”.  However God did not kill them after they sinned, he simply punished… then loved.  So it is that Jesus, reflects the heart of God, in the garden. Where he shows pure love without censure.  We have come to believe, that we have a God that practices condemnation.  One minute we are delighting in his grace, the next we are worried that our sin will bring his wrath.  Do we have a loving God or a vengeful God? Jesus came to show us the heart of his father.  Jesus, just as God, is pure love.  Love does not condemn.  Love does not keep records of wrongs.  Love cherishes.  Love will always win… even to the end.

1 Corinthians 13:8

I Love You!

Perry

We Are Good!

Woke up running. Early meeting. Busy day ahead. The hours flew by. Before I knew it the day was over, and the Sun was setting.  As evening arrived and I finally got still, I took time to apologize to my Savior, for not spending time with him. I hoped he would understand. As I always do, I asked my Jesus “are we good”?  The reply he gave, to my heart, made my knees weak.  “I made a beautiful world… for you… that I have to look over!  I have millions of prayers to answer and lives to touch.  The angels surrounding me, are singing with such great beauty. All of this is happening, but my eyes are on you!  I’ve spent my day watching you. Waiting for you. Worried only about you.  Yes we are good!  We always will be.  My grace covers you. My love is never ending and my affection for you… it’s bone deep.  You have my heart… all of it.”   We have a Lord who longs to have a relationship with us.  He waits patiently for us to come to him.  For us to talk to him.  For us to give him our time…our heart. He looks to each of us, as if we were his only child.  His affection is not affected by how good we are, but is static because of how good he is. We all have busy days.  We all forget to spend time with him.  So he is waiting. Watching. Loving. 

And “yes… we are good”!   

2 John 1:3

I Love You!

Perry

Labels Or Love?

I saw him from afar.  Feminine ways… small amount of makeup… and a piece of ladies clothing.  As my wife saw tears in my eyes she asked what I was thinking.  Not critique… but empathy.  Worried about what he goes thru.  The teasing. The hatred. The judgement.  I prayed he would stay strong. Think deeply about the words of Christ. Let it sink in.  “Love enemies and strangers more than you love your friends or family.  Pay honor to those that persecute you.”  Did not Paul say, in Acts, “All nations, all people, were made by God, and are in him. All people live and breath in his spirit and are his offspring. ALL PEOPLE!  That means your enemies and your friends.  That means all the people of Islam, Africa, Mexico, Russia, all people of America.  We are asked to build bridges, not walls.  As Christ hung on the cross, he was not only thinking of those that love him, but of every person that would ever live. Labels are not what he intended.  “He’s conservative.  I’m liberal. Those people are black. Those people are muslims. Is that person gay or straight?”  When you look at the woodlands do you see a forest, or a tree?  The forest is beautiful, but a single tree is a wonder from God. When I am in a crowd, I try not to see all the people, but the image of God in each person. When you learn to see beyond the label, and see the image of our Savior, love becomes a natural reflection of that.

Matthew 5:43-48

I Love You!

Perry

Love Deep / Laugh Hard

Daily I live my life to the fullest. I go at life with break neck speed. I live out my emotions… and my heart… it’s an open book. The joke at the office is “if you want to see Perry cry, ask him about how much he loves Lorna”.  That will do it every time!  We are only given one heart… one body… one soul.  Many times we spend our lives, trying to suppress our feelings, our desires, only to find that life has passed us by.  When you love… love deep.  When you laugh… laugh hard.  When you hurt… embrace it to its’ depth.  When you find people in your path, you feel a connection to, cherish it. Cherish them. Many people have crossed my path, in the past sixty years. Each have taken a part of my heart. Some more than others.  We have a God, who desires in us, a relationship with others.  He desires we share our lives, our love, our heart, with those he puts before us. He desires we give our lives to each other, as he gave his life to us.  We should think of those around us, more than we do ourselves… just as he did.  I have a dear friend who every time I say “I love you” he asks why I say that?  He never says “I love you” back, but I know he does.  Learn to love deeply.  Learn to laugh hard. Most of all learn to cherish each relationship God puts before you. Your life will be rich!

Galatians 5:13(MSG)

I Love You!

Perry  

The Blue Dot!

Carl Sagan, in the book Pale Blue Dot, shows that earth is but a dot in the portion of space, we have been able to explore.  We are a tiny dot in our solar system… which is a tiny dot in our galaxy… which is a tiny dot in the vastness of space. Yet every human to ever live.  Every person that loves God and that God loves… lives on this Blue Dot.  How can our minds…  even start to comprehend the power, the vastness, the complexity of our God.  He made all of this with simply a thought.  Daily we strive to put him in terms we can comprehend.  In terms that produce in us, an image, that allows us a reasonable understanding. All in an effort to gain a sense of order.  In an effort to gain a sense of security. We put God into human terms and use that as a way to create our salvation.  When God saw that our brains, as complex as he made them, could not even start to understand his ways, he decided to send his son.  Jesus… became our image. He came to this Pale Blue Dot simply to show not only the power of God, but the love of his heart. He came out of trinitarian love, for every person that will live, on this dot. To think, that a God this vast, could care about our mistakes, above our love, does not describe his complexity.  His love for us is the reason he created all this.  What an amazing God!!   Acts 17:24(msg)

I Love You!

Perry 

Christ Ambassadors!

I was standing in the omelet line patiently waiting my turn.  As always, I spend that time looking to people to teach… to inspire.  I couldn’t help but notice her behavior.  She was demanding of the young man who was cooking.  Insisting he do it her way. Telling him what he was doing wrong, and instructing him how to do his job. As she turned around I noticed a cross, hanging from her neck. As I stepped up for my turn, I simply asked, “how is your morning going”.  That opened up a whole conversation, between John and I.  As he finished up my omelet I told him how good he was at his job. A huge smile come over his face.  When we go into Gods’ world, we are representing him, and his son.  When we wear identifying symbols of our Savior we are saying to the world… this is who we follow… this is the one we pattern ourselves after.  Not a day goes by, that I don’t have the HJD logo on my person, for all to see.  I don’t have the luxury of having a bad day.  Each person I encounter, should see love and kindness moving from my spirit.  Each person, our path crosses, is carrying their own burden.  Family issues… sickness… the loss of a loved one.  They should find in each of us, the heart of our Savior.  The kindness of his eyes.   The caring in his voice.  We should be the reason they smile. Then maybe they might say “tell me… who is this Jesus?” Acts 17:24-28

I Love You!

Perry