Monday, August 10, 2009
It's Monday morning and I am just getting around to writing! It's been a very busy last week! Yesterday our youngest daughter Christina and I threw a bridal shower for her best friend. Like most important celebrations, it took days to prepare everything and in what feels like an instant, it is behind us! What an honor to assist Christina in such a fun day for her best friend!
Another great thing took place yesterday. My husband Robert was the guest speaker in Bobby's church and it was the first time he had preached in the United States since last fall. The topic of his sermon was pain; an experience very familiar to him over the past year. As people on planet earth we cannot avoid pain: physical, mental, spiritual. The Bible and our faith doesn't' promise the absence of pain, in fact it teaches us just the opposite. Reading through the Sermon on The Mount Robert reminded us of Jesus' very important message regarding "the poor in spirit, those who morn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted." Many of the experiences that Jesus mentions in his most significant words ever shared refer to things that are painful to go through. His assurances of what happens to us as a result of getting through these rough times are what we need to focus on. During the reading of the scripture yesterday I pulled out the small pocket Bible that I carry in my purse. I admit that it was hard to follow along as the translation I carry with me is "The Message". Later in the day I read aloud to Robert the explanation that The Message translation gives the words in the Sermon On The Mount. I found them quite helpful in understanding in the vernacular what Jesus was saying in his day and to his culture. Here they are:
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You're blessed when you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One who is most dear to you. You're blessed when you're content with just who you are-no more, no less. That's the moment you find yourselves owners of everything that can't be bought. You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat. You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being 'care-full" you find yourself being cared for. You're blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. Then you can see God in the outside world. You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That's when you discover who you really are, and your place in God's family. You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God's kingdom. Not only that-count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens-give a cheer-even! for though they don't like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble." Matthew 5:3-11 (The Message)
Yes, two thousand years ago Jesus shared with us that pain and suffering is unavoidable. I guess the real issue is "what are we going to do with our pain?" Feel free to share and start some conversation here on this blog. Also, check with The Gathering blog in the next few days and you will be able to see Robert's sermon. Hopefully it will help you as you deal with the real and sometimes very painful experiences we all face in this life on earth. Here is his blog website: Ocgathering.blogspot.com
Until next time. God is blessing you! Donna