Posts Tagged ‘God’

For me, forgiveness isn’t condoning wrongdoing, it’s naming it. It’s not forgetting wrongdoing, it’s learning from it. Forgiveness isn’t done in isolation, it often takes a friend, a church, or other community to support you in it. It’s not a one time moment, it’s often a long term process. Like shampoo, you have to rinse and repeat! Forgiveness isn’t surrender, it’s the difficult path that leads to liberation, and ultimately peace in God … for you and the wrong doer.

What’s the hardest thing you ever had to forgive?

Forgiveness isn’t just a spiritual practice that Jesus encouraged the disciples to do; after he was raised from the dead, it was the very first thing. Forgiveness opens us and the world to freedom in God, and the kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings of Peace and healing,
Mark

ARE YOU USING YOUR GOD GIVEN GIFTS AND TALENTS? Never be ashamed to share the gifts that God has given to you. They are unique to you. And they are yours and yours alone to offer. Remember, God has a divine purpose for them. That’s where joy is rooted!

Be the joyful blessing this year and always!
– Mark

A member of my congregation shared this beautiful little story with me. Thought it might be a great way to start your week. I hope your days are filled with blessings better than biscuits! – RMG

Biscuits

A visiting Pastor was attending a men’s breakfast in farm country. He asked one of the impressive older farmers in attendance to say grace that morning. After all were seated, the older farmer began . . .

“Lord, I hate buttermilk.”

The Pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was
going. Then the farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the Pastor was worried. However, without missing a beat, the farmer prayed on, “And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw white flour.”

Just as the Pastor thought he should stand up and stop everything, the farmer continued, “But Lord, when you mix ’em all together and bake ’em up, I do love fresh biscuits.

So, Lord, when things come up we don’t like, when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what you are sayin’ to us, we just need to relax and wait ’till You are done mixin’, and probably it will be somethin’ even better than biscuits.

Amen.”

May God Bless You Today and Forever!

Mark

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

 

Happy Fourth Day of Easter!

“The meaning of Easter slips easily from our grasp. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child. No problem, there! Who can’t get behind a birthday celebration? But at Easter we have to accept that almost two thousand years ago a dead man was raised from the dead. That takes a lot of theological acrobatics to comprehend. As a young person, I spent many summers and other holidays at my grandparent’s funeral home. As a pastor, I’ve been burying the dead for two and a half decades; I’ve never seen anyone sit up in their casket and say, ‘Hi everybody! I’m back!’ But maybe Easter isn’t supposed to be grasped, at least not the way we get hold of a math problem or solve a puzzle. Maybe Easter is just the way God wants us to live, trusting that there is something much bigger and much better beyond the end of our temporal noses. After all, when you live as if Easter is real, even if you are just faking it – working for justice, making peace instead of war, sharing out your abundance, believing that there is a future brighter than the darkness of the present, even if the present includes death, that’s when the staggering truth of Easter starts to sink-in: in God we are abundantly and eternally free!”

– R. Mark Giuliano, The Old Stone Church

 

He is risen, indeed!

“The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God Who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and Who desires to be present to us in our ordinary circumstances.”

― Kathleen Norris

Connect with CreationBy R. Mark Giuliano
The Old Stone Church, Cleveland
Adapted from a piece I wrote for Singing a Song of Faith (Toronto:UCPH, 2007) while living in Savannah, Georgia.

Of all the places to be pecking out thoughts on Lent and the natural world! As I reflect on the gift of creation this evening, my unfortunate location dawns on me: I’m stuck in my basement office at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  The musty room is windowless and poorly cooled with minimal puffs of conditioned air which feel much like my dog’s steamy breath panting in my ear.  My nicely pressed shirt looks like a damp rag and probably smells only slightly better.  No wonder they wear sear-sucker in the South.
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