Posts Tagged ‘healing’

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

Just as God broke open the tomb on Easter morning and raised up Jesus,
God can break open your tombs and raise you up, too! 

Did you catch David Brooks’s impressive closing keynote speech at the Knight Foundation’s 2019 Media Forum? If you missed it, you can see it online. Brooks is a conservative columnist who writes for the New York Times which, he jokes, makes him feel a little bit like the “the resident rabbi at Mecca. It’s a very lonely position”.

I was quite moved by Brooks’s thoughtful presentation which citied biblical passages and even the great twentieth century theologian, Paul Tillich. One of the things from Brooks’s speech that has stuck with me was his understanding that in our individual and even national times of division, darkness, or crisis, “we can either be broken, or broken open.” (more…)

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This Lent I’m preaching a sermon series at the historic Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The series is called Cross Words: There’s Power in the Cross! 

This afternoon, after our staff meeting, Old Stone’s Associate for Care, my friend and colleague in ministry, Rev. Dr. Charles D. Yoost shared this beautiful prayer from the Iona Community with me which connects so well with our Lenten  focus on the cross. Today, I share this prayer with all of you along with my own prayer that the cross may bring you closer to God and God’s purpose for your life this Lent and always.

O Christ,
The Master Carpenter,
who at the last through wood and nails,
purchased our salvation,
wield well your tools in the workshop of the world,
so that we, who come rough-hewn to your bench,
may here be fashioned to a truer beauty by your hand.
We ask this for your name and for your sake.
Amen.

– From the Iona Community, Scotland

LIFE AS A HOUSE: A MINISTRY OF ENCOURAGEMENT

Have ever seen the old Kevin Kline/Hayden Christensen movie, Life as a House? Beth and

House

When Paul told the church in Thessaloniki to encourage one another and build-up each other, he used a word that literally translates, “build a home.”

I watched it the other night on Netflix. In the story, Kevin Kline plays the father of a dysfunctional family. He’s divorced from his wife. She’s unhappily remarried. Their son (Christensen) is angry, lonely and abusing drugs. The teen has even considered selling himself into prostitution to feed his drug habit.

 

After losing his job, and almost simultaneously being diagnosed with a terminal cancer, Kline, an architect in the movie, decides that he’s going to spend his few remaining months fulfilling his life-long dream: building a house overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He forces his estranged son to come and live with him and together they build a house.

The miracle of the story (spoiler alert!) is that as they build the house together, the boy discovers hope and healing for his sadness and rage, and love is restored to the family as a whole.

It’s fascinating to me that when the Apostle Paul told the church at Thessalonica to “encourage one another and build-up each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:11), he used the word, “oikodomeo” which literally translates, “to build a home.” In other words, as a church, we are called to build a home for God, for faith, and for love within our church. As we do, there is the promise for healing within ourselves and our church family as a whole.

Instead of grumbles, gossip or complaints about one another, or even turning a cold-shoulder of indifference toward each other, we should encourage each other by laying a foundation of truth, building-up walls of faith, and nailing down a roof of safety and protection. And don’t forget to open some doors and windows and let love in!

Who needs encouragement in your family, among your friends or in your church? I pray that you might join me in a ministry of encouragement. Let’s make a home for love in every heart by our words and actions of encouragement.

God Bless You Today and Forever,

Mark

On November 26th, I preached a sermon called A Ministry of Encouragement. Watch it here!

In the next post, I’ll give you some tools for being a minister of encouragement!

“Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen