...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Measure You Give...This Week's Watchword

Revelation's for all Christians if it's for anyone at all. It's time to own that.

The church- we Christians- are really good at using texts that were written for us on someone else. It's the art of projection. Especially when it comes to the Bible, we'd rather apply its judgments to the amorphous unbelievers. But if we keep the unsavory stuff for others, does that mean that we're saying "NO THANKS" to our own blessing and healing through God's love in Jesus?

Admit it- we prefer to use God's justice on others. How else can you explain why so many read the Revelation as a condemnation for all those who disagree with their slant? That somehow our secret decoder pin is the only one that really works and if you try for another interpretation, then you must be on the side of the beast?

Why is it that we're so concerned about avoiding pain with pretended raptures* when all we're called to do is trust and love God alone and move on with our lives? And so, the word of saints and martyrs, those who endured all for Love, haunt us, as well they should:

" Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!" Rev. 5: 12

*John Nelson Darby, a 19th Century English clergyman, was one of the pioneers of the rapture theory, which he extrapolated from mostly New Testament texts. In part, Darby forwarded the idea of two returns of Jesus: one for saints, the other for sinners. My observation is that his extra-biblical ideas are explained by his disaffection from and critique of the church of his day.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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