Christ, the Light of the World

May you experience the presence of Christ, the Light of the World, everywhere, in everyone, so that hope will abound in your life and the world you live in. There is no corner of the planet where Christ is not. And may you share the light of Christ that is within you with everyone you meet, wherever you are, everyday.

Wilfredo Juan Baez

Monday, December 7, 2015

Preparing the Way for God

Preparing the Way for God
Luke 3:1-6
Wilfredo Baez
I’m so glad I didn’t go shopping on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I thank God that I was here instead. Did anyone here go shopping on Black Friday? I saw a video of people knocking other people down, scrambling on the floor, crawling over each other and screaming at each other, even taking items out of children’s hands; screaming ”It’s mine! It’s mine!” I don’t know what a six year old was doing there. He could have been trampled! It didn’t look like shopping to me; it looked like looting!” To think, stores opened on Thanksgiving Day and the same thing happened then! 
Why is there so much greed and so little gratitude? Who here would rather be thankful than selfish? Why is there so much corruption and so little service? Who here would rather serve others than rip others off? Why is there so much violence and so little compassion and love? Who here would rather help others than help others? 
Everyday there seems to be a story about people with power misusing their power; business leaders, politicians, police . . . people in every walk of life. Everyday there seems to be a story about someone getting hold of a weapon and killing somebody or hurting some body . . . War seems to be breaking out throughout the world either as conventional warfare or terrorism. We need something, don’t we? We need salvation! We need liberation! We need freedom!
John the Baptist tells us that salvation is coming . . . a Savior is coming! But there is something we have to do in anticipation of salvation. He says “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” In other words, “Get ready!” Why? Prepare the way of the Lord, make his ways straight, because something is going to happen. God is going to do something. What? “Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’”
God is going to make God evident in our world. We have a part to play in that reality. God is to perform God’s work through us. We have to prepare ourselves, our lives and our world for God, God’s Kingdom and God’s reign. How do we do this? We start by living by God’s rules. It begins by how we think. If our attitudes stink our behaviors stink. It follows by how we speak and act. The words that come out of our mouths matter. The works that are performed by our hands are important, too. God has reminded us, “Your thoughts are not my thoughts. Your actions are not my actions. “There’s a song that tells us “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” God has given us a Savior, meaning God has given us someone who shows us how to live in ways that are pleasing to God; a Savior who has opened the way of heaven to us and availed us to its grace so that it is possible for us to overcome our own tendencies toward evil and make our ways towards God. I love that little song, “We shall overcome, we shall overcome, we shall overcome, someday. Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall overcome someday!”
Every one of us can be so much more than we are. Everyone here is good, but everyone of us can be better! The question is are we willing? When I look back at that Black Friday video and upon all the evil, greed, corruption, violence and injustice in the world, I wonder where the will to change is. Why are we so caught up in ways that lead to unhappiness? And so my question of you is are you willing? Are you willing to be more self-aware, even a little . . . Begin right now! Are you willing to change, even a little . . . Begin right now! Are you willing to struggle a little what is right and just? Begin right now! You may have to give up something for this to happen . . . your status quo . . . your negativity . . . your anger . . . your hatred . . . your greed or selfishness . . . your desire to have your own way at all costs . . . your control over others . . . your violence . . . (violence begins with what you think and leads to what you do) . . . your condemnation of others . . . Are you willing to invest in a positive future for yourself and the world? That is what preparing the way for God is about. Are you willing to begin right now in some little way . . . to prepare yourself to change for the better!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Just Breathe

I am now at the Greater Binghamton Health Center as a chaplain.  My role is to relate with patients and help them draw upon religion and spirituality as resources for their mental health.  The transition to there has been easy as many there are hungry for divine input and desire for a better life.  The transition back home to live with my wife in our own home is easy as well.  At least from my perspective!  Seriously, I believe it is good for her too!  I am still pursuing leads for part-time work and am scheming other ways to increase my income.  I expect the puzzle to be complete in the near future. 

In a transition like this, trust matters.  I am trusting God, life, myself and others.  While I cannot predict the future I can step forward applying myself to secure what I need to perform meaningful service in the world.  I just don't know what that looks like yet!  And I have a choice - be anxious about the future or be creative in the present.  There is a song that advises:  "Breathe, just breathe."  Breath is a gift that has a powerful affect upon us as we face challenges or even the unknown.  We always have it with us.  We also always have the unknown before us.  God may seem an unknown as may God's will and God's providence for us.  And so we are called to be brave and courageous, not so much in how we act but in our presence or being.  All I can really do is say in answer to God's call is here I am all present and accounted for.  I might not know my orders, but I know my purpose and I know who and what I serve.  The wonderful thing about that song, "Breathe' is that for as long as I live I don't have to do anything in order to breathe.  And if anxiety hits, all I have to is be aware of breath and breathing as I embrace the moment before me and enter into it.

Pushing the Rock

Pushing the Rock 
Jeremiah 1:4-8 
Wilfredo J Baez 
Take a deep breath and put aside your worries and concerns, however big or little they are . . . and take another deep breath and set aside your worries and weariness . . . you can pick them up later but for now, if you will, set them aside and simply be, nothing to do except listen to a scripture, a story and a word . . . nothing to do but let God’s word drop like a small stone into the pond of your consciousness, your spiritual mind . . . feel the ripple in still water reverberate in you, in your heart, your mind, your soul, your being . . . peace . . .
4Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, 5“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” 7But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, 8Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord.” Jeremiah 1: 4-8
I don’t remember whether the character in this story is a man or a woman. It can be either, so let the character be you . . .
You wake up one morning and you hear a voice, a divine voice you are sure, and the voice directs you to a large boulder in your front yard and tells you that you are to push on this boulder. You look at the boulder and say to the voice, “It is so big! I’ll never be able to move it!” And the divine voice tells you, “Push on the rock until I tell you not to.” You respond to the voice, “I’ll start tomorrow” and the voice tells you in an authoritarian tone, “Start pushing now!” And you begin. All morning, all afternoon, all evening you push on the boulder, stopping only to eat and drink water, until it’s time to retire for bed. You get a full night’s rest. You get the interest of a neighbor or two who watch in silence as you push on the rock. The next day after breakfast you return to the boulder and push and push, all day, all night and you continue pushing on the rock day after day, month after month, year after year . . .

At this point your family and friends have questioned you. You have explained that a divine voice has ordered you to this task and they shake their head in wonder as you continue to push. Your neighbors have surrounded you and have begun to ask you what you are doing. When you told them that you are following a divine command they begin to mock you and call into question your sanity. Years have gone by. You have pushed in rain and shine and wind and snow, faithful to your task.

Finally, true to your path as you are, you begin to doubt and cry out to God, “Give me strength to move this boulder!” Finally, you scream in anguish “God, take away this boulder. I have tried my hardest to move it. I cannot! Was it even you who gave me this task? Am I delusional?” The voice boomed down from heaven. “Yes it was me. But why are you thinking that your task is to move the boulder. The task I gave you was to push it. You have been faithful in the task I have given you. Now, look at you, so strong and fit! Your hands, arms, your neck, your shoulders, your back, your legs they are so well toned and so powerful. You are well prepared for the job I have for you!”
The stress in our lives can be like such a boulder as this; huge and unmovable. We push on it day and night, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year . . . perhaps even lifetime after lifetime. And there it is greeting us each day, perhaps looming larger, an invincible obstacle perhaps seeming smaller, an irritant. We push and push thinking the boulder is bad, that it shouldn’t be there, angry even with God for putting it there. We have to get rid of it! Or stressors may lurk around us, tossing stones at us, causing us to evade their path. Or stressors exist in us like sleeper cells, awakening within us and overwhelming our nervous systems. It is quite possible that we will always have stressors. 
That’s how I have been with my boulders, dealing with them the best way I know how, misunderstanding God’s task for me, thinking I have to move them, when God has just said push on them. Finally, I realize I don’t have to move the boulders but in pushing on them I can gain. I can learn something about doing God’s will, no more and no less and facing my problems, not trying to eliminate them, but relating to them, understanding them and becoming stronger on account of them.
And so, if cannot move the boulders, how can you make use of them? If you cannot remove your stressors how can you relate to them differently? How might you even make them your friends and allies? And if your job is to push on the boulder how can you take a breath and find respite from them? Perhaps as you push on the boulder you are becoming boulders yourselves, stronger and unmovable in your own right, able to withstand any onslaught of stressors from around you or within you, being prepared for some next step in your journeys, some task you need to perform that helps yourself and others. Remember you help others more when you heal yourself.
Perhaps pushing on a boulder is doing something you don’t understand or don’t want to but which helps you for life after pushing on the boulder. Maybe mental health treatment is preparing you for life outside of mental health treatment.
Perhaps mastery is not in moving the boulders and stressors in our lives but in accepting them, relating with them, knowing them and abiding with them, until we no longer have need of them. I leave you with this question. As you consider the boulder in your life, where is God in your boulder or relationship with your boulder? Will you relax and trust God as you relate to your boulder, relying upon God’s direction about how to relate to your boulder.

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Wisdom Way of Jesus

The Wisdom Way of Jesus
Rev. Dr. Wilfredo J. Baez

I like to say that while I am on my way to perfection, perfection in love, as John Wesley calls it, I am a work in progress.  I wish it wasn’t that way. I’d like to think that after 59 years that I’ve mastered this mess but I haven’t.  While my blessings are countless, I struggle with my ego.  I struggle with being humble and keeping things simple.  I struggle with ambition wanting more, better and different. I want to be successful.  I want to make a difference. I want to do what is right. It’s a big disappointment when I put my all in something and it doesn’t work out.  Yet, in the end, when I am faithful, it all works out right!

Now, I know that I’m preaching to the choir.  As Bonnie and the choir members know from choir rehearsals, we’re all on that path seeking perfection, trying to get better, but we’re all works in progress and it’s a miracle when we do get it right.  But somehow, in the end, we do get it right.  Getting life right is difficult.  We just can’t control it.  We’re up one way and down the next. And just when we think we know something or we’ve gotten something right, life throws us a curve and we realize we’re not as right as we thought we were . . . we’re not in control . . . and in the end we discover being right doesn’t turn out to be what matters.

I was an expert witness in a court case.  I was sitting in the court room.  By the time I heard all of the testimony I couldn’t tell which side was right.  After I heard one side I was convinced.  And after I heard the other I was just as convinced.  Right existed, but which right was right and which right was wrong?  Even though that jury made a decision, I suspect that the jury is still out about who was right in that case!  The jury remains out for so many of life’s issues.

It’s a universal sin; wanting to be great.  Jesus overheard the disciples arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom of God. What a thought!  The way of the Kingdom of God or Heaven has nothing to do with hierarchy!  There’s no lording over others in the Kingdom of Heaven.  There’s only serving one another the way Jesus served us, the way God loves and serves us.  That’s what this Kingdom of God or Beloved Community is about.  Love reigns here, now! Wow!  Here in God’s Beloved Community, love rules! How great is that!

Jesus slammed this greatness discussion as soon as he heard it.  “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all.  Whoever wants to be the leader has to be servant to all.”  You are a great leader when you get behind people and not ahead of them.  You are great when, rather than impress others you love them. This is way of Christ.  Rather than win people over you love them over.  

Here is a scene from my prison ministry.  Two gentlemen sitting at the table I served are not getting along. They keep egging each other on.  The other table leader and I keep intervening.  They keep arguing. We finally stop intervening and just listen.  We “listen, listen, love, love” and before we know it, the two are smiling and getting along.  

What happened? We had to stop playing expert, helper and fixer. We had to stop trying to control and change them.  What we did was to let them discover the way of Christ available to them.  We let the two inmates air it out in the light of the gospel that was being presented to them throughout the weekend.   What did we learn?  When you love, love and listen, listen, love works!  What’s the formula?  Listen, listen, love, love!  What’s the outcome? Love works!

The wisdom way of Jesus is found not in the past, in our memories and traditions, but here and now.  Nor is it found in the future, in our imagining and planning, but here and now.  It’s not found in being right and others being wrong, but being present.  God says “Your thoughts are not my thoughts.  Your ways are not mine.”  But Jesus says, “Father God, can we do this (his suffering and death) another way?”  But then relents, “Okay, Father God, not my way, your way; your will is my will.” It’s amazing what happens when God’s will is our will and God’s way is our way!   Set your intention now:  God’s will is now my will!  God’s way is my way now!

Jesus illustrates this for his disciples.  He takes a little child in his arms and says “Whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”  

Why this child?  This child is your own inner child.  As this little child, you don’t judge.  As this little child you are aware of and open to the freshness of this moment.   As this child you learn by discovering potential and possibilities.  As this child you are simple, innocent and unassuming. As this child your only agenda is to be and to love. 

Where do you find perfection?  Jesus says, “Seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you.”  Jesus says, “I am the door.  Come on in.”  Perfection is here and now, in you and among us.  God is here and now present in you and among us.  Welcome the child! Embrace the child!  Be the child!  And in childlike wonder, welcome Christ! Be open to Christ! Embrace Christ!  Discover God’s presence in your life and surroundings! 

The wisdom way of Jesus is God’s way; a simple way, not caught up in the web of the world but freed of its conditions. It is characterized by unconditional love and acceptance.  It is a nonjudgmental but engaging, resourceful way, connected to its own divine Source.  It is a way available to you as you welcome Christ into your live, let him live in us and live in him.   So how are you going to do it; let in the child, let Christ in, let God in?  And how are you going to know you do it when you do it?

Our part in Christ

Our Part in Christ
Mark 8:27-38
Rev. Dr. Wilfredo Baez​

The mission statement of the United Methodist Church is to make Disciples of Christ.  For awhile, the mission statement stopped there.  But church members asked “Make disciples of Jesus for what?”  And we expanded the statement to answer that question “for the transformation of the world?”  Yet the expanded version of the mission statement remains incomplete without answering the questions “Transformed into what” and “Transformed how?”  It makes a difference what we aim for and how we get there.

A church member asked me “Are you saved?”  I understood the question and the motivation behind it, but hesitated to offer a response.  The member asked again, but before I could answer, the young man exclaimed, “I am saved!”  I looked at the member and responded “So what?”  The member was stunned to silence by my question.  I continued, “So what is different about your life now that you’ve been saved?”

There are two parts to today’s Bible passage.  The first has to do with understanding who Jesus is (his identity) and what Jesus is about (his purpose).  The second has to do with understanding who we are (our identity) and what we are about (our purpose).

While traveling with his disciples Jesus asked them. “Who do people say I am?”  They answered: “John the Baptist, Elijah or one of the other prophets.”  Jesus didn’t correct this answer but pushed on with a question meant to differentiate his disciples from other Jews, “Who do you say I am?”  Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah!”  All of the disciples had answered the previous question, only Peter this one.  Peter is made to stand out from the other disciples, a model disciple, braver in his profession of faith than the others; willing to risk a wrong answer where the others were not.

Jesus sternly ordered his disciples not to reveal to others that he was the Messiah, defined in Matthew’s gospel as the Son of the living God and in our world today as “Savior of the World.”  It was something only disciples would understand.

Jesus was teaching the disciples about himself, the “Son of Man,” a term used at his time to refer to the future Messiah) must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”  Peter didn’t like Jesus answer.  He didn’t believe it. So he rebuked Jesus. Jesus used Peter’s action as a teaching opportunity.  He turned to the disciples and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Peter, the most faithful of Jesus disciples tested Jesus.   The role of Satan, from the start of the gospel has been to test Jesus.  It has been Satan’s role through the Bible; to convince the human to go against God; to choose convenience, comfort and control over inconvenience, discomfort and risk.  Jesus wanted Peter to follow him, not test him.

Now, Peter isn’t stupid. To Peter, what Jesus said, couldn’t be true.  After all, Jesus was the Messiah.  He came to save his people not die in a failed mission.  Peter was hearing Jesus’ teaching through human eyes, a human paradigm rather than through divine eyes, the divine perspective.  Jesus was teaching God’s plan, not a human one.  Jesus was introducing a new Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, a peaceable and collaborative system.  And he was challenging the status quo Kingdom of humankind, the domination and exploitation system of the existing world.   Having inaugurated this new Kingdom reality, he invited others to follow him into it.  From Peter’s perspective, if Jesus died, all hope died with him for his people.  Peter, and all of the disciples, had further work to do in letting go of human concerns and trusting God.  And don’t we have work to do here; to let go of our human concerns and fully rely upon God.

This brings us to part two of today’s Biblical passage; the part having to do with us.  Jesus said, “If any of you want to be my disciple, deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.  If you want to save your-self, you’re going to lose it.  But if you lose yourself for my sake (Truth’s sake), you will save your life.”   Deny your-self, that external worldly defined self that exists for it-self alone.  Take up your cross. Take up your purpose.  Follow me.  Live the way of life I exemplify.  You find yourself by losing your-self in me, in my way of being, the way of the cross.  I have done my part.  Now you do yours.  You find your-self in doing what you have to do even when it’s inconvenient, hard, tire-some and involves things you don’t like without excuse.

Certainly, Jesus didn’t want to go to Jerusalem and face what seemed to be his demise.  Trouble was brewing for him there.  He might even die as the result of going there.  And certainly, Jesus didn’t want to stay up alone all night to face his betrayer and those who would arrest him.  Jesus had been losing disciples because the task ahead of him was too hard.  He even lost one of the twelve.  And by the time Jesus made it to the top of Calvary with his cross, nobody was with him, save a few women.  Jesus did what he did because it had to be done.

Jesus’ disciples had made their choice to save themselves.  It’s the normal human response.  A literal rendering of Jesus’ teaching would render his disciples extinct.  By the time of Jesus’ death on the cross his disciples were hiding lest they actually did find themselves dead on the cross.  Remember what Jesus taught his disciples; “The ‘Son of Man,’” a term used at his time to refer to the future Messiah, “must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.” The disciples had not yet experienced what Jesus was teaching. It is after Jesus’ resurrection that God’s plan is made clear. 

Like our Messiah, we must undergo suffering, risk rejection by the powers-that-be and die for the sake of something bigger than what we are presently identified with.  We must be tested (baptized) by fire.  Our commitment to the world must be transformed into commitment to God.   That involves letting go of our attachment to the world and its rewards so that God’s Kingdom plan, and the rewards it promises can be made manifest in our lives.   That means choosing inconvenience, discomfort and risk and doing the things that are harder over convenience, comfort and control for a greater good than our own. It involves expressing our innermost, truest and just self when we are tested.

Our whole idea of God, of Messiah and of ourselves has to change, like that of the first disciples, so that we are conformed to Christ; we think, we feel, we believe, we act like Christ.  Christ is raised up in us and lives in us, witnesses by our lives that God’s kingdom has come and is coming, on earth as it is in heaven.  Jesus has done what he had to.  We must do what is ours to do.  There are excuses not to, but we must do it anyways. It’s in the small things that we start, picking up our cross like Jesus did his and in following him in proclaiming by word and action God’s shalom (God’s love, God’s peace and God’s justice).”

 I leave you with the question I raised at the start of our worship time.  What is your cross and are your carrying it?  Will you pick up your cross and carry it?  Jesus has done his part, will we do ours.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In God I Trust: God is Faithful to the Faithful

In God I Trust:
Faithful to the Faithful
1 Kings 3:5-14
Rev. Wilfredo J. Baez  PH.D.

God is faithful to the faithful.   What does that mean; God is faithful to the faithful?  God rewards those who align their will with God’s and walk in the ways of God.  This is an immutable law; alignment with God’s desire, making one’s own will God’s will, leads to God’s will being fulfilled in you.  It takes trust in God to be faithful to God.  If you trust in God or have at least been willing to try will you say after me, “In God I trust.”  Faith is trust in God which is ultimately trust in Life and trust in your deepest, highest and truest self.

That’s what this Old Testament reading is about.  Solomon had been elevated as a young man to the throne of his father David; big shoes to fill, no doubt.  But what does Solomon do?  Solomon trusts God.  He prayed to God, “And now, O Lord my God, you have made me your servant king in place of my father David, although I am only a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of the people whom you have chosen, a great people, so numerous they cannot be numbered or counted.”

What Solomon could have done!  He could have led by his own devices.  He could have led by his own counsel or the counsel of those around him.  But rather than rely solely on his own worldly knowledge and experience and that of his advisors he put his trust in God.  And although he had a great intellect, he knew intuitively to trust not in those around him, but to trust the source of life which resided deep within him, the deepest stratus of identity.  What was his motto?  In God I trust.  Will you make “in God I trust” your motto this week?  Post it where you can see it.  Repeat it to yourself.  Let’s try it right now:  “In God I trust!”

It was already so that Solomon had a relationship with God as God appeared to him in a dream and told Solomon to “ask what I should give you.”  You can ask it this way too, “What do I want from God?”  If God was to ask you that question what would you answer?   Let’s see what Solomon answered.  

Solomon had witnessed his father David’s relationship with God; a good example of a father for a son.  And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant my father David, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you; and you have kept for him this great and steadfast love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne today.”  

What a gift David left Solomon!  What an example, even though David wasn’t a perfect man.  He was arrogant at times and ruthless.  He made some poor choices and major mistakes.  And he paid a price for his actions.  But God wasn’t expecting perfection out of David.  God was expecting faithfulness, righteous and uprightedness in heart.  He was seeking right intention and devotion.   He was seeking David’s attunement with his own righteousness; that being a vibrancy of being of the same frequency of God.  You can use the word godliness in place of righteousness.  And that’s what he was hoping for from Solomon.  

And it’s what God is hoping for from you and me; faithfulness, righteousness and uprightedness, not perfection.  The Buddha put it this way; right desire, right action and right livelihood.  Jesus put it; “my Father’s will; God’ will; the way, the truth and the life that leads to unity with the will of God; not what I want God, what you want; your will is my will.”  Joseph and Mary provided the example of this in their own lives for Jesus.  Can you imagine leaving that legacy for your own children, grand children and great grand children; trust in God!  What legacy would you like to leave your progeny?   “In God I trust.”

So what did Solomon ask God for?   Solomon answered, “Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, able to discern between good and evil; for who can govern your great people?”

Think of all the things that Solomon could have asked for; power over people, riches, wives, military prowess and he asked for wisdom by which to lead and to discern right from wrong.  Imagine a world where our political and business leaders sought this, we as parents and grandparents sought this as heads of households and families and we as lay and clergy leaders sought this for leading our churches, faith communities and secular communities; where our leaders and every human lived by what motto?  “In God I trust!”

Solomon’s request pleased God and not because God needed anything from Solomon.  God doesn’t need anything from us.  God’s desire is for our well-being.  God wants the best of us and from us for us.  There’s no selfishness in God.  That in itself is a great example for us; to be selfless and let God manifest in us, through us and around us.  Solomon did something that Jesus did later on.  He put God first; God’s vision, God’s Kingdom and rule.  He put love first.   Some call this Deep Love or Big Love.  And God rewarded him.  This is true trust; trust in God, his own calling; his own highest, truest and best self going forward.

God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches, or for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, I now do according to your word.  Indeed I give you a wise and discerning mind; no one like you has been before you and no one like you shall arise after you.  I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honor all your life; no other king shall compare with you.  If you will walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and my commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your life.”

Jesus put it this way:  “Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these other things will be given to you.”   Seek Wisdom and Truth from Within and Beyond. Align you will with God’s Will and Heaven’s storehouses of riches will be open to you.  You’ll have everything you need and more.  Your life will be lengthened in days and your impact on others increased.  

What happens for us when we put God first and then the people God has put before us to serve; our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, our communities?  God is faithful to the faithful.  God is faithful to us when we align ourselves with God’s will, which is not separate at all from our own highest or best will.  When our hearts and minds are aligned with this higher will of ours, good pours forth from us and for us, others being part of us, for we are all one in this Spirit and this life together; God’s love, God’s presence, God’s being is manifest in us and our world.  Let’s declare it as a commitment:  In God I trust!”