Morning Meditation 2.23.16

morning meditation 2.23.16

as a follower of Christ I know that my love for God is best demonstrated by whom I love the least, and as I sit here in my car minutes before I start work I’m mediating on that.

you see, I’ve been having a difficult time doing that lately, loving the other that is, and I have a coworker who would be “the other” in my case; he’s loud, arrogant, not a good listener, rehearsed rhetoric when it comes to what he thinks about the LGBTQ+ community… we’ve duked it out verbally when it comes to these matters, he still doesn’t get it (and no, in this instance I don’t equate “getting it” as taking the side I have in this matter).

Yet yesterday before the work day ended he asked me to stand in solidarity with him, a little gesture, but he asked to do so anyway.
gut response; “why in the hell should I stand in solidarity with you?”
But Jesus got the better of me, and I said “yes I will do that with you.”

The way of Jesus is difficult and goes against the grain of my natural instincts and reactions. I’m not standing in solidarity for praise or respect of my peers, I’m doing it because Jesus would want me to.

This is how I show love today, with the other who has offended me and those I love dearly. Not my love per se, but the love of Jesus.

~ Nathanael~

Don’t let fear and ignorance win!

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In times of great evil my advice is simple; don’t let fear and ignorance win. With the horrific event that happened less than 24 hours ago in Paris, we need to realize that it wasn’t our Muslim brothers and sisters who were behind the attacks, and yet that might be the lie we tell others and one we ourselves might buy into.

How sad that Islamophobia and other religion-based phobia are very prevalent in our world today. To give weight, to have convoluted thoughts and lack sound judgment and rationality and go on and accuse Muslims (or any other religious people group) of doing something in the name of their God because supposedly that’s what s/he demands.

As a follower of Christ, I know that Christianity’s history is at times patchy, dark, and reeks of evil. From having a hand in modern Palestine and Israel to The Crusades, but just because something was done in the name of God does not mean in the SLIGHTEST that it was God and that religion, only the guise of God and religion.

I stand in solidarity with my Muslim brothers and sisters because I realize that what happened does not reflect true Islam and faithful Muslims across the world. I also stand with them because that is what Jesus would do and it is my desire to be Christ-like in my words and also my actions.

~Nathanael~

Morning meditation 7.4.15

Morning meditation 7.4.15

Morning meditation 7.4.15

It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a fourth of July parade, but it is my intention to go to the one in my hometown today. But I’m sure I will incur some wrath by those who don’t understand that I don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance nor do I stand when others do for it.

You see, I believe in ideals that are bigger than the United States of America; I pledge allegiance to the kingdom of God and all of its inhabitants therein, I pledge allegiance to doing my part ushering forth Perfect Shalom and Tikkun Olam, I pledge allegiance to not seeing the world as a bad place getting worse, I pledge allegiance to those who are deemed enemies, I pledge allegiance to those who are subjugated to torture and life in prison, I pledge allegiance to minorities social outcasts the marginalized the wounded the hurt the broken, I pledge allegiance to my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, I pledge allegiance to my brothers and sisters of all faith traditions, I pledge allegiance to my brothers and sisters for atheists and agnostics, I pledge allegiance to whoever I have wronged and whoever the church has wronged…

These are those that I pledge my allegiance and solidarity to, because the kingdom of God is bigger than flags and nations. May my pledge and my love be louder than the Pledge Of Allegiance!

I am participating in Christians 4 Ramadan / #Christians4Ramadan to the best of my ability

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Earlier this year I found out about a movement among some Muslims called #Muslims4Lent; essentially out of solidarity and interfaith appreciation there were those who partook in Lent despite it not being part of their faith tradition. When I found out about this I was deeply moved and resolved to partake in Ramadan when it came.

And it has started, as of sunset June 17th, and will continue through until July 17th. My reasons for partaking in Ramadan are similar to that of those who participated in Muslims 4 Lent, solidarity & interfaith appreciation, but I am also partaking to allot more time to prayer and other practices within my own faith tradition.
I admit, I haven’t fasted before for more than a week, and so I am not sure how my body will handle it given that I won’t be eating (with the exception of at night fall and before dawn.) for a month. As a result I am going to be diligent in participating to the fullest extent, but if health issues occur during my time of fasting I am going to postpone it and pick it up when I can provided I can (which is acceptable when it comes to fasting during the month of Ramadan).

Ramadan Mubarak y’all!
~Nathanael~

Happy Spirit Day 2014

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Today is Spirit Day, which is a day to stand in support and solidarity of the LGBTQ Community. I too stand in solidarity for the LGBTQ Community, as a follower of Christ / Red Letter Christian I am compelled to.

One of the verses in the Bible that speaks to me about love is found in John 13:34-35, in which Jesus said; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Here’s the thing I’ve found to be true in all situations pertaining to people that are either similar to me or different than me:

Love requires proximity.

If I have choose to avoid certain individuals, if I keep my distance, how then will the love of God flow out of me to those individuals?

If you’re going to be intentional with someone, you should want to BE with them, you should want to hear their stories, you should want to break bread with them and so on…because in doing so, the differences that you might have thought existed have now become less than before. You connect with them on a human level and you realize not only their humanity but yours as well.

I’m not saying you ought to do what I do, think what I think, or even believe what I believe. All I’m saying is get to know people in proximity and allow your posture to be one of grace and humility. Otherwise you’ll find that you’re there but not there, and others are bound to pick up on this fortified wall you’ve surrounded yourself with and they might not be receptive to you.

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It is for these reasons I choose to model my life after Christ’s; for this I choose to position Jesus at the center of my life, in him I find a purpose to live, in him I have found ways to “go and do likewise”. And what does that look like? Well I would hope that it is in alignment with Micah 6:8, that I “act justly…love mercy and…walk humbly with…God.”
For this I choose to be an ally to a community that has been marginalized and picked on by the church. For this I choose to be outspoken for those who sometimes do not have a voice. For this I cannot keep quiet. For this I choose to love instead of hate or show indifference or apathy.

May my love be louder,
Nathanael

Wear purple today for Spirit Day

Today is Spirit Day, and in solidarity against the bullying of LGBTQ youth, people are wearing purple. Regardless of what your background is, I’m sure you’d agree with me that no one should be bullied, NO ONE, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, belief system, et al.
As as follower of Christ I am compelled to defend others, especially those who aren’t able to defend themselves. Did not Christ come to the side of those who were bullied? Does not the Bible speak about taking shelter in God, we should then be a place of shelter for those who need one!

 

Speak up, defend others and wear some purple today!

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