Our History of Wonder

Born To Please

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Unaware yet born to please,
Shedding blood in greed and fear,
Two wills, one selfish and one to appease,
Serving two masters is doubly clear
Divinity patiently waits to join us here.

Burning without destroying, man is drawn,
Confused by how this could appear,
Barefoot steps tremble on legs of a fawn,
The Irresistible orders Moses to lead on.
Ending man’s innate question with more to think upon.

Aware and finding reason to please,
A scapegoat is devised to lay their sins upon,
Yet power corrupts due to man’s disease
Laying law upon law, love is soon gone,
Replaced by our will serving our need,
Doubting even The Ten that convicts of our greed.

Undaunted and untamed, Emmanuel borrows skin,
Fragile and human, Jesus comes to feed,
Giving Himself as food for forgotten sin,
The Christ of God breaks Death’s final grin,
The grave once greedy cannot hold resurrection win.
Grace and peace, by loving God and neighbor begins.

Keys are given atop of a rock,
One day to surrender and led by an enemy’s whim,
Purity is from dross The Spirit continues the stock,
In spite of Power, soon time forgets and corruption begins,
Saints are sent while the encourage the true flock,
Laws upon laws, the slumbering are loyal yet God is mocked.

Still hope remains in the trusting souls,
Whose trust surrendered to their Redeemer’s knock,
Fearlessly led by the Anointed’s beatific goal,
Inexpressible joy is given when we relinquish control,
Loving God through our neighbor in forgiving revolt,
Until that Day of Wrath, when the Lamb pours out the bowls,

Yet, despite pious boast, regret will cover those who condemn,
Those unjustly shamed and discarded Christ collects from another fold,
For Heaven is not a room to secure to which we ascend,
But true community that weds a Groom who willingly descends.
The Bride’s “I do” is our present ‘Amen.”

By Chris Clody 5/9/15

Maya Angelo: Teaching Clarity and More

downloadmayaI was captivated by a recent TV interview of Maya Angelo. Her gentle persuasion and profound, compassion expressed in her want to teach resonated deeply with me. Her selection of words seemed to grip me with its passive-aggressive dare to love another. This was no ordinary interview… and this was no ordinary mind. If I wasn’t already on the edge of my seat, surely when she quoted Terence – I put the remote down. The quote: “I am a man, I consider nothing that is human alien to me.”

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2011/03/nothing-that-is-human-is-alien-maya-angelo-and-terence/

These words are the key to both survival and community within the very heart and soul of humanity. Like Christ, who could sum up the will and laws of God with two basic commands to love God, and neighbor as yourself, Terence offers wisdom in our understanding of forgiveness. Although I passionately believe Christ has no equal, I have found a mentor in a slave turned success story from 170 B.C.E. As the words Maya quoted  exposes a new awakening in my ever-broadening perspective that defines love of God and neighbor, I felt a new wholeness and sanity in our need to forgive. Humanity biologically shares a same nature and therefore each of us shares the capacity to do good or evil. Understanding our humanity, our full humanity, was a portion of Christ’s fearless message. Embracing the irresistible and love of Christ also involves embracing our neighbor. Christianity is a beautiful mess of forgiveness and hope. The words of Terence allows us to approach another’s offense knowing I am capable of that very same offense. Forgiveness allows for a healthier community perspective towards sin and the sinner. Forgiveness is humanity’s dare to love beyond whatever makes our skin crawl. However, forgiveness is only truly sane when it points to the hope of true restoration.  Without hope, the heart is left unsatisfied, desperate, and yearning. Ultimately, Christ raises the bar implied by Terence challenging us to realize that sin is, in the end, an eternal offense against God while a temporary one against humanity. There is no “justice” in murder only punishment for the offender. While punishment intends to bring safety to community it does not bring a satisfying wholeness. Grief is our community’s burden – however, bitterness does not need to be. It is in the promised hope offered by a Savior that prompts the heart to release and forgive. My deepest want, like that of Maya’s challenge to love, is to be able to communicate the restorative capacity offered through Christ that awakens faith, enlightens hope, and overwhelms us with love.

God Bless you Maya and Terence.

Peace,
Chris

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Why do we suffer?

images tearwHow can a faithful and merciful God allow suffering? Surely this is a reasonable question.   Especially when the unexpected awful hits us or someone so close to our heart.  This question further rages when the very young suffer.   I doubt my words will change the miserable grip of overwhelming sorrow or doubt that rocks even the core of your faith.   However, I pray that for those who suffer can dry their eyes for a moment and possibly see tribulation through another lens.  Truth, which is an infinite component of God’s love for us, is not a pair of rose-colored glasses but rather a gift of deep, consoling peace.  Truth will not change the situation but the way you see and engage distress will.  God’s love by nature is diffusive and seeps into everything we do and sense.  God’s will can do nothing but good and His love is all encompassing.  His love is our truest form of mercy.  Whether His love leads us in joy or a trial of sorrow, we must embrace His inexhaustible mercy. The ‘reasonable’ question of why we suffer is simply answered as a work of love beyond our capacity to reason.  For those God sees as worthy grapes thrown into the press of suffering ravageing our very mind, body, and soul – fear not.  God’s is truly near and His gaze never leaves us.   Tears are never wasted where faith endures.   Know that wine from your suffering is the very work of love that others will drink so as to lift their gaze to God.

The Vineyard

grapes

Heavy is the fruit that hangs from the vine,
That glisten with dew in the rising sun,
Beautiful red clusters begin their blush,
Harvest for many has now begun.
Worthy are the grapes He chooses to crush,
For only the choicest of fruit will be made into wine.

By Chris Clody 5/4/14

God Blesses The World

 

God Blesses the World

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For the sake of Jesus,
God blesses the world,
From the depth of majesty,
From which mercy is hurled.
For the light of His love,
Shines through five wounds,
The hands, feet, and side,
From which profound freedom blooms.
One cannot stare past the light,
That burns like the sun,
Unless one looks humbly,
As if into a gun.
But it is not fear of dying,
That draws humility’s gaze,
Rather, fear of not living,
For Whom has numbered our days.
The long shadows we cast,
Are reminders to shine,
To cast off our darkness,
Through faith and works combined.
We were born to reflect
Not stare into the sun,
And bask in His warmth,
For the new spring has begun.
Love thy neighbor,
And live for God’s glory,
For the moments are counting,
Each breath of our love story.

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By Chris Clody 4/15/14

 

The Bridge

homeless1I was awed by the provocative words I heard this Sunday at church regarding the separation between people as was related to a biblical passage between a very poor and sick man named Lazarus and a rich man found in Luke 16:19-31.  Drawing from the unnecessary, continuous separation experienced between both men on earth and in the afterlife was simply sad. If within every “hello” there is a chance for compassion, the oblivion of the rich man’s radar for Lazarus was simply turned off.   If the works of Jesus is our tangible, visible expression of the invisible and incessant grace of Our Father, then the opportunity to dig deeper behind each “hello” is the path Christ’s beckons us towards.

bridge1It was the beautiful analogy of building bridges explained on Sunday by first using thin, lightweight lines to first “bridge” the distance by which the gap separates each side.  Slowly, thicker and thicker lines are used to pull the more substantial cords used in its construction.  Whether the bridge is a place to meet in the middle or used only for one to cross over completely to the other side to be with another, either way demonstrates our humanity’s need to draw together into communion and community despite what separates us.  For the Christian, their ability to seek communion regardless of differences is their litmus test – for those they love the least is a reflection of how much they love their Savior.  It is necessary to throw out those long, thin lines for want of communion so more substantial relationships can be slowly drawn closer together.  To dare to accept the radical nature of Christ’s compassion and unstoppable forgiveness revealing His Father’s will towards our and His communion, we must become fearless bridges – if even if they fail and come crashing down.  forgive2Often, actually too often, Jesus is used as a metaphor as a bridge between Heaven and Earth, bridging the damnation every soul has been born into under the genetic curse of Original Sin. But my friends, Jesus is much more than a bridge spanning the merciful arm of redemption from Heaven to Earth – He is fill.  Although we may not see the abundant grace that can move God to forget all our offenses, it is the tangible, visible love for neighbor that builds a community joyfully gathering without condemnation in the promise of salvation.  If souls that die in friendship with this immaculate heart and soul of a forgiving Redeemer, then cast forth those thin lines of hope to love your God through your neighbor…regardless…community1

His Peace,

Chris

The Untimely Question…

When tragedy strikes, especially when death steals the joy from our lives, we are left battered by its unpredictable ambush.

As comfortable and self-sufficient cultures continue to skillfully disengage from the necessity of God, heavy hearts find no place for tears.  Tears should never be wasted.  Although death’s facecard seems to trump any momentum to our life’s vitality and promise, the house does not always have to win. Although the reality of loss, un-relenting grief and tears, will have their way, this human response is not an invitation to wasted tears and despair.  Instead suffering is a heavy door that opens to a choice offering refuge for mortality’s greatest insecurity and soft landing for our tears.  Facing this question now will help the weeping from their knees sooner by the strong and gentle hands of hope.  Find some time today and join me in prayer for the grieving.

God is near – let Him in.

His,

Chris

The Will and Our Tears

The most difficult question of all,
Comes from the tears falling in our loss.
What God’s will allows after man’s fall,
How tragedy’s price comes at great cost,
And where even His Son dies on a cross…

Yet, somehow, our suffering has a place,
Where hearts like gold shed its tears of dross,
Tears of sorrow become tears of grace,
Drying in God’s prodigal embrace.

The salt that remains gives life flavor,
Although the pain we feel is not erased,
But hope that seasons…will not waver.

The most challenging answer of all,
Offers tears a wooden cross onto which they fall.

©2011 by Chris Clody 6/10/2012

Please “Leave a reply” and share your thoughts if tears are wasted and where we can take our grief. Thanks!

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link:

Thoughts2Share

This Dimming World

The Gospel is a powerful flame from an eternal, consuming fire.    Submitting to its heat and light is governed by the length of wick we allow it burn.

Free will is a battle of control and trust.   Our vanity screams, “How much is enough?” while our soul screams “More!”  We are challenge to set this world on fire in a dimming world.  Although rebellion to God’s will dim the heart and soul, the light, is more often than not, simply unwelcomed.   Although the light is criticized as some prudish moralizer its purpose of casting shadows are meant for something far greater.  Looking at the long shadows behind us remind us we were made for something more – something magnificent.  It is not out of fear that the light draws the moth.  Yes, there is repentance and sorrow for our sins when embraced of the Holy Spirit, yet the release of our regret is our first breath of true freedom.  Freedom from fear and the warmth of indestructible love provide a new haven in which no words could condemn a heart for Christ.

Shine on,

Chris

 

 

 

This Dimming World

Darkness engulfs this dimming world,
Rebellion roots deep into hearts,
Love that bravely hung from a cross,
Is forgotten like abstract art.

The Christ-God is a delusion,
A laughable myth swallowed whole,
Rational thought evades my faith,
Trapped within some clueless black hole.

Maybe I am not your bible,
Or the lid to your problem’s pot.
But the Hope I render freely,
Offers light to your proud, blind spot.

Listen to your abandoned soul,
That aches to hold the Father’s gaze.
Be still and awaken your heart,
Choking in your rebellious haze.

My prayers will always follow you,
Like a faithful dog at your side.
Whose hopeful tail and soulful eyes,
Patiently wait ‘til pride subsides.

Should beating hearts humbly repent,
Before God calls back a silent drum,
Give praise to the Christ in whom God sent,
And shine before the Perfect comes.

 ©2012 by Chris Clody 4/23/2012

Have you been criticized, or worse, persecuted, for your faith?  How do you respond to the following scripture? Let me know your thoughts!

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

For more Christian encouragement check out my ebook by clicking the following link: Thoughts2Share