I do not live for the “win”

8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves. 9 Don’t pay back evil for evil or insult for insult. Instead, give blessing in return. You were called to do this so that you might inherit a blessing. (1 Pe 3:8–9, CEB)

I don’t need a “winning” mentality. I need a Kingdom mentality. My call is not to live in the DNA of this world or this culture. It is to live in the DNA of the Kingdom of God.

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I am on a temporary visa

1 Peter 2:11–12 (CEB)
11 Dear friends, since you are immigrants and strangers in the world, I urge that you avoid worldly desires that wage war against your lives. 12 Live honorably among the unbelievers. Today, they defame you, as if you were doing evil. But in the day when God visits to judge they will glorify him, because they have observed your honorable deeds.

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The culture of heaven cultivated in me

As I walk through Colossians 3:1-4:6, I am struck by the characteristics of the kingdom. I need to cultivate these characteristics in my own life.

Especially this: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (4:2)

I think of this prayer in that pursuit:

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. (BCP, 2019)

I didn’t understand deception

This passage meant something entirely different for me when I was in my 20s that today:

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (NLT)
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.

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Roe vs. Wade

There is just no way of writing something on this topic without, 1. Getting something wrong, and 2. Having others who differ in opinions tell me how much I get it wrong. Thus, I avoid this topic.

Yet, this is a huge day. I can write this and get it out and it will be nothing in the midst of the huge storm of articles and posts flooding the internet. I can get some thoughts out and process this early on and it will go unnoticed and I can move right along.

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The nourishment of my soul

I have finished Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton. There are some key thoughts from his book that stir my own story.

Nourished by the Sacraments and formed by the prayer and teaching of the Church, we need seek nothing but the particular place willed for us by God within the Church.

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A prayer of wandering

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. — Thomas Merton

Being trained

Ephesians 4:20–21 (NIV): That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

How have I “learned” Christ? We don’t just “fall” into discipleship or formation. Everyone it gets an education. The question is what kind? This is what I reflect on when I come to this part of Ephesians.

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