Battles Won & Lost

In David’s Song of Ascents we could picture “those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.  He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing sheaves with him” (Ps 126:5-6).  The wicked boasts of his heart’s desire, and the greedy man curses and spurns the Lord.  His thoughts are, “There is no God” (Ps 10:3-4).  But when the joy of our salvation is restored and a willing spirit sustained, then he will teach transgressors his ways, and sinners will be converted to the Lord (Ps 51:12-13).

Soul Winners

An author, historian, and diplomat Washington Irving (1783–1859) wrote, “There is sacredness in tears.  They are not a mark of weakness, but of power.  They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.  They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”  These are the same tears which missionaries shed as soul-winners, rejoicing over the battles that are won, and being upset over souls that are lost.

Soon these evangelists realize that they aren’t always victories.  Yes, they do experience highs, but there are lows too.  Billy Graham (1918–2017), a Christian evangelist and Southern Baptist minister said, “The Christian life is not a constant high.  I have my moments of deep discouragement.  I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’”  Christians of faith cry when others’ salvation is at stake.  It may not be for this reason only, but when they pray and try to convert the wayward, who refuse to see the light.

But how must they think of people who have transitioned to the great beyond?  There could be lots which can be said.  Believers wish they could have been more open to these individuals, but now it’s too late.  Abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896) wrote, “The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”  At such moments it takes our loving Savior to put our hearts at ease.

Tears of Joy

Yet there are happy tears especially when evangelists’ prayers are answered.  They jump for joy and are delightful over every saved soul.  Hosea Ballou (1771–1852), a Universalist clergyman and theological writer said, “Tears of joy are like the summer rain drops pierced by sunbeams.”  What a magnificent image that captures the delight of God’s blessings of those who are sinners!  A better life awaits them and they will live in peace.

This life though is a mixed bag of emotions.  An activist on behalf of the indigent insane, Dorothy Dix (1802–1887) wrote, “There isn’t a single human being who hasn’t plenty to cry over, and the trick is to make the laughs outweigh the tears.”  Evangelists prefer to be laughing especially when there are joyful victories.  Laughter sets the right tone for future efforts in missionary fields.  But these Christians might be on a roller coaster.  It is therefore wise to view such variations as gifts.  For believers may never know when such problems can be blessings in disguise.

A Spanish mystic and Roman Catholic Carmelite nun St. Teresa of Avila (1515–1582) said, “I think you have to pay for love with bitter tears.”  Tears can be expressions of joy and sadness.  But their significance to Christians is profound for they reveal a caring nature.  For these Christians pride themselves by putting their hearts and souls in their evangelical works for other people’s welfare.

The Church’s Growth

In working together it’s good for the church to have a sense of solidarity.  Be innovative and see the transforming power of the Holy Spirit at work in its midst.  It’ll be necessary to pay attention to your parishioners and be an active coordinator of the community.  By keeping your finger on the pulse of the group and knowing when affirmations are in order will stave off countless headaches.  By so doing you’ll be practicing good management skills in monitoring your parish, and you’ll be demonstrating good spiritual leadership.  Konrad von Gesner (1516–1565), a Swiss naturalist and photographer said, “Best of all is to preserve everything in a pure, still heart, and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song.”

Emphasize Service

In your church use your gift of leadership to rally others to fulfill the congregation’s objectives.  Before doing so, it’s wise to seek counsel from experts and experienced parishioners.  An English writer and clergyman Robert Burton (1577–1640) wrote, “Who cannot give good counsel?  [I]ts cheap, it costs them nothing.”

In churches in some countries priests have even been known to wash the feet of women where such action has been considered a cultural taboo.  But the goal of such demonstration was to motivate and enlist members to do the same.  This was done in the spirit of humble service that’s a true mission of religious leadership.

Follow Willingly

To lead a congregation the hierarchical leadership has to be centered on having the respect of the followers.  The congregants must never feel they are herded like cattle.  It’s best to have them volunteer for ministries, and have parishioners, consider themselves as brothers and sisters in Christ.  Such an attitude will invigorate the community.  Members will be interacting with a spirit of goodwill. They will be clear about their roles in the church.

Rob McKenna (b. 1927), a Dominican bishop said, “You can study government and politics in school, but the best way to really understand the process is to volunteer your time.”  McKenna’s advice wasn’t only meant for governmental workers, but it’s also appropriate for the church.

A Matter of Values

It’s wise always to want the best for all members.  This means everyone has to be treated like a colleague who’s vital to the parish.  One doesn’t have to own a limousine to be considered a success in life.  Having impeccable values and blessed with positive attitudes are more important.  For through these qualities it’ll be necessary to promote growth within the church.  These gifts lead to spiritual excellence and are empowering to the community.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945), a president of the United States wrote, “I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can surely pick smart colleagues.”  A leader in the church must always be looking out for talented individuals to lead the congregation.  This untapped resource usually gives new vitality to a church.  It’s the foundation of a community’s future.  New talent strengthens growth, and paves the way for the advancement of the best in Christ.

 

Small & Beautiful

It’s always best to embrace small and beautiful growth.  This means that consumers will have to downsize.  They should focus on having the right goals in life.  An accumulation of material possessions is far from the answer.  Overabundance can lead all sorts of dehumanization, so people should ask, “Why must they acquire less earthly possessions?”

Being caretakers of planet earth people do have ownership already over many gifts of nature.  It’s for us not to be greedy by pursuing gluttonous lives.  As good stewards make what has been bequeathed to us our responsibility to preserve and protect.  Make sure that ownership of excesses doesn’t lead to clutter and pollution of our environment.  Our minds ought to focus on ecological endeavors.  As a result we’ll see ourselves not only as defenders of people’s rights, but as protectors of our environment.

Commodities in Life

Our production model must be geared toward the purposeful usage of commodities.  It’s for us to concentrate on what we essentially want, and not delight in an overabundance of material goods by being pleasure seekers in the world.  We should ask the question: “When is having enough, enough?”  It’s necessary to look at our belongings, and consider what we can do without.  In their twilight years some seniors find it necessary to downsize the contents of their homes.

Notable writers have opted for living simply.  Some of these professionals are able to demonstrate how to make mother earth sustainable.  These authors, philosophers, social scientists and media critics are: Ernest Callenbach, Duane Elgin, Richard Gregg, Harland Hubbard, Mark Boyle – the Moneyless Man, Jim Herkel and Daniel Suelo.

Media & Sustainability

Print media like Mother Earth News, The Power of Half, and The Good Life have been pushing Americans toward sustainability with their repeated mantra of simplicity.  If possible, it’ll be wise to return to the land, for it’s amazing how much the Bible teaches about nature and a pastoral life. Psalm 23 describes people as “sheep with a shepherd.”  It envisions a future of everlasting joy of peace, and humility in the abiding grace of God.

A British economist E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful explains the right growth required to accomplish such a task.  We have to put our trust in the Lord in developing the best attitude about these conditions.  People ought to pray for guidance to make right decisions about our environment.  Knowledge, wisdom and truth must be pursued in making decisions concerning our natural environment.  Small is Beautiful in the Times Literary Supplement was considered among the 100 most influential books.  But our spirituality will help us understand why God is asking us to embrace simplicity.  This goal will provide insights about our lives, needs, hopes and dreams.  In the end it’ll help us to be better stewards, not only of our households, but of all God’s creation.

God’s Blessings

Peoples’ lives are blessed if they live God-centered lives.  Each day we’ll be able to give thanks not only for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and our homes, but also the renewal of our environment.  Simplicity will come naturally for we’ll feed the poor and hungry alike, and provide for the homeless.  These are our neighbors that we often leave out of our abundance.  By meeting these needs with a willing heart will enable us to be truly blessed, because we’ll be living God-directed lives.  Once these goals are accomplished, people shall proclaim themselves true adherents in pursuing small and beautiful growth.

Be a Shining Light

Are you reluctant to give love, or do you harbor feelings of ill-will?  It may be that you are bearing a grudge.  That’s when you can’t budge from the sad thoughts of life.  Why aren’t you able to move on from these corrupted thoughts?   There’s a song by a British quintet entitled, “A Grudge in the Key of Sludge” that captures people’s rather melancholy state.

 Blood, Sweat & Tears

Some people view life as nothing more than blood, sweat and tears.  True, there can be hard times when struggling to accomplish our goals.  As the saying goes, “No pain, no gain.”  Often we make sacrifices in laboring at tasks.  These tasks may not all be physical, but may be any type of work.  In studying an education is challenging.  Some fear taking courses that are difficult.  These subjects may be in science.  Yet there are those that love science and technology.  But others may struggle in physical activities, English, or a foreign language.  But with these tests do we have to feel as though we’re ill-suited for life?

There was a contemporary American jazz-rock group – Blood, Sweat & Tears, well known in the 1960s and early 1970s, a brainchild of the legendary Al Kooper, who puts a new spin on the group’s name, for this band brought joy with music.  Songs that were great hits were: “Child Is The Father To The Man,” “And When I Die,” “You Made Me So Very Happy,” and “Spinning Wheel.”  The group’s music and lyrics captured the realities of life.  In short they sang: “One time you’re up, another you’re down.  Now you’re happy, soon you’re sad.  Anyway, life’s never the same.”  So why would people want to hold on to feelings of ill-will?

Untapped Creativity

Soon or later in life some people find their niche.  Scripture tells us each one has at least one gift.  But some Christians may be blessed with many more.  The key in unlocking your hidden potential is by filtering the noise and distraction from our life.  Patiently embrace peace in tackling problems.  Try to avoid situations which make you become unfocused and irritable.  Relax, play music that lightens your mood, and cultivate those qualities that are beneficial.  With prayer and meditation trust your experiences and you’ll surely discover your untapped potential.

Taste Life’s Possibilities

Try pursuing your own fulfillment with ease, joy and comfort.  Then find meaning in signs, coming your way to test your beliefs.  During your quest you’ll be sure to encounter the miraculous.  In accessing the unknown areas in your life you’ll be able to sleep better, have more energy, and be at peace.  Concerning your future you’ll probably need information from a trusted mentor.  But as you grow older and wiser you’ll realize that although work and money are important, life consists of other essential characteristics.  In a British documentary entitled: “The Possibilities Are Endless”, William Collins focused on life’s infinite realities proved educational.  Watching a show like this may be quite helpful.

Why bear a grudge?

Being reluctant to give should never be in the playbook of a Christian.  He or she must reach out to the needy and to everyone who needs help.  The essence of Christian living is to give and serve others with joy.  With their talent and treasure some Christians are avid givers.  They volunteer at hospitals, nursing homes, book mobiles and at libraries.  When it comes to giving treasure it isn’t only the collection plate in which they drop checks on Sundays, but they also donate to other charitable organizations.

When giving there should be no ill-intent.  Many Christians see themselves as being truly blessed.  For years they have worked in careers, and are now giving back to their communities.  They consider such acts good, for they have tasted life’s possibilities, and are happy to reciprocate.  This giving is wonderful because it provides vital needs to the least among us.   It’s true that a life saved may well become a shining light to emulate.

 

Walking Simply in Love

In life it’s delightful to live simply and share our gifts with others.  That’s how we can capture the dignity of living fulfilled lives.  Life is all about faithful service, and by understanding different in cultures, we’ll love God more, as well as our neighbors.  We’ll be able to capture the truth about brotherly and sisterly love.  Our acts of affection will satisfy many biblical promises in the world.  Saint Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary said, “Let us meet each other with [a] smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”  Knowingly and unknowingly people take their cues from believers.

The Road in Life

Being in Christ there’s a surge of new life.  This could be seen in our churches.  There are those people, who even express this blessing in their daily walk.  Their demeanor shows the embodiment of the merciful love of God.  This sort of love is effective for its healing.  It doesn’t discriminate, nor makes distinctions.  It’s through this caring bridges are built in our world.  These are visual signs of God’s love working within and through us.  People’s love is simply embraced and nurtured.  It’s an ever-watchful as we continue our spiritual journey.  But there’s another way to determine love’s effectiveness.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister, activist, and African-American Civil Rights Movement leader wrote, “A genuine leader is not a searcher of consensus but a molder of consensus.”  It’s for Christians to take people where they are, and bring them along the path of righteousness.   

 Kingdom of Life

It isn’t enough only to be a lover of life, for such people may be selfish in their desires.  It’s wrong to be self-centered and living a life without God.  News about God mustn’t be buried, but proclaimed to build confidence in the world.  To know the glory of Christ we’ve to be creators, who are willing to show others love.  This is how we demonstrate the power of everlasting life entrusted to believers.  Ralph Ellison (1914–1994), a novelist and literary critic said, “If the word has the potency to revive and make us free, it has also the power to blind, imprison and destroy.”  There’s a big difference between “worldly” and “spiritual” love.  Unlike “worldly,” the “spiritual” enlightens and uplifts our hearts and minds.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), an Irish playwright, novelist, and poet wrote, “Our ambition should be to rule ourselves, the true kingdom for each one of us; and true progress is to know more, and to do more.”  People could only attain these gifts by accepting our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in their lives.  How we live is determined not only by what we see, but by unseen forces.

 Having Compassion

People must be compassionate towards others.  One of the ways that they can accomplish this is by interacting with them.  As missionaries we have to be compassionate by the way we treat people.  By being loving custodians we’ve to model the love of Christ.  This is the beginning of love that reaches out to our communities.

Muhammad Ali (b. 1942), a former professional boxer said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”  Undoubtedly if people believed they must serve, for it’s the way they must pay back for their stay on earth, this world would be a far better place.  People wouldn’t be so self-centered, but see themselves more as their brothers and sisters’ keepers on earth.  To accomplish such goals are to walk simply in love, and serve others.

Service-Learning

Douglas Adams (1950–2001), an English writer, humorist and dramatist said, “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”  Service-learning must have these attributes.  The National and Community Service Act of 1990 showed that what people learned in and beyond the classroom must foster the development for caring for others.  The characteristics to be noticed are:

  • Persons will learn and develop through active participation by organized service-experiences that meet community needs.
  • Service projects will integrate participants’ academic curricula by providing structured time for thinking, talking, and writing concerning what they are doing, and seeing during these activities.
  • Activists will have opportunities to use their newly acquired skills and knowledge in real life situations in their communities.
  • There will be enhancement of what was taught in classroom-situations through learning beyond the classroom, and the community in helping to foster the development of a sense of caring for others.

Life as Experiences

Henry Ford (1863–1947), an industrialist and the founder of Ford Motor Company wrote, “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this.  For the world was built to develop character and we must learn that the setbacks and grieves which we endure, help us in our marching onward.”  It’s through joining forces with our communities, and by building viable structures people will help them achieve new realities.  Andrew Furco in Service-Learning: A Balance Approach to Experiential Education stated such learning wasn’t the following:

  • Volunteerism – where the primary interest was on the service being provided, and the intended beneficiary were clearly the recipients.
  • Community service – where the primary focus was on the service being provided as well as the benefits that such activities brought to the recipients. Participants receive benefits by learning more about how their services make a difference.
  • Internships that generally engaged individuals in activities, primarily for the purpose of providing hands-on experiences, while enhancing their learning, or understanding of issues to particular areas of studies.
  • Field Education that provided co-curricular service opportunities that will be related, but not fully integrated with their formal goals. People generally performed such services as part of a program designed to enhance their understanding of field studies.

Quality Service

George Washington (1732–1799), the first president of the United States said, “Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”  Similar minded people bent on service to their communities will lead to greater understanding in our communities.  But there might be problems threatening to impede such progress.

Quite important is adequate funding by Federal, State and private corporations for community projects.  Another issue coming to the forefront is documenting the progress made during these undertakings.  Nowadays there are miniature digital cameras capable of producing high quality pictures and programs of such projects.  Then there has to be the delivery systems available for participants to bring their work to the attention of the public.  This could be done through participating TV and cable channels, the Internet, local press and publications of different organizations.  It’s imperative that all parties – secular and non-secular alike, become linkages in symbiotic ways.  If the strong bonds for communal advancement don’t presently exist, over time these will develop.  With such progress entities of service-learning will lead to greater social, cultural, spiritual and communal growth.

Serenity

Serenity is a quiet joy that lights up the soul.  It’s the tenderness found in love and its infinite goodness.  Persons with this joy have open hearts because they are willing to forgive.  Their hearts are illuminated and born in tranquility.  This joy could be found in believers.  These Christians are known to have spiritual hearts of goodness.

A theologian, ethicist and professor at the Union Theological Seminary – New York, Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971) prayed, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”  This popular prayer shows insight into the heart that’s supreme, and able to discern what’s true, wise, and best.

Joyful Experiences

People of faith light up with joy as they encounter the poor. This is true love that expresses itself in   helpful acts.  This fruitful love is manifested from the depths of one’s heart.  It’s by service that an individual can attain this reality.  This is the love of Christ taking root in the repentant heart.  This is love beyond love – one about caring for the poor.  It’s the way Christians concentrate on uplifting the ostracized from their plight of degradation.  This service is considered the highest good that’s explained in the Gospel.  It’s the face of truth expressing itself freely without inhibitions in our society.  Only cleansed hearts truly reveal the joy of well-lived lives.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962), a first lady of the United States, politician and diplomat said, “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.  This is how character is built.”  This is true with Christians that are willing to serve.  Their actions build character and impact those they encounter.

 The Wine of Joy

Wine is a festive drink.  Through it joy is born, and there are associations, and symbolism that describe its remarkable presence.  It can be best described as love that flows at weddings, poured out during Eucharistic feasts, and used for medicinal purposes.  Wine is mystery all by itself.  People are touched by its essence.  By it they show joy in the good news of Christ, and his Spirit of Truth.  Consecrated wine is a lightning rod of holiness in a church’s gathering.  This brings together hearts making them one community.

Pope John XXⅢ (1881–1963), a bishop of Rome best summarized the effect of wine on men and women when he said, “Men are like wine – some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.”  Improvement yes!  The desire to better ourselves as we continue our journey through life, are foremost on our minds.  It must be the focus of this quest as we endeavor to live purpose-driven lives.

Joy of Peace

A president of United States Lyndon B. Johnson (1908–1973) said, “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.”  O light Eternal, the maker of peace, let us shine our lights to mankind.  Like president Johnson our lights will be steadfast, never letting our batteries run low, for the distance is great.  This is the expression of genuine love, and concern to all people – rich, poor, and indifferent alike. We can capture this serenity through the dialogue of love, our caring ways, and steadfastness in faith.  These gifts are boundless, and transcend all things.  So that’s why we mustn’t be afraid of practicing goodness that some may consider a weakness.  Let our light be on the Good Shepherd, who is the purveyor of peace, and tranquility.  We therefore know that we have achieved peace when we have serene minds.

Serenity Prayer

Reinhold Neibuhr (1892–1971), a theologian and an ethicist wrote the ground-breaking Serenity Prayer – a version Alcoholics Anonymous uses in their Twelve Step Program:

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever and ever in the next.
Amen.

 

Forgiveness

Before coming to the Eucharistic table it’s required that we ask for forgiveness.  This is while seeking salvation from distress, enemies, bondage, adversaries, defeat, and social decay.  In confidence we approach our Pioneer of Salvation Jesus Christ as we confess our sins.  Many Christians wish to be saved from sins and death, and to be free of guilt, and estrangement.  Most of our problems are through ignorance, bondage, and vice.  Mother Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary said, “Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”  Prayers of forgiveness have implications, for they eventually release us from guilt.  They bring joy, and bless us with the happiness of being forgiven.  Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India wrote, “Prayer is not asking.  It is a longing of the soul.  It is daily admission of one’s weakness.  It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  But some prominent individuals see prayer differently.  Their actions speak louder than words.

Gift of Life

People need prayer – this gift of life has meaning in our lives.  Why must we lead meaningless lives buffeted by the pressures of the world?  It’s wise to seek God’s presence, for he comes to us in every place and situation.  Let each moment be your ongoing experience of being with the living Christ.  So free yourselves from bondage and futility, and attain final reconciliation.  Be emancipated from evil and grow in the enrichment by Christ’s goodness.  Lou Holz (b. 1937), a former football player, and coach said, “Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential.  People gain strength through God’s word, and receive grace from the sacrament.  And we fumble due to sin – and it’s gonna happen – confession put us back on the field.”  It should be our desire to be in the game of life.  .

Power of the Holy Spirit

Christians delight when they experience the power of the Spirit.  This means liberation, joy, and a sign of our growing maturity.  By redemption they hope to achieve the prefect likeness of Christ.  This acceptance of God’s gift of immortality brings peace, courage, and hope.  Believers become dedicated to his service.  This self-fulfillment comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, when our rebellious nature is subdued that has caused the sickness of souls.  With repentance this lifestyle begins to enthrone God in our hearts.  Like Mark Twain (1835–1910), an author and humorist wrote, “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”  Eventually asking forgiveness will become like a second nature.  We learn to forgive others for we know this is the best way of handling life’s predictions.  This belief was expressed by Tyler Perry (b. 1969), an actor, and filmmaker when he said, “It’s not an easy journey to get to a place where you forgive people.  But it is such a powerful place, because it frees you.”  Christian believers are reminded in the New Testament that before receiving the Holy Eucharist they must ask forgiveness of those they have wronged.  What a freeing gift this is in the Eucharistic Mass!

Marianne Williamson (b. 1952), a spiritual teacher and author wrote, “Forgiveness is not always easy.  At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it.  And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.”  Why place such a heavy price of guilt on our shoulders?  Forgiveness though must beckon us to reach out even to our enemies.  That was why Laurence Sterne (1713–1768), an Anglo-Irish novelist and Anglican clergyman said, “Only the brave know how to forgive … a coward never forgives; it is not in his nature.”  Having courage is a blessing, and a true gift to have in seeking forgiveness and reconciliation.

Our Universal King

Our eye will see the Universal King in his beauty.  We’ll behold a land that stretches far away and the Lord in his majesty will honor us.  In this place there’ll be broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars can go, nor stately ships can pass (Isa 33:17, 21).  From his heavenly dwelling place prayers there’ll be pleading to him for forgiveness of those who have sinned (2 Chr 6:39).  King David saw the Lord as his light and salvation.  He feared no one because the Lord was the stronghold of his life (Ps 27:1).  An Anglo-Irish Dean of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Johnathan Swift (1667–1745) said, “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”  While living on an earthly plane causes us not to look ahead to the future.  It’s a future promised by Almighty God, and it’s necessary to have faith in him.

The Scriptures

People may come to believe the Gospel by the reading of the Scriptures.  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), a lecturer and poet wrote: “Never lose the opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”  This beauty takes the form of truth found in God’s word.  This God has seen fit to reveal to us – through his way, the truth, and the light.

As people journey through life they embrace God’s teachings in various ways.  A historian and archivist Mary Ritter Beard (1876–1958) wrote, “Certainly travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”  This revelation is like seeing the true King in word, and deed.  He’s the One in whose hands our salvation lies.

Our Vision

Seeing demands more than mere perception, and there ought to be understanding.  Daniel H. Pink (b. 1964), a bestselling author said, “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes.  Not only is empathy hard to outsource and activate, but it makes the world a better place.”  Isn’t it by seeing the goodness of our King Jesus Christ people find in following his teachings, they are saved?  Undoubtedly according to Pink embracing our divinity might well be hard work, for we experience trials and tribulations in life.

But how do people see Jesus for whom he is?  A Christian evangelist George Muller (1805–1898) wrote, “The more I am in a position to be tried in faith with reference to my body, my family, my service to the Lord, my business, etc., the more shall I have the opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance; and every fresh instance, in which He helps and delivers me, will tend towards the increase of my faith.”  By faith there’s spiritual growth. Christians will be able to see their King for who he is.  They will continually be blessed in their perseverance, and know in intricate ways the nature of our Lord, and Savior Jesus Christ.