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'Refuge From the Storm'

Advent Weekday

...shade from the parching heat of day,
refuge and cover from storm and rain.

- Isaiah 4:6

Ever have one of those days when it's just one thing after another? You were late for your dentist's appointment and had to wait an extra hour. Your puppy threw up on your new beige carpet, and the city plow just blocked your driveway for the third time in twelve hours. The frustrations mount, and you feel at times like you are going backwards fast.

Sometimes your favorite lumpy chair, a cup of Earl Grey tea and a good Agatha Christie mystery are a refuge from the tempest. Ah, a little bit of the kingdom! No matter the "parching heat" or the "storm and rain" that today may bring, God is your shelter and protection, always ready to take you up in his warm embrace, to comfort you like a little child and to give you the respite you need.

Lord, I trust that you are with me through the turbulence of this divine/human journey. You are my sanctuary!

- Jennifer Christ
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Thank you Jennifer for your devotion, just what I needed to hear today.

Dear Lord, I trust and believe that you are with me always especially during the "turbulence's" of my life. You are my Lord and Savior, you give me the strength and the rest I need to keep on going, following you and believing in you. I love you, Lord.

God Bless our Living Faith Family and continued prayers for all.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Tillie | Posted on: 2019-12-02 16:14:46
freeter | Posted on: 2019-12-02 09:09:50
Amen! Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for today's Gospel. Thank you Lord for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father most of all for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ , King of Endless Glory. Amen
A sinner | Posted on: 2019-12-02 09:00:30
This day's Daily Meditation from Richard Rohr (cac.org) I share with you.

Gaining New Traction
Monday, December 2, 2019

Experiences of darkness are good and necessary teachers. They are not to be avoided, denied, run from, or explained away. Even if we don’t experience clinical or diagnosed depression, most of us will go through a period of darkness, doubt, and malaise at some point in our lives. I hope during these times we can reach out to someone—a therapist, spiritual director, friend—to support us. And when we feel strong may we be the shoulder someone else can lean on.

There’s a darkness that we are led into by our own sin (the illusion of separation), and selfishness (living out of the false or separate self), and stupidity. We have to work our way out of this kind of darkness by brutal honesty, confession, surrender, forgiveness, apology, and restitution. It may feel simultaneously like dying and being liberated.

But there’s another darkness that we’re led into by God, grace, and the nature of life itself. In many ways, the loss of meaning, motivation, purpose, and direction might feel even greater here. Some call it “the dark night of the soul.” Yet even while we feel alone and that God has abandoned us, we can also sense that we have been led here intentionally. We know we are in “liminal space,” betwixt and between, on the threshold—and we have to stay here until we have learned something essential. It is still no fun and filled with doubt and “demons” of every sort. But it is the darkness of being held closely by God without our awareness. This is where transformation happens.

Of course, the darkness that we get ourselves into by our own “sinful” choices can also become the darkness of God. Regardless of the cause, the dark night is an opportunity to look for and find God—in new forms and ways. Neither God nor goodness exist only in the light but permeate all places, seen and unseen. It seems we have to “unknow” a bit every time we want to know in a new way. It is like putting your car in reverse in the mud and snow so that you can gain a new track and better traction.

United Church of Christ pastor and Living School “sendee” Mark Longhurst describes how both light and dark are essential for transformation.

In spirituality . . . we elevate the light over the darkness and praise the light and expel the darkness. Light conquers the darkness, the darkness will not overcome the light, John’s Gospel says [1:5]. . . . The more Genesis works its wisdom on me, though, the more light and darkness seem bound up together. . . . God separates light from darkness, but they both need each other, and they both bear the breath of God. This, too, I think, is the truth of our lives. The light and the darkness are bound up with one another. Spiritual transformation does not happen only on the light level. We have to do the inner work of facing the shadow, or repressed realities, of who we are, both the beautiful and the bad. Some of our most painful experiences in life—whether death, divorce, or disease—often turn out to create a capacity in us for greater love. What we think is light shows up in what we think is darkness—and vice versa. [1]

Periods of seemingly fruitless darkness may in fact highlight all the ways we rob ourselves of wisdom by clinging to the light. Who grows by only looking on the bright side of things? It is only when we lose our certainties that will we be able to deconstruct our false images of God to discover the Absolute Reality beneath all our egoic fantasies and fears.
michael bolohan | Posted on: 2019-12-02 08:26:38
Michael, THANK YOU. I love what I know of Rohr...his fearless faith, for one...and this passage exemplifies that. (And maybe coz I am fighting the darkness all the time. His words give the darkness meaning and I forgive myself a little.)
GHH | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 09:29:05
Thank you. I am going to print this and keep it to read and read and read.
rsl | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 10:05:11
Read a bit of Rohr. What I saw was a departure from scripture into his own personal opinion/understanding. No offense meant to anyone was just concerned about his position on some things.
Ellen | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 21:24:53
Everyday is filled with peace no matter what turbulence we encounter. Thank you Jesus!
kt | Posted on: 2019-12-02 07:59:54
Always trusting in the Lord.

Just arrived in China, prayers to all of the
Living Faith Family.

Have a blessed Monday.
Tim | Posted on: 2019-12-02 07:59:31
Wishing you blessings and light, Tim.
Barbara | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 09:01:03
Answered prayers...
Carry on Tim!
Pam | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 11:19:37
Lia | Posted on: 2019-12-02 07:15:30
Tim happy you are safe. Michael that is quite the passage. I will have to read it more than once. Living faith family I will pray for you today a Anna Maria Patricia Salina Arlette a sinner Joseph Brenda Vicky Judy Crystal James Zuma Carrin Naomi and those name are in my prayers Ken
Kjc | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 09:10:38
We are all sinners since the fall in the Garden of Eden, but rejoice as we celebrate the coming of Emmanuel (God with us). Because of Jesus Christ, Son of God, through His death and resurrection we too have risen from the dead. We are not, through His blood, made clean and sons and daughters of the Most High God! Rejoice that He washed away every stain, even the ones that Clorox can't get rid of (LOL). And, He is the bridge back to a living relationship with the Father. Reflect that His Holy Spirit lives within each one who believes and receives the gift of forgiveness, redemption, and eternity with God.
Alicia | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 14:41:11
Correction: typed "not" and meant to type "now"
"We are now........"
Alicia | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 14:42:52
His gifts are free...there is no price but to believe and receive, that is what His Word, the Bible teaches.
Alicia | Posted on:: 2019-12-02 14:44:24
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