Aloha Friday Message – May 24, 2013 – All in the Family

1321AFC052413 – It’s all in the Family

Psalm 86:16 – O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give your strength unto your servant, and save the son of your handmaid.

John 16:12-13 – I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.

Aloha nui loa, Beloved. Before anything else, please just stop 30 seconds right now and offer another prayer for the good people in MOORE, OKLAHOMA, and please include all the other places where severe weather has caused extensive damage in the past 8 weeks – all up and down the central rivers of America for example. Then give thanks to God for protecting so many lives, and commend to him the lives that were lost. 30 seconds … GO!

Thank you.

Once again we have to seemingly dissimilar and unrelated passages to work with, but this is what was given, so this will be the foundation.

Beloved, when we witness such appalling events as we have seen in the past several weeks, we sometimes wonder if God isn’t watching any more. Has he turned away from us? Are we being punished for something, perhaps something we didn’t have anything to do with but are still being held accountable? Why are there so many disasters – fires, floods, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, climate changes, and so on – and why are there such horrible acts committed by humans against their neighbors – a man chopped to death in Britain, chemical weapons unleashed, vicious crimes that include mass-murders? Is this the world we have created by being uncharitable? Is this what happens when we ignore our mother’s constant admonitions as she said, “Behave yourself! You know better than that! Now straighten up and fly right!”

Thinking back to my school days – mainly in elementary school – I can see that most of the time I would have rather been ignored or been invisible than to be punished for disobeying. Eventually, though, I learned that life was better if I learned to behave no so much because my mom would wallop me a good one but because God expected me to behave, to know better, and to straighten up and fly right; which was of course exactly what my mom was trying to teach me. She had loads of help from my dad as well as from both of their mothers, but in the end the challenge was to be good because God is Good All The Time (“All The Time, God is Good.”) I cannot ever remember doubting that my parents were servants of the Lord; there were times when – in my judgment – their behavior was incongruent with what I thought a servant should do, but they came out on top as servants nonetheless. As such, I also know that they pleaded with God on my behalf that I would learn to “be a good boy.” I’m still working on that, you know?

And as it was in my childhood and youth, I am getting loads of help from family, friends, pastors, Moon Beamers, spiritual directors, and the Holy Spirit. He helps me see how many wonderful things God has given us even amidst all the gruesome horror that invades our lives every hour of every day. The foe is super-busy lately ratcheting up the distress and violence, and we must take a little extra time in our day to fight that for and in our own lives as well as for and in the lives of others, especially our family and friends.

Holy SpiritDo you have or have you had a BFF- a Best Friend Forever? You can share things there that you cannot imagine sharing with anyone else, and it is such a wonderful feeling to be accepted by another earthling that way! Being close to God is a lot like being close to your BFF, only a whole lot better. When God is your BFF, you get more than loads of help; you get every possible big hunk and little smidgeon of help possible because the Holy Spirit teaches you how to spot it in your life. He also teaches you how to use it, how to understand it, and how to share it. He will give to you the entire treasure map to your life and the life of the world around you just to ensure that you have access to as much Joy as you can possibly tolerate.

Note, though, what Jesus says about this BFF he sent us: “for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears.” From whom does the Spirit hear what he speaks? Jesus tells us it is from God; God sends us the Word and enables us to behave, to know better, and to straighten up and fly right. And we know that when we depend on what we are told to do, we will be doing the right thing because “he will declare to you the things that are to come.” Not only do we receive the treasure map for all the gifts God has given but also the map for all those he will give. Now that really is a Best Friend Forever! Notice he also said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” We know as much as we need to know to make our Joy complete. Whatever is not Joy makes us incomplete. I’ll say that again: Whatever is not Joy makes us incomplete. That completeness is a sign of God’s goodness – a sign so easily read that it gives the light of hope to the world despite all the foe’s attempts to plunge us into darkness.

The Holy Spirit leads us to the Truth through, for, with, and about Christ. He patiently teaches us the often subtle clues between right and wrong so we can learn (you guessed it) learn to behave, to know better, and to straighten up and fly right. That is what The Truth teaches us. That is what sets us free. We are free and capable to do the right thing at the right time. We are free to know and to live a better life that fills slowly but surely with endless joy. We are free to fly straight into the arms of God because Jesus sets us free. Do you believe that? Did you click on the link?

Our earthly parents are/were charged with the responsibility to mold us into “decent human beings.” As we have seen recently, despite that molding, some of us end up being vile and wretched earthlings whose behavior is far from the ideal God set before us when he established the sanctity of the family. Collectively we earth-bound souls have not done well in preserving that sanctity, and for those who are still hanging onto that notion, it is becoming more difficult to endure, much less prevail. But, we have a BFF standing by to help, to teach, to explain, to inspire, to guide, to lift us up in flight like the wind beneath the wings of the soaring eagle.

And that is but one Gift! All of us have so many gifts. Some of our gifts perhaps seem common when we look at people who speak in tongues, or have the gift of prophesy, or even those who have gifts like healing, or miracles – such a great variety of gifts! But the “common gifts” like being a good parent, being able to play an instrument, or writing a poem or a book or a letter or an essay or a play, being kind and understanding with difficult people, and so many of the other little acts of love and kindness we can perform – these are indeed great and wonderful gifts because they are the framework of our lives in Christ. You don’t have to tote the “Big Guns” of the Gifts of the Spirit; oh, it’s nice to have access to them, but actually, it’s so much sweeter to be simply part of the background music in the Opera of the Universe, simply to behave, to know better, and to straighten up and fly right. You know that good feeling you get inside when that happens? That’s the Holy Spirit telling you, “Way to go! Keep going! I’m right beside you all the way!” Ah, beloved! What a GOOD God we have!! Adoptive Father, Beloved Brother, Trusted BFF – What a family!!

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Beloved.

🙂 chick

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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