christ lives in us

If you have or are suffering from any kind of addiction, depression, disorder, and you are reading this at this very moment, I want to tell you that I am so proud of you for being here, alive. You are so valued, so very much loved and appreciated. People like you are testimonies of the power and glory of God, and that it is possible to experience beauty out of ashes. Thank you for being strong, your life makes the difference.
Like a shepherd, He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
—  ​Isaiah 40:11

I think some of the best advice I’ve learned to give myself spiritually is no matter how much I sin or fall, no matter how many times, no matter how guilty or ashamed I feel, never stop coming to Jesus. Never let it hold you back or keep you away from drawing close to Him and trying to grow. Never tire of repenting, even if it feels like you repeatedly repent for many of the same things. Sin is inward and it takes more than a one time conviction for the behaviors to fully follow and get out of habits or the depths of our depravity. Accept the truth you’re forgiven and free when you come to Christ and genuinely want Him to continue to change your heart to be more like His, and move forward. If I stop moving toward Him because I am letting my sin become greater than his grace and mercy, I am doubting the power of His redeeming work to the power of my flesh. Paul reassures us in Romans nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus. If that is our reality, then we shouldn’t let anything, no matter how bad, how frequent, how difficult it is to overcome, how long it takes to get past- none of that should ever stop us from still coming to Him and seeking to become more like Him. Don’t give up because of your sin or fallings. Look to Christ. The whole point of the cross was not only that Christ paid the price to remove our condemnation, but He triumphed victoriously over all sin and death. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, and we can overcome. Believe that. Don’t let discouragement drag you down or get stuck at “I obviously can’t be holy.” Of course you can’t, we’re sinful by nature, which is why we desperately need Jesus- but there is bright hope in knowing we have Him, and He is able.

kitsunetook  asked:

Hello! Would a non-observant Jewish character living in contemporary England use "Christian" exclamations such as "Jesus Christ" or "Dear Lord"? (I do have him be careful not to use "G*d").

Jewish character swearing by saying Jesus Christ

I live in the US and I say “Jesus Christmas!” sometimes, even though I don’t really like that I do. It’s like a verbal tic that comes from being assimilated, and I guess if I cared enough I could lose the habit. I would like to hear from Jewish folks in England in reblogs, please, and OP, keep checking the tags for their answers.

BTW. we had a whole discussion in temple last week about evoking God too casually in conversation and what constituted “too casually”, so it’s not that we never say God out loud, it’s that many of us bleep out the o when writing because the name of God basically sanctifies the piece of paper it’s on so you can’t throw it away like normal paper. (Which is the reason I don’t do it, because personally I believe that the word God is just an English word and not the actual name of God, but that’s just me.)

P.S. are we sure Dear Lord is exclusively Christian? I genuinely don’t know.

–Shira

  • me, sobbing in my room at 3 in the morning: dear evan hansen is just...so.....beautiful,,,
2

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

During this Memorial weekend as we enjoy camping and barbeques we often forget the reason for the holiday: honoring the dead. Specifically, those who served our great nation. Laying their lives down for us, as Christ did, protecting our nation, our person, and each other for “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13. In the words of Ernest Hemingway “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” That these honored dead chose to serve as volunteers of their own free will, say great things about their character. Embodying the teaching of Isaiah 6:8 “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

During this weekend and on Memorial Day we must remember that others stand in need of our uplifting and support. At least 22 Veterans a day will kill themselves, and that number does not include data from many states. Remember that “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34. Reach out to your brothers and sisters, both those from service, and those from flesh, a word of kindness or affirment may be all someone needs to stay with us. In the wise words of the Dalai Lama “If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

Each of us is unique and in our own special way important to the grander scheme of things, and at least that important to our friends and family. If any of you reading this are feeling overwhelmed or low, do not be afraid to reach out, to fellow service members, to clergy, God, or any other resources that may be available. You do not need to burden the load alone, please remember that the Good Lord is with you if you let Him be. Bring God with you at all times and in all places. Give Him your anxiety, your fear, and he will give you courage, when God is with you, who can stand against you “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4. Or try the Chapelton Stress Prayer:

“Dear Lord, I thank you for thy many blessings, I ask and thank Thee at this time for taking my stress, anger, fear (whatever issues you are dealing with) and all other negative energies from me. I ask and thank Thee that thou whilst grant unto me, peace, happiness, joy, (or whatever positives you stand in need of) and all other positive energies. In thy name and the name of Thy only begotten son, our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, Amen.”

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.” Psalm 23

The problem has never been darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. We’re the light of the world, so why must we take darkness personal? We don’t need an escape plan. If you’re not careful it’s easy to become a living expressing product of the environment around you instead of the One that lives inside of you. Christ in us is the hope of glory.
Your new life with each other.

God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So your new life should be like this: Show mercy to others. Be kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Don’t be angry with each other, but forgive each other. If you feel someone has wronged you, forgive them. Forgive others because the Lord forgave you. Together with these things, the most important part of your new life is to love each other. Love is what holds everything together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking. It is for peace that you were chosen to be together in one body. And always be thankful.

Let the teaching of Christ live inside you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and counsel each other. Sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Everything you say and everything you do should be done for Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus

-Colossians 3:12-17

What is the Cross of Jesus?

What is the cross of Jesus for the person who wants to go the path of the mysteries? If this question were put to various candidates, would the answer be the same? Would they testify of a clear insight experienced from within? There are reasons to doubt this. Jesus Christ often put such questions to his students and the answers showed how much their insight was broken and divided.

When one has difficulties with another person, one sighs, “What a cross I have to bear,” and tears flow in self-pity. When the passionate urges of the ego are thwarted in some way or another, one mystifies one’s experiences as a way of the cross.

Others spread their arms and say, “Look at me, I am the cross and I will propel this cross to victory. I have the power to do so, for aren’t there latent within me the seven potentialities, the seven power centers, the seven endocrine glands? See, I put them around the heart of the cross like seven roses and I will make them flower and give off fragrance like precious nard, and thus I will celebrate my resurrection. Brothers and sisters, do as I do—may the roses flower on your cross.”

Then there are those who tell how Jesus Christ, by his blood sacrifice for world and humankind, purified and sanctified the sphere of the planetary cosmos, and how we can now ascend the path upward because of this process of salvation.

This view is close to that of our orthodox brothers and sisters, who adapt their lives to the belief that Jesus Christ has delivered us from our sins and has paid for them, that he has arranged an eternal bliss for us and that we can entrust ourselves completely to his heart of love. The orthodox brother or sister sticks to their church or their Bible, and the esoteric brother or sister to their spiritual school, their sense centers, and their hormone producing organs.

The cross is understood in many ways—romantically, symbolically, esoterically, and literally. In accordance with your inclinations you seek contact, during the years, with certain aspects in order to drug yourself, and so your life passes away to end as it began.

Therefore, it is not without sense to ask: What is the cross of Jesus for a student of the mysteries? Something essential must exist in the multiplicity of aspects of the cross. There must be an essence, a certainty. Of what use is the edifying, the mystical, the romantic, the speculative? It satisfies for a moment, it gives a brief stimulus, a mood, and that is all.

We need something else in a raging, desperate world. You should no longer drug yourself with moods; that is an abuse of civilization. It is the whitewashing of a grave full of lies and corruption.

The candidate must grasp a reality and live in this reality from day to day. Then you will surmount the moods and speculations. Then the facts of salvation will become focal points in your life and will no longer be moments of mystical climax to which you exalt meditatively.

When you take the Bible to read about Good Friday and the meaning of the events on Golgotha, you do not yet testify from your own being. You do not allow the Bible to speak from your heart’s blood, but view it with an esoteric magnifying glass. You want to rob the Universal Doctrine of the secret of life. If it is asked, “What is the cross of Jesus to you?”, it can be discerned clearly from your answer whether you speak from an inner possession or whether you are repeating the words of the Bible with an idea distilled from it.

Those who possess the inner treasure understand one another and know themselves to be participants in the great brotherhood of humankind that is not of this world. They experience Good Friday in a daily rendering of service, and the events of Golgotha as an inner process. This is what needs to be discussed, not with the intention of enlarging your wealth of ideas, for you are not in need of that, but if possible, to make you conscious of yourself.

It can happen that one word can open a door for your consciousness and cause you to see and to recognize. This is the purpose, and to everyone who can understand these words only as another idea, another view, the advice is given—free yourself of it, because for you it is useless, just ballast.

Buddhism in Saiyuki, Part I: Doctrine

Source I’m using for these: Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh

I struggled to decide how to organize it, and my notes are scattered with no cohesive order. I’m going to try to follow my confusing tangle of ideas. The problem is, lots of ideas and themes link, especially when applying it to a story. I will try my best to keep these cohesive and pithy. Do not expect regular updates. Also, I (and as far as I can tell, Thich Nhat Hanh) am focuing on the branches of Buddhism that are based on all of the sutras. Also, with a focus on Zen Buddhism, which developed in Japan.

Jesus Christ’s words were not necessarily meant for Christians today. He was a political activist, responding to the social injustices and needs of his day. Buddha is the same. He reacted to corruption among Vedic priests and the caste system. Thus, neither of them “present an absolute doctrine (54).”

“For a Buddhist to be attached to any doctrine, even a Buddhist one, is to betray the Buddha. It is not words or concepts that are important. What is important is our insight into the nature of reality and our way of responding to reality.”

We see Minekura display this in Saiyuki. Again and again, we are shown temples who are unprepared for the youkai and violence that come ripping through their walls and illusion of safety and peace. Koumyou’s temple, Chang ‘an, the temple where they stay near the beginning of the series… . These monks are slaughtered, and judge those who save them (our protags) as something vile. Something unholy and evil. Even Sanzo who is a SANZO.

And the Buddhists that have had an effect on the world? Who have influenced reality? Koumyou, Jikaku, and Ukoku are the three that jump to my mind first. Koumyou who skips out on his duties to fly paper planes and who watches Ukoku become a Buddha. Ukoku who never gets the chakra, who works against the goals of Sharak Sanzo and Genjo Sanzo and the Aspects and helps create the Minus Wave. Of course, Ukoku influences reality, and yet he also is caught up in practicing one single doctrine: everything is nothing. 

(And I have an hc about this being one of the reasons Koumyou had to die. Koumyou winning the wager and changing Ukoku had to involve Koumyou’s death.)

Anyway, and there’s Jikaku who smokes and accepts Sanzo, who none of the other monks can understand. “Whenever there is understanding, compassion is born.”

When Sanzo first comes to Chang ‘an, he is traumatized as all hell. He does not receive understanding or compassion from the other monks who are scared of him. He might not even recognize compassion for what it is. (As I’ve read some very good meta on.) Or would he?

Sanzo, despite how traumatized he is, bonds with Jikaku—the only monk we see (or that I really noticed) who offers Sanzo compassion and understanding.

Jikaku knows what it’s like to be in the outside world, away from the illusion of security the temple monks live in. He knows violence and evil.

Koumyou, Ukoku, and Jikaku: all of them knew the darkness in the nature of the world, even before the Minus Wave. They knew that many Buddhist practices and doctrines do not hold up in such a world.

The doctrine of nonviolence, is one that Koumyou appears to have found a way to practice. And Sanzo too, though that will be another post. However, Sharak and Sanzo must kill. The sutras hold the power to create or destroy worlds and there are enemies everywhere trying to take the sutras. They have to do what they can to protect the world, including kill and destroy.

Most of you reading this probably live in a first world country. I could be wrong. But I’d say a lot of you at least. 

Think of Batman for a bit. He saw his parents die. Ok. As Selena Kyle, bless her, points out again and again to him throughout canon, he’s rich. He doesn’t really know what it’s like growing up like she has (meaning the canon where she had to steal to live or keep others alive, etc.). Sanzo? Would honestly laugh at Batman and Superman and their ideas of justice and good, I think anyway. Batman and Superman for all their power would be unable to carry the burden the Sanzos do. 

Honestly, Saiyuki’s world is NOT a first world country. Yes, there’s credit cards and jeeps. But there’s also a disease/madness no one can stop and violence destroying cities everywhere they go, and chaos with every city or area following its own leader. There is no cohesive central force of law and order.

How many of you, readers, know what it’s like to live in such conditions? I certainly don’t.

Our nice doctrine practices in first world countries, can they really hold up to a reality of such chaos and violence?

Minekura takes on that challenge. She exposes the flaws and the strengths of Buddhism by placing her characters in such a world of discord and gore. It’s not just shounen ai, it’s a challenge.

Sanzo, I believe, is still developing his own doctrine and practices. We see it when Ukoku beats him, physically and mentally and philosophically. But the Sanzo in Blast is calmer and more confident. I believe he may have at least the beginning of an answer.

But the doctrines of the temples? Do not hold up. 

What has held up are the individual doctrines of Koumyou, Ukoku, Jikaku, Genjo, and Sharak. These are the doctrines that have influenced are still shaping the world of Saiyuki.

My spirit and skeleton were made. But, God wasn’t done yet.

“Shine a little brighter,” God told the sun, “a little hotter—a little longer.” And, the sun obeyed.

He then laid the skin that was soon to be mine under that hot sun and said, “This is going to blow them away.” And, once the skin was brown and glowing, God enveloped my soul into it before planting a field of natural, kinky black locks on top of my head. He patted Himself on the back.

Then, He placed my body alongside the rest of His creations that were yet to be released from heaven. The skin that God had made for them wasn’t like the skin He made for me. God didn’t know of such a thing. He is a Creator, and boy, is He creative. Instead, God told the sun for some others, “Not too bright now. Their skin is going to be lighter. I’ve got something else in mind for them.” And, the sun obeyed.

Some skin He painted, and others He tanned. Nonetheless, He called each skin He made beautiful.

And, after determining our birthdays, God breathed His breath into our lungs and left us with this: “Don’t let my work divide you. Unite in The One who made you.”

—  made in His image | brown, tan, white

a recent priest:

the best sacrifice wee can make is living fully and receiving the love, joy, and life Christ purchased for us on the Cross.

Don’t get so stuck in the crucifixion that you miss the resurrection.