Faith lies just beyond the edge of reason…

June 16, 2018

In a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog, Jack uses this quote – “My reason nourishes my faith, and my faith my reason.”  (Norman Cousins)

Jack went on to

write about his belief that reason and faith can peacefully coexist.

I guess I take just a slightly different point of view. I think faith exists just beyond the edge of reason at that point where reason no longer serves us well and belief takes hold. There is a maxim in movie making that the great movies are ones that allow (encourage) believeus to suspend disbelief for that brief amount of time and allow ourselves to believe in the premise of the movie. The movie becomes “real” to us, if only for a few hours. Faith is somewhat the same. You must be able to suspend your disbelief (most often rooted in reason and logic) and allow yourself to believe in something that is beyond human logic and reason. In the case of faith that belief lasts and takes on a meaning and impact in our lives that changes our lives forever.

So, yes, faith and reason can, and do, coexist in peacefully in believers. It is only in the minds of those who have yet to believe that there is a conflict and that conflict is of man prayingtheir own making. Being an analytical-type person, I will continue to try to reason things out in life; but, also being a believer, I will put my trust in God when it comes to those things that defy reason, for that is where God lives – just beyond the edge of reason in a place called faith.

Have a great weekend.

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A relationship based upon unconditional love…

June 11, 2018

In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed uses this quote – “Every time God forgives us, God is saying that God’s own rules do not matter as much as the relationship that God wants to create with us.”  (Richard Rohr)

Jack went on to talk about that relationship and referenced John 3:16 as the answer – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Which is followed in John 13 by, “Love each other as I have loved you.”

So, the relationship that God wants with us is one of unconditional love. Out of unconditional love for God will come love for one another, too. God is saying that he will love and forgive us, no matter what and what he asks in return is that we show Him the same unconditional love through our belief and trust in Him.

The unconditional love that God wants begins by lowering our shields of disbelief orjesus-as-light cynicism and accepting God into our hearts. The doorway to that belief and unconditional love He has offered to us is in the form of His Son Jesus. If we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then we believe in God and He will accept us and forgive us all of our sins.

The roadblock to using that doorway and having that relationship with God is usually our own ego. Our sense of self and independence is strong and the need to let go of that and to surrender our concept of self to an unconditional trust in and love of God is the last big step to achieving the relationship that God wants with us.

That last step is a scary step that requires faith. If you saw the Eddie Murphy film “The Golden Child”, there was a scene as he was retrieving the magic knife from an underground cavern where he was faced with stepping off into space with the belief that he would not plunge to his death, taking this last step in your relationship with God can gods-hands-2feel like that – it is a step (some might use the term leap) of faith.

When you can take that last step (leap) of faith and embrace the concept of a bi-directional and unconditional love of God, you will finally achieve the relationship with God that He wants and which you have been seeking. You have to let go of “me” and embrace the concept of “We”. God will take care of the rest.

Have a great and blessed week ahead.


Hope may be the best medicine of all…

June 6, 2018

In today’s installment of the Jack’s Winning Words blog, Jack used this quote – “He (she) is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Modern Medicine is at best an art, which tries to cloak itself in science to add credibility. Certainly, there is some science involved, but mostly it’s a practice of techniques that pillswere developed through a process of trial and error, whether it be in diagnosing aliments or performing surgery. Even the development of our modern wonder drugs is mostly a matter of trial and error; although the newest gene therapies are based more in a scientific understanding of how our genes work and what they do in the body. Of course the current opioid epidemic shows how out-of-hand modern medicine can get with it’s prescription drug approach.

And then there are all of the alternative or holistic medical practices, many of which focus primarily on allowing the body to heal itself. Some are accompanied by lengthy discussions of “energy flows” within the body or other scientifically questionable explanations of why they supposedly work. Most of them have been developed over centuries of trail and error, too. In the old days Snake Oil salesmen also had explanations about why their elixirs would cure all ills. Many of the alternative approaches might sound like that; however, some work as well, if not better,  than modern medicine at relieving pain and allowing a person to heal.

It would seem that Jack’s quote is the most reasonable explanation of why many of these approaches to healing actually work. The most successful practitioners inspire the hope of the patient and out of that hope comes the time and attitude to promote healing. The fact that many also relieve pain reinforces that hope.

woman-prayingI’m certainly not advocating for the position of refusing modern medical help and putting all of our hope in either alternative approaches or even in faith. Misguided people who try to use faith as a reason and defense for not vaccinating their children or giving them the benefit of modern treatments and drugs, where needed, are just wrong and a danger to themselves and society. It is unfortunate that too many get away with that approach until it is too late.

I do think it is important to add faith to the strength of the hope that one has in whatever medical approach is being employed. There have been a few studies that were at least as scientific as many drug tests that showed the positive impact of faith in the healing process. Combining hope that one will get better; with faith that God will help make it happen is strong medicine indeed.

So, keep the faith and keep hope in your medicine cabinet. Have a healthy rest of the week, no matter what approach you take to healing your body.


Believe and the door will open for you…

June 4, 2018

I get an email every weekday from Jack Freed with the latest entry to the Jack’s Winning Words blog. Many times they serve as the inspiration for what I post here. Jack finds little quotes from various sources and adds a short comment to each to provoke thought and reflection. I’m sure that he intends that each day’s post stand alone; however I found that two recent posts just seem to go together.

Today’s post was – “Shame on the body for breaking down while the spirit perseveres.”  (John Dryden)

As Jack (and me, too) gets older he is more cognizant of the ravages and toll of age on the body, while the mind can still race around and jump as if it were still young. I certainly notice it more as I try to keep up the gardens around my historic home.

Last Friday’s post was – “Every wall has a door.”  (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Jack used that quote to offer life advice about overcoming difficulties in life. I’ve often written about that topic here.

facing the wall 2It hit me, when I saw those two quotes in juxtaposition in my mail in-box that they really go together as a way to look at the end time of life. After all, death seems to be the final wall that we all face.

Certainly the human body does begin to break down and eventually gives up altogether; however, God has clearly given us a door in that wall, a way to overcome the death of the human body – eternal life through his Son Jesus Christ.

Just as believing that you can overcome obstacles in life is critical to success in problem solving; believing in the eternal life promised by Jesus is critical to opening the door to the wall that death seems to represent.gods-hands-2

Like many other things in life, we all tend to overthink this topic. We focus in our minds too much on the scientific facts that we understand about death and not enough on the promise that our faith demands that we believe. There was another quote, this one from Bob Dylan that Jack used sometime ago that also fits here –

“You either believe or you don’t believe, there ain’t no in between.”

Death is just another wall in our lives and Jesus is the door in that wall. Thus, the title for today’s post – Believe and the door will open for you.

Have a great week ahead…