Tuesday, October 30, 2012

God's Grace

"Hey, I'm Dan and I hear you guys need a ride,"
Dan Todd, Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer

It is not easy to write about “God’s Grace” in the face of disasters and loss.  It is certainly not the words that I hear on the news reports covering Hurricane Sandy.

Despite that reality, I have seen God’s grace in the concerns expressed and organized by and in caring communities.  It happens by preparation, rescue and recovery.  Those realities also occur in our personal lives when we are threatened by “storms” that we name as diseases that profoundly change our ordered and ordinary lives.  

So here is how I would describe God’s grace.  It is that “extraordinary” reality that we see when God intervenes.  It is not about the disaster or disease, it is about the responses we see in the community of faith and those organizations that are the healing agents.  Help us to see the reality of God’s healing and blessings in our communities and our lives even during life’s storms.



See message by Rev. Ernie Thompson, “Hardships and Blessings”, 10/28/2012 at First Presbyterian Church Wilmington, NC

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Si on soumet tout à la raison notre religion n'aura rien de mystérieux et de surnaturel. Si on choque les principes de la raison notre religion sera absurde et ridicule.” 

“If we submit everything to reason our religion will be left with nothing mysterious or supernatural. If we offend the principles of reason our religion will be absurd and ridiculous.” (Pensées #173-273)

Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point.”

“The heart has its reasons, of which reason itself knows nothing.”
(Pensées #277)  Blaise Pascal(1623-1662)

Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and philosopher, addresses the assumptions of both his worlds...worlds that seem to exclude each other!   That was a long time ago!  So how are we to address this tension in our world?  Where is the credible and grande “middle” space?  

It is said that French is the language of “Love” or maybe the secret is how it creates that space in our lives.  What is that space like?   What words or behavior convey that sentiment?  There is no question that it is a critical element in our lives.   

I have been the recipient of a “Love”.  It was and is a gift.  It was not words per se, but the lives that have been shared because of a faith.  It was and is a deep connectedness and commitment found in the hearts of others.   Mystery and reason live together in a space created by that “Love”.  There is no conflict, just gratitude!

So in our world of facts and evidence, let us continue to make room for mystery and reason in a space made in and by that “Love”!