Tag Archives: loved

Who Am I????

All of God’s Children Are Loved, Even Me!

Modern theologian, Henri Nouwen says, “We are not what we do. We are not what others say about us. We are not what we have. We are each simply, like Jesus, God’s beloved child.” The main message of my three children’s books is “You are God’s precious child.” My goal is to plant seeds in the minds of my readers, children and parents, seeds of believing that they are loved unconditionally.

The first time I truly understood what this meant, I was speaking at the baptism of my Wfriend’s adopted child. I talked about the amazing joy that this child had brought into my friend’s home and how precious he was. As those words flowed from my heart, I heard for the first time that I had brought amazing joy as an adopted child to my parents. I had always been grateful to have a good home. Somehow, in my childhood l had missed the message that just by being alive, I had brought overwhelming joy – I had been God’s precious gift.

The second time that lesson was given to me, my supervisor in a unit of clinical pastoral education asked me to spend an entire week reading and praying with Isaiah 43: 1-4a. By the end of the week that last verse was written on my heart, “You are my precious child and I love you.”

When I fell and crushed a vertebra in my back, I received yet another opportunity to absorb God’s unconditional love. For nearly a year, I spent most of my time sitting in a zero-gravity chair, in order to manage the pain. Unable to care for others, unable to do, I learned that I was precious and loved just because I existed. At that point I was truly glad, “I was not what I did.” for then, I would have been nothing.

Never forget that both you and every person you meet – the gal with pink hair and a ring in her nose, the man with the swarthy skin, long black beard and a turban, your grandchild – each and every one of us is first and foremost God’s beloved child. Give God thanks.

“Twice Blessed”

Please check out the Spirit Story in the May issue of the United Church Observer. My personal true story titled “Twice Blessed” has been published as the “Spirit Story” in the May issue of the United Church Observer. Please check it out. You can also read “Twice Blessed” on line at www.ucobserver.org/opinion/2015/05/spirit_story/  At that site you can click to hear me read the story as well. When you are finished please leave a comment. That helps both the magazine and me. Blessings to you all. Janet

 

Cultivate an Attitude of Forgiveness? Yes!

Cultivate an Attitude of Forgiveness

by Rev. Janet Stobie

Anything to Avoid Forgiveness
Anything to Avoid Forgiveness

I often write about living an attitude of gratitude but this morning my daily reading reminded me to think about an attitude of forgiveness. “I want to forgive him,” my friend said, tears slipping down her face, but I can’t. I’m trying though.

What keeps us from forgiveness?

  • If the hurt is old, it often becomes a comfortable friend, something to depend on. After all we’re used to it. We’ve been angry and hurt a long time. How will we cope without it.
  • Will offering forgiveness mean my hurt doesn’t matter? That’s what it feels like. Or maybe I’ll be condoning the other’s behavior.
  • In order to forgive him I’ll have to forgive me for my part in this fiasco.

What will forgiveness accomplish?

  • Possibly a mended relationship, but not necessarily. Just because we offer the gift of forgiveness does not mean it will be received.
  • Peace in my own heart. Since the hurt cannot be undone, forgiveness will enable me to let go of it. Whether or not my effort is accepted, my load will be lighter. I will no longer need to waste energy keeping my anger fueled. I can turn my heart to better pursuits.
  • Forgiving another will open my heart to God’s forgiveness of me.
  • Offering forgiveness initiates a ripple of peace and love in the world.

How often do we forgive?

  • Jesus said, “Seventy times seven”.  That means forgive often. Sometimes we have to forgive the same hurt many times, as we journey to a point that forgiveness has truly entered our hearts. In fact, we need to cultivate an attitude of forgiveness every day.

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

(Luke 23:34)