Tag Archives: Peace of mind

Victory in Jesus

This concept has puzzled me.  It’s prominent in a number of the hymns they make us sing in chapel at the shelter,[1] but no one explains it or preaches on it.  There is no Wikipedia page about it.

The chapel presenters seem to think that victory over sin and death pertains to what happens at the end of life, in that the real or born-again Christian goes to heaven instead of hell.  That’s not it.  It pertains instead to how one faces this life from day to day; as will be seen.

It appears that a doctrine of Christian victory as I shall explain it below was popular in some circles in the early 20th century, but has somehow been eclipsed by a now-more-prevalent view; as follows.  God has a plan (It says.), and the born-again or real Christian has access to that plan through prayer.  If prayer fails to bring clear direction, one should wait till such direction comes.  “Wait on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14), “and He will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).  Under no circumstances should one “lean unto one’s own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).

Thus the real or born-again Christian need never take risks in life and need never face disappointment.  Consistent with this view, some say disappointment comes only from sin; one has deviated from God’s plan.  And risk-taking or taking initiatives is, itself, sin.

Hogwash.

Christian victory accepts instead that one faces inevitable difficulties in life, but says that by God’s grace one can take them all in stride.   “Weeping may spend the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).  “A righteous man falls seven times, but gets up again” (Proverbs 24:16).  In this way, it’s not that much different from what I call the Way of Peace, or from Stoicism.

Victory over sin and death, in this view, is like this:  every time one finds oneself in the midst of shattered dreams, it is a kind of death; every time one accepts the love of God and so gets back on one’s feet, it is a resurrection.

That’s victory in Jesus.

[1]Notably:
– “Victory in Jesus”
– “In the Name of Jesus”
– “Victory is Mine”
– “When We All Get to Heaven”

 

Resolution

One can want the best for another person, but
only that person can define what “the best” means.

Thursday 2017-04-20

On the walk from the shelter to church Wednesday morning, I was in great turmoil.  I may or may not manage to recall all the questions now.  Pastor is focused on the need to change systems (people’s circumstances) in order to alleviate poverty, and seems unwilling or unable to consider how people act; my orientation is the exact opposite, wanting people to change their ways in order to alleviate poverty.  Pastor says he doesn’t like it when I talk about squalor; but doesn’t squalor need to be talked about, given that it’s why “haves” won’t invest where the “have-nots” live?

I am torn between the way I want to live, and the way I have to live in the situation I’m in.

Continue reading Resolution

Naughty girls ISO the Kingdom

I have been spending lots of time at church during the week. I took to looking askance at two particular neighborhood teens who participate in a number of our programs — garden club, after-school, youth group — because they seem to manage always to be in the wrong place (an unauthorized place) at the wrong time, and Shontay in particular wears this mischievous grin, as if she’s looking for trouble.

One Sunday in mid-November, my attitude toward them changed completely.

Continue reading Naughty girls ISO the Kingdom

Coming changes

10:56.  I have a noon appointment with my therapist.  I’d originally thought to stop downtown for coffee afterwards and then go to the mission.  However, last night I got turned away, so I now think to go straight from my doctor’s office to the mission:  I don’t know how long that walk takes.  If I arrive at the mission at 13:45 and have to stand there idle for 45 minutes — after last night, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.

This morning I’d meant to go up to the doctor’s office early, arriving at 11:00, and then try to find someone in Case Management to help me get into transitional housing.  I came to the library first, but it got to be 10:40, meaning I’d have less than an hour to work with the case manager; so I cancelled that plan for today.  Later this week I’ll have opportunities.

The move into transitional housing, and the transition into that move itself, are likely to bring many changes.

Continue reading Coming changes

Glossary: Peace of mind

A state of being that, at least until very recently, I have taken to be the whole point of Jesus’ teaching.  From here:

Attributes of peace of mind:

  • unusual relaxation of the lower abdomen, from the navel to the groin
  • a sense of warmth in the same area
  • corresponding relaxation of the diaphragm, enabling exceptionally deep breaths and corresponding relaxation of the whole body
  • complete presence — attention to the material here-and-now
  • complete acceptance of, or peace with, oneself
  • complete acceptance of, or peace with, What Is — the world as it is

When this state occurs, I normally wind up thinking, “This is it.  This is the best.  Everyone should have this.  If there were a gift I could give every human being, this would be it.”