Faith of Inclusion.

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3)

Some people don’t like the Apostle Paul. He’s too liberal, to revolutionary. Paul’s my favorite and I’m pretty conservative about a lot of things. Then again, I’m pretty common sense about a lot of things as well.

Did you know that the early Christians didn’t see themselves as a new religion? As far as they were concerned they were Jews. They were Jews who believed the Messiah had come. Honestly, you can’t get much more Jewish than believing in a Messiah. That’s not a Gentile thing.

Paul sort of forced the hand of other Apostles. He went outside the box and started in on the Gentiles, the non-Jews. He did as Jesus did and reached out and spoke to non-Jews. Surprised at that? Think about the Samaritan woman at the well, the Roman Centurion.

One thing I like about Christianity is the inclusion factor. I know, another surprise for some. For Christians who follow the Christ path and the Bible, we see how we are all sinners, we all do things way beneath deserving of Heaven, Salvation, and anything else to do with Jesus and God. Even after accepting Jesus, God knows we will still do wrong things but He still made the sacrifice.

“Oh, but He knew Jesus would be resurrected!”

Have you ever felt the sting of a whip? Let’s say you have, now magnify that by millions. Each lash of the whip carries with it the punishment of millions. Imagine the agony. Imagine what goes through the mind during all of that. I personally would be like, “Did I sign up for this?”

Paul did a wonderful thing by reaching out to us. He didn’t say that if you do this and then stop you’ll be kicked out or killed. He also didn’t say it would be an easy job. A lot of us Christians talk about how difficult it is to be a Christian. We talk about following teachings that are so not in line with the ‘cool’ way of doing things. I’m good with that, no problems. Being cool is only a thing I’m trying to be as opposed to being burning forever. What is most difficult about being a Christian is failing every day and knowing God sees it. Living with that, knowing I disappointed Him and Jesus. Lot of guilt there, not so much I’ll hide in my room and flog myself until my skin bleeds. No repeat of the Scarlett Letter here, even if I were a preacher.

I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the guilt and live a carefree life in many ways. It occurred to me, okay it occurs to me every time I start feeling guilty, that God knew even before He sent Jesus that I would fail. No, I’m not cheering when I fail, but in those dark moments, I grab hold of that thought and it pulls me up.

Inclusion. God included me in His decision making from the very beginning. I’ve been included in His thoughts from the beginning. I’m included in His plan.



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Nurturing is Genuine.

For me there is some difficulty when it comes to face to face relationships since my accident over a year ago. It might be the memory issues. Perhaps the fear of people. Somewhere along the way . . . hmm, maybe it’s all of it together.

As a father I have to get over it at times. I guess when I am able to get into those moments of discussion and encouragement and help my son grow, he knows it’s the real thing. And there I believe lies true nurturing.

Humans are very perceptive when it comes to fakes or genuines. Yes, another of my made up words. Perhaps I will create a comic book called The Genuines and the enemies will be The Deceptives.

“Focus, Ronovan.”

“Okay, okay, I will.”

My son is very perceptive. He knows when someone truly cares about him when they are discussing things that are to encourage and help him. He doesn’t need encouragement. I suppose encouragement is great in its place but nurturing is really the thing that is needed.

When you nurture you are giving of yourself, your feelings are shared, your time, your blood, your sweat and tears. Even an infant knows the difference between the genuine and the deceptive.

My son, aged 10, began his first season of baseball this year. No one believes it. He was apparently born to play the game. Perhaps it was the hours of throwing balls to him over the summer that helped some, the explaining how baseball works, how to properly run the bases, how to relay the ball. It was a sport I could explain and he could learn that carried over. I suppose it helped I took coaching of baseball in college.

But what is really helping him are the coaches. He has the best coaches in his league. I don’t say that because they are winning, I say that because their mentality of growing young kids into loving baseball, and training them the right way, and not just about technique.

The hitting coach even took time with my son “B” before practice, since it was early, and went through a couple of things with him, and told him he was the most naturally gifted hitter and player he had ever seen. He didn’t have to say that. And his actions back up his words.

I take the guys words as truth because of his background. He played college ball, football and baseball at the same University I went to, but ended up with baseball after the first season and was even scouted by the pros. He still plays in leagues that we have here that aren’t for pros. Oh, did I mention his father was a two time football Super Bowl Champion?

Encouragement without sincerity is just smoke. It’s a commercial for a toy that kids know won’t work. My son even explains to me why the toys won’t work when he sees the ads.

Again, I wasn’t going to do a post today, but it’s #1000Speak for Compassion with the topic of Nurturing. I opened the page and this happened without a thought.

Nurturing can be from adult to adult as well. I  have people, person, something like that, not only encouraging my writing but taking steps to nurture along the way to lead in the direction of improvement. Not so much teaching me technique but being honest with me.

Nurturing is not simply being a cheerleader, nurturing is sometimes be the tough guy for the better. The other person won’t always like it, but through a history with you, they know it is for the better and will go with it.

No matter what you do, with whomever you do it with, nurture. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”~Ephesians 4:29

If those who follow these words only fulfilled these words, would it not be a wonderful world? I try. I fail at times, I am sure, but I try.

1000 voices speak for compassion

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