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Archive for August, 2003

Faith is…

I have this book of poetry that is compiled by Myrna Reid Grant. The title is Poems for a Good and Happy Life.

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Each section is based on one of the seven cardinal virtues. I would like to share a portion from her introduction to the section about FAITH.

“The Apostle Paul wrote powerfully about faith in God. His position, although respectful of people’s pagan searchings, went something like, ‘“Never mind trying out this idea and then another one, always looking around for something better or more interesting to explore. That isn’t faith. Faith is commitment to the One, True God.”’ Paul would have agreed that having faith is a commitment like getting married as compared to just telling someone you will love them forever. It is diving into the lake for a swim rather than sitting on the beach and discussing the merits of exercise. One of Paul’s great contributions to Christianity is his understanding that faith is an attitude of the entire self. Faith involves not only belief in God; it must also include a resolve to act out one’s faith in godly living. This kind of commitment concept is what the cardinal virtue faith entails.
Paul’s focus on faith sprang from his Hebrew roots. Judaism’s approach to faith was a certainty based on God’s promises to the Jewish people, and their response of obedience to God’s laws. For Paul and the other New Testament writers, faith’s center was in a person’s relationship to Jesus Christ. These writers were very clear that faith is documented in how a person lives, not by what that person professes at any given moment. This concept might have been mildly alarming to people in New Testament times and perhaps it still is today. The idea that faith only exists if it is wholeheartedly practiced can be disconcerting.
Christianity maintains that the virtue of faith profoundly changes the quality of life. From faith flows the assurance that the universe is not empty: God inhabits, and is beyond, creation. God sees human life, and approves and rewards faith….”

Here is a couple of the poems from this section…
Faith

Faith is not merely praying
Upon your knees at night;
Faith is not merely staying
Through darkness to the light.

Faith is not merely waiting
For glory that will be,
Faith is not merely hating
The sinful ecstasy.

Faith is the brave endeavor
The splendid enterprise,
The strength to serve, whatever
Conditions may arise.

–S. E. Kiser

A Psalm Requesting Faith

Give me courage Lord
to take risks
not the usual ones
respected
necessary
relatively safe
but those I could avoid
the go for broke ones.
I need courage
not just because
I may fall on my face
or worse
but others seeing me
a sorry spectacle
if it should happen
will say
he didn’t know what he was doing
or he’s foolhardy
or he’s old enough to know
you lead from the side
instead of letting yourself be caught
in a wild stampede.
Give me courage Lord
to take unnecessary risks
live at tension
instead of opting out.
Give me the guts to put up
instead of shutting up.

–Joseph Bayly

I dedicate this post to all of you who have put up instead of shutting up, who have taken risks because God told you to, who have joined in the brave endeavor not letting the cost hold you back. Much love and many blessings on you all. Love, Debbie Zahariades

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Well, I haven’t posted in a while but I’m still here.
I opened up this past Sunday night with a lot of my truthful feelings about my struggle to come up with a mission statement. As I said at that meeting, “I feel like I was put here without the necessary skills to survive.” I have a hard time commiting to a mission statement because I know that I am weak in the area of follow through. I don’t really know my giftings. I am not sure what God is calling me to do besides being a mom to my four fantastic kids and an encouraging wife to my wonderful husband and a honest seeker of the Kingdom of God. I feel so weak and pitifully untrained…I seem to blow it several times a day as a mom and as a wife, and almost constantly as a Seeker.
Fortunately…we have a God who is there to be strong where we are weak. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.
I thank you all for listening to me and loving me even when I am vulnerable and letting you know how imperfect I am. Thank you for sharing your struggles with me so I can be encouraged to keep trying. What a blessing it is to be a part of this community of Christ’s learners. I am so glad that we are going to be starting an accountability group. May God lead us in his way.

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