Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Listening to the Voices

There have been many times and places along the way where I hesitated to speak the words that I could hear in my head, not trusting them to be safe or life-giving, or fearing that I would somehow place myself in danger by letting them out. I suspect that, most of those times, I was wrong. The longer I live, and the less I worry about how people will perceive me or if they will like me (which isn’t often enough), the more frequently I hear these words asking to be spoken. And every blue moon or so, I actually get the courage to let them come out of my mouth in the gentle, non-anxious way that they are spoken to me. Looking back, those are the grace-filled moments, when I recognize that I have been given the wisdom and strength to step aside long enough for love to shine through. For all those many other times, when my indecision and anxiety allow an opportunity to pass untaken, I pray that the compassion in my heart was able to shine through my eyes in such a way that the message reached its intended target in spite of me. I call this one of the rudimentary forms of grace.

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Paraclete is the transliteration for the Greek word (παρακλέτας) Bible translators render in English as “Holy Spirit.” It literally means, “one who is called alongside; helper; or advocate.” Why do we need such assistance?

As time, life, and culture wear on us, we become less and less attuned to and aware of our own spiritual nature. We need rejuvenating regularly because it is difficult to live faith and believe its countercultural claims for more than seven days in a row without help and reinforcement. We would like to believe that civilization has progressed immensely since the Israelites were slaves in Egypt, but the truth of the matter is that Pharaoh’s brickyards are alive and well in the 21st century.

“Church” is designed to gather weekly as reinforcement of God’s life-giving messages of hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love; and as a reminder of the ways these resurrecting gifts free us from giving allegiance to and claiming our identification from the brickyard’s shackles. Paraclete is the conduit for these transformative messages; it is right there beside you, helping! Can you feel it now?

© 2012 Todd Jenkins

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tank You!

The “H” on my almost-smartphone’s keypad doesn’t work very well any more. I often have to return to text messages, emails, and other writings to insert the missing Hs before I post them. Since “tHank you” is oft-repeated in my world, I often find “tank you” on the screen.

Sometimes I am tempted to leave the H out (which is very different from “Getting the H out…”). If you ever get a “tank you” message from me, I hope you stop and think at least three things about it: [1] I probably meant “tHank you.” [2] I hope your “tank” – your reservoir of grace, love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and all of God’s gifts – is increased by every expression and receipt of gratitude. [3] Remember/recognize that my “tank” is overflowing from having seen the image of God and the reflection of Christ in you.

Tank you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

River of Eternity

Newsflash: Do you want a “place in history” or a “part in the coming of God’s realm”?  The difference is between a static residence in the past and a living toward God’s future.

Maybe, living as if it doesn't matter that the particularity of who we are will be remembered is what we're SUPPOSED to do.  What happens when we live, not as someone who will be indispensible or unforgettable, but as someone who leaves the world and those in it a little more capable of supporting life, accepting and giving love, and living out their own lives in and through the legacy of God’s abundant grace? The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but the river of eternity flows from an infinite stream of words spoken/listened to in love and selfless acts of grace offered, not because we understood what they were or what they would accomplish, but simply because we found the compelling gift within us to do nothing more and nothing less.

 © 2012 Todd Jenkins