Sunday, May 4, 2008

This I Know...

I know that God exists.
I know that He is a person, who actually loves and is interested in me... not just an impersonal oversoul of some sort, not just The Force.
I know that God loves all of us.
I know that God talks to me.
I know that God is Love.
I know that we have been put on earth to learn how to love.
I know that God wants us to be part of a community of believers.
I know that sometimes we think we're doing the right thing, and we really aren't.
I know that Jesus shows us the character of God, and reconciles us to God, and makes us free.
I know that Jesus wasn't Just a Good Teacher.
I know that God loves colors, and song, and joy and laughter and dancing.
I know that there is more to this existence than the world that we see around us. It is as though we are waterskaters living on the surface of a pond; there is so much more to the pond that we cannot see. This analogy isn't quite right, though, because I know we exist also into the depths, although we usually sense only the surface.
I know that the Lamb's War is going on at this very moment, and has been for thousands of years, maybe longer... but I don't know how long.
I know that the devil exists, and that he whispers at us.
I know that God doesn't want us to be afraid.
I know that taking the oath of fealty will change your life forever... it has changed mine.
I know that life in His service is an adventure.
I know that our spiritual growth depends on learning to Care more and more, learning to Love God and our fellow travelers more and more, and that each time our heart breaks while we are learning, God will mend it and make it bigger.
I know that you don't have to know Jesus' name in order to be saved by Him.
I know that God answers prayers.
I know that God intervenes in the world.
I know that a lot of people who say they believe in God, who say they are Christians, don't trust God as much as they trust their own strength and creaturely resources.
I know that being faithful involves being willing to attempt things that we know are impossible, if the Lord calls us to do it.
I know that I would rather be me today, than one of those Wise Men then. To only be privileged to see the child (only still just a dream of hope), and to never see the work completed.... that must have been hard. To go to the mountaintop, and to see the vision of the world to come that you will not be part of....... but, I suppose, better to have been to the mountaintop than never to have seen the hope at all.
I know that sometimes God's love pours down like stars.

Okay, tag, you're it... What do you know? No quibbling, now... just straight Truth.


Raye said...

I know that Jesus Christ is with me, closer than my breath.

I know that the Lord, the Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, is my final destination.

I know that He is faithful, and generous, and beautiful.

I know that Who He Is does not depend on my intellectual understanding or opinion or mood.

cath said...

I cannot know because I am human, I can only believe.

I believe that the Light of God is in everyone and everything.

I believe that we will all be reconciled to God, either before death or after.

I believe that God's greatest gift is Grace--and that Grace is the scariest gift of all because it is given without strings to everyone: to us when we don't feel worthy, to those who act holier than thou, to our enemies.

I believe that sometimes the answer to a prayer is No.

I believe that Jesus perfected his Inner Light in a way that serves as the role model for my feeble attempts.

I believe that the second great commandment, to love others, is a mandate for our actions in this world.

I believe that all faith traditions contain some element of truth.

I believe that life is sacred, from conception to a natural death and that only God knows the time a person should die.

I believe in free will and that God suffers when we abuse this gift.

I believe our spirituality comes not from humanly constructed religions, but from the place where our greatest gifts meet the world's deepest need.

I believe creativity is an expression of the Spirit.

I believe we can be forgiven.

I believe I could go on.... :)


cath said...

(sorry for the second post--I just thought of this....)

I believe I fall short of many of my beliefs. :)


Shawna said...

Thanks, Raye and cath...

I know that sharing with each other is important....

Now, cath, I am about to wink and smile at you: You know that you cannot know? You know that you can only believe?

My husband was talking to me the other night when I posted "This I Know..." He said it is "knowing" that gives us the strength to act in faith. Without that restful, deep certainty, how can we find the strength, for example, to move 2000 miles to a place we've never lived... based on the call of God?

To "know" does not mean that one is perfectly infallibly right. In that sense, no one can "know." To "know" is to trust completely and without doubt that something is True... I might discover later that I am wrong... but meanwhile I trust without doubt, and I have the strength to act in that faith. At least, that's what I believe!

cath said...

Winking back at your semantics play, Shawna! (visualize my lovely lashes coming down on one eye)

I believe that belief is the underpining of faith.

I also believe semantics play often obscures the message, however, and gets people off track.

If you wish to use the word "know" I trust you to have a concept of that word that works for you.

I choose the word "belief."


cath said...

Phooey! Just as I was leaving to go for a walk, a little thought tapped me on the shoulder.

I engaged in semantics play, too--in my first comment!

OK, we are tied. Rather than go into overtime, I'd like to have my content stand on its own. Folks can substitute the word9s0 that works best for them:

have faith in
spew forth (LOL)


cath said...

I've been thinking about the "belief-know" thing as I've been going about my day, and I finally realized that I have something to add to my original list:

I believe in continual revelation.

And continual revelation has the power to change a known.... that is why I still choose the word believe. I believe certain things until God shows me otherwise.


Laurie Kruczek said...

I know that I love this post and all of its comments.

I know that I will send some of it to my friend's mom, who is going through so much right now.

I know that I love being a Quaker as it has led me to reading wonderful blogs like this one.



Shawna said...

Thanks, cath, for the additional comments. They are good.

Thanks, Laurie, for stopping by...
I know that I enjoy your blog too. In particular, the poultry stories and photos (alright, not so much the photo of the pink featherless chicken... but all the rest are beautiful!) I will keep your friend's mom in my prayers.

kevin roberts said...

You sure are a nice person to know.

David Male said...

What I believe are propositions that seem true to me but cannot or have not been verified. What I have faith in are those things I believe that I'm willing to take risks for. What I know are those things that I have seen and tasted. What I trust is that which has never failed me.

I believe that the classical Christian Quaker understanding of the Gospel is true. I have faith that if I trust Jesus he will guide my path. I know that Jesus is alive, that he loves me, that through him God has already forgiven me for everything I have ever done or will do that is contrary to his will. I know that the most satisfying way to spend my life is to love God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength, and my neighbor as myself, and that when I do so I am a part of the body of Christ. I know that as the body of Christ we have the awesome challenge and opportunity to fulfill Christ's promise that we will do even greater works than he was able to do during his earthly ministry. I know that the Bible is true, even though I don't understand all of it yet. I know that people (including myself) will sometimes let me down. I trust that Jesus will never let me down.

Shawna said...

Thanks, Kevin. You're pretty keen too.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, David.