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  • July 2018
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Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

Resistance & Renewal

Bono_on_Bono_Cover“It’s a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma…

You see, at the centre of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics – in physical laws – every action is met by an equal or opposite one.  Its clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe.  I’m absolutely sure of it.

And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “As you reap, so will you sow” stuff.  Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news…

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Why the Trinity?

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Baptism

StJohnsAshfield StainedGlass Baptism (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several days ago, I was reading the story of Jesus being baptized by John Baptist in the book of Matthew, chapter 3.  He writes in vss 16, 17: “At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

My first thoughts after reading went to our Muslim friends who always ask us if we think Jesus is God’s Son. It’s a painful subject and often a conversation stopper or an argument starter because they believe very strongly that Christians worship THREE Gods! WE DON’T, but trying to explain why we believe in ONE God who is Triune is very difficult and inconvenient.

I love and respect our Muslim friends and I understand their passion for the One True God…Allah and His purity, so I want to explain why we also worship ONE God.  But, I’ve never been successful in explaining our beliefs in the Trinity to their satisfaction.

As I understand it, a good many Muslims think we worship God the creator who had sex with Mary thus producing a son, Jesus.  Some believe we worship God, Mary and Jesus. Not True.

Others don’t believe this, but all believe that Jesus is NOT God’s Son.

And who can blame them? If we’re honest, it’s difficult for us Christians to understand much less explain.

That’s why I’m posting this article from Christianity Today about the Trinity, “Three is the Loveliest Number”. It may not persuade any Muslims, but it provided me with an “epiphany” about Christians (and perhaps why so many in our country expect more of the USA as a once/so-called Christian nation).

Christians are called to be culturally different from other cultures that do not believe in the Trinity.

We are called to a lifestyle of relationship, with God and with others:   Love, forgiveness, gratitude, joy, peace, patience and other qualities that always existed in God’s relationship with His Son are to be in evidence in our daily lives.

What a great challenge to begin the New Year!

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.

Three Is the Loveliest Number | Christianity Today.



Image by talkoftomatoes via Flickr

Cover of "The Oxford English Dictionary (...
Cover via Amazon

My Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother, renown for her sweet nature, is nevertheless also known for saying, “I wouldn’t believe it even if I did see it!”. She would famously say this to her highly opinionated husband, Grandpa Harry, who,  an acquaintance once told me, “No offense, Mary, but he was a miserable ole Piss Ant”.

He died when I was one year old, and loved me a lot.  My mom treasured memories of both her Mother and Father, and remembers Grandpa Harry saying, “You can get more flies with honey than with vinegar”. Hmm…Piss ant, Fly trap…?

Which brings me to the dilemma, literally, the word, “dilemma”.

How many of us in North America were taught to spell the word, Dilemma, as “dilemna”? Do you know why?

There is a fascinating history on Worldwidewords.org website which I link to below. My theory is that the mistake grew out of  common spelling mistakes in older literature read during the 1800’s. What do you think?

Every time I write the word, I consciously remind myself to add two “m’s” not an “m” and an “n”.

But, this in not my biggest grammar shock in recent years.

Since I discovered that delicious coffee drink, Espresso, a few years ago, I’ve been calling it, “Expresso“.

Some of my friends may have noticed but were too polite to correct me, or didn’t think it mattered.

Last year during our Sabbatical, my husband noticed the spelling on his favorite coffee shop, and pointed out that Espresso is not spelled with an “x”.

I assumed it was an anomaly, but as I looked at coffee shops around Colorado Springs, was amazed to see every shop advertised “Espresso”.

“It must be a Colorado thing,” I thought to myself.

To my surprise, as we traveled East, even Ithaca, New York, just a short hop away from New York City serves “Espresso”.

So, at 63, I was forced to admit, what the rest of the world already knew, “Expresso”, is in fact “Espresso” even in Italy. (I looked it up), and I’ve been mistaken since my love affair with “espresso” began in Singapore twenty years ago.

And, incidentally, there is no basis for spelling dilemma with an “n”.

When I asked my husband how he would spell it, he led with an “n”, and wouldn’t take my word for it, but consulted his Oxford Dictionary and then his 1950’s high school dictionary just to “make sure”. That’s how deeply ingrained some beliefs can be.

Firmness is a trait I’ve always valued in myself and others, but stubbornness is a weakness I find difficult to handle.

When facts are presented that contradict my long-established beliefs, I try to ponder them.

I also have a very strong Faith,  but I don’t claim faith dependent on erroneous belief.  The Holy Books of my faith help me understand God whom I love and who loves me.  They are books of faith and fact. I believe they are revealed so people can know God; a loving and purposeful “gift”. I don’t argue over them.

My personal Faith is not threatened by change, but rather emboldened by it’s ability to keep pace with the changing world.

Dilemna” and “Expresso”, though just mis-spelled words, aren’t that easy to change in my thinking.

As a Christian I think of practices that are not taught in the Bible but are an integral part of some Christian cultures, and as such are difficult to change: Politely avoiding talk about child abuse vs. Caring for the abused child; Failure to confront Racist views (People who don’t speak English well, Muslims, etc.); Overly valuing a  Work Ethic vs. Caring for the worlds’ disadvantaged.

But, change is in the air, as we listen and learn from one another and from God. I have hope that we can learn to spell our lives in a different way.



Who Is This Man?

Who Is This Man?.