Archive for the ‘Truth’ Tag

In Light Of God’s Salvation

Joshua 24 Gospel Project 2017”

Theological Theme: Our best efforts at obedience are bound to fail unless we have first experienced God – Father, Son and Spirit’s salvation through Jesus.

Christ Connection: Joshua was God’s chosen servant to bring the Israelites into the promised land. His story points forward to Jesus Christ, God’s chosen servant who will bring God’s people to their eternal inheritance.

Missional Application: God our Father, through Jesus, and in the Spirit, calls us to put away our idols, participating with Him and displaying for the world a new way of living, made possible only through Jesus, our Salvation.

Personhood, Distinction, and Our Union with the Blessed Trinity

When my older daughter Faith was about 4 years old we all sat down to watch a movie together as a family. It was probably a Disney, Barbie, or a My Little Pony cartoon but I can’t recall. What I do remember is an event that bowled me over theologically. You see, at the time I was only one year into my “Trinitarian transformation” and the Father, Son, and Spirit seemed to have me on such a fast track that nearly everything around me appeared to shout some aspect of the Gospel of our Inclusion in Jesus.

As we prepared the movie, Faith asked if I would make some popcorn popcorn-stovewith “extra, extra, extra butter”. I agreed and off I went to make real old fashioned stove top popcorn like my grandma Mary Ethel Winn used to make for us on her magic stove.

As the movie began Faith and I sat close so that we could share our bowl of popcorn. Just moments into the movie I found myself staring, jaw dropped, and wide-eyed at my 4-year old daughter. She wasn’t levitating or quoting Shakespeare, she was eating popcorn. Yep, I can guess that right now you might be thinking, “That Bill Winn sure is a weirdo.” Well, you might be right. You wouldn’t be the first person to ever tell me they wonder how my brain works and frankly I don’t know either except to say that more and more, in the past 10 years I have tried to make my brain more available to the Holy Spirit.

What I had a front seat to that night on the couch with Faith was her personhood, she’d always had it but in her development as a child it was becoming more obvious.  You see I was eating the popcorn too, and the butter and salt content was perfect (if I do say so myself). I was enjoying the popcorn but Faith was too, why? She was enjoying the popcorn because it tasted good and, as a distinct person in the Cosmos, she liked it.

We are distinct persons given a place in the Triune God’s Universe. The great news of the Gospel is that we have been included in the life of Jesus with his Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and we will never lose our personhood. We will never not be us. Our inclusion and union must never be thought of like a droplet that gets included in a bucket of water. If we put a droplet of water in a bucket of the same substance it become indistinguishable from the rest of the water.

Our inclusion, our union, did not cause humans to disappear into God. No, our inclusion and union highlight us as persons so that we are more brightly shining as the Image of God than ever!

Humanity has been included in the Shared Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Trinity and Humanity- in unity, but forever distinct persons.

Thank you Jesus that you love me and have included me and that you value me so much that you have ensured that I will always be me and someday… a more awesomely Christ-like me than I can imagine!

~Bill Winn

Truth of All Truths

Why does it bother us when someone lies to us? Who cares? Does it even matter whether we are truthful or not? It seems lately that it is getting harder and harder to hear truth. From politicians spouting statistics known to be false to advertisements that promise to “restore youth”, “regrow hair”, or help attract the person of our dreams we are constantly bombarded with obfuscations, little white lies, and plain old whoppers. So does it matter? Perhaps a better question is; “Why does truth matter?” Well the answer to every question is… “Who is Jesus?” Yes I know that is a question answering a question. I’m not a Rabbi but indulge me for a moment please. You see there is truth- absolute truth in fact but only because of the Truth. You see Jesus Christ, the one who has been face to face in honest communion with his Father from eternity, is Truth. In John’s Gospel he records the words oTruthf Jesus in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life…” Truth in the first instance is not a what but a who. The questions is not; “What is truth?” or even  if we should tell the truth the question before us is “Who is Truth?” Jesus is the Truth. The relationship between God the Father and His Son Jesus in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit is the foundation of every thought in the Cosmos. Telling the  truth matters because Jesus is truth and we are created for, adopted into, and called to participate in the very life of God. In researching for this blog I read an article at Psychology Today citing a study where out of 1000 participants the average lies told per day was 1.6. According to a recent study at Notre Dame those participants who consciously avoided lying for ten weeks showed significantly better physical and mental health during the ten week study. Shockingly when I read the online article about the Notre Dame study there was a hyperlink in the text that led one to believe it would go to the actual website for the study on lying but alas it was only a link to an advertisement. It seems we can’t even write articles about studies on lying with openness. You see our very being is inseparably linked in mystical union with the Triune God. We are called to share in the very life of God. (Jn. 10:10) So how many times a day do you think Jesus lies to the Father or how many times a week does Holy Spirit lie to Jesus? Simply put, Jesus is life, Jesus is Truth, and there is no life in lying. It takes more courage and integrity than we can muster to tell the truth at all times in all situations but Jesus is Truth and He shares himself with us completely in every moment and therefore telling the truth for us is merely a picture of our participation in the Triune Life of Love… the life that only is Life. Whether we tell the truth or not God loves us and accepts us as the broken ones we are. You belong to the Father, Son, and Spirit. You always have. You always will. The Father loves you and likes you. You are His beloved child. And that’s no lie because Jesus is the Truth of all truths!

                                                                                                                                     ~Bill Winn

Wake-up Call

I awoke this morning with a familiar ache. Not a physical pain, but an emotional one. Thirty-five years of living a lie; of believing a false reality — had etched in my heart a wound that can only be healed by repeated exposure to the truth. As I always do in the morning, I felt distant from God.

My conditioned response has been to tell myself to pursue him immediately. So my brain, in an attempt to create a plan of action, began making a spiritual to-do list. The familiar instructions came down through my mind like a sudden rainfall on an already-dreary day. I have to pray. I have to study. I have to meditate.

This time, though, the rain suddenly stopped. It was like sunlight breaking through, and I remembered, No I don’t. I remembered a truth I learned so recently that it has yet to make it into the depths of my subconscious: I am already in the midst of the family of God, right now. I could not be any closer. Then I wondered where that urgent list of tasks was coming from, much the same as when God asked Adam and Eve, “Who told you that you were naked?” I felt the Holy Spirit asking me essentially the same question– “Who told you that you were naked, devoid of my presence?”

I had to laugh on the inside. Like a long-time bachelor only recently married, I awoke thinking I was alone. Thanks to the grace of the Father, and the faith and sacrifice of his Son, and the power and love of the Holy Spirit, I was born into the family of God, adopted from before I first existed.

The crazy thing; the sad and horrible thing — is I’ve been lied to ever since the beginning. The same one who said to Eve, “You will not surely die,” has been telling me through every means available, “You are far, far from God, and he is a God who will only love you if you obey his orders. Orders, by the way, which are impossible to follow.”

As I grew up and matured a little in my faith, that lie wore through like an old, filthy rag that can no longer hold up against any resistance. It was replaced by another: “Despite your salvation by grace, you must always strain to live a righteous life and always chase after a God you can’t reach, until the day you die.” But this is just a variation on a theme. It’s the same old, “You are far from God” lie. And this lie — the same one implied when Eve was told she could not believe her Father — is as old as the human race! If you ask me, the world’s oldest profession isn’t prostitution — it’s lying! And the price is our peace, joy, and happiness, given one who won’t spend it anyway!

As light dispels darkness, the truth dispels the lie. We are close to God. We could not be any closer to our Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit than we are right this very moment. It is the truth we have always been denied. It is the most powerful bit of knowledge we can have. And that is why there has been a campaign to hide it since the beginning of time.

Do you have the truth in you? Have you let it sink deep, deep down into your psyche? Are you bathed in it daily, like you are bathed in the light, love, and glory of the family of God? Is it written in your heart? Is it coded into your DNA so it permeates every cell of your being? That’s how deep the truth goes; so must your belief of it be. It is truly the only thing that matters.

I look forward to the day when I wake up and my first thought is a true one — “Welcome to another day in the light, love, and joy of your family. You get to spend the whole day today with the three people who love you most in the universe.”

~ Steve Solari

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