God with Us: Part II

STORYINGCHRISTMASgodwithus2

Last time, we looked at how God desires to be with us. He was Emmanuel, “God with us”, from the beginning of the world. He walked with Adam and Eve. He holds us with we need him. He is behind us and he is before us. Today, let’s look at how every aspect of God is with us. Father, Son, & Spirit. The Trinity.

How absolutely, ineffably incredible! God is so high and so powerful. Yet, his great desire is to be with us. And he made a way to do this. I think about the words from “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”:

How deep the Father’s love for us

How vast beyond all measure

That He should give His only Son

To make a wretch His treasure

God sent Jesus, his son, as a baby. When Jesus had to go back into heaven, he sent the Spirit to be with us. And we don’t really deserve that kind of love.

John 14:16-17

 

“And I will ask the Father and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be with you.”

We see in the Old Testament that God is with us. We see in the Christmas story and in the Gospels that Jesus came, quite literally, to be with us. And we see in Jesus’ promise and in Acts and the letters to the apostles that the Spirit is with us. It “lives with us”.

We rarely think of the Trinity as Emmanuel. But I think the Bible is clear that every part of God is with us.

Spend some time today praising God for every part of himself. Thank God the Father that he is with you. Thank Jesus the Son that he came to be with you. And thank the Spirit for being your advocate and friend – with you.

 


 

Comfort  http://alittlesanctuary.org/storying-christmas-comfort/

 

…And Joy  http://alittlesanctuary.org/and-joy/

 

Summer Christmas  http://alittlesanctuary.org/summer-christmas/

 

God with us: Part I  http://alittlesanctuary.org/god-us-part/

 

God with us: Part II  http://alittlesanctuary.org/god-us-part-ii/

 

God with us: Part III  http://alittlesanctuary.org/god-us-part-iii/

 

Storying Christmas: Waiting  http://alittlesanctuary.org/storying-christmas-waiting/

 

Christmas Eve & The Miracle Fern http://alittlesanctuary.org/christmas-eve-miracle-fern/

Defining Masculinity: The Measure of a Man

The Measure of a Man

What do you think of when you think of a masculine man, a man’s man, a bloke? If you had to give a picture of masculinity, what would you draw?

I’d imagine that big, giant muscles are part of that picture. Maybe a body builder. In your mind, you probably even see him flexing. He’s probably a little sweaty because, well, if he has muscles, he probably works out a lot. He’s probably even lifting weights as we imagine him.

A picture might pop into your head of a successful businessman. Definitely the broad-shouldered kind. He works hard, so he is carrying a suitcase as you imagine him, probably in a hurry because there is just so work to be done. He is a hard worker and that is why he is successful. A real man.

Do you maybe think of a farmer? He has red skin and beads of sweat hanging on his forehead underneath his hat. He works from sun up to sun down, taking care of his crop. He lives a simple life and he lives off of the earth. That is a man worth admiring.

We see a lot of different pictures when we think of what it means to be a man. When we think of masculinity, there is quite a bit that springs to mind. And that picture changes a little bit depending on where we live and what we think is important in life.

History and culture tell us a lot about masculinity. But, what do we tell ourselves about it?

Here are some questions to consider: Post-feminism, is there a re-defining of man that needs to take place? If women are different and powerful, then what are men? Is duality even necessary apart from body parts? Or do we still need to have polarity between what it means to be male/female simply because we are human and like to categorize things?

I don’t want to answer these because I don’t know the answer. But, when I think of a masculine man, I think of my husband – not because he climbs trees and can shoot a turkey, though those things contribute to it. He is a man because he is loyal and compassionate. He cares about people and he cares about nature. He is the best kind of man.

I think about my Papa, my dad, my brother, my uncles, and even my cousins. They can smoke a mean brisket, run marathons, and lead churches. But when life has not gone their way, I have seen integrity and humility flow out of them, gently paced. The same way my dad and brother run marathons is the same way they live their lives. All the men in my family are genuine “real” men in my mind.

So back to the first question: What comes to mind when you think of a real man?

And a second question: What really makes a man?

If you are male and reading this, what kind of man are you? What kind of man do you want to become?

See y’all on Monday as we look at what some of the greatest men in history had to say about masculinity. Have a great weekend!