Claude King's blog

God’s Joy and Jumble

I have looked at some of what is happening in our world on the news and witnessed in our local communities recently, and over my lifetime, and have wondered how we as God's human creation have been able to continue to survive and often thrive with the contradictory nature that we exhibit, and thus are snake-bitten concerning our efforts to be at peace and harmony with God, with one another, and with God's non-human creation.

Our Welcome and Reward

"To love is to make one's heart a swinging door."
- Howard Thurman

I am drawn to welcoming people. It is a habit that I was taught as a child, and it has shaped my personality fundamentally. I am a product of my upbringing and I have continued to practice welcoming people from a child into adulthood. What I was taught as a child regarding welcoming people represents an essential part of my family's core beliefs which includes showing hospitality and care for others.

Freedom from Our Fears

In one moment, we are peaceful and calm with most of what is going on in our lives, and in the next moment, we can be suddenly filled with the feeling of anxiousness, agitation, even panic or terror that comes like a huge wave washing over us. Often it is nothing more than the familiar fears that we live with every day but do our best to hide from those around us.

Freedom for the Harassed and Helpless

We should be concerned about the condition of certain groups within our communities, many who are members of those groups are struggling and vulnerable. The level of concern of the people in that condition near us, as well as those in a similar condition around the world, gives notice of the essential work we must prepare for as fellow missioners spreading God's love.

Praising and Honoring God

The Chapel Choir of Downers Grove First United Methodist Church is having a 50th Reunion this weekend. Many alumni, past directors, former church members, and pastors will be here in person or in spirit reuniting old friends, recalling old memories, and hopefully, making new friends and creating new memories for the next 50 years!

Believe, Serve, Receive with Joy

We are in the season of renewal. We can see that in more than just the natural world, we too are very much aware of the personal need for renewal that we are eagerly waiting for as we pause, gather to rest, take time away, end a time of study, or enter a less busy period and look to be infused with positive energy after an intense time of learning, working, and growing. We also want and need to experience genuine joy as a normal part of our cycle of learning, working, productivity, and renewal, especially as servants of God.

A Source of Love

I am grateful and look forward to witnessing another Mother's Day this Sunday. I think of the many things that my mother, Carolyn F. King, meant to me. I remember being warmed by her loving spirit, enhanced by her knowledge and viewpoint about a wide range of topics, world events, and life lessons and the belly laughs given by her humorous perspectives on people and situations that she shared with me.

Make a Joyful Noise

The time comes when we feel the need to make joyful sounds because we are bursting with love, we recognize God's faithfulness, and we cannot hold those feelings inside anymore. That is the time when most of us will either shout out with gladness in our hearts, burst out singing, or want to listen to people singing songs that express the same joy that was caught up in our bones but now must be released.

The Lord Needs You

Does the ancient Palm Sunday scene sound familiar? If we take out Jesus' riding through the streets of Jerusalem, on a donkey and a colt (the foal of a donkey), we will see similar kinds of public gatherings that have happened recently, especially because it is election season.

The streets, squares, halls, and stadiums of our communities have been populated with people of various kinds, including the well off, political elite, middle class, and many who are disenfranchised, losing faith in the government, or who suffer needlessly due to societal indifference.

Exposing Darkness and Light

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase, "coming out of darkness into the light?" Most of us create images in our mind's eye about what darkness means and its negative imagery like danger, insignificance, shady people, vagueness, and doubt that we were taught to associate with it. How entering the light is imagined also, and what light means as a metaphor for clarity, positivity, goodness, happiness, peacefulness, and calmness.


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