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"lent 1, 2015: connected"
mixed media collage on stretched canvas (tissue paper, string, acrylic paint, gel medium, wallpaper glue)
10" x 8"
gregory a. milinovich

sunday we began our lenten series called "journey to hope."  we began by talking about two parts of the journey, roadblocks and companions.  as far as roadblocks go, sometimes there are things that block our progress in the journey of faith.  whether it be the refusal to forgive someone, or to receive forgiveness from God, or the pride of being unwilling to admit the selfishness of your choices or behavior, or something else altogether different, there are many things that impede our forward movement, and keep us still and stagnant.  but it doesn't have to be that way.  God has made a way where there seems to be no way, and every possible roadblock can be overcome, by the grace of God.  the question is are you willing to do your part in overcoming it?

secondly, we discussed the importance of spiritual friendships, or what an old celtic proverb calls "soul-friends."  we talked about our innate need for companionship (literally sharing bread with another), and how our spiritual journey, if it is to be the best journey possible, needs the help, the blessing, the accountability, the laughter, the strong shoulders to lean on, and the iron-sharpening-iron which only spiritual friendship can provide.  the problem is that most of us have many friends, and very few soul-friends.  we can talk at length about work or about our favorite team or the stress we are under or our new diet or whatever, but when it comes to talking about our faith, we suddenly get quiet.  we are afraid to disagree with one another, or to offend someone.  we are afraid we will look stupid, or say something wrong. heck, i don't know what all we are afraid of, but the sad reality is that most of us have no idea how to discuss our faith with our friends.  and that's a crying shame, because we desperately need to.  for our sake, and for theirs.  for the sake of the world and for the sake of the kingdom, we need friendships that are founded in God's truth and marked by God's grace and love.  so, who are your soul friends?  who are you connected to with an unbreakable bond?  if it is no one, how will you go about meeting some new companions on the journey?


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