Tag Archives: communication

What in this World Is the Kingdom of God?

Mt Hood - person standing -expansive view

Jesus taught: “Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all of these things (food, clothing, shelter, and guidance) will be added in your lives.”

Are these beautiful words with no practical application?  Or is there a depth here I’ve not yet totally understood?

 

How do I seek first the kingdom of God?
Does this mean if I seek other things first, I am shooting myself in my own foot?

 

How much do I believe of what Jesus Christ teaches?  Everything ? or only what makes sense in my own mind?

Are His words stretching reality just a bit, or are they truth?

 

 Not easy questions!  But questions that bombard me at different times.  And I wonder about  you?

 

I will be writing more about the kingdom of God – from how I view it today. In reality, my view is interwoven in everything I write and teach, and now I hope to write about some fascinating specifics I’ve learned. I’ve been surprised at some of the concepts I now perceive. Perhaps they are different from yours. I will enjoy receiving comments and ideas from you!  Please put them in the comment section at the end of this post. . . thanks!

 

First Questions
– is the Kingdom of God actually a real kingdom?  A different kind of nation?  Why would I want to be part of it?  What is in it for me ?l

 

However, before we tackle the above questions, I desire to share with you some different “building blocks.” They created a foundation of belief for me, that becomes firmer the more I learn and experience the reality of God’s Word.

 

Building Block 1 –
Me, as a person.

My name is Voni.   I’m 83, one of those white-haired women you may meet on the street or in church.    I walk with a cane and, sometimes need help getting up out of a chair.  It takes me a few minutes to unfold this tall body (5′ 9 1/2 inches have shrunk to about 5′ 8 1/2 inches.)

At this very moment, I’m sitting in our small living room in an apartment in Natal RN Brazil: a city most of you have never heard of, and where I feel “at home.” .. The sliding glass door onto our minuscule veranda (where my husband hangs a hammock for me every day), looks out at tall buildings framing views of the ocean and sand dunes. The solid wood front door is open right now. Looking out that door, I see a corridor open to all  weather because of large open “windows” without glass  The breeze between the two doors is controlled by how much we open them; during the days both remain open.  Sitting here, the wind ruffles my hair and refreshes me as it swishes past.
I live in two different nations: the USA and Brazil.  My experiences have taught me much more than any “book learning” about the differences between different nations and different cultures. Living the phrase of “cross-cultural communication”, with many tears and times of laughter,  weaves an ever larger tapestry in my life with myriad colors.

 

 

Building Block 2 –

As a child, I had a strong and loving human father – which makes it much easier for me to relate to my Father in heaven.  Dad was not a “perfect man”, and I was certainly not a perfect daughter!  (I still remember in the summers, when I was 10 and 11, grabbing a book I delighted in reading and climbing up into my favorite cherry tree, where the branches came together to create a wonderful chair, perfect for me to sit and read.  The leaves of the tree hid me from sight of anyone below.  When Mom called me, looking for me to help her, I would remain totally still until she had passed by.)  Those were wonderful days for reading!

 

Building Block 3 –

As a child, Mom and Dad told me about God.  I learned to talk to Him, starting with my nighttime prayers.  He became my Friend, and I learned to converse with Him on a daily basis.  I had much to talk over with Him: life wasn’t easy. 

At home: Green-cherry fights with my brother. Chasing the chickens and gathering eggs (those chickens did not like either one!)

The geese in our field chasing me (that was not pleasant!)  Riding our plow horse bareback, only with a halter.  Walking the country road a mile to the school. (That mile was loonng! especially when it was raining.)  Setting the table for Mom before our family meals; then drying the dishes.  (My younger brother had other chores: I believed his were much easier!)

At school: I am the tallest person in my classes until the 8th grade.  My body felt awkward to me.  I wore steel rimmed spectacles and my hair was bobbed. I was self-conscious of my looks and lack of athletic ability. I felt like an “outsider”.  Only in junior high did I begin to “blend in with” the others at school.

 

Building Block 4 –
I learn how to read the Bible. I talk to God about it.

 I definitely test it, over and over again.
I learn some basics:
a) God does not play with words
.  What is written in His Word is the way it is.  I can rebel against His word, refuse to obey Him and live with the consequences. . However, the pain I may feel as I obey Him is far less than the pain that comes as a result of not obeying Him!   I also learn, I may dislike the word “obedience”, but there are definite advantages or blessings for me as a consequence of obedience.
b) The realization that God keeps His Word. 
One of the basic verses I learn as a reality:

Romans 8:28  “ALL things work together for the good of those who love the Lord, and are called according to His purpose.”  That includes good and bad, steel rimmed spectacles, kids snickering because my body was awkward, feeling alone – and it is the loneliness which causes me to turn more and more to God.

 

Building Block 5 –

Without my being aware of it, I was raised in a different culture than the outward culture of the United States.  Many things overlapped culturally:  but if there were a conflict, God’s laws were the final word.  This created a basic foundation for the many changes that I face over the years, as well as my physical and emotional challenges

 

What about you?  How were you raised?  

Can you identify building blocks in your life?   positive or negative?     What are they?

 

What do the building blocks have to do with the Kingdom of God and my questions at the beginning?

 

The building blocks are the foundation upon which we unconsciously base our beliefs.  It is good if we know what kind of foundation we have.

 

  • Voni                                                              

 

Simply Writing

handwriting
handwriting
Tonight, I am frustrated… not sure why..
I want to write – not only about  sorrows and learning… but about the Kingdom of God/the nation I live in.
How do I share about cross-cultural communication and the Kingdom of God as my home.
I am American, hoping to get my Brazilian citizenship, but my “home nation” is God’s Kingdom.  Those are the laws and principles that don’t change.  How can I share across cultural lines and divides?
God’s laws have proven themselves to me,  countless times.  The more I learn from history and science I am saying again and again “WHAT AN AWESOME GOD!”
globe n & s america
 
I also want to write about some of the funny things that have happened; some of the scary things; and about some of the challenging things.
How can I draw word pictures about when a parrot was on the table at our host’s home, and pecking food off of our plates?  And a toad was calling Joe’s name out of the jungle.
Or the time I sat in a roadside restaurant where we stopped to eat, and the dogs and chickens came and went at will, cleaning up whatever food fell to the floor.
 (Sometimes those who were eating simply threw something down on the floor if they didn’t want it.)  No, I didn’t check out the kitchen.
Contrast that with some of beautifully  incredible restaurants where I’ve eaten . . .
Wonderful hotels  I’ve enjoyed – contrasting to my memories of a hotel where we spent a night that had no ceiling, only the bare tile roof, and the hundreds of spider webs woven between the roof and the wooden rafters. (fortunately no spiders fell upon us during the night.)
The magnificence of Iguaçu Falls (to me even more beautiful than Niagara Falls), and the “meeting of the waters” on the Amazon.  The wonder of O Redentor – the statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro.
VIEW ABOVE RIO
VIEW ABOVE RIO
The day almost 100 people were baptized in a pool at a private camp: we all drove there and – just as the baptisms were beginning – a huge tropical rainstorm started pouring buckets of water down on everyone.
All of us watching got just as wet in the drenching rain as those who were baptized… and we all laughed, sang, prayed and rejoiced together.  Those who were baptized had brought a change of clothing. All the rest of us went home – WET
The incredible sky full of stars that came close to the earth as I walked at night in a field of a farm far from Brazilia and any electricity.
The loneliness – and the joys – failures and victories – the challenges of  learning a new culture, country and language and raising our six children…                       
 
My heart yearns to share these thoughts and experiences.
Does anyone want to hear them?  would they be encouragement to some?
 
Voni
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