Was the Son of God a Father?

Have you heard the news stories that claim that Jesus was married with children?

To be honest, I never believed them or gave them a third thought.

I knew that the Biblical evidence was lacking so I shrugged it off.

But this morning as I read my Bible, I was shocked to see that I’ve been wrong to jump to false conclusions.

To my surprise, there is evidence that Jesus did have a son, afterall!

In fact, it appears as though his son was not biological but was adopted, which fits with the Biblical narrative of God’s love for widows and orphans.

Before you close your computer, I invite you to judge for yourself.

The proof is not in the scripture itself but actually in the heading of a Luke 7 passage,

which reads:

“Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son”….

As an adoptive father myself, today I’m even more proud to be a follower of Jesus.

-By Forest Benedict

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Holiday Recipes for Relapse & Recovery (Revised)

Holiday Recipes for Relapse & Recovery (Revised) – A recent article I wrote for my work blog that reminds us all how to stay focused and connected throughout the holiday season.

The Gift of Gratitude

A couple months ago I lost a dear friend to cancer. Nothing stirs up questions about life like the death of a loved one. It left me with questions about suffering and spirituality. It taught me many lessons as well. The lesson that rises to the surface of significance for me is the lesson of gratitude. I realized that safety and a painless existence are not guaranteed. Tragedies happen, even to those we least expect, including ourselves. Amazing moments happen too. This is life. We can resent life for not giving us what we expected.

We also have a profound opportunity to be grateful for every moment.

The happy moments are gifts. The sad moments remind us we’re alive and there’s still a purpose for us on this earth.

Today, may we take the time to be grateful for this moment, whether it is soaked in suffering or meaningful and memorable. May every day be a day of Thanksgiving, so that we can experience the joy that’s possible, being grateful for each breath that reminds us we’re alive.

I am grateful for you. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I hope you found some inspiration and hope here.

-Written by Forest Benedict, originally posted on the LifeSTAR blog.

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They Shall See God

This morning as I walked to work, I asked God to speak to me. Sauntering down the sidewalk, I scanned the scenery. I stopped, struck with the beauty of a lone pine tree, whose reflection peered at me from a nearby puddle. Its beauty was wrinkled by the wind. Miniature waves rippled over the shallow plane. Then in a brief moment the wind was muted. The reflection lay undisturbed and I saw the exquisite image in its authentic attractiveness. The verse glided into my awareness, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”. I thought about how, like little stones, my sins send ripples across the watery canvas that portrays the image my Creator. The fears I feed, the projections I pitch, and the indiscretions I indulge are pebbles that disturb that pristine picture of my Father. Tears came to my eyes as I heard Him whisper, “How I long for you to see me as I truly am.” Would that not change everything?

-By Forest Benedict

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Deeper than Distractions

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God has led me to a therapy group that feels uniquely crafted for me. As my readers, those I worked with, and loved ones know, I am passionate about attachment and connection, especially as it relates to the spiritual realm. So, to participate in a therapy group led by a highly knowledgeable attachment therapist, who is also a Christian, is a distinct honor. Putting words to it now, my heart swells with gratitude for the gift of playing a role in this group, not as the leader, but as an eager participant.

A time of Centering Prayer begins our sessions. In these intentionally quiet times, I allow God’s voice to speak and He often guides me through powerful pictures that beckon me to new levels of connection, trust, and growth. Yesterday was no exception.

As I closed my eyes I was transported to the ocean. I saw two distinctly different realities.

The first was above the surface. Over the waves were the distractions of the world: the busy boats and hedonistic happenings. A lifetime worth of entertainment and energy sappers.

The second reality was below the water. I saw myself diving into the depths, despite the sharks and uncertainties, down to the ocean floor. There lay a polished pearl and glimmering gold. In that watery underworld awaited adventures and untapped riches.

And I got the sense that I could squander the remaining years in my human skin, seeking the priorities and pleasures of this world, while deep intimacy with God lay dormant and undiscovered.

Tragic.

With passion, I pray, may I not miss the miracle of encountering life’s true Treasure! Father, allow in my heart a hunger for solitude with my Savior that dwarfs all desires for distractions. May I make the time to marinate in Your lavishing love.

After experiencing this vision, I went back and re-read my Treasure Seekers article. God has revealed this lesson to me before. Yet, I am stubborn and highly distractible. So human. Yet He continues to call my name.

Today I choose to dive deeper. Practically, this will mean trading for time with Him, turning to Him in temptation, and tuning into Him when stress and sorrows overwhelm. He has reminded me that everything I “give up” to be with my Creator will be worth the investment. In fact, as I choose Him, I will find that I am not “giving up” anything, in light of the glories that are gained (Mark 10:39-30).

Will you dive with me today?

Riches await.

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