It’s Easter week – holy of holy days and the time of year that is split between the sorrow of Passion and the elation of the Resurrection. This is the week that always makes me pause and reflect on what my faith is all about.
So many people intermix the terms “religion” and “faith”. But in my mind and life they are very different.
My faith is my relationship with God. My faith is that state of being where I know who and what I am. It’s my awareness of my identity as a Christian. It’s that space in my life where I talk to God the Father as my Daddy, Jesus the Son as my best friend, and the Holy Spirit as my true and faithful guide. I don’t know who I would be or how I would survive this life without my faith. I have always lived my life steadfast in my faith. It is who I am.
My religion is my community. It is the place I go to worship and praise. Religion is where man (and woman) wrestle with and interpret the rules of engagement with life, each other, morals, society, and sometimes God. I must admit, I have not always been steadfast in my religion. I have spent days in my youth questioning the purpose of such an institution, particularly when I would see those who practice it in church, turn right around and disregard it in the street or in their homes. My religion is where I go and what I do. It is not who I am.
So, this Easter, as with all others, I am pleased to reflect and ponder on the greatest sacrifice and gift – the life of Christ, laid down for mine. I am looking forward to living my faith in my house of religion. May you find your peace and faith in the house of religion in your life.
Be blessed with the knowledge that you are loved, you are freed and you are saved in Christ Jesus.
If you know me or know my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God, you know that I am powerfully moved by God’s message of love, hope and encouragement for us. God’s desire for us to use our gifts and talents to change the world has inspired me to introduce you to a man and an organization that you likely haven’t heard about but which has come to capture my heart.
Have you ever met someone for a brief time and just simply and awesomely been inspired? That has happened to me recently when I met Brian Siegel, founder of Heartprints. His story is compelling as he has come through true hardship as his family went through transitions. He was raised with his sister by a single mother who was a social worker. He knew the art and power of giving through her example. She also taught him faith and perseverence. In the midst of his growing years he was also the recipient of community help when the family was without a home and needed to humbly ask for assistance. In spite of the hardships and the humilities that he passed through, Brian is a winner. He worked hard in school and in sports and was able to rise up from his meager beginnings and earn a scholarship to get his college degree from the University of Cincinnati and his masters from Xavier University here in Cincinnati.
He has never forgotten his childhood or his mother’s teachings. He has been a giver and a volunteer for so long that it is part of his very nature and being. Now, in spite of the fate of our times and being layed off from work himself, he works tirelessly to grow and develop his own charitable work. He is the founder of Heartprints, which truly is the handiwork of his passion. He is involved locally in mentoring, outreach and job search assistance. He has made connections worldwide so that his giving nature can impact people around the globe. His start-up 501(c)(3) non-profit initiative is growing and expanding. Every time I speak with him I am renewed in my belief that his heart and his mission will indeed impact countless lives.
I’m honored to have crossed paths with this soft-spoken, generous human being. I’m proud to say that I want and will help support his efforts. I am delighted to volunteer my time, talent, and treaure to support his efforts both here at home and around the world.
I invite you to find out more about Brian, his mission and his organization. I pray that you also will be inspired and will be drawn to help this man make a difference in our world.