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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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God is always present

Posted by Don Paine

The alongside of God is always alongside us even when we do no feel it or experience it.

I am always encouraged when I sense God's presence. I am discouraged when I feel God's absence. I am reminded that we are to live by faith not sight. "Sola gratia" of by grace alone was Luther's great internal discovery.

My wife and I recently visited my daughter and grandson who live in Seoul Korea. We visited the orphanage that she and my son (her natural brother) lived for several month prior to coming to America to be raised in a Christian home. Who would have imagined that 30 years later I would be walking into the orphanage that gave her to us to thank them and to support her dream of giving back to that orphanage. These kids are in this orphanage dropped there by circumstances out of there control just like her and her brother 30 years ago. She brings to them the living hope that she was like them and God is present to heal all betrayals and abandonment through the grace of God that never abandons us even if we feel it at times.

As we walked up the street to the orphanage it was snowing which it seldom does particularly this much. We had prepared a santa sack full of gifts for the children but the greatest gift was to see the falling snow, to feel the magical and mystical presence of a God that pours HIs purity and healing into our lives in unanticipated ways. The children seemed to have never seen a snow ball before so I became a snow ball machine and they the recipients of the fun and magic of the moment. God was present in a way that no one on earth could have orchestrated. Gifts were present to the children, to my daughter and grandson, to me to all of us that are all because of the grace of God's falling snow into our lives.

God was right there alongside of us. God is always right there "alongside of us". I wonder how many times I need to experience that to really know that in the times when I feel abandoned, I am not. My daughter is teaching me though her faith that heals her sense of abandonment and betrayal. My prayer is that we will all learn to be healed in what my daughter would call seoul healing. Where I have caused feelings of abandonment and where I have experienced abandonment God sprinkles his snowy grace into our lives. A beautiful snow falls from heaven on all of us today. God is present always with grace and healing.