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Showing posts from October, 2014

She's There Now

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His wife's graveside  service was just barely finished, when there was  a massive clap of thunder, followed by a tremendous bolt of lightning, accompanied by even more thunder rumbling in the distance. The little old man  looked at the pastor and calmly said,  'Well, she's there, now."

Finding Peace in the Woods

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A long walk in the woods is good for the soul.

"I went out for a walk,and finally concluded to stay out till sundown" said naturalist John Muir, "for going out, I found, was really going in."

The forest brings the majestic symphony of God's orchestra alive -- a far better production than anything originating from Carnegie Hall.

The heavens declare the glory of God. The birds, trees, sunsets. and lakes remind us that all is well.

Want a good remedy for a troubled heart? Go take a hike! Get out into nature and observe - watch - listen. You will find peace there. It's hard to be all worked up when you are quiet in a woods.

The Bible says, "Be still and know that I am God." Somebody bigger than me is in charge of the universe. I don't have to panic when situations arise beyond my control. Watch the birds. You'll see!

Joy is the natural state of the soul. The absence of joy indicates some kind of soul disease.

"Entanglements" keep us bound i…

Clear Your Heart of Malice

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Whenever you see a penny, remember the "Abraham Lincoln" attitude, and clear your heart of malice.

In 1864, there was, perhaps, not a more hated man in our nation that the gangly president. People on both sides of the Mason Dixon line blamed him for the deaths of their loved ones in the Civil War.

False friends betrayed him. Enemies assailed him. Throughout the course of his first presidential term, he had been misunderstood, condemned, despised and scorned.

On top of that, there were issues at home. In 1862, his son, Willie, died of typhoid fever, at the tender age of twelve. His wife, Mary, suffered from dark depressions, hysteric fits of rage, and mental illness. Poor Abe had his hands full -- both with a fractured nation and a dysfunctional household.

None was more surprised than Lincoln himself, when he re-elected for a second term. On March 4, 1865, he stood before a mighty throng of spectators and spoke these words at the inauguration:

"With malice toward none, w…

A Good Place to Stop When You're Lost

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The other day, while returning from my retreat at St. John's Abbey, I accidently made a wrong turn and was heading the wrong direction.  I didn't even realize I was lost until I saw Woodland Wesleyan Church on the horizon.  At that moment I knew I was on the wrong road -- so I stopped at the church, said a prayer, made a u-turn and headed home.

And my prayer is that Woodland Wesleyan Church will continue to be a good place for many lost people to make a u-turn and go in the right direction.

It is such a blessing to see the great work Pastor Andi Witter is doing as she leads this little congregation in the sticks and I also was delighted to see their brand new front doors,  inviting the community to come on in.

Be the Best "You" You Can Be

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If you treasure the beauty that shows all around you, and try to add some of your own;
Enjoy the companionship others can give you, yet value your
moments alone.
If you honor opinions that differ from yours; yet stand up for what you believe.
Admire the accomplishments others have made,
But take pride in what YOU can achieve.
If you're a real friend who comes through when it counts,
Who is always worthy of trust?
If you follow your heart anywhere it may lead you, and do what you
feel that you must.
If you love those around you and love yourself too.
If your spirit is eager and free.
Then you know what it means to live life to the fullest, and be the best
--- YOU ---
"You can be." (author unknown)

Listening to a Sermon

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Found this great quote & picture on FW Boreham Twitter today.

Two Kinds of Clarity

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If you find yourself confused and in the dark, there are two ways to find clarity:  use a flashlight or patiently wait until the sun rises.

The Difference Between Good Ideas and Bad Ideas

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I've figured out the difference between good and bad ideas.  Good ideas are the ones we create.  Bad ideas are the ones other people concoct and expect us to endorse.

In other words, if it's my idea -- it's grand!  If it's your idea, it's bland.  At least, that's what most of us think.  We tend to support what we create.
"Nobdy likes change," said Mark Twin, "except a baby in dirty diapers,"  Maybe we should add, "unless it is their idea."
So, how do we implement change in our family, community, church or workplace?
Start by listening.  Hear other people's good ideas and, if possible, agree wtih them.  Realize you don't have the corner of the insight market.  
If you are the only one who thinks something should (or should not) be done, you are either a visionary or wrong.
If you are a visionary, others will join your bandwagon eventually, and it will be their idea too.  It's amazing what can be accomplished if we don…

The Purpose of Theology is Doxology

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"We should never forget that the purpose of theology is doxology; we study in order to praise.  The truest expression of trust in God will always be worship to praise God for being greater than we know."
--  Geneva Study Bible note

No God But Allah Dollars

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A friend forwarded an e-mail expressing concern about the emergence of dollars stamped with "No God But Allah."

So far, we have not seen any of those in Hayward.  If one shows up in the collection plate, we will deposit it.

The Splendid Summer Dance

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A poem I wrote a while back blending reflections on the grand finale of summer with my daughter's ballet recital:

Summer danced upon the stage
A slow ballet -- but halting.

The curtain, parting,
whispers hints of happy moments
this summertide may bring


A timid pause, then from the spring
on tip toe pirouetting --
Summer's here!


Magic gliding to the tune of
green grass, and azure sky
A choreography that flows so gracefully from June into July.


Capturing our breath, our hearts, uniting
and soulful happy thoughts begetting
The shorter days of August sadly hinting
that the dance is almost at an end.


And hardly just begun -- September coda.
Our summer dance is over.
How quickly good times fly.


A graceful bow
A glorious end, and then
The lights are dimmed.

The curtain falls
Green fades to autumn tones.
The silent dancer
leaves the stage --
contented, but alone


While the audience rises and wiping an eye,
salutes the glorious coryphee
With grateful hearts, and thundering applause.

"Thank You! Well Done! Brav…

Healing Troubled Hearts

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Recently I had the privilege of readingHealingTroubled Hearts Through Exchanges With the Master,by therapist and minister, Dr. William Day.  Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say this book read me.
Drawing from his own painful pilgrimage to inner healing from childhood emotional wounds, Day presents a profound and beautiful approach to integration and wholeness.  Each page is packed with rich meaning.
The first section of the book shares his story -- from the "chosen one" in the family to be a Catholic priest -- a lack of affection from his father -- going to boarding school to be trained by priests -- walking away from it all -- then zagging through life -- as a humanistic social worker -- then a New Age cult member -- a transpersonal psychologist -- and finally a Christian minister, after a dramatic spiritual conversion.
Throughout, Day does not just tell about his life -- but interprets it.  The meaning he draws from these experiences is quite profound.
Long after his …

Prayer of St. Francis

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Lord, make us instruments of your peace.  Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Two Hammers

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I have a sledgehammer in my garage, and I also have a small finishing hammer. They are both equally important to me.

If I had to choose between the two, I suppose I'd pick the little guy. He's been a real help to me over the years -- but I'd rather not choose at all. Both hammers are my good friends and trusted companions.

Thus, the hammers teach me a valuable lesson; bigger isn't always better! Smaller isn't always better either.

The value of the tool is determined by the task ahead.

Driving stakes for a circus tent? Use the sledge!  Repairing the living room coffee table? The finishing hammer will do perfectly. (My wife would not appreciate me using the sledge for that!)

This brings me to an important point. Why do we compare ourselves with others? Why do we allow ourselves to feel inferior (or superior) to the people around us? We're all equally important -- though we have different roles and functions in life. We're all a part of the same toolbox! We all bel…

Purple Fish Reviews and Links

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Troubles are Opportunities in Disguise

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Troubled?  Well, join the club! You're in good company.

Troubles are simply a part of living. It's a package deal. You have to accept the bad along with the good. The only way to be trouble free is to be dead!

Some folks think they deserve to be excused from problems. Whenever a difficulty arises, they whine and complain about how unfair life is to them. They don't realize that life isn't fair to anybody -- and thus, become swamped in the mire of self pity.

Instead of griping about a hard situation, wouldn't it be better to face it boldly -- committed to see things through? You can cry until the cows come home, and that won't fix the situation one bit. It takes courage to buckle down and face the truth.

I do not know why heavy hardships are a part of life's package. I don't have a pat answer for the difficult perplexities.

Yet, I do know that the struggle helps us grow, if we maintain the right attitude.

1. Troubles teach us wisdom.
There is no such thing as a…