Saturday, March 31, 2007

Stations of the Cross

Our God is a God of life and being. I can only imagine how it must have been for those people long ago who rejoiced when Jesus came to their city and cried, "Hosanna!" How their hearts swelled with good will and how happily they threw their hats in the air. I can imagine, too, when I look within, how the good will fades, and the rancorous ill will grew into the cry, "Crucify him!"

How capable are we of swinging from praise to denial, from singing to despising? We are not always steady and sure in what we want in our lives and our loyalties.

Yes, we can rejoice when it is time for rejoicing, sing when it is time for singing, and praise when it is time for praising. We can also be grateful that when we forget our Heavenly Father and follow less worthy inclinations ... He does not forget us.

How many times have we been brought back by Him from our erring ways only to be grateful that He did? That His love is as persistent as it is? Let us seek more of a flavor of that kind of love in our lives so that we can be more open to others, more creative and responsive to the beauty and splendor that life can afford.

Since God refuses to give up on us, let us pray that we will refuse to give up on ourselves.

As we move toward the celebration of the great, glad news of Easter, let us lift up our hearts and our whole lives. I've included in this post something I find a meaningful meditation as we enter Holy Week. I hope you do as well.

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In order to view Stations of the Cross - Click on the arrow twice. To view on You Tube - double click a second time. There is sound so please turn it on.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Learning A Little More Every Day

I AM learning a little more every day!

Unless you make every waking hour a learning process, you are wasting a major portion of your life. You can learn from people you do not like as well as from those you love. You can learn from the elders and the youth. You can learn more about the things you know about and fine-tune the things you are good at. You can learn by observing, listening, and serving. You can learn by assisting, completing and forgetting. Never withdraw from the education process by picking and choosing from who you can learn. Keep your mind open, your ears attuned and your willingness to learn in the state of a student.

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The determination to outwit one's situation means that one has no models, only object lessons.
- James Baldwin

If you are facing a challenge in your life, before asking someone else what to do, remember what you did the last time. Nothing is new in life. Everything has been said or done by you. It may look different. There may be new people involved. It may even feel different, but it's not. The key is to recognize the lesson. Ask yourself, "What am I learning in this situation?" Is it patience? Peace? Forgiveness? Independence? What am I feeling now? Have I felt it before? What did I do then?

Remember, no one can learn your lessons but you. And the best teacher you will ever have is experience.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Need to Listen

This evening I had the final opportunity to meet with the 'Magnificient 7', at least for now. What I do know deep within myself is that I gained so very much from the simple act of listening ... the type of listening when you actually hear and internalize words.

This has been a spiritual time that has allowed me to hold on to what many of us may take for granted. The 'art of listening'. God gaves us ears to hear. Why? I'm not going to attempt to answer that question but rather share a prayer that has meaning to me.


How strange it is, O Lord,
that I should need to feel I need to ask you to hear me.
Is it not I who need to learn to listen? Should I not ask you to jerk me to my feet,
to snatch me out of my drowsy indifference,
to nudge me into alertness?
I am constantly surrounded by sounds I do not hear,
by voices to which I am indifferent.

This is a singing world.
There are voices of angels
and voices of love
and voices of those inviting me to gladness everwhere.
Enable me to hear them, I pray,
and in the hearing be lifted up to gratitude
for the mystery and magic of being human.

This is a sobbing world.
There are voices filled with echoes of hurt and pain everywhere.
There are voices almost choked out by tears
and voices that come out of aching.
There are hollow voices, empty voices,
I would rather not hear them --
the voices of hungry children
and of sorrowing woman
and of desperate men.
But they are all around me.
Enable me to hear them, I pray,
and in the hearing
be able to identify my brothers and sisters.

This is a shouting world.
There are voices of rage and of protest,
of defiance and of contempt,
How carefully I sift out the shouting,
ignore the screaming.
Make me listen, O God, I pray.
For you are the Father of us all,
and sometimes the voices of anger carry messgages from you.

Enable me to be listener, I ask.
For in listening I may find direction and guidance.

Help me to listen to myself --
to still, small voices of conscience,
to whispers of faith,
and to the soft inner humming of hope.

Help me to learn to trust myself more than I do,
trust myself not because I am wise and good,
but because I am loved and wanted.

I remember how the Lord Jesus spoke of your love for me
and went all the way to a cross to show its meaning.
Help me listen to others --
In the persons who are trying to tell me they love me,
and the persons who are trying to tell me
they need my love in return.
Help me to listen to the stranger who may be an angel in disguise,
to a friend who my be lonely and lost.
Help me to listen to the angry and the outraged
who may be saying to me words I need to hear.

Steady me, O God, as a listener.
And when I speak, make me careful lest I use words as weapons
and language as a severing sword.
Enable me to sort out what I hear
and not be thrown off balance
by the careless tongues of others.
Teach me to realize that just because a lie is spoken over and over,
it does not become true.
Just because a falsehood is spoken loudly,
it does not become less false.
So when prejudice and passion weight the words I hear
with divisiveness and conflict,
give me sense enough to reject them.
Give me judgement and common sense to cut through words
that evade and distort lest I be misled.
Steady me, O Lord, as I learn to listen. Amen.

Source: A Book of Uncommon Prayer by Kenneth G. Phifer

Saturday, March 17, 2007


The Bible says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8). In other words, God is always there, ready for us to talk to Him and seek His direction for our lives - but the first move is ours to make. God's hand is always extended toward us, hoping that we will reach out our hand to His. God will not force His way into our lives, but if we take action and reach out to Him, we will begin to experience His divine presence in our life as He draws closer to us and we to Him. As we each take a step toward the other, our hands finally touch His, connecting and releasing divine power into our life. With that power, our potential for success is unlimited.

All we have to do is approach God with a prepared heart and begin to practice spiritual connection on a regular basis, believing that He really cares.

Just my thoughts for the moment.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007


When you have a deep burning desire to to a thing, do it! "De" meaning "of," "sire" meaning Father, is the very thing God wants for you. The urging is from the soul and is the only fuel you need. It is a blessing. It lets you know that you have been chosen for a special task. The Creator knows you can and wants you to do or have whatever it is. It cannot be too difficult! It is not beyond your reach! It is connected to your soul! That's where all the power is! Trust those urgings. They are the best friends you could have. Learn to move beyond what appears to be the essence of what you are. Is it a good thing? Will you and others benefit? If so, go fot it! Don't let others talk you out of your desire. It is not for them to see or know. They cannot feel it the way you do, don't expect them to. Nurture your desire in thought, word and deed; never doubt it will become your reality. If you do your part, the Father will do His part and guide you to the well-spring of your desire come true.

Saturday, March 3, 2007


We always want to do the right thing, but we do the wrong thing when we do not make a decision about what to do. Decisions have power. Decisions have force. They usually take us to the exact place we need to be, exactly the way we need to get there. It is wavering back and forth that is dangerous. It places us at the mercy of events, we fall prey to the choices people make for us. Since time and opportunity wait for no one, our lives will not stand still until we figure out what to do. The rightness of a decision is based on our ability to make the decision. When we weigh what we want against what we will have to do, a decision can be an effortless event. We must know what we will and will not do, what we can do and choose not to do, and decide in harmony with the things we know. The freedom from making a decision can only come after we have made the decision.

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Guess What? Our world is as big as we make it.

You are not the worst person in the world! I am not the worst person in the world! Sure, we've made some bad judgement calls, taken some pretty foolish chances, created some awful situations, but you and I have given ourselves too much credit. Others have done far worse. Then there are those people who haven't done anything to anybody - ever. They are quiet. Go unnoticed. They have flawless characters and records. But you know what? They haven't done anything for themselves either. They are probably just as, if not more, miserable and confused as you and me. Think about it this way: The future will be what you make it today. Whether you are a doer or a nondoer, you must work on your future. If you've made a mess, clean it up. If you are afraid to take a chance, take one anyway. If you've done things that didn't work, do something else. If you have done nothing, do something. What you don't do can create the same regrets as the mistakes you make. In the long run, either you must happen to life, or it will never happen for you.