Sunday, March 30, 2014

And a Child Shall Lead Them

We attend church on Saturday nights, so I'm normally sitting with a cup of coffee about the time the show CBS Sunday Morning come on...and I'm a huge fan. It's so nice to watch a show that's intelligent, informative, and good natured--a rarity these days.

A few weeks back, there was a really neat story about a young man who, along with too many other kids in our country, was without a dad due to war. His dad was killed when the little guy was only 5 weeks old. He has photos, stories, and memories.

And a legacy that he is fulfilling in a beautiful way.

The story goes that this little guy was all excited one day because as he and his family were walking into a restaurant to eat, he found a 20 dollar bill in the parking lot. Even in today's inflationary world, twenty dollars is, in a kid's world...a bunch.

What did he buy? 

A legacy. 

He thought about, like any of us, what that $20 would buy. But then he saw a serviceman in the restaurant and something wonderful in that little 8-year-old guy took over. He took a piece of paper, wrote a note to this servicemen giving him the $20 explaining to him that his dad was killed in Iraq and was in heaven. He also told the serviceman that his family believed in paying it forward, so he wanted him to have this money as a thank you for his service to the country. 

And forward it went. The story that was aired touched the hearts of so many people...kindness is indeed not dead--we recognize and embrace it. We just need to be reminded of it from time to time. Isaiah 11:6 says, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kids; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them." 

Sometimes it takes the littlest of us to truly lead us back on the path of pure love for one another.

Peace be with you.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Practicing the Sabbath

Today I decided to actively and mindfully practice the Sabbath in regard to Exodus 20:8-9: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God." I fully intended it to be a day of study and reflection, with little minimal labor.

And then the day actually began. My mom wasn't feeling too well, and I decided that going out to see her was more important than sitting and reading to myself. Besides, I figured some reflexology might help her body with healing. Bringing her some relief was important.

Next a lovely young lady that I share Reiki healing with that has a serious illness texted me and told me that she needed some Reiki and prayers sent to her--she wasn't feeling very well,either. I decided that doing this was important if it would give her comfort and relief.

Then another friend texted with a frustration that vexed her; I decided that looking up something online for her that might make her day a little brighter seemed the decent thing to do--I know if I were in her predicament, I'd appreciate the gesture.

And all that was before noon.

Then I thought about the New Testament and Mark 2:27: "And then he said to them, 'The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.'" By the time Jesus and his disciples were traveling about sharing the gospel, Jewish tradition had made it practically impossible to keep the Sabbath successfully. The Pharisees spotted Jesus and some of the disciples pulling some grain heads to eat as they walked by the fields. As a result, Jesus was approached and accused of being unlawful on the Sabbath. The verse above was his response. The Sabbath was indeed originally created for us to have a day of rest--a gift from God. Nevertheless, Christ pointed out that sometimes there is God's work to be done as well. 

I am grateful that I am at a time in my life where I can practice a bit of the Sabbath most every day in prayer and meditation. I am also grateful that God allows me to help others when matter what day of the week.

Peace be with you.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


I Corinthians 13:12--"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known."

With the simple click of a button, a picture can be created--a moment in time preserved for the life of the picture itself. Those pictures can become very precious to us, giving us a glimpse of a memory of a loved one, a treasured thing, or a treasured place in time. These representations are, many times, priceless.

This weekend has been all about those priceless, precious  memories captured by a careful eye in the viewfinder. In conversation with a good friend about her recent discovery of the new love of photography, we spoke of the pleasure that comes with finding the "just right" view of a subject that, in turn, creates the treasure. Attending the concert of another friend who had written and performed a remarkable song about the feelings evoked by a photo collection I had taken a few years ago, I smiled at how she created with words what I had created with the eye.

We are afforded the perfect canvas on which to create our memories. Our creator gives us the beauty of nature that unfolds every day, season after season. He also gives us a loving soul and a heart that grasps the idea of love in a way that allows us to see clearly the love of others in pictures we create.

Just imagine how clearly someday we will truly see everything when we are living in eternity. The finest lens known to man will not compare to our crystal clear view of all the beauty before our eyes. We'll also be able to clearly "see" answers to those questions that plague us all our mortal lives.

Peace be with you.   

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Frustration to Patience

Colossians 3:12-15--"So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Since becoming interested in and actively working with healthy living practices, I've seen the remarkable difference it's made in my life and in the lives of some of those around me. I also deal with levels of frustration each day when working with clients who could, with a few simple and direct changes in their daily habits, enhance the quality of their health immensely. And yet, they don't change.

Frustration for them--frustration for me.

It's very easy for me to have an opinion of "why don't they just help themselves?" "Why don't they want to feel better?" They could make their lives so much easier and comfortable.

And then I think of how I must appear to God.

I know He's bound to be wondering the same thing about me. And yes, I'm bound to be creating some of the same frustrations. 

God has given me a simple set of rules to live a good life; following them should be a pleasure and something I pursue every day. Nevertheless, I come up short every day of my existence. I fail at these simple rules. He has also given me His own Son to be my constant companion on the road to eternity. But do I faithfully follow Christ? Sadly, no. Like I said, I must cause a lot of frustration.

I have learned not to judge those who I work with through reflexology and Reiki. I give thanks each time that they come to me for healing; I know that I have no special power. Everything that happens is God at work. When I forget that from time to time and become a bit too independent, I'm the same to Him as my most stubborn client. I thank God that He is so very patient with me and allows me to come around on my own time. I am also thankful that He gives me lessons in patience each day with those I serve.

So, the next time we're totally frustrated with someone, we need to remember to be patient; we're more than likely looking at a mirror image of ourselves in God's eyes.

Peace be with you.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ash Wednesday--Giving Up or Giving In?

Reading: Romans 12:2--"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (ESV)

This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday. For many years I have chosen to given up something for Lent. The days before Ash Wednesday have always been spent pondering what would constitute a good "sacrifice" for the Lenten season. With my former less-than-stellar eating habits, I've been known to go without cheeseburgers on white fluffy buns, sugar, or some other junk food that would be just enough of a culinary sacrifice to make me feel the pinch of "giving up" something.

Now, as Ash Wednesday and Lent once again approaches, my thoughts have turned more from "giving up" to "giving in". What does this mean? Perhaps "giving in" is a deeper, more spiritual  approach to better appreciate just how much more quality one's life can have on this Earth during one's short time here. We have a limited number of days here at "Earth School". During that short time, we have a lot to learn and to discover. Too many times we get caught up in the mundane, virtually meaningless drivel of day-to-day existence. As the old saying goes, we live life a "mile wide and an inch deep".

I don't want that anymore--I search to live a mile deep, if only an inch wide.

I think, for me, "giving in" will help me find that greater depth.  So what will I "give up  and give in"?

On a base level, I plan to give up foods and habits that keep my temple from being at its best.  I will mindfully "give up" the glue of gluten and practice yoga faithfully. My prayer is that these two determined practices will allow me to obtain the next phase--"giving in".  I want to consciously "give in" to the wisdom that surrounds me that is of God and his son, Jesus Christ. Taking time to take care of my bodily temple, I will take the time to learn the wisdom and patience that is required to not just go through the motions. Learning this skill and honing it will allow me to expand my conscious day-to-day thoughts and actions. I will be able to walk closer with Christ in this earthly journey.

So, on this approaching blessed Ash Wednesday, I invite you to allow yourself and "give up" and "give in"...and peace be with you.