What’s Accumulating Inside? – Good News for October 31

31 10 2008

Luke 14: 1-6

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him.

Then he said to them “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.

The Daily Path: I had to look up “dropsy” to see what affliction Jesus had healed. dropsy (aka: edema) is an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin, or in one or more cavities of the body. 

Understanding the definition of dropsy got me thinking about this: “What have I been accumulating inside of me that Jesus would want to heal?” 

(Please feel free to use the Comment option on this blog to share what you’re accumulating.)

“Knock. Knock. I’m From the Lord” – Good News for October 30

30 10 2008

Luke 13: 31-35

Some Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Go away, leave this area because Herod wants to kill you.”

He replied, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and I perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose. Yet I must continue on my way today, tomorrow, and the following day, for it is impossible that a prophet should die outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how many times I yearned to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were unwilling! Behold, your house will be abandoned. But I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. 

The Daily Path: Today, I’m offering a “Blue Light Special” on kindness. I’m going to find at least one opportunity to extend a kindness to someone I don’t know. Random acts of kindness come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Today’s “Blue Light” will be available on all isles and comes with a low price guarantee: It won’t cost them a thing.

WARNING: If you want to offer your own “Blue Light Special” try it on your wife before anyone else. Be sure to keep smelling salts handy. After you revive her go try it again on someone you don’t know!

From the Heart – Good News for October 29

29 10 2008

Ephesians 6: 1-9

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 

Honor your father and mother.

This is the first commandment with a promise, that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

Slaves, be obedient to your human masters with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,
willingly serving the Lord and not men, knowing that each will be requited from the Lord for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.  Masters, act in the same way towards them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality.

The Daily Path: I changed the usual GNTG! script a bit by offering today’s first reading from Ephesians that includes this passage: “… doing the will of God from the heart,” 

I was really struck when I read this. Labors of love always seem to be effortless. I’ve often counseled people to pursue a career doing something you love because it won’t feel like work. As I reflect on this passage we all have a career with God. It can be the greatest job ever, or the worst, depending on our approach. When I pursue something with genuine love, it’s not work at all. When it comes from the heart, the quality of my work is vastly superior to something that feels like a task.

I don’t want to go into that final performance review worried that I’ve barely met “established performance expectations,” if at all. When I look at God from across his desk in the corner office, I want Him to smile at me acknowledging that I pursued my career with G.O.D. Inc. as a labor of love and that my body of work “exceeded expectations” because it came from the heart.

The Fellowship – Good News for October 28

28 10 2008

Luke 6: 12-16

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God.

When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. 

The Daily Path: I’m fortunate to have been included in the first men’s spirituality group at my parish. We are small group who have grown to trust one another in an amazingly short period of time. We share our joys and challenges freely knowing that there is nothing but genuine interest and concern for all in the room. We’re not the Apostles but, like the first twelve, God has brought us together in a fellowship that I find remarkable. We don’t know how our group will evolve but I know the Spirit is at work within us and good things will come of it.

Heavy (Heart) Lifting – Good News for October 27

27 10 2008

Luke 13: 10-17

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.

When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.

But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”

The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?”

When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

The Daily Path: On most days I’m awakened very early when my “internal operating system” boots up. This is not by choice. I would prefer to sleep and keep more normal hours. Unfortunately, on many nights the worry files are the first things opened in my mind. This leads me down a path that prevents further sleep. Soon I am out of bed and at my desk. Are you in the same pattern?

The good news is that the first thing I do is read the daily Gospel. I try to get my mind and heart in the right place. Often this is all I need to get me on the right path with a better outlook and some hope. Other days, like today, my heart is heavy. Perhaps it’s because I know significant challenges await me. Before the first call or meeting, I’m already playing scenarios out in my head. And, sadly, I’m finding that extending the  love and patience that Jesus asks of us is the furthest thing from my mind. 

Lord Jesus, please send the Holy Spirit to me this day so that I may feel your love. If I can feel loved, perhaps my own heart will be lifted. Then I can extend the same love and mercy to all who I will encounter today.

Job One: Love – Good News for October 26

26 10 2008

Matthew 22: 34-40

When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a scholar of the law tested him by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 

He said to him,”You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” 

The Daily Path: I started this blog to help myself and others keep God close throughout the day. In this passage Jesus provides the Mother Lode of ways to accomplish that. These days my life seems full of stress and worry. The constant anxiety causes me to get angry and react in ways that do not keep either of the “greatest” commandments. How can I keep love in my heart and at the front of my thoughts and actions? Job One is love.