With Understanding – Good News for June 3

4 06 2010

Mark 12:28-34

One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”

Jesus replied, “The first is this: Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind,and with all your strength.

The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

There is no other commandment greater than these.”

The scribe said to him, “Well said, teacher. You are right in saying, He is One and there is no other than he. And to love him with all your heart, with all your understanding, with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is worth more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

And when Jesus saw that he answered with understanding, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.”

And no one dared to ask him any more questions.

The Daily Path: My apologies for missing yesterday’s GNTG posting. A very dear friend passed away on Wednesday evening… my trusty computer. The old Apple G5 left me to go to the Infinite Loop in the sky when its mother board died. I’ll miss it.

This was the computer that accompanied me during the first steps in my spiritual journey. It was in the wee hours of the morning when I couldn’t sleep, filled my anxiety and rage, that I first used it to read Scripture passages that I found online. Ultimately it was with the G5 that I started GNTG over 500 posts ago.

Ancient scribes used papyrus. Someday this technology will seem as obsolete as paper made of reeds, but one thing will endure… the Good News.

So long old friend. Thank you for helping me along the path. It will be some time before I can afford to replace you with a shiny new iMac, so for now, your towering remains can stay here at my desk and continue to look over my shoulder as I seek inspiration from the daily readings.





Risky Business – Good News for May 24

24 05 2010

Mark 10:17-27

As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.”

He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

At that statement, his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the Kingdom of God!”

The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for one who is rich to enter the Kingdom of God.”

They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “For men it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”

The Daily Path: When you assume a public voice, you also take on vulnerability. I’ve opened my spiritual journey to the world trying to share what I’m experiencing so that others may open their minds and hearts to God. This does not come without risk. By even proclaiming God in my life some will walk away. It’s not easy to accept this at first because we all desire to be loved – to gain the approval of others. Losing a friend or opening ourselves to criticism is hard. But… and this is a BIG BUT… if I truly want to follow the path home, this too, is just part of the terrain. Granted, I have not mastered the process, yet I have come to accept this. It is liberating.

Today, I am going to share another risky insight to my life. Risky because some may walk. Revealing this in public may also make the path towards what I hope to achieve more difficult. But I accept this. It’s part of God’s plan.

Friends, last week I came to understand that the “mild” depression I’ve experienced for well over a year just can’t be dealt with on my own. It’s more than mild and I need professional help.

The  dark epiphany I experienced scared me to death because I had a major shut down. I won’t go into the detail here, but will offer that going through that horrible experience enabled me to more fully understood what so many people already know… depression can be debilitating. Some of the smallest things you take for granted become a struggle. It’s as if you suddenly had parts of your brain locked up preventing you from accessing your energy, strengths, and skills. I even chose to hide from God for a bit.

As frightening as recent days have been, they have also liberated me on several levels. I can now pursue a plan that will lead me out of this “valley of shadow” and restore my complete health. As I move through treatment for my depression, I will also undertake serious exploration of how God wants me to use the skills given me. I’ve also come to realize that many of the old ways no longer work. That’s scary because some of the old ways are also what I currently depend on to care for my family. But again, I accept this because it’s not my plan.

In today’s Gospel, the man who approached Jesus learned what he must do to achieve eternal life… then he went away, sad. Sometimes the message we receive isn’t what we had hoped or expected. Sometimes we go away saddened. But I always wonder what the man did after he had a chance to think about Jesus’ message. Did he eventually do what Jesus asked?

God is asking me to do something. And, once again in His unique way, I’m being shown the direction so that I can fulfill His request. It’s not what I expected. But truly, all things are possible when we open our minds and hearts to God.

There is no real risk in what I have shared today because quite simply: I am in God’s hands and He loves me! That’s all that really matters.





Staying In Love – Good News for May 14

14 05 2010

John 15:9-17

Jesus said to his disciples, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

“I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing.

I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.

This I command you:  love one another.”

The Daily Path: Have you noticed there is some serious repetition going on? John is known as the love scribe and it’s easy to understand why. He’s the disciple inspired to share with us the key message: It’s all about staying in love.

God loves us and wants us to love Him. By keeping his commandment to love one another we demonstrate our love for Him. It’s a love cycle. A road map to stay in love.

Recently a friend shared something I felt was pretty cool. As we sat around talking with a larger group of friends, he said: “Man, I am so in love with my wife.”

Incredible statement. You just don’t hear that much, especially in a group of men. Men talk about “safe” things like sports and business so we don’t have to open up and become vulnerable. If you love, you take risk… and we like to mitigate risk.

I just had this image come to mind…

You’re in the corporate board room. The CEO walks in signaling that it’s time for the meeting to begin. One of his deputies starts with the usual “Let’s get started as we have a lot to cover today.”

The CEO interrupts, “Just a second, Roberta. Before we begin I think it’s important to share something.”

He stands up and leans forward placing both hands firmly on the polished wood surface to support his weight. There is a long pause as the CEO slowly looks around the table in the board room. This pause lingers and the executive council begins to shift in their seats wondering what’s going on.

Finally, the CEO stands straight, removes his glasses and says: “I am so in love with God.”






Dribbling – Good News for January 4

4 01 2010

John 3:22 – 4:6

We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: We should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us.

Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit whom he gave us.

Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God.

This is the spirit of the antichrist who, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.

You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They belong to the world; accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world, and the world listens to them. We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

The Daily Path: I coach a third grade CYO basketball team. One of the things we stress at this level is for players to look up as they dribble the basketball. This enables them to see the entire court and know where their teammates and the opposition are positioned. If players are looking down as they move, they can only see one thing… where the ball is. This myopic vision means the player will miss the best opportunities, or end up in a position on the court where they don’t want to be.

It strikes me that in this morning’s reading “Coach John” is asking us to look up so we can see where we are on the court. Sometimes I get so busy focused on living (dribbling the ball) that I can’t see the bigger picture (the whole court). Am I aligned with the spirit of Christ? Am I where God wants me to be? Or have I dribbled myself into a corner with few options, exactly where the opposition (antichrist) wants me to be?

Room to Chat: Father, as I go about this business of living, grant me the vision to see where I am headed at all times. Keep me focused on the one true Spirit.





Viral Love – Good News for January 5

5 01 2009

John 3:22 – 4:6

We receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded us. Those who keep his commandments remain in him, and he in them, and the way we know that he remains in us is from the Spirit whom he gave us.

Beloved, do not trust every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they belong to God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can know the Spirit of God: every spirit that acknowledges Jesus Christ come in the flesh belongs to God, and every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus does not belong to God. This is the spirit of the antichrist who, as you heard, is to come, but in fact is already in the world.

You belong to God, children, and you have conquered them, for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They belong to the world; accordingly, their teaching belongs to the world, and the world listens to them.

We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us, while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us. This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.

The Daily Path:  Once again we hear about loving God and each another. These things are pleasing to God. It’s so simple. Yet somehow we don’t get it. We live in a world obsessed with the wrong things that are in direct conflict with love. Perhaps today, January 5, 2009 will be the day that putting emphasis on loving God and each other becomes viral in nature and sweeps across the world. If thousands can take to the streets in hatred spawned by the anti-christ, can’t millions just as easily spread God’s love?

Will you be a carrier for the virus that spreads love?

Room to Chat:  How about a little prayer while washing your hands? The Mayo Clinic suggests that after wetting the hands and lathering with soap, you should scrub vigorously for 20 seconds. Sounds like an ideal time for a prayer to God.





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.