Perfect Storm – Good News for January 2

2 02 2011

Mark 6:45-51

After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida,while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray.

When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded.

The Daily Path: How often do we find ourselves in the storm of life, rowing madly to stay afloat. But all the rowing in the world won’t save me if I’m not in control to begin with. Having faith that God is in control and will provide all I really need is what’s important to remember.

Recently a good friend of mine received news that he was being sent on a rotational assignment. He loved his work and the people he worked with. The news left him stunned and devastated. In many cases these rotations turn out to be a permanent shift intended to provide greater exposure to the participant. The position my friend was in made him happy and enabled him to use all of his amazing talents. His leadership brought the best out in his team that in turn brought great profit to the company. As I thought about the situation I felt his pain. It didn’t seem fair or very rationale.

Then I recalled that God gives us what we need. It started me thinking about what my friend could do while on the “rotational” assignment. The group he will be working with finds itself in a very stressful situation as they face a major challenge. From what I’ve heard, it’s not a very joyful work environment at the moment. That’s when it struck me that my friend could once again use his skills and leadership talents to help calm the storm and bring some joy to that space. It may be the perfect storm situation that God is asking him to calm.

Please pray for my friend and ask the Holy Spirit to activate some radical grace within him. As Richard Rohr would say, it’s change like this that puts us on the road to being blessed.





Divine Botany – Good News for July 24

24 07 2010

Matthew 13:24-30

Jesus proposed a parable to the crowds. “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off.

When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field?
Where have the weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’

His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.“‘”

The Daily Path: Once a weed, always a weed? Or can a weed turn into wheat thru the grace of God’s Botanical Garden?

Room to Chat: Father, heal those of us who need the touch of your hand.





Timing – Good News for May 30

30 05 2010

John 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.

He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Daily Path: “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.”

Have you given any thought the to the timeframe associated with your spiritual journey?

If your own path has been anything like mine then you’ve experienced a gradual spiritual awakening over time. Several years ago I would not have believed that I could feel the presence of God in my life the way I do today. It’s very likely that I would have rejected the notion outright had it been presented to me. In those days I would not have been able to bear all of what God has since opened my mind and heart to. It would have been wasted, just as if He revealed the “much more” to me on this 30th day of May, 2010. But a year from today, I will understand more than I do right now. In the days ahead the Spirit will help me to access more of the grace within.

Today is Sunday. Where will you look for the Spirit?





Spirit of Truth – Good News for May 12

12 05 2010

John 16:12-15

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.

He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming.

He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”

The Daily Path: I know I can’t bear all of God. Fortunately, there are moments when I feel enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Usually just enough to help me see the way.

Truly, I could use a little more. How about you?





Fill-Up – Good News for May 10

10 05 2010

John 15:26 – 16:4

Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”

“I have told you this so that you may not fall away. They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God. They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me. I have told you this so that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you.”

The Daily Path: Each of us face challenges on a daily basis. We are well equipped to deal with many. Others prove far more daunting, beyond what our original equipment is designed to handle. So where do we find the extra horsepower required to address the need?

The Spirit!

Just as God provided the Apostles what was needed for them to go out into the world and deliver the Good News – in the face of peril and death from among their own – so too, the Holy Spirit is sent to each of us who are with Jesus. I haven’t heard a mighty wind rattling my doors, nor have I spoken in tongues with a flame above my head – but I know the Spirit is often with me as I look for the courage to do what God is asking of me.

If you’re looking for something a little extra to put in your gas tank today, maybe you should pull into the filling station and ask God for a gallon of Spirit. A little seems to go a long way!





Dreaming – Good News for March 19

19 03 2010

Matthew 1:16, 18-21

Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.

Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

The Daily Path: When Joseph went to sleep on the night he was visited by the angel in a dream, I suspect his mind was full of anxiety over the discovery that his new wife was pregnant. Have you ever put your head to the pillow while worried or angry about something? I’m sure we all even. On a more positive note, have you ever framed a question clearly in your mind just before falling asleep? The latter is a technique I have often used to successfully come up with an answer or a creative solution.

I’m not a neurophysiologist, so I can’t tell you why my brain develops answers during sleep mode. In fact, I don’t care to know why for fear it will disable my little secret method. All I care about is the fact that answers often come in my sleep. The same is true for relief of anxiety. Have you ever had the experience of waking up worry free in a very peaceful state, only to have awareness of your troubles creep back into your conscious? “Damn, I was only dreaming.” Obviously some spiritual nurturing is going on before my human doubt returns. Dr. Wayne Dyer and others have suggested that the moments following sleep are when we are closest to our source (God). I would not disagree based on my own experience.

Are sleep and dreams a mechanism through which the Spirit engages with us? I don’t doubt it. In some ways that goes along with another concept I’ve read that suggests grace already exists within us and is activated at certain times. Again, I don’t want to fall into rationalizing, but I find it interesting how sleep and dreams can return me to a more peaceful state in which “true” answers become accessible. Hmm… perhaps the angels of the Lord are neurons! Oops, there I go again.





Fellowship – Good News for October 28

28 10 2009

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: On Sunday, I will join a group of old friends for a few days of golf on the Monterey (CA) Peninsula. We all used to work together on the corporate treadmill and had the chance to play a fair amount of golf with each other while entertaining our customer base. About ten years ago we decided to start a fall tradition of blending a few days of bad golf with exceptional fellowship. Last year I wasn’t able to attend. The guys all knew about my business and financial struggles and didn’t want to embarrass me by making a big deal over my absence. For this I was grateful.

Not much had changed for me when the 2009 event planning began this past spring. Recognizing my situation, some of the guys got together and discussed the likelihood that once again I wouldn’t be able to attend. Apparently that option was not acceptable to them. Over the summer they reached out periodically with a barter approach, quietly ensuring I’d be able to make all the deposits and payments for the trip. They even found ways to get me out on the golf course to play a bit… without any cost to me.

I can’t comment on all the reasons that Jesus brought his fellowship of men together. I can offer that He knew dark hours lay ahead when the company of trusted friends would be of great comfort. And I’m sure that the Apostles did bring a smile to His face, thus helping Him along the way. The Apostles couldn’t possibly comprehend Jesus’ trials, just as no one can completely walk in our own shoes. But having friends who look beyond their own steps to make another’s journey a little bit easier must be another one of the lessons to be learned from Christ’s example of fellowship.

Room to Chat: Lord, thank you for the comfort and grace of fellowships in my life.

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