Spirit – Good News for January 16

16 01 2011

John 1:29-34

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. He is the one of whom I said, ‘A man is coming after me who ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.’ I did not know him, but the reason why I came baptizing with water was that he might be made known to Israel.”

John testified further, saying, “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven and remain upon him. I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”





Advent Day 7 – Good News for December 4

4 12 2010

Matthew 9:35-10:1

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

Then he summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness.

Jesus sent out these Twelve after instructing them thus, “Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this proclamation: ‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”

The Daily Path

“Trying to do as much good as possible in the limited time I have on this planet.”

Hugh Romney, aka:Wavy Gravy

How is that for a life mission statement?

Wavy is best known in pop culture as a member of author Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters from the Beat and Woodstock generations. He’s been a lifelong activist sporting a diverse resume that few can match. Some may view him as nothing more than one of the last remnants of the psychedelic hippies, a living artifact of society gone wild. I would challenge them to look beneath the colorful exterior at Gravy’s spiritual side and the deeper mission. In fact, I think Hugh Romney might have fit in nicely with a certain band of Twelve that followed the Christ.





Advent Day 2 – Good News for November 29

29 11 2010

Matthew 8:5-11

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”  He said to him, “I will come and cure him.” The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven.”

The Daily Path: In today’s Advent Calendar window, I’m sending you a reminder of the wonderful gift of companionship. What could we offer to the residents of a local care facility? Imagine someone’s parent sitting all alone through this season. How can we light a smile on a lonely face?





His Laborers – Good News for July 6

6 07 2010

Matthew 9:32-38

A demoniac who could not speak was brought to Jesus, and when the demon was driven out the mute man spoke. The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”

Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness. At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”

The Daily Path: I’ve been in the Sierra Nevada mountains for a few days now. This respite has provided time for me to live in the moment. The natural beauty surrounding us has cast out some of the worry associated with the future. As I look at these magnificent cathedrals – natural formations that took millions of years to create – I am reminded that it is God’s life plan for me… not my own. Glaciers advancing at a snail’s pace created the magnificence of God’s will. Who am I to worry at the timeline or path that God has created for me.

I must share an amazing moment I experienced while hiking amidst this splendor. In the afternoon, following a stream-side lunch, we stopped our hike above a waterfall. Here the water emerged from a rocky gorge to form a pool where it gathered before plunging downward on its journey to the lake some thousand feet below. It’s a spot known to hikers willing to trek a little beyond the beaten path. It’s also a place where no anxiety can exist, only peace.

We were joined there by a group of ten men who spoke in a dialect other than English. We all shared the boulders that formed a perfect rest area to enjoy this magnificent place. My wife took some photos of the kids who had climbed up onto a granite shelf above us. When they climbed back down, one of the men asked if he could be assistance by taking a group photo of my family. We took advantage of his offer and then shared some conversation that broke the ice. One of the men jumped into the pool to swim across the current. Soon my kids joined in and all cheered as one by one the kids – and me – emerged from the chilly water on the other side.

I offered my knowledge of the local area telling the group of a stunning alpine lake that was just 20 minutes up the rocky trail. After discussing the option in their tongue, about half the group decided to continue onward to see the lake.

At approximately 4:00 pm the four men who remained at the pool with us spread a light blanket on the ground next to a granite wall. One by one they removed their shoes and each in turn knelt on the blanket to pray. The men were Muslims following their daily calls to prayer. This was an incredible moment in a breathtaking venue. I wanted to join them on the blanket in prayer, but chose instead to quietly praise God for all His magnificence as I looked at my family and surroundings.

When it was time to head back down the trail, I said goodbye to each of the men shaking their hand and offering what a perfect place for prayer it was. Each broke into a big smile. In that instant, I felt we recognized each other as children of one God despite any cultural differences.

The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.

He has many names, but on this day, the laborers of God were united in true faith and His peace. There was but one Gospel of the Kingdom shared among men in their own way. God gave me a glimpse of heaven and I don’t think I will ever forget the experience.





Days of Faith and Healing – Good News for June 26

26 06 2010

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”

He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: “Only say the word…”

“If it is your will…”

The past two days we have read about the incredible faith in God held by two men. Let’s remember the leper and the centurion as we travel the path before us.

Room to Chat: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.





Risen Christ – Good News for April 13

13 04 2010

John 3:7-15

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “‘You must be born from above.’ The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus answered and said to him, ‘How can this happen?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “You are the teacher of Israel and you do not understand this? Amen, amen, I say to you, we speak of what we know and we testify to what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony. If I tell you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

The Daily Path: Here’s a question for you, old Nic: Have you put your faith in both Jesus and the risen Christ, or are you stuck in earthly Jesus?





Reconnecting – Good News for April 7

7 04 2010

Luke 24:13-35

That very day, the first day of the week, two of Jesus’ disciples were going to a village seven miles from Jerusalem called Emmaus, and they were conversing about all the things that had occurred. And it happened that while they were conversing and debating, Jesus himself drew near and walked with them, but their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing as you walk along?”

They stopped, looking downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, said to him in reply, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?” And he replied to them, “What sort of things?”

They said to him, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him. But we were hoping that he would be the one to redeem Israel; and besides all this, it is now the third day since this took place. Some women from our group, however, have astounded us: they were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his Body; they came back and reported that they had indeed seen a vision of angels who announced that he was alive. Then some of those with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women had described, but him they did not see.”

And he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the Scriptures.

As they approached the village to which they were going, he gave the impression that he was going on farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them. With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he vanished from their sight.

Then they said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?”

So they set out at once and returned to Jerusalem where they found gathered together the Eleven and those with them who were saying, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then the two recounted what had taken place on the way and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

The Daily Path: This week we are reading about how Jesus is reconnecting with his friends and disciples following His Resurrection. The selected passages are exciting and full of joy. Who doesn’t like a happy ending?

As I reflect on these readings, it seems that each day we are presented with opportunities to reconnect with Christ in some way. It may be a big renewal, like after thirty years of separation, or perhaps a small one, say after three hours during which time He has not been centered in our heart. I have found it easy to get lonely when I don’t feel connected to God. This feeling of disconnection can also translate into fear. Yes, friends, I am needy, but I take comfort in knowing that we are all a needy bunch. I believe God likes it that way.

A good friend recently reminded me that during the times of crisis in our lives we have to place our worry with God… EVERY minute if need be. He’s correct. And while it’s good to run to the Father when we are hurting, I think we’d hurt less if we stay connected to Him all the time.

One of the other amazing things I have learned is that I often find Jesus walking towards me. Like the disciples in today’s Gospel from Luke, in some instances I don’t immediately recognize Him. Perhaps I’m too lost in momentary grief or too busy living in this world to see Him. But He is there. And He is always ready to reconnect with me, no matter if it’s thirty years or thirty seconds since we last embraced.