Pleasing – Good News for January 9

9 01 2011

Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” Jesus said to him in reply, “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed him.

After Jesus was baptized, he came up from the water and behold, the heavens were opened for him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming upon him. And a voice came from the heavens, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

The Daily Path: Now that I am back working in the corporate world again, I am reminded how we strive so hard to meet our work goals and keep our boss happy. We put in lots of hours to do a good job. (Some put in twice as many hours in two jobs just to make ends meet or keep their families safe.) Like children who seek their parents approval, we workers also like to get positive feedback for a job well done.

What about with God?

The first half of life is all about achievement. Gathering. Securing our place. In that work we are so often busiest with eyes focused squarely on the prize of acquiring that all important stature on earth. In our charge up the hill of success, where is God? Are we as driven when it comes to our Father in heaven? Do we strive above all else to hear His voice? “This is my beloved child, with whom I am well pleased.”






Forgiving 77 – Good News for August 11

12 08 2010

Matthew 18:21 – 19:1

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt.

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.

The Daily Path: The image below reminds me of the pain that is held by those who seek forgiveness. Who wouldn’t like to be forgiven for a transgression against another? Who among us has not felt this pain? Are we who hold the power of forgiveness not also the suffering?





Gordo’s Light – Good News for March 26

26 03 2010

John 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”‘? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him.

The Daily Path: Here is a wonderful story that a good friend shared with me yesterday…

It’s about a young man by the name of Gordon who a number of years ago was stricken with MS. For those of us who don’t know, MS – multiple sclerosis – affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other. Eventually all the motor functions shut down because the brain can no longer get messages out to the rest of the body. Sadly, there is no known cure for MS.

Gordon, is cared for in a Southern California assisted living facility. Each day members of his faith community come to spend time with him and to feed him his meals as he can no longer do this on his own. Often these are parishioners who have never met Gordon, yet wish to share some love. He struggles to communicate with family and friends as his speech has become slurred. However, “Gordo”, as he is known, has an amazing gift of communication. One that far exceeds what most humans are capable of.

Gordon an extraordinary gift of prayer. He prays in a powerful voice that enables miracles to occur in the hearts of men and woman. Gordo prays for the one thing that matters most… conversions. He asks God to open the minds and hearts of many who come into his life. And the Father is listening carefully because this young man has an amazing success rate. Over 100 people who’s names Gordon has lifted up have since embraced God into their lives!

To my mind, Gordo has been deeply blessed with the Spirit. Though his body withers, he knows God as few of us with healthy bodies will ever be able to in this life. Through physical challenges, God shined his light on Gordon. He in turn allows it to shine through him so that others will be touched by its glow.

John tells us of the signs that Jesus provided so that “many there began to believe in him.” His signs remain all around us, still at work each day. In this amazing young man named Gordo, we find yet another.

Room to Chat: Father, thank you for the sign you provide in Gordon. Help each of us to use the challenges we face on earth to draw closer to you and bask in your light. Hold Gordo tight this day so that he may continue to inspire all of us to continue on the journey home.

Church by Jonathan Burstein





Seventy-Seven – Good News for August 13

13 08 2009

Matthew 18:21-19:1

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt.

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.

The Daily Path: While reflecting on this passage there came to mind so many times when I have acted in the same manner as the wicked servant. Gifts of mercy and compassion returned with something far less than what had been given to me. As I look back on the many instances of my own failing in this regard, my heart is filled with sorrow and regret. Perhaps God will grant me the time (on earth) and enough wisdom in the days ahead to atone for these transgressions by living more fully in Christ’s lessons of love.

Room to Chat: Start the day with Christ. It only takes a moment to say “Good (God) morning.”

our_lady2





Feeling God – Good News for April 3

3 04 2009

I’m going to love myself today…

John 10:31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father. For which of these are you trying to stone me?” The Jews answered him, “We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy. You, a man, are making yourself God.”

Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, You are gods”‘? If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came, and Scripture cannot be set aside, can you say that the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?  If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Then they tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained. Many came to him and said, “John performed no sign, but everything John said about this man was true.” And many there began to believe in him.

The Daily Path: I’m going to love myself today. No, I’ve not declared today to be my personal vanity fair. I don’t plan to stand in front of the mirror to gaze in awe of the image that’s reflected back. Nor will I mail myself an autographed 8×10 photo of me with “101 Reasons Kin Is Amazing” printed on the back. But I am going to take a timeout from the go-go-go chaos of a busy life and reflect on the many good things I’ve been given and reasons to feel good about me.

It’s easy to feel beat up when rocks thrown by others hit us square in the head. But there are always reasons to feel good (God) about yourself and the life you’ve been given. Just sit yourself down and create a short list on paper or just in your head: 5 Reasons To Feel Good About Me. When you finish, think about your list. Consider these blessings and how they came about.  

If you take time to do this, but can’t come up with a list, send me a comment or an e-mail, because I’ll help you to find many more than five reasons to feel good (God) about yourself, and in doing so… love the person that God loves very much. 

Room to Chat: St. Michael the Archangel, watch over Michael today and every day. Keep him safe and out of harms way. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)





Witness to the Light – Good News for December 14

14 12 2008

John 1:6-8, 19-28

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. And this is the testimony of John.

When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” He admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”

So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.”

So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘make straight the way of the Lord,’” as Isaiah the prophet said.”

Some Pharisees were also sent.  They asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water; but there is one among you whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.” This happened in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

The Daily Path: This morning as I emerged from that blissful REM state just before waking up, the following words were etched in my mind, 

“Be careful with what God wants you to do with your life.”

I don’t know what my neurons were up to in the early hours and have no recollection of a related dream, but these words are food for thought.