Tapping The Tax Man – Good News for September 21

21 09 2010

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him. While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples.

The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”





Touch Him – Good News for September 7

7 09 2010

Luke 6:12-19

Jesus departed 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.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

The Daily Path: This morning I woke up feeling a great heaviness after a night of troubled dreams. Then I read the words of Luke’s gospel: Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Room to Chat: Jesus, count me among the great crowd of disciples who come to you for healing.





Dr. Jesus – Good News for July 2

2 07 2010

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The Daily Path: I shudder to think where I would be if the Son of God didn’t make house calls.





Called Up – Good News for January 23

23 01 2010

Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.

He appointed the Twelve: Simon, whom he named Peter; James, son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder; Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

The Daily Path: Jesus has been back up on the mountain again, summoning individuals he wants on his team. This time it was Grant Desme who got the call. Grant is one of the Oakland A’s top baseball prospects in the Minor Leagues who just announced he’s leaving baseball to join the Catholic priesthood. This announcement comes after Desme was named the 2009 Most Valuable Player in the Arizona Fall League, a showcase for the games most promising talent.

Isn’t it amazing how God works? As I know from my own life, He seems to call us when we least expect it, and during those moments we are able to hear the phone ring.

Here’s some of what Grant had to say about the call:

“My injuries, I would say, would be the biggest blessing God’s ever given me. For my entire life, baseball’s been my life. I define myself as a baseball player, and when it was taken away from me, it was an eye-opener. I really started doing some soul searching of who I was and who I wanted to be, and this is where that’s led me.”

“Whenever I was able to talk to someone about God, or help someone, that made coming to the ballpark more enjoyable. I looked forward to that.”

“During my last game in the fall league, I hit a home run and proceeded to strike out twice, which was kind of ironic since that defined my career a bit. I knew there was a good chance it would be my last game, but there was no sad feeling. I figured whatever God wants is going to happen, and I’m going to pursue that.”

“I want to give my life completely to God out of love because of everything He’s done for me. Something like this is even very little compared to what He’s done for me.”

Truly, God has called Grant to the Big Leagues! I for one am rooting for him to hit the biggest home runs of his life while shepherding Christ’s flock. Somehow I know he will.

Room to Chat: Father, thank you for calling Grant to join your team. Let his actions become a signal for other young men and women to drop their nets and follow you.





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.

our_lady2





Reconnect – Good News for September 21

21 09 2009

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus passed by, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

While he was at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat with Jesus and his disciples. The Pharisees saw this and said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

He heard this and said, “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

The Daily Path: Ironically, it was a point in my life when I felt the most disconnected from God that I heard His voice calling me. In today’s reading we find people gathered around Jesus who were also feeling disconnected (“sinners”). I’m convinced that they felt an overwhelming emptiness and were drawn to the light of Jesus to reconnect.

This morning I received very sad news about a former colleague who’s husband became so disconnected that he took his own life. My heart weighs heavy as I think about this family and their son who is the same age as my oldest. This is such a tragedy.

While I cannot claim to know the full burden of anxiety that Keith bore, I can understand some of it. What I can comprehend makes me even more thankful for how God has reached out to hold me close during the most difficult time of my life. I’m reminded of what amazing gifts I have been given and how precious they are. I’m reminded that behind it all is a loving and merciful Father… one who loved me enough to get my attention and say “Come follow me, again.”

I hope that in that final instant of Keith’s life that God once again held out his hand to draw him near. To reconnect.

Room to Chat: Father, bring your love, strength and peace to Keith’s wife and son in the day’s ahead. Help them hear your voice in the midst this storm. Be merciful to your child who found this life to be too great a challenge. Hold him close again. This we ask in the name of Jesus, who you sent to forgive all our sins.

our_lady2





Travel Log – Good News for January 23

23 01 2009

Mark 3:13-19

Jesus went up the mountain and summoned those whom he wanted and they came to him. He appointed Twelve, whom he also named Apostles, that they might be with him and he might send them forth to preach  and to have authority to drive out demons. 

He appointed the Twelve:
Simon, whom he named Peter; 
James, son of Zebedee, 
and John the brother of James, whom he named Boanerges, that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus; 
Thaddeus, Simon the Cananean,
and Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.

The Daily Path: The Apostles had a difficult road ahead of them when they answered Jesus’ call to follow. Persecution. Horrible deaths for some. The Gospel provides glimpses of the anxiety they experienced, even during the time they spent with Jesus, as the Twelve sometimes struggled to grasp what Christ was teaching them.

I can only assume they found comfort in fellowship with the other Apostles. My own journey has shown that comfort and joy can be found when sharing the experience with others. Relationships, parenting, career, education, personal interests and our faith all bring challenging moments. Especially faith. They also bring opportunities to find other travelers.  

I’ve been fortunate. God continues to bring people into my life, seemingly with each step I take, who bring encouragement, wisdom, fellowship, joy and love. 

Who has God brought into your travels? Take a good look. You might be surprised to find fellowship in the most unexpected places.

Room to Chat: I think looking for God’s presence all around us is a form of prayer. Seems to me that it helps keep God in mind throughout the day. Can you hear church bells above the noise as you walk down the street? Do you recognize a church steeple, cathedral, mosque, synagogue or other place of worship as you drive along the urban highway? Even watching a Japanese sci-fi film, like Mothra, can bring an opportunity for this form of prayer. Yes, I said Mothra!