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.

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Let Go, Live Now – Good News for January 1

1 01 2011

Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Daily Path: Reading Luke’s account of the shepherds visit to the Christ child at his birth is a fitting way to begin 2011. Jesus birth was also our re-birth. The beginning of the promise that God holds for each of us: Eternal life in Him.

In this new beginning we look forward, not back. I want 2011 to be about living in the moment. Like the reborn Ebenezer Scrooge, I want to keep Christmas (Christ) in my heart EVERY day, embracing the joy that is Christ’s love in the now. Let’s allow that love to heal so we can remain in the present.

My friends, a Joyful New Year to each of you. Let go and live now!

Image “Beginning 1” courtesy of Rudi Seitz





New You – Good News for November 10

10 11 2010

Luke 17:11-19

As Jesus continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee. As he was entering a village, ten lepers met him. They stood at a distance from him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master! Have pity on us!” And when he saw them, he said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”

As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.

Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” Then he said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.”

The Daily Path: Excerpt from Richard Rohr’s Adult Christianity and How to Get There

For most of the people I meet, the only way to get over the hump to the second half of life is some kind of suffering.  Nothing else is strong enough to force us to let go of our ego structures and our old wineskins. We’re not ready at age twenty, although there are exceptions (like kids with cancer).

Some of our private salvation project has to fall apart and disappoint us.  At that point the temptation is to go back and do the tasks of the first half of life with even greater diligence.

Organized Christianity in its Sunday form tends to encourage people to do the tasks of the first half of life over and over again (firming up the container instead of getting to the contents).  The clergy do not question this because the container is what gives us a job.  But it is also why many people become disillusioned by midlife, and also why we have the constant phenomenon of groups emerging on the side, like religious orders, hermits, and prayer and service groups where people actually try to live the message.





Are Lives Being Changed? – Good News for October 23

23 10 2009

Psalms 119:77

Show me your compassion that I may live.

The Daily Path: Eight simple words that reveal so much.

Reflections: I’d like to share a snippet from Fr. Richard Rohr’s commentary on what he calls The Emerging Church.

“Another exciting piece of Emerging Christianity is that, really for the first time, we’ve stopped idealizing or being preoccupied with the top. We have turned to a search for actual gifts, real service, and proven holiness. What we need now is simple competence in doing the job of revealing, healing, and reconciling this pained humanity and this suffering world.

The first question is not, “Is she trained in theology?” or “Is he ordained?” The first question is “Can she do the job? Is he changing lives? Is it working?”

For centuries we have argued about bishops, ministers, priests, and protocol, with few results and more divisions. Now we realize that it is simple competence and holiness that finally matters. Are lives being changed? Are people meeting God, themselves, and one another in good and healing ways? All the rest is window dressing. Jesus had legitimization from no formal institution, but he sure did the job.”

In my own experience, it’s always been the living examples of Christ’s compassion and forgiveness that draws me closer. Meanwhile, management has often had the opposite affect.

Jesus changed lives.

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Seeing Great Things – Good News for September 29

29 09 2009

John 1:47-51

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Here is a true child of Israel. There is no duplicity in him.” Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.” Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” And he said to him, “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

The Daily Path: I’ve been watching the new Ken Burns series on America’s National Parks (The National Parks: America’s Best Idea). While nothing can fully compare to experiencing these places in person, much of their majesty is conveyed by the images captured in this film. Many of the individuals Burns interviews in the series speak of the transcendent moments that commonly occur when visitors first “experience” Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, or some of the other parks. I know this to be true as I have experienced the phenomenon myself… again and again.

John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and countless others have commented on being transformed after seeing these places as “temples of the Creator”. They are correct. The National Parks, and many other places in the world, are truly wonders of God. It’s easy to see the hand of the Creator in them.

I have sat at the foot of the great granite monoliths of Yosemite and been humbled by my own insignificance. I have watched the sun rise and set while huddled atop peaks in the Range of Light (Muir’s name for the Sierra Nevada mountains). Recently, I attended Richard Rohr’s talk on Eco-Spirtuality (finding God in nature). Throughout my life, I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience God first hand in some of the most spectacular natural showcases on this earth. Each time I make this eco-spiritual connection, I have been filled with an overwhelming sense of peace. Words cannot begin to describe these experiences.

Jesus promises that we as believers will see great things and the opening of Heaven. If you look for His hand in nature, you can see great things all around. Perhaps even a small understanding of what the magnificence of Heaven will be.

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