On The Attack? – Good News for January 17

17 01 2011

Mark 2:18-22

The disciples of John and of the Pharisees were accustomed to fast. People came to Jesus and objected, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”

Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day. No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse. Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”

The Daily Path: “Who among us is without sin?”

Before I pick up these stones to throw, maybe I should ask myself if the intended target is doing the best they know how.





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





I’m Not Dead Yet! – Good News for May 13

13 05 2009

Acts 14:19-28

In those days, some Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won over the crowds. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples gathered around him,
he got up and entered the city. On the following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and made a considerable number of disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch. They strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith, saying, “It is necessary for us to undergo many hardships
to enter the Kingdom of God.”

They appointed presbyters for them in each Church and, with prayer and fasting, commended them to the Lord in whom they had put their faith. Then they traveled through Pisidia and reached Pamphylia. After proclaiming the word at Perga they went down to Attalia. From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now accomplished. And when they arrived, they called the Church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. Then they spent no little time with the disciples.

The Daily Path: Can you believe this one? First Paul is stoned by a crowd and believed dead. So the Jews drag his body out of the city. Then Paul comes back to life as if nothing has happened and takes off on a tour of Asia Minor! Tell me this passage didn’t inspire a Monty Python sketch. 

“I’m not dead yet!”

“You’re not fooling anybody.”

“I feel happy!”

“You’ll be stone dead in a moment.”

“Let’s go on a little trip.”

Sorry, I couldn’t help but share this. 

Room to Chat: Have a good joyful laugh today. I’ll bet the devil hates that.





Truth – Good News for April 28

28 04 2009

Acts 7:51-60

Stephen said to the people, the elders, and the scribes, “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the Holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it.”

When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. But Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.

The Daily Path: How many times do we cover our ears to hide from the truth? And more egregiously… how often do we kill the messenger who shines light on the darkness in our life?

Room to Chat: When the Devil jumps you in the alley of your life, don’t mess around. Cry out to Christ for help.





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)





Throwing Rocks At Jesus – Good News for April 2

2 04 2009

So they picked up stones to throw at him…

John 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews, “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.”  So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” 

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 

So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

The Daily Path: While I have never intended to pick up a stone and throw it at Jesus, there have been times when I’ve thrown stones at others. Anger. Verbal attacks. Gossip. Hurtful acts. Until now, I’ve never looked at these “stonings” as being directed at God. But of course, they are. For He is the Father who lives within the targets of my assault. 

This is the first time I’ve read this passage from John, and I’m glad that I did.

Room to Chat: As you experience some joy in your day, please ask God to extend some of that grace all the way to Michael. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)





Leave The Olives Behind – Good News for March 30

30 03 2009

Neither do I condemn you…

John 8:1-11

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him.

Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him.

Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.”

The Daily Path: The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is referenced a number of times in the New Testament. Jesus taught and prayed there. The night before he was to be crucified Jesus went to the garden at its foot known as Gethsemane. He asked the Apostles to sit with him while he prayed to the Father asking to be relieved of the sacrifice that lay ahead.

It’s interesting that in John’s account of Jesus amazing act of forgiveness toward the adultress, that the Mount is again referenced. I think we all have our own Mount of Olives where we pray asking our Father to remove the burdens we carry. In some cases those burdens are sin. I’ve come to understand how sin lurks waiting to pounce in a moment of our weakness, allowing the evil one to claim temporary victory. Yet each time I fail, Christ is right there holding out the promise of forgiveness. And each time He picks me up and dusts me off. Like the woman accused in today’s Gospel, Jesus sends me back on my way asking that I leave those sins behind… like olives that have fallen off a tree to be trampled under foot. 

Room to Chat: Lord, please keep Michael close to you this day. Let your love provide the sanctuary he needs. (See Room to Chat: Come Out – Good News for March 29)