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October 2011

The Desire to Please

Ryan prayingI love reading the Psalms because they give words to the joy, sorrow, anger, questions and disappointment that are sometimes realized in my heart.  They also remind me that God knows and is present.

Sometimes God provides other people (contemporary psalmists?) to give expression to the state of my heart.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

Salt and Grace vs. Pickles and Ketchup

I heard the Rev. Tim Dilena preach at the Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York City last May.  He is good.  I like this little devotional thought that he posted the other day on his blog.  It hits home for me--so, I share it with you.

Can I Take Your Order?
by Rev. Tim Dilena

The other day in McDonalds, they just couldn’t seem to get the Happy Meal order right.

It started to get frustrating as I kept saying…

“a plain cheeseburger with nothing on it”

and they kept saying..

“so no cheese either”.

“No that would then be a hamburger” I responded.

As the dialogue went on my mind went back to one of the ancient fathers who said….

“Be Kind! for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle”

I started to see the person behind the counter as someone who needs kindness not my frustration.  And then Paul’s words popped in my heart

Col. 4:6
Let your speech always be  with grace, seasoned, as it were, with  salt….

I realized that in the end, as a Christian, no matter if they put  ketchup and pickles on the hamburger, the more important issue is that I had salt and grace  on my speech.

It isn't noon yet

DSCF2861 I recently came across this poem and I like it.  As a morning person I seldom need the buzz of an alarm clock to beckon me into the vastness of a new day.  In God, life is a gift.  I want to savor its moments and its people.  It isn't noon yet.

A Day Is Vast 
by Jane Hirshfield

A day is vast.
Until noon.
Then it's over.

Yesterday's pondwater
braided still wet in my hair.

I don't know what time is.

You can't ever find it.
But you can lose it.

It Is Making Me

Dulcimer_hands My friend Virginia sent me a link to a sermon that referenced a dulcimer player named Garrett Viggers that then led me to view the video by Third Day that I have posted below.  As one who loves music--and more than that, loves God, the coincidental strand was no coincidence, it was a blessing. 

So, I share the video with you, hoping that you find it a blessing too.

I believe what I believe...
is what makes me what I am.
And I did not make it,
no it is making me
It is the very truth of God
and not the invention of any man.



"Crises reveal character. When we are put to the test the hidden resources of our character are revealed exactly." 

                                              Disciples Indeed, Oswald Chambers

Today I came across these words from Oswald Chambers.   In the midst of the specific "crisis" that I find myself in, I find them interesting and pertinent as I consider my own life and observe the lives of others around me.

"Exactly...?!"  God, have mercy on me, a sinner.