Monday, December 31, 2012

Follow Jesus!

Regardless of what the new year brings... follow Jesus.
If you are mistreated, cheated or disappointed by others... follow Jesus.
Whether you are in good health or are faced with sickness... follow Jesus.
Whether you find success or fall into poverty... follow Jesus.
When fellow Christians fall short of what they should be... follow Jesus.
If the ungodly prevail and seem to prosper... follow Jesus.
If the politics of the Nation or the local government goes a different direction than you think it should... follow Jesus.
If faced with injustice, heartbreak and tragedy... follow Jesus.
Whether you find turmoil or peace in your situation... follow Jesus.
Whether you find yourself alone or in a great company...follow Jesus.
Regardless of what happens around you, your calling is to follow Jesus.

May your new year be truly blessed as you follow Him!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Silence of Worship

With thankful hearts
We enter into the courts of the Lord in praise;
As we draw closer to the Holy of Holies
Our praise turns to worship;
Bowed before the Holy One
Our worship becomes... silence.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Knights of Prayer

Here is a link to a wonderful website dealing with: lay monasticism, prayer, Celtic Christianity and so many other topics I really can't begin to list them. The site has more than 1,300 pages, so you could spend much time there. A highly recommended site for fellow "monks at heart."

If you agree to their statement of faith and their requirements of prayer and study, etc, you too can become a lay monk in the Knights of Prayer monastic order. I've been putting it off long enough, but yesterday I mailed my request to join. 

One starts out as a "Postulant" for the first year. In the second year, "Novice" status is granted. After the second year is completed, full lay monk status is granted.

Check it out!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Advent Virus

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:
  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
  • An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  • A loss of interest in judging other people.
  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  • A loss of interest in conflict.
  • A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  • Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  • Frequent attacks of smiling.
  • An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  • An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.
May we all catch this virus!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Message of Change

"The Gospel is inherently a missionary Gospel. It is a message that changes a life, changes a course, changes affections, changes values, changes world view, changes love, changes loyalty, and should change either our giving or going or both. But the Gospel cannot leave you as you are, the way you are, and where you are, or it cannot possibly be the Gospel you have received."
 --- Kevin Turner, Strategic World Impact.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Prayer

A Thanksgiving Prayer

Oh, God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me
to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering, help me
to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough
to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out
for what we take for granted.
~ Samuel. F. Pugh

Thursday, November 15, 2012


The deepest communication with God takes place in the silence - that's when and where He speaks.

Friday, November 9, 2012


THE EIGHT DEGREES OF CHARITY (in descending order of generosity)
According to Moses Maimonides, a 12th century rabbi

First Degree: “Help a person Help Himself” Prevent poverty by giving someone a gift or a loan or finding work for him so that he will not need to appeal for help. 

Second Degree: “The Giver and Receiver Unknown to Each Other” One who gives charity to the poor without knowing to whom he gives and without the poor knowing from whom they take. 

Third Degree: “Receiver Known, Given Unknown” One who knows to whom he gives, without the poor knowing from whom they receive. For example, in olden days, our ancestors brought gifts into poor people’s homes and left without being seen.

Fourth Degree: “Giver Does Not Know Receiver” The poor man knows from whom he takes but the giver does not know the receiver. For example, there were men who tied money in the corners of the cloaks they wore, so that the poor might take it without being seen.

Fifth Degree: “Gives Before He is Asked” The man who gives before he has been asked, but who puts it into the poor man’s hand, embarrassing him.

Sixth Degree: “Gives After He is Asked” The man who gives cheerfully, and as much as he can, but only after being asked.

Seventh Degree: “Gives Less Than He Should, But Cheerfully” The man who gives less than he ought to, but with a smile.

Eighth Degree: “Gives Unwillingly” Lowest on the ladder is the man who gives only because he is forced to do so. This is the gift of the hand but not of the heart. ~~~

 When we give, we should do so at whatever level we can and to the best of our abilities.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Building for Eternity

If we work on marble, it will perish;
if on brass, time will efface it;
if we rear up temples, they will crumble into dust;
but if we work upon immortal minds and imbue them with principles,
with the just fear of God and love of our fellow men,
we engrave on those tablets something that will brighten to all eternity.

--- Daniel Webster, American Politician

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Weave a Silence on to My Lips

I weave a silence on to my lips;
I weave a silence into my mind;
I weave a silence within my heart;
I close my ears to distractions;
I close my eyes to attractions;
I close my heart to temptations.

Calm me as You stilled the storm;
Still me, keep me from harm;
Let all the tumult within me cease;
Enfold me, Beloved, in your peace.

from THE EDGE OF GLORY by David Adam

Friday, October 12, 2012

Listen to Our Hearts

O God, forgive the poverty and pettiness of our prayers. Listen not to our words, but to the yearnings of our hearts. Hear beneath our petitions the crying of our need.  --- Peter Marshall

From "Listen to Our Hearts" by Geoff Moore
So listen to our hearts, and hear our spirits sing
A song of praise that flows
From those you have redeemed.
We will use the words we know
To tell you what an awesome God You are.
Words are not enough to tell You of our love
So listen to our hearts.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A little monk humor...

A monastery ran a small flower shop to help raise funds. The village was upset with the group of friars and wanted to run them out of business. They tried all sorts of ways to shut the place down with no success. Finally, they called on the meanest, roughest thug in the village, Hugh. A threat from him was all it took to close the shop. Which just goes to show that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not a Spectator Sport

Christianity was never intended to be a spectator sport. All who wear the jersey are expected to be active participants in the game. In preparation, we live a life of discipline and constant training - well, at least we should. We show up to life in full uniform, ready for the Coach's next play. We may not be in every play, but we are to show up to the game with anticipation and readiness.

Related to this idea is the following prayer by Lee Strobel from his book, Inside the Mind of Unchurched Harry and Mary.

"Lord, I want to get into the fray. I want to play a role in the biggest adventure story of all time. Use me to make a difference. Use me to impact a young person for You. Use me to solve someone's problem. Use me to soothe someone's pain. Use me to answer someone's prayer. Use me to feed someone who's hungry. Use me to rescue a child. Use me to bring someone to You. Use me to ease someone's loneliness. Use me to raise a godly family.

"Use me to deepen someone's faith. Use me to cheer someone on. Use me to help a broken person see that he's precious in Your sight. Use me to touch lives in Your name.

"I don't want to just observe cathedrals through my bus window; I want to roll up my sleeves and build one! Lord, use me to build a living cathedral dedicated to Your glory."

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jesus in the Wilderness

The lectionary reading for today's Gospel is taken from Mark 1:9-15. It speak of Jesus being driven (thrust, thrown or cast) into the wilderness by the Spirit. There He would fast and pray for forty days and forty nights and face great temptations before entering into His public ministry. It is here Jesus truly begins His journey to the cross, the purpose for which he came.

This nicely done little video depicts Jesus time in His wilderness experience. A great video for this, the first Sunday in Lent.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Acts of Contemplation

The acts of contemplation are four:
  • to seek after God
  • to find Him
  • to feel His sacred touch in the soul
  • to be united with Him and to enjoy Him
----- Archbishop William Bernard Ullathorne (1806-1889)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Worthy Fruits

John the Baptist came preaching a message of repentance. Part of that message was that the repentant was to “bear fruits worthy of repentance.” (Luke 3:8) Some may refer to these fruits as “penance.” Penance doesn't produce repentance, penance should be the fruit – the evidence - that shows repentance has taken place or is in the process of taking place. Penance doesn't pay a debt of sin, the Cross took care of that. Acts of penance express a desire to “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work.” (Colossians 1:10)

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1275 a.d.) said there were conditions necessary for true penance:

  • Contrition, which is sorrow for sin, together with a purpose of amendment

  • Confession of sins without omissions

  • Satisfaction by means of good works

With that in mind, may you have a very fruitful Lenten season.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pleasing or Displeasing God

Celtic saint, Ita, was once asked what were the three things that most pleased God, and the three things that most displeased Him.

She answered, "Three things that most please God are:
  • true faith in God with a pure heart,
  • a simple life with a grateful spirit,
  • and generosity inspired by charity.

The three things that most displease God are:
  • a mouth that hates people,
  • a heart harboring resentments,
  • and confidence in wealth."
May we seek to please God in all we do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interesting Reading From The Apocrypha

Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 15:14-20
(My paraphrase based on readings from the following: 1568 Bishops' Bible, 1587 Geneva Bible, 1899 Douay-Rheims Bible and the 1611 King James Bible)

14) He made man from the beginning, and placed in his hand the freedom to make his own choices, and gave him His commandments and precepts.
15) If you will observe the commandments and live an acceptable life of faithfulness forever, they shall preserve you.
16) He has set water and fire before you, reach out your hand to the one of your choosing.
17) Before man is life and death, good and evil, which ever he desires will be given him.
18) For the wisdom of God is great and mighty in power, and continually beholds all things.
19) The eyes of the Lord are upon them that fear Him, and He knows all the works of man.
20) He has commanded no man to act wickedly, nor has He given any man permission to sin.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Early Monastics

There were those in the early church who withdrew to the desert to devote themselves to prayer. They felt the church was compromising too much, and was becoming too worldly. These are known as monastics. I wonder what they would think about our modern day church.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


I am no longer my own, but Yours.

Use me as You choose;

rank me alongside whoever You choose;

put me to doing, put me to suffering;

let me be employed for You, or laid aside for You;

raised up for You, or brought down for You;

let me be full, let me be empty;

let me have all things, let me have nothing;

with my whole heart I freely choose to yield

all things to Your ordering and approval.

So now, God of all glory,

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

You are mine, and I am Your own.

---Taken from Celtic Daily Prayer, “New Year: A Covenant Service”