Archive | April, 2020

Strength to Press On

19 Apr

 

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Life Giving God
When I see these stones, I think of You.
They speak of strength, so needed right now –
strength in facing difficulties,
strength to look beyond all chaos and
see glimpses of the Spirit

strength to “press on” and persevere.
Help me know the inherent strength
of the Spirit that lives within me.

Life Sustaining God
As You sustain even the smallest piece of
your creation, even the imperfect beauty of
these stones, so take the pieces of my
life and help me sort them as I
live this day.

Life Receiving God
My gifts are small but I pray that
you will bless them into a bountiful contribution
to the welfare of all You have created.
I offer them to you now as an act of
faith and commitment. Receive
the offering of myself, given
in sacred trust.

May all this be so as I walk the Way of
my Shepherd, my Light, my Constant Companion,
my Guide through all the moments of this day.

Amen

The Tree and The Stone

18 Apr

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One day the earth shook violently, waves in the sea leapt high into the air, as high as the hills and the mountains. Large birds and small birds shuddered in the vibrations, young trees and old trees bowed until their branches touched the ground and the mountains threw off their earth coats to release huge boulders into the air, like petulant children throwing rocks at the sky.

One large stone, angry at this unwanted interruption in his stony life, returned to the quivering earth and fell against a young tree.  “Do you mind if I rest here a moment?” Stone grumbled, embarrassed to admit that being propelled through the air, spinning and tumbling, had frightened him and made him confused.  “Of course you may rest here,” Tree replied.  “In fact, let me hold you up while you regain your strength.”  Tree’s kindness was accepted and while Stone slowly returned to his grumpy self, they began to talk about the strange events of the day, then how it felt to fly through the air, and how it was to be a tree anchored to the earth.  They wondered together about this and that until many years had passed.

On a bright and beautiful day, when the late spring flowers were dancing in quiet
meadows and brightly colored hummingbirds kissed each one gently, Stone suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, my!  We have talked for so long!  And look at you!”  It was true that Tree had changed over all this time.  He was no longer straight and tall, but bent over after holding the weight of Stone for so long.  And the strangest thing!  Tree was changed in shape and form at the point where he had reached out and  given  help all those years ago.  He would never again be like the other trees.

Stone felt great sadness.  But Tree reassured him.  “There is no fault.  There is no blame.  Wasn’t it only yesterday that you fell from the sky into my arms?  Time has gone so quickly in our conversations.”  “But…” Stone began to speak again.  “No,” Tree interrupted, “speak no more of regrets.  In truth, joy fills me from my roots to that highest leaf.  There is no reason for remorse.
We are friends.”

 

 

 

Dear Yellow Flowers

17 Apr

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Dear Yellow Flowers,

I’m writing this note to thank you for the beauty you bring to this world.  I don’t know if it is your intention to do this, but I want you to know how grateful we are for the gift you give us.  It is so encouraging to know that, with the bursts of human kindness during this fearful time, you line the roadways and paint the meadows so that we might dare to smile and breathe in the fragrance of courage.

Sitting with you feels so much better than sitting with videos and computers and the endless sounds of opinions and theories and accusations.  You are a gift from the Source of Life, an embrace and a reminder that loveliness lives all around us.  When I saw you today, I remembered.  And when I sat with you in the warm sun, I became, just for a moment, a part of the great announcement.

Thank you, dear Yellow Flowers.  You make the journey hopeful.  You cause the world to smile.

With deep appreciation,

RP

Kindness

16 Apr

Bug

I know!  I know!  Some people don’t like bugs at all.  So the best advice I can
offer is hold you left hand over the screen to block the image, then read this text.

The photo is a highly magnified image of some strange bug that will not
go away.  I don’t know his or her name, gender, classification, or
reason for camping out in my house.  I do know, though, that he is
very persistent.  I have invited him to leave the house several
times, but he shows up a few hours later and we have the
conversation again.  Now he lives in the garage where he has
plenty of room to roam.

I know what you’re thinking.  Why doesn’t he just step on it
and end the problem and the bug’s life at the same time? And
my answer will sound strange, perhaps, but I don’t like to take
away the life of any sentient being that lives on the
earth with me.  And I know there are occasions when that
might be necessary, but not for my convenience or pleasure.

So the point is this…think about how we share life on the planet
with so many other living creatures, and consider that they
have some sort of life as an individual or in community.
Maybe if we thought and acted more kindly toward the creatures
with whom we share the earth, we might decide to act more
kindly toward each other.
And wouldn’t that be an improvement.

God of all living things, creatures and plants alike,
help us to be kind toward each other, to value life,
as an act of thankful recognition for your love
in all your creation.
May it be so.  Amen.

 

Undisguised Advertisement

15 Apr

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Some kind folks have asked “Are you ever going to put some of your
poems into a book?”  So, I took them at their word…or question.
Desert Mornings is a collection of poems and nature photography
and is available to anyone who wants to part with $13.59.

I told my wife the other day that I am not a photographer, I am a
metographer…a combination of metaphor and picture taking.
As I was sorting through photos for this little book, I
recognized that I take photos of metaphors.  Strange mind,
I know.
So, if you would like to investigate the 63-page book, use your
computer and go to http://www.blurb.com.  Blurb is the printing side
of Word Press.  Next, enter the name of the book in the search
area.  And…if all works like it should…it should pop up in a list
of several books.  You’re on your own from there.

Forgive the blatant advertising, but that’s what you get for reading
the blog.   (I am grateful!)

 

 

The Path

15 Apr

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The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.

Thanks be to God!

 

I See Light!

13 Apr

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Don’t give up

Don’t give in

Be brave through the shadows

I see  light ahead

Take my hand

Let’s walk together

He Is Risen!

12 Apr

Easter Happens Everyday

Every morning at first light
When roses break the bud and open their petals
At the songbird’s announcement of joy

Easter Happens Everyday

When you call just to say “Hello”
When I am sick and you comfort me
When I am afraid and you hold my hand

Easter Happens Everyday

When justice is extended to everybody
When we know the answer to “Who is my neighbor?”
When we value compassion more than commodity

Easter Happens Everyday

When the tomb of my fear is empty
When the joy of freedom fills us everyone
When I feel the hand on my shoulder and turn to say
You are risen!  You are risen, indeed!

Easter Happens To Be Today!
Rejoice! Celebrate! Sing!

Simple Things

11 Apr

It’s the simple things that mean so much,
a smile, a wink, a loving touch,
a phone call just to say “hello”
a note, a card, “I miss you so”

In times like these when the news is bad
when all the world is truly sad
when fear and anger rule the day
what is the best thing one can say?

Out of the turmoil, life will rise.
There will be brighter, clearer skies.
I won’t surrender to my fears.
In faith, I hope through all my tears.

The source of my strength is not my own
for, time after time, I’ve been clearly shown
that compassion and courage, reason and hope
are not simply values to help someone cope
but gifts we develop all through life
in the darkest times and the deepest strife.
Stay strong, be wise, do not despair.
There’s reason, yet, to firmly declare:

This stone will roll away, too.

 

“I Can’t Wait!”

10 Apr

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What  comes to mind when you read the sign?

The billboard on Central Expressway in Dallas
in 1951.  Big letters.
Ringling Bros
Barnum & Bailey

Previews in the movie theater
Coming Soon –
Rocky #36
Can’t wait!

The birthday party!
8 or 80?
Big difference, but
still fun!

“Sorry, Mrs. Jones, false pains,
but it won’t be long”
Soon.

Well, the list could go on endlessly, I suppose.
What would you add?
Think about it.

It’s dark outside right now, but I know what’s Coming Soon.
Beautiful light will roll over the mountain and
down into the city.  Everything will glisten.
Morning light is a miracle,
like birth and death and
stones rolled away.

Can you think of anything else for our list?
I hope so.