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3 Aug

To the point, isn’t it.

The directive hangs over the entry door to a small
restaurant in the White Mountains of Arizona.
If you can’t be kind, then be somewhere else.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to be kind.
A smile, a nod, a wave.
And the expression of kindness doesn’t
have to be reactive.  It’s not “You be kind to me
and I’ll then return the kindness.”
No, set it in the context of those ancient words:
“Do unto others….”
Especially in the mood and the events of our
present moment, kindness is needed.  So
today look for a way to express kindness to
people you encounter.  A nod of the head,
a hand wave, a smile…but…I know — I’m
going to carry a 3×5 card on which I will
write:  “Behind this mask, I’m smiling at you.”

Create kindness and you’ll feel better, too.
2 Aug


I lift up my eyes to the hills — from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.

Psalm 121

Taking The Wider View

1 Aug


Sometimes if we just took a wider view, it might make life
a lot easier.  Narrow views often miss the better solution
or the easier way.  Here’s an example.  This poor guy
sees only the obstacle and knows he has to get over it.
So he climbs.  But if he would just take a step back,
examine the broader situation, consider his options,
he might save time, energy and the cost of emergency
room treatment.

Built into the human body, located between the ears,
is a thing called a brain.  The Designer of the human body
included it in the whole package for a good reason.  To reason.
So, when faced with an obstacle, back up, take a broad view,
consider alternatives, don’t turn down good advice,
pick the best option, and then go for it.

But before you go, thank The Designer for that amazing
thing between your ears.  Parents, politicians, and people in general,
would benefit from using it often.

A Sign of Beauty

30 Jul


A youngster out for his first flight lesson.
He has never seen a human so close.
I wonder what he thinks about the encounter?
If he were to ask, I would say:
“You, my young friend, are wonderfully and
beautifully made.  You add so much to life:
your beauty, your song, your gracefulness in
flight…when you learn how.”

I am grateful for accidental experiences of
beauty, unexpected encounters,
like it is sometimes with God.
You turn a corner or look out a
window, and there is the revealing
of Love.  Like my little friend on the porch,
the unexpected sign of God’s creative love
in even the smallest of things.

Thanks be to God.


Memo To Self

30 Jul

Memo to Self

Subj:  Things To Do Today

1.  Be Kind

2.  Do Good

3.  Learn Something

4.  Remember

5. Reflect

Do these things today as grateful response
to the Source of life’s fullness.

“See the birds of the air…”

27 Jul

IMG_7402 (2)

I am thankful for many things in my blessed life,
but perched high on the gratitude list is a special
place for birds.  They come in several categories:
Singers, Acrobats, Comedians, Daredevils,
big and small, and decorated on a scale
from drab to dramatic.

My friend pictured above is a resident of Northern
Arizona, where my wife and I happen to be vacationing at
the moment.  He was among a welcoming committee that sang to
us as we unpacked the car, then did grass-top flight
tricks for our amusement.  Everyday he has stopped by
to check on us and to add another verse to his lovely song.

I am grateful, Present Spirit, for many things.  I am blessed
each day as I walk through this life.  But I wanted to write this
note to you to emphasize my appreciation for my sisters and
brothers whose songs overcome the ordinariness of life,
carriers of carefree joy, delicate creatures who
delight my spirit.
I join them in their songs of praise.
If only I could sing like one of them.
Thanks be to God.

The Better Choice

25 Jul


I arrived on the hilltop with time to spare.  Sunset was still
half an hour away.  Plenty of time to set the camera
properly for what I knew was to be a glorious
desert  sunset.  Brilliant oranges, dancing shades of
yellow, glowing shafts of sunlight through dark,
angry storm clouds.  The perfect setting for a
memorable drama in the sky, the sun’s grand exit
with pageantry and pomp.

But I made the mistake of turning around and
looking, just for a moment, in the opposite direction
toward the mountain.  Behold, not a contest of
staggering colors, but a gracious gentleness,
a softness played out across the desert
floor and up the side of the mountain’s slopes
and undulations.  To the West was the stark
confrontation of color against color.  To the East,
a sacred simplicity of blending, a joining of
colors that produced not clash, but
concerted calm.  Respite.
An invitation to sit on a green bench,
watch the unfolding of a never again moment
and breathe in the fragrance of peace.

I did.
It was the better choice.



In Him All Things Hold Together

25 Jul

All things.  All.
Atoms to advanced algebra,
bits of this and bundles of that,
creatures to creation,
day to destiny.

Held together by
a mysterious consciousness,
an energy too small to be seen,
too cosmic to comprehend.

Today is a laboratory of
conscious connectedness
from which life will emerge,
the intentional dream of
an indescribable force.

So it was yesterday.
So it will be tomorrow.
So it is
in this moment as a word becomes wonder.

“In him all things hold together”
Colossians 1:17

Beautiful Mystery

24 Jul


I present a wonderful mystery.
How can that become this?
The perfect metaphor for spiritual transformation,
“new life.”

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation;
everything old has passed away; see, everything
has become new.”

In Christ, not a fan of Christ.
In Christ, not an admirer of Christ

I was presented a mystery in my own backyard.
That became this.
And with beautiful wings, she flew.
The Psalmist prayed:  “O, that I had wings like
a dove…”  I’d settle for a butterfly.
The beautiful mystery.

Important Announcement

23 Jul


Roger and Sue Pierce are happy parents again!

Their child, pictured above, escapped from the chrysalis
this morning at approximately 7:30 a.m.
Mom and child are doing fine.
Dad is busy taking pictures.
Wonderful Day!