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Colors of Life

21 Nov

Isn’t it wonderful that life is composed of so many shapes and colors and textures and fragrances? We are blessed to be part of such diversity. Say “thank you” to a leaf tomorrow. And to the Leaf Maker.

Unfailing Love

14 Nov

There is a verse in Psalm 17 that goes like this: “God, show us your unfailing love in wonderful ways.” That’s my request, too. And then my heart and my brain connect and I suddenly realize that I’m standing right in the middle of the answer. All around me are sights and senses, fragrances and textures, relationships that bring me joy and encouragement. I’m asking for something I already have. And that little voice in my head says: “Wake up!” Don’t sleep walk through this good day. At least set aside a little time to see and experience the “unfailing love in wonderful ways.” Have a wonder-filled Monday. This could be the best day of your life. God, show us your unfailing love in wonderful ways. And a song, carried on the mountain breeze, fills the valley. The lyrics are simple: I have. I do. I will. Thanks be to God for the wonderful ways unfailing love has been, is, and will be shown to everyone who “wakes up” to the Wonder. This day is a special gift just for you. Unwrap it!

Contradictions

17 Oct

Every life has contradictions.
Somewhere between the “yes” and the “no”
in the midst of “maybe” and “perhaps”
there lives an infamous note of discord
that takes sinister delight in pitting
word against word,
confounding fact with fiction,
creating intersections of impasse,
and “No Way Out” boulevards of bluster
and bravado.

To live in the world of “either-or”
is to feather discord’s nest. The
distance between opposites is
measured by the relics of sincere
people who tried to walk through
the quicksand of compromise.

Every life has contradictions.
But the rent is too high in that neighborhood.
Talking “at” is different than talking “with”
and hearing is not the same as listening.
Caution to you who have answers but do
not know the questions, whose ignorance is
confused with intelligence, who cry “Fear!”
into the darkness of prejudice and watch
as we throw off the cloak of Principle
in order to play in the sandbox of
our own self-interest.

Contradictions, conceived by the lust
of political power or religious rigidity,
may define the moment, but they also
gerrymander justice and truth in order
to enjoy the collision of minds determined
to dominate or destroy.

Spread It Around

10 Oct
How nice to stop in a local eatery for an afternoon snack and find this little bit of refreshment. Better than any bearclaw or blueberry scone. A thought: Being kind does not depend on “the other person”. Being kind is not a reaction, not a response. Kindness is an inherent virtue and I can turn it on, or I can turn it off. Somebody else’s behavior, good or bad, does not determine whether I will be kind or mean-spirited. In my faith tradition, through the voice of an ancient wise person, I am reminded to “do justice, love kindness.” So today, in all your contacts, in all your relationships, no matter what the other guy says or does…be kind. Don’t let somebody else define you. You have a treasure to give away. Spread it around.

What You See Is What You Get!

1 Oct
You’ve had days like this, haven’t you? The hair dryer won’t come on…combing doesn’t help much. In my case, my Feather Fluffer won’t work, and here I am! So, as my dear Dad used to say, I’ll “grin and bear it.” No, I think I will smile and accept it. Why punish other people with a frown or anger or a grumpy attitude? I will fly above momentary circumstances, things I can’t control. No, Dad, it’s “what you see is what you get” It’s me! But, you don’t happen to have a Feather Fluffer, do you?

Alone

25 Sep

Sometimes the road is long and lonely, and it feels like I’m all alone. But one of faith’s basic, core ideas denies that. True, no other person is in sight, yet there is an intuitive, instinctual companionship that prompts me to turn the pedals and keep the bike moving. A mind game? No, a heart reality. Explainable? No, experiential. I was riding the other day on a long stretch, all by myself, when another rider came up behind me very quietly. I only knew he was there when he said: “Behind you”, a courtesy alert. Behind, beside, above, below…with. Keep pedaling. You’re not alone.

Thin Place

9 Sep

Do you think human feet have stood on this magnificent piece of the Earth? Is there somewhere remaining that has never been the site of a footprint? These sacred locations in nature are often called Thin Places, a coming together of two realms or dimensions. It’s like heaven and earth overlapping so that there is created an exceptional moment of awareness. But, then, every piece of earth has the potential to be a Thin Place. When Spirit touches Spirit, a new depth of awareness is reached, and, most often, life is never the same again. I’ve discovered that you can’t plan an encounter with a Thin Place; it just happens. It is a “gift” moment to be deeply appreciated and remembered often. Be on the lookout today. This just might be your day.

One Little Drop of Gorgeous

7 Sep

Appreciate beauty for beauty’s sake. Be grateful from the heart, not just the mind. I’ve met some beautiful birds, but none quite like this one. This is one little drop of gorgeous. Just like the one that fell on you. You! Whether you like it or not, want it or not, deserve it or not, believe it or not, You are uniquely wonderful. And other people see that in you, even if you don’t. Spread your wings, show-off your colors, fly.

It Won’t Float

3 Sep

They don’t land on water, do they? If they do, they don’t float very long. So, I was very surprised to round a curve in the country lane and find this strange sight. I pulled off the paved road, onto a grassy shoulder, and into frightened non-belief. The balloon was coming down, down, very slowly, but down for sure. A mechanical failure? Pilot error? That’s a pond, in case you haven’t figured it out. Then, with one blast from the onboard heat source, the colorful giant stopped its descent, held steady for a moment about 24 inches above the wet, and then started to climb. Up and up until it cleared the trees and floated away on a friendly breeze. Now, I offer this advice for the next time you ride in a porous wicker basket under a hot-air balloon over the lovely countryside, near a small pond. Consider the natural order of life: Wicker baskets don’t float, and the last time I looked, there was no flight attendant demonstrating the proper use of an inflatable onboard the average passenger basket. But, then, maybe you are a card-carrying member of the “I’ll Try Anything Once” club. Trust me, once is all you’ll get with a basket full of people, a flame torch and a bad idea. Stick to mahjong. It’s healthier. Unless, of course, you’re a poet…Roses are red, violets are blue…hmm. The theological insight? Hmm. Subtle, isn’t it.

Three Words

30 Aug

Walking through the historic section of the small Colorado town, I saw the remains of a distant era, signs from the past. The old fire truck with lots of miles on it but not much paint. Construction from decades ago, still standing but crumbling around the edges. Then, turn the next corner and you are face to face with the 21st century’s gift to the legacy world, the T-Shirt shop. I kept walking. But a few minutes later I was stopped in my tracks by the sign shown above. Three remarkable words. I don’t know what the San Juan Rangers do, but I’d join up just because of their bold declaration. Honor. Integrity. Commitment. How would this world be different if we plastered those words on signs everywhere, the result of having a new heart and a transformed life. I know, signs don’t change people, but I can tell you what does. Those three words are the consequence of a realization: God lives within me. The Christ of creation is inherent in my being. I didn’t cause it, and I can’t change it. And this awareness, taken seriously, causes me to take down the old signs — Me, My Way, and Maybe — and put up new ones as my life’s identity: Honor, Integrity, Commitment. The man who told me that God resides within my being lived by these three words, taught the idea to anyone who would listen, and demonstrated them at the end of his life. People follow the Way of Jesus in many ways and for many reasons. Some do so because he has transformed hearts, minds, and perspectives. Once you realize that you are the living vessel of what he called The Kingdom of God by virtue of your humanity, the old signs come down and new ones go up: Honor, Integrity, Commitment. Following His way leaves the old behind, dares the new, and hopes eternally. Many thanks to the San Juan Rangers, whoever you are, for your sign to me as I walked through history. Where do I sign up?