Cowboy For A Day

24 Feb

This is Rodeo Week here in Tucson. It’s a big deal. Needless to say, there’s a big rodeo with all the trimmings, that should be “trimmins’,” and you see a few more big belt buckles and Stetson hats around town. Even right here where I live. Yup, tonight this lovely retirement community will be eating bar-b-que, potato salad and all the fixins, and some of us will show up in the proper garb to boot-scoot and listen to sure enough western music. “One-day” cowboys will eat and laugh and spin yarns out on the artificial grass and then step back into reality tomorrow morning. When I saw the little sign in The Tractor Store yesterday, while I was looking for a red bandana, it struck me how hard cowboy life really was a long time ago. Courage was something those folks had for breakfast every day. Every day. And then I thought, same thing for those first disciples of Jesus. They faced threats of imminent death from several directions, and yet they saddled up anyway. Every day. Jesus said: “Rise and shine, boys!” And you know there must have been days when they’d just as soon roll over and go back to sleep. It took courage, the courage that only He could supply. They saddled up. I surely do admire the courage of those disciples, and the same thing for cowboys facing the challenges of each day. I’m glad all we have to do is go to church once in a while and sing Amazing Grace. That should be Amazin’. But I will tell you that it takes courage for me to put on those “pointy-toed” boots. I’ll be limpin’ tomorrow. By the way, thanks to the John Wayne Enterprises for reminding us of The Cowboy’s instructive words. But I can one-up that: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid.” Saddle up.

Walking In The Morning

20 Feb

May my thoughts today be not so much on myself and what I want but more about the quality of life I will leave for our sons and daughters. As I was loved, so may I love. As I am loved, so may my gratitude be genuine and my hand be extended to the helpless and the vulnerable. Walking this earth, Guiding Spirit, is a gift I hold sacred, especially when I walk holding his hand and you holding mine. Thank you.

Shiny Blue Car

16 Feb

I bought a sports car the other day,
got a good deal, not much to pay.
The engine had that deep-throated sound,
the shiny blue color turned heads around.
I looked the young salesman right in the eye,
said I was so happy I was about to cry.
He shook my hand, gave me a smile,
what a nice young man, such warmth and style.

Three days later I cried some more,
because parked in the drive, just outside my door
is a shiny blue heap of nuts and bolts
that lurches and coughs and sputters and jolts
when I drive it through my neighborhood.
My closest friend advised that I should
call the young man who sold me the car
explain that the beauty didn’t go very far,
that I’d return the loose parts in a brown paper sack
when I get my refund, all my money back.

When I called, I was told that the salesman was fired
because he had cheated, lied and conspired
to dupe honest buyers who came to the store:
“Sorry,” I heard, “he’s not here anymore.
By the way,” I was told, “if you read the fine print
you’ll see that your money, every penny you spent,
cannot be returned, refunded to you
unless there’s an earthquake in Lime, Peru
in a calendar year ending in “2”.”

Well, I’ve had time to think this through,
and there’s really not much I can say or do.
But, trust me, I’ve learned a lesson or two.
Let me pass my new wisdom on to you.
A car, a house, whatever you buy
promise yourself you will always try
to not be persuaded by Chrisma’s lure
for there’s one thing of which I am perfectly sure:
I overlooked Character when buying that car.
I bought a smile, a wink, a shooting star
and what I got, to be exact,
is a shiny blue car in a brown paper sack.


11 Feb

Isn’t “Hello” a wonderful word!
It’s the very best word I’ve ever heard.

I was so frightened when I lost my way,
but you came along and I heard you say
“Hello, young man. Are you out for a walk?”
And I was so scared I could hardly talk.
You calmed my fear just by being there.
I knew in a moment that you really cared.
Thank you for helping me find my way.
You turned my night into glorious day.
Because you stopped to say “Hello”,
I’ve learned that I should always show
compassion and kindness to all who are lost,
even if I have to bear the cost
of changing my plans or showing up late,
being lost is such a scary state.
Amazing what a “Hello” can do.
If I can ever do the same for you,
as you helped me, I’ll help you, too.

Isn’t “Hello” a wonderful word!
It’s the very best word I’ve ever heard.

P.S. If you haven’t read The Boy, the
mole, the fox and the Horse, do it!


5 Feb

May I find in You the source of my joy even when the way is steep.

May I discover courage from trust when things seems impossible.

May I be wise enough to know when to stop and be refreshed by your Spirit.

May I never let what “seems to be” dictate the dimensions of my life.

And when I reach the top, and I will, may I remember to say “Thank You!”

I’m ready. Let’s go. Something wonderful waits up there.

Beginning The Day The Right Way

2 Feb

God, my source and strength, I offer myself to you in this new day so that all I say and all I do will be informed, not by my own self interests, but by your desire for your creation. I offer myself as an instrument you might use to foster hope, establish justice, demonstrate mercy and plant seeds of compassion. Jesus, guide me along your Way and help me see moments that cry out for simple caring and acts of kindness. As you have blessed me, so I will bless others this day. Lead me that I might become light in someone’s darkness and salt to flavor the world that I pass through. My heart is filled with gratitude and my hands are ready to work for your purposes. Use me, Lord. I am here. Amen.

Home Isn’t Always A Place

27 Jan

If I asked you: Where do you live?
what answer would you automatically give?
City? State? Dot on a map?
A series of numbers? A street, perhaps.
But I didn’t ask where you sleep at night.
I want to know what gives you delight.
I’m not asking a “where” but a “what.”
Don’t tell me apartment or igloo or hut,
tell me what makes your heart beat with joy.
Remember that moment, as a girl or a boy
when you sat among flowers on this sweet, warm earth,
felt the wind toss your hair; or when you gave birth
and held your own body right there in your hands?
To live isn’t defined by a piece of land.
To live is to walk in perpetual grace
unrelated to the limits of location or place.
I live in the wonder of a morning’s dawn,
in a night sky of stars, in that little fawn
that looked at me in a knowing way,
as if, somehow, she wanted to say:
Come, big brother, let’s run and play
in this beautiful garden where we shall stay
alive to the glory, the sheer delight
of seeing life with a new kind of sight.
O, to live. To live like we were meant to be.
At peace with the world; in harmony
so that every moment, regardless of place,
I might gaze upon His glorious face
and think to myself: I am home.
If I asked you: Where do you live?
I wonder what answer you might give?

Bridge To Blessings

21 Jan

Yes, I know I’ve published this photograph before. If you remember it, then you’ve traveled back to 2013, the first year of Shining Spirit. Since that year, 693 posts have crossed the bridge from my spirit to yours. Thank you for opening the door and inviting me in. Visiting with you is always a sacred pleasure. No, I’m not quitting. There are a few more to come. When I feel that nudging of my spirit, I’ll knock on your door again. Just wanted to say thank you for your hospitality. And thank you Abiding Presence for bridging us all to encounters of sacred curiosity. Today, this day, is another bridge to cross. Walk gently through its uniqueness and be on the lookout for blessings along the way.

Child Of Eternity

3 Jan

He wasn’t killed that I might possess
the gate code of heaven, my new address.
The cross on the hill was a message of power,
a brutal warning that at any hour
political muscle is in control,
that unless you do as you are told,
live by the rules of political might,
you’ll see close up the horrible sight:
cross after cross on Golgotha Hill,
put there to warn and completely instill
fear as the force that defines our days,
a warning that power, in so many ways,
will prevail and have the last say.

He wasn’t killed to wipe out my sins.
He died because he let people in
on a truth that changed life here and now,
merchants and beggars, men at the plow,
women, sinners, the broken and lost.
Compassionate love comes at a cost.
His death was a political necessity
because folks like us, people like me,
were waking up, becoming too bold
with the message this man reportedly told,
the absurd idea that we could be
restored to life, released, set free
in spirit and mind, in heart and soul
even if power exerted control,
and their swords ran red with blood.

He didn’t buy me a place in the sky.
He offered me hope so that I could try
to live my life with dignity,
to look upon life and clearly see
that compassionate love sets me free,
transforms my mind, recreates in me
a determined will to stand up and be
stronger than whips, unafraid of power,
convinced that in this very hour
his words have changed my life.

He wasn’t killed to save my soul.
That happened the minute I was told
that life is more than power and hate,
that I possess a different fate,
that in my struggles, worries and fears,
his presence and power are always near.
My life, eternal, began that day
when I stood in that crowd and heard him say
that I am a person of value and worth,
that I matter to God, that right here on earth.
I have new eyes with which I can see
a vision of life that was meant to be.
Imagine that! God loves me!
I am alive! I am set free!
I am a child of eternity.

The Year of The Common

31 Dec

As I write this, the sun is waking up behind the Catalina mountains and within the hour will climb up the eastern side of those mountains, stand on the highest peak and announce the arrival of a new day. A special day. An “Eve” day. Not in the “Adam and….” sense, but in the “A new thing is coming…” sense. An echo of the Creator’s ancient voice: Behold, I make something new. Do you not see it. Something new, indeed.

I hope 2023 (feels strange to write that number) will be a very common year. Common in this sense: A lot of children play in this sandbox, and we are becoming too accustomed to grabbing and taking, name calling, and throwing sand at each other. I hope for the new year a new sense of our commonality. And my list includes these things: A realization that we have one sandbox and when we have temper tantrums and throw sand at each other, or when we each fill our buckets and claim “this is mine!” or when we recklessly toss sand out of the box, we destroy the playground. We live on a floating ball in space, and we have no other options. Common sense says: Take care of it. Next, the sandbox is big enough for everybody. We don’t all look alike, sound alike, think alike, but deep down we all want to enjoy the play until it’s time to take our naps. We have everything in common. Maybe in 2023 we can stop focusing on our differences and begin to honor our commonality. It’s just Common Sense. And here’s the obvious one: we all come from a common source, and although we have given that Common Source many names, we are sisters and brothers, offspring of The One. My blood runs in your veins and yours in mine. Common courtesy, common respect, common concern. Aren’t those the marks of a loving, caring family?

So, I would like to proclaim 2023 as “The Year Of The Common”. Let’s start with Common Sense. What’s growing in your garden? Take care of that delicate plant, nurture it. It may turn out to be the most important plant of all.