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Interesting stories and anecdotes that reach into insights I have gained abroad.

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Meditation — September 15, 2016

Posted on Friday, September 16th, 2016

Scripture:
In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things came into being, not one thing came into being except through him. What has come into being in him was life, life that was the light of men; and light shines in darkness, and darkness could not over power it. John 1:1-5
Prayer:
On the beach this morning, a solitary fisherman chased a sea gull who had just snatched some bait from his bag, and I wondered what was the lesson for both man and gull; and now I sit after four hours waiting for my vehicle to be ready after servicing. But what a wait—I read for the first time Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s The Little Prince, and wondering what took me so long to explore who I am within and that so few know of me. And here I am now, reading a scripture selection that in my youth began each service—in the beginning.
Response:
Yes, what has taken you so long to explore the inner corridors of your heart that at times seems unrecognizable to you—and clearly to those who believe that they know you well. And that is what reflection and meditation prompt and encourage you to do—explore the inner corridors of your heart for your true identity in the Lord’s presence.
Explore the light that covers you at all times, but especially when you are confronted with unexpected, loss, even doubt. Oh, you are indeed favored that you sense the light even in weariness, when you question what is this life all about?—especially now when the corridors of your home are empty of loved ones.
But do you realize yet, the corridors of your home are attending those public service meetings you would rather avoid, engaging the variety of souls you meet in the “market place” with enthusiasm, empathy, patience, humor, and love. Engaging is in fact a reflection of the light you are to convey to all you meet, […]

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Meditation — September 13, 2016

Posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Scripture: In that neighborhood there were estates belonging to the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius. He received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. It happened that Publius’ father was in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to see him, and after a prayer the man laid his hands on him and healed him. Acts 28:7-8
Prayer: I drove to Northern Virginia to see my old friend with cancer and was greeted by many mutual friends who were praying as well that our loved one recover from an intense operation planned later this week.
Response: Notice how naturally—actually supernaturally—loved ones gather in prayer on such occasions. The prayers uttered almost in whispers seem to echo choirs of angels in each heart, and are reflected in the relief observed in the patient’s eyes, the laughter shared, the stories told of this person’s life journey in the words of friends who have accompanied him for many years, in photographs that capture those special moments in life alone with a loved one or around a table as then in a noisy restaurant.
Consider also how much deeper people present get to know their friend, as well as each other, at soul level in the sharing of mutual life experiences, in prayer and acceptance, in gentleness and service, and in the joy and celebration of family and friends gathered.
Take a moment this day to reflect on similar gatherings, where you were the recipient of the Lord’s abundant grace and healing that contributed to a gracious inspiration about this life experience. Praise God!
All for this morning.

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Meditation – July 4, 2016

Posted on Monday, July 4th, 2016

Scripture: And Jesus answered them, “Take care that no one deceives you, because many will come using my name and saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed, for this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet. For nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All this is only the beginning of the birthpangs.” Matthew 24:4-8
Prayer: As often happens, I was mesmerized by the cormorants that flew past me this morning, hurrying south as if they feared being late for a celebration. I took a seat on a bench and watched them, stealing a look out upon the ocean to see if a dolphin pod was in the vicinity. It wasn’t. And in the raucous world we live, rumors of war recalls for me the title of a book published during the Viet Nam era. Let me not become alarmed, Lord.
Response: You have selected a path that energizes your spirit in the reverence and rhythm of each day. It seems that tabulating the number of cormorants in each line that passes low over the water clears your mind and heart from the refuse, panic, and alarm that would subsume you from the daily media.
Yes, you do and will hear the rumors of war—but do not be alarmed. Be still in the Lord’s presence; release all anxiety; and trust in the Lord of whom you are to become more and more conscious—not only within, but demonstrated in service, in the compassion, in listening to those who are lost, in despair, or neglected in loneliness.
Keep your peace and serenity, exhibit His joy in all circumstances, however challenging the circumstances that confront you. Keep vigilant, and recall always that the Lord’s healing grace is being poured abundantly on you, loved ones, and strangers for whom you pray. Praise God!
All for this morning.

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Can You Wiggle Your Ears?

Posted on Friday, July 3rd, 2015

When the Sandbridge Community Chapel Day School asked for volunteers I wasn’t sure what I could do for them but when I started reading to the children on Monday mornings, it instead quickly became what they were doing for me.
Every Monday morning while I test my mettle reading to them, I welcome the challenge that I discover in the unbounded enthusiasm, radiant smiles, responsiveness, and aliveness of the children. They are never—never—at a loss for an exuberant response.
One morning I finished reading a few minutes early. There was another ten minutes left with the children so I had to come up with something to maintain the interest of the class. Bingo! I had it! I asked if anyone could wiggle their ears. They looked at me like I should be sitting on the rug and they conducting the class, all the while grimacing their cheeks and eyebrows in a futile attempt to flap their ears.
While they were still struggling, I asked whoever could do so—to raise his or her hand; and at the same time, I slowly raised mine into the air. They were all incredulous and couldn’t contain their glee, moving closer with their eyes riveted on me. I began to exhibit a talent I recognized when I was their age and hadn’t performed in so many years. They all moved closer to ensure that my ears were really moving—their eyes flashing with delight. How many students have a teacher that can wiggle his ears?
And I ask myself, how many grandfathers have an opportunity to be refreshed in the company of such a joyous collection of children? Yes, I can give my ability to wiggle my ears, but these little tykes can give something back that is priceless.
The blessing was mine.
Terry Douglas

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Meditatioin — May 15, 2014

Posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Scripture: As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another, forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; you must do the same. Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ reign in your heats, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful. Colossians 3:12-15
Prayer: I walked seemingly swiftly in the bright morning, taking delight in the breeze, the fresh smell of the fields, the buoyancy I felt in every step—with as much joy as I experienced on long runs in the past across fields and along desolate roads. Is joy immeasurable? I have come to believe so, especially when I know it is a grace that I haven’t earned.
Response: Surely, the joy you are experiencing is the gift of the Lord for which you are inspired to demonstrate increasingly compassion, generosity, humility, gentleness and patience.  But don’t neglect forgiveness from which your soul glows in the Lord’s love.
Can you see that each of these ingredients of love are manifested in the present, that is, you cannot demonstrate these aspects of the heart in the Past—it is too late; and not in the Future—it is too early; but Now you can, filling each surprise encounter with a stranger, or an expected union with a loved one, with any and all of the ingredients of love that flows freely from you as you wash away any previous tendency to judge and rule.
Waking up with that sense of joy in your heart is an indication that the Lord reigns in your heart—even at those times when past losses or future anxieties seek to distract you. Yes, be bold and stare down adversity—but do it gently, realizing that the peace of Christ reigns in your heart.
All for this morning.

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