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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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Meditation – January 3, 2016

Posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way. Matthew 2:9-12
Did I err in reading the headlines before I went for a walk against the cold wind on the empty, spacious beach, as the sun was just beginning to rise? Still wrestling internally over what could happen in the Middle East, if a conflict erupts between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, I turned to scripture for today’s reading, and am brought back into the region with the Magi travelling from the East to give homage to the new-born Jesus. May my prayers be heard for peace/resolution for the region in conflict.
In a sense, you have also traveled many miles to give homage to the new born Jesus before they returned by a different route east—perhaps, as far as Persia. Could today’s message be found in the words of scripture—by a different way?
The wise men have a lesson for you as well: that you listen intently in prayer—in stillness— for the guidance that you receive and will receive for the journey upon which you have embarked, and it willnot necessarily be the route you anticipated.
There is no coincidence that the impending crisis in the Middle East has gripped your attention so early this morning. Pray deeply that this conflict can be resolved before a wider area becomes engulfed, threatening the stability of the entire Middle East and further. Praise always the Lord Almighty!
All for this morning.

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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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Meditation — May 11, 2014

Posted on Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes. Love never comes to an end. 1 Corinthians 4-8>
Am I drawn to this scripture selection because we are celebrating mothers’ day today, or am I reminded that last night a friend and I encountered a individual sitting alone and we encouraged him to join us for dinner. He was in the disguise of someone who thought he was invisible. Lord, help me to explore ever deeper the breadth of love and apply this expanding love to those I encounter.
It is difficult for you to admit now, fifty years after you proposed to your spouse—the mother and grandmother of many children—that you had and still have so much to learn about love. Patience, gentleness, and forgiveness were almost unknown to you then—at least to depth that now challenges you. Don’t you think that the truth of Paul’s words only began to dawn on you long after your committed love to your spouse, and isn’t it interesting that the truth you began to absorb was not limited to your spouse, or even your children, but has expanded to friends, strangers, and—even a surprise to you—to those whom you forgave and from whom you begged forgiveness?
So powerful is a reflection on these verses that you can recall precisely reflecting on them alone in the Phoenicia Hotel in Beirut 40 years ago. Most assuredly, you can sense the Holy Spirit now inflaming your heart once again today to plunge into depth of these verses.
Spend some time reflecting on these key words: patient, kind—not jealous, boastful, conceited, or rude; never seeking your own advantage, taking offense or storing up grievances, never rejoicing at wrongdoing. But don’t […]

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Meditation – December 23, 2013

Posted on Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Direct me in your ways, Yahweh, teach me your paths. Encourage me to walk in your truth and teach me since you are the God who saves me. For my hope is in you all day long—such is your generosity. Psalm 25:4-5>
full, gray cloud bank is drifting north above the light of morning on another unseasonably warm day—though the return of frost is forecasted in the coming days. I sit here exhausted, it seems, with the list of notes to send to those friends spread across the nation and even the world, the words of encouragement to be passed to loved ones and friends, packages to be wrapped. If the truth be known, I am a bit weary. All the more prepared I am this morning—not to resist—but to listen to the Lord’s guidance.
What better time was it to hear the prompting of your heart but after a grueling race on the open water, after a sprint or long run in your youth, or at a time when events beyond your control caused you—even forced you—to sit in stillness. So it is this morning as you are encouraged to listen deeply to the Lord in the words of the psalmist.
When have you ever learned a lesson that had eluded you in the classroom of the soul without great effort? And here, you are only, yes only, being encouraged to ask—even plea—for direction , , , for Yahweh’s teaching. And for what purpose, you might ask, and that is to walk in his truth.
>For indeed by now, you have surely realize that your hope—your only hope—is in His saving grace all day long—such is His generosity this morning and every morning following for as long as you walk the earth. Praise God.
All for this morning.

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