You are at the eye doctor and it's time for the peripheral vision test. You know the one. It's where you put your head up to a contraption and have to click a switch every time you see a squiggly line. If you don't concentrate and maintain optimal focus, you will miss them and skew the outcome of the test. You can easily find yourself with a diagnosis that really isn't accurate!
Concentration and focus are key to succeeding with this evaluation. They are also key to developing a healthy, vibrant spiritual life. If we do not bring our full consciousness to the task, concentrate with all our might, be watchful and vigilant, we are not going to see God's loving presence flashing before our eyes!READ MORE
Many Americans are fascinated with England’s monarchy. For many different reasons, we are drawn to the regal pageantry and all of the protocols associated with royal lifestyles. What’s most amazing is that for all of the media attention focused on the comings and goings of English royalty, they really have very little effect on the day to day dealings of their country. Thoughts and images of kings and queens are often centered on this story book understanding of who and what they are. We associate protocols, etiquette, and proper words and actions to how we approach members of a royal family. These tools serve the necessary purpose of keeping them isolated, enthroned, and at a distance. There is something attractive about being an observer of ritual, pomp, and circumstance. It’s almost theatrical.READ MORE
God gives us the gift of His very self and asks us to invest it. Investing God’s greatest gift of Himself wisely, allows God’s kingdom to grow and flourish. God trusts us with this pearl of great price in hopes that it will produce abundant fruit. While God’s gift of self is realized in the gifts of faith, hope, and love, they are not meant to be solely for personal benefit. They are intended to be shared and are at the heart of Jesus’ blueprint for happiness, the Beatitudes.
When we properly invest God’s greatest gift, His most treasured possession, we invest in the well-being of all of our brothers and sisters and the world in which we live. We take up most seriously our call to be stewards and properly manage, not only our own affairs, but the affairs of those around and before us. God has put tremendous confidence in us. Do we have that same confidence in God?READ MORE
When doing student report cards, there was a comment the teacher could choose that read: inattentive and easily distracted. Could that comment describe your spiritual life? We can become so consumed with myriad distractions and preoccupations and lose our connection to what is really significant and important. We can become dull. This happens in our human relationships, too. We can easily take the love of others for granted, whether it be a parent, spouse, friend, or a child. We assume and presume that their love will always be there and do very little to cultivate, rejuvenate, and deepen it. Presumption can become a great sin.READ MORE
I remember as a child the meticulousness my father would bring to a task. Whether it be tending to a chore in the yard, repairing something, or painting a room, the tiniest of every detail demanded his attention. He had great patience. I benefited greatly by his example and remember these lessons well. We all need examples to follow. It is important to identity folks who excel at simple things and show us how to do things well.
There are those among us and those who have gone before us who serve as these models and witnesses. They are ordinary people who in their “extraordinary ordinariness” capture our attention and allow us to see things more clearly. These are the prophets, martyrs, teachers, witnesses, heralds, and innovators who bring a single-minded devotion to God to even the simplest of tasks they perform. They have an openness to being used and become vessels of Divine justice, mercy, and presence.READ MORE
For some reason, it is easier to genuflect in reverence to the presence of Christ in the tabernacle of a church than to genuflect in reverence to the same presence of Christ in another person’s soul. We wrongly believe that God divides himself, placing himself in one place in preference to another. It doesn’t work that way. Love of God and love of neighbor are intimately and inseparably connected because the essence and spark of God’s very presence is in all creation. God’s presence is just as real in the one who is good, as in the one who is bad, and the one who is just, and the one who is unjust.READ MORE
Nobody enjoys paying taxes. Despite our displeasure in being forced to do so, we also realize that the monies generated from taxes allows governments to provide essential services for its people. Corruption really gets our goat, however. When we witness malfeasance, overspending, irresponsibility, and dishonesty in governmental spending, the grave injustices make an already unpleasant and arduous task even more difficult. The inappropriate distribution and use of hard-earned monies can leave a person quite angry and disconnected. It’s bad enough the government wants something from me, now God does, too?READ MORE
God gives us an invitation to have an abundant life. The banquet is ready, and the tables are set. Come!
There is so much to attend to in the everydayness of our lives. We have plans, after all. There is never enough time and so much that needs to be done. There is work, children, and grandchildren, paying the bills, planning for retirement, figuring out the details of our next vacation, making sure we are on top of our game with work, planning social engagements, answering emails, texts, and getting our latest pictures on Facebook. There is always something. What is this about a banquet?
God calls us to participate in the banquet of life, a banquet that can fill and satisfy us like no other. It is a spiritual feast where we kind find inner refreshment and satisfy the thirst and hunger of our souls. Do you want to come?READ MORE
Do you ever wonder why things never seem to come together? We see glimpses of consistency, equity, justice, peace, harmony, and well-being, but it always falls short. Human life is still expendable and manipulated, people are used for personal advancement, countries are at war, the economy continues to face turbulence, anger and frustration are widespread, and happiness is the possession of just a few and not the many.
Could it be that we are serving the wrong kingdom? We keep trying to make our kingdom work and find ourselves still scratching our heads after repeatedly failed attempts to do so. It is almost as if people are saying, “we’ll get it right this time if we do … ,” as if some new and secret innovation has yet to be tried.READ MORE