Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Upper Room

The Living Prayer Center

The Upper Room® Living Prayer Center is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by Christian volunteers. When you call, a person will answer the phone, receive your prayer request, and pray with you. After your call, your prayer concern will be forwarded to one of 300 Upper Room Covenant Prayer Groups located all over the world. When you submit a prayer request using this web page, your request will be e-mailed to the Prayer Center within 24 hours and sent out to Upper Room Covenant Prayer Groups as well. More than 30,000 prayer requests are received each month.

A comforting place...check it out!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness did not comprehend it" John 1:5

Yesterday was the shortest day of the year. The day when the dark hours are longer than the light. For those who thrive on sunlight, it is not a happy day. But with it comes hope, and knowledge. The hope of Salvation in form of the Christ Child and the knowledge that each day hereafter will be just a little bit longer. Don't let the darkness overwhelm you, keep the Christ candle burning in your heart.

Monday, December 21, 2009

If our need...

If our need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Savior.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Music and Sand

Sand art and "Do you hear what I hear?"...a beautiful combination!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Yes, it's a movie trailer but it's just too cute! Or at least it is if you love babies(or even just like them a little bit). In the days leading up to the birth of the Child...I thought it appropriate.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Supression of Religion

Unfortunately, even in today's "enlightened" society...Religion is repressed in more parts of the world than you might shown here.

At this time of year, when we focus our hearts and minds on the birth of the Christ many must do so in secret...they need our prayers!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Freedom to Refuse Love

Often hell is portrayed as a place of punishment and heaven as a place of reward. But this concept easily leads us to think about God as either a policeman, who tries to catch us when we make a mistake and send us to prison when our mistakes become too big, or a Santa Claus, who counts up all our good deeds and puts a reward in our stocking at the end of the year.

God, however, is neither a policeman nor a Santa Claus. God does not send us to heaven or hell depending on how often we obey or disobey. God is love and only love. In God there is no hatred, desire for revenge, or pleasure in seeing us punished. God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home. But just as the father of the prodigal son let his son make his own decision God gives us the freedom to move away from God's love even at the risk of destroying ourselves. Hell is not God's choice. It is ours. Henri Nouwen

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Star

I have always been fascinated by scientists and astronomers trying to explain, prove or disprove the Star of Bethlehem. The star is a part of the oral tradition concerning the birth of the Christ Child. It's a beautiful part of the story...but not the central message. First and foremost is the birth. It is one of the first memories I have from childhood concerning the story of the Nativity. We can grasp the concept of a star, we see them every night...and the thought that God would have placed a "special" star in the sky is neither surprising or troubling. There was little to no fanfare for this remarkable event and most would not even have noticed the star. I hope those who have the need can reach a conclusion about how it happened or whether it even did. In the story that I know and love, it was there and it was beautiful...would God have used anything less?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A child

Every mother, when she picks up the young life that has been born to her looks up to the heavens to thank God for the gift which made the world young again. But there was a Mother, a Madonna, who did not look up. She looked down to Heaven, for this was Heaven in her arms. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

Thursday, December 10, 2009


December 10th is the anniversary of Thomas Merton's passing...monk, writer and man. His most famous prayer follows:

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"
© Abbey of Gethsemani

Hallelujah Chorus!

A distinctly different approach...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


For those of us who live in the sunny south, snow is not something we see very often. Sure we get flurries and from time to time we'll have an inch or two of accumulation (I know, child's play to those from colder climates but it stops us in our tracks!) but real, deep snow is a rare occurrence.

Of course everyone (or most everyone) dreams of having a white Christmas, if it could fall on the ground and leave the roads clear, but reality tells us we don't stand much of a chance in our part of the world.

For all the "bad" things we can find on the Internet, there are many "good" things too! For those who just can't get enough of the white stuff, visit Snow Crystals! They actually "grow" snow! Now if we could just learn how to do that we could pull out all our old rusty sleds and have a ball!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oh my!

I have never claimed to be a great singer. I do LOVE to sing and just because they are nice people (and perhaps as a form of penitence), the church lets me sing once in a while but this, this brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "butchering a song".

It's bad, really have been warned!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Advent, Week 2

Advent reminds us that our salvation comes from something small, weak and hidden. One might have expected God to present His only Son to worldwide fanfare. Although He was announced by angel singing, only the shepherds heard. Although He had His very own star, only the Wise Men saw.

When we despair, we need to look for the small signs of God's presence. The smile of a baby, the play of children, the blooming of a flower, the love and encouragement of friends. Today the world tries to overwhelm us with noise but it is the still, small voice of God that deserves our complete attention.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Codex Sinaiticus

What you are seeing in the picture above is a 4th Century Bible written by hand in Greek on animal skins. It contains the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. Check it out here...

Interesting to say the least! Be sure and read "Why it is important".

Thursday, December 3, 2009


TIME is:
Too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love---
Time is not.

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven"
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Advent is a time to reflect, ponder and wait. We reflect upon what we have done and the direction our lives have taken in the past year. We ponder how God's Love and Law have been applied to our lives during this time. And we wait, for the Babe to be born in the manger to reaffirm our belief.

The Christmas season can and does go against all these. Between the visiting, shopping, celebrating, gift giving, decorating where do we find the time to reflect, ponder and wait? Do we work it into our daily lives by making it a point to spend a few minutes alone with God each day? Do we attend church services with an effort to be fully present in the moment? Do we wait to the very end and hope we have a little time left to spend before Christmas Day arrives? Perhaps we put it off until we spend an hour worshiping on Christmas Eve?

Texts tell us that Advent should be marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation and of longing. We yearn to be delivered from the evil of this world. Advent is celebrated as a time of happiness as we wait the coming of the King. However you manage to bring Advent into your daily life, do it with joyful anticipation of the Birth of the Babe of Bethlehem...with a song on your lips, a smile on your face and love in your heart. He deserves no less!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lions and Lambs

While reading a favorite blog "The Anchoress" I came across the following:

From Isaiah 11:1-9
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jessie, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him: a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a Spirit of counsel and strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord, and His delight shall be the fear of the Lord. Not by appearance shall He judge, not by hearsay shall He decide, but He shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land’s afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around His waist, and faithfulness a belt upon is hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lied own with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra’s den, and the child lay his hand on the adder’s lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.

She then attributed the following to an anonymous contributor:
What is so new about the promised “mountain of the Lord” is not that the wolf and the lamb are both there, but that the wolf remains a wolf and the lamb a lamb, and yet they dwell together without harm or hurt in God’s kingdom. Under God’s rule, conversion and obedience do not mean the loss of identity but the discovery of our true identity as one in Christ.

I've never taken the time to recognize or realize this truth...We belong to God in Christ but He means for us to remain individual. He does not call us to be "cookie cutter" Christians but to be what we can with His help. He equips each of us differently but with the same purpose. What a lovely meditation of me Father how to be the best ME I can for your Kingdom...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A view from the pulpit...

Many of us look toward the pulpit on Sunday morning expecting the impossible...we want our priest/pastor to teach, affirm, reassure, encourage and lift us up according to our needs that day. We aren't active participants, we want to just sit there and have whatever we need handed to us. Oh, and the priest/pastor is supposed to know when they step up to the mike, just what to say. How can we expect one human to be all things to all people? We'll probably discuss this in more depth later but in the meantime, a little humor:

Told from a pulpit recently:
"Johnny announced to his mother one Sunday morning that he had two good reasons for not going to church that day.

'First, I am tired and need more sleep. Second, nobody likes me there.'

His mother replied: 'Johnny, I have two good reasons for going to church. First, I have to make your bed. And second, you're the priest.' "