Tag Archives: blessing

longer tables!

This Facebook post is a perfect illustration of my philosophy. Life is not about hording and keeping what we have received. Life in all its fullness only comes through being open and generous. Caring, sharing and giving makes life worthwhile.

A truly thankful heart is one that wants others the enjoy the same gifts we have received. Sharing, even a meager crust, is far better than eating a banquet alone. We don’t need thicker walls and taller fences. We need longer tables.

Farewell, Mr. President!

For eight years we have been blessed with a scandal-free First Family. I, for one, will miss President Obama’s quiet dignity and deep strength in the face of all the hatred and opposition he faced from the moment he took the oath of office.

History will bear record to his accomplishments. He has exemplified true servant leadership and has led our nation with intelligence, wit, humor and true humility.

We now enter a new era where the new leader of our nation thrives on lies and scandals, cannot communicate a clear thought and reeks of racism, xenophobia and bigotry. I, along with most of the world, am holding my breath as the United States begins a perilous journey led by an ego larger than the nation, itself.

Farewell, President Obama, and God bless you. You are already missed.

everybody can be great…

My hope for the new year is that we all learn the joy that comes from serving those most in need, May each of you be blessed by love; the love you receive from those around you, and the love you give for the least of these among us. May your hearts be filled with grace and your souls with peace.

for some reason

Vonnegut nails it. There are far too many who call ourselves Christians that still live with Old Testament values. As Christians, we have been set free from the law of retribution. We live in the grace of a crucified and resurrected Christ.

The four Gospels in the New Testament are our fullest accounts of the words and teachings of Jesus. Nowhere in those four Gospels can you find Jesus blessing anger, hatred, malice, revenge or even justice. Instead, He lifts up, both by word and example, the values of love, caring, compassion, forgiveness, nonviolence and living in peace.

It’s far easier to seek revenge, to retaliate and resort to violence in response to wrongs. But, that is not what Jesus taught. It’s not Christian.  As Vonnegut says, give me a break!

Vengeance, retribution and the need to return violence for violence are all born out of fear. Perfect love casts out fear. It’s just a shame more of us who claim to follow Jesus cannot live as He taught us. Our world would be a far better place.

a prayer for those in need of food

Most merciful God of all creation, I come to Your throne of grace this morning with praise and thanks for all the rich blessings you have bestowed so freely upon all your children. I worship You and offer unending thanksgiving for Your love, Your justice and Your sustaining mercy.

I ask for special mercy this day for those crushed by poverty and those oppressed by forces beyond their control. I pray that those in the shadow of starvation may see the light of your presence in the form of life-sustaining food and that the hungry everywhere might be fed until they are filled.

Open our hearts, Lord, that we may see through Your eyes. Help us to love our brothers and sisters even as You love us. And let Your love, Your mercy and Your grace flow through us as we strive to meet the need of the least of these among us. In a world so richly blessed there are none that should lack daily bread. My prayer is that You would empower us to do whatever needs to be done to see that Your gifts are shared with all our family.

Allow me Lord to be a true ambassador of reconciliation. Grant me the strength to be a real peacemaker. And may my life be a clear reflection of Your love  and compassion in every situation.   Amen

worth the journey

In less than 4 hours I am supposed to meet the rest of the VIM team at RDU. We will repack all the team gear and make sure all of us are squared away before we check in for the flights that will ultimately take us to Yei, South Sudan.

The rest of the team have been traveling  by church bus since 0530, coming from Kingsport, Tennessee. I arrived here in Raleigh yesterday afternoon to take care of some Stop Hunger Now office work and to pick up a couple of items for the trip I couldn’t find in Lynchburg.

Those who have traveled overseas extensively know that the next couple of days can not be cataloged under “fun.” But the destination is definitely worth the journey.

Once we arrive in Yei we will be immersed in the work of making a difference in the lives of those whose need is real and immediate. We will be blessed in countless ways every day.

And when we finally have to face the long journey back home we will be exhausted before we begin, but full of a special joy that comes from doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons. Yes.  The destination is definitely worth the journey.

a prayer for hungry mothers

Gracious God and glorious Creator, as we celebrate Mother’s Day and give thanks for the love and care provided by our mothers, we recognize that your love and your care sustains all of us, and even this planet we call home. We give you thanks for your presence in our lives and we thank you for all we have received from our mothers.

Yet, Lord, we know that even as we honor our mothers, there are millions of mothers who are not so blessed. Help us remember those mothers around the world this morning who face hardships and dangers we cannot begin to imagine. Be with mothers everywhere to lighten their burdens, provide relief from their worries and grant them rest from their unceasing labor.

We pray especially for all those impoverished mothers around the world who are stalked by the shadow of hunger of hunger, those mothers who live in constant fear of famine and must fight every day just to provide enough nourishment to keep their children alive. The love those mothers feel for their children is no less than the love our mothers had and have for us.

Be with hungry mothers and hungry children everywhere this morning. Help us honor them as we honor our own mothers. Let them feel your love, and let them be fed.  Amen.

making work sacred

The kind of work we do does not make us holy but we may make it holy. However “sacred” a calling may be, as it is a calling, it has not power to sanctify; but rather as we are and have the divine being within, we bless each task we do, be it eating, or sleeping, or watching, or any other. Whatever they do, who have not much of God’s nature, they work in vain. – Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart, the 13th century German theologian and mystic, reminds us that there is no work that is more sacred than any other. All work has a sacredness to it, and all work give us the opportunity to grow in God’s grace.

In Eckhart’s view it is the divine spark within each of us that sanctifies the work we undertake, not the other way around. We make the work we do holy by the holiness we bring to it. That’s yet another good reason to do everything to the glory of God, even the most menial of our daily tasks.