Tag Archives: joy

The Language of Love

As I mentioned on yesterday’s post I am excited to be working on the final proof of my latest book, The Language of Love: Ecstatic Poems in the Sufi Tradition. This isn’t a book filled with romance and passionate liaisons. Instead it is a collection  of Sufi inspired poems dedicated to the ecstatic joy of the all-encompassing love of God. The poems take their form from the works of the Sufi masters, such as Rumi, Hafiz and others, but are crafted to speak in a tone we all can understand.

My goal for the book is for readers to be immersed in the reality of God’s presence, and to understand that all creation is a love note from the heart of God. It’s a different perspective on spirituality, but one I feel is desperately needed.

I’ve attempted to cut through the heart of religious doctrine in The Language of Love, and demonstrate the pure, simple truth of our oneness with the divine. And, hopefully, in less than a month, The Language of Love will be available on both Amazon and Kindle.

living on the edge

I believe the entire universe was created for our joy. Yet, most of us live lives of fear and insecurity, preferring the cramped confines of our little boxes to the freedom of the unknown.

Life in all its fullness will never be found in a box.  Only when we have the courage and the audacity to escape the rigid prisons of our own design will we finally experience the glorious freedom for which we were created.

The path to true joy follows the edge. And that path can never be found while in the false comfort of a box, even one made of gold. Jump out of your boxes and into a creation waiting to grant you “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” You won’t regret it.

a Palm Sunday Prayer

God of unfailing Love,

We come before you on this day with thankful and joyous hearts because your love knows no bounds. No boundaries, limits, or obstacles—including those of our own making—can thwart your loving kindness from following us all the days of our lives.

Yet during this week, your story of passion mirrors to us how we have tested your love and spurned your compassion. You find no abiding place in those who welcome you in God’s name during this week; you are welcomed with short-lived praise and soon-aborted allegiance.

We kneel before you in awe of the Mystery of your faithfulness. We kneel before you with confession, acknowledging our complicity with friends and enemies alike who through the ages have disowned you through our words and actions. We kneel before you in gratitude, forever thankful that even during passion week your love held strong.

As we enter into Holy Week brace us with fortitude and gratitude and with the assurance that you are with us, world without end. Amen.         Rev. Thomas Hall

new national values

President Carter nailed it with this comment. And as the recent Presidential election has so clearly demonstrated, most of us do not care about Christian values. We voted our fear instead of our faith. We put our faith in change rather than in love.

The man we have chosen for president does not reflect the values of Jesus Christ. I do not care about parties, tags, or even promises. But, I do care about a visible, historical record of lying, greed, fraud, hatred, vengeance, bullying, racism and a serious lack of self control.

I (and the entire world) have witnessed all of those in our president-elect. It’s the way he lives. It’s his lifestyle. What I haven’t seen is love, caring, compassion, joy and a desire for justice.  We have elected a leader that reflects the opposite of Christian values.

Electing Donald Trump as our next president is a clear statement of our new national values. And they are anything but Christian.

a prayer for Advent

This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.

Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen

a joy I find nowhere else

It’s almost 5:00pm and I am on my way home from India and Nicaragua. I am feeling a little ragged around the edges, but it will definitely be good to sleep in my own bed tonight.

I am currently in Atlanta. My flight gets into RDU after 9:00. By the time I get my car and get on the road it will probably be around midnight before I see Lynchburg. Since we left the hotel just a little after 5am that makes for yet another long day, but nothing a good night’s sleep won’t take care of.

I thoroughly enjoyed my brief time in Bangalore. But, the time in Nicaragua was like a cure for all that ails me. Being back in the field brings a joy I can find no where else. It makes all the stress of long flights a long layovers bearable.

I’ll be glad to get home…but the truth is that I would far rather still be in the mountains of Nicaragua working to change the lives of the least of these among us.

the happiest folks

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Booker T. Washington was absolutely spot on with his assertion about the happiest people are the ones who do the most for others. The more we reach out and actually help those around us, the more joy we experience.

The deepest joy we can know is to give ourselves for others. Severing those whose need is the greatest brings a satisfaction and and joy found nowhere else.

It’s about giving. It’s about serving. It’s about loving. It’s what makes life worth living.