Monday, December 28, 2009

What is in store for the New Year?

As we get closer to the end of the year, it is traditional to look at making New Year's resolutions.  Some of us may look at losing weight or getting more organized.  Many of us make our resolutions based upon what is seen on the outside.  Improving how we look is not as important as improving how we live and love.  It occurs to me that my main resolution for the new year is to work on developing my relationships.  I need to be more mindfull of the people in my life.  In the long run is doesn't matter whether we lose weight, although that may be an important aspect of good health; becoming more organized is good, but in the long run is relatively unimportant.
How we treat people is really what is important to a healthy life.  How we love is what is ultimately important in our relationship with God.  I am going to assume that if you read my blog on a regular basis, you are concerned with your relationship with God.  Following the will of God means "loving your neighbor".  Loving is not just an emotion, it is a choice that we make.  Jesus came to show us how to live.  He came to show us how to love.  He died for us as an example of the ultimate test of love.  In God's eyes, we are all his children, which makes us not just neighbors, but family. 
This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to go out to eat breakfast with several friends.  We ate together, we shared stories, we laughed and in doing all of this we displayed the true meaning of family and displayed love for one another.  It was a simple meal, but it was a powerful experience for me.  I went feeling a little down, and left the meal feeling very uplifted and loved.  These are the moments of my life that I will remember.  These are the moments that I want to experience more of in the new year.  I enjoy spending time with family, friends, and people in general.  However, sometimes, I do not put enough emphasis on my relationships.  I sometimes put more emphasis on work and getting things done, rather than on loving the people in my life. 
God loves us and wants us to love one another.  So, I will try to keep that in mind as I go through this new year of 2010.   I will try not to let the business in my life keep me from caring for the relationships in my life.
So when making resolutions this New Year, look at what is really important to your healthy life.  Make love a priority.  You will not be disappointed. 



"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Today is the day we have all been waiting for.  Christmas is here.  We have shopped, cooked, planned and prepared and given thanks for all the blessings that God has given us.  I hope that it has been spiritually uplifting.  I hope that all of you have experienced the love of God through the love of your family and friends. 
Christmas should be about patience, love, charity, compassion, and forgiveness.  I hope that you have experienced these gifts today and will continue to experience them throughout the new year. 



"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve-Still looking for the right gift?

Have you gone out today, Christmas Eve, stilling looking for the perfect gift.  You probably want to buy something that displays your love for your friend or spouse or family member.  You will probably spend more that you can afford to get this gift so that the giftee will be happy.  The sad thing is that the giftee may not react the way you wanted or expected.  This may leave you with a sad feeling. 
God gave us many gifts, but the most important gift we have received from God is the gift of his son, a part of himself.  Do we recognize the gift? Do we appreciate the gift?  God's gift of himself and of love are always there.  His gift of unconditional love is always with us. This gift will never go out of style, never wear out, never break.  We may loose it occassionally, but we can always count on the fact that it is never far from us and never gone completely.  I thank God today for his gift to me.  It is the only gift that I take with me everywhere and no matter how much I share the gift with others, my share of it is never diminished. 

Merry Christmas to all

Enjoy the following tribute to God's gift.

One Solitary Life

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself...

While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.

Over nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.

I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.

This essay was adapted from a sermon by Dr James Allan Francis in “The Real Jesus and Other Sermons” © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled “Arise Sir Knight!”).

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If it does no harm, let it go.

I was talking with someone who works with Alzheimers patients and in dealing with them she learned that "if it does no hearm, let it go". 
Now what does that mean?    The literal version in the world of the Alzheimer patient, means that if they are not doing something that will actually hurt them or others, don't get so worried about correcting it. In my heart I believe that God is looking at us in the same way.

How can that advice be used in my daily life?  Can I get stuck with getting angry over a toilet seat being left up?  The act of leaving the toilet seat up does no harm.  Do I get mad if the toothpaste is squeezed down the center and not curled up as I would like it?  The act of squeezing the toothpaste does no harm.  Do I blow up if a glass is not put into the diswasher, but left on the counter? The act of leaving a glass on the counter does no harm. 
I guess what I am saying is that we have to treat each other with the same kindness that we would if someone were ill.  This person you jump on and criticise could be someone that you love and yet you are not going to let them get away with doing anything that you think should not be done or critizise the way they handle a task. This to me really goes hand in hand with having an understanding of what it means to show forgiveness. When we forgive, we have to let it go and move on.   Sometimes letting it go is very difficult.  We feel we must have things our way or we feel that it is the wrong way.   Our way is not always the correct "highway". 
But as Christians we should always be looking at ourselves, examining our actions, correcting our thoughts so that they are more in line with what Jesus would think or feel or say. 
"What Would Jesus Do?", should be our mantra.  This entails thinking and living with love, compassion,  and forgiveness as the leading factors of how we behave.  Your focus should not be about what someone has "done to you", but instead of what you might have "done to others".  Taking on the mind and heart of Jesus is the call of all Christians. It is a moving away from the selfish and moving toward the self-less.   As we get closer to the celebration of the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day, focus on letting go of what does no harm. 

May the Holy Spirit bring you the wisdom and peace to enjoy each other and the season. 


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ultimate Gift

My husband and I hosted a great Christmas party yesterday at our home. It was great because the people seemed to be having a good time and they were happy. There were lots of laughter and just plain old Christmas cheer. It was not great because of anything we did, but it was great because it gave people an opportunity to get together and share their stories and their lives. Many people remembered loved ones who were no longer alive, many remembered past Christmases when they were children, and many just shared of themselves with those who were there.
As we approach the celebration of Christmas, the birth of Jesus, I think about the gift that God gave to us. It was truely a sharing of life in the literal and spiritual sense. Even though we are busy with all of our Christmas preparations, we should think about the reason why we are celebrating. The real reasons for celebrating are the gifts we have received in love, life, and community. God gave us his son as a gift of love, compassion, and forgiveness. Those are treasures beyond words.
The ipod or TV or socks you give to someone will wear out in time and will need to be thrown away. They are surely nice, and the gifts I receive from people are truely appreciated. However the gift that will never wear out, quit working, or become lost is the gift of God's love for us.
Enjoy your celebration of Christmas, but don't forget to thank the ultimate gift giver, God.
May you recognize God's blessings in your life and find peace during this season.


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Friday, December 11, 2009

An Attitude of Gratitude

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

I am in Denver for a graduation this weekend. It has been a great time to reconnect with family and count blessings. God has been very good to me. I spent a wonderful lunch with my two stepdaughters just talking about all the wonderful things in our lives. It is so easy to become negative and focus on things that are going wrong. You have to develop a habit of looking at the bright side of things, things you can be grateful about. I realize the I have been very blessed in my life with family and friends that I love to spend time with.
It is easy to find fault with everything and everyone especially when things do not seem to be going our way. But, don't you know people who are always happy. They can be very annoying, can't they. Always looking on the bright side, always looking for the positive. These people also seem to be happy most all of the time.
Getting into the habit of being positive and grateful can also make for a happier person. You probably also know of someone who is always negitive, always going through some type of disaster. There is always something wrong with their lives. They also seem to be very unhappy
God has given us such a beautiful world. We just need to recognize it and be grateful for it.
It is worth a try, anyway.

Peace and love to you all.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recognizing your Gifts

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

First I have to say a big "thanks" to my daughter, Katie. I appreciate her support and of course, her love. I am grateful to God for her and feel very blessed to have someone like her in my life.
She is a gift.

That ties in to what I want to say today. At this time of the year, we are busy shopping for gifts for the people in our lives. Giving is wonderful. It is a delight to see the happiness in the face of someone who has just received a gift. However do we stop to think of all the ongoing gifts we receive from God in the form of the people in our lives. You may not remember the gift someone gave you ten Christmases ago. But you will remember the kindness and love you received from someone, all your life.
During this time of the year, we celebrate the gift that was given to us over two thousand years ago in the form of Jesus. He is our ongoing gift. We are all fortunate to have this great person in our lives who was willing to die for us. This is the ultimate gift.
We are also gifts from God to each other. Think of the people in your life who are there for you in times of great happiness and also great struggle. In the cards you send out to one another, thank someone for being a gift in your life. In, addition, remember that you are a gift to others. Don't worry if you do not get the absolute right gift for someone. To that person, you are the gift.
So, at this time of gift giving, remember to acknowledge the ongoing gifts in your life. Remember to acknowledge the love and friendship that freely come from these gifts. Also remember to thank God for these gifts. Really enjoy the season of Christmas, surround yourself with your gifts. We celebrate the gift of Jesus during this season. It is not so important that we remember the date of his birth. It is important to remember this gift of love.

Peace and love to you all.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Where is God in Your Life?

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

It has been a while since I have posted anything. It would be an excuse to say that I was very busy, but I was. My book has been published and you can find it on
The title: Where is God in Your Life?: Three Retreats in Christian Spirituality.
Sounds like a lofty title, but it is not meant to be so. All that is meant to do is to pass on a message. This is a message which certainly did not start with me. It began about 2000 years ago with the birth of an extraordinary man. Some call him a King, some call him a fake, some call him a great Prophet. I am very happy to say that I call him God. It is appropriate that I should have "his" book published around the time we celebrate his birth. Even though the book might list me as the author, I am another instrument he has used to put forth his message of love, hope, faith, compassion and forgiveness.
When we say the Our Father at Church or at home or anywhere there is a line I find very significant. It is "Forgive us our tresspasses, as we forgive those who tresspass against us". Far be it from me to change a word in the Lord's Prayer, but I feel that the translation we recite is a little vague about God's forgiveness. The translation should read "Forgive us our sins, which we know that you do, but do not forgive us as we forgive others". I God were to hold us to our own standards, most of us would be in serious trouble. God forgives us inspite of the fact that we do not always forgive others. For me, that is a great comfort.
So during this season of Advent, as "we wait in joyful hope of the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ, reflict on your own ability to forgive. Are you withholding forgiveness for someones past transgression to you? Are you waiting for someone to ask you for your forgiveness? If so, keep in mind the words of Jesus on the cross, "Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. He neither withheld forgiveness, nor waited for his executioners to ask for his forgiveness. He gave it freely with no strings attached; no hoops to jump through, no begging, but forgave out of love and compassion.

Enjoy this blessed season of waithing for Jesus. He has come, he is coming, and he will come again.

Peace and love to you and your loved ones.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We are not self sufficient.

Spirituality is the quest for a connection with God, the Divine Creator, or the higher power that put us here. Spirituality is a lifelong journey that cannot find completion until we leave this life and attain full communion with the deity of our quest. Prayer is an important way that we construct this relationship with God or higher power. We all think that we know how to talk to God, but we do not always know how to listen to him. My spiritual journey has taken me from a reliance on self to awareness that self is not sufficient. It has taken me from a belief that success is related to power and acquisition to the knowledge that success is related to my connection with God and knowing that everything good comes from God.
Life is a journey and we are all travelers. The spiritual journey is a quest to find the meaning to life, the secrets of creation, or to connect with the higher power that put us here. My spiritual journey has put me on a road that has taken me from the depths of despair and desolation to the heights of joy and fulfillment. I have not found God, because he was not lost, but I have found my path to God. God had been patiently waiting for me to allow him to lead me and in the passage of time, I have become trusting enough to allow him to do so.

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Monday, August 24, 2009

How shall we live?

How Jesus lived His own life as a human shows how we are to live ours (John 16:25-28). In His own life, Jesus lived simply. He was deeply in love with everything and everyone living, from God down to the simplest creature. He was gentle and compassionate, especially to those who were ostracized by society (Mark 2:17). He never gave an appearance of self-righteousness, but had a genuine humility and meekness and an understanding of others (Girzone 1998).
It is revealing that Jesus chose a wedding party for the launch of His public ministry (John 2:1-11). The news of what he did probably spread like wildfire, alerting everyone in the surrounding area to His kindness and His remarkable gift to the bride and groom. Kindness seems to be the message that Jesus wanted to precede Him, to disarm people so that they would not fear Him. Everything about Jesus spoke of simplicity, being born in a stable, living an unknown existence, showing nothing out of the ordinary except when some need called forth His extraordinary power to heal or to comfort.
It did not take long before this simple preacher aroused the hostility of the religious leaders. It is very strange how they could feel so threatened by a Person who preached only the highest of ideals and spent His days comforting and healing, and His nights in prayer. Jesus, however, did not allow Himself to become obsessed with their criticisms and harassment (Mark 12:13-17). He concerned Himself with relationships, with His Father and with the people. Jesus said to love one another (John 15:9-17). He also said that the kingdom of God is here! We are called to live in God's kingdom now. Why does Christ's teaching seem so confusing? It is confusing because His message was not merely aimed at conveying information. It sought to precipitate something more important: the spiritual transformation of the hearers (Dwyer 1999). Transformation comes about through relationship. God's actions came about due to a desire to be in relationship. God loves us and wants to be in relationship with us. What a blessed thing!

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What is Christian Spirituality?

Christian spirituality describes the whole of the Christian's life. Christian spirituality is an orientation to self-transcending knowledge, freedom, and love. It will illuminate our ultimate values and highest ideals perceived and pursued in the mystery of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit in the Church and practiced in the community of disciples. That is to say, spirituality is concerned with everything that constitutes the Christian experience. It is concerned specifically with the perception and pursuit of the highest ideal or goal of Christian life, which is an ever more intense union with God disclosed in Christ through life in the Spirit.
Christianity Spirituality is the quest for a fulfilled and authentic life. It involves taking the beliefs and values of Christianity and weaving them into the fabric of our lives, so that they animate, provide the breath and spirit and fire for our lives. Christian spirituality is the desire to live our lives following the example of Jesus Christ. We are to live a life constituting selfless love, compassion, and forgiveness. Christian spirituality is expressed in the community of the faithful because to be truly Christian requires a relationship with God and with others in God’s family.
Christian spirituality is the way to internalize the message of Christ, so that we live it out in our own journey. Experience has taught us that in this life there is no absolute security or lasting peace. It is important to remember that our security can only be found in trusting Christ with all we have and all that we are, being certain that He will never fail us. It is our participation in the life of God and the model for the way in which each of us listens for His Word.
Through Christian spirituality, we come to know that we are lovable persons and that God loves us at this moment and accepts us as we are. We discover that Christ is not just a historical figure, but also one who lives with us continually. We learn to let go of whatever prevents us from entering into a life of perfect freedom in Christ.


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jesus came to heal us

Jesus came to bring us the good news of salvation. But what does salvation mean? Throughout the New Testament, the words "save," "saved," and "salvation" have their root in the Greek "sozo" which means to save, to rescue, to deliver, to protect. "Sozo" is also translated in the New Testament with the words heal, preserve, save, do well, and to make whole. The Greek "soteria" (which has it’s origin in “sozo”) is the main word translated "salvation." "Soteria" is also translated to deliver, health, salvation, save and saving. One can learn the full meaning of a Greek word by studying the scriptures where it is used and the way it is interpreted. You can easily see from the previous definitions that "salvation" means much more than a soul’s preparation for Heaven. In Romans 1:16-17, the Apostle Paul writes, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God for salvation ("soteria") to everyone that believes… For there is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith."
Jesus came to bring us salvation, which means He came to rescue, deliver, protect, heal, and save us. He came to make us whole and to reconnect us with the God who loves us. He came so save us from our sin, our despair, our loneliness, our fear and our lack of faith (Mark 4:35-41).

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Everyday there is an Opportunity to Meet God

God knows you best. He created you, uniquely. It is not likely that Jesus is going to walk up to you like he did to the apostles and say directly, "Come, follow me." Instead, God will guide you through prayer and experiences. Pray quietly, pray often, "God, what do you want me to do with my life?"


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Question of the Day

How do you know that God is near? Or if you don't think he is near, where do you think he is?

We do not need to find God, we only need to recognize that God is already in our lives. God is continually working in our lives, but many of us do not feel or see this work. What is offered is the humble quest of a God who, in the person of Jesus, comes to reveal His love and beg our love in return. Communication with God is essential, just as it is in any relationship. Communication is how we make the connection and build our human relationships; we learn to connect the same way with God through the communication called prayer. Communication is not so much what we have to give God, but is more a living with God, a meeting with one who loves us unconditionally, a personal relationship in which it is truly God who does the giving, the giving of Himself for us. The experience of being fully present in this personal relationship with God could be described as an altered state of awareness .
Each of us needs to fully grasp and understand just how much we are loved by God. Because of His love for us, God is intimately concerned about every aspect of our lives. We cannot just acknowledge God intellectually, but we must feel His loving presence. We must acknowledge His presence within us, and understand the sacrifice He made in dying on the cross in order to demonstrate the extent of His great love.

Peace to you.

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Does life really work for you?

Do you feel you need something more in your life? Are you looking for a spirituality that will give your life purpose?
Through Christian spirituality, Jesus speaks to our darkness with His eternal message of love. We all long for true spiritual connections that transcend our hurried existence and from which we can leave our world of the temporary and changeable and secure a sense of the permanent and unchangeable. We can only receive this security by developing our relationship with God/Jesus. Security will not come from a new age therapy, from the accumulation of wealth, nor from any of our earthly relationships. We must come to Jesus, embracing our spiritual bankruptcy and brokenness, and seeking His love and acceptance. He is continually reaching out to us, waiting for us to finally acknowledge Him and recognize His presence in our lives. Christian spirituality is ultimately about love, service to others and selflessness. Give Jesus a try, you may just like his message.


"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How do you meet God?

I realize every day that God is not out there in space waiting to snatch us at death. God is an active God. God is with me everyday as I go through my daily life. God is there, but I must make the effort to see God.
It can be difficult to encounter God while the focus of our lives is on the importance of earthly power and possessions. We cannot notice God working in our lives when we do not take the time to stop and notice anything. We do not know how to step out of the world of progress. We are moving so fast through our lives that we take no time to notice what is happening around us when the noticing is not necessary to fulfill our goal. In essence, we are programmed not to accept who we are, but we are driven to judge ourselves and others by earthly success, productivity, and accumulation of things. Consequently, we have no real appreciation for ourselves or the others we encounter. We are trapped in a jail of our own creation. At some point, we discover that these goals of success, productivity, and the constant drive to acquire things do not fill or satisfy the soul within us. We burn out from what has become a road to spiritual death. We look for someone to convince us that we are of value for who we really are, not what we and our culture chooses to label us. We look for someone who we do not have to prove that we are worth something. We look to connect with the Creator, the Savior, and the Spirit of the God who loves us. Our soul yearns to make that connection and to feel whole, to feel significant, and to feel loved. We may search, but we have not learned how to make this connection. Have you seen God today?

Peace until tomorrow

Monday, August 10, 2009

God is always with you

Every day is a gift from God. We can spend the day disliking what we do. We can spend the day being angry and hurt, sad and alone. We can do that if that is what we want to do. Instead, I prefer to spend the day looking at all the good that has occurred in my life. I lost my job last October, but I did not lose my husband, children or grandchildren. I lost my job, but I did not lose the love God has for me. I lost my job, but I am still alive and able to find something else to work at. I lost my job, but I did not lose heart, because I knew that God was with me. I lost my job, but did not lose what was really important to me, my faith. There is always a plan that God has for us, but sometimes a door has to close for another door to open.

Each of us needs to fully grasp and understand just how much God loves us. We need to see how He is intimately concerned about every single detail of our lives. Reading that God loves us in His Word and understanding that He died for our sins, can still be merely intellectual pursuits. However, receiving His Spirit and experiencing His Life in and through us, is something we can never deny as being ultimate, personal love (Girzone 1998). However, the way in which to feel that ultimate personal love is not readily apparent to us.
Unfortunately, our culture encourages the need to be constantly in motion. We have the need to be productive and fill all our time with something. We become nervous when we encounter empty space, when there is a gap in a conversation, when we do not know what to say, when we are sitting in a waiting room and there are no magazines on the table to read. For most people, just doing nothing is unthinkable.
It can be difficult to encounter God while the focus of our lives is on the importance of earthly power and possessions. We cannot notice God working in our lives when we do not take the time to stop and notice anything. We do not know how to step out of the world of progress. We are moving so fast through our lives that we take no time to notice what is happening around us when the noticing is not necessary to fulfill our goal. In essence, we are programmed not to accept who we are, but we are driven to judge ourselves and others by earthly success, productivity, and accumulation of things. Consequently, we have no real appreciation for ourselves or the others we encounter. We are trapped in a jail of our own creation.
Move out of your own jail and find out what it is God wants you to do. You may already be doing it, or you may need to leave something in order to do it. Do not be sorrowful. God is with you.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Why am I blogging?

I never thought that I would be posting a blog. I am not one to put personal information on the internet. However someone suggested that I post a blog about something that I am passionate about. That made it easy. I am passionate about my belief and faith in Jesus. Hopefully this month I will be graduating with my Masters Degree in Spiritual Formation and Leadership. Spirituality and relationship with Jesus is the focus of my degree and my life.
In the process of getting this degree, I have had to do a massive thesis paper which is approximately 416 pages long, not counting PowerPoint presentations. It will give me alot of information which I will post on this blog. It is my desire that my blog will bring a little of my experience of Jesus to those out there who may be searching for meaning in their lives.
I will try to post something spiritually uplifting every day.
Never forget that you are unconditionally loved by Jesus for just who you are.

The essence of spirituality is the sense of knowing that God loves us. We must know this not only in our heads, but also in our hearts and in our everyday lives. God loves us so much that He sent His only son, Jesus, to die for us in atonement for our sins. His love was not determined by our actions, but on how much He loved us. He loves us first and it is our quest to discover how through His love we can be transformed into vessels of love that He pours out to our world.

Keep this in mind as you go through your day. Remember you are loved!