Free donut

Virtue and a donut — what do they have in common?

Well, the connection became apparent just a few minutes ago.

Upon leaving a favorite and familiar haunt, our local and close DD, the cashier announced “you are receiving a free donut and coffee today because you are polite and often say “thank you” after an order.

What a pleasant and unexpected surprise!

Simple acts of gratitude often embroider the tapestry of my life. This part of my emotional and spiritual DNA comes from faith, family, and community.

Paul wrote in a similar vein centuries ago to a community in Thessalonica (1 Thess. 5:18 NIV) “in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Yellow Umbrella

Stories about memories of the past for persons for now.

While stories occur in written form to be used for centuries and even millennia, a current form of stories and parables appear in creative short videos.

There is one called Umbrella.

Simple everyday things from the past contain the seed for wisdom and remembrance of people and places of yesteryear. Such a word does exist!

In the video mentioned above, a yellow umbrella evokes a memory which moves from the present, to the past , to the present, to a message.

Find things around your house: show them to people you know, your kids; and, if applicable, to your grandkids.

Who knows what story will emerge from a pin, a wedding dress, and old tie, a watch, or…

Here is the link for the video mentioned above, : https://youtu.be/Bl1FOKpFY2Q

A man named Joel, not Billy Joel, offered the wisdom in the following statement: “Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:3

Unforgettable Bacon

One adjective remains in my mind and on my heart as a powerful force, expressing and eliciting so many memories and feelings — unforgettable!

One the one hand…

Positive Unforgettables flood the mind and cheer the soul.

Photographs “old school,”not in digital from the past elicited awe and wonder. Just yesterday a 20-year old’s “wow” expressed a desire to meet grandparents whom she never met.

The aroma of frying bacon entices the nose and then the body to get out of bed and run to the kitchen to get the bacon before anyone else sadly to only be beaten by the dog who was faster!

These memories fill and enrichen the soul and in anticipation and hope for even more.

On the other hand…

2020 created pain and wisdom.

The pain birthed lessons to be learned and lived.

One and half million deaths in our country create stressful memories for multitudes untold and never fully counted.Those memories can stick in our minds, piercing our hearts.

We will and should always remember those who have died.

Millennia ago, a prophet wrote in a time similar to ours “… do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up…” (Isaiah 43, 18-19 NIV)

Do not dwell — live in the present!

I believe in a God who created life and continues to create new life as a gift to be accepted, embraced, and shared.

UNFORGETTABLE — that’s what You are.

https://youtu.be/JFyuOEovTOE

Battery Low

“Battery low” chimes in the background, reminding me to plug my outdoor Bluetooth speaker into the charger.

Events in life remind all of that we need to be both “be recharged” and not having our battery run low or die.

Recharging stations in the Walgreens parking parking offer Tesla drivers to keep their car batteries charged for another day of driving.

Chargers abound to keep our phones and tablets charged.

Percentage icons remind us to keep our devices charged.

YET

How often and much do we pay attention to our faith percentage — how do we keep our faith charged?

Crabbiness, moaning, and arguing with the TV remind me that my faith and faithfulness need to be recharged.

Daily Bible study, pray and writing offer recharging times and stations.

Regular Bible study groups keep me in contact with others.

A writer centuries ago put to words his experiences “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8 NIV

Even Aretha Franklin reminds me to pray for others.

https://youtu.be/7Ifw8JhDBvs

Battery low!

The Aroma And Taste Of Coffee

As few minutes ago, the signing and chirping of the birds announced that a new day has begun.

The morning sun slowly creeps over the horizon to usher in a new day of…

Dark nights can be tough and even painful, wrenching the body and soul in pain.

YET my morning alarm of the chirping robin reminds me that a new day of life and hope awaits to be embraced like a newly born infant, full of new life and promise for the future.

I am a morning person.

Brewing and drinking coffee accompanies my time with God in the morning.

The aroma enters my nostrils and delights my tongue, awakening my soul to a new day of life and hope, through God’s word and Word to be shared with others.

A choice is out there to say either “Good morning God,” or “Good God it’s morning.”

Mourning and morning sound the same and may be the same unless…

A writer centuries ago offered the following of his choice: “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NLT)

My prayer is we may see the joy, receive the joy, and be the joy for others!

Each Day

One day at a time

A little more…

Opportunities abound to grow

Earlier today a quote which spoke volumes

Here it is

“As Christians, our task is to make daily progress toward God.

Our pilgrimage on earth is a school in which God is the only teacher, and it demands good students, not ones who play truant.

In this school we learn something every day.

We learn something from the commandments, something from examples, and something from Sacraments.

These things are remedies for our wounds and materials for our studies.” (excerpt from Sermon 16A,1)

Making daily progress towards God, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.

Well worn, long time friends on the road

Sounds Of Spring

Great!

I hear you

For the first time

In a long time

Just outside

The garage door

My office windows

On the path on a walk.

Great!

Your melodies

Entice me

From winter gloom

Into spring hope

I hear you

Be you

Robin

Chickadee

Song Sparrow

Yellow Warbler

Great!

Your song

Reminds me that

Spring

New life

Hope

Beckons

I hear You

Great!

May I listen to

You

So that

I can listen to others

Sing their song

O LORD, our Lord,

your greatness is seen in all the world!

PSALM 8:1 GNT

https://youtu.be/tSU_NlNHP0c

Revere and Hold Dear

O land

Once so bright

Now so dark

I am troubled when I see 

What we have done.

Our darkness

Our capitol has been invaded.

Sacred spaces have been defiled

Where are You God?

We are blowing out

The light

Our country

Is now darkened

We are battering

We are  beating

We revile

Rather than revere

Our sickened faith

Needs Your vaccine

Come from Your heavens 

Renew Your world

Rebuild Your world

Restore Our World

Teach us to revere

We have made a mess

Only You can bless

Only You can build

We must learn to

Revere

Hold dear

Those different than us

We seem blind

To the see our sin

We seem deaf

To hear the hurt

We must learn to

Revere

Our ears are blind

To other ways of being and loving

I believe

Only You

Only Your Power

Only Your Presence

Will rebuild

Will restore

Will rebuild 

Will teach us to

Revere others

We believe You are

Here with us

When we revere

Another person

Another gender identity

Another way of loving

Oh

Show Your Presence

Show your Power

THEN

We will

Revere

You in others

And now we say

And now we pray

Show Face

Shine on our darkness

Turn our morning into

Dancing

Frolicking

“When we revere Your Name

Then Your sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.

We will go out and frolic…”

In the spirit of Malachi 4.2 NIV

Start Small

Some words loom large and strong in our vocabulary and lives.

These words boom and announce great things for the future: large, enormous, gigantic.

Other words offer less appeal and seemingly even lesser of a future.

“Small” neither beckons nor attracts.

YET

The life of Thomas Edison clearly shows that a small, first steps need to be taken, accompanied with diligent action. He tested more than 6,000 combustible materials until he reached a satisfiable solution. https://www.biography.com/inventor/thomas-edison

How about a stock that started small and grew 743%? Tesla!

How about starting with one person, then 12 apostles, them 72 disciples, beginning in a small despised part of a country who would become the body of believers now known as Christians?

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin …” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT).

Start small today!

Just Down The Road

In ZOOM conversations a continuing focus which grabs elderly and relatives of the elderly is ”how can I get my first vaccine?”

During countless hours these persons have called, have researched, have filled out forms to receive the vaccine.

Sometimes these actions and hours have been fruitful, sometimes fruitless.

Carol and I, and our kids have definitely fit into those categories.

Then at one point, I had a sense that Carol and I would get the vaccine — no matter how persistent (my nickname in high school was Bulldog).

A growing sense grew in me — just ahead the shot is coming.

And we did get our first and second shots!

The seed of trust grew in us and sprouted forth.

In a series of bible studies the following appeared.  

“It is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2.13

In my belief life God is working in our life when…

When I believed that, then that vaccine shot happened, accompanied by required action.