Saturday, June 30, 2007

praying & doing

My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won't be fulfilling God's will unless I go out and do the Lord's work.
-- Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

downward mobility

The society in which we live suggests in countless ways that the way to go is up. Making it to the top, entering the limelight, breaking the record - that's what draws attention, gets us on the front page of the newspaper, and offers us the rewards of money and fame.
The way of Jesus is radically different. It is the way not of upward mobility but of downward mobility. It is going to the bottom, staying behind the sets, and choosing the last place! Why is the way of Jesus worth choosing? Because it is the way to the Kingdom, the way Jesus took, and the way that brings everlasting life.

-- Henri Nouwen Society

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

something to puzzle over

I am both Muslim and Christian, just like I'm both an American of African descent and a woman. I'm 100 percent both.
-- The Rev. Ann Holmes Redding, an Episcopal priest in Seattle, explaining to the Seattle Times that she is also a practicing Muslim.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Independence (Peace) Day

The title to this post is also the title of the message I will be bringing at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church in Mounds View next Sunday. For the address & map, click here. The service time is 9:30 a.m. I hope to see you there!

Monday, June 25, 2007

get rid of mirrors

Read Abbot Thomas' comments about our self-centeredness here.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Our children are more important than our work. They are more important than our days on the golf course or hours in front of the television. The legacy we leave is not how much money we earned or what level of status we received. The legacy we leave is our children. Take delight in them. Have joy in them. Laugh with them.
-- Thom S. Rainer

Friday, June 22, 2007

Are we providing answers?

In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.
-- Howard Hendricks

Thursday, June 21, 2007

our mistakes

Dudley Moore: "So would you say you have learnt from your mistakes?"
Peter Cook: "Oh yes, I'm certain I could repeat them exactly."

For spiritual insight re the above, contemplate Romans 7:14-20.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Beaver Lake

Sounds like it should be a resort up "North" at the "lake" -- but it's not. Beaver Lake is the name of the church where I often fill in for Pastor Charlie when he is gone -- as is the case next Sunday.
To find the church, check their web site. During the summer there is only one service at 9:30 a.m. followed by an adult discussion group. My message, Do We Fear Jesus? is on the Gospel lesson for the day, Luke 8:26-39.
I would love to see you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


-- Claude Presbyterian Church

Monday, June 18, 2007


I am a rose of Sharon, ...
Song of Solomon 2:1

Saturday, June 16, 2007

doing love

Often we speak about love as if it is a feeling. But if we wait for a feeling of love before loving, we may never learn to love well. The feeling of love is beautiful and life-giving, but our loving cannot be based in that feeling. To love is to think, speak, and act according to the spiritual knowledge that we are infinitely loved by God and called to make that love visible in this world. Mostly we know what the loving thing to do is. When we "do" love, even if others are not able to respond with love, we will discover that our feelings catch up with our acts.
-- Henri Nouwen Society

Thursday, June 14, 2007

When Death Comes

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up having simply visited this world.

-- Mary Oliver

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Doubt breeds doubt,
calm breeds calm.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I will lie down in peace and take my rest,
for it is in God alone that I dwell unafraid.

Let us bless the Earth-maker, the Pain-bearer, the Life-giver,
let us praise and exalt God above all for ever.

May God's name be praised beyond the furthest star,
glorified and exalted above all for ever.

Monday, June 11, 2007

difficult people

Jesus had to deal with a lot of difficult people. Here are FOUR methods he modeled through his life:

1. Realize you can't please everybody (John 5:30). Even God can't do that! One wants rain while the other demands sunshine.

2. Refuse to play their game (Matt. 22:18). Learn to say no to unrealistic expectations. Confront them by "telling the truth in love."

3. Never retaliate (Matt. 5:38-39). It only lowers you to their level.

4. Pray for them (Matt. 5:44). It will help both of you. Let God handle them.

Rick Warren

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Read Abbot Thomas' comments about what we carry. (click here & go to the bottom of the page)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

a real martyr

Quoting Andrew Sullivan, "Islamists might want to take a look at the life of one Father Ragheed Ganni, a Chaldean Catholic priest, in Iraq."

They killed him on the Sunday after Pentecost, after he had celebrated Mass in his parish church, dedicated to the Holy Spirit, in Mosul.

They killed Father Ragheed Ganni, a Chaldean Catholic priest, together with three subdeacons who were with him – Basman Yousef Daud, Wahid Hanna Isho, and Gassan Isam Bidawed. The assailants led Bidawed’s wife away, and struck down the four men in cold blood. Then they placed vehicles loaded with explosives around their corpses, so that no one would dare to approach them. It was late in the evening before the police in Mosul were able to defuse the explosives and collect the bodies.

"The Eucharist gives back to us the life that the terrorists seek to take away. Without Sunday, without the Eucharist the Christians in Iraq cannot survive": that was how Fr Ragheed spoke of his community’s hope, a community that was used to facing death on a daily basis, that same death that yesterday afternoon faced him, on his way home from saying mass.

After having fed his faithful with the Body and Blood of Christ, he gave his own blood, his own life for Iraq, for the future of his Church.

This young priest had willingly, knowingly chosen to remain by the side of his parishioners from Holy Spirit parish in Mosul, judged the most dangerous city after Baghdad. His reasoning was simple: without him, without its pastor, his flock would have been lost. In the barbarity of suicide attacks and bombings, one thing at least was clear, and gave him the strength to resist: "Christ,” Ragheed would say, “challenges evil with his infinite love, he keeps us united and through the Eucharist he gifts us life, which the terrorists are trying to take away."

The full story.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

serving God

The gender I was assigned at birth has never matched my own true authentic God-given gender identity, how I know myself. Fortunately, God's gift of medical science is enabling me to bring my physical body in alignment with my true gender.
-- Transsexual United Methodist pastor Drew Phoenix, 48, who was reappointed pastor of a Baltimore church by the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church after undergoing a sex-change operation and taking on a new name during the last year.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Psalm 42

I "borrowed" this picture from my bird blog since it reminded me of Psalm 42:

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I am fine

I am fine. I am slightly older than I was yesterday.
-- Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, 75, speaking about the return of his prostate cancer.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Oak Grove Landmark Missionary Baptist Church


Saturday, June 02, 2007


Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.

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