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Wednesday, November 27, 2013


This is the day The Lord has made.  Rejoice and be glad in it.
-Pslam 118:24

Contrary to a couple of popular mantras, today is not merely the first day of the rest of your life, nor is it the "what if" last day of your life.   Today is the only day.

One of the daily gratitude programs I have been following in recent days has me pondering this as it poses the "what if" question in today's meditation.  The meditation also links to a sobering and inspiring article that invites us into "today."

I invite you to visit both links (actually the second one is contained in the first) and on this Thanksgiving Day Eve contemplate and integrated this timeless reality into our lives - Today is the only day.

Happy Today!

And have a great Thanksgiving Day!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Leaves, Stars, And Other Visitors From The Sky

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven."
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Early this morning I had "blogger's block" so I decided get my creative juices flowing with some physical exercise by raking the leaves.  According to the DC Leaf Pickup Schedule ours should have already been out by the curb.  However past experience has taught me that the DC Leaf Pickup Schedule is at best one big guess.

As I raked and loaded leaves in a garbage can to carry to the curb (about ten trips worth), my imagination took flight remembering that not so long ago these same leaves had provided shade as we sat on the back deck enjoying warm summer mornings. I had watched the same leaves shimmer in early autumn breezes. And just recently they floated like big brown snowflakes to the ground awaiting our annual ritual of raking and hauling. It was like lulling away the morning with thousands of good friends.

My early afternoon was spent putting up the star that has adorned the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church tower the past two Christmas Seasons.  With assistance from our Church Facilities Director, Robert Haywood, who was down inside the tower and me on top the tower the star was installed. It was a crystal clear day and the view from atop the tower was magnificent, a view of Washington, DC surpassed only by that from the Washington Monument.  

With the star installed I walked a couple of blocks to grab a late lunch.  On the way back to the church I looked up to the tower and saw a very large bird perched on the edge of the tower looking up at the star.  About that time I saw Garibaldi who manages the bank parking lot behind the church.  

He pointed at the bird and said, "It's an eagle!"

"Are you sure?"  I asked

"It has to be?" Garibaldi insisted.

"But what if it's a buzzard?"

"Makes no difference."  He said smiling.  "It's still a visitor from the sky!"

Sure enough, regardless of what kind it was, a curious visitor from the eastern sky had come to see what the star was all about.

The Christmas Star will be officially lighted at a community gathering on the First Sunday of Advent, December 1 at 5:00 pm.  If you can, come join us and other visitors from the sky.




Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Last Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, a photo on the front page of the The Washington Post showed some of the unimaginable destruction from typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.  The aerial photo showed a coastal village strewn about like match sticks.  My wife, Peg, pointed out an amazing detail in the photo - among the rubble and ruin were several clotheslines where survivors were already drying out.

A friend and biblical professor at Mercer University, Rick Wilson, use to say, "The hope of the Gospel is that the worst thing is never the last thing."  Human history confirms this as well.  Regardless of natural events like typhoons and earthquakes, or self-inflicted destruction of oppression and war, or personal pain from disease and death; there is a Light of Life in all creation that always brings a new day and a new beginning, even though that path may be long and difficult.  No matter how strong the winds and waves of life may be, clotheslines will eventually appear in the sunshine.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


"Worry is like praying for what you don't want."
- unknown

"I've had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened."
- Mark Twain

A daily blog I receive recently featured on different days the two quotes above on "worry."  The first one especially caught my attention and spawned the question, "How often am I praying and don't realize that's what I'm doing?

The vast majority of wisdom / spiritual / religious teachings and literature through the ages and from numerous cultures and traditions all contain elements of reaping and sowing, of cause and effect that can be stated in the simple cyclical formula: experience=thought=action=habit=experience.   Another way to put it would be, the way we respond to our experience creates our experience.

So what does this have to do with prayer?   Prayer, without it's various formal religious contexts, concepts and rituals could be the process just described.  It could be our consciousness perceiving, engaging, and communicating with a greater consciousness which seems to be outside us, yet at the same time in which we participate.  And our participation shapes our reality.

In the Christian tradition, Jesus says,   "Do not worry about your life." and "Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive."  The Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Thessalonians, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."   

Regardless of the circumstances of our life we always have choice, and in many ways the choices we make are the prayers of our lives.  One of these choices is between "worry" and "hope."

Depending on our choice, we may too often be praying for the exact opposite of what we truly desire.