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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grateful for Good Friends!

This week I'm on my 18th annual S3 (Study, Sabbath, Service) Retreat with 3 colleagues and friends, Skip Dunford, Bill Owens and Jeff Sockwell.  The four of us met in the summer of 1989 at Greek School as we began studying at Columbia Theological Seminary.  Graduating together in 1992 we moved to different parts of the country to begin serving as pastors.  A few years after that, we decided to get together for a week of lectionary study in Montreat, NC, and as the saying goes, "the rest is history."  After 25 years the bonds of friendship are as strong as ever.  It's good to be with good friends! We're having a great week of stimulating conversations, golf, hiking, and spending a few hours in service at a local food program.

So, having shared this, and in lieu of my regular offering, I offer for your reflection a daily email I have received for the past few years called "Daily Gratitude" by Wes Hopper.  Here is today's message of "Daily Gratitude."

"I love the smell of the 
 Universe in the morning!" 
             Neil deGrasse Tyson

I think it's great that Tyson's quote is
capable of expressing the joy, beauty and
optimism that it does. Can't you just
feel the excitement of a new day in what
he says?

I like it even better because of its history.
Tyson has taken a deeply negative and
nihilistic quote and turned it into poetic

The original quote was from the 1979
Vietnam war film, "Apocalypse Now"
and was actually said by Robert Duvall
as "I love the smell of napalm in the

The point of the movie was that the
prolonged and inhuman violence of war
left people teetering on the edge of 
insanity. Or over it.

Most of us have a choice very day - do 
we face the day with the optimism of 
Tyson, or something more like the 
pessimism of Duvall's character? 

The difference is in what we focus on,
because what we focus on is what grows 
in our life. 

Do we greet the day with joy, do we see
beauty and opportunity, do we know 
the Universe is there to help us, are we 
glad to be alive?

If so, then we too can love the smell of
the Universe in the morning!

Take a deep breath!

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