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Wednesday, September 24, 2014


“The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities.”
~James Allen, from As A Man Thinketh

"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field…"
~Jesus, Matthew 13:24

I invite you to participate in a little exercise today.  As you go through your day notice all of the things you encounter through your senses and imagine who was the first to ever dream it. Who was the first ever to envision a fork, a coffee mug, a piano, a concrete sidewalk? - You get the idea.  I think you'll be surprised at how many fulfilled dreams surround us!

All the things we know as reality were once ideas, visions, dreams of someone.   This includes not only the positive that grows from thoughts of joy, peace, abundance, and generosity, but the negative things in the world the grow from thoughts of anger, fear, scarcity or greed.

Having done this for a while, then begin to notice your own thoughts and dreams.   What kind of seeds are you planting?  What are you bringing into reality in your life and our world?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it."
~ Melchizedek to Santiago in Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist,  "

The news around our house this week is the arrival of a new dog.  After nearly a year of "letting go" of our beloved family dog of 15 years, Baloo, we decided it was time.  Dog people can go only so long without a dog.

My wife Peg has recently been surfing the Washington Animal Rescue League website and last Friday night announced she had found a promising prospect that had just been posted, a five year old, black lab, retriever, chow mix.  So the next afternoon we call the WARL to see if they still had the dog.  They said someone had shown some interest and was thinking on it but had not put in an application, so off to the WARL we went.

We arrived only to discover that in the time between our call and getting there someone, probably those interested people, had put in an application on him.  The dog had been "pink carded" and moved to the non-public area.  Peg, convinced the attendant to let us at least see the dog.

As soon as we saw him our hearts jumped, but then quickly dropped.  He was just what we had been looking for but not available.  So we trudged off to look at the other dogs to no avail.

On our way out we stopped at the desk and Peg asked if we could leave our name just in case the application were to fail.   She gave our name and the lady said, "You're the ones who called before coming, aren't you?"

 "That was us."

"When you called I put a pink card on him for you just in case. The application on the dog is yours."

And as they say, "The rest is history!"

It all sounds and feels like conspiracy to me!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Just Another Day

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
~ Jesus

Slipping into stockings, stepping into shoes
Dipping in the pocket of her raincoat
It's just another day
~ Paul McCartney

It was just another day.  Thirteen years ago on this date the day began as so many had before and have since.  People awoke from a night's rest and started a new day, while others were going home after a night's work.  As the sun rose, commuters filled highways, trains, buses, and subways. Airports buzzed with normal early morning activity.   Farmers were already in fields, and sailors on seas.  People went about their morning routines, many of which included casual goodbyes to people they loved.  Most people, as we usually do, went into the day with apathetic, blind benevolence toward others and the world in general.  There were also people whose lives were filled with pain, suffering and anger.  People awoke hungry, afraid, and alone.  The sun did not shine in some places.  There were no jobs to go to, no one to say goodbye to.  It was just another day.  Yet, it became an extraordinary day.

Today is also just another day as are each and every day.  It lies before us empty.  Even though our schedules my be routine, busy or relaxed, and our plans elaborate or vague, the day ahead is still yet to be played out.  Much of how it unfolds depends on our expectations.  Things will occur beyond our control, yet we do control how we react to what happens outside our influence.

Most religious and spiritual traditions and practices teach that constantly dwelling on the past or continually dreaming of the future are discouraged because we can't change either.  What we do have is the present moment and a choice as to how we live it.  What we do have is today.  But it's not just another day, it's the only one we have.  It invites us and awaits what we have to offer.

Every morning, I find myself a different person. I’m always a mystery to myself. If I knew in the first hours of the morning, what I’m going to do, what is going to happen, what attitude or decision should I take? I think my life would be deadly boring because, well, what makes life interesting is the unknown. It is the risks that we take every single moment of a single day.
~ Paulo Coelho 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Plight of Toil and Pleasure

A questioning expression I've heard more than once in recent days is "Wasn't it just Memorial Day?"  Holidays and vacations are over, schools from pre-K's to universities are back in session, and businesses and organizations are already looking toward Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I'm thinking how appropriate it is that the week after Labor Day on which we celebrate work and working that we literally go back to work in many ways.

One day last week when I was still on vacation and taking a long walk I found myself waiting at a crosswalk along with a man on a bicycle.  We exchanged greetings and he volunteered that he was headed to work.  He said, "I sure wish I had the day off."  Then he quickly added, "But I sure am thankful I have a job."  

The "preacher" in the biblical book of Ecclesiastes tells us I know that there is nothing better for [people] than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live;moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. (Eccl 3:12-13)

This word "toil" implies that our work, or for some people the process of finding work, is not always fun and rewarding, that it can sometimes be laborious and even troublesome.  

So, this week or next when we find ourselves whimsically daydreaming of lazy summer days of rest and recreation and we are suddenly brought back to the "same old stuff" the "toil" of our workplace, or job searching, it is good for us to remember that God's gift to us is for us to " and drink and take pleasure in all [our] toil." 

This is how we, along with the man on the bicycle, can say, "I sure wish I was still at the beach, or the mountains, or wherever on vacation.  But I sure am thankful I have a job!" 

Ours is a plight of toil and pleasure to " happy and enjoy [ourselves] as long as [we] live."