Everything in life exists in the realm of context. The Simple Question: Who are WE being that our children’s eyes are not shining? Scratch! To The Mirror: Who are YOU being that YOUR children’s eyes are not sparkling? Rather! Who are youbeing that children are not beaming? Mirror-Mirror, answer me: not a general answer; not an answer for the world; an answer to me; your answer to YOU. Show me.
COURAGE COMPASSION CONNECTION VISION Are you the puppet or the puppeteer?
COURAGE - origin: to tell the story of who you are with your own heart; evolution: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear. RECOMMENDATION: Tell the story of who you are - shhhh - with your own heart.
coward - one who lacks courage
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
Much of pain and suffering, hatred and loss, is preventable with courage, connection, compassion and vision. May our prayers transform us into stories worth remembering.
A woman was berating a girl for not being up tostandard for one who is a member of the faith. At the end of the woman's holy tirade, the girl asked the woman, "Is this how you talk to God?" The woman said to the girl, "YOU ARE NOT GOD!" The girl said to the woman, "I see," then went her way.
Permit me to present a new question.
What would you most want to do if God said you can?
"I then shall live as one who’s been forgiven. I’ll walk with joy to know my debts are paid. I know my name is clear before my Father. I am his child, and I am not afraid. So greatly pardoned, I’ll forgive my brother. The law of love I gladly will obey. I then shall live as one who’s learned compassion. I’ve been so loved that I’ll risk loving too. I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges. I’ll dare to see another’s point of view. And when relationships demand commitment then I’ll be there to care and follow through. Your kingdom come around and through and in me. Your power and glory, let them shine through me. Your hallowed name, oh, may I bear with honor, and may your living kingdom come in me. The bread of life, oh, may I share with honor, and may you feed a hungry world through me."
Amen! Amen! Amen!
I am born with potential. I am born with trust. I am born with greatness. I am created to be connected, I am necessary in this season. Ready or not, here I come.
The most precious personal earthly gift there is?
That girl's name is Felicia. She will cross paths with another woman who was in the nineth month since losing her job and was trying hard not to be bitter, but was at her wits end. They will sit beside each other across from a young man, a fine singer trying his darndest to be strong in the face of life's unrelenting barrage - discrimination, dysfunction, deciet, hatred, misdirection and division - none of these three remarkable individuals anticipating how much their journeys were about to be altered by the entrance of the lad. The lad had already left home to deliver a package to the very man they had come to meet, a man preferring to be called simply, Colin, Felicia's father. He awakens empowering possibilities in others.
OUR DEEPEST FEAR
Is Not That We Are Inadequate It is that we are powerful beyond measure It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. The Great Adventure did not end at Golgotha. Jesus was murdered there. Convicted. Discovery of his miraculous exit from a sealed grave had just taken wind.
Peter, Didymus - I call him Diddy - Nathanael, Zebedee’s big boys, and two of The Remainder, surely still grieving, must have had amongst many questions this one: now what?
“I’m going fishing,” the mandingo, master fisherman Peter said.
“We’re going with you, bro,” the others said, and so they went, fishing a fishless sea. Or so it seeemd, for they tried in vain 'till morning. Peter was naked by then. Standing ashore was a man.
No one on the ship knew who it was.
The man spoke: “Any meat, bros?”
“Nope. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. No meat. Weeds.”
“Cast nets on that side; you’ll find plenty,” the man said.
And! Fish galore. Bulging nets.
Oh My God! The loved one declared, "It is the Lord.”
Peter, at hearing "It is the Lord," had such an OMG moment he jumped into his coat and dropped into the sea.
"Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity." Chimamanda Adichie. Let's embrace all of our story. Let's own it all. Let it stand and it will stand the test of all time. LET'S WIDEN OUR VISION.
The HARD Question
What if God tapped your shoulder, and say, “Hi.” Don’t faint. What if God then says, “Let’s have a chat. Sit here.” You sit. Trembling. The restroom is not near. What if God then says, “You know, I notice you stumbling around in the dark looking for my plan for your life. It's as if you imagine me a sneaky little devil who enjoys you banging your shin against wood and falling on your nose, singing ‘Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!’ OK! I'll grant you: your life is a bit funny. Well! What if you do me this little favor: show me what my plan for your life should look like from this moment forward. If you don't believe I trust you that much, just humor me.”
If you are an aspiring musician - listen. If you are a teacher - listen. If you are an aspiring inspiring leader - listen! If you are a parent - listen! If you are a person - LISTEN. If a sound can reach your ear - Listen. Don’t give up; just LISTEN.
LET YOUR HEART TELL YOUR STORY How many shiny eyes are around you now?
"How precious are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with You." ~ David in love.
"Dare to Live." This is your life; only YOU can live it.
OPEN OUR EYES
EXPAND OUR VISION
Clippings from the pages of history.
And the Lord said to Joshua ...
be strong and of good courage
be not afraid
for God is with you
wherever you go.
This bit is from a fascinating story, which followed the death of Moses. Check it out, for indeed it is far better to search such things out and discover with one's own eyes and ears and heart and mind the details in context, societal relevance withstanding, and in a manner that allows fruitful understanding . . . and then to thinkof such things, lest in history's repetition lessons far better learned at the origins are harder earned repeated, time shifted, and quite likely not with equally as amiable characters.
Within this chapel, we strive continually to uplift, encourage, inspire and challenge each other to achieve our best in mind, body and spirit. We live, laugh, love, look, listen & learn.
new segment coming
ON THE WALL
"I just watched my father."
Our Weekly Personal Story Or Reflection (repeated)
As you know, I love the Book of Psalms, ever since a wee kid - its sounds, its rhythms, its poetry, its musicality, its grandness, the very soul of it.
Maybe it was the comforting sounds of my mother’s readings in the wee hours of sparkling starlight and, none too later, of me reading - whispering really - to us, that drew me into its cocoon.
It is pure wonder, I now know - and I am grateful - that I came to this book much like I would any other: reading from beginning through its middle to its climax, pausing here and there at wonderful gestures, observing amazing panoramas, experiencing the heights and depths and swirls and swivels of its drama, its passions and emotions, in the very manner I would traversing the vast terrains of any good book - aye, even a great book - yes, even partaking of its sumptuous meals, drinking its barrels of wines and inhaling its exotic aromas.
Oh, the joy of being!
I thus escaped the pitfalls, the dredges, the swamps, the swirling oceans, tsunamis and super-storms trapping billions who raid these books, grabbing dribs and drabs, as they do other scriptures, being thrilled by sparkling bits - a piece here, a strip there, a tare expounded upon so well, stretched thin and poured over aplenty - all stored and sniffed, like cherished baseball cards.
Now, I do know, many have gathered great gems, which brought great riches, solace, and so on, and so forth, simply by owning these marvelous fragments, and by exchanging them in the market place, multiplying them a thousand fold, which, all in all, attest to the absolute wonder and incredible brilliance of scripture. Aye, its mighty power.
I do, however, also witness many good folks trapped - unable to swim to shore, or see the lighthouse, or climb out of deep holes, or escape dungeons - holding tight to that solitary plank keeping them afloat having been unduly caught in a storm, or onto a raft right and ready when their ship sank, or onto an aging limb that has kept them alive from a long fall; I too would want these there were it my turn, so I cannot afford to fault them; for these holding on so tightly are enduring witnesses to survival. To hope! Should these let go, who knows, they might drown or be swallowed up in a sink hole, or be singed by the dragon’s fire - a regrettable loss.
Unless! Unless a strong arm comes.
That being as it may, having come to the Psalms my childlike way - un-expounded then, and in full joy, even an escape, a comfort, a retreat, a shelter from the storm, a bunker beneath the battlefield, for so often it was - I still visit its many places, spots, scenery, and windows of wonder, which, for whatever reason, have captured my linger during those early jaunts.
Such is Psalm 139. A remarkable spot. It still lifts my pimples. It still comforts.
Seeing David there, and me living vicariously through him in those moments. Awesome!
Like a boy in a battlefield, knowing God will never leave his side, or abandon him to the enemy, a God who is more than any conqueror, capable way beyond any that can be imagined, with a reach so very far and so very wide.
Like a lover, desiring, longing, wanting; being assured that his lover will not slip away, or hide, or be unfaithful, or abandon him, but continually find him to be pure joy.
Like a king, who can sleep, never having to fear for his crown.
Oh to be David! A man after God’s own heart!
So it came as a hefty surprise, years later, discovering that Yo Massah had gotten hold of Psalm 139, like it is a baseball bat ready at the door of de-slaves; that it’s got de-slaves trembling at every reminder that Yo Massah is there in every moment, under de bed, atop de ceiling, in de outhouse, all across de bushes, listening to all conversations, ready to whip backsides and bash in faces with big swings of de-big-unbreakable-bat, for there’s no place to hide, pig-children - none - the only escape is to toe Yo Massah’s line.
Oh, Lord, what a marnin! I is done seen the devil. Got no mercy! Eyes of fire. Heart cold as ice. And look just like ordinary. Mhm!
Well! Here is that bat! That whip. That chain! For whosever shall own it. Psalm 139.
And here is comfort, everlasting ease, almighty assurance, enduring strength, total loving, sweet serenity: Psalm 139.
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