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Showing posts from 2013

A Lesson In Contentment

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It’s another white Christmas in Colorado, complete with sub-zero temperatures. It was a perfect day for meeting a friend at a nearby coffee shop. There we were welcomed by a delightful ambiance of soft holiday music and the smell of coffee, hot cocoa and pastries.
Sitting by the window, we heard Salvation Army bells ringing outside as shoppers scurried around in the snow wearing layers of colorful sweaters, hats and gloves, and thick socks in warm boots. We began talking about homeless people in the frigid conditions. My friend told me that she sees the same man on the same corner every single day on her way to work. Her eyes filled with tears as she described the poor man with tattered and torn clothes and how he is always accompanied by his dog. “But this dog is always so happy” she added, “His tail is always wagging as greets those passing by. No matter what, he’s happy”, she noted. To the homeless man’s companion, all is well with the world as long as he is by his master’s side. As…

Signs of the Times

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This is the time of year when the Colorado weather becomes unpredictable. Nights are getting colder and days bring frequent downpours. I met a close friend last night who lives on his motorcycle as much as possible. He also keeps a close watch on weather patterns as part of his job requirement. When I told him about never knowing when I should ride my bicycle or catch a bus he smiled and said that he sees coworkers who get stuck for lack of planning and it makes him shake his head and think "common guys, didn't you hear the forecast?" (or worse - perhaps they heard but chose to ignore it).

Jesus made a similar comment. "When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign o…

Who's Your Daddy?

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While lounging quietly on my balcony, my attention was drawn to the ruckus below. There, on the sidewalk, a screaming little boy threw his body at his father's feet in a fit of rage. It was readily apparent that he did not get something that he was convinced he both needed and deserved.

I could not understand most of the little guy's words. However, his emotional display spoke volumes.

I watched as his father stooped down at eye level. The boy looked down at the ground with pouting lips. Then the man said calmly, "look at me." Refusing to look up, the boy's shoulders shook with each dramatic whimper. Then the man gently placed his hand under his son's chin and repeated, "I said look at me." The boy's big blue eyes were filled with tears as looked at his father. "That was not okay", the man said. "Do you understand me? You will be punished if I see that behavior again. Do you understand me?" The boy slowly nodded.

Then the man s…

Invaluable

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Today I found myself musing over shelves filled with cracked and worn out trinkets at a local antique show. Many items on display were more familiar to me that I'd like to admit.

As I picked up a rusty Folgers coffee can filled with tiddlywinks, a woman behind me exclaimed, "look at this!" Thinking she was talking to me, I turn around and realized she was speaking to an elderly woman who was slowly making her way over. "Doesn't she look just like Aunt Elsie?" The frail woman's voice quivered as she answered. "What an uncanny resemblance! Remember those ginger cookies she used to make and how she let us help her in the kitchen?"

I listened as they journeyed back in time. "Oh yes, and she would read the story of the gingerbread boy while they baked in the oven.  I can still smell them", she reminisced, slowly running her finger over the frame.

Walking away, I thought about how much more valuable the memory was that they shared than the…

Pass the Salt

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The takeaway from last night's church service was blog-worthy.

Like all of His parables, Jesus' analogy of salt had multiple, profound meanings. Living near the Dead Sea (the lowest and saltiest place on earth), He was speaking to a culture who was keenly aware of the many purposes for salt.

The first and most obvious use is to add flavor to the otherwise tasteless or bland. We are to bring something special to the table, or as the Apostle Paul later put it, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone" Colossians 4:6.

The second use is as a preservative. The people of that day knew better than most of us how important salt was as a preservative since they didn't have refrigerators. They depended solely upon salt to maintain what they relied upon for sustainance.

Another important point regarding salt is that it burns when it gets in a wound. I told a story in a previous blog about being stuck on t…

Beloved: The Last Supper - Mike Donehey - Video Journal

What most don't understand about the Last Supper. A short clip - great explanation. About a 15 minute watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOaWb7AIVVc&feature=youtu.be

What's Inside

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When doing an outreach for the homeless one winter, I met a man who I will never forget. Like the others, his clothes were torn and ragged. But instead of going with them through the food line, he sat down at the dusty old piano in the corner of the room. His old fingers began to glide over the keys and the most beautiful music I'd ever heard filled the air.

Looking around in astonishment, I noticed that no one seemed to notice him. Not one person even glanced his direction! I nudged the woman next to me and said "Lisa, do you hear that guy? Oh my gosh, he should be playing in some concert hall to a crowd of thousands, and he's homeless!" She responded that his name was Joseph and he was well known in the city.

Finally, he stopped playing and came through the line. Holding out his tray, I put a scoop of mashed potatoes in the corner. "You're amazing," I smiled. 

He leaned forward and with the wink said, "so are you!"

After that, I couldn't sto…