Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Reason for Thanksgiving!

This clip came in an email the other day, "The story is about Channing Moss, who was impaled by a live RPG during a Taliban ambush while on patrol. Army protocol says that medivac choppers are never to carry anyone with a live round in him. Even though they feared it could explode, the flight crew flew him to the nearest aid station. Again, protocol said that in such a case the patient is to be put in a sandbagged area away from the surgical unit, given a shot of morphine and left to wait (and die) until others are treated. Again, the medical team ignored the protocol. Here's a short video put together by the Military Times, which includes actual footage of the surgery where Dr. John Oh, a Korean immigrant who became a naturalized citizen and went to West Point , removed the live round with the help of volunteers and a member of the EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) team. Moss has undergone six operations but is doing well at home in Gainesville , GA. I think you'll find the video absolutely remarkable."

Friday, October 1, 2010

Saying Grace.......

Luke 22:19 And he took the bread, and gave thanks...

Acts 27:35 ...he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all...

Matthew 14:19, Mark 6:41, Luke 9:16, John 6:11 "...and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his diciples..."

Matt 15:36, Mark 8:6 "And he took the seven loaves and the fishes and gave thanks..."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Prayer of Humility

I was challenged by a friend to pray the prayer of humility. It's difficult but I'm giving it a try. Join me?

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being loved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being honored,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being praised,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the desire of being approved,
Deliver me, O Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being despised,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged,
Deliver me, O Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected,
Deliver me, O Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

Additional information:

To be taken with love for a soul, God does not look on its greatness, but on the greatness of its humility.

—St. John of the Cross
The Sayings of Light and Love, 103

AS YOU PRAY the Litany of Humility, you ask for three different graces that will allow you to live a genuine Christian life. These are the graces

1. to set aside your attempts to make yourself feel “special” through the acceptance and admiration of others;

2. to overcome your repugnance to feeling emotionally hurt by others;

3. to seek the good of others in all things, setting aside all competition, even at your own expense.

Still, let’s be careful that this is done in a psychologically healthy manner.

First, it’s good when our work is recognized and appreciated; the spiritual point is that we shouldn’t crave this admiration as an aspect of a personal identity, but that we endeavor to accept all benefits of our work in praise of Christ, who emptied Himself for our sake, who suffered for us, who died on a cross for us, and in whose service we do our work. But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Galatians 6:14).

Second, we all feel hurt when someone insults us; still, the spiritual point is that we don’t need to build up psychological defenses to protect ourselves from the pain of being insulted if only, even in our deepest hurt, we always endeavor to trust in Christ, who alone will protect us from all danger. Be not afraid, as Jesus says repetitively throughout the Gospels.

Finally, although “placing others first” runs counter to natural self-preservation, the spiritual point is that, if we really trust in God, not only can we stop competing with others to satisfy our pride but also we can endeavor to notice the needs of others, looking on others with compassion, in the hope that they might be saved from damnation because of their own desperate obsession with self-preservation. Nevertheless, our concern for others must not take on a form of masochism or self-defilement; in all of our charity to others we must never relinquish the responsibility of developing our talents to the fullest, so that we can serve Christ effectively and joyfully, in pure love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Special Gift

A friend sent this to me. What a great reminder that each of us are special because of the one who created us!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guitars, James and Will Bowen

I probably am not a 21 day "complaint free" champion, because I think this “United Breaks Guitars” youtube video is funny. I don’t think Dave Carroll is complaining. He joyfully and creatively informs United Airlines of a mistake they made that needs to be put right. Which they did!

However, I am in a perpetual state of self-improvement. I am currently working on two self-improvement projects. The first is memorizing the book of James. Sounds like a big goal and it is! Too big for me but I like meditating on the words as they roll around in my head trying to land and lock in their correct order. I’m still in chapter one.

When I face trials of any kind these days, the words of verses 2-5 come rushing in: “consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”

The second is to go 21 days without complaining, gossiping or criticizing! I found this challenge in the book by Will Bowen, "A Complaint Free World". I wear his plastic, purple bracelet I ordered and it reminds me not to complain, gossip or criticize. I have worked on this for over a year now and have yet to earn my “Certificate of Happiness” from the author. I refuse to give up and continue indulge in humor which blossoms in complaint, gossip and criticism.

What do you think?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Reality by Mom

I love Anita Renfroe’s “Mom Song”, don’t you? It’s real. Often times there is no pay off for Mom in the present but I have lived long enough to realize that motherhood has it’s own reward.

A simple, “Hi, Mom!” from an adult child is all I need to make any sacrifice worthwhile. You see it on national TV, NFL football players waving and calling out to their moms. When Google went public the first action twenty-something founder, Larry Page did after the opening stock price settled in at $100.00 was to call home and talk to his mom. Writer, Ken Auletta, in his book, Googled, the End of the World as We Know it, describes it this way, “As the car doors closed, recalled Mayer, Page pulled out his cell phone and announced,“I’m going to call my mom!” The others pulled theirs out and chorused, “I’m going to call my mom!”

There is something about calling mom that makes whatever is happening real! We are going to be walking around in our kids heads, forever! Long after we are gone our “Mom’s Song” will still be playing.

Got to run, my phone’s ringing!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Wisdom's Call

It was a bold experiment: Place a renowned violinist in the D.C. Metro during rush hour and watch what happens! Would people stop and listen to classical music played on a 3.5 million dollar violin by the handsome young celebrity disguised as a street busker?. He stood in the busy L’Enfant Plaza. He was superb. He was loud The result: No accolades, no applause from the 1,000 plus people who hurried past. The violinist was ignored. Then, a woman stopped and listened. She recognized the violinist and the significance of the performance. I want to be that woman, but would I? I hurried past my Bible today in a stack of books and catalogs. Disguised as an ordinary book, it cried, “Read me, read me!”.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: "To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. O simple ones, learn prudence; acquire intelligence, you who lack it. Proverbs 8:1-5

Prayer: Thank you, for pouring out your thoughts and making your words known. Help me to take ten and listen.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Be Available, Be Content

The  packing list warned:  “Hi-Tech clothing is not cheap.”  Undaunted, I prepared to face the hostile environment of nature in the Peruvian Alps.  I was a part of a trekking team distributing newly translated New Testaments to remote villages located in the rugged Cordilleras Negra.

I arrived there well equipped with tough lug soled, ventilated hiking boots, alloy-tipped hiking stick and polypropylene clothing.  I was confident that I had done had done a good packing job and was well prepared.

“I have everything I need--except next time I would throw in one of those towels with compressing properties,” I told the director of missions, adding,  “you know the ones, super absorbent but fast drying.”  He looked at me, and said, “Don’t think about what you need--think about how to use what you have.”

I looked at him, standing on the mountaintop, dressed head to toe in cotton, wearing second-hand tennis shoes and saw a ready vessel for God—a contented man. Humbled, I started to reflect on familiar Bible stories, a papyrus basket, coated with tar and pitch, a tent peg and hammer, a little oil and empty jars, five smooth stones from a stream, shepherd’s bag and a sling, five loaves and two fishes.  God uses possessions and people that are available. I resolved to take the first step necessary to be used by God—be content.

Ecclesiastes 6:7-11                       
PRAYER:  Lord, help me to make the best use of what I have.  Make me a vessel ready for the extraordinary by possessing an available and contented spirit; in Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Hi-Ho-It’s Off To Work I Go

“One Bible per family.” I told the principal as he handed me a hardboiled egg in exchange for a stack of Bibles.  High in the Cordilleras, the Peruvian Alps,   glaciered peaks and rugged, remote territory surrounded me.  The school in this tiny village was the first stop in a five day trek to distribute the newly translated New Testaments.  Outside the school building, I began to peel the egg, dropping the shell on the ground.  A small boy ran up and began to gather the tiny pieces of eggshell.  The principal, seeing my embarrassment explained that every day, each child in the community receives a glass of milk and some oatmeal from the government, a slice of bread from a non-profit and a hardboiled egg from the telephone company.  He continued, “Here at school we compost and teach the children stewardship: how to care and feed the soil.”  The boy’s example caused me to examine my life, with an attitude of gratitude. Did my life exhibit the same simple, immediate obedience to my heavenly Father? Did I hurry to obey His voice?

PRAYER:   Lord, when you say, “Go and work in the vineyard today.”, let my response be, “Yes, Lord.” Followed by simple immediate obedience; through Christ Jesus. Amen.
                                                      S.M. Merchant—Lakewood, CO

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  “But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” James 1:22