Earth’s Crammed With Heaven!

Earth’s Crammed With Heaven!

I’m not a poet, but I do find this piece very inspirational: “Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees, takes off his shoes – the rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.”- Elizabeth Barrett Browning How many times have we sat and plucked the blackberries, when all of God’s creatures are straining to bring us Divine messages? We fail to see that every single piece of it is shouting out the awesome presence of God. We need God to help us “see”. We need to see what is here all along. Look at the sunrise, the cool rain, my hand, your heartbeat, that flower, this sleeping infant, the night sky and the vastness of space. They all whisper the same message of their maker: “I am good and beautiful and powerful beyond all understanding. We are always in the presence of God. God has always been there, reaching out to us through his beautiful creation. How awesome and close God really is. God is always there and we’ve hardly noticed before. God’s presence, if seen, can give every moment light and make every day a blessing. So let’s look closely at creation and we will see and hear the voice of God. Take God in. Walk with him, and his light and life, joy and peace will be yours. That’s a promise. Lord, that I might see!...
Do You Have a Full-Time Partnership?

Do You Have a Full-Time Partnership?

We are all called to live the extraordinary life that God has designed for us. We each are unique individuals with our own gifts and talents. There is a mission only you can fulfill and a song only you can sing. Oftentimes we get caught up in what others want of us. Fear sets in so we live an ordinary life, plugging through each day, putting aside our own script and living the status qto. That special job that God has assigned to us will fail. But here is the good news. We are not in this alone. Our Creator wouldn’t strand us on this earth without a “lifeline”. And that lifeline is a direct connection to God. God has the power to transform us, to take the ordinary in us and make it extraordinary. God has the power and the desire. All that we have to do is accept God as our full-time partner. This means that we each have a serious relationship, with no exclusionary clauses, a partnership that puts everything on the table. There’s a long distance between that kind of intense partnership and the cool, arms-length, episodic relationship with God that we settle for so often. And that’s a real tragedy because an occasional relationship with God yields no growth, no change, and therefore no satisfaction. Why? When we withhold so much and hide so much we put so much of life off limits that God can’t even get close to the parts of him that need him the most. Keeping God at a distance is a sure recipe for sadness. Don’t settle for rusting...
Confused?

Confused?

On the road of life there are many conundrums. These complex problems confuse us with no apparent clear solutions. We know that we were made to share in the Divine joy and happiness here on earth. But then Jesus tells us to, “Deny yourselves. Take up your cross and follow me.” Are we suppose to be happy or not? What are we to strive for? How do we do both? This seems like a perplexing problem with no clear “one answer”. But God would not put us into a situation with no way out! Now as everyone in Jesus’ day understood, “cross” means simply meaning the true work of the day,” which is the opposite of busy work or just hanging around. And how do we know what the true work of the day is? Our gifts tell us, our circumstances tell us. And the Spirit speaks the word directly to our hearts. If we are listening, we will know each day what our true work is and our joy will come from doing it. If you want to be happy, Jesus says, “take up your cross.” Don’t run away from your life’s work or from the true work of the day. Turn toward it. Engage it. Give your whole self to it. Living that way has its price. But the spirit guiding our lives will give us what we need as we need it. The alternative, running away from our life’s work and betraying our gifts, will in the end bring only pain. Jesus’ advice is relax in the Lord. Forget yourself and your fears. Hand over your...
Small Moments Big Success

Small Moments Big Success

Has your life been successful so far? How do you judge it? Do you consider what you do? Where you live? What you have? Your influence? Your power? Your bank account? All of these considerations may be motivational but surely don’t make a complete successful life. Look at all the people that society deems accomplished and prosperous… the business tycoons, the movie stars and the power brokers. They too will be judged by the “small moments”. In the bigger scheme, life is pretty simple. A successful life comes in small moments. Small moments of Kindness, we always remember how others go out of their way for us. Resolution, we celebrate our determination to “get through”. Risk-taking, we learn that we have wings and really CAN fly. Forgiveness, when we grow in spirit giving others as we pray, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those that have trespassed against us”. (There’s the measure) Failure, when we can accept, grow and even embrace failure as the other side of the coin. Fortitude, discovering our own strength that we find within, and without! Love, the affection we experience that reflects the love that God has for us. Laughter, the spice of life that let’s into God’s sense of humor. I think that God made the giraffe and had to laugh! Aren’t these the really big things that are lasting? In the end, it’s not who we think we are that counts, it’s the small moments in life that we will treasure, remember and carry with us.  ...
Life Can Be Scary

Life Can Be Scary

Remember Garfield? Garfield is relaxing in his warm cozy chair watching television, while outside a fierce storm is raging. Through the window Garfield spots one of his buddies shivering and freezing. Garfield is overcome with emotion and exclaims, “I can’t just sit here and watch him freeze. I’ve got to do something?” With that he jumps up, runs to the window, and closes the blinds! Garfield is not alone. Drawing the drapes and closing the blinds on ugly reality is not just in the comics. When we’re faced with evil, there seems to be a little voice that says, “What you’re looking at is too much for you, so you better run.” It’s the voice of fear. Fear makes us run from what is ugly, sinister or broken around us, outside us and even in us! Mentally we just can’t deal with it so we close our eyes and draw our inner blinds. We might hum a happy tune, shop till we drop, get lost in the music, or have another glass of wine. We pretend I’m OK and your OK. We don’t dare look at the problem because it can’t be fixed – now or ever. A Japanese legend says that we have three faces. The first face we show to the world, putting our best appearance for all to see. The second face we show to our family and close friends, probably a truer depiction of who we are. The third face is the one we never show anyone. That is the truest reflect of who we really are. We can be fearful of facing the truth...
What in the Heck Are You Doing Here?

What in the Heck Are You Doing Here?

One of my favorite quotes comes from Oscar Wilde writing that the two most important days in our lives are the day we are born and the day we discover “why”. God created us for a reason. We each are entrusted with a special mission to accomplish here on earth. No one else can fill our shoes or our responsibilities. We only have this one life to live, and as you’ve heard this is not a dress rehearsal. We need to be living out our “why” right now, each and every day to the best of our ability. But how do we know the will of God for us? Since God made us with all of our individual traits and unique abilities, it stands to reason that the one simple “why” that would apply to all of us is to Be Your Best Self. In order to be our BEST, we have to assess and reflect on what exactly God gave us as his investment in our earthy journey. God would not send us out on our “mission” unarmed for the jaunt. What did our Creator design us for? What precisely are we bringing to this life? What is in our personal arsenal? Consider: What are your legitimate needs? What do you require for life and the pursuit of happiness? Connection, silence, prosperity? What are your deepest desires? Are you drawn to the arts, science, teaching, sales, etc? Do you have a deep desire to be “on stage” or to “help people”? What talents do you have? Gifts? Do you have an ear for music? Are you a natural-born...