Spiritually Speaking Blog

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No “Risk It”, No Biscuit!

In a small restaurant backed up on the scenic ocean, a young couple stood in front of the picturesque view as the waitress held the camera for a photo. At that moment the young man took his girlfriend’s hand, lowered to one knee proposing his love. The whole restaurant hushed listening to his love and intended life together. “Will you marry me?” he asked. The diners, quiet as mice, sat forward in their seats waiting for her answer. A round of applause filled the venue as the young woman screamed, “Yes!” Wow, after wiping away some of my own tears I thought what a brave kid! Wonder if she said “no”….that embarrassing moment would be forever captured on the video in front of all of us. How important is our ability to take risks? At first I considered how risk takers put themselves in peril….Evel Knievel comes to mind. But then I remembered reading that one of the five qualities that most Octogenarians share is Risk Taking. In her book, “The Risk Factor”, Deborah Perry Piscione gives us some points to ponder to get the most out of life. Risk Takers: -Are in touch with a greater purpose in life. When we see our “greater purpose” in the Divine Plan we live a loving life, grateful for opportunities. -Generally have a lower level of fear than most people. Fear holds us back sometimes missing out on happiness. -Are curious about why things are the way they are. With this openness, curiosity creates a sense of wonder and imagination and has been linked to cultivating happiness. -They believe anything is... read more

Relax in the Lord!!

“To sit in the shade on a fine day, and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.” (Jane Austen 1775-1817)  Everyday activities can create chaos in our lives. Fear, anxiety, anger and doubt play far too large a role in our lives and sometimes kill our peace and well-being. The antidote to the poison of our unhealthy fears, angers, and doubts is our ability to relax in the Lord. And then these everyday activities can be “the most perfect refreshment”. Take these “relaxing techniques” into your everyday activities: Relax and look at the stars in the vast, night sky and see a reflection of the mighty God who made them. Relax and look at the tiny fingers of a new-born child and see there a reflection of the tender God who made every new born. Relax and look at the goodness of so many people around you and see there a reflection of the good God who created them in his own image and likeness. Relax and look at the loveliness of a single flower and see in it a reflection of the gracious God who made every flower that ever bloomed. Relax and look at the wonders of nature that surround you and see the beauty of the creative God who reveals himself to us every moment. Relax and look at all the goodness within your own heart and see there a reflection of wonderful God who made you. Relax in the Lord and know on the inside how vast is his goodness and how unfailing is his kindness. That vast goodness and kindness of God is... read more

What’s the “Best Thing In Life?”

My mom Ginny, a wonderful teacher reminded me, “you can’t buy health.” These wise words often come to mind as I hear of so many struggling with health problems. It does seem that the REAL things in life cannot be purchased, no matter whom you are. Steve Jobs, CEO and maker of iPad…iPhone etc. died a billionaire and here are some of his last thoughts and words on his sick bed. “At this moment, lying on the sick bed and recalling my whole life, I realize that all the recognition and wealth that I took so much pride in, have paled and become meaningless in the face of impending death. Five Undeniable Facts of Life: 1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be Happy. So when they grow up they will know the value of things not the price. 2. Best awarded words in London … “Eat your food as your medicines. Otherwise you have to eat medicines as your food.” 3. The One who loves you will never leave you for another because even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on. 4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only a few really understand it. 5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you have to manage! NOTE: If you just want to Walk Fast, Walk Alone! But if you want to Walk Far, Walk Together!” Yes, the best things in life are free. It’s up to us to... read more


“At the next corner make a legal U-turn,” my GPS squawked at me. When I flew past the “next corner,” the same reprimand came through once again but this time annunciating little more forcefully and with stern authority (Now you see why I call her Pearl, the “dash witch”. At last I won the road battle and Pearl was forced to give in to my way of arriving at our destination. She waived the white flag of surrender as she explained her silence, “Re-Calculating”. It’s not just Pearl who has to re-calculate, but we too. We THINK we have a destination in mind. We’ve mapped out our goals and strategies starting out with firm determination and high hopes. But like Pearl, all of us have to constantly re-examine the course of our lives. We may miss an opportunity. Our lives may swerve unintentionally. We wonder where do we go from here? How do we get there? Our lives are in a constant building process, rerouting our journey. When one phase is done, another has to begin. So how does God teach and guide us as our inner building proceeds? Usually very quietly but always persistently because most of us are slow learners. God teaches us without words. Sometimes through sadness calling us to share our gifts. Sometimes through uneasiness the Lord may be pulling us in a different direction. And sometimes through our joy the Lord may be saying, “You got it right! Good for you!” Always our Lord is there, quietly teaching, probing and showing us the way. But are we learning? Sometime not! Partly because we’re not... read more

In a Blink of an Eye

Sitting in her kitchen enjoying a morning cup of coffee with her husband, a four foot torrent of mud ravaged through my sister’s house knocking her husband down to the ground. Thankfully Larry could get up and both he and my sister hurried to higher ground. This turned out to be more of a chore than it sounds because my sister, Peggy having a knee replacement 6 days prior, was forced to flee sans walking aids. As we’ve so sadly witnessed recently that life can turn in a second, unannounced. One doctor’s diagnosis, one storm, one missed red light, one frantic phone call, or one beat of the heart. Sometimes we get so caught up in our day-to-day living that we take our life for granted. We fall into the trap of thinking that this human condition is forever. Our lives consist of a collage of all these precious TEMPORARY years, days, and minutes that we are on this earth – for better or worse. Often is takes the jolt of a tragedy to look to God for meaning. We need to remind ourselves that God is with us, and speaking to us through ANY situation. Even in the thick of turmoil, the Shared Presence of God can be felt. One phone call, one friend, one act of patience, one thoughtful gesture, one encouraging comment and one idea or one leap of faith can move us in a new direction. So let’s share this powerful gift, both on good days and bad. Let’s share this steadfast compassionate presence. Our strength, our goodness and our willingness to continue walking at... read more

The Call to Serve

It’s not WHERE you live; it’s HOW you live. It’s not WHAT you have; it’s HOW you use it. We are all called to be of service, to serve one another. Throughout the ages, wise sages from all walks of life remind us of this important message of service. A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things, which renew humanity. The Buddha John F. Kennedy reminded us that it’s not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. Jesus preached whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. (Matthew 20:26-28) Saint Mother Teresa warned that, “A life not lived for others is not a life.” How do we answer this call to serve one another? We don’t have to sell all of our belongings to enter a convent. (Although this works for some). And we don’t have be a Marine to serve our country. The call to service begins as an everyday occurrence. It is woven into our daily activities. A smile to a passerby, a phone call, a remembrance, a reaching out, an inclusion of all in our circle of caring and love. This awareness of serving others can ripple into wider circles…getting involved in charitable work, volunteering, and offering one’s services without being asked, no invitation or payment. When we look around and see the many in need of our friends, families and communities, it may seem like we are swimming upstream weighed down with a huge burden. But Mother... read more

What Matters Most?

Life pushes forward by cycles: days, weeks and years; autumn, spring, fall, and summer; infancy, teens, middle age and senior citizen; joys, sorrows, and resilience. At each of these junctures in our life, it’s important that we just don’t blindly follow the herd into the next series of events, missing our big AHA! We need to pause, REFECT, REFOCUS and RECOMMIT to what matters most. And what does matter most? In the end when all the seasons and life cycles are completed there is one question for evaluation: How did you fulfill your life’s purpose? We are put on this earth for a special reason. We are put on this earth to achieve our great self and to live out of purpose, our destiny! We have one life and we don’t want to waste it as we run from one day to the next. It’s a time for Reflection – Where are you on your journey? Are you happy? What strengths have you been given? How are you using your particular gifts? What makes your soul sing? It’s a time to Refocus – What exactly is your life’s purpose? How are you measuring up? Did God make a good investment in creating you? What are you giving back to your earthly and heavenly communities? It’s a time for Recommitment – Your journey is not yet finished. Take a deep breath, buckle up for the rest of the ride and renew your commitment to your answering “yes” to God’s daily invitations. Making sense out of your life and putting its pieces together well is no simple matter. It’s a task... read more

Let’s Be Children At Christmas and Throughout the Year!

At Christmas time I believe in the things that children do. Even Jesus encouraged us to become like little children, likening it to the kingdom of heaven. So what do the children believe? “I believe with English children that holly placed in windows will protect our homes from evil. I believe with Swiss children that the touch of edelweiss will charm a person with love. I believe with Italian children that La Befana is not an ugly doll but a good fairy who will gladden the hearts of all. I believe with Greek children that coins concealed in freshly baked loves of bread will brings good luck to anyone who finds them. I believe with German children that the sight of a Christmas tree will lessen hostility among adults. I believe with French children that lentils soaked and planted in a bowl will rekindle life in people who have lost hope. I believe with Dutch children that the horse Sleipner will fly thorough the sky and fill the earth with joy. I believe with Swedish children that Jultomte will come and deliver gifts to the poor as well as to the rich. I believe with Finnish children that parties held on St. Stephen’s Day will erase sorrow. I believe with Danish children that the music of a band playing from a church tower will strengthen humankind. I believe with Bulgarian children that sparks from a Christmas log will create warmth in human souls. I believe with American children that the sending of Christmas cards will build friendships. I believe with all children that there will be peace on earth.”(Daniel... read more

Don’t Forget

During this busy season, more than ever we seem to be operating from lists – gift lists, grocery lists, social lists, etc. We don’t want to overlook any festive touch or special person. We are all terribly forgetful. None of us is immune. But as we are swept up into the overwhelming festivities, let us not forget the simplest of Christmas messages: that the Lord comes to us as a tiny helpless infant born in a lowly stable. Oh, come oh come, Emmanuel. Oh, come be “God with us”. He comes to find us, holding our hands reminding us of what really matters, and that we are not walking this road alone. We’re walking with the Lord who is right at our side. The Lord walks with us as a partner and mentor who want to see us succeed and who understand that it’s going to take us awhile. Now what more could we ask. After all, God is with us and for us! Let us drop whatever it is we are so busy about these days to accept this small seemingly insignificant birth. Let us not lose this unpretentious message searching for something massive and overwhelming. God is not demanding large lavish celebrations and enormous blinking light displays of faith this year. All God wants is to walk with us as a partner and friend. As a true friend and partner we trust God, talk to the Lord and listen to his tugs on our heartstrings. Talk to God about the real stuff of our lives because God cares more than anyone else…and God knows the way home... read more