Sunday, February 27, 2011


As I gaze upon the universal skies and marvel at His works I wonder how often these numberless stars move me to seek the King which they proclaim.

From Shepherd’s field I view the city of His birth and deeply wonder why I so hesitantly move toward His promises of a born again life.

I think upon the grotto where His little head lay in mother’s loving arms and wonder if I have also said, with me there is no room for you to dwell.

I thought about the city on the hill whose light could not be hid and wondered why my little candle light is so often kept from view.

In my mind’s eye I revisit the Sea of Galilee and once again my heart is Spirit swelled and I wonder why contentedly I wander Spiritless through so many days.

I thought about sitting upon the hill, imagining hearing the Sermon as if he spoke it then and wondered about perfection’s elusive steps.

If I had heard Him speak in puzzling parables I wonder if I would have been one who having eyes still could not see and having ears could not hear.

I pondered on the bank of the flowing Jordan about its wondrous cleansing waters and wondered when I would finally allow His renewal of my soul to be complete.

I once again in my mind looked upon the well on Samaria’s hill and wondered if I would ever drink deeply enough from His cup of living waters that I might never thirst again.

I thought about His healing hands curing dreaded leprosy and raising Jairus’ dear daughter and wondered when I would allow His healing touch to cure my ailing soul.

I think upon the scene of the leprous ten and wonder if I am among the nine who, though obedient to His words, neglect to return and give Him thanks.

As my mind opens to the majesty of the mount where He Transfigured was, I wonder if I see His face as prophet, teacher or Son of God.

I read and remember what he taught of pondering and praying and wonder if my own poor pleading petitions hallow His Father’s name.

As I pause from the week’s busyness on His day and think of all that He has done I wonder as my wanting worship to Him is given, if proper reverence has been made.

As I think upon the barren path where the bleeding robbed man laid I wonder the type of neighbor I might have been that needful day.

The fruitful valleys of Jericho fill my thoughts and I wonder if my recognition of life’s provided plentitude have been sufficient to let Him know of my gratitude.

As I supped in Bethany and imagined being joined by that Eternal Guest I wondered why I so often dine without His presence felt.

From the Mount of Olives once again I see the glorious city on Mount Zion and wonder why I so often fail to see the marvels in all His beauties created.

I imagine walking through Jerusalem’s wide gate where all easily enter in and wonder if my riches would inhibit entrance into the eye of needle’s gate.

Upon the Temple Mount I see Him teach and wonder if on those days He spoke, would I have been one who jeered or one who cheered.

As I think upon His condemning rejection of praise-driven leaders I wonder if my whimpering noises against deniers of peace and freedom has become as one crying in the wilderness.

I think of the many that waved him triumphantly into the city and wonder whether my hand that day would have held palm or stone.

I think upon the absence of proud Herod’s palace and wonder if my own proud heart being set upon that which will soon be no more has caused me to also judge Him amiss.

I ponder upon walking the steps where the cross He bore and wonder if I have strength to bear my share of the yoke he has given me.

I envision sitting in that blood christened sacred olive grove looking upon the soil there and wondering how many drops of mine the earth conceals.

My mind’s eye fixes upon the crossless Calvary and tears brim my lids as I wonder if my meager repentant steps minutely approach being worthy of His infinite sacrifice.

I think of the road to Emmaus and see a man of flesh and bones and wonder if I would have recognized the resurrected Redeemer then, and do I do so now?

Scriptures: Matthew 1 – 28

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemingly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-12)

I have often wondered what we would behold if we were able to have our vision opened because we had matured in the development of charity sufficiently to be enlighten with an increase of understanding. This enlightenment, seemingly, would allow us to see beyond the darkness of the mortal limitations which now veil our knowledge and stifle our actions which might be very different if they were strengthened by Christ’s pure love.

We can only wonder about the world which lies beyond that door now firmly shut because of our contentious, divisive and warlike natures.

We can only wonder about the beautiful scenes we might behold if our eyes were no longer glazed over and dimmed by unceasing selfish seeking of stuff.

We can only wonder about the melodious sounds which might flow to our ears if we could clear the static and interference which blares constantly from our multiple media devices.

We can only wonder about the freshness of a world which is no longer polluted and destroyed in an attempt to satiate our insatiable appetites and desires.

We can only wonder about a world where our minds are so filled with truth that we no longer hunger or thirst after illusive understandings.

In his second epistle to the Corinthians Paul teaches that besides increasing the attribute of charity in our lives as an aid to seeing and understanding the world beyond the darkened glass, we must also develop a sensitivity to the whisperings of the Spirit through our acceptance of Jesus as the Christ.

And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3: 4, 5, 16-18)

We can only wonder what we might behold in the glass as we become a little more patient, a little more kind, envy a little less, a little less prideful, a little less boastful, a little more refined, a little less selfish, a little less contentious, thinking less evil, and rejoicing more in truth.

It seems the promised influences of the Spirit will begin to open jammed doors, deglaze dimed eyes, clarify sounds, breathe freshness, and brighten our understanding as we inchingly add charity to our lives.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Two general thoughts have stimulated my writing for this week. First, during the three years we had the privilege of living in Colombia we became accustomed to having a full month of Love and Friendship (Amor y Amistad) rather than the one day of celebrating Saint Valentine’s quest we always observed in the United States of America. Secondly, when I was much younger I was told in a philosophy class that it is impossible to love an inanimate object since there could be no reciprocal reaction to my love.

Just as the extension of the Spirit which accompanies the Christmas season lightens the struggles and heightens our kind acts during those portions of the year, likewise, when the Spirit of Valentine’s Day is extended at least by 27 days we have a tendency to be more loving and friendly for that extended period of time.

If I were in that philosophy class today, I would probably argue on the side of inanimate objects having the ability to reciprocate in very powerful ways. Therefore, it is an easy thing for me to express my love of cherry cream cheese pie and many other inanimate objects because of the warm and fuzzy feelings they fill me with.

I offer the following schedule only as a suggestion of some of those areas where we might practice love and friendship during this wonderful month of Love and Friendship. I know your personal calendars could be filled with many meaningful things to practice during the 28 days of February. Whatever will we do during leap year?

DAY 1 – Remembering with fondness the warmth of the sun and sweetness of rain freshened air which made gathering with friends and loved ones even more pleasurable.

DAY 2 – Remembering with a grateful heart the developmental years spent with parents who demonstrated love for one another and extended that love to their children.

DAY 3 – Remembering the marvelous learning years spent encouraging offspring through their tumultuous teens.

DAY 4 – Remembering the joyous hours filled with laughter, happiness and companionship with friends who filled life with abundance.

DAY 5 – Remembering the times spent with extended family filling my mind with lasting memories.

DAY 6 – Remember the innumerable classes where words and thoughts were shared with students and teachers.

DAY 7 – Remembering Spirit led moments which guided while countless lessons were prepared which would strengthen bonds of friendship and love.

DAY 8 – Remembering the times of inadequacies when Spirit inspired words were given in the very moment they were needed which linked friend spirit to friend spirit.

DAY 9 – Remembering the continual comfort and warmth of homes where were have advanced the feelings of love and friendship with family and friends.

DAY 10 – Remembering a life spent enjoying satisfying meals with loving company.

DAY 11 – Remembering a life filled with days where the hunger and thirst of a curious mind was satisfied by friends of years long passed.

DAY 12 – Remembering the romances of youth and the rush which accompanied the affirmation of true love.

DAY 13 – Remembering the struggles and accomplishments which bound two hearts as one in the pursuit of mastering the mysteries of marriage and parenting.

DAY 14 – Remembering to make this a day of appreciation for a special love which has filled one’s life with joy and fulfillment.

DAY 15 – Remembering those attributes which strengthen love and friendship with a determination to apply them more energetically in the future.

DAY 16 – Remembering the marvels of communication and travel which shorten distances between friends and loved ones.

DAY 17 – Remembering the blessing of having been able to extend the borders surrounding meaningful friendships.

DAY 18 – Remembering with gratefulness the concept of universal friendship instilled in our


DAY 19 – Remembering the contributions of past family and friends who have taken the time to record their thoughts about the world as they understood it in the days of their earthly sojourn.

DAY 20 – Remembering the overpowering feelings as inspired truths of friends who wrote as revelation was received are meekly read and haltingly understood.

DAY 21 – Remembering the days when universes were spanned as love was exchanged with a loving Heavenly Father during moments of sincere prayer.

DAY 22 – Remembering the friends who relate constant reminders of the fundamental goodness of strangers and acquaintances.

DAY 23 – Remembering the calmness and peace which comes as a gift from friends who have blessed all with their melodious music.

DAY 24 – Remembering the marvelous times spent watching friends who have paid the ultimate price to be able to demonstrate the wondrous capabilities of a well train body.

DAY 25 – Remembering the continual variety of vistas provided by a Creator who brought us the beautiful blues of the sea and the gorgeous greens of the meadows which were always enhanced when shared with friends and loved ones.

DAY 26 – Remembering with appreciation the magnificent variety of personality and gifts of those friends and loved one’s who make life a continual exciting adventure.

DAY 27 – Remembering a life filled with love and friendships.

DAY 28 – *

*I leave this day blank with the hope that you will write and share those parts of your life made more meaningful because they include experiences of `love and friendship…

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Last week Kathleen and I watched with varying degrees of interest a documentary presented on the History channel. There were six ‘experts’ on the show which was entitled “Prophets of Doom.” We listened to each of these men as they tried to convince each other whether the world as we now know it would come to a dramatic end because we have failed to solve the problems of water, economy, atomic bombs, artificial intelligence, energy, population growth or a combination of any or all of the above.

In 1962 Harry Emerson Fosdick wrote these words in the Reader’s Digest: “Never in all history has mankind faced such monstrous danger…It appears unlikely that the world will avoid a nuclear holocaust if another fifteen years pass without arms control agreements.” Since that time volumes have been written condemning man’s uncontrolled race toward self-destruction. Nevertheless, 50 years later we are still here talking about how we are hurling ourselves into one or several world-ending chasms. Interestingly, during this same half century more people are living longer, more nations are moving away from being in the third world category in an upward march of progression, and the population increases on the planet faster than the collective destructive forces of the world’s governments can exterminate.

If we drop back in history a couple of thousand years to the days of the Savior’s earthly ministry in the lands of Palestine and examine the cultural arena he was born into, we find his mother country was in subjection to a foreign power and many of His peers had chosen to align themselves with rebellious groups. I am sure the Zealots looked condemningly at His seeming indifference to the political, climatic and social problems of His nation which was suffering in a virtual state of slavery. I am sure they wondered why He didn’t or couldn’t take time to petition, to march or in some way add His arm to those who were resisting the Roman injustices.

Acknowledging His seeming indifference of being otherwise concerned with things of greater worth, which I’m sure, seemed to be an insufficient explanation when it reached the ears of His neighbors who were suffering under the heavy hand of persecution and tyranny. To them His popularity seemingly gave Him every opportunity to step forward and become a force to bring relief. After all, had He not declared himself to be the prophesied Savior of the descendants of Judah? People flocked to Him both because of His unusual powers and the strength of His words. He meekly rejected their offers of an earthly kingship and quietly went to the hills to pray.

As we ponder upon the example the Savior set for us during His mortal mission we do not have to wonder whether He would be well pleased with that disciple who dedicates his life to clothing the naked, feeding the hungry or quenching the thirsty. Likewise, we need not doubt about the pleasure He would have in those who spend their lives striving to increase the freedoms of their fellows. Discipleship doesn’t seem to be so much a matter of purpose, but more a matter of method. It is interesting to note that the more the public cried for Him to become publicly involved the more he retreated to small intimate groups of disciples to deliver His teachings or the interpretations of them. Our Lord seemed to well understand that emotional vows made in mobs seldom have duration or longevity. He well knew that the changing of mankind must be done by converting one heart at a time. He knew that a sudden transformation of entire societies is an impossible task, but the conversion of one man’s will to truth is both possible and probable.

We can only dream of what could happen if every parent who really believes in the commission to be Publishers of Peace and the universality of the principle of loving one’s neighbor, would sincerely spend the same zealous efforts demonstrating and teaching loving concepts to their children that they now spend murmuring about the inadequacies and ineffectiveness of institutions and administrations which don’t seem to be doing anything about bringing peace among neighbors let alone among nations.

Imagine the progress which could be made in overcoming impoverishing practices if governmental officials were really converted to the principles of equality, justice and mercy and their actions reflected these noble standards rather than agendas of political expediency, regional allegiance or party affiliation. We have all witnessed the little progress which results when more effort is spent on aligning the stars for the next election than on the resolution of critical problems. One can only envision the accumulative effect if each elected official brought relief to but one needy citizen each week.

So it is that the Master Teacher has once again given the master lesson. What if we came to understand that the most powerful entity on the earth is not the bomb? The most permanently persuasive speaker is not the champion of debate. When will we understand that lasting changes of thoughts and wills are accomplished quietly one heart at a time by the consistent disciple who humbly declares the degree of truth as it is currently understood?