Your Goodness Abounds

Your Goodness Abounds

Your blessings are many.

We share the wisdom given freely.

We are just one creature on Your earth.

You have given us the seas, great, wide, fruitful.

You have blessed the earth with your fullness.

We feed from Your seas and Your earth,

but we are not good shepherds,

destroying all in our paths.

Still, you open Your hands,

filling us with goodness.

You are loving and forgiving;

we come to your presence

asking for your light to shine.

Grant that heaven is truly within;

guide us to restore;

Your earth, Your seas, Your life-giving air

that we may again rejoice

in your plentiful world.

 

Batter my Heart, Dear God;

Batter my Heart, Dear God;

 

I am broken by life.

I live to be the rock for others,

but I fail to share Your gifts.

My body is weakened,

captive to society’s commands.

My every breath is consumed

by the desire of others.

Am I helping, O God?

are my efforts to aid

Destroyed by avarice?

Can I restore my soul

And pleasing to your eyes?

I knock on your door

But I get no response.

I am betrothed to your grace

and embraced by your breath.

My love for you is all consuming,

yet life makes me doubt your presence.

Great Father, I ask forgiveness

as I try to rise and stand without You.

Please enthrall my battered heart.

 

Gethsemane

Gethsemane

 

Went to the garden

with three of his own;

wanted their strength,

his misery hath grown.

 

Fell on his face,

“Father, if it be possible,

let this pass from me;”

was so alone in God’s grace

agony had gripped this sacred plea

 

Returned to find the three asleep,

“Can you not watch with me?”

Is this vigil so hard to keep?

Then leaves the three.

 

“Father, I drink it, thy will be done.”

The three still slept; he was alone.

 

He prayed for forgiveness not strife;

and walked into pain.

He prayed for strength in his short life,

but walked into death with nothing to gain.

 

In three days, he rose.

defeating all deaths.

And as everyone knows,

it’s God’s gifts He bequeaths.

 

Comfort in the time of Trial

Comfort in the time of Trial

 

speak kindly to one another

do not retire angry

share with the needy

tender hearts rule the day

forgive

as we are forgiven

obey the voice

of God

within you

within us all

open hearts to

all humanity

do not turn away

from those who displease

make our hearts

be filled with calm waters

comfort

as we are comforted

 

speak kindly to one another

tender hearts rule the day

 

 

Six Feet Apart, but Still Hugging and Holding Hands

Six Feet Apart, but Still Hugging and Holding Hands

 

In these days of being sequestered from friends and family, we do a lot of things differently to fill the time. Although I read the Bible every day, I have taken to meditating more on what I read. Looking at what the Episcopal lectionary asks us to read for Sunday, March 22nd, I am reflecting something that Jeremiah said thousands of years ago, “ And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

When we walk in the truth of God’s love, our spiritual selves overcome the brokenness of our physical bodies. When we are in trouble, and seek comfort, God answers. Although I cannot be with my children and their families, we touch each other over the phone. I miss the physical hugs but am warmed by the love that comes through the airways.

In this period of Lent, we are meant to join together in celebration of God’s love as brought to us through the teachings of Jesus. This period is a time of relationship, the relationship of all of us to each other and the relationship of all of us with God. Each night, as I retire to bed, I try to bring the faces of the people I worked with or met over my 77 years. I may not always remember their names, but by bringing them into my consciousness, I am both praying for them and remembering the great times we had together.

I also enjoy meeting and talking with new friends that I meet in my daily chores. I miss this part of my life, but I know that  when this present hardship is over, these new friends will be there to share God’s love. As I spiritually walk and meet my fellow brothers and sisters, I know that the light of God’s love and compassion protects us from all evils. We rejoice over the realization that God is a loving God, walking side by side with us or carrying us when we stumble. When we stumble, God delivers love and comfort to us. All we need to do is close our eyes and open our hearts to feel the warmth and glow of true compassion and caring. God rejoices with us when we walk in His Truth. Let us hold hands from a distance, give ourselves air hugs, and enjoy warm hearts in God’s love.

 

 

Why?

Why?

When God instructed Moses to take his staff and strike the rock, allowing water to gush forth, God was providing humanity with the life-giving spring water of eternal life. All God asks is that we be faithful to Him and love Him. This is when the Jews in the desert began to believe in one God, even though their abstinence did not allow them to enter the promised land, only their children could.

This Exodus passage teaches us that God will provide for all our needs; we only have to love Him, but our own obstinance clouds our ability to recognize His life-giving presence in our lives. All our lives we are His children, the sheep of His pasture, and its caretakers. We are gifted with this and responsible for this. But first, we must learn how to be God’s children. We must learn how to be loved. We must learn how to receive love. We must learn how to pass this love to others.

This may cause us great suffering, but as Paul says, suffering blesses us with endurance, which blesses us with character and hope. Hope for our futures, living in His pastures. Hope permits us God’s love which passes into our hearts through the ever-present Holy Spirit. We are truly blessed.

The meeting of the woman at Jacob’s well tells us of the water that Jesus gives us, the water of everlasting life. Jesus promises that this fresh spring water gives us everlasting life. How enriching this is to experience the love that Jesus has for this unknown and unnamed woman. We recognize the specialness of Jesus because he was able to humble himself and love everyone. If we are also children of God, how is it possible that we cannot do the same? Is it impossible for us to humble ourselves as Jesus did? He has shown us the way; now we must learn to follow.

God chose people from the lowest ranks of society to lead. Moses was a slave; Jesus was a poor carpenter. Why? Why does God live with the forgotten ones? Why? Perhaps if we humble ourselves, perhaps if we trust in God, we will learn why.

Pain

Pain

My family surrounds me with love

they cannot stop the pain.

My neighbors bring in food and love

and stay to visit for a while

they also cannot stop the pain.

My minister comes and blesses me

and prays with me

he cannot stop the pain.

I know that God is with me,

always

but the pain persists.

Friends call, offer prayers

they cannot stop the pain.

I walk a road that one

can only walk alone

abandonment follows pain.

I look around

see many friends

many relatives

but I am alone.

I feel forgotten

in the bane of pain.

We walk this path alone

           

except for God

who eases our heart

though still in pain.

God gives us the strength

to move forward

face our pain

We follow the path

travelled by Jesus.

He also walked into pain

showing us the way

to trust God

to relieve our loneliness

our abandonment.

In pain,

I rest in God’s arms,

comforted by is love,

as shown through our family

and friends

and ministers

 

The Least of These

The Least of These

Throughout my life, I have been many things, but at the age of 50, I began a new career in teaching. I taught at both the high school and college level for about 25 years. One of the first untruths I learned was that being a teacher is powerful position; once I closed the door of the classroom, I was the tsar; I could do anything (within acceptable reason) that I desired.

The first truth I learned was that even though I had all the power, of the 25 beings in the classroom, on a scale of one to twenty-five, I was number 25. The students always came first in my classes. As most of my peers did, I spent hours after school grading and lesson prepping; but the thing I enjoyed most was working with the students for their success.

During my first year, a few of my male students asked if it was possible to form a military history club. I said yes; without asking permission to do so, we began this club meeting at 6:30 AM once a week. We looked at historic battles, studied the tactics, and then watch Hollywood films about it. By year two, there were so many involved, we began two mornings a week. By year three, there were boys and girls, and the days became three.

The club ran for over fourteen years; five students, including one girl, were accepted at one of the four military colleges; the girls was accepted at Annapolis and graduated third in her class. Another seven students received full ROTC scholarships. One male and one female, became combat Marine leaders.

Although this had to do with war, most of these students now have left the military and begun their own families.

I was also the debate team coordinator. During my third year of this, a parent came to me asking if their son could join the debate team. I said that I would welcome him; she then explained that he had a mild Asperger’s and found it difficult to speak. I learned from Charles for three years; he became the president of the club, and under his leadership, we got to the state finals in the Lincoln-Douglas competition. Upon graduating from college, he joined the IMF as a finance specialist.

The lesson I learned that first year was that as a teacher, I was the least among many. My students were my symphony. By submitting my abilities to their needs, my students were much more important than me in my classes.

This is why, when I think of the basics,  to me the most important and the most fulfilling is being the least of these. By being the least of these, I was able to let my students shine. Being the least of these, I found my Love of God.

Jesus Said, Eat – Drink

Jesus said “Eat,” “Drink.”

Eat, drink, simple invitations Jesus asks of us. He doesn’t say we have to; he invites us to share in his love and God’s love. We don’t need to think about this; the invites are clear. There are no preconditions, as some demand. Jesus didn’t come to bless the priests; he came to bless the sinners. He came to bless us.

Through Jesus, we understand that God loves all of his creation. He doesn’t take sides; he doesn’t punish; He is a loving parent of us all, no matter where we live or what we look like. All faces show the beauty of God. God looks into our hearts and sees love; all we have to do is turn that love into action. That’s why I begin dialogues with strangers. I want all to be happy and friendly. Everybody wants kind words and friendly greetings.

If God accepts all of humanity, can we do any less. None of us are perfect. None of us know all there is to know. God wants us to take our imperfections, overcome them, and try to bring the most good to everyone and everything.

We are now immersed into a very caustic political battle over who will be our next president. We all take sides; this is natural. What we have to realize is that both sides of the issues are right; and, both sides of the issues are wrong. Both sides have good points; both sides have bad points. Some we agree with; some we don’t. Neither side is evil.

If both sides are imperfect, that doesn’t mean that those we disagree with are bad; they just do not agree with us. We have to respect them, because God loves them just as much as God loves us. We are all his children. We all drink from the same holy cup and share the same holy bread.

God blesses all! We don’t need to think; just eat . . . and drink! As Jesus asks.

Faith

Faith

 

Look to heaven;

blue skies bring the sun;

white clouds add beauty

to God’s wonders.

Dark clouds bring

life-giving rain,

feeding our soil,

feeding our flocks,

feeding ourselves.

 

Look to the earth;

rich soil brings us

the food we eat.

Soil brings us trees for shade

And beauty.

The soil accepts our bodies when

we are called to God.

 

The heavens and earth

are full of God’s grace.

We are its shepherds.

We must preserve it

for our children;

we must preserve it

as God preserves us.

We must preserve it

as a lustrous gift of God.

 

As I look to the heavens

and the earth,

I realize that I am

but a grain of sand on the beach,

a grain of sand

preserved in God’s Love

preserved and caressed

by God

God is my past!

God is my future!

God is within me . . .

always!