Location: New England, United States

Thursday, March 31, 2005


If you must condemn, criticize or complain - then do it only to God.

The breaking of a new day shatters the mistakes of yesterday.

We are all aliens to this world and death is merely our flight home.

Pride excludes others and is fueled by fear
Self-confidence includes everyone with humility.

Life is a Banquet!
Taking smaller bites is the difference between elegant dining and fast food.

Laughter is a salve to loneliness, a balm to self-pity and an antidote to depression.

Who Am I?
If you define yourself first, there will be no room for the definition of others.

Remember that trust is given freely the first time, but must be earned the second time around.

Flattery is sweet and entices the palate, but it is truth that nourishes and promotes growth.

Our humanity is not defined by good or evil, but by our choice between the two.

When giving thanks, acknowledge the creator; not the creation.

If you fear the aggressor, then he has won.

Take No Offense
The channel between the heart and the lips is long and narrow, therefore, the message may not be delivered as intended.

Excuses may fool the world, but they will injure your soul.

Assertive acts preserve self, but aggressive acts destroy the soul.

Self Talk
Speak to yourself with as much respect and kindness as you do others.

Free Will
Free will is never free. There are consequences to every decision.

One act of kindness can heal two hearts.

Knowledge is purchased, but wisdom is earned.

Today's tribulations are a reflection of yesterday's mistakes and tomorrow's mercy.

Guilt should come before forgiveness; not after it.

Good intentions are like seed pods that blow away in the wind.

I cannot always give what I want, but I can give what I have.

The human race differs from the animal kingdom because our survival instinct is called "Hope".

Peace is the absence of Fear.

Problems are situations; not people.

At the Edge
When the world pushes you to the edge, just step off into the Hand of God.

Pride is the armor of fear.

Family is the safe haven to fine tune our character.

When contemplating a difficult decision remember, the road not taken quickly fades from view.

Philosophy: I think, therefore, I am.
Spirituality: I am what I think.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Unfruitful Fig Tree

“A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?” And he answered him, ‘Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”
Luke 13:6 RSV

Many times, Jesus told his audience stories or parables to make a point. This quote from Luke is the parable about the unfruitful fig tree. I know that many commentaries relate this story to the State of Israel, and the lack of fruit refers to their unrighteousness, but when I read the passage this morning, I saw that this parable is relevant today.

God plants his spiritual seed in our garden, or soul. It germinates sprouts and breaks free from the earth. As a seedling we have little to do but soak up the sunshine (God’s grace) and be watered by the rains (God’s word).

Then one day, we are a full grown tree ready to bear fruit. As Christians, we all bear different fruit. Some will bear the fruit of intercession or prayer, some worship and praise in song, some will witness to the world and others will teach the church. Although we each have our own fruit, we are all fruit trees and expected to bear.

In the parable above, God comes into the garden and sees that a full grown tree has not bore fruit for three years. He asks the vinedresser (Jesus) to pluck it out of the garden. Jesus asks for another year and he digs around the roots of the tree and spreads manure at the base of the tree.

So it is with Christians who do not bear fruit. Jesus will dig up your comfortable lifestyle. He will remove his sacred protection allowing the dirt of the world to surround you. You fret and stress. You try to fix the problem yourself, but then in desperation you call out, “God, help me!”

Satisfied, Jesus says, “Now you’re talking. Let’s get you back to bearing good fruit.”

I hope to see you in the harvest.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Extending the Rainbow Dove

"You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." Leviticus 18:22 RSV

This sentence has created more controversy and discord than any other verse in the Bible. God's promise to our planet is righteousness, peace and joy through his Word; and yet, we find his word used to create hatred, strife and pain.

I chose Christ as my Lord and Savior thirty years ago. However, for the next twenty years, I divorced twice and had a child out of wedlock. I was still a Christian, I loved God, he loved me, and I spent nearly every day speaking with him and studying his word, but still, the consequences of my actions is that I am a single mother.

The book of Leviticus is filled with the particulars of Mosiac Law. Let's look at some of the less controversial laws in Leviticus. " And the swine, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you" Leviticus 11:6 RSV Here God is charging Moses that the people of Israel shoudl not eat pork. Why? Because if the flesh of pork is not cooked properly, it can transmit parasites to the people. So, we see that the ordered abstinence from pork was not a test from God on our obdience, but rather ordered for our own protection.

When God ordered that we rest on the Sabbath, this law was not for his pleasure. He knew that without the law we would work our employees seven days a week, and that without a day of rest, we would become stressed and possibly ill.

So let's look again at Leviticus 18:22. Have you noticed that there is an omission to this verse. Although this verse address a man lying with man, there is no reference to a woman lying with a woman. Why? Remember, these laws are to protect us from disease, stress and pain. The disease quotient is greatly increased when a man lies with another man. The possiblity for disease is not as great when a woman lies with another woman.

Although disobeying God's laws will result in consequences, these consequences are not judgements. Jesus ate with prostitutes, tax collectors and other sinners. He did not judge them, but merely witnessed to them about God's love and forgiveness.

God's only requisite for our inclusion into his family, is we believe that Jesus is the son of God and he died for our sins. Everything else is just a matter of consequence.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Why Did God Let That Happen?

I have heard this question asked many times following disasters or hardships. It was repeated everywhere after the September 11th disaster and with the increasing crime, violence and strange weather patterns of the years since September 11th, the question still remains unanswered. So, why did God let that happen? The answer is - he didn't - we did.

It started at creation. God created Adam and Eve with a purpose, and that purpose was an intimate relationship with him. God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden and gave them dominion of the earth. They held the lease to the earth, so to speak, and as landlords of the earth, they truly had full command just as you have full command over your home.

Then Satan slithered onto the scene and tempted Eve to eat the apple. Why would Satan care if Eve ate the apple? What was in it for him? Obviously Eve had something that Satan wanted, and that something was the lease to the earth.

As long as Adam and Eve had the lease, they had dominion over every living thing on the earth, and that included Satan. Remember, after Satan and the other angels revolted, they were cast out of heaven down to earth. Now, Satan's pride was doubly injured. Not only was he subject to God, but he was also subject to God's creations - Adam and Eve.

Satan tempted Eve with an exchange. "If you give me the lease to earth, I will tell you how you can be as wise as God." So Eve handed Satan the deed to the earth, and she ate the apple. Adam and Eve soon realized their mistake, but it was too late. As residents of the earth, they were now subject to Satan and he had dominion over them. However, there was one catch that Satan didn't count on; God had created Adam and Eve with free will and with this free will, they could call on God for his help.

It is the same today. When disaster strikes, God will step in if we call on him to help. If we do nothing, then by default, Satan is in charge of the situation. But, when we call on God, we invite him to take control. Our prayers to God render Satan powerless.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Pay The Rent First

For a great portion of my adult life, I have been a single parent, and the perils of living with one income are always pursuing just beyond my shadow.

Late last summer, I was in a desperate situation. Dunning notices filled the mail box with threatening letters for overdue taxes, credit card payments and utility shut- offs. I stopped answering the phone to avoid the constant harrassment. My paychecks could no longer wrap around the mounting debt and I was desperate. I decided it was time to have a "heart to heart" with God.

"Father, years ago you asked that I place you as the head of my household so that you could take care of my family. I did this. Now, I am in trouble with my finances and I have no where else to turn. As the head of my household, I need you to help me eliminate this debt, in Jesus' name."

"Pay the rent first."

"What? You know that I always pay the rent first. I have a pecking order for paying the bills, first the rent, then the utilities, food and then everything else. What are you talking about?"

"Give to God what belongs to God. Pay the rent first."

I realized God was speaking about tithing. "Are you crazy? I can't pay my bills and now you tell me to tithe?"

"Child, you have prayed for a healing for your earthly Father. You prayed for the salvation of friends and family, you have prayed for the protection of your children. You trust me with these things which are so precious to you, but you will not trust me with your finances?"

I was ashamed. "Forgive me, you are right. Tell me what to do." According to God's instructions, I applied for a small loan to pay off the more important debts. Miracuously, the loan was accepted. Then God told me that 10% of every dollar that comes into my hand should go to him. At the time, I was receiving my spiritual food from several different sources, so he directed the disbursement of the tithe to these sources in appropiate portions.

Seven months have passed. In that time, God also revealed to me that some of my spending habits needed to change. The credit cards were put away, and through God, I received extra funds from unforeseen sources including a bonus from my employer. After tithing on these funds, I was instructed to use the balance to pay down my debt. The phone calls and dunning notices have stopped and the only harrassing mail I now receive are offers from credit card companies. I promptly throw them away.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Intimacy With God

As the public schools in our small city are rated below average, I opted to send my son to a Catholic school. He embraced his new school fully deciding to be baptized into the Catholic faith and receiving the prescribed sacraments. Although I am a born-again Christian with Southern Baptist leanings, I had no problem with my son's decision. I, too had been raised a Catholic. I often referred to my Catholic upbringing as spiritual baby food.

I had recently joined a Baptist Church in our community, and my son, now fourteen years old, agreed to attend their services with me. The promise of Sunday brunch after the service helped with his decision.

While eating our eggs and Belgium waffles, I asked my son for his thoughts on the Sunday service. In response, he asked, "Why don't they pray during the service?"

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"No one said any prayers during the entire Mass."

Suddenly, I realized what he meant. He had not heard any of the prescribed prayer that is normally heard in the Catholic church. In response I said, "Please pass the syrup. Please pass the syrup. Please pass the syrup. Please pass the syrup."

"Why are you doing that." he replied truculently.

"Just as my repeating the same thing over and over causes you stress, those repetitive prayers stress God. God created us for intimacy with him. If all your conversations with God are rote prayers, written by someone else, how can you have intimacy with him?"

Our Father is aware of our every thought. Even further, he sees our motive behind every thought; something that his children can effectively hide from themselves. God knows us better than we know ourselves. When we pray in rote prayer or even when we flower our prayer with fancy prose, he is not impressed.

What impresses God is intimacy. He wants to know all our thoughts, all our feelings. It is an act of arrogance to believe that we can hide our true feelings from God. I have railed at God in anger - I have even called him names. He didn't cast me out, he didn't turn away from me. Instead, knowing my pain, he comforted me.

When the Bible says that we should pray without ceasing, it is referring to discourse; everyday conversations. Our relationship with God should be the most intimate relationship of our lives, yet we converse with our spouses, children and friends more than we converse with God. As our other relationships would suffer and perhaps cease without daily conversation, our relationship with God suffers when we are not constantly and consistently speaking with him.

I travel through my day in constant conversation with God. "Hey, did you see that?" "What should I do next?" "Help me, I am angry at what she just did." This is the fodder for intimacy. Make God a complete part of your life with constant conversation. He enjoys being with you.

Monday, March 21, 2005

What Is The Word?

While I can utilize this keyboard as my voice, Terri Schiavo lies silent in her hopital bed. Terri, the woman, has been replaced by Terri, the prisoner. She has been imprisioned first by her own body, then by her doctors, her husband, her parents, judges, govenors and congressmen all determined to voice their vision for her destiny. Her silence is her jailer, and without words Terri is unable to exert her will. Without words, she cannot order a drink of water or a morsel of food. Without words, she cannot choose life or her willingness to succumb to death.

John 1:1 states, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." RSV But, what is the Word? The dictionary defines "word" as a sound or utterance or groupings of sound and utterances to communicate. John goes on to say in Verse 14 of Chapter 1 that "The Word was made flesh.", therefore, Jesus is The Word, and as our words are bridges between ourselves and others, Jesus is the bridge between ourselves and God.

Our tongue is our sword and the strength behind that sword is our will. With this sword we can create, destroy, forgive, love, exhort, criticize, hate and believe. This is why Paul wrote in Romans 10:9, "...if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised you from the dead, you will be saved." RSV Words have power in direct proportion to the strength of conviction behind the words.

As Christians, we are told to pray in Jesus' name. By praying in his name, we are, by choice, aligning our will with his conviction - his power. His strength becomes our strength, his power our power, and we share in His intimacy with The Father. By praying in Jesus' name, we give affirmation that our will is submitted to his.


Parresia has been defined by some as boldness, however, I find a problem in this word substitution. The Greek word parresia encompasses so much more than our English word. Boldness is something owned by the individual, therefore, there is an element of arrogance in boldness. Parresia should not be characterized with ownership or arrogance. Instead, parresia is an "emptying" of the spirit. It may be likened to a wine bottle filled to the brim. Unless the wine bottle is emptied, it cannot be filled again. Those who enjoy the wine do not applaud the bottle for the wine's excellence.

If the filled wine bottle is not emptied continuously, the wine will either evaporate or turn to vinegar. This site is my "emptying of the spirit" for I am the wine bottle. I hope you enjoy the wine.

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