Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Sharing a Perspective

I met Yolanda this past spring through a mutual friend. We’ve stayed in touch as she completed her degree and has been looking for a new job. She’s been through a tremendous amount recently, and this email from her last week struck me profoundly given the recent conversation here about what it means to be poor in spirit. Here’s someone with some real insight on the topic:

“I guess that I just need to vent to someone and who better to do so with. Well, knee deep in this life of mine I've come to a great discovery. We don't really need much of anything to survive. You see I have lost everything I love in a matter of one day, recently. The only things that I haven't lost are the people I love; they are the ones keeping me afloat.

“In this world of a bad economy and lost wages, I have nothing, and yet I am surprised by my endurance. With no real money or things to hold me down I can look with a clear and unfoggy window into what is really going on. The major players of this country and the world are making us think we are in trouble but really we could just take their bluff and make them weep. Meaning they are playing a hard game of cards with all our lives and we just all need to wake up. You can make money wherever you are with nothing at all, with talents, with a little hard work.

“What has history taught us? It will repeat itself. Thanks for the listen. Yolanda”

Based on a phone conversation with Yolanda this week, her faith has been a tremendous help in getting her through her recent challenges. Her outlook is phenomenal and so moving spiritually. She’s an incredible person. Say a prayer for her as she goes through the final stages in securing a new job.



Monday, July 21, 2008

I Know It’s What I Asked For, But Not Like This…

One challenge with prayer is that God will “answer” it, but “answer” isn’t defined as “exactly what I want!” When you pray, “answer” means God won’t allow your prayer to pass without one of the apparently infinite number of responses at His disposal.

I bring all this up because it became clearer to me Sunday morning that I think God is in the midst of “responding” to a prayer that I’ve included in my intentions off and on for some time.

The thing is that the response feels like it’s going to be an answer similar to one from several years ago – an answer I tried to rebel against. Interestingly, the start of this response even appears to tie to the exact same weekend that the one a few years ago did. And going back even more years, God has used this particular weekend repeatedly to initiate changes in my life.

So while I don’t think at first pass I’ll like the answer any more this time than last (and my first inclination is still to fight it), I CAN look back and see the incredible positives that resulted last time.

With that, my prayer will have to be one for acceptance, patience, and to stay out of God’s path a little better this time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Don't Speak

It's important (but very difficult) during prayer to be silent and listen more of the time. How else do we expect to hear an answer?

In the spirit of that, I'll shut up now so you CAN listen.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Good Words

I heard the following comment on an old radio broadcast of Bishop Fulton Sheen the other day. I had nothing to write with in the car and couldn’t find the quote online, so here’s the best approximation of it:

“Good is still good even if no one is good. And bad is still bad even if everyone is bad.”

Those are valuable words for living all aspects of life – personally and professionally – with a foundation. And just in case people don’t read comments, here’s a meaningful prayer that Scott offered last week in a comment on the June 26 message. Thank you for sharing this Scott:

“My grandmother (who raised me from 3 to 12) gave me this little newspaper clipping to me when I was around 16. I am not sure who wrote this prayer or where it came from. However, going through some difficult times in college, I was drawn to it. I actually lost the piece of paper but committed the prayer to memory. This prayer helped me through some trying times in my life and I still try to pray it daily (though I often forget). It goes as follows:

Thank you God for the kindness you have given me along the way. I am grateful for the patience you have shown me day by day. Thank you for the countless favors that help me to struggle on. New found faith when my faith falters. Hope when hope is all but gone. Thank you for the many blessings. Like my loving family; feet to walk with; arms to work with; eyes that let this mortal see. For the many blessing you give me I owe you a priceless debt. My heart cries when I offend you. Trespasses I cannot forget. Thank you Jesus. Guide me onward. Make me follow your advice. So that I may gain your favor, and meet you in paradise. - Amen.