Thursday, July 12, 2018


It's Time to Tell You Why I Do It

Tuesday, July 10, 2018


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I do not fear physical death as much as spiritual and emotional death. I fear reaching a day when I no longer care about what I am doing - the day when my life quits meaning anything to me, the day when I am irritated at my own life! No matter how old I get, I want a heart that's "on fire!" I don't just want to be a priest (noun), I want to priest (verb)!

I dread to see a day when I wake up without passion in my heart to become the best version of myself possible!

I never want to wake up deciding that "just doing enough to get by with will be enough today!" I want to try to do my best and be at my best every day! 

I like to be liked, but I will not be held back by people who dislike me! Unless I have done something deliberately to hurt them, I try to understand it as their problem, not mine! 

I am quite often afraid, but I refuse to let fear run my life! 

As long as I live, I want to see how far I can take myself with God's grace! 

I enjoy taking the road less traveled, doing more things than is expected of a person like me and creating imaginative new realities for others to enjoy!

I understand that the life I want for myself depends very much on me and the choices I make! If I am a victim, I am mostly a victim of my own laziness, fear and cowardice. 

I love the thought of trying to be "too big for my britches!" 

I have tried to believe, that with God's help, anything is impossible! 

As I look back over my life, I am simply amazed and eternally grateful for the abundance God has provided to me, and hopefully through me, to the people around me. 

The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal.
The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. 
It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream...
It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. 
Not failure, but low aim is sin. 

Benjamin Elijah Mays

Sunday, July 8, 2018


Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their 
synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, "Where did this man 
get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter's son? 
Is not his mother called Mary? Where then did this man get all this?"
 And they took offence at him.
Mark 6:1-6

When I was growing up down in the country, we used a few expressions that came to mind as I read today’s gospel. Those expressions were used when someone got too “hifalutin” for the rest of us!  “He’s getting too big for his britches!” “Who does she think she is, the Queen of Sheba?” “He is just so full of himself!”  "He needs to be cut down to size!" 

Growing up in Meade County, there were only a dozens or so of us in the small town of Rhodelia, so we were always ready to cut each other down to size with remarks like those! Jesus grew up in the small town of Nazareth, and in today’s gospel he is back home for a visit. His reputation proceeded him. Instead of rejoicing in the success of his ministry, they basically are cutting him down to size by asking “Just who do you think you are, anyway?”  We know you! You are one of us! You are just the son of the carpenter, Joseph, and Mary is your mother! You don’t stand out all that much! The story ends with these words, “And they took offence at him!” You need to be from a small town to really understand the sting of those words!

The bottom line of this gospel is that God comes to us especially in the very ordinary, not the spectacular and dramatic, events of life. Truly, God is to be found in the ordinary events, in the ordinary moments and in the ordinary people of this world. That is why so many people missed Jesus when he was here on this earth. He was so ordinary, while they were looking for something spectacular. While they were looking out there and up there, while they were looking among the famous and the powerful and the well-connected, he was standing right in front of them. They missed him because he was just “too ordinary.”

Our traditional Christmas story is told by the evangelist, Luke. Luke wrote for the underdog, the little people, the left-out, the losers of the world. When he tells the story, he emphasizes the dismalness of Christ’ birth: a poor young mother delivering her baby in a barn amid the smell of dung and donkey breath; greasy, crusty, bumbling sheep herders; doves dropping their stuff from the rafters; the restlessness of cows and no one to care. Luke wants his readers to know that God comes, not just for the rich and famous and powerful, the young and healthy, but especially for the lowest of the low, in the most desperate of circumstances. God comes for, and loves, every human being who has ever lived on this planet no matter how insignificant they may be in the eyes of others.

The Scriptures are full of passages about God choosing the weak and then making them strong. “What proves that God loves us is that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8) “They were weak people who were given strength.” (Hebrews: 11:34) “Those whom the world thinks common and contemptible are the ones that God has chosen.” (I Corinthians 1:28) “You did not choose me. No, I chose you and I commissioned you.” (John 15:116)

Jeremiah is a perfect example of all this. He was a young man when he was called by God to be a preaching prophet. He tried to beg off because of his disinterest, his young age and his total lack of public speaking ability. But like the over-aged Abraham and the tongue-tied Moses, God would hear none of their excuses. “It is not you who chose me, it is I who chose and commissioned you.”

There is a lesson here! God has had something for you to do in this world that no one else could do for him. You might have already done it. It might just be something you will do in your very last days or hours of your life. You may have lived your whole life in preparation for your most important hour, your very last hour! You may not have thought if it; you may not yet have an interest in it; you may not even feel that you are worthy or capable of carrying it out, but if God wants you to do it, God is going to hound you. You can run, resist, hide, deny or try to wiggle out of it, but if you don’t answer his call, you will go through life with a dull, chronic feeling of having missed something very special. If God has indeed called you to that deed, he will equip and strengthen you to carry it out, and if you do carry it out, you will experience a deep-down feeling of peace in your life. Failing to act is also a form of “no.”

Let me end this homily with two of my favorite quotes, the first from George Bernard Shaw and the last from W.H. Murray. “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world (church) will not devote itself to making you happy.” (PAUSE) “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.” In other words, we have to find out what God wants, really commit to doing it and God will shower us with more help than we can imagine.

Forget your age! Forget your unworthiness! Forget your inexperience! Forget your fear! Forget that your life seems so ordinary! Forget the fact that you are from a small town or a neighborhood no one has ever heard of! Forget people’s criticism. When God calls, say ‘Here I am!” Send me!” Remember this! There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing! People who are intimidated by you talk bad about you with the hopes that others won’t find you appealing. Remember the words of Mother Teresa:


People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by
the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.