What is not ours to keep...

In 1949, seven years before his death at the hands of an isolated tribe in Ecuador, missionaryJim Elliot wrote in his journal, “….he is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” (See also Luke 9:24: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.)
The same idea was expressed by Philip Henry (1631-1696) who said, “He is no fool who parts with that which he cannot keep, when he is sure to be recompensed with that which cannot lose.” 
This morning part of the devotional I read focused on Jesuit priest Alfred Delp (1907-1945), a passionate anti-Nazi, who was arrested, imprisoned in chains, and ultimately hung by the Nazis. He wrote, “Others have you in their power now; they torture and frighten you, hound you from pillar to post. But the inner law of freedom sings that no death can kill us; life is eternal.”
All of these quotes seem to be saying essentially the same thing.
In this day an…

Of Saints and Sinners

Who/what do we worship? While the world worships “stars” in Hollywood, television, sports, and even the news media and politics, most of it averts its eyes when faced with St. Something-or-other. Suspicion, derision, discomfort, and even outright mockery surrounds the whole idea. Bottom line: Saints aren’t meant to be worshiped under any circumstances, any more than their celebrity counterparts.
So why do saints even exist? Jesus was fully human and fully divine—saints are only human beings who have striven for the divine and blazed a path for the rest of us who also strive. I take courage and comfort from those who have gone before me—walked the same human path I’ve trod—fallen and failed as I have—but, in the end, left behind a legacy of faith and works as I’d like to do, however small. Bottom line: It’s human nature to want to “look up” to someone when we feel very small and insignificant—but we need to choose wisely.
Listen to the words of a sinner-saint, Augustine of Hippo: “Thou…

Whatsoever things are true...

“When our thoughts--which bring actions--are filled with hate against anyone, Negro or white, we are living in Hell. That is as real as Hell will ever be. ~Dr. George Washington Carver (1860-1943)

The man who spoke those words has always been a particular hero of mine. Born into slavery, ransomed as a week-old infant from slave traders, he and his older brother found a home with Moses Carver and his wife (their former “owners”) who raised them as their own sons.
Always thirsty for knowledge, he pursued an education through the years, despite racial prejudice and rejection. He discovered a talent for painting and made loyal friends along the way. Eventually, Booker T. Washington, the founder of Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama, invited him to become head of the non-existent science department at the fledgling college. Dr. Carver literally built it from reclaimed materials found in the garbage dump and his own dedication and determination.
He served his black students and the struggling…

We need to be quiet

The world is so noisy these days! It's more than that: angry, divided, threatening, violent...and sometimes we just need to get away for a bit and gather our thoughts before going back into the fray.

Social media has devolved into a battle of words. The news media has its own agenda, and we struggle to discern fact from opinion. Sometimes we want to throw up our hands in despair.

I conceived this new blog as a place to put into words my own thoughts and share them with whoever comes...and hear their thoughts and feelings, too. This is a place to be leave the world behind for a few minutes. Hopefully this is a place to find strength in our common love of God and each other as His children.

So here goes!

We're all a lot like this little bird who believes he's found refuge for a moment. He doesn't realize that, when and if the alarm sounds, his little world will never be the same again. But as Jesus assured us, "even the bi…