Monday, September 30, 2013

This is my Father’s World

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The Lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

~Words: Malt­bie Bab­cock & Music: Frank­lin Shep­pard

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Morning


(Photo by Remo Savisaar)
“In the morning, fill us with Your love;
we shall exult and rejoice all our days.”
~Psalm 90:14

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rousing and Waking

“The best thing you can do for your fellow, next to rousing his conscience, is — not to give him things to think about, but to wake things up that are in him; or say, to make him think things for himself.”
~George MacDonald

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A Few on Prayer

“Take care not to miss this wonderful opportunity. Say the ‘Our Father’ slowly without rushing. He is listening very closely to you. This is the best way to praise and honor His name.”

“He always gives us more than we ask Him for. Always.”

“There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers.”

“I know that many persons who say vocal prayers are raised by God to high contemplation without their knowing how.”

“There is no greater cause of straying from the path of faithful perseverance than letting up in prayer.”

~St. Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Different Sense

“Granting that we are always in the presence of God, yet it seems to me that those who pray are in His presence in a very different sense; for they, as it were, see that He is looking upon them, while others may go for days on end without even once recollecting that God sees them.”
~St. Teresa of Avila

Monday, September 23, 2013

Story and Knowing

“If you want to know me, then you must know my story, for my story defines who I am. And if I want to know myself, to gain insight into the meaning of my own life, then I, too, must come to know my own story.”
~Dan McAdams

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Truth

“The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
~Winston Churchill

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The meek are getting ready...


Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.

~Matthew 5:5

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

It Would Be Easier to Pray if I Were Clear

O Eternal One, it would be easier for me to pray
    if I were clear
        and of a single mind and a pure heart;
    if I could be done hiding from myself
        and from You, even in my prayers.
But, I am who I am,
    mixture of motives and excuses,
        blur of memories,
            quiver of hopes,
    knot of fear,
        tangle of confusion,
            and restless with love, for love.
I wander somewhere between
    gratitude and grievance,
        wonder and routine,
            high resolve and undone dreams,
                generous impulses and unpaid bills.
Come, find me, Lord.

~Ted Loder

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Love That Found Him

    Allan (not his real name) came to me at my previous church in Hamilton, wanting to be baptized. He was a child (or victim) of the “me decade” and felt compelled to leave home and family to find himself and, of course, lost himself, becoming a stranger to himself and the world, wandering the streets of Vancouver trapped in a world of drugs. One night he managed to get off the street for a night in one of the shelters. He crashed into the bunk, staring up at the ceiling, listening to the groans, and trying not to be overcome by the odors of the strangers in the bunks around him. He didn’t know where he was, he didn’t know who he was, but he wanted it to be over with and he considered how he might take his own life.
    He was shaken out of this thoughts when someone came in and called out a name from another world.
    “Is Allan Roberts here?”
    That had been his name once but he hadn’t heard it for some time. He hardly knew Allan Roberts anymore. It couldn’t be him being called.
    The caller persisted, “Is there anybody named Allan Roberts here?”
    No one else answered and so Allan took a risk. “I’m Allan Roberts (or used to be).”
    “Your mother’s on the phone.”
    My mother, no, you’ve made a mistake. I don’t know where I am, how could my mother know where I am?
    “If you’re Allan Roberts, your mother’s on the phone.”
    Unsure what to expect, he went to the desk in the hall and took the receiver. “Allan,” it was his mother, “It’s time for you to come home.”
    “Mom, I don’t know where I am, I have no money, you don’t know what I’m like anymore. I can’t go home.”
    “It’s time for you to come home. There’s a Salvation Army officer who’s coming to you with a plane ticket. He’s going to take you to the airport to get you home.”
    She hadn’t known where he was, she just called every shelter and hostel for months until she found him.
    He went home and, supported and loved by his mother, who had never ceased to know him even though he had forgotten himself, and influenced and inspired by the faith that had sustained his mother’s hope and love, he began attending church services and one day came to my office seeking to be baptized.
    He did not find his own way to my office . . . A path, not of his own making, [was] made by the love that found him, that knew him better than he knew himself, and invited him to “follow me.”
~From a sermon by Hugh Reed, as quoted in a book by Paul Wilson

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Sought the Lord

I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
no, I was found of Thee.

Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea.
'Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
as Thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!
For Thou wert long beforehand with my soul;
always Thou lovedst me.

~Words: Anonymous & Music: George Chadwick

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The farmer and his three wishes

“A Jewish story tells of the good fortune of a hardworking farmer. The Lord appeared to this farmer and granted him three wishes, but with the condition that whatever the Lord did for the farmer would be given double to his neighbor. The farmer, scarcely believing his good fortune, wished for a hundred cattle. Immediately he received a hundred cattle, and his neighbor had two hundred. So he wished for a hundred acres of land, and again he was filled with joy until he saw that his neighbor had two hundred acres of land. Rather than celebrating God’s goodness, the farmer could not escape feeling envious and slighted because his neighbor had received more than he. Finally, he stated his third wish: that God would strike him blind in one eye.

And God wept.”

If we are unable to celebrate God’s grace to others, can we experience that mercy ourselves?

~Story found in the New Interpreter’s Bible

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Darest Thou Now, O Soul

Darest thou now, O Soul,
Walk out with me toward the Unknown Region,
Where neither ground is for the feet, nor any path to follow?

No map, there, nor guide,
Nor voice sounding, nor touch of human hand,
Nor face with blooming flesh, nor lips, nor eyes, are in that land.

I know it not, O Soul;
Nor dost thou—all is a blank before us;
All waits, undream’d of, in that region—that inaccessible land.

Till, when the ties loosen,
All but the ties eternal, Time and Space,
Nor darkness, gravitation, sense, nor any bounds, bound us.

Then we burst forth—we float,
In Time and Space, O Soul—prepared for them;
Equal, equipt at last—(O joy! O fruit of all!) them to fulfil, O Soul.

~Walt Whitman

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Joy of thy Lord

“If to any man the tumult of the flesh were silenced; and the images of earth and waters and air were silenced; and the poles were silent as well; indeed, if the very soul grew silent to herself, and went beyond herself by not thinking of herself; if fancies and imaginary revelations were silenced; if every tongue and every sign and every transient thing -- for actually if any man could hear them, all these would say, ‘We did not create ourselves, but were created by Him who abides forever’ -- and if, having uttered this, they too should be silent, having stirred our ears to hear Him who created them; and if then He alone spoke, not through them but by Himself, that we might hear His word, not in fleshly tongue or angelic voice, nor sound of thunder, nor the obscurity of a parable, but might hear Him -- Him for whose sake we love these things -- if we could hear Him without these, as we two now strained ourselves to do, we then with rapid thought might touch on that Eternal Wisdom which abides over all. And if this could be sustained, and other visions of a far different kind be taken away, and this one should so ravish and absorb and envelop its beholder in these inward joys that his life might be eternally like that one moment of knowledge which we now sighed after -- would not this be the reality of the saying, ‘Enter into the joy of thy Lord’?”
~St. Augustine (re-post—different English translation)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Stat Crux dum volvitur orbis


“The Cross stands firm while the world turns”
(picture from: here)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Talking to Grief

Ah, Grief, I should not treat you
like a homeless dog
who comes to the back door
for a crust, for a meatless bone.
I should trust you.

I should coax you
into the house and give you
your own corner,
a worn mat to lie on,
your own water dish.

You think I don’t know you’ve been living
under my porch.
You long for your real place to be readied
before winter comes. You need
your name,
your collar and tag. You need
the right to warn off intruders,
to consider
my house your own
and me your person
and yourself
my own dog.

~Denise Levertov

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Do you see?

“Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time. This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true.”
~Thomas Merton

Monday, September 9, 2013

We need more good men/women to step up into this arena!

“Every time I hear a political speech or I read those of our leaders, I am horrified at having, for years, heard nothing which sounded human. It is always the same words telling the same lies. And the fact that men accept this, that the people’s anger has not destroyed these hollow clowns, strikes me as proof that men attribute no importance to the way they are governed; that they gamble – yes, gamble – with a whole part of their life and their so called ‘vital interests.’”
~Albert Camus

“The men whom the people ought to choose to represent them are too busy to take the jobs. But the politician is waiting for it. He’s the pestilence of modern times. What we should try to do is make politics as local as possible. Keep the politicians near enough to kick them.”
~G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Psalm 139

O Lord, You search me and You know me,
You know my resting and my rising,
You discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to You.

Before ever a word is on my tongue
You know it, O Lord, through and through.
Behind and before You besiege me,
Your hand ever laid upon me.
Too wonderful for me this knowledge,
too high, beyond my reach.

O where can I go from Your spirit,
or where can I flee from Your face?
If I climb the heavens, You are there.
If I lie in the grave, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn
and dwell at the sea's furthest end,
even there Your hand would lead me,
Your right hand would hold me fast.

If I say: “Let the darkness hide me
and the light around me be night,”
even darkness is not dark for You
and the night is as clear as the day.

For it was You who created my being,
knit me together in my mother's womb.
I thank You for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all Your creation.

Already You knew my soul
my body held no secret from You
when I was being fashioned in secret
and molded in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw all my actions,
they were all of them written in Your book;
every one of my days was decreed
before one of them came into being.

To me, how mysterious Your thoughts,
the sum of them not to be numbered!
If I count them, they are more than the sand;
to finish, I must be eternal, like You.

O God, that You would slay the wicked!
Men of blood, keep far away from me!
With deceit they rebel against You
and set Your designs at naught.

Do I not hate those who hate You,
abhor those who rise against You?
I hate them with a perfect hate
and they are foes to me.

O search me, God, and know my heart.
O test me and know my thoughts.
See that I follow not the wrong path
and lead me in the path of life eternal.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Materialist

“...The Christian is quite free to believe that there is a considerable amount of settled order and inevitable development in the universe. But the materialist is not allowed to admit into his spotless machine the slightest speck of spiritualism or miracle. ...The Christian admits that the universe is manifold and even miscellaneous, just as a sane man knows that he is complex. The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the really sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman. But the materialist's world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation... Materialists and madmen never have doubts.

Spiritual doctrines do not actually limit the mind as do materialistic denials...”
~G. K. Chesterton

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Do you know what I mean?

“Sometimes it’s not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don’t mean.”
~Bob Dylan

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Life

“Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one Glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be many things about which you care nothing.”
~St. Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Thread

Something is very gently,
invisibly, silently,
pulling at me—a thread
or net of threads
finer than cobweb and as
elastic. I haven’t tried
the strength of it. No barbed hook
pierced and tore me. Was it
not long ago this thread
began to draw me? Or
way back? Was I
born with its knot about my
neck, a bridle? Not fear
but a stirring
of wonder makes me
catch my breath when I feel
the tug of it when I thought
it had loosened itself and gone.

~Denise Levertov