Tuesday, May 07, 2013


They say it only knocks once.  I don't believe that.  In fact I encounter so many opportunities so many times that I can let it paralyze me with indecision unless I find the will to take one and run with it.  The most important opportunities are those to be more like Christ.  Every time I speak, write, interact, buy, sell, speculate, cogitate, pick up or put down,   I have an opportunity to look for guidance from the Holy Spirit, and an opportunity to give heed to that guidance.  Every moment of every day of my life, both now and the hereafter, I have the opportunity to give glory to God and the opportunity to turn away from Him.  I don't need more opportunities.  I need the strength to make good choices.

God, give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Saturday, March 30, 2013


Once I have a purpose, I want to make progress in fulfilling that purpose.  If my purpose were merely accumulating things or completing rituals, I would be able to track my progress rather easily.  Since my purpose is to love others, how can I know whether I am making progress?  One measure I use is this: love more.  Whatever I am doing in love, do some more.  Whether my efforts are really more or not seems to become clear when it gets harder to make the effort.  The bad stuff comes pretty easy: complaining, envying, grasping, lusting, and many more.   But when I am challenged to find new ways to show my love for someone, or when I am challenged to love someone that I find difficult, then I can be pretty sure I am making progress.  And it will only ever be progress, not culmination, in this life.  God can give me guidance when I hear him rightly.  God can convict me of sin when I am off track.  God can give me the courage to do harder stuff.  All I have to do is ask him, and have the faith that he can help me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


 I want purpose.  I have purpose.  How can I serve my purpose?

When I say I want a purpose, I am thinking primarily of a reason for me to go on living, or perhaps, why am I alive at all?  I am not content with self gratification as a reason for living. Were I more comfortable than I typically am, perhaps I could be seduced into thinking that comfort was enough.  But I am not.  I live each day and most hours as a struggle.

As God's creation, I have purpose.  I am instructed to love God and to love my neighbor as myself.  I have gradually attained some understanding of what it means to love another person.  Listening to them.  Acknowledging them.  Giving to them.  Serving them.  Waiting for them.  Forgiving them.  Encouraging them.

I have gifts, skills, and time.  How much of these do I use to further my purpose, and how much do I squander on a foolish attempt to gratify my self?  Using 100% of my gifts, skills, and time is the goal.  I suspect that I use far less than that.  I ask God to help me move ahead, to improve, to grow, and to be at peace.

Help me Lord.  I am doomed to failure without you.