Archive for July, 2012

Skimming and Skipping Across the Surface of Our Days

July 25, 2012

Lori Anne Yang

I love the analogy my friend, Lori Anne Yang, expresses so beautifully in this brief post from her blog, Mammaste. it is a good visual and visceral reminder to make the most of every moment you have been blessed with.


Many mornings it feels like I put on my water skis, pick up the tow rope behind the speed boat that is my mind, the motor revs and (more…)

Whatever You Do, Do It to Please God

July 22, 2012

In church this morning, the minister said that when he was a young monk, he had taken two or three weeks to completely rewrite a booklet that he was asked to revise. After submitting it, a senior monk called him and, not knowing he was talking to the monk who had written it, told him that the original was better written and that all it had needed was a little revision here and there.

The minister said he resisted the impulse to feel frustrated and resentful. Instead, he told himself that this is what God wanted and that that was all that mattered. Cheerfully, and with greater (more…)

All Is Well

July 20, 2012

Sunset in Encinitas (photo by Christopher Gray)

I just got back from standing at the ocean’s edge as darkness fell, watching and listening as the metal-blue waves rolled in toward my feet. And I thought, “All is well. The people I love are happy and healthy. I am doing the work I feel called to do. I have enough to eat and a place to live. I could not be more blessed.”

Standing there, gazing at the ocean, I also knew that the day would come when I would give everything I own, perhaps even my life, to (more…)

My First Book Reading for “Through God’s Eyes”

July 15, 2012

I read four excerpts from the book, ably assisted by my good friend, Lindsay Howett

My first book reading for Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World was a wonderful success! The event was hosted by Caroline and Skip Andrews in Carlsbad, California. Caroline and Skip regularly host inspiring presentations in their beautiful home, which they have (more…)

Upgrade your iBrain!

July 12, 2012

Tonight at an inspirational service, the minister noted how so many people keep filling their minds with how people have done them wrong. They keep on returning to these negative memories over and over again. He then said, “You wouldn’t play (more…)

Jacques Lusseyran: “Fear Kills and Joy Maintains Life”

July 7, 2012

Jacques Lusseyran

I was deeply affected by And There Was Light, the astonishing autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, who, though blinded at age eight, was a leader of the French Resistance in World War II.

A turning point in Lusseyran’s life was his miraculous return from the dead in Buchenwald, a notorious German concentration camp. It was his sickness that rescued him and bestowed the grace of continuous joy. His experience is so profound that it is difficult to fully appreciate the transformation he underwent—from fear and certain death to the very embodiment of happiness and hope.

Here is an excerpt from And There Was Light:

Towards the end of the month all of a sudden it became too much for me and I grew sick, very sick. I think it was pleurisy. They said several doctors, prisoners like me and friends of mine, came to listen to my chest. It seems they gave me up. What else could they do? There was no medicine at all at Buchenwald, not even aspirin.

Very soon dysentery was added to pleurisy, then an infection in both ears which made me completely deaf for two weeks, then erysipelas, turning my face into a swollen pulp, with complications which threatened to bring on blood poisoning. More than fifty fellow prisoners told me all this later. I don’t remember any of it myself. I had taken advantage of the first days of sickness to leave Buchenwald.

Two young boys I was very fond of, a Frenchman with one leg, and a Russian with one arm, told me that one morning in April they carried me to the hospital on a stretcher. The hospital was not a place where they took care of people, but simply a place to lay them down until they died or got (more…)

Stop Blaming, Start Blessing

July 6, 2012

Standing outside Whole Foods today, I watched as a middle-age man passed by with a sad look on his face. Looking around, it struck me that among all the people seated outside, some were no doubt gossiping or complaining about someone or something. And I thought, Why are you wasting time and precious breath contributing negative energy to the world when you are surrounded by people starving for connection, compassion, validation and affection? Instead of clucking about somebody’s flaws, you can literally transform yourself and the world around you by choosing to be a source of love, hope and healing energy to all who cross your path.

What does that look like? It could be as (more…)

Nothing Was Unfriendly

July 5, 2012

Jacques Lusseyran

I just started reading And There Was Light, the astonishing autobiography of Jacques Lusseyran, who, though blinded at age eight, was a leader of the French Resistance in World War II. I am only five pages into his story, but what he wrote about his happy childhood resonated deep within me:

I felt sure that nothing was unfriendly, that the branches I used to swing on would hold firm, and that the paths, no matter how winding, would take me to a place where I would not be afraid; that all paths, eventually, would (more…)

Try a Little Tenderness

July 4, 2012

In church this last Sunday, the minister told two stories about a senior monk he knew who modeled a wonderful approach to engaging with angry people.

When the minister was a young monk himself, he was doing yard work at the ashram under the watchful eye of the senior monk when a truck driver pulled up. The driver was extremely upset and spewing foul language because he had been driving around the winding roads in the area for an hour trying to find the ashram. The senior monk sympathized with the truck driver and said, “l can see why you’re so upset. You must be worried about staying on schedule. Here, let (more…)

Something to Hold On to

July 3, 2012

In church this last Sunday, the minister used a colorful analogy. He noted that you wouldn’t dream of riding a roller-coaster without the safety bar in place. Then, no matter how high or how fast you travel, you will be secure and you won’t fall out.

He then explained that that safety bar is (more…)

ATM: A Tree-mendous Miracle!

July 2, 2012

This story by John Cassidy of Centereach, New York, is a perfect example of an unexplainable glitch suddenly making sense. I’ve experienced a number of similar technical mishaps that made no sense whatsoever . . . until suddenly they did. My experiences may not have been life and death, but the reasons were just as stark and obvious. This story appeared in the July 2012 issue of  Guideposts.

A seemingly uncooperative bank machine turns out to be an angelic ATM

The bank I frequent has a drive-through ATM, which is convenient because it saves me from having to get out and wait in a long teller line inside.

For years, I’ve followed the same routine: I pull up to the machine, make my deposits or withdrawals, then drive over and park in a spot about 50 feet away, underneath a big old stately shade tree, while I tuck my money in my wallet and put away my receipts. Quick and easy.

One windy summer morning I had a lot of errands to run and was low on cash. So I drove over to my bank, waited patiently behind another car, then pulled up to the ATM. I put the car in park and slipped my card into the slot as usual. But the machine immediately spat it back out. “Cannot (more…)

Self-Improvement . . . Emphasis on “Self”

July 1, 2012

In church this morning, the minister told of a woman who had filled out an application for the Self-Realization Fellowship Lessons for Home Study. In response to the question, “What effort are you making at self-improvement?” she wrote, “I’m divorcing my husband.” After the laughter died down, he commented that people who find fault with everyone except themselves should look at their own behavior instead of constantly blaming everyone else.

It’s so true. Take a look at the patterns in your own life. If you have a history of relationships ending badly or if you run into the same kinds of problems at (more…)