There Is No Z In Team

During my talks with God this week, I was reminded of a devotion I wrote in my second book. Before reviewing that, this blog could have a sub-title of :

Not Quite Right

If you happened to be walking behind me now and saw that I had written There Is No Z In Team, what would you do? I think our first reaction would be it’s not quite right but then the question becomes, do we have the courage to stop and point it out?

On our walk of faith, we will see many situations which do not appear to be quite right. Something is missing. Something unusual. Something strange. Something out of the ordinary.

I believe it is during these times, we need to quiet ourselves and ask God for discernment. God wants us to be near to Him and I’m sure God loves us when we come to Him for guidance!

My example from my second book happened on a day when I was driving east and in my rear view mirror, I could see a huge rain storm approaching. Maybe in about then minutes it would be in this area. I drove by an elderly woman sitting on a bus bench with a cart of groceries, waiting for the bus. In a matter of seconds after seeing her, God whispered, “Rick, what is wrong with you?”

Immediately, I turned around and parked where I could easily walk over and talk with her. I happened to have a giant umbrella in my car, so I took that with me. I first asked her if I could give her a ride, which she politely declined. I looked to the west and could see the storm approaching. I didn’t see a bus approaching.

I gave her my giant umbrella so she could be dry until the bus came. She opened it up and was able to cover herself and her groceries. As I left, I saw the storm getting really close and knew it would be a matter of minutes until it was here. I could also make out the outline of a bus coming in her direction so I knew she would not be in the storm for long. I could see her sitting under the big umbrella!

When things don’t seem quite right on our walk of faith, I pray that we will use that as a reminder to just stop and pray and talk with God about it. We are in that exact spot at that time for a reason. Had I continued my drive east, I would have totally missed the purpose of God’s plan for me and for her.

Let us communally pray for one another and lift one another up so in such situations we are action oriented rather than avoidance oriented. God will whisper to us. We just need to be still.

The word of God does not belong to him who hears or speaks it, but to him who puts it into practice.”

– St. Giles of Assisi

“Remember that the Christian life is one of action; not of speech and daydreams.”

– St. Vincent Pallotti

Easter Week Meditation

During my talks with God this week I was guided to share the quote below. So much happened and happens this week on a spiritual and physical level! It is also the perfect time to demonstrate being a gentle witness and simply invite someone to attend church with you. God’s Holy Spirit will take care of the rest! I would not be here today had someone (during this time of year) invite me to attend church with them!

“Let your understanding strengthen you patience. In serenity look forward to the joy that follows sadness.”

– St. Peter Damian

My prayer for us this week is to consider what Jesus did for us and to thank God for having His Holy Spirit with us at all times. Let us lift up those in need..those spiritually seeking. Let us lift up one another in prayer to ask God where He wants us to be, what does He want us to do and who does He want us to be with.

Thank you all for sharing the last post and for all of the wonderful comments. Truly, we are touching hearts as a gentle witness and helping people discover and share God’s wonderful and amazing grace. In the process, our hearts are touched and forever changed as well.

 

Throwing Paper Air Planes From The Bottom Of The Valley

During my talks with God this week, we discussed the slow down of my writing and what is going on?

One image that came to mind, which I find so funny (ok, I have a warped sense of humor), is that I am in the bottom of a valley, trying to communicate with all of you. I am there by myself. In addition to having enough supplies in terms of food and beverage, I also seem to have an abundance of paper and pens!

Somehow, I am able to see with great clarity some of you hiking to the top of the mountains on the trails. At the bottom of the mountains, I can hear where all of you have set up camp and are having good fellowship.

Only one problem. For some reason, no matter how loud I may try to yell, you are not able to hear me and you don’t know I’m down in the valley! My next best reasoning was to write you all  notes, create paper airplanes and attempt to launch them from the valley floor. Hoping somehow, a thermal draft of warm air might come along and take one to the top where you would see it and want to read it! All I need is a little help getting out of the valley!

As you can imagine, despite my creative  efforts of reaching you, at then end of each day, I walk around the valley picking up the air planes that just didn’t take off. “Tomorrow, ” I would say to myself, “tomorrow I will try this again and surely one will get the message to you.”

God and I both enjoyed the visual aspects of this as we considered what to do. On the surface, it is an attempt at defining and demonstrating an aspect of depression. A feeling of being so close to people and yet not being able to reach them. And them not being able to see me.

My prayer for us today is to think  about people you know who might be in the valley right now. Pray for them and if so guided, reach out to them in a way which God suggests. An email. A phone call. A letter. A text. And, although it seems like these happen less and less, a personal visit! Let us communally prayer for people with depression and their healing. Deanna has provided resources for us on spiritual healing and of course there is professional care. Although Deanna and I are in different places in our walk of faith (aren’t we all?), we respect and love one another for trying to reach as many people as we possibly can in this hurting world. Although I receive professional care, I know that Deanna is praying for me. Just as she knows I am praying for her!  According to statistics, it is likely that everyone reading this post knows someone who copes with depression.

Let us communally in prayer, lift one another up so we may hear God’s whisper. So we may hear who He wants us to reach out to and what work of His would He like us to do. Let us lift one another up in prayer to discover and share God’s grace and in the process, learn together, how to be an effective, gentle witness.  We live in a hurting world and being a gentle witness to a spiritually seeking person could be one of the most important things we can do on any given day.

Thank you so much for being here and for your prayers. Especially those prayers for those who may be in the valley.

In the middle of my physical sufferings, the inner music of my soul will not stop praising God with acts of virture offering Him my love.”

– St. Genoveva Torres Morales

 

Appreciation

This afternoon, I took some time to reply to some of the recent comments that have been offered. I know I did not get to everyone, but I want everyone to know how appreciative I am when a comment appears. I apologize if I did not get to your comment, but tried to respond to as many as I could right now.

I have always believed a comment can complete a blog in such a beautiful way or give us new thoughts for meditation and prayer. Comments have also inspired new blog posts.

There are billions of blogs out there to read….maybe more. To know that someone has taken their time to be here is so humbling for me. Then, to take more time and offer a comment is so awesome. I just now realized how the word offering is so beautiful when combined with adding a comment!

I have missed writing as much as I used to and hope to write more.

For today, a very simple quote and quite the challenge:

One must see God in everyone.”

– St. Catherine Laboure

My prayer for today is for God’s Holy Spirit to help us do just that. Imagine what could happen! If we were to see God in everyone! I pray for us in this community of discovering and sharing grace that we will lift one another up in prayer.  Our individual and communal prayers are so powerful as God hears every word and whisper. Pray for us to be still and listen for God to answer which we know He will. In His time and in His way. Let us ask God who He wants us to assist and where He wants us to be. And lastly, let’s be sure in our pray to let God know how much we appreciate Him and all He does for us each day!

Angel Course 101

While lying in my bed, I realized they hadn’t told me what to expect or what to do in the morning. So, I did the only think I could think of which was to climb out of my window before everyone was awake. As I climbed out my window, I took a last look around my room and even said good-bye to me who was still snuggled under the covers.

As I walked toward the valley and they lake, I couldn’t think of anything else other than seeing all the angels. So beautiful, just floating barely above the surface of the lake as the sun was rising.

As I got to the lake, I became totally disoriented! There was no lake! Just the same old valley I had walked hundreds of times as kids do.

I looked toward the other side of the valley and thought I saw someone sitting on a bench, so I continued my walk toward her. As I approached her, I could see how beautiful she was and how she was just waiting there for me. “Good Morning,” she said as I sat down next to her. I didn’t know what to say. “I know you were expecting the lake and the angels and there will be time for that but today we have work to do.”Who are you?” I sheepishly asked. “I am your angel, the one who covered you with my wings yesterday.”

Now I was really confused!  “So, you can go from being an angel to be a person again?” “Not really,” she replied, “from now on you and I will always be angels and part of my assignment is to answer all of your questions and help you develop.”

She then asked me if I were hungry and if I would like to go to breakfast?  I replied that I was starving because last night I was too nervous to eat, not knowing what would happen. “Ok, close your eyes and don’t open them until you hear another person’s voice.

“How would you like your eggs fixed….scrambled or sunny side up? Would you like toast and a pancake too?

Well, there we were sitting in a restaurant ordering breakfast at a place I had never seen before. I didn’t know anyone at the tables nor did I recognize the shops lining the streets. “We are at a town where you have never been…as you can imagine, we can’t exactly go to the restaurant in your town this morning!”

As our breakfast was being placed on our table, I realized I didn’t even know her name! “I”m sorry for not asking sooner, but I don’t even know your name or how old you are?” “Angelica,” she said with the greatest smile on her face! “Get it? Angel? Angelica? I’m so glad you asked, Daniel. My name is Mary and I was 25 when I became an angel.” I thought that was an interesting answer, so I asked, “how long have you been an angel?” “I have been an angel for 30 years…I know what you are trying to figure out. “Why don’t I appear to be 55?”

As we left the restaurant, she said it was time to get me fitted for my angel wings at the angel store. “Ok, I said, with a bit of excitement in my voice!” Mary laughed with such great joy. She gave me one of those playful shoves on my shoulder which almost landed me in the street.

“Daniel, have you ever seen an angel store?” “Don’t worry, we have lots to talk about.

We spent most of the day walking around the town with me asking questions and her answering them. Finally, she said, “I’m tired and could use some sleep”. “Let’s go sit on the bench by the fountain. Just like this morning close your eyes until you hear my voice again.”

Ok, she said, “I think we had a really good day and I’m looking forward to being with you tomorrow!”

“What about me, where do I sleep?” “You will have your own room this evening where you will always stay when you appear in human form.” When you wake up in the morning, walk out the front door and stay on the path to our bench here. We have so much work to do!”

“There is only one thing to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved. Let us seize with jealous care every last opportunity of self-sacrifice. Let us refuse Him nothing – He does so want our love!

St. Therese of Lisieux

Be Still

“Silence is a gift of God, to let us speak more intimately with God.”

– St. Vincent Pallotti

This week, my prayer for us is to appreciate silence which God gives us. Let us contemplate speaking with God in Silence.