..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Letting Your Light Shine

"Even so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

photo taken in Agawam, MA

Try so to live in the light of God's love that it becomes a second
nature to you; tolerate nothing adverse to it; be continually
striving to please Him in all things; take all that He sends
patiently; resolve firmly never to commit the smallest deliberate
fault, and if, unhappily you are overtaken by any sin, humble
yourself, and rise up speedily. You will not be always thinking of
God consciously, but all your thoughts will be ruled by Him, His
Presence will check useless or evil thoughts, and your heart will
be perpetually fixed on Him, ready to do His holy will.

- Jean Nicolas Grou (1731-1803), "Being Devoted to God"

photo taken in Suffield, Connecticut

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Continue to Love

What is necessary is to continue to love. How does a lamp burn, if
it is not by the continuous feeding of little drops of oil? When
there is no oil, there is no light and the bridegroom will say: "I
do not know you". Dear friends, what are our drops of oil in our
lamps? They are the small things from every day life: the joy, the
generosity, the little good things, the humility and the patience.

A simple thought for someone else. Our way to be silent, to listen,
to forgive, to speak and to act. These are the real drops of oil
that make our lamps burn vividly our whole life.

- Mother Teresa

photo taken in Agawam, MA

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Fall Day in Feeding Hills, MA

Jesus lived His life in complete dependence upon His
Father, as we all ought to live our lives. But such dependence
does not destroy human personality. Man is never so fully and
so truly personal as when he is living in complete dependence
upon God. This is how personality comes into its own. This is
humanity at its most personal.

... Donald M. Baillie (1887-1954), God was in Christ: an
essay on incarnation and atonement, Scribner, 1955,

photo taken in Feeding Hills, MA

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chippy and God

I have a little chipmunk that lives in my yard. By "little" I mean small in size,
but full of himself, and that makes quite a large package.  I'm not sure
how long he's lived in the maze of tunnels that completely encircle
my house. I've just noticed him a lot more this year. I assume its a "him"
but I could be wrong.

He's quite the character. No matter what time I look outside, no matter
what part of the house I  happen to be in, if  I look out, there he is.
He's charged with too much energy. Zoom, zoom, zoom.  This way,
that way, upside, down way. I'm beginning to see him as an analogy
of our relationship with God.  He furtively runs around, thinking that
no-one is watching. If he sees me, he throws himself into whatever
bush or hiding place he can, but he's kind of wired so he calls so
much attention to himself that even if  I hadn't initially seen him,
I would have after he tried to hide  because  he cant seem to make
himself small or inconspicuous. 

He doesn't know that I spend a lot of time watching him. I've begun
to put extra food items down his holes, just to let him know that
I know where he lives and to kind of bless him.. He's not much of
a vegetarian. And he has a sweet tooth. He likes the organic sugar
cubes, but not the lettuce I've stuffed into his hole. Furthermore,
he's absolutely selfish.

The most bizarre thing that has happened so far is that I put
raisins out for the robins that we also feed. A little while after I put
them out,  I looked out and a mourning dove had seen them
and had flown down to eat them. There was also a robin
who had come. Chippy flies out of his hole and actually gets
into a fight with the mourning dove. He lunges at the bird
and runs around in circles madder than you can imagine and
chirping  loudly at the poor dove. The dove, not exactly peaceful,
 tries to chase him away also. Its quite a loud confrontation.
They are hopping and fluttering and chirping in both bird
talk and chipmunk talk.

I go out to see what is happening and they are so embroiled
in arguing that they don't pay attention to me. The robin is there,
just a few feet away. The robins in our yard know us, so they
dont fly away unless we are within a few feet. The robin is trying
to figure out what is going on. The robin looks at me and then
at the fighting duo, and cuts them a wide swath, moving closer
to me and farther away from them.  "There goes the neighborhood"
I could almost hear the dignified robin intimate toward me.

When I watch this little guy, crazy and reckless as he is, I think
of us and God. God is closer than we think, watching us more
than we know. He leaves food where we can find it. We take
the sweet stuff readily and leave the healthy stuff behind. 

God is aware of how we treat others. And we, much of the time, are oblivious
to His Presence, thinking we are sneaking around unseen, and
full of our petty jealousies, spending a lot of time not sharing, or
worse yet, getting quite beligerent when people take things that
are not even ours.

Chippy  also has a hole by the downspout. Our gutter was having
problems so I put a large container, during the dry weather,
under the spout to catch the rain. I didnt know that it partly
covered his hole. When he came up the hole, I heard this
extremely loud commotion. He had panicked when
he could not get out of his hole and pushed the container over,
scaring himself silly  in the process. He is quite the character.
Not very accepting of new things.  Not quite able to adapt
to changes. Not liking new things on his turf.

I've started to be more bold with him. It startles him. I speak
to him when I know he is hiding in the bushes. I ring a little
bell when I am putting food down his hole. I want him to
know that I care about him, but also have a little fun. :)

Gee, this is sounding more like our relationship with God
all the time. Hmmmm..... I wonder if He sees me like
I see Chippy.  Yikes.

P.S. I have a picture of him somewhere. I will try to find it
and post it.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

If the Holy Spirit can take over the subconscious with our consent
and cooperation, then we have almighty Power working at
the basis of our lives, then we can do anything we ought to do,
go anywhere we ought to go, and be anything we ought to be.

Life is supplied with a basic adequacy...
The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious
mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as
important as the actions. Many Christians are Christians in
their actions--they don't lie, steal, commit adultery, or get
drunk; but they react badly to what happens to them--they react
in anger, bad temper, self-pity, jealousy, and envy... When the
depths are held by the Holy Spirit, then the reaction is

... E. Stanley Jones (1884-1973), Conversion
photo taken near Jacksonville, Vermont