The most important thing we can do today is pray.
It turns out most of us already know that, even if we don’t talk about it. Nine out of ten Americans have turned to prayer for healing at some point according to a study.
Calamities and sickness impel many to turn to God whether religious-minded or not. “For active believers and people of faith, prayer, including for healing, is more than a situationally motivated response to one’s own suffering; it is an ongoing expression of piety and of taking up the yoke to be of service to others,” writes the study’s author, Jeff Levine at Baylor University. Read more…
Recently I woke to intense, bright lightning and booming thunder that shook the bed. It was 3:00 in the morning and the winds were howling. As I got up to look out the bedroom window, my phone started blaring out a tornado warning.
Are we safe?
This was the first night of our trip. Though wakened from a good sleep, I wasn’t rattled, even as the windows and doors clattered. I have learned through experience that in an emergency, I can rely on sound wisdom gleaned from my Bible: “Peace, be still.” For me that means more than a deliberate attempt to stay calm; rather, it is an immediate and harmonious state of consciousness that I can experience right where I am no matter what turmoil surrounds me. I can feel at peace because I know any tumult cannot interfere with God’s consonance.
After a few moments the sky flashed bright green as the storm intensified. Electricity was going on and off. It was difficult to tell from my vantage point, but according to the weather service a tornado was aiming right at us. Read more…
Remember the Royal Canadian Air Force 5BX (Five Basic Exercises) Plan? Hugely popular in the 60’s, it was simple to do, but boring as heck. I remember my dad struggling with sit-ups and tediously running in place. It wasn’t long before his exercise regimen was history. To stick with an exercise routine, one needs a compelling reason for doing it.
I was not old enough at the time to think to ask dad why he wanted to exercise. He got plenty of activity running the family hardware business. Maybe he was doing it because his friends were into it. Perhaps he was concerned about his health. Finding answers to the question “Why am I exercising?” fortifies the endurance needed in the fight to be fit.
Along with the sheer enjoyment, some people exercise to work off excessive weight, relieve stress, improve athleticism, and/or train for sporting competition. If someone is exercising for his or her health, though, something more than mere muscle-flexing is needed. Consistent well-being includes living an active life with a spiritual focus. Read more…
To put out a fire, throw water on it. To stop shivering, throw on a coat. And in a broader sense, to erase the darkness of ignorance and fear, which often leads to malice and hate, throw light on it.
My little granddaughter, Anna, and I were playing in my office one day. She was not in a very good mood when she purposely turned on my floor lamp. One of its lights points downward, so I put my hands under it, pretending to amass as much light as I could and threw it on her.
She proceeded to do likewise, cupping her tiny hands under the bulb and tossing what she had collected in my direction. This game went on for some time, each of us gathering the light, pouring it on the other’s head, gleeful over our cleverness. Read more…
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”
Abraham Lincoln’s gracious assessment of 1863 is immortalized in the opening line of his first Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.
Over 150 years have passed since Lincoln’s establishment of an annual, national observance of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” In 1863 that day came just one week after the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg where Lincoln gave his celebrated two minute address. The War Between the States would go on for another year and a half.
What prompted Lincoln to articulate such a “healthful” outlook, where many saw only servitude to gloom and despair, was an intensified appreciation for blessings and their origin. He saw “bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.” He writes in his Thanksgiving Proclamation that these abundances are “so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”
Such an attitude as Lincoln’s serves as a timely example for all of us. Read more…