Monday, September 4, 2017


Today's photo reminds me of how hard it is to resist temptation. Sometimes the allure of doing absolutely the wrong thing is almost irresistible.

Now the Bible has some nice reassurance for people who overcome that temptation, but it didn't mention cute little doggies. I am hoping this little boy can resist!!! He may not care about "the Crown of Life" anyway. 

The Bible promise, contained in the Book of Luke says:   

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”

“Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into temptations;   knowing that the proving of your faith worketh patience.  And let patience have its perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.”     

That cake looks awfully good!   And the puppy is being a very good, very patient  boy.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


   Image may contain: dog

Do we sometimes relate to comedian/actor George Gobel who said: "I feel like the whole world is a tuxedo and I am a pair of old brown shoes!!" ? 

This photo of the little black SILLY LOOKING dog sitting with two lovely dogs reminded me of the many times when I have felt so outclassed, awkward, maybe less than attractive and out of place compared to the "beautiful people" around me.

In her Bible companion book, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy remarks:

"Comeliness and grace are independent of matter. Being possesses its qualities before they are perceived humanly.

Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness.

The embellishments of the person are poor substitutes for the charms of being, shining resplendent and eternal over age and decay.

The recipe for beauty is to have less illusion and more Soul, to retreat from the belief of pain or pleasure in the body into the unchanging calm and glorious freedom of spiritual harmony.

Love never loses sight of loveliness. Its halo rests upon its object.

"One marvels that a friend can ever seem less than beautiful. Men and women of riper years and larger lessons ought to ripen into health and immortality, instead of lapsing into darkness or gloom.

"Immortal Mind feeds the body with supernal freshness and fairness, supplying it with beautiful images of thought and destroying the woes of sense which each day brings to a nearer tomb." (Science and Heath page 248)

So little black doggie, fear not. Your beauty is deep within and you are loved!! And thanks for reminding me that all of God's perfect children are beautiful and can never be less than "lovely"!

No brown shoes here!!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017


When I saw this lovely picture of a VERY BRAVE Cat in the foreground sitting calmly with these German Shepherds, the thought came to me that the cat must surely be familiar with David's 23rd Psalm from The Bible.

He may just know that King David, who wrote the psalm, grew up and worked as a shepherd, so he knew a lot about sheep and shepherding. David loved the metaphor of seeing God, or the Lord, as a shepherd. The shepherd's job is to care for his flock, making sure they are safe, protected, nourished, calm and happy at all times.

Surely a gentle shepherd wouldn't hurt a sheep, OR a loving kitty.  What may seem threatening to some... maybe even seem to be  "the valley of the shadow of death"...  is not threatening when you are with the Shepherd. The Psalm says:

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."" Psalm 23

With all of those Shepherds around you,  I am sure you are safe Kitty!!!

Monday, June 19, 2017


In our world today, we observe normally good people pushing and shoving for position and power at the expense of others.

For some, the daily battle to be "The Greatest" or The Best" often causes jealousy, rancor and strife. In her extensive writings, late 19th century theologian Mary Baker Eddy counseled:

"Competition in commerce, deceit in councils, dishonor in nations, dishonesty in trusts, begin with Who shall be greatest?

"The imaginary victories of rivalry and hypocrisy are defeats.
 We are brethren in the fullest sense of that word; therefore no queries should arise as to “who shall be greatest.”

"Let us serve instead of rule, knock instead of push at the door of human hearts, and allow to each and every one the same rights and privileges that we claim for ourselves. "

As the Master, Jesus of Nazareth said, "Love one another."

Friday, June 16, 2017


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When I saw this delightful picture of a little field mouse, sleeping peacefully beside what may be his breakfast, I thought how naturally little animals like this go about their daily business and Trust that all will be well, contrasted with the Worry, Worry, Fret and Hurry of our busy lives. 

While sometimes we humans are "worriers", feeling responsible for making the world go around, this little guy sets a good example of the peace that is there for us when we relax and accept God's beneficence.

The Bible contains the promise for those who are receptive, as in these verses from Proverbs:

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither 
of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken."  Proverbs 3

Let's be like this little Mouse today. We can relax and TRUST God to guide and protect us. Then we will not fear and our sleep will be SWEET!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


Shangrala's               This Is My               Spot

When I saw this I was reminded of the Bible's promise of peace and harmony.

In her wonderful work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, Mary Baker Eddy elaborates on God's natural Love and Tenderness. She writes:

"Tenderness accompanies all the might imparted by Spirit. The individuality created by God is not carnivorous, as witness the millennial estate pictured by Isaiah: —

'The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
And the calf and the young lion, and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.'
Isaiah 11"

As I, in my own life, strive to reflect that loving spirit, that acceptance of others who may be different, that lack of "judgement"... and as I work to resist the fear that would keep us at odds with each other, I ponder the verses above from Isaiah.

And, I found a role model!! This lovely cat...a little wary maybe, but cautiously accepting a historic "arch enemy", a bird of all things, into her personal space.

Thanks for the lesson in peace and harmony Dear Pussycat.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


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This picture is so appealing to me. This wonderful doggie is completely relaxed, ready to fall asleep. The security of a "doggie toy" gives assurance that all is well.

We too can feel that assurance, as promised long ago in the Bible book of Proverbs. When we are listening for God's direction, shutting out the madness of the material world and being in tune with the one Mind, we can emulate this trusting boy.

The reassuring thoughts from the Bible .....

"When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.
For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken." Proverbs 3:24-26

I wonder if this beautiful boy has his own copy of the Bible.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


It starts when your wife tells you that you seem to have become negative over the last week. Negative? Well, I don’t think so. Me?  Of all people???

But, actually it does seem that many things have gone awry lately, maybe I am a little down. Just because my back aches, and I broke a bottle of liquid on the garage floor while getting the groceries out of the car, and… yeah… there is the computer virus someone is trying to implant in my laptop, and… well about a thousand other things.

But, the GOOD news is that the new automated car wash in Palm Coast Florida has lots of suds!! I found out as I tried out the new place which is pretty much completely automated after the initial mirror check and bug removal at Stage 1.  
It is terrific…  You pay for the automated car wash with a credit card device, pull up to the front of the line where two young guys are standing. As you reach the red line, these “almost eager”  workers jump into action. They start washing the bugs off of the front of the car, make sure your side mirrors are retracted, give a special wash to the windshield. Then they direct you to put car in neutral… foot off of the brake…and … the car rolls forward into the wash bay.

Being the gracious and entertaining fellow that I am, I have the driver’s side window down while the attendants do their job regaling them with some old jokes and friendly comments. Then they finish their work and we move on. AND, at that moment… that particular moment… the driver’s side electric window, for the first time EVER, refuses to go up.

As I frantically wrestle with the offending button, we roll quickly into the car wash, tons of suds washing over and into the car. As the panicking occupant (that would be me!!) wrestles with modern technology, an electric window which having only a two way button is not overly complex, about 1,000 gallons of water and soap suds are poured into the car by a completely unsympathetic automated process which I am guessing gets a perverse kick out of dousing the cheap customer who opted for the low cost wash instead of the $50 FULL SERVICE with hot wax and whitewall tire cleaner. 

As the water and suds flowed in covering the dashboard, the seat, most of the interior AND… the driver, I am almost positive I heard a faint electronic “chuckle coming from the mechanism !!!

Now, having been recently admonished by a certain wife who is ALWAYS correct, and remembering well her exact words about my being negative, I started to laugh!! I laughed with suds on my face and in my mouth, suds on my shirt and pants, suds on my head, suds in my lap and all over the inside of the car, water streaming in as if I was under Niagara falls.

Image result for SPILLED ICE CREAMI FINALLY got a little cooperation and the window suddenly went up just as it dawned on me that the window problem might relate back to an incident some months ago when a foolishly placed cup of soft ice cream slid off of the dash board onto the window button unit as I, oblivious to the danger, accelerated and the ice cream went flying. 

I learn a hard lesson, apparently! But to show that I am NOT negative, TODAY I laughed uncontrollably all the way through the car wash.

As the car rolled out of the bay I smugly thought, “That’ll show her!! Who is negative? Certainly not me!!! “ And then as if to offer one last humiliation, a big blob of soapsuds fell off my head into my lap.

As I pulled off the car wash lot I thought, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling: “If you can laugh while all those around you are not laughing, you probably don’t understand the situation.” :::sigh:::

It isn’t easy being me.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


Shangrala's               This Is My               Spot

In a world that seems to have forgotten or neglected the spiritual realities of existence, this lovely hog, I call her Miss Piggy,  seems to be looking though the restraining fence of materiality longing for a more meaningful life.    

Sometimes I feel like this, overweight, in my case self-imposed restrictions and limits, peering through a myriad of physical restraints.   Like many others I question whether my simple life measures up to the standard set by ancient worthies, whether we are merely material flesh and blood creatures or entirely spiritual, as taught by Jesus of Nazareth.

In my pondering, I have found, as described by Mary Baker Eddy in the late 1800's, that life is actually spiritual, and best understood through a metaphysical view, a view that explores the fundamental nature of reality.   She wrote:

"Metaphysical healing seeks a wisdom that is higher than a rhubarb tincture or an ipecacuanha pill.This method is devout enough to trust Christ more than it does drugs."

"Meekly we kneel at our Master’s feet, for even a crumb that falleth from his table. We are hungry for Love, for the white-winged charity that heals and saves; we are tired of theoretic husks, — as tired as was the prodigal son of the carobs which he shared with the swine, to whom he fed that wholesome but unattractive food."
(Miscellaneous Writings p 359... Mary Baker Eddy)

I love you Miss Piggy.  May I join you in contemplating how best to rise above the simple corn husks and live a Life of Love and service?

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


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I really laughed when I saw this picture of a TRUSTING cat letting her doggie friend "attack" her!!! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could all remain calm and trusting in the face of seeming danger.

Many of us may have pondered and benefited from the following counsel from the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy. I certainly have!!

"When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. "

"Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmonious — as Life eternally is — can destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not. " S&H 495

It is almost like the cat somehow understands Mrs Eddy's guidance and the Bible correlative passage from Proverbs:

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3

Good Cat!! Good Cat!!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

ANIMAL PHOTO OF THE DAY - A Comforting Mom in the Style of the Heavenly Father/Mother

In many instances our precious doggies more nearly reflect God's "mothering" than humans do!!! They seldom use baby sitters, don't run off to play bridge, play golf, go shopping or spend hours on the phone or watching television!!

This little lady is fully occupied as a dedicated mother. However, she may do a bit of knitting as we can see from the picture.

This picture reminds me of how God "mothers" us as this favorite hymn proclaims:

Like as a mother, God comforteth His children;
Comfort is calm, that bids all tumult cease;
Comfort is hope and courage for endeavor,
Comfort is love, whose home abides in peace.

Love is true solace and giveth joy for sorrow,
—O, in that light, all earthly loss is gain;
Joy must endure, Love’s giving is forever;
Life is of God, whose radiance cannot wane.

O holy presence, that stills all our demanding,
O love of God, that needs but to be known!
Heaven is at hand, when thy pure touch persuades us,
Comfort of God, that seeks and finds His own.
(Christian Science Hymnal p 174)

Thanks for being a precious little mother. I love your family!!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017



 "God fashions all things, after His own likeness. Life is reflected in existence, Truth in truthfulness, God in goodness, which impart their own peace and permanence. " **

"Love, redolent with unselfishness, bathes all in beauty and light. The grass beneath our feet silently exclaims, “The meek shall inherit the earth.” **  ** (From Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy)

This little Miss, elegant in her Spring finery is the picture of innocence and meekness. You can feel God's dear Love reflected in her sparkling eyes.  

We are so fortunate just to... BE!   And to be able to see and enjoy lovely little creatures like Miss Springtime.

Thank you Father of All!!!   May each of us live each day with Love and Meekness too.

Monday, May 1, 2017


Dear Doggie,

We need to have a talk about some of your habits.

In the Bible New Testament book of Luke, Jesus of Nazareth advised against greed, covetousness and the blind accumulation of material things.

He once said: “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

In order to find happiness he advised that we drop the sense of happiness in acquiring material things. He said: “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.”

“Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

So, lovely Doggie, you can relax and share the toys with your friends. Don’t be a Greedy Doggie!!! God will provide all that you need.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

ANIMAL PHOTO OF THE DAY - Running the Race- Let's SLOW DOWN!

The Bible has such great instruction for us, TODAY, in the 21st Century!! The counsel is timeless!!!   Like this, as quoted from the Christian Science textbook, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures":

"St. Paul wrote, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us;” that is, let us put aside material self and sense, and seek the divine Principle and Science of all healing."

" If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit. If honest, he will be in earnest from the start, and gain a little each day in the right direction, till at last he finishes his course with joy."

Sooo, little chicken, no need for a skateboard to "run the race that is set before us" !!!

Slow Down!!!

We can each "run the race" with patience, putting aside the "Worry, Worry, Hurry Hurry, Skelter and Scurry of a whirlwind material existence!!!"

Let's patiently Trust God.. and wait on Love's Still, small voice"  to guide us.

Friday, April 28, 2017

ANIMAL PHOTO OF THE DAY...- Blanket Coverage

Maybe David, as recorded in Psalm 4 in the Holy Bible, did not exactly have "godly" birds and doggies in mind when he wrote his beautiful Psalm, but it seems to apply.

These little birds seem happy to be protected by, and to lie down in peace and sleep beside, their "protector!!

The text shows that today, as in ages past, God watches over all who Trust in Him:

As David has it:

"But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him."

"Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still."

"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord."

"I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety."

I think Doggie is working for the Father in carrying out his protective duties, sort of a “blanket coverage”!!

Good Dog!!!!  

Thursday, April 27, 2017


This happy frog with that beautiful wide smile reminds me that we are here, today, God's ideas, the outcome of His Divine Mind.

The Bible reminds us that "NOW ARE WE THE SONS OF GOD"!!! (I John). Obviously the Happy Frog understands that!

Mary Baker Eddy, in her Bible companion book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" reassures us what is most important in Life:

"Beauty, wealth, or fame is incompetent to meet the demands of the affections, and should never weigh against the better claims of intellect, goodness, and virtue.

Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love.

It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it."

We have a CHOICE today!! Are we to be pulled down by the seeming problems of the world and our own daily challenges? Or are we open to God's promise that TODAY we are His children, that we CAN be happy, and can look for God's blessings every moment of the day? 

Let's choose to be Happy and to share it!!! 

Thanks Mr. Frog!!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2017


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I am just an ape and I have heard that some humans believe that man evolved from my species whose members are known as Great Apes or Hominids. 

Supposedly humans represent an advancement in Evolution over my ancestors.

I guess that means when we apes and chimpanzees advance to the point of having guns, bombs, weapons of mass destruction, when we murder and discriminate against each other and have endless conflicts, we will be more advanced.

I am not real eager for that advancement. I confess that what humans have become makes me frightened. Maybe someday they will find out the "God is Love" and that they should..." Love One Another" as one of their prophets advised long ago.

I would be happy just to have a banana.

Saturday, April 22, 2017


Gentleness, a quality of a loving God, is reflected in all Creation.

In a world that sometimes seems so harsh, cruel and unloving, a world where LOVE often takes a back seat to selfish interests, human opinion, will power and the daily challenges of this world, sometimes a simple photo showing Gentleness and what Life is really all about can awaken us to a higher view.

I love this little innocent angel gently cradling a baby with tenderness. It reminds me of a favorite hymn. The words of this ancient hymn from The Sarum Gradual, date back to 1527 AD, and are now contained in the Christian Science Hymnal as hymn #316.

The poem helped me so much as a Dad years ago when I sometimes got upset with one of my rascally children!! I guess gentleness was a good thing even way back then and the words still mean a lot to me.

"Speak gently, it is better far
To rule by love than fear;
Speak gently, let no harsh word mar
The good we may do here.

Speak gently to the erring ones,
They must have toiled in vain;
Perchance unkindness made them so;
O win them back again.

Speak gently, ’tis a little thing,
Dropped in the heart’s deep well;
The good, the joy that it may bring,
Eternity shall tell."

This is a suitable "prayer" for today. May we all "speak gently" and listen for Divine Love's tender message of "gentleness".

Thursday, April 13, 2017


When I first saw this lovely doggie, I wanted to squeeze him. This boy could be considered beautiful by some, maybe not so pretty by others, I expect. It made me think about what real beauty is. AND, where do we look for it... within or without?

Mary Baker Eddy defines beauty this way in her book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures", a companion to The Holy Bible:

"Beauty, as well as truth, is eternal; but the beauty of material things passes away, fading and fleeting as mortal belief." Immortality, exempt from age or decay, has a glory of its own, — the radiance of Soul. 

Immortal men and women are models of spiritual sense, drawn by perfect Mind and reflecting those higher conceptions of loveliness which transcend all material sense."

"Comeliness and grace are independent of matter. Beauty is a thing of life, which dwells forever in the eternal Mind and reflects the charms of His goodness in expression, form, outline, and color. It is Love which paints the petal with myriad hues, glances in the warm sunbeam, arches the cloud with the bow of beauty, blazons the night with starry gems, and covers earth with loveliness."

"The embellishments of the person are poor substitutes for the charms of being, shining resplendent and eternal over age and decay." (S&H page 248)

In an age when physical beauty, glamour, sculptured bodies, flawless skin, luxurious hair, petite body size and all of the other mortal measurements are "siren songs", alluring the unwary to worship the external, we sometimes glimpse where real beauty, lasting beauty, resides.

I love you "Wrinkled Doggie" and thank you for reminding us where to look for real beauty!!

Saturday, April 1, 2017


"If a dog barks his head off in the forest and there is no human to hear him, is he still a "bad dog?"

I love dogs. I have found dogs can teach us wonderful lessons in love, obedience, gentleness, and on occasion, the not so wonderful traits of stubbornness and senseless barking!!!

Thinking about this cute picture and the idea of a doggie barking in the forest, unheeded, made me think of my life over the past year. .

For various reasons, reasons disturbing to me, including my deep concern over the contentious political situation in my country, the threat of terrorism, the plight of immigrants in America, the continuing warfare, extreme poverty and hunger in a number of countries, and on and on, I realized that amidst all of these problems I have been complaining, arguing, blaming, becoming a noisy combatant like that bad doggie barking in a forest where there is no one to hear or care. I had begun to feel like that “bad dog”. All bark and no solutions! I prayed to be freed from the “barking”.

Recently, as prayer and deep desire often bring, a totally strange and unexpected thought came to me. I didn’t really know what it meant.

It was: Do I Give Up? Give In? Or Give? 

Here’s some background. My wife and I volunteer at a weekly “Food Pantry” in a nearby community and at two “Free Meal” venues close to our town in eastern Florida. We supply canned goods, vegetables, meat, bread products and other food items supplied by generous grocery stores and restaurants at the Food Pantry. Then, we feed hot meals to the hungry, homeless, downtrodden, poor, unemployed and other sad cases at the Free Meal locations. 

As I have served there and talked to some of the wonderful folks passing through the line,
Hungry People Grateful for A Hot Meal
learning their names and finding out a little about their lives, I found we could almost see three categories, the three categories that had come to my thought earlier! Although seemingly totally unrelated to my personal struggle with the complaining, criticizing and barking in the forest, it started to become clear. 

Given Up, Given In and Givers.

Some of our “clients” seem to have “Given Up.” Their blank, expressionless faces reflect defeat and sadness, they don’t seem to have any fight left in them. These men and women of different ages, races and nationalities shuffle along as if life were such a disappointment. Some may have drug addiction, no employment, no prospects, no inspiration, no families, no smiles. They do often “light up” as we talk and as they feel the respect that we have for them. I have found that sometimes the lack of being loved is a more acute problem than their lack of food. Perhaps they don’t get much respect in their daily lives.

Others seem to have “Given In”. They appear to be accepting the idea that they are supposed to be in this somewhat dismal state, that they almost deserve to be homeless, or helpless. They are somewhat more open than the “Given Up” folks and we converse more, but most apparently don’t see much of a future and appear to be resigned to their situation as being normal for them.

But then there are “Givers”. Those of us who are Volunteering to prepare and serve the Daily Hot Lunch on our appointed days or distribute the food each week at the Food Pantry are now joined by some of those who actually receive food and meals but want to Give as well as receive. These people, apparently nearly Given Up or Given In when we first joined the ranks of the volunteers are now busily setting up tables, unloading food donations and getting prepared for when the rest of the people come to pick up food for their families.

What a delight it is to see them going from the state of receiving to active giving. I’m sure their financial situation may not be much different than it was earlier but they have responded to the love and care of the Volunteer Group and they are now Givers!

Interesting to me is that these wonderful folks are more outgoing, happy and seem to glow from their own efforts to Give. They jump at the opportunity to help in any way that they can, serving in the line, washing pots and pans, cleaning tables, setting up tables and anything needed. They may not have food to give but they have the willingness to give what they have. In their current state of need, they don’t fume or fuss but accept gratefully the good that is coming their way.

And, the active Giving by these dear ones has helped me see the way to get out of the forest of concern and disappointment with the current world situation, to do less complaining, and to do more listening, praying and expressing more gratitude... and more Giving.

Oh, it was very easy for me to get distracted, to be dragged down by a sense of injustice, riled up and barking my head off like the little puppy. But, the Great Physician, Jesus of Nazareth demonstrated every day what living according to his teaching involves.

He was a GIVER.

He said: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

He certainly didn’t Give Up or Give In. He faced life’s challenges, and there were plenty for him, he overcame by Giving.

He didn’t GIVE as the world viewed Giving. While he did do some great “Food Pantry” and “Food Kitchen” things like Feeding the Multitudes and getting tax money from the mouth of a fish, his giving was sharing the key to eternal life. He fed the world with wisdom. He shared his wisdom in the form of the Beatitudes and simple parables describing the way in which we should live and conduct ourselves. He counseled, taught and healed.

He didn’t complain about taxes.

His advice in politics was Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

His gentle counsel included no senseless human arguments, distress, disappointment or the equivalent of  “barking in the forest”.

When confronted by hate or threats, He remained
calm and composed. In one instance, when he was teaching, many of the listeners became upset at him. According to the Bible, they: “rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.”
(Luke 4:29-30)

As a lasting reminder he told his disciples, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father."
(John 14:12)

So, with all due love and respect for my little doggie friend in the picture, I thank him for the Lesson Learned and hope to set a good example for him.

No more senseless barking. We have work to do.

Good Doggie

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Busy Bees and a Mission and Purpose

Image result for bees buzzing in a corn field

Walking through the 7 foot tall rows of sweet corn,  checking the ears for insects, corn worms and to see how close to harvest they were,  I loved the buzzing of the honeybees even though it was so loud it blocked out all other sounds.  Thousands of bees buzzing around my head,  darting here and there, skillfully pollinating,  painted a beautiful lively picture that  was  a joy  to witness.   They were such “Busy Bees”,  fulfilling their work,  that they didn't seem to notice me. They weren't distracted at all by this “intruder” in their midst.  

Recently, the remembrance of that “bee” experience of several years ago suddenly came to my thought as I realized how I had mesmerized by the political maelstrom  that had encompassed the country and distracted me from my “mission”.      I had fallen for the “bait” to engage… spouting  strong feelings, participating in sometimes hateful rhetoric,  self righteous  opinions, bitterness... being drawn away from what I had considered my life purpose.  

I was disappointed in myself but seemed drawn to get involved.   Remembering the bees hit me like a ton of bricks and it awakened me to what commitment to a mission means.  

As I pondered, feeling ashamed of myself for being pulled down once again, a story from the Bible came to thought.  Lessons from the Bible , though maybe thousands of years old, continue to provide a rich treasure of life lessons when we can see them as applied to our daily experience.

How easily I had been diverted from my ‘mission” , my strong desire  to follow the appeal of Micah  the Morasthite  contained in the Bible when he said of God: … “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”  No mention of being distracted, veering from the path, lowering our standard to the level of hateful conduct, criticism or losing touch with spirituality. 

Image result for bees in school
Bee-ing a Good Student
Then just a few days after thinking about the faithfulness of the bees to their mission, while reading from the book of Nehemiah in the Holy Bible, the realization came that this old “distraction” trick is not new.  The pull to separate us from Love, goodness, kindness and right thinking is as old as time itself.  I wondered if the bees had read that story in school and learned from it!!!!    

Nehemiah was a high official in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I.   After hearing about the sad state of affairs in Judah, the home of his ancestors, Nehemiah acquired the king’s permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild that city and its fortifications which had been destroyed by enemies.    That became his mission and purpose.

Nehemiah the Builder
There were many distractions, primarily from   Sanballat and Tobiah,   Regional Governors who resented his involvement and were trying to tempt him to come down from the work, to distract him and draw him away from the work he was doing.   This seemed to me like a parallel to the temptation I had experienced to engage in “conflict” over our own political process.

But Nehemiah stuck by his guns (well… a figure of speech actually as there were no guns in those days!!).  He stayed on the wall and , like the Busy Bees,  told the detractors  that he had a work to do and he was not going to be distracted. 

Seeing how easily we can be pulled away from our work, drawn into endless conflict,  it became important to me to “define” my mission and purpose.    A clue came from the master Christian, Jesus of Nazareth when he said:  

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, 
Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
 Luke 4:17-19

Religious leader Mary Baker Eddy, whose Bible companion book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures is studied worldwide, offers this counsel as an alert to stay focused on spirituality:      “Being in sympathy with matter, the worldly man is at the beck and call of error, and will be attracted thitherward."     SH 21:25

    “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought. Let neither fear nor doubt overshadow your clear sense and calm trust, that the recognition of life harmoniousas Life eternally iscan destroy any painful sense of, or belief in, that which Life is not.”   SH 495:14

 When we keep our mission and purpose foremost in thought, we can silence the distraction with that buzzing activity we witness in the Bee World.     Thanks Bees and Nehemiah for being good role models. 

Image result for bee on corn