Friday, October 22, 2010

The Quiet Place

My God this has been a trying week for me!  I've been hit with a number of things from a bunch of different directions.  Have you ever felt tired in your soul, like your inner strength has just about been completely depleted?  That's what this week has been like for me.  Anger, sadness, disappointment, helplessness, I've experienced all of that in the span of just a few days that has felt so much longer.  I'm so glad it's Friday!

I've been fighting hard to keep my head above water and now I am ready to sink, sink into God, sink into myself, get reconnected with the sense of joy, gratitude and wonder that has sustained me time and time again.  I have drifted away from myself.  I've allowed external circumstances to cut me off from my inner peace, essentially to cut me off from my own being.  I want it back and I'm going to spend time this weekend shutting everything else out and being alone with God and myself.

It is in that quiet place that I spring back to life.  It is in that quiet place that I am rejuvenated and strengthened and born again.  It is in this sacred silence and solitude that I experience more fully the fellowship of God and come to realize that I am surrounded by Presence and discover I have more strength to continue the journey than I thought I had and an increasing sense of joy to go along with it as well.  It is in descending again into the darkness and silence of the womb of God do we reemerge into a world of light ready to begin our journey afresh.  To this quiet place I will go for I have been away too long.

Following the Way,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thank You!

There are moments in my life when I am just so grateful to be alive, moments when I realize that the weight of all of my problems, issues, fears and concerns simply cannot compare to the joy of being, the joy of living, the joy of taking in a breath and smelling the morning air and feeling the warmth of the sun upon my face.

I am grateful!  Grateful for eyes that see and ears that hear!  Grateful for arms and legs, hands and feet that move!  Grateful for the heart beating within me and every single functioning component of the intricate system of my physical body!  Grateful for this day and all of the possibilities it contains.

I am grateful and I must say thank you.  My soul must say thank you.  To the One who is Beauty, Mystery and Light; the One who is and causes everything else to be, the One who will always be everything I'll ever need: Thank You!  Thank You!!  Thank You!!!

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. 
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever."
Psalm 30:11-12

Following the Way,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Good Morning God

I woke up this morning and I said, "Good Morning God".  It's a spiritual practice I have used in the past and am returning to again.  It's a practice that emphasizes devotion.  By setting aside my first words of every morning to God I demonstrate the place of importance God holds in my life.  In saying Good Morning I am saying to God: You are my first love.  You are the first thing on my mind when I awake; the first thing upon my heart when I begin to stir myself out of bed.  Before my feet even touch the floor I long to commune with You. Brushing my teeth, washing my face, emptying my bladder can wait; I must greet the One who watched over me all night as I was sleeping.  I must reach out to the One who is always reaching out to me. I must turn to face the One who has never hidden his face from me and so I simply say Good Morning.

It's also a practice that emphasizes presence.  I greet God because I realize that God is there and is always there.  There will never be a morning when I will awake to find myself alone.  No, God is always there and by simply saying Good Morning my spirit is reminded of this fact.  And knowing this makes all the difference in how I go about my day whatever it may hold.

Good Morning God!  I am more than grateful for the privilege of greeting You this morning and sharing with You another day.

Following the Way,

Friday, September 3, 2010


I am having one of those days again when the joy of God is just rumbling and tumbling inside of me.  I don't know what to do with myself!  Go to the bathroom and cry tears of joy?  Run around the office shouting God's praises and confuse my coworkers?  Or let it all hang out and just bust out in tongues and dance the way we Pentecostals do when we get a little too excited in church and REALLY confuse my co-workers?

I love days like this!  I am in awe of God's grace and I feel kissed by God's grace right now.  That's the best way I can put it.  Grace is always present but sometimes you feel like it just reaches down and kisses you on the cheek and wraps its arms around you.  I feel like I am about to spontaneously grow wings and take to the sky!  I don't know how anyone could live without ever feeling like this.  I'm just in awe of life, of God, of grace, of the soul's ability to be a sponge sometimes and just soak up all of the joy it can find.

What a gift!  This day.  This moment.  This awareness of grace.  How could I ask for anything more?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   
Romans 5:13

Following the Way,

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Urgency of Gratitude

A man riding a motorcycle was struck by a truck and killed this morning right outside my office window on Beacon Street.  He most likely had no idea when he left his house this morning for his daily commute that his day and life would quickly come to an end, as we most likely will have no idea when our time on earth here will come to an end as well.

I am learning about the urgency of gratitude.  There is an urgent need to be grateful wherever you are, whatever situation you find yourself in, to be fully present in the present moment because you really have no idea just how many precious moments you have left.  If you knew that your life would abruptly come to an end soon would you change some things, spend less time complaining, walk away from some relationships?  Don't wait.  Do it now!  Most likely no one's going to tap you on the shoulder and tell you how much time you have left.  Life is a miracle and a precious gift; don't waste it.

I am alive and I've made a decision that while I am alive I am going to live, not merely exist but live!  I went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out when I heard the man didn't survive the accident.  He was a 37-year-old doctor and father of three.  It's so sad, but life has not ended for me yet.  I'm still here and I am going to enjoy this precious gift of life that God has given me and hasn't yet taken away.  I'm going off to lunch and I am going to enjoy every last bite.  I'm going to laugh TODAY.  I'm going to smile TODAY.  I'm going to enjoy the company of someone I love TODAY.  I choose to be grateful for every part of this day good or bad because who knows, I may not be here tomorrow.  Twenty four hours from now someone else could be blogging about how my life rapidly and unexpectedly came to an end.

Gratitude is an urgent matter.  You have less time than you think you do.  Be grateful TODAY.  Change the things in your life that make you unhappy.  Fill the present moment with gratitude because the present moment is all we ever have.

Following the Way,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Teaching Moment

My mother ended up being admitted to the hospital this past weekend and it was quite unexpected.  She was complaining of pain in her shoulder earlier in the week and somehow it traveled down to her leg.  The pain became so intense on Saturday that she couldn't walk or stand on her own so my sister took her to the hospital.  They didn't release her until yesterday when she became able to stand and walk on her own again.

I went to see her in the hospital and it was a scary thing to see my mom so immobilized.  She's such a strong woman and I'm just not used to seeing her so helpless.  It made me think of all the things I take for granted: the ability to stand and walk or take a shower without needing assistance from anyone.  So many of us take our health for granted until it starts to deteriorate.

It also was another reminder of my mother's mortality and the mortality of us all.  She's getting older and her body is beginning to fail her as my body will someday begin to fail me.  Seeing my mom lying helpless in the hospital also made me realize just how helpless we all are.  They are just so many things in life that are completely out of our control.  Having peace in this life requires a certain degree of trust and surrender.  You can't always control what will happen to you.

This situation was a teaching moment for me.  It taught me to be grateful for the many things I simply take for granted every single day.  It's a reminder that as much as I love my mom she doesn't belong to me; she belongs to God and one day whether it be sooner or later God will call her home and I must surrender to that inevitable truth.  I need to do a better job of cherishing the moments I have with her and all the people I love; they won't be here forever.  I'm grateful for this teaching moment for helping me see what's really important during this brief journey called life.  I'm striving to weave a posture of gratitude into my daily life whatever comes my way good or seemingly not so good.

Following the Way,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Than I Can Bear

My beautiful niece Lia was born on Thursday, July 29 at 8:42 in the morning.  I was thrilled at the news and rushed to the hospital as soon as I got off work to welcome my niece into the world.  I can't quite describe it, but there's something so beautiful, spiritual and transcendent about being able to lay your eyes upon a human being during their first day on the planet!

Lia was so beautiful.  I could do nothing but stop and stare.  And for a moment I became enveloped in a holy silence brought about by a deep sense of awe and wonder.  It was so humbling.  Lia was small and largely silent, sleeping most of the time I was there, but she had such presence.  She radiated such peace and tranquility that seemed to fill the whole room and hover in the air.  It was almost too much to bear.  I thought, wow, what a gift to be able to be here at this moment and witness such beauty!  Every issue or problem I had just vanished from my mind and I realized I wasn't just in the presence of my niece but I was standing in the presence of Something much, much bigger than Lia and me.  What a gift!

I am grateful for Lia.  I am grateful for moments like these that help put things in perspective.  I am honored and humbled to be given the privilege of experiencing such richness in life.  The joy in my heart, the song in my soul, the peace in my spirit is almost more than I can bear and I am grateful.

Following the Way,

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Won't Complain

I was listening to a Gospel song on Sunday called "I Won't Complain" and I've heard it several times before, but this time it really struck me how grateful I am to God for all that God has done on my behalf.  The words are so simple and yet so true.  Here is the first verse:

I've had some good days
I've had some hills to climb,
I've had some weary days
I've had some weary nights
But when I look around
And I think things over
All of my good days
Outweigh my bad days
So I won't complain

If I had to add up all the time I've spent complaining about one thing or another I'd probably be shocked by all the time I've completely wasted doing something that produces nothing: complaining.  Complaining accomplishes nothing; resolves nothing; produces nothing, so why waste your time doing it?

"If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally."
Eckhart Tolle

These are wise words indeed!  Why complain about a situation when you can change it?  And if you can't change it then you can either accept it as it is or walk away.  Anything else is insanity and a huge waste of time and energy.

You are precious and your limited time here on earth is precious as well.  Don't waste it on something as small, petty and useless as complaining.  You deserve infinitely more than that!

Following the Way,

Monday, August 2, 2010

August's Theme: Gratitude

It's been a long time since I've written anything here with the exception of my last entry.  Sorry about that!  For the month of August I'd like to focus on gratitude.

Gratitude is so much more than saying thank you when someone does something nice for you.  Gratitude is a way of living, a way of looking at the world.  It's a radical choice to focus on the good despite all the chaos and mayhem that often surround us in life.  It is quiet and subtle and yet deeply spiritual, transformative and powerful.  It's like a tiny stream of water that overtime bores a hole through the rock.  The art of practicing gratitude daily has the power to transform not only a moment, not only a day in your life, but your entire life itself.  Bit by bit, day by day, simple daily gratitude softens the heart and stretches the soul.

Gratitude is a path that leads to life, joy and contentment.  Why don't you start the journey today? Find something to be grateful for today.  Despite of all the things that may be going wrong stop and be still for a moment and focus on one thing that's going right and be grateful for it.  Feel this gratitude deeply within you and let it flow from the inside out.  It just might make all the difference.

Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Following the Way,

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Loan

The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, 
the world and all who live in it.
Psalm 24:1

It is quite remarkable that even though we all know that EVERYONE is going to die at some point it still somehow catches us off guard every single time.  A wonderful woman by the name of Sonja Lartey recently passed away, far too soon, far too soon if you ask me.  I knew that she was sick and towards the end I knew that she was dying and yet when it happened—when she actually passed—I just couldn’t believe it.  For some reason I was in a state of shock.  Even when we see it coming we are never quite ready to say goodbye.

Death is hard.  Death is sad.  Death is so painful.  All of these are such huge understatements.  The sense of loss and helplessness simply cannot be put into words.  And yet experiencing the death of someone we love, someone we still can’t believe is gone, gives us a moment for reflection, to think deeply upon what really matters within the short span of our little lives.  If we are open God can meet us even in our grief and speak, whispering words of wisdom into our fragile and broken hearts.

Our capitalistic society is obsessed with having possessions.  The American Dream is centered on owning property as opposed to developing life-enhancing relationships for example.  On some level we even think we own one another: our husbands, our wives, our children, our friends, we act as if they belong to us.  And then death comes—and we are forced with the realization that they are not ours; they were never ours.  They never belonged to us; they were just on loan for a little while.  Everyone and everything belongs to God and every moment we get to spend with someone we love is a precious, precious gift and we never quite know when the loan will be recalled.

I implore you, don’t wait until it’s too late.  Find someone you love and tell them that you love them while you have the chance.  Find someone you’re grateful towards and say thank you.  Wrap your arms around someone you care about.  You never know when the loan may be recalled.

To Pastor Sonja, I don’t think most of us knew how much you meant to us until you were taken away.  Forgive us; forgive me.  We love you.  We really do miss you, but someday we will be where you are now: home.  Until then….

Following the Way,

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly.

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."  Micah 6:8

For me the most profound passages of Scripture are often the simplest: small, often overlooked passages that are so rich with meaning if you are still long enough to grasp it. This is one of those simple beautiful passages. We make things so much more complicated than they have to be; I think it’s a part of basic human psychosis. Leave it to us to take even the simplest of tasks and turn it into some monumental labyrinth. But here in this passage we are only given 3 simple instructions:

1. Act justly
2. Love mercy
3. Walk humbly

I am struck by the simplicity of these instructions. This is something that we all can do, from the youngest to the oldest, regardless of faith tradition, or social status. This is a simple message for all of us. What would our world look like if everyone tried to follow these 3 little instructions? To act justly, to do justice, to do what is right? We live in a world where people love their houses and love their cars and love their dogs, but what would our world look like if people actually loved mercy and kindness and compassion? With all of the egos we have flying around everywhere wouldn’t it be nice to deal with people who didn’t feel the need to feed their egos constantly but instead decided to embrace humility?

Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. It’s so simple and yet deeply meaningful. Sometimes we need simple reminders on how to live and what life is really about and for this little reminder I am grateful.

Following the Way,

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Judge Not

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
Mother Teresa

I absolutely love this quote! My friend Denisa brought it to my attention this week (Thanks Denisa). I think it should be posted in big bold letters in every single church everywhere! Imagine what Christianity would look like if we spent less time judging each other and more time loving one another. It's amazing how often we judge one another. It's almost a constant thing. We are constantly looking at people and pinpointing things we don't like about them and coming to a conclusion about the person based on these things. We judge people because of their hair, their height, their weight, their age, their looks, where they geographically come form, their past, their social status, their style of dress—and it goes on and on and on..

I was disgusted in church on Sunday. There was a man who's been battling cancer and he was in attendance on Sunday after being away for months. When I saw him I was so happy and so grateful to God that he was well enough to come to church! When the Pastor acknowledged him from the pulpit they church responded with a pathetic hand clap. I don't know what was going on. The whole church should have been rejoicing that our brother who was once too sick to go to church or anywhere else for that matter was now well enough to be among us. A suspect that if he were more involved with the different activities in the church he would have received a warmer welcome.

May God have mercy on us all! We shouldn't treat people differently based on how involved they are in the church. We should treat everyone the same. We should love everyone. We should recognize the immeasurable worth and value of every person who comes into our midst, but we're too busy judging people we don't have time to love them. We don't have time to treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve. We don't have time to see their needs and what we can do to help meet them.

Mother Teresa was right. We can judge people or we can love them. We can't do both. We have to choose. It's one or the other. Which option will you choose today?

Following the Way,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Where is The Mercy?

I had lunch with a friend of mine who’s a pastor and he shared with me a story about a young African-American boy, only 13-years-old who tried to kill himself recently. He’s effeminate and most likely gay; he gets teased and bullied a lot at school. His mother called him a faggot one day and that must have pushed him over the edge and he attempted to hang himself to death. By the grace of God he was unsuccessful this time, but who’s to say he won’t try again. And why shouldn’t he? When the church sends out the message that you are better off dead than gay why shouldn’t he try again? Why live? For what reason? To be rejected by the black church and the black community at large? When your own mother cannot show you any mercy and taunts you in the same manner with the same words you get taunted with at school why go on? So now the mother is planning to take him to a pastor for “counseling”. In the church “counseling” so often involves being threatened with an eternity in hell unless you straighten up.

If that little boy tries to kill himself again and succeeds his blood is on the hands of the church, his blood and the blood of every single other young gay man and woman who believed that they were better off being dead than gay because that was the message the church communicated to them in one form or another. May God have mercy on the church! Sometimes I find myself in church asking myself why am I here? What does this have to do with my relationship with God? When so many Christians do not resemble Christ in any way shape or form why am I wasting my time coming here?

I’m so tired of the judgment, the self-righteousness. The church is so quick to condemn everyone else, but themselves. How convenient! If indeed God is disgusted by the lifestyle of homosexuals than God must also be equally disgusted by the lifestyle of most Christians. If homosexuality is a sin than the way the church treats gay people is equally as sinful. The church with all of the many, many sins it has committed in the name of Christ is in no position to condemn any human being. God and God alone will judge the living and the dead. What is needed now is mercy. Jesus never uttered a word about homosexuality but he did say for us to love everyone even our enemies. Why don’t we stop occupying ourselves condemning others and actually do what Jesus told us to do: love God and love your neighbor as you love yourself. Do unto others as you would have them do to you.

Following the Way,

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April's Theme: Mercy

I really am in awe of the unconditional love of God. You don’t fully realize what a gift mercy is until you see yourself at your worst and discover that even then God is still with you. God doesn’t abandon us when we fail one another instead he shows us mercy and it is the abiding presence of God despite our failures that makes change a real possibility for us. We are not transformed by God’s wrath, judgment or condemnation, but by his love and mercy.

I got so upset yesterday. I was waiting for a consultation in this Chinese herbalist store and I got irritated so quickly. You couldn’t make an appointment; they don’t write down your name or give you a number when you come in. This is really stupid to me. Instead you just walk in and hope there’s not too many people there. I felt that it was so disrespectful of my time. And while I’m waiting a couple of people come in and they are told very clearly that there are 3 people ahead of them and they will have to wait. What do they do? As soon as someone walked out of the office they walked right in; they knew full well what they were doing. That was it for me! Once that happened I was just mad at the world for the next couple of hours. Everything and everyone irritated me from that point on.

Later when I calmed down I had to laugh at myself. There was no reason for me to get that upset. With all that I have experienced of God’s love and grace and new life I could have responded to that frustration differently, but I didn’t. I’m so grateful for mercy. I’m so glad that as God watched me lose my temper it didn’t change the way he felt for me at all. He extended mercy to me before I even asked for it. He is still with me and his presence never left me. What a wonderful assurance to have that even at our worst moments God doesn’t leave us. This is mercy. This is love. And for this I am grateful.

"Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3: 22-23

Following the Way,

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Believe

I believe because I cannot not believe. I cannot doubt the wind when it blows upon my face and whispers through the leaves of the trees. I cannot doubt the sun when its light hits my eyes and its warmth touches my skin anymore than I can doubt the water that surrounds me when I plunge into the ocean. I cannot doubt the God that moves within me anymore than I can doubt the existence of love, truth and beauty. God speaks. He shouts, he bellows, he whispers into the deepest crevices of my soul where no other sound can be heard and reaches down into the most inaccessible and inhospitable spaces of my heart where no one else desires to go.

I see God in the sunset. I feel God in every drop of rain that falls from heaven and waters the earth causing life to spring forth from what was once only dry ground. I hear God in the morning chirping of the birds, the lovely tiny sparrows flitting and flying about the trees, almost dancing upon the branches.

God is. Nothing else needs to be added. It is necessary for nothing else to be understood. The most ornately elaborated sophisticated theology cannot come close to capturing the simple and awesome beauty of this. God is. And God is the is-ness of all that is. Everything that is is because God is. The fish is free to swim because God is. The worshipper is free to worship because God is. Indeed the atheist is free to deny God because God is. All that is is because God is, from the single-celled bacterium to the dizzying complexities of the outer universe. All that is is because God is.

God is.  Nothing else could possibly be of greater importance. God is. Nothing else must be spoken.  God is.  Nothing else needs to be added,  except perhaps that God is love.

Following the Way,

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Love Makes Us Real

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
Jeremiah 1:5

This thought is just amazing to me! How is it possible that I yet without form could be known by the One? Doesn’t life start in the womb? How can God know me before then? How is there any “me” to know?

I believe that when I was just a thought in the mind of God, just an idea, just a possibility — even then God loved me and that divine love made me real. My origin is not the womb of my mother, but the womb of God, the womb of divine love. Divine love is our source as well as our destination. It is love that makes us real. Without love the human heart becomes a cold empty shell, beating simply to mark the time, counting down to the end. Life begins when we learn to love, to receive and give love. Until then we are not truly ourselves, only possibilities of what we can become once love makes us real.

Following the Way,

Sunday, March 21, 2010

You Are Enough For Me

It is an awesome thought to consider that we are often rejected by men, but are totally accepted by God.  The world is constantly telling us that we are not enough, that who we are is not good enough to garner its approval.  We are told that we are too young, too old; too fat, too skinny; too dark, too pale.  The list goes on and on; it's never ending.  No matter what you do, no matter how many changes you make, no matter how arduously you twist and contort yourself to fit the mold society has created for you, the world's message essentially remains the same: you are not enough.  And so, many young women starve themselves to be thinner.  Some black people buy bleaching creams to be lighter, while other white people are using tanning creams to be darker.  It's all insanity! 

But in the midst of all the world's pomp and circumstance, if you are still enough, if you are quiet enough, you hear a gentle voice saying, "You are enough for me".  That is what I heard this morning.  I knew instantly who it was and I could feel my spirit tremble in the presence of a truth so simple, so unassuming, so liberating and yet so easily overlooked and forgotten. 

I am enough for God.  I don't have to be any taller or shorter; lighter or darker; younger or older.  No, I am enough for God.  The world requires more, but all that God wants from me is me, to see my face, to hear my voice, to walk with me and talk with me.  I satisfy God.  What a thought!  Almighty God, the indescribable Mystery who is the source of all that is, all that ever was and all that will ever be is satisfied by me and my company.

You are enough for God.  You.  Just as you are.  Black, white; rich, poor; gay, straight, you are enough for God and all that God wants from you is you, to see your smile, to hear your laughter, to go through life's journey with you.  When everything is going well and when everything has shattered to pieces on the ground God wants to be with you.  You are enough for God.  Your presence satisfies God.  Divine Love is extending itself to you.  Why wait another moment to embrace it?  You are enough for God.

Following the Way,

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Just A Thought

Without love the human heart becomes a cold empty shell, beating simply to mark the time, counting down to the end. Life begins when we learn to love, to receive and give love. Until then we are not truly ourselves, only possibilities of what we can become once love makes us real.

Following the Way,

Monday, March 15, 2010

Created To Be Loved

As you walk with God you go through different phases, different seasons where you begin to see the different faces of God.  I have known God as Father and rested in his security; as Mother and found comfort in her embrace, as Provider, as Healer and now more than ever I am experiencing God as love, pure, divine, ever-present, unfailing, unconditional love. I can scarcely put into words how radically the course of my life has been fundamentally changed by this love.

I have heard it said many times that we were created to serve God, to love God to worship God. I couldn't disagree more! You were not created to worship God. God has all the angels in heaven to worship Him; if God was in need of more worshippers God could have certainly met the need in a much less troublesome way than creating human beings! Let's just be real here if it were possible for God to have a headache it would because of us, not the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea or the flowers of the field. No one has given God as much trouble as we have! So why were we created?

You were created to receive the love of God. That is the primary purpose of life. You were created to be filled up to overflowing with divine love. Your soul, the shape of your heart, your very essence was fashioned to receive this divine love. Everything else is a response to God's love. Loving God, serving God, worshipping God, spending your life walking alongside the Mystery never quite knowing where you'll end up, truly loving yourself and others, all of this becomes possible only after we have received the love of God. I'm not sure how well religion understands this. Many times religion gets in its own way and instead of pointing to the wondrous Mystery that is God it points to itself and misses the whole point entirely.

You were created to be loved by God. God brought you into existence so that He could have the privilege of loving you. That is how much you mean to God. I will say that again, that is how much you mean to God. Whoever you are, whatever you've done, wherever you find yourself in this particular moment along your journey, feel the truth of this deeply within you. You were created to experience God's love. Don't ever let anyone take this from you. Don't let the noisy distractions and illusions of life take this from you. You were placed on this earth to experience God's love and you don't have to wait another moment to begin experiencing this divine love. God's love is already there. It's all around you, animating everything that lives, infusing every second with its presence. Take a look inside; you will find it there.

Following the Way,

Friday, March 12, 2010

John 3:16 Conclusion


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever…”

My favorite part in this tiny passage is just one little word: whoever. I would totally understand if God gave Jesus for just the good people, or the Christians, but that’s not what this verse says. This verse says that God gave Jesus, the most precious thing He could ever give, to whoever, whoever believes in Him, whoever should come to Him, whoever. There’s no long list of prerequisites or qualifications. God freely extends Jesus to whoever will take Him. Think about this for a moment.

Now I love to cook for people even though it’s a lot of work. I have to plan out a dinner and buy the groceries, which requires both time and money. I have to prepare the dinner which is also time consuming. I like everything to be just right so it takes quite a bit of work to prepare dinner for a group as small as four. I have a particular set of plates that I spent quite a bit of money on from Crate and Barrel. I only take these plates out when I’m having a dinner party. Otherwise they are stowed away safely on my closet shelf, separated by sheets of paper towels so they will not be damaged in any way. When guests offer to clean up afterwards I always turn them down, not because I don’t want their help, but because I just don’t trust anyone with my plates! They were expensive. As you can probably figure out I am very particular about who I invite. I can’t take those plates out for just anyone. I would never go through all the trouble of preparing a dinner, take out my nice plates and just throw the living room door open and invite whoever happened to be walking by. But that’s exactly what God did when He gave the world Jesus. He threw his doors wide open and invited whoever to attend.

God loves the whoevers of the world, the ones who are nameless to us, the ones without titles, offices, status or prestige. You’ll never see them on the cover of any magazine. They’ll never make the six o’clock news. You’ll never see them on TV, but God loves them just the same. God loves the nameless who are ignored by the world: the poor, the sick, the oppressed, the uneducated, the homeless, the ones we don’t care to be associated with. God extends Jesus to these people and to whoever else will accept his offer.


Now that we have been introduced to the truths of John 3:16 there is only one thing left for us to do: live it out. John 3:16 is not just a verse to be memorized and then tucked away in a remote corner of our brains, but a verse to be thoroughly understood, solidly grasped and lived out fully to the best of our abilities. God created us in his image so that we would be like God, and resemble God (Genesis 1:26-27). All that God is we were created to strive to be. We cannot be God, but every believer should aspire to be like God: Loving, merciful, giving, compassionate, just. If you are in any way amazed by God’s inexhaustible capacity to love the world, the entire world, then strive to love the world yourself. It is not enough to love your family: the soldiers of Nazi Germany loved their families as well. It is not enough to love your friends. God loves the world. Will you be bold enough to love others outside your circle? Will you take the initiative to expand your circle of friends and loved ones to include more of the world that God loves?

God demonstrates his love through action and we are given the privilege of doing the same. There is a whole world out there that is in desperate need of God’s love, and the only way they can experience God’s love through us, is through our actions. They cannot see God through our thoughts. They cannot see God through our good intentions. They will not come to experience the love of God through our prayers, as grand as they might be. The only way the world will see God in us is through our actions, simple every day acts of loving-kindness. Every day someone is need of experiencing God’s love through us, the ones who call ourselves by his name. Every day is an opportunity for us to show someone the love of God. Let us not waste a single day; it might make all the difference to a soul in need.

God is a giver and is always giving. Let us align ourselves with God and become givers ourselves. When God gave us Jesus, He gave us the most precious thing He could ever give. What is most precious to you? Think about it. What is it that you hold most dear? Is it your time, your circle of friends, your resources, your comfort zone? The one thing you cherish the most might just be the exact thing God wants to use to show his love to others. Will you trust God with what you cherish? Will you place it in is hands if He asks you to? Will you give up the very things you have a right to, the things you’ve worked hard for, the things you’ve earned for the sake of someone experiencing the love of God, for the whoevers of your world?

I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you as you endeavor to answer these questions. I invite you to wrestle with this tiny passage of Scripture. Let it make you uncomfortable; you’ll be okay. I pray that you stand in awe of God’s love and devote the rest of your life to showing the same love God has shown to you to a world desperately in need of such love. Live out this tiny passage today and every day you are blessed to experience.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 
John 3:16

Following the Way,

Thursday, March 11, 2010

John 3:16 Part 4


“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son…”

When the time came for God to show the full extent of his love He could have chosen anything to show his love to the world. He could have stopped at creation. Sometimes I’m just taken aback by the ocean breeze, the sight of a blue jay, or the sweet scent of a lily: all of these simple things remind me of the love of God. I am simply amazed that such a great God would take the time to fill the earth with simple little treasures. God took the time to fill in the details that make you and I smile if only for a moment. Personally, God could have stopped at chocolate. I am so grateful for chocolate, extremely grateful. If you’re not a chocoholic like me than you just won’t be able to understand. The easiest way to become my friend is to give me chocolate. I have never disliked anyone who has ever given me chocolate, never. I know God loves me because He created chocolate! What more do you need? And I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure He created it just for me especially.

Luckily for you non-chocolate lovers out there, God gave the world so much more than chocolate! Our heavenly Father searched all of heaven and earth to find the most precious thing He could give to show his love for the world. He gave us Jesus. The giving of Jesus exemplifies God giving the world his best. He gave us the sun, the moon and the stars, but that wasn’t enough. He gave us the flowers, the trees and the pretty birds that perch upon their branches, but that wasn’t enough. For God only the best would do to show his love to all his children, so He gave us Jesus to die on the cross to take away all of our sins. All of our shame, pain, disappointments and failures, Jesus bore upon his shoulders. He willingly shared in all of our sufferings. He was hungry, tired, broken, frustrated, just like all of us at times. The book of Isaiah says he was a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3). He was lonely at times, just like all of us. There is no pain we can ever experience that Jesus can’t relate to. In laying down his life Jesus gave life to the world. God loves you that much. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, God loves you that much. Regardless of your past or your present shortcomings there’s no place you could ever go to escape the infinite love of God. God’s love for you is beyond measure and human comprehension.

Following the Way,

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

John 3:16 Part 3


“For God so love the world that he gave…” God chose a particular kind of action to demonstrate his love to the world, and that action is giving. If there is any single activity that helps the believer align himself or herself with God and begin to take on the character, nature and essence of God, it’s giving. God is a giver. He has always been a giver and always will be. I often hear people say that God can do anything. Not true, God couldn’t stop giving even if He tried! God is always giving. God could have chosen any number of ways to show his love to the world. He could have pointed towards creation: the beautiful stars in the sky, the warm breeze on a summer night, or the awesome sight of watching the sun rise. When it came for God to show to show the extent of his love for the world however, giving us creation just wasn’t enough. God chose to give again. It is the act of giving that God chose to show his love. God chose giving and He still chooses giving today as the way to show his love for the world.

When we as believers give we become more like God who never ceases to give. He gives to all: both the righteous and the unrighteous, to those who deserve it and to those who don’t. When we give we take a moment to look beyond ourselves, our needs and our desires, to be a blessing to someone else. When we give we step out of our own little world and come face to face with the needs of others. Giving expands the heart and stretches the soul. It enlarges our field of vision and allows us to see more of the world in need around us. Don’t wait until you feel compassionate to give; giving will make you more compassionate. Do not give so that God will give back to you. God is a giver by nature and does not need to be manipulated into giving. Give for the sake of giving. Give because it’s the right thing to do. Give because your heavenly Father is also giving. Become a partner in the work of God and give of whatever resources God had given to you: your time, your talents, your money, (yes I said your money). Freely you have received and freely you should give (Matthew 10:28). God chooses to give. Will you?

Following the Way,

Monday, March 8, 2010

John 3:16 Part 2


“For God so loved that world that he gave…” Immediately following God’s declaration of love for the entire world is a description of the action that his love brought about. We see that God demonstrates his love through action. One cannot separate love from action. The two go together hand-in-hand. The presence of love makes action necessary. True love will always manifest itself into action, always. Just as the book of James says that faith without works is dead, love without action simply isn’t love (James 2:14-26). The word love is terribly mistreated today. People use the word love for everything. “Oh I love that song”. “I love that chair”. “Oh I just love that dress”. Very few people realize just how profound God’s perception of love is.

I have found that there are two common misconceptions about love. The first misconception is when love is reduced to a feeling. Love gets reduced to that warm and fuzzy feeling inside when you’re with someone you like. People think that experiencing that kind of feeling equates to love, but love is not merely a feeling. Love goes beyond feelings and brings about action. There is no such thing as love which need not be expressed by action. Love is much more than a feeling. In fact, love sometimes exists without that warm and fuzzy feeling. Only true love endures when the feelings are gone.

The other common misconception is the idea that the only way to show someone you truly love that person is to do something extraordinary, epic and heroic. Love songs are famous for this. You often hear lyrics where the singer says he’ll climb the highest mountain, swim the deepest sea, and cross a barren desert to show his love. Well you know what, all of that isn’t necessary. You don’t have to slay the evil dragon to show people you love them. Love is simple and many times all love requires is simple action. Love is not about what you do on special occasions, but what you choose to do every day. It’s as simple as calling someone you don’t usually call just to say hello and wish that person a good day, or including someone you don’t usually include the next time you hang out with your friends. Oftentimes the littlelest things are great big ways to show love to someone. God could not love the world without doing something to show his love. Let us learn to love in the same way. God demonstrates his love through action and so should we.

Following the Way,

Friday, March 5, 2010

John 3:16 Part 1


John 3:16 is a passage most Christians are thoroughly familiar with.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV).

Just about every Christian knows John 3:16 by heart. You even see people at football games holding up signs that say nothing but John 3:16, which must be awfully confusing for football fans who don’t go to church. Growing up in my youth group we would get together and play games on Friday nights. Sometimes we would compete to see who could memorize more Scripture, but John 3:16 didn’t count. We never got any points for that verse or “Jesus wept”; it was assumed that everybody already knew it.

Although John 3:16 is a verse that very many Christians are familiar with I believe there is more to this little verse than most people realize. I believe that if we are willing to listen, God is prepared to reveal to us dynamic truths concerning this passage of Scripture. It’s funny how God often chooses to use the little things to teach us great lessons. I believe that within this little passage lies the heart of Christianity. Within this little passage lies a paradigm, far too often overlooked. Within this little passage is a model for how every person who is a believer should live. I am convinced that it will take a lifetime for the believer to fully live out the truth of this little passage. Let us go on to discover what the Spirit has to say through this passage and let us be strengthened by God’s grace to live it out.

Upon reflecting on John 3:16, there are four truths that jump out at me. They are simple but profound, and have the power to permanently transform the perspective of the believer. I believe that if a person can grasp the full meaning of this little piece of Scripture, that person will never be the same. The four truths are: 1) God loves the world. 2) God demonstrated his love through action. 3) God demonstrated this love through a particular kind of action: giving. 4) God gave that which was most precious to Him: Jesus.


“For God so loved the world…” upon first glance this statement doesn’t seem too profound. God loves the world. Yes, yes, we know already, I can imagine someone thinking, but if we take the time to truly think about this we will see just how radical this statement truly is. God loves the world. Can this be true? Is God really aware of the implications of declaring his love for the entire world? I have to admit I struggle with this part of the passage. It would be one thing if it said that God loves some people in the world, you know, the good people. That’s not what it says however. This little snippet of this tiny passage says that God loves the world, the whole world, not just parts of it, the entire world. Every human being that exists today, every human being that has ever existed, and every human being that will ever exist, God loves. There has never been now will there ever be a person who God does not love. This is amazing.

We don’t live in a perfect world. This is a huge understatement. This world can be a terrible, terrible place at times. There are all sorts of people in this world and they are not all good. There goes another huge understatement. The world is just teeming with evil people. I am reminded of this every time I pick up the newspaper. Just recently I was reading about a young man who killed a woman who was only twenty-two years old. He also killed her two year old son. Police arrived on the scene just as the man threw the trash bag that contained her dead son out the window. Does God love that man? Is it possible? As unbelievable as it sounds, I hear the Spirit of God say yes.

This world is inhabited by all kinds of evil people. There are women batterers, rapists, child molesters, serial killers, dictators, torturers who burn people alive: I could go on and on and on. There seems to be no end to the presence of those who do evil upon the face of the earth. How can God say that he loves the world? Maybe He is not familiar with how bad things get down here. Perhaps his view from heaven is obstructed. Yet, I know this is not the case. God, being fully aware of just how low the depravity of man can go, freely chooses to love each and every single human being upon the face of this earth.

Now I know that there are usually exceptions to every rule, but this one has none. Does God love someone as terrible as Sadaam Hussein, a brutal dictator who lived in an opulent palace while thousands of his people went without adequate food or clean drinking water? I hear God say yes. Is it possible that God loves Osamin Bin Laden, a man who rejoiced at the deaths of innocent men, women and children on September 11? No, it can’t be, but I hear God say yes. Now God, if I may be so bold, surely Hitler was the exception. Surely, you don’t need me to remind You of the Holocaust: Auschwitz, the death camps, the ovens made not for bread, but for men, women and helpless children? Surely You harbored no love in your heart for a man like that? Don’t tell me You loved Hitler too… I hear God say yes.

The love of God is unfathomable. I don’t understand it. It is impossible to wrap your mind around it. How can an infinitely holy God loves such an infinitely evil world? We love people who are good, people who are nice to us, our friends and family, people who we benefit from. But God does not love the way we love. God’s love goes higher than any rocket we can launch into space. Deeper than even our sins can take us. Longer than our human arms could ever reach. Wider than the breach that once stood between the world and God. God loves the world, the whole world, all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. Not just the Christians, not just the good people, God loves the entire world.

“For God so loved the world…’ What a thought!

Following the Way,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March's Theme: Divine Love

I want to spend the month of March reflecting on God's love.  I have never experienced anyting purer, deeper or more beautiful.

Here You Are

I can feel you reaching out to me and I find it bewildering.
What have I done to deserve such grace, such care, such love?
I cannot count all the times I’ve failed you,
All the times I shut
My ears to your still small voice,
My eyes to your hands extended to mine,
My heart to your own.

And yet here you are,
Calling me,
Wooing me,
Loving me,
Inviting me to come
Closer and closer and closer,
Forgiving me,
Washing me,
Making me your own,
As if I never left,
As if I never caused you pain,
Or pierced your heart with grief,
Or repaid your kindness with rebellion,
Your faithfulness with unfaithfulness,
Your compassion with my apathy.

O my God,
Your love cuts me to the heart,
Shatters my defenses,
And baffles my understanding.
Your love makes me laugh and weep.
Your love brings me to my knees
And renders me helpless to resist,
Regardless of how hard I try.
I can feel you reaching out to me and I find it bewildering.
What have I done to deserve such grace, such care, such love?

Following the Way,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Divine Love

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
I John 4:8

Here is one of my journal entries during a retreat I went on this past weekend.  It was absolutely incredible!

We are all so surrounded by God and so many of us don’t even know; don’t even see it. We are all being pursued by this wonderful Mystery and Love is its Name. Whenever we open ourselves up to love—sincere, genuine, authentic love—we open ourselves up to God. God can be experienced in the other, in knowing the other, in trusting the other, in loving the other and being loved by the other. A simple smile between friends, a word of empathy and compassion, simply holding hands—God is in it all. There’s no separation between the secular and the sacred because it is all sacred: the alarm going off in the morning, the daily shower, the brushing of teeth and combing of hair, the time we spend commuting to work or school can become just as sacred as a prayer. Indeed they become sacred prayers themselves if we lift up those daily routine moments to God. The Incarnation didn’t just take place once. No, the Incarnation is taking place every single moment of every single day, transforming the secular into the sacred, infusing humanity with the divine.

The veil has been torn. The separation has been done away with. There is now only One Divine Life that we are all partakers of. The blade of grass, the human soul, the single-celled bacterium, we are all partakers of the One Divine Life. God is the space that makes existence possible, the space from which all life arises and the space is everywhere and around everything. God is the inescapable reality without and within, the Riddle, the Puzzle that can never be fully solved, the Mystery that is beautiful to behold, marvelous to ponder, wondrous to embrace, even if we can never fully grasp this Mystery, this Love with our limited understanding.

Love, Divine Love is all there really is. Every second is infused with Divine Love. Everything else is illusion, temporary distractions that are passing away: the suffering, pain, fear, separation—they are all momentary disintegrating distractions. We were all put here to experience this Divine Love and it is always with us. From Divine Love we’ve come and when this particular journey is over to Divine Love we will return because it never left us in the first place. It cannot be denied and it animates all life. We can ignore it or forget about it, which is so easy to do; it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, but this Divine Love never leaves us, never leaves the human soul.

There is a Divine Voice within every human heart whispering, however softly, one word over and over and over again: love, love, love. When we hear this still small voice over and above all of the noisy illusions and distractions of life then and only then do we truly begin to live; we have passed over from death to life. We are set free from sin, and fear, especially the fear we have of ourselves. We have been born again into this Divine Love, to live in this Divine Love forever and ever and ever.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Acknowledging the Apathy Within

I can't do much to change the apathy I encounter in others; there are no guarantees at the least.  Only God can change the heart, but I can do something about the apathy I encounter in myself and boy have I been apathetic!  Without even knowing it I have lived a very selfish sinful American life.  From the moment I wake up in the morning I am consumed by thoughts of I.  What do I want to wear today?  Do I want to wear the red shirt or the dark blue?  What am I in the mood for?  What do I want to eat for breakfast?  What will I do for lunch?  Do I feel like having a panini or maybe I want a wrap?  What do I feel like doing after work?  What do I want to do this weekend?  I, I, I.  Selfishness has been embedded into my lifestyle.  I don't have a spouse.  I don't have any children.  I don't have any elderly parents who are dependent on me for care so from day-to-day I often don't think about how my decisions and the choices I make affect other people: the people around me and the people I'll never meet but who are affected by what I do nevertheless.

I am a very sheltered American and quite honestly I have lived a life divorced from the suffering of others.  I've been in a fog, largely thinking only of myself and the earthquake in Haiti changed all that.  I have been shaken by an earthquake that took place over a thousand miles away.  I have been shaken out of my apathy and for that I am grateful.  My eyes have been opened and the fog has been lifted.  To live a life unto oneself is to live a very small life indeed.  To live your life in such a way as if no one else exists, can that even be called living?  Jesus was never apathetic. He was constantly being moved with compassion by the suffering of others.  If I continue to live a selfish, sheltered, apathetic life as a Christian then who am I following really?  Can I even be called a Christian at all?

The earliest believers were called "Followers of the Way".  They weren't just known for what they believed but for how they lived their lives.  Today many of us have reduced Christianity to a set of personal beliefs about Jesus.  Quite frankly I don't care what your beliefs about Jesus are as much as I am concerned about how those beliefs change the way you go about living.  Hungry people aren't fed by our beliefs.  Suffering people aren't comforted by our nice thoughts about Jesus.  I think it's time for ALL of us to acknowledge the apathy within and to make a conscious decision to change the way we live our lives to better reflect the light and love of Christ.  If we do nothing about the apathy within then I believe that Jesus remains a stranger we have never met and we should just stop calling ourselves Christians altogether.

Following the Way,

Friday, February 5, 2010

Just Say Yes!

Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker...
Isaiah 45:9

The secret to having a stress-free relationship with God is to say yes the first time God asks you or leads you to do something.  It sounds very simple right, but I must be honest in admitting that it has taken me about 16 years to figure out this most basic of principles: say yes to God! 

I have a problem.  Now I know what you're thinking, "How is that possible for someone like me who has it all together to have a problem.  It's shocking I know, I know, but even someone like me has problems :)  I have a tendency to fight God. Now you're thinking; Oh Kevin you're right; that is a problem!"  But you're wrong; that's not the problem.  The problem isn't that I fight God, the real problem is that when I fight God I actually think I can win!  I'm not kidding.  There's a part of me that really believes that one of these days if I keep giving God a hard time I'm going to wear God out and God's going to say, "Whatever Kevin, I'm tired; you have worn me out.  You win this round".  And sometimes I'm just in shock that God hasn't done so yet.  What is God waiting for?  I mean really.  I've been putting up a pretty good fight for years!  In clinical terms my problem would accurately be called a patholgy!  It's insane to think that you can get God to "see things your way" and go along with your plan, but I doubt very strongly that I'm the only one suffering from this pathology.  Oh no!  This is a pathology that is running rampant throughout the world.  At times we actually believe that we know better than God!

A very wise woman by the name of Pastor Sonja once preached a sermon called "Just Do It!"  And the basic premise of her sermon was "Hey, when God tells you to do something; just do it!  It's pure genius: say yes to God the first time around and save yourself all the hassle of fighting with God.  "Your arms are too short to box with God", one of my favorite pastors likes to say and it's finally sinking through my thick skull.  I've worn myself out trying to convince God that my way really is better than whatever plan God's cooked up on his own without consulting me first by the way, ahem.  Now I'm the one saying, "Whatever you want Lord; I'm tired.  You have worn me out.  You win this round and there's not going to be a round two because even Kevin Vetiac isn't that crazy!"  My answer to God is Yes!  Yes! Yes!  Better late than never!

Following the Way,

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shaken: Part 2

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:

“ Whom shall I send,
And who will go for Us?”

Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Isaiah 6:8

My response to the devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti and to the realization that I have lived a very selfish spoiled life is to say yes to whatever God may want me to do to help.  I no longer want to live a life that is divorced from the suffering of others.  The earthquake in Haiti has changed me forever.  I must use all that I have been given to help those who do not have as much, to be a voice for those who cannot speak, and an advocate for those who have none, to demonstrate the love of Christ that I have so richly experienced to others in need.

I believe that God has laid it upon my heart to leave everything behind and spend at least a year in Petit Goave, Haiti, the village where both of my parents are from, the village where my grandmother lived and died and is now buried, the village where my uncle now lives since his home in Port-au-Prince is damaged.  The village that up until now has been nothing more to me than "some place back there".  I don't know what I will find when I get there.  I will have to give up some things.  There are no Express clothing stores there, no Macy's, no Filene's, no Cheesecake Factory.  I won't be able to run to CVS and pick up some deodorant.  My God do the people over there even where deodorant???  Even if they don't (God help me) my response to God's prompting in my heart is "Yes!".  Yes I will go.  Yes I will serve.  Yes I will leave all of my comfort zones behind and follow Christ wherever He leads me.  Here am I, send me Lord!

My long-term goal is to build a US accredited school in Petit Goave, affectionately called Ti Goave that will allow Haitian students upon completion to attend college in US so that when they return to Haiti they will be equipped to take on key leadership positions and help turn their nation around.  I am recording another album and all of the profit from the CD sales will go to this endeavor.  I am naming my non-profit organization the Louise Amelie Edouard Education Foundation in honor of my grandmother who spent her whole life in Ti Goave and moved on from this life a few months ago.  I am honored and humbled that God would find me fit to be used for His service in such an endeavor.  I plan to leave for Haiti in September and I will bring lots of deodorant with me to share with EVERYONE I encounter :)

Following the Way,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The earthquake that shook me to my core took place 1640 miles away on Tuesday, January 12, 2010. I thought I was safe. I thought I was immune. I have never been to Haiti, never witnessed its poverty; never suffered its heat; never felt its hunger for justice, peace and food—always for food. The son of Haitian immigrants, I was one of the lucky ones, born and bred in the US; privileged, spoiled really, fascinated by reality television: American Idol, The Biggest Loser, Real World, Apprentice, Top Chef, Project Runway; you name it I’ve seen it. My life is—well it was—far removed from Port-au-Prince or Gonaives or Petit Goave, and then the earthquake hit and everything changed.

I have never been as affected by anything that has happened in Haiti as this earthquake. I have never cried so many tears for people I never had a chance to meet. My heart has been wrenched open and I have been shaken. Shaken by the bloated corpses rotting in the streets of Port-au-Prince amidst the wounded, the homeless, the hungry. Shaken by the wailing of mothers for the children they will never see again. Shaken by the mass graves dug into the mountainsides filled with thousands, thousands of bodies of people who most likely struggled their entire lives until their unexpected end.

I have been shaken out of my apathy, shaken out of my comfort zone, shaken out of my very American tendency to consume and always want more: more clothes, more gadgets, more stuff I’ll only get bored with rather quickly and shortly replace with more stuff.  I have been shaken, indeed the world has been shaken by the earthquake that struck the tiny island where the poorest country in the western hemisphere sits. What would God have me do in a time like this??? Whatever God may ask me to do my answer will be “Yes!". Stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow.

Following the Way,

Monday, February 1, 2010

February's Theme: Saying Yes to God

I had a wonderful time in church yesterday!  I had been away from my home church for about a year and recently returned and it is so good to be back.  Indeed reconciliation is sweet and it's always good to be back home.  I'm so glad I listened to God and went back to my former church.  I don't always do that, listen to God that is.  I'll just be honest about it.  There is something deeply embedded within the human will and psyche that is resistant to submitting and being led.  This month my Scripture reflections will focus on the theme "Saying Yes to God".  I doubt very much that I'm the only one who's ever struggled with this one so let's journey together and learn to give God our "Yes".

Following the Way,

Saturday, January 30, 2010

For This I Am Grateful

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I woke up this morning and I said thank you.  I didn't sleep too good last night, but I said thank you.  I have some problems that I don't yet have solutions for, but I said thank you.  I don't know how everything's going to work out, but I said thank you.  I had some friends who walked away, but I said thank you.  I had some plans that didn't go my way, but I said thank you.

Thank you God.  Thank you Life.  Thank you Providence, for the chance to see another day and all of its possibilities.  Thank you that all of my loved ones are safe and accounted for; this isn't the case for everyone.  Thank you for food to eat, clothes to wear, heat for the brutally cold Boston winter nights.  Yes, for all this and so much more than I have time to mention I am grateful.  Thank you!  Thank you!! Thank you!!! In everything I will give thanks.

Gratitude, simple daily gratitude is enough to turn your whole life around. 

Following the Way,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Better Late Than Never

Ok, so this is long overdue! I've been writing here and there for years and I have finally gotten around to starting a blog (I have always been a late bloomer :) I am very excited to share this journey with you! This blog is about my walk with the awesome Mystery we call God. Every one of us is on a personal journey through life and for me God has been a part of my journey for a very long time.

God cannot adequately be defined with words, cannot adequately be understood with the mind, cannot be seen with the eye or touched by the hand, but God, God's presence, God's love, God's joy, can be felt, and for the millions of us all around the globe who are believers, this is all we need. Not to see God with our eyes, not to touch God with our hands, not to prove the existence of God with science or mathematical equations but to feel the presence of God deep down in the marrow of our bones, filling up the deepest crevices of our souls, illuminating the darkest and coldest corners of our hearts.

To be loved by God and to have the honor of loving God in return as well as our fellow man. What could be better than this? For me, nothing. I am following the Way and you are welcome to come join me.