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Augustine, St. Francis, Martin Luther, John Wesley walk into a bar…

English: OFM General Curia : Francis of Assisi...

English: OFM General Curia : Francis of Assisi and Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DEvotional thought of the Day:

 33  Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on God’s saving justice, and all these other things will be given you as well. 34  So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.Matthew 6:33-34 (NJB)

537         You take everything so lightly that I am reminded of the old story. The cry went up: “There is a lion coming!” And the naturalist answered: “Why tell me? I catch butterflies.”  (1)

A few days ago, I asked what the four shepherds of God I named above and the reader would talk about, were they found together.

An atheirst and pastors were the first to respond, A joke about them calling Francis A sissi, a quesiton about why two of them would be there, a couple other comments, no one taking the matter all that seriously. Until the final comment – that these incredible men would talk about God, and His gifts of mercy and love and peace.

I thought of it again, coming across the quote from St Josemaria this morning.  We as people will think about everything but the Kingdom of God.  We will be anxious over the state of our nation, ticked off at the government, worried about our health, we’ll struggle over finances, we will concern ourselves about the morality of others, but how often does our heart find itself in awe of God’s presence.  How often do we contemplate the depth of His love?  How often are we willing to place ourselves comepltely in His care, and then live a life that imitates those as they imitated Christ Jesus?

How often are we willing to see God at the center of our lives?  Or are we unwilling to give up that throne?

As I tweeted this mornign, “We trust God with the infinite eternity, but will we trust Him with the finite now?”

Our Faith must not be confused  with our faithfulness, for if we depend on our being faithful, we’ve made ourselves into idols.  Faith is trusting in His faithfulness, to lean upon His goodness, to strive to find rest in Him, to prayt hat the Holy Spirit would help us to do so.  For we don’t enter His presence by our faithfulness, He draws us there… and there we learn to trust Him. .. more and more.  To be in awe that HE would love us, that He would be merciful.

So pray that I, and that you, would relaize where we dwell more often, that we would be open to God revealing to us His grace, That we would learn to be as excited as children on Christmas, as we contemplate His grace, both for what it means eternally, and what it means today.

(1)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). Furrow (Kindle Locations 2325-2326). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edi

Conflict: Fight or Flee, is there a third choice?

Is the glass half empty or half full? The pess...

Is the glass half empty or half full? The pessimist would pick half empty, while the optimist would choose half full. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Devotional Thought of the day:
14  Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. 15  Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. 16  Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody. 17  Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. 18  If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. 19  Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” 20  Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. 21  Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.  Romans 12:14-21 (MSG)


An optimist looks at a 20 oz beverage container holding 10 oz of fluid and calls it half full. A pessimist looks at the same container and calls it half empty. I walk over drain the mug of beer, ticking off the optimist and the pessimist simultaneously. It was a good beer, the container served its purpose, and I caused opposing sides of an argument to be united. (against me – but that is cool) That’s a very good day! – Rev. Dt Parker


I have been thinking about conflict for a few days, as its come up in ministry to others quite frequently recently. Some are dealing with it at work, others in their homes or extended families, and yeah, some are dealing with it at church.

Normally, people deal with it (and indeed in any stress) in one of two ways – they fight or they flea. Some situations may seem to call for us to flee – to wait unti we are stronger, or we have all our resources marshalled.  Others may call for us to fight.  There are all sorts of works that teach us wisdom of each – I tend to lean to the classics – Musashi’s Book of Five Rings and Sun Tzu’s Art of War were books given to me read in a leadership program I was once in.

But I have to wonder, is there another way.  Are we stuck in a binary choice, with no other option?

Can instead of engaging in war…can we try to engage to live in peace? Can we work with those we would rather fight or flee from – even if it means our being crucified?  Perhaps the answer is in remember we have been nailed to the cross already with Christ?  Therefore it is our old adam – our self before salvation – it c–n die and we can live humbly, serving those the world would tell us to knock out.  And if their antagonism does cause us harm, we can cope, because Christ coped and even chose to die, that those who crucified him would live.

This is a hard road – no matter if we stick with the normal binary choice – fight or flee, or if we realize the conflict isn’t about the ratio of liquid to container, but there is something deeper at stake… eternity.

What do you think?  Really want to know!

Don’t Confuse me with an Optimist…

Devotional Thought of the Day….

I long ago came up with, what is my theory of life.

An optimist looks at a 20 oz beverage container holding 10 oz of fluid and calls it half full. A pessimist looks at the same container and calls it half empty. I walk over drain the mug of beer, ticking off the optimist and the pessimist simultaneously. It was a good beer, the container served its purpose, and I caused opposing sides of an argument to be united. (against me – but that is cool) That’s a very good day!  (1)

For some reason, I am occasionally mistaken for an optimist.  I’m not sure why.  I am certainly not a pessimist either, and I don’t fit on a line somewhere in between.

Don’t get me wrong – there are times I am sure everything is going to collapse around me, that the world is going to implode – and the proof of the possibility of that is that… well – I am here, therefore it could happen.  At the same time – I a pretty sure that if it does, it will be a truly glorious thing to witness, mind-blowing even, and that I will find myself thoroughly enjoying the spectacle!

This weirdness in me is developed in part – by a long list of tragedies and traumas I have seen in life, either experiencing them myself ( for example my heart issues and marfans syndrome, my dropping out of college, my motorcycle accident, heck I could fill a blog) or by those I’ve walked beside, as they have seen God cause them to persevere and endure in peace …even unto death.

I’ve seen to much to be a carefree, naive, optimist who thinks everything is coming up roses.  I have seen God’s action in those times nearly as often (sometimes I admit I can’t see them) to be a “the sky is falling” pessimist.  Sure  I will rant and rave at times, or celebrate a bit too early in other times.   But overall, I am neither, or both, finding the joy in suffering, and the soberness in joy.

Maybe it is that my optimism is found, in that same place as faith, as trusting in God to fulfill specially what He has promised.

I like how St Josemaria put it,

“659      Christian optimism is not a sugary optimism; nor is it a mere human confidence that everything will turn out all right. It is an optimism that sinks its roots in an awareness of our freedom, and in the sure knowledge of the power of grace. It is an optimism which leads us to make demands on ourselves, to struggle to respond at every moment to God’s calls.” (2)

Call it “baptismal” optimism – the attitude we have in knowing that which God has given and done to us, when He claimed us as His people, when He cleansed our lives, and bound and sealed us with the gift of the Holy Spirit, the never-ending presence of God in our lives.  Knowing that because of the grace poured out there, our lives are renewed, revitalized!  That sin and shame and guilt and fearing death and Satan no longer have a hold on us, that we enter God’s presence and abide there confidently in peace.

There – instead of naively assuming that everything will work out right, or that everything is sure to fail, we can engage the attitude Paul describes as ours..

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.  Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT

Live in your baptismal grace my friends… and rejoice… not just because all things will work out for good for those that love God, but that they will, because you abide in Christ..



(1)  DT Parker – ~1988

(2)  Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 2424-2428). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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