Pastor Jim’s Blog: What We have Seen and Hearne

 
 
 
 

Becoming Yourself

Now I become myself.

It’s taken time, many years and places.

I have been dissolved and shaken,

Worn other people’s faces…”

-May Sarton

What a long time it can take to become the person one has always been!  How often in the process we mask ourselves in faces that are not our own.  How much dissolving and shaking of ego we must endure before we discover our deep identity- the true self within every human being that is the seed of authentic vocation.  Vocation is not so much as a goal to be achieved but as a gift to be received.  The beautiful scriptures proclaimed in these church seasons of Lent and Easter really invite us to deeply reflect and ponder our vocation.  Vocation does not come from a voice “out there” calling us to become something we are not.  It comes from a voice “in here” calling us to be the person we were born to be- to fulfill the original selfhood given us at birth by God.
 

I think of Anna and our baby to be born later this summer as regards vocation.  Babies do not show up as raw material to be shaped into whatever image the world might want to make him or her.  They arrive with their own gifted form, with the shape of their own sacred soul.  Biblical faith calls it the image of God in which we are all created.  But we quickly are led to believe that we need to put on masks to find who we are. 

 

What “masks” have you worn in your life?  Even the roles of being a spouse, parent, pastor, grandparent, etc. in a sense “mask” who we are.  As the poet May Sarton reminds us, it does take time, many years and places to become ourselves.  We arrive in this world with birthright gifts and then we spend the first half of our lives abandoning them or letting others disavow us of them.  As we grow, we are surrounded by expectations, images of acceptability, and social pressures.  Then, and only by chance, if we are awake or aware, we spend the second half of our lives trying to recover and reclaim the gift we once possessed. 

 

When we lose track of true self, one way we can seek clues to pick up the trail of our true self is to really listen, read and allow the readings from scripture to touch us.  It is there where we are reminded of our truest self.  We were made in God’s image and likeness.  The stories of Resurrection we will hear April 16th and through the Easter Season will be a wonderful trail of clues for us to discover and re-discover who we are.  You see the deepest vocational question is not “What ought I to do with my life”  It is the more elemental and demanding “Who am I?  What is my nature?”
 

Spend the rest of these Lenten weeks and Easter season lifting off those masks you have put on through the years.  Rediscover who you are.  We are Christ-bearers, imprinted with the seal of the Holy Spirit at baptism.  The task is clear: go become what you are!
 
~PJ


Try Fasting This Lent

Giving things up for Lent, or fasting, is not just a spiritual practice for Roman Catholics.  Fasting has occurred since the beginning of time and can be seen and studied in both the Old and New Testaments.  However, fasting and praying is something that has grown foreign to many Christians today.  It was not something strange in the early Christian Church and it was also not something strange in the time of the Reformation and in the centuries thereafter.  Moses, Elijah, Ezekiel and Daniel fasted and prayed.  Jesus fasted for 40 days. Paul and the early Christians fasted.  In the early Christian Church they fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Martin Luther was criticized because he fasted too much.  John Calvin fasted and prayed until most of Geneva turned to God.  John Knox fasted and prayed and the wicked Queen Mary said she feared no weapon like she feared John Knox’s prayers.  Jonathan Edwards who was God’s instrument in the revival in New England, fasted and prayed.  John Wesley fasted twice a week.  Charles Finney one of the greatest spiritual leaders in history was a man who fasted and prayed.  D L Moody was not unfamiliar with fasting and praying.
 

There are many kinds of fasts one can undertake: a complete fast, partial one or even spiritual one.  Perhaps these 40 days of our Lenten journey we can consider a spiritual or soul fast where we work on those things which deter us from growing in our relationship with Christ. What or who do you need to turn away from?  What vices or sinful behavior causes you to grow full of contempt instead of Christ?  When we fast, we are invited to seek out the Christ in our lives for strength, perseverance and courage.  Fasting moves us away from selfish behaviors and motives.   Try it.  You won’t be disappointed.  The following is a spiritual or soul fast for you think about and try anytime.  How many of these things do all of us need to work on fasting from? 

Fast from hurting words and say kind words.
Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude.
Fast from anger and be filled with patience.
Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.
Fast from worries and trust in God.
Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.
Fast from pressures and be prayerful.
Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.
Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.
Fast from grudges and be reconciled.
Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

Go feast on God’s goodness and love for you and fast from all the things that only in the end drain and leave us empty.  Try fasting.  You won’t be disappointed.  “Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”  Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” (Joel 2:12-13)
 
It was not Christ’s intention to reject or despise fasting… it was His intention to restore proper fasting”
-Martin Luther
 
~PJ

 



Peace Prints

 
There has been a lot of discussion in recent years about the carbon imprint we leave behind on the planet.  By our use of fossil fuels and consumption of goods turned into garbage, we are sure to leave our “marks” in this world.  By recycling, composting and perhaps considering using our feet and bicycles instead of vehicles we can help make a difference.  But what about peace prints?   Francis of Assisi has often been quoted as the one who wrote the beautiful words “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.”  We can choose to leave marks of Christ’s Light in our world, too.  Hopefully the following story I came across encourages you to think about the marks you are leaving behind.  
 

I did not know her, but her life and death- a story of willingness to see with eyes of faith and forgiveness for those who can be difficult to love- is inspiring us still today and leaving her prints of peace all around.

Sister Karen Klimizak was a Sister of Saint Joseph.  In 1985, together with Father Roy Herberger, she helped establish Hope House, a communal home for non-violent ex-offenders in Buffalo, New York. Hope House offered a home for men where they could believe in themselves and work toward a better life and future.  She once wrote in her journal, “You leave your fingerprints on everything. We need to be people who leave our imprints of peace wherever we go in our world.”  Sister Karen promoted non-violence through the creation of dove-shaped peace signs that read, “I leave peace prints,” to contrast the fingerprints left at a crime scene, a visible mark of peace as opposed to a visible mark of violence.

Sadly, on Good Friday, April 14, 2006, Sister Karen returned home after participating in Stations of the Cross.  She was murdered by a house resident when she walked in on him trying to steal her cellphone to sell for drug money. Knowing that one day someone she may be working with could cause her harm, she wrote these words in her journal fifteen years earlier, which were spoken at her funeral. Addressed to the person that might harm her she said, “I forgive you for what you have done and I will watch over you, and help you in whatever way I can.”
 
Now almost eleven years later, the story spoke of how Sister Karen’s dove peace signs continue to be seen throughout western New York; a reminder of her steadfast vision of forgiveness and nonviolence.  After reading this, I could not help but think how many people, circumstances, and situations in our world, our church, our country and our own personal lives challenge us to find courage to love those viewed as unlovable. The story of Sister Karen’s life was encouraging to me, and a reminder of how we must all use compassion, mercy, humor and creativity, even when we are stretched to the limit. This, after all, is how we live as the light of Christ in the world.

 

We all leave our fingerprints, carbon prints and spiritual prints behind in this world.  As we prepare for Lent, the start of baseball and the beginning signs of Spring, let’s think more intentionally about how we can leave PEACE PRINTS everywhere we go through our words, actions and deeds.  Sister Karen’s hand prints literally continue to influence us as the SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence carries on her vision of a world without violence.  Is this just a pipedream?  NO!  With Christ all things are possible. Go make peace prints in your part of the world and let the transformation take place!  You can check out more of her story and what we can do at www.sisterkarencenter.org
 
Go, be instruments of peace and leave your mark,
~PJ


Winter

Winters can be difficult.  Plain and simple.  The weather in the northern hemisphere is not so friendly.  In fact, it’s darn right gloomy, dark, snowy, icy and bitter cold.  Some enjoy this kind of weather and use it to their advantage to partake in snowmobiling, ice skating, sledding, skiing and ice fishing among a host of possible activities.  But because so many of us get caught in doors for these months, there is an increased amount of depression, blue-ness, and sadness that can occur in us.  Medically speaking, you may have what’s called “seasonal affective disorder” or SAD. The condition is marked by the onset of depression during the late fall and early winter months, when less natural sunlight is available. It’s thought to occur when daily body rhythms become out-of-sync because of the reduced sunlight.

Some people have depression year round that gets worse in the winter; others have SAD alone, struggling with low moods only in the cooler, darker months. (In a much smaller group of people, the depression occurs in the summer months.)  SAD affects up to 3% of the U.S. population, or about 9 million people, some experts say, and countless others have milder forms of the winter doldrums.

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • Sleeping too much
  • Experiencing fatigue in the daytime
  • Gaining weight
  • Having decreased interest in social activities and sex

SAD is more common for residents in northern latitudes. It’s less likely in Florida, for instance, than in New Hampshire. Women are more likely than men to suffer, perhaps because of hormonal factors. In women, SAD becomes less common after menopause.

So, what can one do who might be struggling with SAD?  Light therapy has been proven effective to treat seasonal depression. It can be used in combination with talk therapy, antidepressant medication, and supplements of the hormone melatonin, which can help synchronize the body clock.  Getting outdoors in sunlight also helps some people with depression symptoms. So does getting regular exercise, maintaining social activity, and talking with friends.  Resist the urge to overeat. Most experts recommend a diet with enough protein and plenty of complex carbohydrate-containing foods such as whole grain products and starchy vegetables (instead of simple carbohydrates such as candy and soda).

Writing about winter depression has been on my mind the last month or so.  And just recently my father suddenly passed away.  It was a shock to my entire family.  And so now even more than other times I need to be aware of depression with the winter time as well as what one experiences when grieving.  We all grieve differently…crying and crying at times uncontrollably, withdrawing from family and friends, overeating, etc.  There are many in our congregation who have experienced death and loss just in this past year so this is something we all need to be aware of and even more so how we can help someone experiencing grief and/or winter depression. 

But there is help!  There are therapy groups who help people walk through their grieving.  Agrace Hospice and Ministry (https://www.agrace.org/griefsupport/resources.html) offers wonderful ministry to those suffering loss especially new widows.  Talking and listening to other’s experiences can help us realize we are not alone in our suffering and that others do know what we are going through in our emotions.  If it’s not a therapy group, I hope and pray you find someone to talk with- a friend, a fellow church member, or myself.  People can’t help if they don’t know you are hurting and in need. 
 
As we journey these winter months together, let’s remember to be gentle with one another.  It’s all too easy to get the winter blues and take out our frustrations on others.  Pray for one another.  Each of us have our personal crosses that we carry which pain each of us deeply. Let’s help lift each other up.  Hugs, hand written notes of support and reaching out to others hurting can bring healing.  Get on the phone and reconnect with friends and neighbors.  And remember, the winter months come and GO.  Spring will be here…signs to us of new life, sunlight, growth, and God’s abundant grace. 
 

We all can be JOYFUL AGAIN!

~PJ 



12 Gifts of Christmas

A few weeks back at worship I handed out Advent chocolate calendars.  Like myself many years ago, the kids were thrilled to receive these gifts.  With the adults I tried to emphasize the gift of time Advent offers us: 672 hours, 28 days and 4 Sundays…this time is meant for us to unwrap the meaning of Emmanuel- God with us.  In adulthood there is probably no daily nugget which could reproduce the same kind of excited expectancy in the December run-up to Christmas. But given how frantic those December days can be, and in honor of the “12 Days of Christmas” song, perhaps the pointers below might help you to make this time less stressful, more enjoyable and Christ-filled! 

 

  1. Start with stillness. There is always so much to be done between the beginning of December and Christmas, so before starting go somewhere quiet where you can shut out the drumbeat of demands and be still. Gaining a sense of poise might be your greatest gift to family and friends, as well as fellow workers and shoppers and, of course, any harried shop assistants you might encounter! As Gandhi wrote, “Be the calm you want to see!”
  2. Let love lead you. Once you have gained that inner poise, take opportunities to spread seasonal “peace and goodwill”. I have certainly been pleasantly surprised to find how reordering priorities to put love’s possibilities first can instill a sense of calmness and control which allows you to get everything done more smoothly.
  3. Valuing family and friends. Many of us send greetings or letters to family and friends this time of year. As you sign, seal and send your Christmas cards treat each one as an opportunity to value the person you are sending it to and offer them in prayer while you do it.
  4. Be kind to yourself and others. Science and research has shown over and over again that kindness is good for your health. As we hustle and bustle, let’s remember to be polite and that we are all in this together.  So, let others go ahead of you in line.  Be patient with the sales clerk.  Apologize if you bump into someone. 
  5. Shop simply: I’m often struck at how we over complicate these days with fancy gifts and trying to outdo others. The best gifts are simple and come from the heart not the wallet. 
  6. Embrace spontaneity. We are all busy these days of December with parties, shopping, baking, traveling, wrapping, visiting, etc. Don’t see these things as a “to do” list but rather as an opportunity to grow, learn, reconnect and enjoy life. 
  7. Be grateful. Scientists are accumulating evidence which verifies what spiritual thinkers would affirm from experience: a gratitude attitude can reduce anxiety and depression. To those for whom the holiday season exacerbates such problems the good news is we don’t have to wait for a big reason to be grateful. Stop and smell the roses: appreciate the everyday things of life!
  8. Enjoy yourself. Why not? If you’re full of gratitude and exuding calmness and kindness why shouldn’t you cruise happily towards the kind of Christmas you enjoy? Appreciate the festive lights. Warm your hands on a bag of roast chestnuts. Share in the growing anticipation of small children. Look forward to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story special. Pick up your bible and meditate on the Christmas story and let the message inspire you.
  9. But don’t forget others. Okay, it’s not all bright lights, warm chestnuts and happy kids. For some reason the season of goodwill seems to bring out the worst in many people’s experience. Loneliness feels more lonely. Alcoholism seems to be more obvious. Domestic tensions can spiral. Spare a prayer for those in need and, when you can, make a difference in practical ways. The message of Christmas is that peace and goodwill are God’s intention for everyone. We can try to bring out that reality by giving from the heart.
  10. Peace interludes. Pausing for moments of mental stillness can make all the difference in how you think about yourself and act towards others. In turn that can transform your day. This doesn’t need to mean breaking your stride and finding a quiet corner to be by yourself, though sometimes that can help! It means being honestly aware of your thoughts and when they start going round in circles or racing in a wrong direction steering them back to that place of spiritual poise.
  11. Forgive even if you can’t forget. This is the Nelson Mandela approach to rocky relationships. It is amazing how long family feuds and broken friendships can last if we’re not careful. As the Mayo clinic recently put it: “If you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly. By embracing forgiveness, you can also embrace peace, hope, gratitude and joy. Consider how forgiveness can lead you down the path of physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.” We can’t always change others. But we can change how we think about them and act towards them.
  12. Give beyond the gifts. And finally it’s Christmas day! There is a reason to celebrate Jesus. One way to look at his life is that he showed us how the qualities we choose to express can improve our experience and touch our loved ones and neighbors. I’m always touched seeing families and individuals who give their time on Christmas day serving others.  Not everyone is off on Christmas.  Not everyone has food on Christmas.  Not everyone is warm and jolly on Christmas.  This Christmas let’s bring Christmas to them. 

 



Expect Nothing, Appreciate Everything

Last week I preached about how fruitless it really is to try and predict the future.  For us disciples of Christ we need to constantly remember we have come from God, are going to God but right now and right here we belong to God.  It’s easy to say but hard to do.  And with the recent election season, I can’t help but think so many of us are now obsessing about the future- the future of our country, the future of our church, the future of our work and careers…and we worry about our health, paying the bills, about a recent diagnosis.  We worry.  But as our faithful friend Millie Swedlund would often remind us “worrying is sinning,” we seek that perspective and faithfulness where we expect nothing and appreciate everything.  I recently came across an article written by John Pavlovitz, a writer, husband, and father of two young children that really struck a chord with me and I hope for you too.  He entitled the pieceThe Day I Die
.

On the die I day a lot will happen.

A lot will change.

The world will be busy.

On the day I die, all the important appointments I made will be left unattended.

The many plans I had yet to complete will remain forever undone.

The calendar that ruled so many of my days will now be irrelevant to me.

All the material things I so chased and guarded and treasured will be left in the hands of others to care for or to discard.

The words of my critics which so burdened me will cease to sting or capture anymore. They will be unable to touch me.

The arguments I believed I’d won here will not serve me or bring me any satisfaction or solace.   

All my noisy incoming notifications and texts and calls will go unanswered. Their great urgency will be quieted.

My many nagging regrets will all be resigned to the past, where they should have always been anyway.

Every superficial worry about my body that I ever labored over; about my waistline or hairline or frown lines, will fade away.

My carefully crafted image, the one I worked so hard to shape for others here, will be left to them to complete anyway.

The sterling reputation I once struggled so greatly to maintain will be of little concern for me anymore.

All the small and large anxieties that stole sleep from me each night will be rendered powerless.

The deep and towering mysteries about life and death that so consumed my mind will finally be clarified in a way that they could never be before while I lived.

These things will certainly all be true on the day that I die.

 

Yet for as much as will happen on that day, one more thing that will happen.

On the day I die, the few people who really know and truly love me will grieve deeply.

They will feel a void.

They will feel cheated.

They will not feel ready.

They will feel as though a part of them has died as well.

And on that day, more than anything in the world they will want more time with me.

I know this from those I love and grieve over.

And so knowing this, while I am still alive I’ll try to remember that my time with them is finite and fleeting and so very precious—and I’ll do my best not to waste a second of it.

I’ll try not to squander a priceless moment worrying about all the other things that will happen on the day I die, because many of those things are either not my concern or beyond my control.

Friends, those other things have an insidious way of keeping you from living even as you live; vying for your attention, competing for your affections.

They rob you of the joy of this unrepeatable, uncontainable, ever-evaporating

Now with those who love you and want only to share it with you.

Don’t miss the chance to dance with them while you can.

It’s easy to waste so much daylight in the days before you die.

Don’t let your life be stolen every day by all that you’ve been led to believe matters, because on the day you die, the fact is that much of it simply won’t.

Yes, you and I will die one day.

But before that day comes: let us live.



A Dream Lost to a Future

Did you catch the so-called presidential debate the other night?  It was the most watched debate in history.  After seeing that depressing display of debate and jousting, I came across an interesting story that I thought you might enjoy as well. It is entitled: 

A Dream Lost to a Future.

Since the age of seven, young Harry dreamed of only one thing – he was going to grow up to be a concert pianist.  To that end he practiced faithfully every day and took piano lessons twice a week from a respected instructor.  He delighted his family with his skill and impressed those around him with the quickness of his mind and depth of ability.

At the age of fifteen, he accompanied his mentor to the recital of a world-renowned pianist.  After the concert, Harry met with the master and even played for him.  It was agreed that Harry had remarkable talent and the master assured him that one day he would play to great audiences in grand halls all over the world.

Still, as so often happens in life, fate took a decisive turn.  Within a year his future seemed uncertain.  The family fortune was lost – there was no money for piano instruction, much less, any time to practice.  At sixteen, Harry worked to support his family, and his boyhood dream faded away.

Four decades passed and Harry the sixteen year old boy was now a man.  Yet the same dedication that allowed Harry to succeed at the piano helped him succeed in life.  Harry S. Truman never played great music for audiences around the world, but he did become the 33rd President of the United States and he led the nation with dedication and great leadership.

More than simply an enjoyable story, here is a story of gospel challenge.  The challenge of Good News is often one of facing our changing dreams with courage. I enjoyed studying and about Truman while an undergrad in seminary.  He was a fascinating human being.  He was a man who often exercised that kind of courage.  He failed in his first business of operating a clothing store.  He lost his first bid for re-election to public office in an embarrassing fashion.  He was a disaster in his personal finances – Harry often had to change his dreams.  Still he understood that when one dream dies, another often takes shape.  His courage consisted in believing in the future and trusting that God was not done with him. 

All of us have dreams; dreams of being a concert pianist or a professional basketball player or being a pastor; dreams about raising perfect children who always make us proud; dreams of having tremendous parents who always say the right thing at the right time; dreams of traveling and working in an exciting career; dreams of this and dreams of that – all of us have dreams!  And then often some person, some event, something comes along and suddenly life takes a decisive turn.  We discover that we’re not good enough, or we lose our job, or we realize that our parents aren’t perfect, or perhaps our health fails.  These are the moments when our dream dies and often our future appears bleak because of it.

But as I said, the Good News is about facing changing dreams – the Good News is that God is
never done with us.  Like Harry in the story, the gospel proclaims that tragedy never 
has the final word. As Christians we come to BLC each week to celebrate that the resurrection is a reality in our lives!  We believe that some dreams may die but others will be given to us beyond our wildest imaginings.  There will be new hopes for our children, second chances for relationships, new loves and new undiscovered adventures, and when all is said and done, when we face the greatest tragedy of all, even death will not have the last word. The Good News is always about resurrection, and new dreams, and life beyond death.  So, go dream and let God dream with you because He is never finished with you! 
 
~P.J.


Stand or Sit

According to a recent definition I came across, a blog (a truncation of the expression weblog) is a discussion or informational site published on the internet consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first).  Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?  Well, put simply, a blog is an ongoing diary or commentary written by an individual.  In this case, this blog will be written by me as kind of like a diary of how I see life in the congregation, church, community and world.  See this as a place where faith meets the world.  And in fact, this is what Jesus was all about…bringing his personal identity and love of God and neighbor into the world.
 
My hope is to post a new blog once a month that may include stories, some humor, questions to ponder, food for thought, nuggets or pearls of wisdom, tales of faith, hope and love.  I have dubbed this blog page “What We Have Seen and Hearne.”  Hopefully, you get the play on words, there!
 
Recently, my wife Amy, sister-in-law Kate and myself went to Soldier Field for a pre-season game between the Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs.  Even though I was born and raised in Chicago, I am a diehard Chiefs fan.  Amy, of her own free will, roots for the Chiefs.  We figured this might be the closest we get geographically to seeing the Chiefs play this year.  It was a meaningless game which the Chiefs won 23-7.  Before the game started, though, fans were asked to stand, remove their caps and join in the singing of the National Anthem.  Recently a quarterback from the San Francisco 49ers NFL team refused to stand for the National Anthem because he feels the qualities the flag is supposed to represent have been absent in the recent shootings of black people by police around the country.  His refusal to stand has sparked debate around the country revolving around patriotism, liberty, free speech, and respect.  It has been interesting to read some comments by folks about this situation.  It got me thinking about our faith. 

 

What does the love of Christ impel us to do?  If you read the bible, study the stories and pray on them, I think one gets the message that Christ invites and challenges us to make a stand with him.  Stand with Christ for the poor, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised, the forgotten, the sick, the imprisoned, the lonely, the outcast, the sinner.  We are challenged to stand together so that each individual regardless of race, skin color, sexual orientation, creed, or religion is recognized and valued. But here’s the question: what does making a stand look like?  For the quarterback in question, taking a stand literally means taking a seat.  Whether you agree or disagree with the stance, he is making a stand for something he believes in.  I have thought where would Christ stand on this issue?  I suppose He would be present with the grieving families of those killed as well as with the families of the police officers involved.  This story goes beyond the flag of the United States.  It goes to the heart of the matter…that still after 2,000 years Jesus walked this planet we still struggle to see the dignity of every human being. 

 

My little girl Anna inspires me to see with the eyes of Christ…at the ripe age of 2, she is full of wonder, innocence, naivety and awe.  When do we lose that vision?  Sociologists suggest that when we enter 2nd or 3rd grade we begin to see the differences among us and make conclusions about it…a boy who has played with a girl since pre-school senses she is “different” and stops playing with her.  Two boys inseparable notice the different skin color and begin to separate from each other.  How do we hold onto that vision of seeing with the eyes of love rather than with eyes of color?  Christ reminds us of something very important: there is far more than unites us than separates us.  The color of our skin makes up a very small percent of our overall person.  Why not focus on the beating heart, the mind, the spirit and soul of one another? 

 

To stand or not to stand.  That’s really not the point.  The important thing as Mr. Fred Rodgers was so fond of reminding us is to be neighbor to each other wherever we are.  It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive…it’s such a happy feeling to show it inside…go be the best neighbor today and everyday to those around you.  And by being neighbor, we walk side by side and arm in arm with everyone in Christ. 

 
~P.J.
 
IMG_2729  IMG_2739

 




“This is what Yahweh asks of you- only this: to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God” –Micah 6:8
 
“A single crocus blossom ought to be enough to convince our heart that springtime, no matter how predictable, is somehow a gift, gratuitous, gratis, a grace.” – David Steindl-Rast
 
“All attack is a call for help. When you know this, you begin at once to look deeply into the question of what kind of help is being called for” –Neale Walsch
 
“Every morning I turn my face to the wind. It is not difficult to scatter seeds, but it takes courage to keep facing the wind” –Middle Eastern wisdom saying