Monday, May 30, 2005

Participating in the Divine

In life, there are many interactions that take place between people. The friendship and bonds that we form connect us to one another and to God.
Some friendships still have meaning even when they are separated half way across the country when shared by common memories and thoughts.
Memories are the glue that hold together our thoughts and attitudes and intentions through life.
It is always great to hear of how someone's dream of a house has become a reality and to realize that prayers are part of that foundation and mortar. As a bricklayer builds a wall, he takes the bricks and lays them atop one another. It is a sculpting process as is life. We take the elementary concepts from childhood and build those concepts into a blueprint of how to live life.
It can be hard when starting to build anything anew. That is the challenge of life. Where to begin is like trying to find where the beginning of a stream is. It can be heard from a distance and as one gets nearer to it, the water rushes over the rocks and moss. Hard to pinpoint the exact point of origin, but that is not the most important thing. It is the connectedness of the rocks, water and moss that makes this a thriving community just as with the interconnected faith community.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

No Man is an Island

During our church service, the theme was on Heaven helping the homes. Our domestic landscape can use some help these days as the news is filled with stories of how family members are failing to get along as well as they could.
There has been a lot of emotional isolationism that exists where people are afraid to express their true feelings and emotions. At times, it can be easy to be a clam with his shell drawn tight being fearful to let it open. But opening the shell allows one an opportunity to share in the nutrients of the ocean just as man needs to open up to share in the healings of emotional contact. At times, it can be hard to take the risks that are needed for this to happen, but life can be that much more rewarding in the end.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Lessons learned

Today, God showed me a couple of things that I needed to learn. First, I need to give thanks to God more than I do. One of the bands in a local coffeeehouse kept singing the refrain, Thank you Lord. I forget to do that sometimes in all of the blessings that I am given daily in this life.
I tend to be preoccupied as to who I should be friends to. This reminded me of the conversation Jesus had with His disciples who wanted to be first. I must treat my friendships with humility thinking of them with high respect and not want to be first but to be a servant to them. Tough to actually do since I don't always look with His eyes or walk and work in the spirit. That is why Jesus had his disciples work in pairs when He showed them how to share the Good News. Help me Lord to be that kind of person to the world.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Nothing like teamwork

On the HBO network, I saw a documentary on Educating Peter. Peter was a third grader who had down syndrome who was integrated into the public school system.
At the start of his schooling, he was awkward in not fititng in. It was very similar to how I was at the start of my public education having come from the private school for the handicapped in New York. I became like an island where the differences became magnified to my peers in the lcassroom. I could identify with that third grader in the documentary . Yet, I turned out to be a survivor of the system.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Being awake to our spirit within

For the past three months in my church men's group, we looked at two books, Wild at Heart and Understanding the Mind of a Woman. We finalized our thoughts from these books and came to an understanding of some questions on how to live a more fulfillling life.
John Eldridge in Wild at Heart asks some key questions. One of them is: Are we living our lives as an adventure. In life's path, it can sometimes seem to be rather ordinary in how we live with our routines and daily chores. But it can be at times when we step out of our normal day that we will have an impact upon the world.
Rainbows and Northern lights don't always appear before our eyes. Adn we only get a special glimpse of them. Even though they happen randomly and some may never experience them fully, they do occur for special reasons. And these sights of nature can be of comfort and encouragement for those who go thorugh daily struggles. I am reminded of a local teen in Milford , John Tartaglia, who has to fight the daily battle of life. Here is a man who lived a normal life until an infection took over his body. Even thought it consumed his legs, it didn't consume his heart. It is a reminder that even those who have hardships can rise above them. And to have an impact on the friends that I work with in Milford and in lives around the world as a result of a sturdy determination to never give up.
In our musings of life, this battle surrounds all of us. Whether one is in traffic or in a line at a store or movie. The army that we have to fight this battle is both within us and from the friends and support networks that we have outside of us.

Friday, May 13, 2005

A civics trip remembered

In 1978, my 8th grade class traveled to the nation's capitol for the school trip. In the morning of a fall day, I was in the library at the fairfield Woods Junior High . Mr Mitola, my social studies teacher came into the library to choose from a hat the 45 students that were to go on the trip. I awaited with great anticipation. Mr. Mitola read the names one by one: James, Mary, Joe, Ralph, Jim, Peter, Sean, Scott........
That embarked for me a journey of preparation for me. How could I be ready for such a big endeavor. The school administration and teachers had their doubts. But I knew that I was going to be able to make this trip happen. As I promised myself and others, I walked most afternoons in the neighborhood walking by the nature preserve in town. As I got near it, I listened to the rushing of the waters and the chirping of the birds. The loops that I developed as I walked became great therapy for me as I knew I was reaching my goal that I really wanted to accomplish. This was my first big school field trip that I was about to take.
Mr. Mitola encouraged me a lot when I took the trip. He really did. He was a man with a big heart and smile=helping others to laugh and learn.
Being a little different from the other students, he always stood up for me and had a quiet understanding of my struggles as a student adapting to the world of public education.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Singing with the Angels

This past week our church lost someone special to us. She served God in many capacities. Yet, in her current struggles with cancer, she did not lose heart. Life is a temporary journey that we are on.
Yet as one of my friends from church stated to me, she is probably singing with the angels in heaven. That is a forever chorus of praise.
As part of the reward one gets from serving God faithfully through life is a mansion that God has prepared for those in advance. It is ready when one's time on earth has ended.
Sing on Sandy!!!Welcome to the choir.