Saturday, 31 December 2011


Jesus didn't leave us the church and from the church we derive the Eucharist; rather, for him, Jesus left us the Eucharist and from the Eucharist we derive the church.

The church is in service of the Eucharist, not vice versa. Heaven will be a banquet table. The Eucharist already is that table.
Ron Rolheiser

Friday, 30 December 2011

Something to think about...

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread. (M Gandhi)

Matthew 25:31-46
The Sheep and the Goats

31-33"When he finally arrives, blazing in beauty and all his angels with him, the Son of Man will take his place on his glorious throne. Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats, putting sheep to his right and goats to his left.

34-36"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what's coming to you in this kingdom. It's been ready for you since the world's foundation. And here's why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.'

37-40"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

41-43"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—

I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'

44"Then those 'goats' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or homeless or shivering or sick or in prison and didn't help?'

45"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me—you failed to do it to me.'

46"Then those 'goats' will be herded to their eternal doom, but the 'sheep' to their eternal reward."

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Get out of the box...

Christian living appears as strange and shocking -

You mean you really have to be kind to people, to be patient, to forgive people, to put their interests ahead of your own?

You mean you really can live without being greedy and snatching at power and using other people as objects in your quest for pleasure or prestige?

Most of the world has no idea you can live like that.
(NT Wright)

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Crappy holidays

The holidays can be a painful time - perhaps it's a first Christmas without a loved one, or the memories of family dysfunctions on full display from years past.

Whatever the case remember that, 'He is the Father who gives tender love.'

May the God of all comfort be with you this season.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Lord, you have seen what is in my heart.
You know all about me.
You know when I sit down and when I get up.
You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away.
You know when I go out to work and when I come back home.
You know exactly how I live.
Lord, even before I speak a word,
you know all about it.
You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me.
You hold me in your power.
I'm amazed at how well you know me.
It's more than I can understand.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Grieving

When a person is born we rejoice, and when they’re married we jubilate, but when they die we try to pretend nothing has happened. (M. Mead)

He who conceals his grief finds no remedy for it.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

It takes a long time to grow a good friend.

Give thanks for those who have stuck with you through thick and thin.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Saturday, 17 December 2011

This Christmas

Give empathy.

Give more of what matters this season.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Life smarts

When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want?
Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame?
Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car?
Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement?
Of course not.
What will matter then will be people.
If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?
(M. Lucado)

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A friend never gets in your way except when you are on the way down.

When we honestly ask ourselves which people in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing, and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. (H. Nouwen)

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. (F. Beuchner)

Monday, 12 December 2011

Isaiah 1:13-17
"Quit your worship charades.
I can't stand your trivial religious games:

Monthly conferences, weekly Sabbaths, special meetings—

meetings, meetings, meetings—I can't stand one more!

Meetings for this, meetings for that. I hate them!

You've worn me out!

I'm sick of your religion, religion, religion,
while you go right on sinning.

When you put on your next prayer-performance,
I'll be looking the other way.
No matter how long or loud or often you pray,

I'll not be listening.

And do you know why? Because you've been tearing

people to pieces, and your hands are bloody.

Go home and wash up.

Clean up your act.

Sweep your lives clean of your evildoings

so I don't have to look at them any longer.

Say no to wrong.

Learn to do good.

Work for justice.

Help the down-and-out.

Stand up for the homeless.

Go to bat for the defenseless."

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A Series of Unfortunate Events

If you have ever lost someone very important to you, then you already know how it feels, and if you haven’t, you can not possibly imagine it.

Psalm 46
God is our place of safety. He gives us strength.
He is always there to help us in times of trouble.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Nouwen then we need an Advent reminder...

Lord Jesus, Master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.

We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, ‘Come Lord Jesus!’ Amen.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Life With James

Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.

Thursday, 8 December 2011


Jesus is coming...

Luke 2
In the sixth month after Elizabeth had become pregnant, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee. He was sent to a virgin. The girl was engaged to a man named Joseph. He came from the family line of David. The virgin's name was Mary. The angel greeted her and said, "The Lord has given you special favor. He is with you."

Mary was very upset because of his words. She wondered what kind of greeting this could be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary. God is very pleased with you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High God. The Lord God will make him a king like his father David of long ago. He will rule forever over his people, who came from Jacob's family. His kingdom will never end."

"How can this happen?" Mary asked the angel. "I am a virgin."

The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come to you. The power of the Most High God will cover you. So the holy one that is born will be called the Son of God. Your relative Elizabeth is old. And even she is going to have a child. People thought she could not have children. But she has been pregnant for six months now. Nothing is impossible with God."

"I serve the Lord," Mary answered. "May it happen to me just as you said it would." Then the angel left her.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Materialism 101

We socialize kids to be materialistic. If you care about wealth and luxury, your kids will care about wealth and luxury.

The more TV kids watch, the more likely they are to be materialistic.

Materialistic tweeners and teenagers are more anxious and less happy and have poorer self-esteem.

When we are feeling unfulfilled in some way, we'll often seek to quell that need through shopping. Materialism is a terrible coping strategy.

Are you actually encouraging your kids to care more about things than other people and experiences?

Monday, 5 December 2011

What do you think about?

Friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

James 4:7
So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Consumerism 101

Shopping is happiness.

Just listen to that little voice in your head.

You can buy happiness; just don’t pay retail for it.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Caught in a pinch?

Psalm 57
Be good to me, God—and now! I've run to you for dear life.
I'm hiding out under your wings
until the hurricane blows over.
I call out to High God,
the God who holds me together.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,
he humiliates those who kick me around.
God delivers generous love,
he makes good on his word.

Thursday, 1 December 2011