Sunday, February 7, 2016

Be Encouraged here or there, Be Encouraged everywhere

I love a good Dr. Suessism.  

At any rate, two events coming up and here they are.  Please feel free to share.  For information contact me at ohthatssimple@gmail.com

Langley, B.C.

Los Angeles, California






Friday, February 5, 2016

Boy Happiness

Sometimes when you're a boy (not that I would now, but I'm pretty observant) you experience a foretaste of Heaven.  Like when you get to forge your own knife blade.  With steel.  In coal.  And then you bring it home and sharpen and sharpen it.  

With your Dad's sharpener.  

And then you lovingly get out your leather working stuff, and...with a lot of noise and a fair bit of bragging, too...you wrap the handle in soft leather and make a cool design on it.  

And this, for Huckleberry, constitutes the
Best.  Day.  Ever.




Monday, February 1, 2016

A Still More Excellent Way

First Corinthian 12:31 - 13:13

We have heard it so many times.  Paul tells us about love.  What love is, and, more importantly - what is isn't.  How many weddings, Masses, homilies, talks, books we've read...reference this very passage.  It's the heart of the Gospel.  

Here's the first part:

But earnestly desire the higher gifts.  And I will show you a still more excellent way.  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude.  Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  

Of  course we are struck by the simplicity of what love is and of what it isn't.  When I'm caught up in the moment of this passage, I can hardly think that I CAN'T love with abandon. I can hardly think that I can't BE loved by everyone around me with the same abandon. 

But then, life happens.  

Five minutes later or an hour later - but guaranteed some time in the very near future I am feeling jealous, boastful, arrogant or rude.  I am insisting on my own way, feeling irritable or resentful or maybe, on a particularly bad day - rejoicing at wrong.  

And it brings us back to the same old question.  "How do we do it?"  How do we keep Paul's words and be the very thing we want to be?  Regularly, predictably? 

What caught my attention yesterday was Paul's opener.  

"But earnestly desire the higher gifts.  And I will show you a still more excellent way."

His opener is the clue to the first step in loving more perfectly.  
Desire it.  
Want it.  
Ask for it.  
God will never be outdone in generosity.  And grace abounds in prayer.  But we need to know what to ask for, and here Paul tells us.  Desire the higher gifts.  And he will show us a still more excellent way.