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Religion

  • My name is Joseph

    My name is Joseph. I am a carpenter by trade. By nature, I am a man who loves solitude, who finds joy in creation. My love for nature led me to find deep pleasure and profound value in the working of wood. There are so few trees in my country. Each is a precious commodity, a priced gift. It always surprises me to know others cannot see the pricelessness and art found in woodworking.

  • Let go of a Santa Claus God and come alive with a sanctifying God

     

     

    Good ol’ Hubby Dear had a yen for a somewhat expensive art book. At least, he thought its price was more than he should spend on himself. To assuage his guilt over desiring such a gift, he told me it would suffice for both Christmas and birthday presents. Then he boyishly asked me what I wanted for Christmas. My teasing response was, “All  I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”

  • My December musings: It’s all good

     I have become increasingly enamored of Richard Rohr. It’s like falling in love for the first time. He is a fascinating, funny, famous (in some circles, at least), faithful and never frivolous Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province.

  • Teach me to work … I’ll find my food

     Annually in the United States, Thanksgiving week is also honored as a time to give thought and offer action to the plight of homeless hordes whose lives are hidden in the nooks and crannies of our world. Their roof is the sky; their floor is the earth. Shelter is found anywhere they can hide, in woods behind public buildings, huddled in alleyways, housed in vacant buildings marked for destruction. They are invisible in the plain sight of unseeing eyes.

  • Tune in and find beauty where others just find noise

     Maybe it was the sound of the wind chimes hanging from the rafters of our tiny entryway that inspired me. It could have been a story that went viral, the one about a Texas teen who had been cruelly bullied. She wasn’t physically injured. It was worse. She was tricked into thinking she had been nominated as a contestant for class queen. The joke was turned around when her friends surprised her – and the bullies – by relinquishing the honor and offering the crown to her.

  • Twenty questions that offer a lasting legacy

     Perhaps anticipated entry into the fifth month since my daughter’s death has elicited my renewed intrigue with the idea of legacies. It might also have been triggered by the work of a college classmate who is living with a dire prognosis of a life being seriously shortened by cancer. She wants to gift her family with memories, her remembrances of life, as a way to enhance their own.

  • Seeing with the eyes of the crucified

     Typically, my mornings begin with a cup of coffee and my devotional, “Give Us This Day,” followed by a trek to the computer to receive my electronic spiritual boost from the Center for Action and Contemplation, Father Richard Rohr’s site. His daily words seem always to be just what I need to read, hear, and heed. They were particularly spot on a week or so ago.

  • The ‘selfie’ craze is here ... to stay?

     Unless one lived in a hermitage or cave without television or newspapers, “selfie” is not a foreign word. What is strange is its creeping infallibility. Part of the modern vocabulary, selfie has become much more than a description of a cellphone snapshot verifying one’s presence at a monumental site. It is more than simple proof of one’s existence at a particular location or with a special person. Selfies can be fun, taken lightly. They can also be frighteningly indicative of a certain egoism.

  • ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of God’s hands’ (Psalm 19:2)

     I have noted and admired the practice, especially in the South, of folks beginning their day by reading and praying their devotionals. It may be equally true elsewhere, but my experience was heightened by what I saw and heard here. For that matter, what I continue to see and hear when I am with “church people” from all walks of life.

  • Find the ghost of Tom Joad everywhere