September 27, 2009

Landscapes from the Creator's Hand

Years ago, my wife and I traveled to Bangor, Maine to visit Wayne Glick, the former President of Keuka College with whom I worked for many years.

During our visit,  Wayne and his wife, Barbara, drove us to Acadia National Park, one of the most visited parks in the United States .  .  .  and for good reason.

All the beauty that is Maine comes together in this popular park where the mountains meet the rolling surf of the Atlantic. 

As we stood together overlooking this pristine landscape, Wayne said, “This is where God goes to take a vacation.” And I answered, “And the Finger Lakes is where he spends the rest of the year.”

Anyone who lives in Upstate New York surely would agree that when it comes to natural beauty, the Creator has certainly blessed us abundantly. 

Yet some skeptics, some I know well, suggest that the wonders of this earth are merely happenings . . . bundles of molecules that in some mysterious way, just happen to come together.

For me the natural beauty of my home in the Finger Lakes is an ever constant reminder  and proof that This Is My Father’s World.

Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl

September 25, 2009

Where Are You Going?

Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, was riding the train in his native state of Massachusetts when he was approached by the conductor.

Holmes fumbled around in his pockets, apparently looking for his ticket, when the conductor said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Holmes. I know who you are. When you get to your destination and you find your ticket, just put it in an envelope and mail it to us.”

“My dear man,” said Holmes. “The problem is not where is my ticket? My problem is . . . where am I going?”

And where are you going? Are you a spectator to your life, taking things pretty much as they come . . . watching it unfold without purpose or direction?  Or do you have goals and strategies to reach your objectives?

In either case, the important thing to remember is the decisions you make each day of your life will ultimately determine where your journey ends.

As you make those choices each day, these wise words from St. Paul will help guide you in your voyage through life:

Fill your minds and your meditating with things that are true, reputable, compelling and gracious. Fill your minds with the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not curse. Do that and God will work you into his most excellent harmonies. 
Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl

September 17, 2009

Your Source of Joy

Christian writer, Max Lacado, tells about meeting Robert Reed whose hands and feet are so twisted he can’t feed himself, brush his teeth or comb his hair. Robert’s shirts are held together by Velcro and his speech drags like a worn recording.

Robert Reed has cerebral palsy.

But cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from graduating from college. It didn’t keep him from teaching in junior college, and it didn’t keep him from becoming a missionary in Portugal.

Despite his disabilities, Reed is quoted as saying, “I have everything I need for joy.”

This real life story of one of God’s special saints clearly demonstrates that our source of joy has nothing to do with the events in our life. It has everything to do with our attitude.

The Apostle Paul wrote that we are to “rejoice in the Lord regardless of our circumstances.”

Robert Reed can’t drive a car, ride a bike or take a walk, but he discovered the joy  that comes when a life is centered in God.

What is the source of your joy?

Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl

September 14, 2009

Courage to Live Without Fear

In a book on faith by Norman Vincent Peale, he records the last will and testament of an old frontiersman. Here’s how it reads:

"I ain’t got no money to leave you,  just this old cabin, old Buck and my two guns. But I do leave you somethin’ worth a parcel more than money .  .  .  the belief that a man’s word is as good as his bond, a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and courage so you won’t be afraid of nothin’ or nobody."

What an inheritance  .  .  . honor, faith and courage so you won’t be afraid of nothin’ or nobody.

Friends, if you believe in God, you can find the courage to live without fear, for he has granted us the strength to cope with the stresses of life that can devour our spirit.

The next time you face situations in life which can cause anxiety and fear, remember these words from the Shepherd’s Psalm: 

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me."

Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl

September 7, 2009

Releasing Our Capacity for Passion

Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, considered himself primarily a sculptor.

It is reported he believed every stone had an image within it, and sculpting was simply a matter of chipping away everything that was not part of the statue. 

In his lifetime, Michelangelo left many unfinished works from which he had sculpted an elbow, or a leg, or a head. The rest of the subject was still locked up inside the stone.

Many of us are incomplete works of art with unlimited possibilities locked up within us because we have never released our God-given power that comes with energy and enthusiasm.

But be assured . . . it is there . . . ready and waiting to be carved out and  used to enrich our life and the life of others.

Recognize that you and you alone are responsible for your moods, and if you release your God-given capacity to act with passion in everything you do, I assure you your life will never be dull. 

Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl