November 24, 2009

Is There a God?

A famous potter, while walking along a lonely stream, discovered a bank of the purest clay he had ever seen. He immediately ran home for a bucket, returned to the stream and dug a large quantity of the clay which he placed securely in his studio.

After a brief vacation, he returned to his home and discovered the clay was gone, but in it’s place the workroom was filled with the most  colorful, beautifully shaped and intricately designed pottery he had ever seen.

The potter was confused because the workroom was locked securely. The dust on the floor was undisturbed and the kiln was not used.

Logic and common sense will not permit us to believe the pottery  made itself.  It could not have just happened. Someone was responsible.

Yet there are those who believe the delicate beauty of a Columbine, the power and bulk of a Blue Whale and all the wonders of nature are merely happenings ___ accidental structures that in some inexplicable manner without purpose or direction from some creative power just happen to come together.

The beauty and the complexity of the plant, animal and human life we see around us points to a deliberate Designer who not only created us and the world  in which we live, but sustains it as well.

Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl

November 15, 2009

Are You Alert to BLISS?

Our son, Doug, recently wrote:

Every morning when I wake up, I let the dogs out the front door and then let them in as soon as I get out of the shower.  This morning, Lola came back but Beckham was missing.   Last night was a clear cold night here in western NY and we had a heavy frost.  When I walked outside to look for Beckham, there he was running to me as soon as I called for him.  The sun was rising over the pond, frost covering the ground, and Beckham running towards me over that frost covered ground as happy as any living thing could possibly be ...... BLISS!

In a recent internet column, eCouragement, author and motivational speaker, Gary Schwantz, suggests that we stay alert to BLISS for it often captures us unaware. 

If you remain alert to moments of joy in your life, you may discover they are more common than you might expect. And there is an unexpected dividend.

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama suggests that our BLISS, our moments of supreme joy and happiness, are contagious and “can expand from an individual to one’s family, to one’s neighborhood, to one’s community, and so on.”  Who knew one person’s BLISS could have such an impact on others?

Are you BLISS vigilant? Are you alert to those moments of  joy and contentment when they occur in your life? 

November 6, 2009

Have You Changed?

There is an old story that tells how Satan summoned his top aides to plan a strategy against those who worshipped Jesus. As the Satanical pep talk concluded, the Angel of Darkness made this emotional speech:

“Now get out there and lie, steal and cheat. Do anything to stop these Christians from winning the lost. But be careful. If those Christians ever start to act like they talk, all Heaven will break loose!”

An estimate 123 million people attend church in the United States every Sunday, but I wonder how many of us are changed? How many hear God’s word and act on it?

Some people think that it’s only what we don’t do that identifies us as Christians. . . don’t gamble, don’t swear, don’t lie, don’t steal, etc. 

But Jesus was action oriented as well. He was a doer and a healer who spoke often about what is required of those who choose to follow Him:

Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Bless those who curse you.”

Follow me.”

Love your enemies.”

Go in peace.”

The next time you hear a sermon consider these words from the first chapter of James who wrote,  “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.”  

Blessings from Gpa Westerdahl