May 31, 2014

Now There Are Eight Wonders

In a recent Parable, I wrote about a teacher who asked his students to prepare a list of what they considered the Seven Wonders of the World. 

One creative student prepared a list which was quite unexpected and included the following: to see, to hear, to touch, to taste, to feel, to laugh, to love. Using the student’s list, I created examples of what I consider to be “wonders” of my world.

Several family members wrote to me after I posted the Parable with their own list of “wonders.” Here are eight of their contributions with their examples:
  1. To Sleep: On a featherbed and dream
  2. To Wake: To a thrush’s song
  3. To Smell: The aroma of cinnamon buns baking 
  4. To Relive: A happy moment with a loved on
  5. To Watch: The changing flame of a camp fire
  6. To Breath: Salt air on an ocean beach
  7. To Believe: In giving with no expectations of reward
  8. To Trust: In the goodness of God

As with the original list, these commonplace, uncomplicated emotions and experiences are the “wonders” that fill our lives with happy moments.

May your life be filled with such wonders!

May 22, 2014

Seven Wonders of the World

A teacher asked his students to prepare a list of what each one thought were the current Seven Wonders of the World. Most students listed famous landmarks like the Great Pyramids or the Great Wall of China. 

One student, thinking outside the box, created a list the teacher never expected.  Here is the student’s list in italics followed by my list of examples of “wonders:”  
To see . . . a baby walk for the first time
To hear . . . a song that reminds me of falling in love
To touch . . . the heart of a loved one  
To taste . . . a simple dish that reminds me of my youth
To feel . . . an emotion that makes me cry
To laugh . . . at a Carol Burnett comedy sketch
To love . . .  life, my family and my Savior
Simple and ordinary things in our lives are rarely considered “wonders,” yet each one contributes to the joy of living. 

What are the “wonders” in your life that give you joy?

May 15, 2014

Behold the Lowly Dandelion

In the sixth chapter of Matthew the 28th verse, we read that Jesus said:
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. "
I also invite you to consider the dandelion. We call it a weed, and American home-owners spend millions of dollars each year to kill this non-lethal, beautiful and useful plant. Our motive is to have a green flawless field of grass.  

Few people know that as a vegetable, the dandelion is rich in  vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, and minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc.  The root of the dandelion can be used for medicinal purposes or roasted and used as a coffee substitute. The flowers provide pollen for bees, and can also be harvested for wine.

Europeans used the flower’s parts for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea and the Chinese treat stomach problems with dandelion.

The fact is, we have underestimated this beautiful and useful plant, and there is a lesson about judging people in that incorrect assumption. How often do we misjudge people on the basis of their appearance or actions without really knowing anything about them? To my shame, I made that very error as I was preparing this Parable.  I challenge you not to do the same.

May 9, 2014

Carrie Merrick: A Courageous Woman

Cruel and vicious cancer has claimed another friend. This time it is a courageous, inspiring and beautiful young woman in the prime of her life with a loving husband, a devoted family and hundreds of good friends. Her name is Carrie Merrick, and she did not live to celebrate her first Mother’s Day with her daughter, Hadley, who is not yet a year old.

Carrie was a Deputy Sheriff sworn to protect the people of Livingston County, New York, and most of the Department’s 200 employees paid their respects or guarded Carrie’s coffin during visiting hours and her memorial service the following day.

In his homily at the service celebrating Carrie’s life, the Reverend Bernard Dan reminded us that while the Devil destroys life, only God can create life.   

Reverend Dan said: 
“We trusted God when Carrie was created. Let us trust God now that Carrie has gone to claim her crown.” 
The Mass of Christian Burial on May 8, 2014 was a celebration of Carrie’s life where those present recalled the ties that bound us to her while she lived among us and reaffirmed the ties which will continue to bind us to her in death. Blessed be those ties that bind.

Carrie devoted her life to protecting others. Now she is under the protection of her Creator.