Sunday, August 9, 2009

Death is a Part of Life

This morning, let us take a look at something that so many fear, Death. Why do we have to die? Do we spend our life in preparation of Death? What was the plan for the Son of God and Death? Are we afraid of it?

Where does the idea of death come from? Possibly, from Gensis, where Adam and Eve fall from grace caused by the snake or from the Death of Abel.

As we grow up from a child, we experience death all around us. Our frog or dog dies. Our elders die and sometimes, our parents or peers die. Someone tells us that they have gone to heaven and try to explain the cycle of life and death. The past week, many dead leaves have already started to fall from the trees as part of Natures life, death and rebirth cycle.

It may be hard for the child to understand all this. The smell of flowers may become associated with Death from the funeral or memorial flowers. Some children will not understand why their loved ones are put into the Earth.

Somewhere later in the child’s life, an understanding grows.

In many Christian churches, we learn the Bible stories including the Christmas story of Jesus Christ birth and then in Easter, just a few months later, the story and pagent of the death and resurrection of Jesus. How Jesus goes to prepare a place for us. We are taught to set our goals high, to live the commandments, to live a righteous life, to be baptized so we can enter Heaven when we die. Sometimes we fall, yet God helps us up and with Grace, forgives us of our errors.

Part of our life is lived in fear. This is in part what the Bible stories of the Hebrews in the Old Testament teach. There is another side of fear it is of respect for a higher being. The respect we give to our Father and Heavenly Father.

Many people fear judgment day when they die. They have the image of going before God as a judge and possibly sent to Hell. I’m reminded of a funny movie with Albert Brooks and Meryl Steep called: “Defending your Life”. Have you seen it. There are many books that describe what happens when we die. We were required to read numerous texts in our ministerial studies. One of my favorite was “Through the Gates of Death”.

If you have taken God, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit into your heart, have been baptized and have found salvation, you no longer fear death. You know you are a child of God. You have the gift of eternal life. This is the promise of Christianity.

You aren’t waiting and fearing. You have God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit walking with you and watching over you. You have access to all God’s abundance and Grace in your life. “God blesses you all the days of your life and you will live in the house of the Lord forever”, as David tells us in the 23rd Psalm.

You know that Death is not an ending of everything. It is just the ending of this physical body which can only last so long. It is a relief to let go of the old failing body and to return home. It is the beginning of a new journey with God.

After speaking in DC last week, Sherry and I went to visit the woman who sold me our sailboat at Sibley Hospital. She had just delivered her first child, a little girl named Stella Mira – Star of the Sea in Italian. Stella and the birth of all children give us new hope of life to unfold. Have you ever noticed how them seem to glow with Spirit? They have just come from God and still have God’s presence within them unspoiled by the Earthly journey. What a joy they are.

In closing, do you have an endgame or exit strategy? Are you prepared to return home?

Maybe over the next few weeks, you can pray and meditate on your own death. Are there things you want to do? Is there some forgiving needed? Is there some sharing or giving you want? How prepared are you? Are you working on your destiny, your life’s plan?

Take some time too to pray and commune with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You will be lifted up and filled with joy and Love.

Celebrate every day of life, as it is a gift from God to you and those you love.

God bless you

Sunday, July 26, 2009

God Meets Our Every Need

We live in the best of times and the worst of times, as the bard would say. We live in a time when the Word of God has spread throughout the earth. A time when the Holy Spirit lives within us and brings us closer to God. A time when God provides our every need.

For millions, these are the worst of times. Millions have lost their job and for many – who they are. They thought that what they did was who they are and now when they lost it, they are the lost. They feel terrible pain. They feel whipped by conditions beyond their control. Their lives are a tangled mess. Many who feel the pain, turn to God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They return to God. Others will continue to feel the pain and for some, it will get even worse.
God provides for our every need, even when we don’t understand that it is what we need. Maybe the loss of our job or our home is just what we need.

The bible is full of stories where the oil in the lamps that normally would burn out – continued to burn, or the story of the fish and loaves of bread that fed the multitudes. God meets our every need.

Sometimes we don’t see both sides of an issue until we go through it. Last Sunday, Sherry and I met with healers in Columbia and Baltimore. We saw a movie called the "Living Matrix" which was about all the research going on with non-medical healing works. In the movie, a woman had a cancerous tumor. Some of us have had tumors too. After the fear, the woman began to embrace the fear, the illness and as she surrendered to the treatment, the tumor disappeared. Her life had changed with this tumor. She realized what was important in life. She even thanked the tumor for helping her turn her life around to a much richer life. God works in strange ways. He supplies our every need.

This past week, one of my teachers made her transition. She was diagnosed with cancer in May. It was so aggressive that she only had months and days before she left us. This teacher was only 58. One child had graduated from college and the other is half way through. She went on Sabbatical last year after 27 years of service. I believe she earned her wings and will be helping us from heaven. Sometimes we don’t understand how someone passing meets our needs. For her though, a tumor had cause internal cranial bleeding and a stroke. She could no longer speak and was in so much pain, she was on morphine her last days. God met her needs by bringing her back home, relieving of her pain and body. I know she is in the company of angels now.

Many people are now asking God for help and the Holy Spirit to guide them. Sometimes they get an idea and don’t know where it came from (That’s the way the Holy Spirit works).

In 1990, a woman got an idea for a book. That same year, her mother died from MS. This affected her writing. She was diagnosed with clinical depression and even contemplated suicide. At one time, she was also on welfare. She followed the guidance and today she is one of the most successful authors of all time and an inspiration to generations. We know her as J.K. Rowling and her books about Harry Potter based on her own life.

We never know when the Holy Spirit gives us a nudge or idea. We just have to be open to God and Spirit working in our life. Is there a book or idea that you have been given, a gift to explore, a passion to follow? Let God and the Holy Spirit be your guide and find that your needs are met, by letting Spirit work through you.

In conclusion: Over the coming weeks.
- Remember that there are two sides to a coin and even a dark cloud has a silver lining on the other side.
- Follow the words of Jesus as given to us by Matthew in chapter 7:
- Remember today’s scripture, read it, contemplate on it and pray on it.
- God meets our every need. Open your eyes to God’s work in your life.
God bless you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Open the Gates - Homily

On July 20th, 1969 man walked on the moon. That was 40 years ago. Do you remember where you were and what you were doing? It’s hard to believe that 40 years have passed and that we haven’t returned. President John F Kennedy inspired the nation with his speech about why we were going to the moon, “Not because it is easy, but because it is hard”. President Kennedy’s leadership was most amazing and inspired.

The word inspired is of course made of in and spirit. Did the Holy Spirit assist in this monumental achievement? There were innumerable blockages that they encountered. Their persistence and hard work made it possible to land on the moon and return. They opened a door, but it has been closed for decades. We have a new president now, maybe that gate will be re-opened. I truly believe that when one door closes, another is opened. That was an amazing summer many years ago.

Another gate is the one of summer. If the gate is closed, it may be time for other activities: We look at Summer as a time to relax and get some rest. It is a time to recreate our mind and bodies by doing things opposite of what we do for work. It is a time of creativity. As a child, we may go to camp. As an adult, we may go on a long cruise or take a trip to visit with Family. This is as it should be. Did not God teach us to rest on the 7th day? Even God takes a little break from time to time. I always feel that God and the Holy Spirit are with me. I know they are with you too. Summer brings us great happiness with our vacations and relaxing times.

Another gate is the gate of hard work: We all work so hard during the year. Sometimes the harder we work, the slower it goes. I talked to a young man yesterday who is a mechanic. He said that he struggled putting an engine in a car for over 4 hours. After reaching a level of frustration, he decided to quit and leave it for the next day. The next morning, he installed the engine in 30 minutes. The rest removed the blockages.

Summer and light are also gates to wisdom: It is also a time of longer days and more light. More time to find the wisdom.

Rest and recreation can help us to find the wisdom we seek. Vacations are a great time to meditate or visit spiritual places. Just as the young man found the wisdom to do his work, we too find inspiration and knowledge when we include rest in our life. Not only rest, but reading the bible, prayer and meditation also bring wonderful mental and spiritual restoration to us. Even camping and reading by candle light can be a great joy.

Here in our area, summer brings us hurricanes and some violent weather. It’s wise to have some candles ready when the power goes out. It’s also a time when we can go out with our love and family for a romantic candle light dinner. As I look at our new light fixtures, I see candles. Although they are electric, the candles bring us not only light but also a connection with past times. Even the candles on the altar bring additional light into our Chapel as in the light of God.

In conclusion:

Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in”, the Psalmist David tells us. When one door closes, another is opened. Look for it. Allow the Divine to work through you and within you.

Summer is a wonderful time to have some recreation and re-creation. Open the gates of your hearts and let God work through you too. You will be renewed.

Remember that God created play as well as work. You deserve it too.

God blesses you.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

St. Patrick Prays & Recieves Prophesy

Homily about how the power of prayer gave one person the strength to survive and escape adversity through the dreams and prophecy.

Today's homily is posted and available to download at under Files.

Feel free to download and play it.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Power of Prayer and Transfiguration

The Transfiguration and Transformation of the Christ Homily. Hear about the power of prayer and the miracle created.

Today's homily is posted and available to download at under Files.

Feel free to download and play it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Message of Love

Message of Love for Valentine's Day and beyond
Love others and love yourself.

Today's homily is posted and available to download at under Files.

Feel free to download and play it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baptism as Initiation

The Baptism of Jesus - an initiation as the Inaugural was for President Obama
It is a new start on the journey.

Today's homily is posted and available to download at under Files.

Feel free to download and play it.