February 08, 2017

God’s Help Comes in Many Ways

Sometimes a little humor helps brighten the day.
 

She hurried to the pharmacy to get medication, got back to her car and found that she had locked her keys inside. The woman found an old rusty coat hanger left on the ground. She looked at it and said, "I don't know how to use this."

She bowed her head and asked God to send her some help. Within 5 minutes a beat-up old motorcycle pulled up, driven by a bearded man who was wearing an old biker skull rag.

He got off of his cycle and asked if he could help.

She said: "Yes, my daughter is sick. I've locked my keys in my car. I must get home. Please, can you use this hanger to unlock my car?"

He said, "Sure." He walked over to the car, and in less than a minute, the car door was open. She hugged the man and softly said, "Thank you, God, for sending me such a very nice man."

The man heard her little prayer and replied, "lady, I just got out of prison yesterday; I was in prison for car theft."

The woman hugged the man again, "Oh, thank you, God! You even sent me a professional." 

Is God great or what!?!

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January 30, 2017

Our Quest for God

Our Search for Understanding

We humans have searched for God since the beginning of human intelligence. We have been very creative in our interpretation of what or who is a God. Our explanations have typically been drawn from current experience, our fears, and our desires.  God is a woman.  God is a man.  God is an animal.  God is a star, the sun, or the moon.  God is an invisible being.  God exists in the earth.  God lives in the sky.  God reigns over our universe from a place outside our Cosmos. Human literature and traditions claim God is compassionate, God demands obedience, God is fickle, and God is steadfast. Our search for what is, or who is, God has produced a plethora of contradictory beliefs that have frequently been the source of bloody human conflict.

Gradually, however, most Christians have come to perceive God as a supernatural being, creator of all that exists in the Cosmos, the source of Christian values, and the essence of moral perfection. God provides us with a message of love, and teaches us how to become one with the transcendent principles of the Cosmos. In the final analysis, God is both a teacher of values and judge of individual conduct. For many, faith in the word and character of God provides life with its intrinsic meaning.

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January 24, 2017

Hatred Has No Moral Value

Political chaos can be found in many nations.
Zealots are consumed by the bile of hatred.
However let us remember a fundamental truth.

No matter what we may think is justified.

If a theology, ideology, or philosophy
fails to bring people together,

it has no moral value.


January 17, 2017

We Must Find Our Own Way

Established religions do not always practice their published theology. The faithful do not always observe the teachings of their faith. Believers can be obstinately patronizing about the truths they read in ancient documents. All too often, the selective use of religious doctrine is used to justify malicious behavior.

What a shame.

These realities of human failing present us with many questions. Who are we to judge?  How do we have a constructive conversation with those who espouse inflexible beliefs? How do we deal with the venom of a faith that has been corrupted by human betrayal? By what measure do we know our own actions and thoughts are spiritually virtuous?  And so on.

Be thoughtful. Human nature will not change. These failings and the questions they raise will be with us forever. Let us therefore embrace a positive and constructive view of who we are, and deal with these weaknesses of the human condition with grace and intelligence.

Let us be humble in our beliefs. In truth, most of us are pursuing the same quest. We want to be sure that life has meaning. We are, in a sense, always searching for a truth that is greater than ourselves, even if we are unable to fully comprehend the meaning of our discovery. There are, it would appear, many paths to spiritual truth. We must, each one of us, find our own way.

We will be measured by the sincerity of our effort and our compassion for others.


Father Giovanni
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January 11, 2017

Religions

It is clear to me that "religions" are the invention of man, and therefore exhibit all the strengths and weaknesses of human nature. All too frequently theology is based on current knowledge and mythology. A formalized belief system evolves which quickly becomes outdated, because it is based on the unrelenting march of rapidly obsoleting human knowledge. A growing gap thus separates the norms of religious practice from our perceived experience of reality.
  
Yet, in this there is a paradox. Any extended attempt to seek the spiritual must establish a cohesive framework of intellectual and emotional theology. Else it has no lasting virtue.

Let us come together, therefore, to establish a theology that venerates values, rather than the trappings of current knowledge.

Ron
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January 07, 2017

My Spouse

My spouse is my best friend.
Love has united two as one.
We comfort and encourage each other.
We share the joys and sorrows of life.

Two are better than one.
Together we are strong.
In moments of distress;
We share a loving hug.

I will be quick to show my love;
And be steadfast in my trust.
For as we journey through life,
I will often need the love - of my best friend.


January 04, 2017

Where Is The Garden of Eden?

There has always been speculation the real physical Garden of Eden existed (past tense) somewhere within the Fertile Crescent, or perhaps elsewhere. I prefer an allegorical interpretation of God's message because it is very relevant to the 21st century. My reasoning is thus: We have the means and intelligence to make our earth a paradise. We also have the unfortunate potential of moral failure. If we yield to the temptation of excess and ignore the spiritual rules of the Cosmos, we risk bringing about our own demise through disease, conflict and famine.

Thus we may ponder: Is this unique planet meant to be our garden of Eden? Will moral failure lead to eviction? Will we be the cause of our own demise?


Ron

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December 29, 2016

Happy Birthday: Pope Francis

Being 80 is a milestone in any life. Your ministry has thus far been remarkable for Christian doctrine and the Catholic church. Thank you for your efforts to heal the divisions within our Christian institutions and the rumblings of dissension within the Catholic church. We must work toward a positive and constructive unity of Christian belief. The development of a shared view of Christian history and theology is essential for continuing the message Jesus Christ gave to us.

May the warmth of your ministry continue to be an inspiration.

Ron
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December 26, 2016

Making Pea Soup

Of course we had a great Christmas with family and friends. I managed, somehow, to hold down on the carbs. Tough challenge, my wife makes a really good mincemeat pie.

As is my custom, I spent the better part of the afternoon on Monday making a big pot of split pea soup. None of that wimpy store bought stuff. My split pea soup is thick with lots of ham (cut into cubes), potatoes, carrots, onion, broccoli, a light touch of celery,  and - of course - split peas. Oh - and spices.

We do a soup and salad or a soup and sandwich on Sunday evening. Sure goes down good in this cold winter weather.

Now on to wash the dishes.

Ron

December 16, 2016

The Angels' Footpath

This is the compelling story of a 21st century Prophet. The drama unfolds in an era of political oppression and chronic recession. There is talk of revolution. People of faith are being challenged. An infant with a special gift is born into this growing cultural chaos. We follow his life and share his experiences as he discovers the value of love, endures tragedy, encounters conflict, and overcomes persecution. We witness his wonderful transformation and the power of his unique gift. He reveals a contemporary message of faith, demonstrates the reality of spiritual transcendence, and shows us the path to heaven.

Set in the not-to-distant future, the people we meet are authentic, and the drama is realistic. The women in his life personify the values of love and compassion. Men of faith teach him the word of God. He works with his friends to overcome persecution in a setting of political chaos. The concept of spiritual transcendence, which is a central theme of this novel, is emotionally credible.

Over 50 people read promotional copies of The Angels’ Footpath. Here is a sample of reader comments:

-  The Angels’ Footpath is a moving and captivating novel...
-  The plot is very realistic.
-  The characters are quite interesting and easy to connect with.
-  This is a very deeply written story.
-  I cried: tears of sadness and tears of joy, and I laughed.
-  I am impressed with the multiple story threads and depth of thought.
-  The Angels' Footpath is an amazing spiritual journey...
-  It is a very interesting book from the beginning to the last page.
-  Angels presents a prescient characterization of America.
-  The novel provides much food for thought in its wide ranging scope.
- I didn't think Christian fiction was very interesting.... Boy was I wrong!
- I enjoyed the ease ... to read it.  It flowed and the prose was beautifully illustrated...
-  Cooke’s compelling and impressive writing style makes you want to continue reading late into the night
- Will there be a sequel?


With the exception of two characters, the people who accompany us on our journey through The Angels’ Footpath are drawn from contemporary Americana. They come from a diversity of cultural and economic circumstances. By temperament, they range from loving to down right nasty. We see the best and worst of humanity.

People of faith survive.

As for the two exceptions: ... well... you’ll just have to read The Angels’ Footpath to discover who they are....
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