Sunday, April 30, 2017


Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Matthew  5:5 NIV

This verse reminds me a bit about the fable of the tortoise and the hare. The hare was pushy and boastful, but the tortoise just quietly got the job done.  In my mind, the earthly inheritance is about having a home and family, and being part of a community. Being meek doesn’t mean being a doormat but it means being willing to obey God’s teachings and to learn from others. People who are willing to set their own agendas aside if family and/or community are better served by a different plan are meek but they usually reap the blessings of stable relationships and having positive support groups.
Meekness can even be helpful in the workplace.  A contentious person may get promotions at first but, I think, like the hare they often aren’t able to finish the race. A meek person is happy to accept guidance from more experienced people and becomes more competent as time goes by. He is less likely to have friction with his fellow workers .  In the wake of meekness comes calm and peace, and more energy to invest in worthwhile pursuits.
Meekness is very much underrated these days but it has lots of rewards and blessings.

Saturday, April 29, 2017


Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 NIV

This verse used to seem like a bit of an oxymoron to me.  Blessing in mourning? But now I think I am starting to understand it a bit. If one is mourning the loss of a special person, then one had to have loved that person to begin with. Someone with a hard heart, who doesn’t grieve lost relationships, is someone who hasn’t loved others, and that is surely a dead place to be. But to have a loving heart that embraces other is a real blessing.
There are also those who mourn over the violence and suffering endured by so many people around the world.  But to mourn in that way, one would need a caring, compassionate heart.  Someone who is caring and compassionate will have meaningful relationships with others and that is surely a blessing.
And then there is the mourning of actions (or omissions) that I have done that have hurt others. If I can’t be sorry for hurting others, I can’t learn to be someone who builds others up. But if I regret my harmful actions, then I will receive the blessing of learning to be a blessing to others. That would be comforting for all involved.

Friday, April 28, 2017

True Riches

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3 NIV

This is the first beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount.  In a paragraph,  the first sentence is usually the topic sentence or the sentence that presents the most important idea. I don’t think the order of the Beatitudes is in any way random.  First and foremost, I am called to check the state of my spirit. Is my heart open to God and his teaching? Am I proud? Am I self-centered? Am I greedy?  I think the point of this verse is to get me to do some soul searching and to face up to the fact that I need God’s hand on my life.  Left to my own devices, my negative qualities will grow.
My purpose is to follow God, not to make myself the center of the universe. If I don’t grasp this truth, I will never find the kingdom of heaven. 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

God's Daughter

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. Revelation 21:7

God promises  water from the spring of life to those who follow him.  His promises are for those who overcome the temptation to rebel against him.  All around me are voices telling me to be the captain of my fate, to be my own boss, to believe in me, to fulfill my desires.  But if I want God’s living water, if I want to be his daughter, I need to silence those voices and remember his wonderful promises.
When I’m out in my garden and see the diversity and beauty of his creation, I get excited to think that when I die I will get to see God face to face.  I’ll be in his presence forever. The paltry offerings of the world – money, prestige, popularity- really do pale in comparison with what God offers me- eternal love.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Flying Money

Do not wear yourself out to get rich…they (riches) will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle. Proverbs 23: 4,5 NIV

The fickleness of wealth. How many times do I hear of people who have gone from riches to rags.  Any number of events can scupper a bank account: a job loss, a health crisis, a natural disaster, even a change in government.  I do need enough money to pay the bills but to sacrifice my life for money is a foolish endeavour. 
I like the imagery of riches taking flight like a bird.  How could you possibly catch an eagle that has flown away?  That money is gone, for sure. We can be sensible in our finances but ultimately we need to remember that our money could be gone in a flash.  Would I be OK if our finances took a big hit? I think I would be. I’ve lived in tight circumstances in the past and I learned that there are lots of things I can do without.  I am thankful that today the bills are paid and that I have a roof over my head.  I don’t take it for granted that I will always be so comfortable.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Flying High

…those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; Isaiah 40:31 NIV

I love the imagery of this verse.  Eagles effortlessly soaring on the thermals, flying fast and high, with a view of the landscape beneath them.  Freedom and energy and yet at the same time a restfulness and ease are pictured.  I have from time to time had a taste of that experience.  To feel that I am being carried and perhaps blown about but that I still can vary my direction with a change in my wing.
This verse doesn’t say we will never lose strength or grow weary, but it promises that before we hit the ground that God’s updraft will send us up into the air again. I don’t usually see eagles in the sky but I do see other birds soaring through the invisible air supported by the wind currents. What a great reminder for me of God’s support that can make life exciting and free-flowing.