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Praying and Playing Together
I loved my 6km anti Covid Sunday walk with Rosetta. Such a good time walking briskly and praying together as we walk.
From the earliest days of our dating and marriage we have made a life giving habit of praying together. It is the easiest thing for us to do. NOT bragging. It’s simply true. When both partners invest individually in their relationship with Jesus, all things being right, it has spillover affect in the marriage.
Our prayers follow the ACTS acronym—
We spend a bit of time ADORING our Lord together
We CONFESS our shortcomings to each other and to the Lord together.
We spend a lot of time expressing THANKSGIVING for our physical, relational, and spiritual blessings.
Lastly we ask our Lord to SUPPLY what we need in our lives and what our family and immediate circle of friends may be needing.
For us it continues to be true that the couple that prays and plays together stays together❤️🔥🙏
This is our story and imperfect as we are, we are sticking with it.
Preventative Daily Medicine
Today was my Longest anti Covid 10 km plus walk since start of 2021.
Rosetta dropped me off 10 kilometres away from home and I made my way home through the city in 1 hour and 48 minutes at about 10:30 per km pace singing and listening to Jordan Peterson’s recent release Beyond Order.
Here’s 5 things from Chris Wark, a cancer fighter survivor that infuse me with vision and courage to keep pressing on as much as I can at my age and not let the ‘public officials’ stir fear in me by obsessive warnings directed to threaten rather than prevent and inspire to better choices.
- Accept total responsibility for your health.
You are the driver of your healing journey
- Be willing to do whatever it takes.
That means changing everything.
- Take massive action.
Massive action produces massive results
- Make plans for the future.
Plan to survive and thrive. See yourself well.
- Enjoy your life and the process.
Embrace your healing adventure with joy.
Thank you Chris wark, author of Beat Cancer Daily
Walking side by Side
I’ve been walking all winter on my own, but today I was blessed to have a good friend Stefan Pettersson of Swedish descent, join me in our 9 km anti Covid walk through my city. Stefan is as close to a Viking as I will ever get close to, plus he is a rabid Leaf fan like me, AND the dude climbed Mt McKinley back in the day.
Stefan has been part of a couple of men’s groups I am a part of, both meeting weekly in early morning. Stef enriches my life and so many others by his consistent loyalty and ‘I’ve got your back’ attitude and action. I love this young man.
Stefan and I and a few others have the kind of male friendship C S Lewis affirms—
True friends don’t spend time gazing into each other’s eyes.
They may show great tenderness towards each other but they face in the same direction – toward common projects, goals – above all, towards a common Lord
Friends walk side by side.
You will not find the warrior, the poet, the philosopher or the Christian by staring in his eyes as if he were your mistress:
Better to fight beside him, read with him, argue with him, pray with him.
Henri Nouwen Thanksgiving
My favourite most inspiring spiritual leader is the late Fr Henri Nouwen. Being of Dutch descent but having lived in Toronto area, and buried in Richmond hill, Fr Henri would have celebrated many a Canadian Thanksgiving Weekends. Here is one of his more potent and moving paragraphs on the necessity of gratitude in our lives.
Fr Henri, we miss your audible voice and passion.
To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment. As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for. Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will soon see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.
Fr Henri J.M. Nouwen
COVID has revealed a lot about me—my fears, my anxieties, what and who I really care about and how I relate to people who operate from a different perspective and how I treat them or think of them.
Sadly, even while on the beach this week Covid reared it’s ugly head as some overly scrupulous people got into a social distancing argument about how close they determined we should sit as a family.
Yes, an argument erupted and I didn’t handle it well as a person got her stink face in my face over a grandchild who in her opinion was having a little too much fun with his sand shovel. Well, you can stink face me but when you come across mean and nasty to my grandkids, that’s another story.
Having said that, something I read this morning set me straight, but nevertheless we should all think twice before we stink eye others.
In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl wrote these amazing words:
“We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last pieces of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of his freedoms is to choose his own attitude in any given set of circumstances—to choose one’s own way.”
To Live Under the Blessing
I think if I have heard it once since our son was married, I have heard this phrase a thousand x.
Luch, you and Rosetta are so blessed!
As I think about what people mean by that is, ‘Luch, you are SO lucky.’
As much as I appreciate the sentiment, I don’t think I am more blessed or lucky than anyone else, but I do think, I have ‘chosen’ to live by His blessing rather than against it.
My favourite spiritual mentor hands down, Fr Henri Nouwen, says the following about blessings AND cursing.
And it seems to be written out of what the Jewish scriptures teach.
Deuteronomy 30:19This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
Without realising, we tend to curse ourselves. That cannot be so. That must be a joke. For who in his right senses would want to curse himself. Yet, unconsciously, we curse ourselves often. How can that be so? See how Father Henri Nouwen explains about blessings and curses: “It is an on going temptation to think of our lives as living under a curse. The loss of a friend, an illness, an accident, a natural disaster, a war, or any failure can make us quickly think that we are no good and are being punished. This temptation to think of our lives as full of curses is even greater when all the media present us day after day with stories about human misery. Jesus came to bless us, not to curse us. But we must choose to receive that blessing and hand it on to others. Blessings and curses are always placed in front of us. We are to choose. God says, ‘Choose the blessings!’” (Bread for the Journey, Sept ) “To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore, we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed lives.” (Bread for the Journey, Sept 7)
So, we bless ourselves:
· When we give thanks with a grateful heart.
· When we bless our family and others
· When we listen to the quiet, inner voice that says good things about ourselves.
· When we affirm ourselves and know that we have given the best of ourselves in whatever we have worked on.
· When we shut out the loud, busy outer voice that says we are being punished.
We bless others:
· When we speak good things about them and to them.
· When we show by our gestures that their presence is a joy to us.
· When we reveal to them their gifts, their goodness and their talents.
I think many of us might want to stop ‘hoarding the blessing’ and share it lavishly in spirit of Fr Henri’s words.
I am fascinated that many who say they are ‘believers’ have a hard time expressing blessing to another, while so called ‘non believers’(tragic expression) express blessing freely especially if they’ve never experienced it.
On the Spot Direct Mentoring
Sometimes mentoring doesn’t have to be long, drawn out, never getting to the point conversations. The late blessed St Mother Teresa provides an inspired example of giving direct communication to the late Dutch priest, Father Henri Nouwen. Known for his compulsivity, Fr Henri asked Mother Teresa how he could deal with ongoing issues in his life. Nouwen explains her direct response.
Once, quite a few years ago, I had the opportunity of meeting Mother Teresa of Calcutta. I was struggling with many things at the time and decided to use the occasion to ask Mother Teresa’s advice. As soon as we sat down I started explaining all my problems and difficulties – trying to convince her of how complicated it all was! When, after ten minutes of elaborate explanation, I finally became silent, Mother Teresa looked at me quietly and said,: “Well, when you spend one hour a day adoring your Lord and never do anything which you know is wrong . . . you will be fine!” . . . Reflecting on this brief but decisive encounter, I realize that I had raised a question from below and that she had given an answer from above. At first, her answer didn’t seem to fit my question, but then I began to see that her answer came from God’s place and not from the place of my complaints. Most of the time we respond to questions from below with answers from below. The result is more questions and more answers and, often, more confusion. Mother Teresa’s answer was like a flash of lightning in my darkness. I suddenly knew the truth about myself. HERE AND NOW book
Who Is Responsible For My Health—I AM
While reading a book on Refirement by Eric Thurman,😂 and while so much is being made on the airwaves about our health, this paragraph from AARP an organization providing helpful accurate health information for those over 50 but also all ages especially if you are young but acting like you are old and unfit.
AARP is a prolific source of information about aging. This organization, representing a membership of nearly thirty-eight million people, advocates for adults age fifty and over. Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP, put her finger on the primary factor that determines your health—you: The saying used to be that the secret to a long, healthy life was to choose your parents well. But today we know that only about 20 percent of a person’s health is due to genetics, and about 20 percent is due to the medical care we receive. The other 60 percent is due to social, behavioral, and environmental factors, many of which we can and do influence by the choices we make throughout our lives—what we eat, how much and what kinds of exercise we do, where we live, the quality of our relationships, whether we smoke, and our ability to handle stress. 12 Your private thoughts, desires, and actions are the driving force that determine how good and how long your life will be from this point forward. By AARP’s estimate, 60 percent of your thriving throughout the remainder of your life depends on you. With that in mind, you can see why famed Italian actress Sophia Loren argued there actually is a fountain of youth. It is inside you: “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.”
Home—A Place Where Life Makes Up It’s Mind
A few days after Mother’s Day and within a month, Dad’s day, here is one of the hardest and yet most important lessons to practice as a mom and dad. At least for this old boy.
So well articulated by the late Fr Henri Nouwen.
This is a lesson Rosetta and I want to learn well.
Let our kids GO!!!
We gave them roots. Now they have to fly and make their own roots.🙏❤️
The Great Gift of Parenthood
Children are their parents’ guests. They come into the space that has been created for them, stay for a while – fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years – and leave again to create their own space. Although parents speak about “our son” and “our daughter,” their children are not their property. In many ways children are strangers. Parents have to come to know them, discover their strengths and their weaknesses, and guide them to maturity, allowing them to make their own decisions.
The greatest gift parents can give their children is their love for each other. Through that love they create an anxiety-free place for their children to grow, encouraging them to develop confidence in themselves and find the freedom to choose their own ways in life.
Prayer For Good Speech
Do you find your tongue—speech gets you in trouble?
Mine does. Still.
This prayer for good speech in my Give us this day devotional was timely as lately my ‘tongue’ has gotten the better of me.
Prayer for Good Speech
Gracious God, with only words
you created the universe and called it “good.”
Help me, then, to use my words well,
to create only life and give blessings this day.
You numbered the stars and called each one by name.
Let me cherish each person I meet
and speak their name with reverence.
You promised that your word is very near to us,
already in our mouths and in our hearts.
Give me your Spirit, and teach me what to say.
Stand guard over my mouth and temper my heart
when emotions race and words so easily cut.
Help me know when to speak up,
to be a cry for the poor and a voice in the desert,
and teach me the wisdom to know when to be silent.
Give me the grace to speak the simple words:
“Please” and “Thank you.” “Yes.” “I love you.”
And strengthen me to say the words that need to be said:
“I was wrong.” “I’m sorry.” “Forgive me.” “I forgive you.”
Let my “yes” be “yes,” my “no” mean “no,”
and my promises be kept.
Above all, may I remember that
even if I speak with the tongues of angels,
yet do not have love, I am simply making noise.
So let my tongue be silenced if ever I forget you.
Lord, today, make me your word and open my lips, c*
and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.
*Make the Sign of the Cross on your lips.