Saturday, February 29, 2020

Saturday Bonus Day

This day only exists once every four years - Leap Years Day - a bonus day for everyone who follows this calendar.  On this first Saturday of Lent most are still asking themselves - really - Lent already?  Yes - Lent is earlier than last year - two years ago it was on Valentines Day which posed special issues.  Most of us are never ready for Lent - a season that very few await - celebrations - feasting - joyful gathering are more the norm.  It is true that Lent is difficult for some - the beauty of Lent - the gift that this season is - lost on most.  As Christians - those seeking to constantly better themselves - Lent a welcome period - a retreat from the hustle - hassle of daily life. 
One only needs to stop - come to a full halt - to take a few minutes to consider their life's  situation - to realize that improvements can - should be made. For the majority - changes are minor - nothing drastic - for others - serious work needs to be done.  For everyone - that work - individualized - just for them.  One cannot - should not - compare their work with others.  God does not compare us to others - why should we?  The focus is our personal relationship with Jesus - His Father - nothing more - nothing less.  We still have 36 days to get this done - with His help - we will. 

Deacon Dale 

Friday, February 28, 2020

Friday Friday

The First Friday of Lent - Day #3 - still not quite ready to start.  It's normal - very few jump in immediately when considering what is involved in Lent.  Today the first meatless day - unless you forgot - changing habits - dietary - schedules - giving up - discarding the unnecessary for the necessary.  This is not easy - old habits die hard - so very true.  How does anyone immediately stop - change direction - walk a new path - without a few hiccups along the way.  Reality - it happens to the best - not unusual at all.

My blogging days have been fewer than in previous years - life gets in the way of everything - my Lenten resolution - daily blogging.  No long dissertation- no doctoral thesis - just a few simple words shared with  those who read - to inspire - encourage - to motivate - both myself - others.  We are not in this spiritual exercise along - there are hundreds of thousands sharing this same experience.  In the end - we will persevere.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Mama Mia

Here we go again - another Lent season - upon us yet again - try try as we must - every year - ashes to dust - our hearts - our spirits - renewed at best.  As we get older so many ask - why again - wasn't one time enough?  Truth - all of us - clergy included - need to constantly pause - evaluate - what we are doing - what we have failed to do - where are we going - are we heading in the right direction.  Sadly - all have fallen short of the Glory of God - some further than others - but all have slipped - lost footing.  We can all do better - we know it - hard to act on it.  In Lent we are reminded for 40 days - repent - change - forgive - improve - get better - time to act.

Thank God that He is all forgiving - always wiping away our tears - arm around our shoulder - encouraging us to be - all that He expects us to be - despite our short comings - failures.  Only God - Jesus - can stand next to us - time after time - as we sin - fall short - fail - disappoint.  The Good News - He will always be there - no matter how long it takes - be it 40 days or even longer - Jesus - standing waiting.  Now is a great time to start - ask what needs to be done to improve - make a plan - then implement.  Start slow - take deep breaths - step forward into the future - one step at a time.  Mama Mia - Here We Go Again.

Deacon Dale  

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

From Ashes to New Life

Like the mythical Phoenix who obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor today - ASH WEDNESDAY - the day in churches around the world - when ashes are placed on the foreheads of believers of all ages.  Ashes from the palms waived last year on Palm Sunday - celebrating Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem - now burned and imposed on foreheads - reminding everyone that all is not lost - that new life awaits those with hope.  

As we see those ashes - blessed - imposed on foreheads - smudges of many shapes and forms - one form seen in most - the shape of the cross - the Cross of Christ - heavier at the top or head of the sign - the cross beams in various shapes - many resembling wings - at the sides - all signs of hope.  Hope that this Lent we will do it right - that we will honestly devote more time to prayer - meditation - reflection - on ourselves - our personal relationship with Jesus - His Father - the Holy Spirit.  Lent is very private - a personal time - observed in community - as we consider how we - as an individual - fit into God's plan for ourselves - those around us.  We Fast - We Pray - We Offer to others - that in our sharing - we are able to feel the touch of the Divine - in our life.

In Lent - we arise from the ashes of our past - to New Life

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Getting Fat on Tuesday

Today - FAT Tuesday - so what is the deal with today - why is it fat?  Very quickly we will begin the season of Lent - that time of year when we step back - reflect on our lives - what we are doing - walking the straight and narrow - fallen off the path - where are we heading.  In this season of Lent we are asked to FAST - PRAY - GIVE ALMS.  Lent is the season when we are asked to GIVE UP - GO WITHOUT.  Therefore - TODAY - we fill our lives with the excesses that we cannot enjoy during Lent.  Today we get - FAT - drink a lot - eat a lot - gather with friends - family - put as much as we can into today because today - is all we have.  No guarantee of tomorrow - or the next day.

Although FOOD that we eat is the focus of today - especially that which we tend to avoid due to its high fat and sugar content - it is all symbolic of the goodness of the lives we lead.  Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday - the beginning of Lent - a time when we turn our attention away from the earthly pleasures of food - things.  In Lent we turn to our relationship with God - His Son - Jesus - how they fit into our lives.  It is a solemn time of year to re-focus our attention on what really matters.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Building Temples

In today's scriptures it is very clear that each of us has a very special place in God's plan.  The world may tell us different stories - fill us full of falsehoods - lies - tell us stories that fills our head with ideas of greatness - grandeur.  Unfortunately - the world has its own agenda - one that does not agree with God's plan for us.  The world tells us that we are number one - we are more important than any one else - that our wants - desires - are what  counts - nothing else.  The needs of others are not our concern.  Those who believe these lies -  often led far away from God.  

For those who reject the lure of the world - who see those lies for exactly what they are - who listen to the voice of God - know - they are loved - forgiven - called to be Holy as God is Holy.  As disciples we need to realize that we are temples - temples for the Spirit of God - that God not only lives around us - also in us.  We know that God is with us and gives us the strength to cope with the ordeals - challenges of life.  In our search for holiness - we are called to seek perfection - not as God is perfect - rather a purity of life - how we live - act - react to those around us.   God calls each of us to become strong faithful temples in which HIs Holy Spirit lives and grows 

Sunday, February 16, 2020


Clueless refers to those who just seem to be unaware - not informed - speaking without thinking. Most people luckily do not fall into this category - unfortunately - there are those who just do not get it - always one step behind - lost in thought - thinking about anything else not pertinent to the subject at hand.  Harmless but irritating at worse.  When given the opportunity to rise above themselves - usually disappoint due to inability to thoroughly think through an issue - stopping halfway - failing to complete the task - often misled by others who are self professed experts.  A sad situation - one that can be overcome with thoughtful intervention. 
Jesus had to cope with this issue in His time - those who failed to listen to what He said - listening instead to false prophets - those who were inventing their own story - about God - life - salvation.  To those who were wise - He words would take root - grow in their minds - hearts - lead to the truth - to salvation.  Today this issue still exists - many following false prophets - reinventing the truth to their advantage - telling their story - not God's - reinventing the Gospel - to their benefit -  preaching their plan - not God's.  We are all called to be wise - to listen well with our ears - to see with our eyes - the glory - the truth - revealed only by Jesus.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Salt Shakers

In today's Holy Scriptures we are instructed to take care of those around us - to feed - to  clothe - to be healers and doers - to be activists - to minister to all around us.  In the Gospel we are reminded that salt not used goes to waste - good for nothing more than to be thrown on the road - to melt ice - to be cast aside.  Even those with less - still often have more than those with none - those with little faith - still possess much more than those with no faith at all.  Each - though poor - often have things - skills - that may benefit - others.

We have been called - as disciples of Christ to be the salt that adds flavor - meaning - spice - to others lives.  Sharing the faith - hope - that we possess - even though little - has the possibility to make a large difference in the lives of even those who appear to have much. Those with lots of money - possessions - are sometimes the poorest when discussing faith matters.  It is not at all unusual to meet people who appear very wealthy - who feel naked - empty - of true meaning in their lives.  To those - we are called to be that inspiration - the salt - to bring true meaning into their life - to bring  God and His gift of Jesus - the One who heals and nourishes - who fills that void that so many experience in their lives. We are called to be the salt - to shake up others lives - to be spiritual salt shakers - to bring the light of Christ into their lives. 

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Presentation

Today the Church celebrates The Presentation of The Lord - that time when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple - for Mary's purification rite after giving birth - Jesus's presentation as the First Born child.  It was the old people - Simeon - a High Priest of the Second Temple - the God Receiver - and Anna - the Prophetess who was near 84 years old.  Simeon's age is not mentioned but viewed as very old - awaiting the presence of the Christ Child.  Both Simeon and Anna strong in their faith - very firm in their beliefs - Temple dwellers - providing guidance to the younger members of the Temple community.   Staying strong in the face of adversity - weathering the changes of time - being faithful - excellent models for the younger - youthful members.  Proving time and again the value of age - sharing wisdom gained only from experiencing life itself - not gained from books - from first had knowledge itself.

That model - seeking wisdom - knowledge - from the senior members of society - still valuable today.  Unfortunately - all too many - reinventing the wheel - trying to improve on a model that has stood the test of time.  Rather than utilizing the tools already in place - expending so much energy seeking answers to questions that have already been answered.  What is being missed - properly utilizing existing tools cast aside.  Granted there are new ways to implement - approach the issues - in the end it comes down to effective - efficient utilization of resources already in place.  The most effective tool available - the very people themselves - making them understand that they are the answer - they have the power - to accomplish these tasks.  Recognizing the value of what you have - giving your best to the Lord - offering oneself in service - solves almost every issue.  Today - every day - each of us needs to stop - take stock of what we have to offer - to step up - stand up - step away from the crowd - to go to the altar and present ourselves.  Today the Presentation we should be celebrating is our own Presentation to God.

Deacon Dale