Words of Hope
Words of Hope
Monday – June 6, 2022
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. 48:10 Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; your right hand is filled with righteousness.
Words of Hope
D-Day of 2019 I had the honor of being in Normandy France for the 75th commemoration of D-Day. It was an emotional experience to actually stand in the two American Cemeteries in France. The Brittany Cemetery has graves of 4,404 American service people who died in the D-Day invasion buried there. And the Cemetery at Omaha Beach has 9,388 graves of American service people buried there. Americans who gave their lives to end the war.
In case you don’t remember, D-Day is the day (June 6, 1944) in World War II on which Allied forces invaded northern France by means of massive beach landings in Normandy. It is known as the beginning of the end of WWII.
I had very little memory about the events of D-Day from my studies in history classes in several levels of school. When we signed up for the trip, we started reviewing history to get a better understanding of what our fellow Americans and Allied forces did on that famous day. We watched some movies. But our most vivid lesson was a tour of the WWII Museum in New Orleans. There were actual recordings of General Eisenhower and others as well as diagrams and dioramas showing the magnitude of the massive number of troops involved in this effort to take back France and end the war.
But nothing prepared us for standing on those hallowed beaches and cemeteries. There were several speeches by soldiers who survived being part of the invasion on D-Day! It was amazing to hear their stories. The most amazing thing was that they were told the chances of not surviving was high. Most of them were 18 and 19 years old and felt invincible. They wanted to fight for freedom, even if it meant risking their lives.
Barb’s UT Alumni Band played “Hymn to the Fallen” at the Cemeteries. And later marched in the freedom parade at St. Mere Eglise, the first liberated city in France. That was the 75th parade there! Everyone was so grateful to the Americans even 75 years later!
D-Day reminds us of the exceeding high cost of war and what a price was paid for our freedom. And when you learn about the ravages of war, you realize how amazingly blessed we are in America that the World Wars were not fought on our soil. And if our relatives made it home from that war and previous wars alive, we are very blessed.
God of peace, teach us to learn how to find peace without making war. Help our leaders study and remember the high cost of all the wars of the past. Help us make peace in our own lives and in our communities.
Friday – June 3, 2022
Galatians 6:7-8 The Message
Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
Words of Hope
When we moved into this rental property a couple of years ago, we inherited a well landscaped back yard. There are lovely trees, a rose bush, vines growing over a trellis, a brick path, and an exotic Chinese version of green onions. It is lovely to look at and I wish I knew how to better take care of it, as I am a lawnmower kind of guy.
Another element to the landscaping is a patch of bamboo. Not knowing anything about it, I thought it was kind of a neat feature. However, in our first Spring, I discovered that bamboo is onerous! Not bothering to stay contained to the area where it was planted, it pops up all over the place. Every weekend in growing season, I am cutting down bamboo shoots.
I don’t know the horticulture of first century Palestine, but if Paul had ever seen bamboo, he might have used “bamboo” for the word “weeds” in this passage.
Paul says that the person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others -ignoring God!- harvests a crop of weeds. Of course, my edit would be bamboo! When your life is focused on prolific things that satisfy for the moment, those things will let you down. However, when your life is focused on the Spirit, you harvest a crop of bamboo-free real life.
This means that the normal, everyday things you do have deep consequence. When you invest your time, your energy, and your treasure to “the benefit of all”, you are making room for Heaven to come to this world. By focusing on the Spirit, the abundant heavenly realm doesn’t start at the end of your earthly life. It starts now.
Loving Lord, help us not get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, and every time we get the chance, help us to work for the benefit of all. Amen.
Thursday – June 2, 2022
The heart changes one’s countenance, either for good or for evil. The sign of a happy heart is a cheerful face.
Words of Hope
The forced smile in face of any problem or lots of Botox injections, these seem to be our society’s signal of happy living! Yet, both are false and fading. Neither will lift our emotions more than that one moment. The apocryphal writer, Ben Sira asked his young students a question which each of us must answer. What’s the source of a happy or contented life?
Wisdom from the Scripture tells us that happy and contented life starts with the soul which has found assured peace with God and peace with the surrounding world. This is often referred to as a Right relationship with God. What does that mean to you? Personally, I believe it is when you recognize that you are held in the hand of God’s providing love, you can rest in peace with whatever the world throws at you.
You don’t have to force a smile when confronted with life’s challenges. You’re already smiling within. It all centers around the quality of your relationship with God. The Psalmist tells us that the individual who lives each day in a right relationship with God is called “blessed” and finds a heart peace which causes a cheerful face. (Psalm 119:1-2)
Providing God, your words of wisdom may be ancient or modern, but they always stand forth with your truth. During all of my activities this day, May I attend to your voice of guidance and love. I give you my praise, and may all humanity give you glory, knowing we are blessed by your presence and peace in a manner which is overflowing and carries us through whatever life brings our way. Amen
Donald (Luke) Day
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare
Wednesday – June 1, 2022
Then he said to them all, “If any wish to come after me, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit them if they gain the whole world but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. Indeed, truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.”
Words of Hope
Years ago, I worked in television. I started as a cameraperson and doing general production work around the station. Our station also did a lot of production work for other media outlets since we had a very nice sized studio and modern facilities. One of those clients was a televangelist with a pretty large national audience. We would shoot a month worth of episodes in a week and then he and his staff would be out on the road making public appearances or at his home church in Minneapolis.
He always wore the finest suits and stayed at the best hotels while in town. He traveled in a private jet, and seemed to lack for nothing and often made extravagant purchases on a whim. One week I was talking to his producer and he told me they were going to see the traveling tent setup he had just purchased. It had a large modern tent complete with scaffolds, lights, and rigging. It even had a stage that was built to open from the bed of a tractor trailer. The producer was a bit concerned, because they had never done a tent revival, nor were there any plans to start in the future. It just seemed like the preacher wanted one just in case he decided to do it.
The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. At the time I still considered myself a Jew, but I had a good idea of what Jesus preached and this kind of extravagance hardly seemed like something Jesus would do. In fact, the preacher was later found to have been running a scam involving convalescent homes and ended up out of the evangelizing business.
I don’t think he really knew Jesus. The Jesus who was an itinerant Rabbi traveling with a scruffy bunch of disciples and friends in an occupied country. The Jesus who encouraged people to seek spiritual enlightenment and not worldly gain. The Jesus who was humble and reticent to let people know exactly who he was. The Jesus who asks us to take up his cross.
May we have the strength to lift the cross, to follow Jesus, to do the work he began.
Tuesday – May 31, 2022
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and humanity.
Words of Hope
Love has always been many gifts, but what is a gift that is not given? Unless the gift is given it can never become what it was meant to be. One does not smile from the inside, but it stretches across the lips from cheek to cheek for all to see. When we smile at others, we give a gift that comes from the heart. Then, once that gift is received by another, her love grows and responds with a smile of her very own. She will have then learned to smile, and not only that, but will find someone new to give her smile to.
Today, there are many smiles all around the world because God first smiled at us. God created us because He wanted someone to give His love to; He wanted to show His smile to His creation. The love of God gives life, otherwise, why would God have ever given the gift? Love hurts sometimes, and we all hurt sometimes. A baby cries when she wants to be held. Once the baby is in the arms of her mother, however, she stops crying because she craved love. As the baby lives off the mother’s milk, so too does she need love from the one who created her.
Milk is for the body, but love, is for the spirit. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” The “word” that Jesus spoke of is, in essence, the love of God. Without love, God words would be soundless, unheard, and of no effect. If God made mankind because God wanted to give us a gift, then we, by nature, were meant to receive that gift. My Earthly father taught me that love is not love unless it is given because love has always been, and always will be, an expression of the heart.
Bless You Lord for Your precious love. You smiled at us, and now, we smile too. Protect these hearts that learned how to smile so that we, in kind, can give it back. Thank You for showing us the way. You have so much love for us, but it is not always understood. Help us to understand Your great love towards us. Show us how to love others as You have loved us. Amen.
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare
5910 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75235
Toll Free: 800-501-HOPE (4673)