April 14, 2021

When you pray, what do you pray for? Do you pray for specific things to happen, say a promotion at work, the attention of a person you’re romantically interested in, or to win the Powerball lottery? Do you pray for the well-being and happiness of others, perhaps for a close friend or one of your children or grandchildren? I was thinking about the nature of prayer recently, during the final days of my father-in-law’s life. I ran into a neighbor… Read more

April 7, 2021

The American monk Thomas Merton once told a story about climbing the ladder of success. Merton pointed out that we can spend years of our lives climbing the corporate or economic ladder. Up and up and up. Only to find that when we get to the top of our ladder, it’s leaning against the wrong wall. In Falling Upward, A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Richard Rohr reminds us that our “supposed achievements” of the first half of… Read more

March 31, 2021

It’s Easter week and if you attend Christian church services in the coming days, you’ll hear the story of the resurrection of Jesus. In a nutshell, it goes like this: Jesus was crucified, died and was buried—and on the third day he rose from the dead. It’s the third day that’s worth we’re looking at, because as it turns out there are many different tales as to what happened on the day of Jesus’s resurrection. There are two variations that… Read more

March 24, 2021

Are you having a good day today? Will you have a good day tomorrow? It might be a little late to impact the day you’re currently living through, but there is a way to prepare for a better day tomorrow. It starts when you wake up and involves taking a few simple steps to get your day off to a good start. A good day starts with a good morning. You’ve heard the expression that someone “got up on the… Read more

March 17, 2021

Stoicism is an ancient Greek philosophy that dates all the way back to 300 B.C. Yet despite the fact its best known voices, Seneca the Younger and Marcus Aurelius, lived and taught around the time of Jesus Christ, it still holds great sway today. Both old and new books on stoicism, by authors like Ryan Holiday, regularly top Amazon’s best-selling philosophy book list. The stoic philosophy is based on a system of ethics that include having a set of high… Read more

March 10, 2021

We have a better capacity to be happy as we get older. That’s the finding of a report in an academic publication called Neuroscience and Behavioral Reviews, co-authored by Jamila Bookwala, a dean of psychology at Lafayette college. It of course raises the question, what is happiness? Bookwala points out that what defines happiness is unique to each individual, so my idea of happiness may differ from yours. For some people it’s defined as joy, for others contentment. One important factor: Our… Read more

March 3, 2021

Have you ever felt the presence of God in your life? For most of us, this happens in one of a few ways, usually through an event or mechanism that opens up our senses. We have a sudden awareness that there is something greater inside us and/or around us, a supreme force or energy that is the very essence of life. This trigger can be nature, the sublime feeling you get when you walk along a wooded path, gaze up through… Read more

February 25, 2021

Sometimes it takes a death to get us thinking about life. I had a very close relative pass away a few days ago, his name was John. He had seemed in okay health but after fainting a couple of times, he was taken to a local hospital. Over the ensuing days, a number of tests were conducted and he was diagnosed with a fatal illness. Less than 3 weeks later he was dead. While the death seemed sudden, I can’t… Read more

February 17, 2021

Say “I can,” instead of “I can’t.” Think positive and positive things will happen! Tell yourself: “Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” When you expect the best, you release a magnetic force which brings you the best. Do these positive-thinking quotes strike you as a bunch of hooey? Me, too. They’re the sort of messages you can find on motivational posters (#1 and #2) or in the book The Power of Positive Thinking (#3 and… Read more

February 10, 2021

Do you know the difference between a beach bum and a beachcomber? Purpose. According to my trusty laptop dictionary, a beach bum is defined as a person who loafs on or around a beach. On the other hand, a beachcomber is a person who walks along the beach looking for valuable or interesting items. Richard Bode falls into the beachcomber category, though instead of walking the beach with a metal detector looking for buried treasures, what he seeks are the… Read more

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