Inspiration Mind

Professor of Love

Over the years, the faith formation program I coordinate at my church has become known as a place where children with special needs are welcomed and nurtured.  I remember it was about seven or eight years ago that a parent called me asking if we could help her son.  She explained that the church they had belonged to felt they weren’t equipped to help kids with special needs, and basically rejected them.

I will never forget the morning I sat in my pastor’s office to ask him what I should do.  Leaning back in his chair, he said, “Isn’t it ironic that the Gospel reading for this morning was, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them…'” (Mt. 19:14).


Why Not?

I read an interesting article on-line today about a recent statement by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Last week, she said that Germany’s efforts to build a multi-cultural society has been a disaster. “The multicultural approach, saying that we simply live side by side and live happily with each other has failed.  Utterly failed.”  Pretty strong choice of words, don’t you think?

Of course, this issue is not unique to Germany.  We’re even grappling with it in good old Westminster, Maryland.  I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.  Ethnic tensions have been around forever in Europe, not just in Germany.

Our growing Hispanic population includes people who want to be fully assimilated, and others who want to live here but are not open to assimilation.

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Emeril’s Vegetarian Chili

I don’t have time to watch the Food Network much, but the other day I caught Rachel Ray making a Vegetarian Shepherd Pie. While she was preparing the dish, she mentioned that she and her husband go meatless three or four times a week.  Nice.

That got me thinking, and I made a trip to the Food Network website, which, I found out, is loaded with vegetarian recipes.  While searching around, I came upon a great-sounding recipe for vegetarian chili from Emeril Lagasse.  Since I was more in the mood for chili than shepherd’s pie, I made the chili first. Emeril serves his over rice, but I like my chili just by itself.  It came out really tasty.

I brought in a batch for my coworkers, and they agreed.  As the weather gets cooler, please give this one a try.  You’ll be happy you did.  Enjoy the weekend 🙂

p.s., I once again couldn’t upload my picture from iphoto.  I do have one of this delicious chili and promise to get it up soon.


A Good Day To Do Great Things

I’m continuing to read from a daily devotional entitled On The Threshold Of Transformation, and I stole the title of today’s reflection for my blog.  According to the author, it comes from a Great Plains Indian legend.  At the beginning of their day, the warriors would say “It is a good day to do great things” to their sons.

This reminded me of something our former pastor used to say as he walked down the hallway first thing in the morning.  “It’s going to be a  ‘Praise Jesus’ kind of day.”

Both these statements set the perfect tone for your day.  We can turn even the worst day around and do something great. No matter how bad our day is going, we can praise God for the things that have gone right.  From our first waking moments, we can praise and thank God for the many gifts He gives us.

Remember, just waking up alive is a gift.  Having a roof over our head, hot water for a shower, food to eat, a car to get us to work, enough money to put gas in the tank, the list goes on and on.

The Great Plains warriors were right.  Every day is a good day to do great things.  Let’s all think of that when we get up tomorrow morning:)

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Into The Light

I hope you had the chance to follow some of the rescue efforts at San Jose Mine in Copiano, Chile that are taking place today. After 69 days underground, miner after miner was hoisted up nearly 2,000 feet of rock and into the sunlight, fresh air, and the waiting arms of loved ones and rescue workers.

These thirty-three men are being rescued from the longest underground entrapment in history. It is nothing short of a miracle. Over the weeks ahead, we’ll learn their tale of survival. What sustained them?

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A Very Good Day

Thanks for everyone who was praying for our Faith Fights Diabetes meeting this morning.  To say that it was a success would be an understatement.  I don’t know how many people will ultimately sign up to help with this initiative, but there is no question in my mind that our message resonated with the nearly sixty people who came.

The statistics are simply too hard to ignore.  I talked about some numbers yesterday, but there was one slide that was shown today that took my breath away.  According to the American Diabetes Association,  one-third of all caucasian children born in the United States after the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime.  For ethnic children, the number jumps to fifty percent.  That’s either one out of three, or one out of two.  Absolutely staggering.  

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A New Adventure

This picture of Old Faithful in Yellowstone was taken the other day by my brother Don.  Right about now, he’s headed home from a two-week trip throughout the Great Plains.  Yesterday, I wrote about how, when I’m having a bad day, I often daydream about Tuscany.  I guess if I were to ask my brother, he’d choose the great outdoors, fishing, hiking and camping.  I think the key to it all is finding your happy place, and getting to it as often as possible, if not physically, then at least in your mind.

I’m really excited about a new adventure I’m embarking on.  Tomorrow morning,  a group of faith leaders from my county will gather to discuss ways we can fight diabetes.  There’s supposed to be about fifty of us, and your’s truly is acting as the MC.

Somehow, I even got myself appointed Co-Chair of the future Action Committee which will hopefully be an outcome of this initial meeting.  Not that I’m looking for more to do, but this issue is vitally important, not only in my community, but in yours too.

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Don’t Stop Dreaming

Where’s your happy place?  When I’m having a tough day, I close my eyes and think about Tuscany. Over the last twenty years, I’ve had the great blessing to visit this wonderful part of Italy many times.  If I were rich, I’d have an apartment in Florence overlooking the Piazza della Signoria.  Almost always noisy and crowded with tourists, I’d love to set my alarm to go off in the middle of the night.

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The Holy Grail

I was recently began reading a daily devotional on male spirituality entitled On The Threshold of Transformation, and on one particular day the reflection was on the search for the Holy Grail.

The hunt of the Holy Grail has been to told and re-told in various cultures for centuries.  The story’s appeal hits at the heart of one the deepest desires of all people, that being union with God.  The original story has Joseph of Arimathea bringing a cup in which some of the blood of Jesus was saved before he was buried to Britain.  The legend flourished in the twelfth through fourteenth centuries and continues even to this day, as the 1989 movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade shows.  So, what makes this story so alluring?

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A Milestone

I was really busy all day yesterday, and didn’t have the chance to check my blog until I got home around 10:30 pm.  Sometime during the day, making all things new had its 100,000th hit.  Now, in the grand scheme of things, my little blog is a blip on the screen. But to me, this is an amazing fact, given that I really don’t know what I’m doing, and I’ve only been at it since mid March 🙂

Yesterday, I had the chance to talk with my brother Rick, and I was telling him that WordPress, the platform I use for this blog, has a great statistics page that gives me some insight (when I have time) to see how people get to my blog, and where they go when they leave.   At one point over the summer, there were all these people finding their way to me through a website in Poland.  Amazing.