Showing posts from January, 2014

Enjoy the Present Moment

Every night, my wife and I take turns and spend 15 minutes sharing spiritual thoughts. Our spiritual thoughts don't have to spring from the same sources. Oftentimes, we'll mix it up and draw from a wide variety of sources. Last night, my wife shared a paragraph from a book that she has been reading. "I love this book!" she said excitedly (yes, we're both nerds). The book is called Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. This is the paragraph that Kim shared with me: We cannot enjoy life if we spend our time and energy worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow. If we're afraid all the time, we miss out on the wonderful fact that we're alive and can be happy right now. In everyday life, we tend to believe that happiness is only possible in the future. We're always looking for the "right" conditions that we don't yet have to make us happy.

Turning Our Problems into Pearls

I've just finished reading Joel Osteen's book Break Out!: Five Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers and Live an Extraordinary Life . It's a great, inspiring read and I'd recommend it to anyone (Christian or not). Although I'm not a member of Osteen's Lakewood Church, I'm a big fan. He's a gifted speaker, a talented writer, and a likable guy. He offers some very powerful insights   Towards the end of his book he shared several thoughts about our problems becoming pearls that I really enjoyed. In the last chapters, Joel shared a pretty keen observation about pearls. He said that pearls are born of an irritation—a problem. Oysters feed on the bottom of the ocean and, occasionally, a grain of sand will get lodged inside the Oyster's mouth. In an attempt to rid itself of the irritation, the Oyster will coat the grain of sand with a secretion (a type of lacquer) and rub it into a beautiful, perfect pearl. Joel suggested that our problems are sometimes

Is God the Sun?

Today, I'd like to share a rather profound short story called "The Coffee House of Surat." It was written Leo Tolstoy, a famous Russian author. In this short story, a collection of various travelers and nationalities converge in a coffee house in Surat, India. Among those gathered is a theologian turned atheist, a heathen slave, a Brahmin, a Jewish broker, and Catholic missionary, a Protestant minister, a Turkish Muslim, and a host of other nationalities and believers.  After ordering a drink, the atheist looked at his slave and asked him if he believed in God. Without any hesitation, the slave said he believed in God and quickly pulled out a small, wooden idol that he had carried with him since he was a child.  “There," said he, "that is the God who has guarded me from the day of my birth. Every one in our country worships the fetish tree, from the wood of which this God was made." It was as though the small wooden idol were a detonator in a pl