Courage of Our Convictions

A wonderful program just aired on CBC radio. It seems that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that The Lord’s Prayer is no longer allowed in political arenas.

However, Oshawa’s mayor, John Henry, continues to begin Council proceedings with that prayer, along with the singing of Oh Canada.

Many cities who followed the practice have ceased to do so.

Mr. Henry said most council members were in favour, and those who weren’t could spend that time in whichever reflection they chose.

God bless John Henry for having the courage of his convictions.

God keep our land glorious and free!

Okay, I Admit It: I’m Afraid

Prayer number seven in Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To is God, Give Me Courage. Here is an excerpt from this chapter:

C. S. Lewis said that “courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at its testing point, which means at the point of highest reality”. In saying this he was following in the tradition of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, who believed that all the virtues–if they are to be of any practical value–must act with a “firmness” that can only be maintained by courage. In other words, for a person to be honest or merciful or chaste or magnanimous or patient, he must first have the courage to overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of practicing those virtues. At some point, strong temptations are going to present themselves. That’s the moment when courage is most important. Essentially, a person must have the guts not to give in. Courage–or fortitude, as it used to be called–is needed in life to do any kind of good or resist any kind of evil. You need courage to follow all the commandments, to face physical danger, to overcome fears, both rational and irrational. You need courage to struggle against neuroses and phobias, to overcome addictions, to persevere through life’s difficulties, to endure suffering. That’s why Churchill wrote that “courage is rightly considered the foremost of virtues, for upon it all others depend.” And why Franklin Roosevelt said “the only thing to fear is fear itself.” Both of these leaders understood the all encompassing importance of courage.

My prayer for courage came when a message was left on my answering machine to call the specialist mentioned in the previous chapter. But the problem was, the message was left at 11 a.m. and he wasn’t going to be available until 1 p.m. I admit it…I was afraid! That two hours seemed like two years! Fear permeated my body for that two hours and I did not want to make that phone call. I wanted to pretend it didn’t exist and I could just get on with my life. As 1 p.m. approached, after praying to be relieved of the fear, my prayer was now for the courage to make the phone call. And I did. “There’s cancer in the top lobe of your right lung.” My new-found courage took over as the specialist explained the procedures to take place in the next two weeks. Fear now took a back seat to the courage God provided me with for the next twelve months of surgery and treatments. (This year is my tenth cancer-free year!) TYG!

Tomorrow: Sometimes being Smart Just Isn’t Enough…God, Give Me Wisdom

The Proof is in Remembering

Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To by Anthony DeStefano.

It’s a new book I’m reading and for the next ten days I will write a brief excerpt from each chapter, beginning today with the Introduction…or at least comment that upon looking back over my life, I can see where each of these ten prayers has been answered for me. The proof is in remembering.

Here is an excerpt from the author’s Introduction:

How would you like to have incredible, unshakable faith–the kind that could withstand any crisis and any amount of suffering? How would you like to have as much courage and strength as the bravest war hero? the wisdom to solve all the problems you’ll ever face in life? How would you like to have peace–the kind of deep, inner tranquility that can carry you safely and smoothly through all of life’s problems? to experience the most passionate feelings of love, intimacy, and connectedness–no matter how alone you may feel right now? How would you like to know your destiny–a unique destiny God has chosen for you from the beginning of time, a destiny so grand in scope and heroic in proportions that it dwarfs all your dreams–a destiny you can still have no matter what your age, job, or position in life? All these things can be yours, and all you have to do is ask.

Tomorrow: I Wish I Could Believe…God Show Me That You Exist

The Serenity Prayer

This well known prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) is one of my favourites. It has been on my mind all day and I’m thinking someone may need it now.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

Tomorrow I will post one of R.W. Trine’s prayers.

Soul vs Ego – Round Two

I’m not sure of the winner of this round as both soul and ego had a hand in this post.

Here is a snippet from an email I received yesterday from a good friend. The message touched my soul, but because it pertains to my book, MY PRECIOUS LIFE, it also touches my ego.

….I just finished your fabulous book. I should have been getting ready to go out but couldn’t put the book down. I won’t get into how much it touched my life but it made me laugh and cry and truly closer to God. I love you for your courage to write and share it with all of us and am blessed to have you for my friend….

See my dilemma? Soul? Ego? You be the referee. I’m down for the count!

Grieve Not for Me

Back in 1981 a husband and wife were hurriedly putting the finishing touches on their life’s affairs. She had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor, and had days to live. He was devastated, but intent on carrying out his wife’s last wishes. I was in the middle of typing month-end financial statements when the following poem imploded my mind. I replaced the columnar paper with fresh, white, 8 1/2 by 11, and filled the page with the words that that brave woman inspired.


Grieve not for me though I am gone

For I am with you still.

God grant you strength to carry on

And understand His will.

A soft tear shed from time to time

Will ease your sorrowed mind,

But live your life as fully

As you helped me live mine.

Time will heal the hurting heart,

Faith will see you through;

There’s still a life for you to live,

With courage I leave you.

Remember me with thoughts of peace,

Live each day with your heart;

Grieve not for me for though I’m gone…

We’re never far apart.


The untimely and tragic death of Robin Williams triggered the memory of this poem. May it bring comfort to someone now as it did to that bereaved husband in 1981.

Rags to Riches

Tony Bennet’s 1953 hit, “Rags to Riches” has been resounding in my mind all morning, and made me realize that it is not only a pauper to prince, magical, monetary makeover, but a spiritual one as well; not a romantic romance about to make poor old Tony feel like a king.

No, when I thought about the implications of rags to riches, it reminded me of those of us who suffer from spiritual poverty; of not knowing the meaning of real love. I mean REAL love. The kind of love that 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 talks about, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Ah, but it sometimes does. Sometimes our love is not always patient or kind. Sometimes our love does envy and is even rude. Sometimes it is self-seeking and easily angered. And it definitely sometimes keeps records of wrongs. Yes, sometimes love fails.

And that is the poverty part.  We are never so poor as when we withdraw our love from our spiritual bank account and leave it with a next to zero balance. Oh, sure, there’s enough left to cover the love necessities, but the surplus can definitely be withdrawn. So we think. But life doesn’t work that way. If we want to keep our spiritual self healthy, which is necessary to keep the rest of life in balance, then we must replace the love that has been withdrawn. It may be difficult to do. It may take looking within to replace that withdrawal. It may take a radical act of courage to put back what was taken out. But if we want our lives to reflect “Rags to Riches” and not vice versa, then why don’t we go ahead and make a healthy re-deposit of love?

Why don’t we all sing that “Rags to Riches song?

“I know I’d go from rags to riches, if you would only say you care…”

(Apologies to all the “youngsters” out there…I’m reaching way back!)