Archive for July, 2018

Checking our Motivation
July 20, 2018

Why do I do the things I do? Why do I try to reach out to help others? It is important to examine our motives.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta spoke and wrote about these fundamental issues.

“It is not how much you do but how much love you put into the doing and sharing with others that is important. Try not to judge people. If you judge others,then you are not giving love. Instead, try to help them by seeing their needs and acting to meet them….

“We have the following words in a sign outside our chapel at the Mother House. They were written by Father Edward Le Joly after we had talked in 1977 and explain exactly what our work is about:

“We are not here for the work; we are here for Jesus. All we do is for Him. We are first of all religious; we are not social workers, not teachers, not nurses or doctors; we are religious sisters. We serve Jesus in the poor. We nurse Him, feed Him, clothe Him, visit Him, comfort Him in the poor, the abandoned, the sick, the orphans, the dying. But all we do, our prayer, our work, our suffering is for Jesus. Our life has no other reason or motivation. This is the point many people do not understand.”

By Mother Teresa
In A Simple Path, pages 93-94

These words challenge me to search my heart deeply as to why I do what I do.

Life’s Journey
July 12, 2018

Before Ruth Bell Graham died in 2007, she chose for her tombstone an inscription that had nothing to do with her remarkable achievements throughout her life.

She told about an experience of driving one day on a highway through a construction area. There were miles of detours, slow progress, big equipment and cautionary signs. At last she came to the end of the work and saw this final sign: “End of construction. Thank you for your patience. ”

Later, Ruth decided on that very wording as the inscription for her tombstone:
“End of construction. Thank you for your patience.” *

All our lives, God is working in every believer to produce godly character and the fruit that the Holy Spirit brings. We are grateful for all who show patience with us as we journey through this process of spiritual formation.

* This story is told by John Ortberg in his book “Soul Keeping.”

Butterflies
July 7, 2018

July 6, 2018,
Today I saw the first monarch butterfly of the season, at a tiny field a block away from our home here in Harrisburg. Fortunately, the field has many milkweed plants, so the monarch, if female, will have many places to lay her eggs.

People who record statistics about butterflies say that the monarch population in America has declined by 90 percent in the past 20 years.

I do not try much photography of butterflies, but a few years ago I took this photo of a painted lady on zinnia plants in our front yard.

The largest butterfly I ever saw was this one in our neighbor’s yard.