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Spirituality in Everyday Life 11:18 AM, 12/18/2014

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Link to Krissy Flesoras' Blog

Besides honestly and faithfully documenting her saga, Krissy provides a lot of great resources for others who are diagnosed with or supporting some who is ailing from lung cancer. Needless to say, I find a lot of inspiration from her (and her writings). ... Read on...

Link to Say Something Nice Sunday

Free materials for Say Something Nice Sunday are available at Click on Messages/Resources at the top of the home page and then click Say Something Nice Sunday on the right side of the page. Others are encouraged to develop and share their own materials.... Read on...

Take the pledge and say something nice

Last week, I was sitting in my hospital office when I received an e-mailed news release from First Baptist Church of Charleston, S.C., asking me to encourage readers to participate in the eighth annual “Say Something Nice Sunday” on June 1. You’ll not yet find the day on your calendar, but event organizers are hoping to encourage people to use the day to take a two-part Civility Pledge. Participants will promise first to “Refrain from saying anything ugly, demeaning or derogatory to anyone in... Read on...

Prayer really just talking to God from your heart

Occasionally, patients will ask if they should address me as "pastor." I tell them I'd be honored to be considered their pastor, and that they can consider the hospital room their temporary church. Despite the fact that chaplaincy can be a bit like pastoring a parade, The analogy often encourages patients to pause long enough to discuss their spiritual issues with me. At least that's the way it worked with Mr. Penny. I call him "mister" because that's how he introduced himself when I first... Read on...

Ten thousand years to understand

Recently, I met a patient sitting on the edge of his bed, hunched over his considerable stomach, studying the floor tiles. “Hello,” I called as I walked into his darkened room. “I’m Norris, the hospital chaplain.” He dialed a smile onto his liver-spotted face and replied with an upturned tone of recognition. “Hello, Norris!” I took study of his expressive blue eyes and the swirling tumbleweed of hair atop a balding head, but felt no flash of recognition. Still, with a lingering air o... Read on...

A comforting presence can help

After training to become a hospital chaplain, I quickly discovered that I still had more learning opportunities. Those teaching moments began when I accepted my first chaplain position at Houston Northwest Medical Center in the early 1990s. I spent most of those early days on rounds through patient rooms, family meetings, and the emergency room. My rounds often took me past our glass-enclosed surgical waiting room — an open-air affair filled with enough couches and chairs to accommodate 30 pe... Read on...

God's not out to scare us into loving him

If you’ve picked up this newspaper, you’ve likely found enough stories to suspect an approaching apocalypse. The reports about a nuclear-armed North Korea, major climate changes and the black widow skulking the Winter Olympics all make great sermon fodder. In case the doomsday prophets have your faith meter running on empty, let me remind you of the guy who started spinning news stories into apocalyptic mayhem. His name was Hal Lindsey. If you were born before 1960, you’ll likely remember tha... Read on...

What are you praying for?

As a hospital chaplain, I often ask patients, “What are you praying for?” Surprisingly, they don’t always ask for healing and homecoming. Over the years, I sometimes paraphrased their answers into written prayers and invited the patient to post it for all to read. Today I want to share two prayers written by terminally ill patients. God, There may be those who think I should be mad at you; I need you to know it’s nothing like that. I know things like this happen in a world you created. ... Read on...

God sometimes makes cameo appearances

In Hollywood, a “cameo” appearance is a famous actor delivering a significant, but one-time line. In my life, that person was Jimmy Whitfill. Jimmy wasn’t a famous actor, but in 1975 he became the first male feature baton twirler at Baylor University. That was the year he also became my roommate. As roommates, we were as different as the violin is from the trumpet. He was a gracefully athletic musician and I was a tone-deaf klutz. His family hailed from big city Dallas and mine from centra... Read on...

New parents unwrap hard questions

The crowing of the barn rooster stirs the young parents and their newborn son trying to sleep amidst steaming piles of hay. The boy awakens, pawing at the air and fussing for a feeding.

Mary opens her robe,offeringher son the fullness of her morning milk. Mother and son hold the moment as theirs while Joseph finds renewed sleep.

Soon, the sun streaks through the barn’s crevices, ... Read on...

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