from Chaplain Royal
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Good afternoon to everyone! I hope you are doing well. This message is shared each Sunday, it is our hope that you will find something to lift you, help you, or lighten your journey.

We are rich people, some even have money. We are runners, walkers, swimmers, and those that wish they did. We are people who sing out loud and proud, and some even sound good. We are people who are young, and young at heart.

You’re welcome here if you’re just browsing, just woke up, just got out of jail, or just got lost, and found your way here by mistake. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope Francis, or haven’t gathered in a community for weeks, months or years.

We welcome you if you like sports, or don’t know the difference between a touchdown or homerun, starving artists, nature lovers, coffee drinkers, vegetarians, and junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems, If you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like organized religion, or who have had religion shoved down your throat.

If you blew all your cash at the casino, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because you accidently found this post while searching the internet.

We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a hug, or prayer right now (or both), we welcome internet surfers, seekers, doubters, and we welcome you: just as you are!

If you feel called, I invited you to light a candle, or find an object that is meaningful to you to hold, or have with you. And find a spot that you can focus on sharing just a few short minutes with these words, images and videos.

Take a look at this YouTube video, please, before you continue reading:
“When Times Get Tough”

Brother Fire, we invoke your light, may our minds and ears be open.
Father Air, we invoke your gift of life, may we share our gifts of life with others.
Sister Water, we invoke your strength, may we give and receive courage.
Mother Earth, we invoke all that grounds us, no matter what you call what is Sacred to you, no matter how you dance, if you dance at all. Let us father as one and respect that value of all.

A mother went to wake her son for church one Sunday morning. When she knocked on his door, he said, “I’m not going!” “Why not?” asked his mother.

“I’ll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don’t like me. Two, I don’t like them.” His mother replied, “I’ll give you two good reasons why YOU WILL go to church. One, you’re 47 years old. Two, you are the pastor!”

Living in the Mid-West we know the 5 seasons… Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall and Construction! I recently read that the orange cone will be our new state tree! I thought that Bishop Williams’ driving was bad until I realized it was the pot holes he was trying to steer around!

We know storms! We know tornados! We know rain! We know floods! We know hall. We know snow! Each person can think of an image of a time that the weather or elements were intense: a home being swept away by floods, or home on fire, something hit by lighting, hail damage, or people walking in water, or through a snow storm.

We may ask, “Why me?” Why did this happen to me? What did I do? Or, why didn’t this happen to…

Each of us has a struggle. We all have our personal storms. I call them our “ness” moments… A ness moment can be defined as an illNESS, sickNESS, brokenNESS,
darkNESS, or aloneNESS.

Aren’t storms we experience outside, and our own “NESS” moments that we experience inside, similar! They scare us, confront us, challenge us, bring us to our knees, and they test our strength at times don’t they?

Don’t get so lost in your own ness moment, that you can’t see light!
Don’t ever get so focused on your ness moment that you lose sight of the light.
Many times we will drive into storms, run into rain, fall in the snow that stops us in our tracks. Sometimes that happens so that we are forced to STOP, SLOW DOWN, and LISTEN. Listen to our body, listen to our minds, listen those looking out for us, listen to the universe!

Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall and yes the orange cone seasons will bring many storms, hurdles and ruts into our lives. It is my hope, wish, and prayer that each of us, during our struggle, our storms, and our journey in life, has the ability to stop. To listen, and trust ourselves, forgive ourselves. That we trust and listen to others who are trying to lift us up.

As we are close to ending this year, and beginning a new one, I challenge each us to…
End a quarrel
Seek out a forgotten friend
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust
Write a letter reminding someone you love them
Keep a promise
Find the time
Forgot a grudge
Apologize if you were wrong
Try to understand others
Examine your demands
Be kind to others
Appreciate and have gratitude for what you do have
Laugh a little, and then laugh some more
Welcome a stranger
Speak your love, speak it again, and again, and again
If you try, I will too!

MUSIC VIDEO… Take a look at this YouTube video, please, before you continue reading. King and Country “It’s Not Over Yet”

The storms before us, around us, and in us, at times will slow us down so we can rest, stop us so we can learn, and will never prevent us from breathing, loving, and living.

Never forget that the person next to you has a secret, has a struggle, and has their own storms. Hurt people hurt people, so let us not hurt each other. Let us share our love, share our compassion, and create a world with more peace.

Our commitment to ourselves is important.
Our commitment to those without a voice is important.
Our commitment to others is important.

I know storms outside
I know storms inside
I know I am not alone
I know I am better with others
I know I am not perfect
I know must take care of myself
I know I depend on the light of others to rekindle my light when it goes out.
Let there be more peace, more love, and more compassion in this world.
And let that work begin right here, right now, with me and you!

No matter who you are, where you are from, who you love, what you believe or don’t believe, you are beautiful, loved, and worthy. May peace, love, and compassion be with you, and importantly, from you!

-Chaplain Royal

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