Assisi column and steps  

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John Ortberg, Murray Bodo, Book of Matthew, Georg Friedrich Hegel


Dear Readers,

Madonna wasn't kidding when she sang, "You know that we are living
in a material world." Our speed-of-light communications mean we can
view new things to want, on demand, 24/7. Not a good thing, unless we
take it as just another spiritual challenge we can meet with the Lord's
help. There's a great joke about a rich man who figured out a way to
take his bags of gold with him when he died. As he approached those
proverbial Pearly Gates, St. Peter met him and asked, "Whatcha got in
those bags?" The rich man opened one up and displayed the glittering
gold with pride. St. Peter rubbed his chin thoughtfully, "Nice, but why
did you bring bags of pavement with you to heaven?"

Better than going for the gold is going for God's spiritual treasures.

- Lisa

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ancient column
Photo by Lisa Bowman        All rights reserved


When we take our children to the shrine of the Golden Arches,
they always lust for the meal that comes with a cheap little prize,
a combination christened, in a moment of marketing genius,  the
the Happy Meal. You're not just buying fries, McNuggets, and a
dinosaur stamp; you're buying happiness. Their advertisements
have convinced my children they have a little McDonald's-
shaped vacuum in their souls: "Our hearts are restless till
they find their rest in a happy meal."

...The problem with the Happy Meal is that the happy wears off,
and they need a new fix. No child discovers lasting happiness in just
one: "Remember that Happy Meal? What great joy I found there!"

Happy Meals brings happiness only to McDonald's. You ever
wonder why Ronald McDonald wears that grin? Twenty
billion Happy Meals, that's why.

When you get older, you don't get any smarter;
your happy meals just get more expensive.

From "Toils and Snares: Resisting
the Hidden Temptations of Ministry,"
by John Ortberg
Multnomah, 1994


The trouble with selfishness and greed is that it slips
so easily from material things to things of the spirit
like reputation, or honor, or appreciation and fame.
And this need to hold onto adulation slips sooner of
later into a kind of slavery to other people's opinions
of us. This whole process turns us increasingly inward;
and ironically, it makes us insecure and fearful. So that
what began as an ego-building enterprise, like building
the tower of Babel, ends in confusion of tongue and
heart that makes us afraid to say what we mean
or to mean what we say.

Excerpted from "song of the sparrow,"
by Murray Bodo, O.F.M.
St. Anthony Messenger Press, 1989

door in assisi, italy

Photo by Lisa Bowman  All rights reserved

Don't store up treasures here on earth,
where moths eat them and rust destroys
them, and where thieves break in and steal.
Store your treasures in heaven where moths
and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not
break in and steal. Where your treasure is,
there the desires of your heart will also be.

Matthew 6:19
The Holy Bible
New Living Translation


The real point of materialism is not how much we have,
but what has us. It's not what we hold, but how tightly
we hold it. Not what we have, but how we got it. The
test of materialism is whether our goods have made us
proud or grateful, self-sufficient or God-sufficient.

From "Preaching for Change,"
Edited by Keith White and Scott Gibson
Baker, 1990

The Last Word:

Life has value only when it has
something valuable as its object.

Georg Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831)
German philosopher





























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

No man ever fails until he fails on the inside.



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