Draw Near to God

Draw Near to God - Square Color Landscape Photograph - Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella
Photo: Draw Near to God – Square Color Landscape Photograph – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

The morning sunshine illuminates the clouds in the blue sky, and evaporates the fog in the tree tops as well.

God is love, and invites us to draw near to Him. So that we can be illuminated with His Light, and allow Him to remove the fog we often have with finding our purpose.

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you of two minds.”

— James 4:8

Thinking In Black And White

Photo: ‘Thinking In Black And White‘ – Thinking is very healthy. It is important to spend at least ten minutes each day to think about life and our goals. Listen to what God has to say to us. Copyright 2008 Frank J Casella.

Thinking is a rare commodity in our world today, especially with the distractions of our information age. It is important now to be mindful of how we are intentional about blocking out time with our own thoughts.

Our own thoughts help us to know what we mean about what we say. Sometimes it’s important to write this down, so that when asked we can picture in our heads the words on the page. It’s also important to share our thoughts and not worry too much about being understood, but rather to simply show how you understand our world:

“It turns out that I cannot compel someone to understand me, and if I had even one iota of the wisdom of Christ, it would not have taken me close to 54 years to figure that out. I once wrote in a blog post: “In the past, being misunderstood bothered me mightily. Ironically, I was the one with the comprehension problem.” Even then, I didn’t really get it, but now, I know that someone else’s opinions, thoughts, or reactions to me or what I share are really none of my business. Understanding myself, though: that’s a different story. It’s like what Andy Warhol said: “Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”


What if I change his statement a bit? How about this? “Don’t think about thinking, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, do more thinking.””

~ Cheryl Ruffing

God speaks to us through our thoughts and through our dreams, but many times we suppress it. There is too much noise and distractions in the way, or we are afraid of the silence or believe our thoughts are not important.

Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. God doesn’t.

What Dogs Teach Us

Photo: What Dogs Teach Us – Copyright 2008 Frank J Casella

A few years ago my wife and I went to our Son’s school open house. As we were walking down the hall another set of parents looked as us as if they knew us. In fact, I started to ask myself if I know them! Then the wife approached us and said ” we live on the block that you walk your dogs …. you have two beautiful dogs who are well trained!”

This happens more often than I wish to admit. Have you ever been known because of your dog?! Many people know us, but we don’t know them … because they can look out the front window of their houses and see us with the dogs, though we can’t see them.

So, this got me to thinking. In the window of life, for example, children learn more from our actions than from our words. … and, just like dogs, you never know the reflection that you make on others.

Happiness

Photo: Happiness – Copyright 2014 Frank J Casella

Happiness is sunlight on a flower.

I hope this Daffodil flower makes you happy today.

One of the beautiful things I love about flowers, is their power to create happiness.

To be happy means feeling or showing pleasure or contentment with someone or something.

If you are familiar with the musical CATS, there is a song called ‘Memories’. The last line in the lyrics goes like this:

“If you touch me
You’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun”

The Perspective We Have From Silence

Silence from the Sky – Black and White Square Landscape Photograph – Copyright 2018 Frank J Casella

We desperately need silent prayer to fill our souls.

In the silence, whatever is hidden deep within us is raised to the surface and is magnified.

Silence in the presence of God is not a waste of our time. In fact, it is the most profitable time we can spend in life.

The Lord is the One who does the work; we only become His instruments if we allow Him to work through us.

“The trees, the flowers, the plants grow in silence.
The stars, the sun, the moon move in silence.
Silence gives us a new perspective.”

Saint (Mother) Teresa

Anger

Photo: Anger – Copyright 2019 Frank J Casella

When I decided to do the topic of anger for this photograph, I quickly became overwhelmed and wanted to change it or give up. Because there is so much that can be said, it is simple yet complex.

So, I have decided to share what anger means to me. That when I become angry I immediately ask myself who or what needs my forgiveness? Let me explain.

A spiritual director once shared with me that anger most commonly happens when something is not going our way, or we react to an injustice of our world view that we can not control.

For example, recently there have been several delays with a house project where my wife and I depend on others to complete. I have also felt anger at times because a part of my work is not getting the results that I’m looking for …..

The only way I know to get through this, is to firstly forgive what is not working, and second seek for where God is at work in these situations. It often turns out that God has a better plan, and He is just waiting for me to meet Him where he is at work in it.

This can be difficult at times because it takes prayer, patience, and discernment with the Holy Spirit to find where I need to be in my thinking and my actions. As Fulton Sheen says, “the Holy Spirit is an artist who paints a picture for us of the vision that God has for us.”

So, when you become angry, I hope that what I have to say helps you to pause and respond with forgiveness instead of react with anger.

The Interesting Thing About Dialogue

Photo: here Copyright 2017 Frank J Casella

…. is that it means “a conversation or exchange between two or more people,”

Dialogue is important so that we can function as a society, and to foster personal growth.

To learn the viewpoints of others, so that we can then create our own viewpoints on life.

With today’s use of technology, specifically smartphones, it can be easy to put off being in-person.

However, it is the personal interaction of all the human senses that gives dialogue its power and effectiveness.