Santa Claus and Ho! Ho! Ho!

Santa Claus & Ho! Ho! Ho! at Wee Wisdom School

Last week I offered Santa Claus and Ho! Ho! Ho! to three pre-school classes at Wee Wisdom School at Unity Church of the Hills  If the children enjoyed it 1/10 as much as I did, they were really, really happy.

I am sure that sometime in my 4th or 5th year, my mother told me some history of Santa Claus. Back then, thanks to significantly less media and significantly more peacefulness, the belief in Santa Claus lasted several years longer! Ironically, I remember none of it and rely on Wikipedia for a synopsis.

Santa Claus, as we know him in America, originated as a combination of several historically real and fictionally created characters. Here’s a very brief synopsis.

A bit of Santa’s history

Saint Nicholas

Foremost was Saint Nicholas, the 4th Century Greek bishop in Myra. He was the patron saint of a mixed and motley crowd: sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students. He was best known for his generosity and care for impoverished children. His death on December 6 lead to that being blessed as St. Nicholas Day and becoming a time in Europe for celebration by sharing of gifts, especially for children.


The Dutch people adopted the giving nature of St. Nicholas and created Sinterklaas, a legendary figure who delivered presents to children on the eve of St. Nicholas Day. Sinterklaas is clearly a connection between St. Nicholas and Santa Claus. Sinterklaas was outfitted in red bishop’s attire, complete with mitre (headgear) and ornamental staff. Even more familiar to Santa Claus are his full white beard and flowing white hair.



Nast’s Santa Claus

So, here comes Santa Claus. Thanks to Clarke Clemente Moore’s poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” and Thomas Nast’s illustrations during the Civil War, the western variation came into being. And in the time since then, he’s relocated to the North Pole, adopted more than a handful of supportive elves, a herd of reindeer, and an emissions-free sleigh.


Santa Claus brings a bagful of mystery and joy and excitement year after year after year. If I allow myself to overlook the incessant and increasing commercialism of the jolly ol’ man, he brings this grown-up plenty of joy too! My morning as the Wee Wisdom School Santa gave to me

Thanks, Santa! and thanks for Santa

Good Friend, God, I am delighted that the gift of Santa Claus
is such a blessing this time of year.
The mystery and energy of someone so out of the ordinary,
coming in a special way, to deliver special presents
that bring us special joy. The blessings
that we see in the excitement of every child’s face
are the gifts that we receive.
And all of this makes us so mindful,
so reminiscent of the gifts shared with us
by the especially exemplary and extraordinary
Jesus. The special gift of knowing
our unity, our Oneness with you, rewards us
not only in this single season, rewards us
all the time, many times over.
We thank you, God!
And so it is. Amen

Love & Blessings,



December 24, 2019

Posted on December 24, 2019 at 12:05 pm by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Happiness, Joy, Prayer · Tagged with: , , , ,

Faith at Work

Faith at Work

Faith at Work

“Faith at Work” appeared as a regular piece in the Beaumont Enterprise “back when”. Cleaning up my office and flipping through an old cluster of pictures, I found a photocopy of the Faith at Work that featured my grandmother, Gram, aka Carmen Whatley.

I read it quickly and as a result was inspired and heart-touched that what she said then. I suspect it was late or early ’70s. Likewise, it is true–maybe even truer–today. Gram said it simpler, better than I did 40-some years later.

Faith at Work

“Faith is a dream all hearts know–‘the evidence of things not seen’. We have not seen it, yet it walks with us. We have not touched it, yet it holds our hand.”

With these words Mrs. Carmen Whatley — library assistant in charge of the Texas Room at Tyrrell Library — initiates her statement of belief.

She points out that “In the study of history, be it Biblical, ancient, European, American or Texas, faith has been the substance that gave men the strength to persevere. Faith gave them desire, common sense, a steady head and a brave heart to dare and to push progress ever onward.”

“This simple faith is our greatest hope for tomorrow.”

Mrs. Whatley relates that many years ago, Thomas Edison, when addressing a group of young men said:

“My message to you is: Be courageous and have faith. I have lived a long time; I have seen history repeat itself again and again. I have seen changes in business and man — but always America comes out more prosperous. Dare to be brave, have faith in God, your fellow man, and above all yourself and you will always go upward.”

In concluding Mrs. Whatley shares a poem which had impressed her when she first read it and which took some researching to relocate. “It was worth the effort,” she says. “Its simple title is ‘Faith’–and its message is simple, too.”

I cannot add the numbers.
The list is much too long
Of the gifts that God has given
To make life a song.
The road has not been easy.
I’ve had my share of tears;
And loads of disappointments
And pain throughout the years.
But every day’s a challenge
To try to meet the test
And always to remember
I am so divinely blest.

Faith at Work for us…now!

I delight in finding my copy of Gram’s thoughts about faith. Seems like this is a wonderful time to pay attention to our faith. Certainly, it is the joyful season for celebrating so many different faiths…and perhaps the common bond they all have. Because now we are faced with the need for faith in our democracy and our democratic process, it’s good to know that faith works. Consequently, that very likely calls upon our greater faith in Spirit and in the best and greatest outcome.

I love the title of the Beaumont Enterprise’s piece, Faith at Work. And I love my Gram’s reinforcement that faith indeed works.

Celebration of Faith at Work

Sweet Spirit who ignites and rewards my faith
Thank you for giving me the reconnect with Gram.
What sweet reminders of her faith and that she held it so dear
in so many everyday ways.
Which makes me conscious in my everyday ways
that I learned the power of faith from her
and that the learning stuck with me
and became real long after
when my faith became real.
So, thank you for my faith at work:
that I affirm the best results
before I see but while I know their truth.
And thank you, God, that it is no work
to know the experience of faith at work.
And so it is! Amen!!

Love and blessings,




December 9, 2019

Posted on December 9, 2019 at 7:08 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Belief, Faith, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , ,

Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving
Photo by Junior Moran on Unsplash

Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving Dinner, Thanksgiving gatherings is really important.

Following the turkey every 4th Thursday of November for the past several years, I’ve been conscious that I don’t want to stop concentrating on being thankful. I’ve tried to be committed to that, too.

The reasons are several. One is that we have so much for which to be thankful. Of course, this time of year we automatically think of all that is dear and big and meaningful, and we express thanks for that. If we are lucky and mindful, we allow ourselves to be aware of the many, many things that we can be thankful for and that we can easily overlook because we take them for granted. I know that is true for me.

So today, three days after Thanksgiving, as the weekend winds down, my mind begins to think of all that will occur work-wise and other-wise next week. And the week after. Now is when I press hard inside my head to pay attention to my heart. I am certain it’s in my heart where all my true thanks really reside. I remind and reinforce my commitment to express my thanks 24/7/365.

Plenty of reasons, the first mentioned above, make me want to do that.  If you’ve been reading for any length of time, you know I love the Greater Good Magazine published by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. An article in 2010, Why Gratitude is Good points out Physical, Social, and Psychological benefits from feeling, expressing and sharing gratitude. Here are just three benefits that you may experience.

The article lists quite a few more. It’s an easy read. And though it’s 9 years old, it’s still valid. It was written by  Robert Emmons, “the worlds leading authority on gratitude.”

An article, What Is Gratitude?, offered 3 years later in 2013 by Daily Good gives a great deal more exploration to Robert Emmons and his findings. There’s a beautiful cadence

Followed by several more. Plus a 4-minute video from Emmons himself offers psychological (yet understandable!) explanations of why gratitude is good.

There is more. Another two brief videos by Emmons offer the benefits and the how-to of cultivating gratitude. Then, the 4th video (6 minutes) by Rick Hanson, author of The Buddha’s Brain, explores the benefits and powers of “taking in the good”…which is very akin to expressing gratitude.

I have kept my Prayer Conversations journal–yes, my own conversations with God–for more than 20 years. For all of those years, I’ve savored the habit of remembering, feeling, and writing down at least 10 thanksgivings every morning. These are thanksgivings from the previous day and thanksgivings I am feeling at the very moment, and thanksgivings that I anticipate for the coming day. This is for me the simplest way to give thanksgiving after thanksgiving. A number of other practices are cited in the Greater Good and the Daily Good articles.

Offering Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving

Sharer of Limitless Blessings,
I am happy to say limitless ‘thank yous’.
Thankful for the special holiday and the following holiday season
that lets me focus on my reasons for thanks,
I am also thankful to remember
tomorrow, next week, 3 months from now
that I have even more for which to express my gratitude.
Thanks after the thanksgiving.
Thanks for the mindfulness that brings thanksgiving.
And so it is. And so we thank you, God!




December 2, 2019

Posted on December 2, 2019 at 5:50 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Gratitude, Happiness, Prayer, Praying, Thanksgiving · Tagged with: , ,

Cadence in Praying: 4 Prayers Each Day

Cadence in Praying?

Cadence of Praying
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Simply put, for me it means a pattern, a rhythmic sequence to prayers that I rely on. And of course it means the prayers that make up that sequence.

Cadence relates to rhythm, tempo, beat. I’ll bet you can immediately identify a cadence that personally appeals to you. Rainfall on a tin roof. Waves crashing on the shore. Hands clapping to a well-known song.  The business world has taken cadence to mean the regular and relied upon repetition of certain actions or events.

Consider bringing together those interpretations of cadence: the pleasure and comfort drawn from something that reliably recurs as we expect it to. And by expecting it we come to enjoy it. Perhaps by enjoying it, we come to expect it.

Cadence in praying. How many examples are there of prayers said, repeated at an assigned time and perhaps in an assigned way? There are many! Almost every religion says a certain prayer at a certain time. That is cadence in praying.

I have brought it home for me on a daily basis. A morning prayer. A midday prayer. An end-of-day prayer. A bedtime prayer. What does the cadence do for me? What does it mean to me?

My 4 daily prayers encourage me to look at each portion of my day as it is about to unfold and as it has unfolded.

Morning Prayer

Praying for my morning as it is just beginning grounds and motivates and confidences me. My morning prayer affirms my oneness with spirit from the moment my eyes open and my heart welcomes a new day. The prayer affirms that my day will be beautiful. I’ve learned that expecting a beautiful day almost always creates one.

Good Friend, I feel you in my heart
when I awaken.
I feel you shine on me throughout the day today.
Thank you, God. Amen.

 Midday Prayer

When I pause in the middle of the day, I allow my gratitude to look over whatever I have done and accomplished thus far. Then I encourage myself to look forward to what is yet to be done, to be accomplished. As with the morning prayer, affirming a successful second half of the day usually produces one.

Sharer of Blessings, this day thus far
you have given me
the opportunity to put forth effort
and to accomplish meaning.
With others and on my own, I achieved.
I am thankful for these blessings.
I am thankful to continue with real creative energy
for the rest of the day.
Thank you, Sharer of Blessings.
And so it is. Amen.

End of Day Prayer

This is really an end of the work day prayer. For me its beauty is separating the energies expended and enjoyed at work from the energies engaged and relished when my work is done. That is at the end of the day. For you that may be whatever time you move from what is your work to what is your free time. One joy I take from this prayer is  my moving from day’s work to evening’s rest. The other joy is, like the previous prayer, the combination of gratitude for what I’ve done with affirmation of what is yet to manifest.

Sweet Spirit, in your presence
I unwind this day, starting now and looking back,
moment to moment, encounter to encounter.
I gather all the goodness and joy,
in gratitude.
And now I look to the evening shadows
and receive what they tell me,
seeking healing, courage and forgiveness.
Thank you, God. Amen.

Bedtime Prayer

This prayer takes me into dreams. It says goodnight to my day and it beckons a peaceful night’s sleep and all the rewards that will bring, in the night and tomorrow.

Giver of Dreams, I go to sleep
wrapped in thanks for this day of living,
this time of knowing and enjoying
your presence and your power
within and around me.
I am restul for this night
that I may be eager for tomorrow.
I thank you, God. Amen.

So, there you have my regular, cadenced 4 prayers-a-day. Feel free to use them, edit them, take great liberties with them as you wish. You may also find inspiration and great prayer ideas at the World Prayers sited. And if you are at all hesitant about your praying, the Comfortable Praying series may interest you.

Sticking to the Cadence

And one last thought: remembering the cadence. Until the habit is built, you may have difficulty adhering to your cadence. I certainly did. Here are 5 tips:

  1. Tie each prayer to a consistent action of that time of day. My morning prayer is when I’m pouring the first cup of coffee, for example.
  2. Relate the prayer to a physical feeling you have at about the same time every day. For me, that feeling is hunger as lunch time approaches. That reminds me of my midday prayer.
  3. Use your cell phone or computer to sound a (peaceful) alarm.
  4. Associate an action with the reason for the prayer. Getting in my car to drive home from the office, or turning off my work computer if I’m working from home, signals the break between my work and my not-work. That reminds me of my end-of-day prayer.
  5. The bedtime prayer is usually the easiest for anyone to remember because many of us were raised with that  prayer as a regular occurrence. For me a specific moment to key my prayer is when I hear the click of turning out the light.

Thanks for joining me in your own prayerful life.




November 25, 2019

Posted on November 25, 2019 at 6:30 am by Tim · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Oneness, Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , ,