Treasures in Heaven

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

—Mt 6:19-21

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.”

—Mt 25:31-33

But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

—Phil 3:20-21

Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), a German mathematician and astronomer wrote, “The diversity of the phenomena of nature is so great, and the treasures hidden in heavens so rich, precisely in order of the human mind shall never be lacking in fresh nourishment.”  But how do people respond to such blessings?  Lao Tzu (c. 6th to 4th century BC–533 BCE), a Chinese philosopher and writer said, “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion.  These are your greatest treasures.”  Those are Tzu wishes.

Treasures of Life

Bryant H. McGill (b. 1969), an author wrote, “There are amazingly wonderful people in all walks of life; some familiar to us and others not.  Stretch yourself and really get to know people.  People are in many ways one of our greatest treasures.”  How could Christian believers find such treasures?  Charlotte Bronte (1816–1855), an English novelist and poet said, “The human heart has hidden treasures, In secret kept, in silence sealed; The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, Whose charms were broken if revealed.”  Bronte saw treasures as profound.

Buddha (563/480 BC–483/400 BC), the founder of Buddhism wrote, “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from pure and peaceful mind.  To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and guidance of virtue.” These prerequisites call for personal responses.  Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902–1991), a Polish-born Jewish writer said, “For those who are willing to make an effort, great miracles and wonderful treasures are in store.”  Such treasures come to those who make the effort to succeed.

Brevity & Simplicity

The Psalmist remembers how short life is.  “Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away” (Ps. 144:3).  The Lord says that his spirit shall not always strive with us.  God gives riches and wealth, “hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God” (Eccl. 5:19).  A Pakistani novelist Moshin Hamid (b. 1971) said, “I take six or seven years to write really small books.  There is a kind of aesthetic of leanness, of brevity.”  Some might feel something is wrong with brevity and look for expanded versions of a publication.  They are right when it comes to writing, but with life it’s different.  The gift of some short lives is filled with glorious moments, while those of longer souls might not.  This has to do with the God-given talents with which people are blessed.

Amazing gifts come from above.  St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), a Spanish knight and priest wrote, “Realize that illness and other temporal setbacks often come to us from the hand of God our Lord, and are sent to help us know ourselves better, to free ourselves of the love of created things, and to reflect on the brevity of this life and, thus, to prepare ourselves for the life which is without end.”  Despite suffering this is the preparation that leads to fulfillment.

It’s often better to come to the point than to beat around the bush.  Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 BCE), a Roman philosopher and political theorist said, “Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.”  Hosea Ballou (1771–1852), a Universalist clergyman and theological writer supported this concept, but wrote, “Brevity and conciseness are the parents of correction.”  That’s why minutes of meetings are focused on the essentials and summarized for easy comprehension.

Rules of Life

It’s clear that many people like simplicity in life.  Confucius (551– 497 BCE), a Chinese teacher and philosopher wrote, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”  Do you see life this way?  Are you willing to take it as it comes?  Do you ask questions about life?  Some people feel that living by the Golden Rule is sufficient, while others believe it’s better to live by their own ethical principles.

But why do we follow rules?  People dwell on the past and think about the future.  Buddha (563 or 480 – 483 or 400 BCE), an Indian sage and founder of Buddhism said, “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”  Buddha lived in the present.  But could people do the same?  Many prefer to reflect on past experiences while thinking about the future.  An Italian poet, novelist, and literary critic Cesare Pavese (1908–1950) wrote, “We do not remember days, we remember moments.”  Does this statement say something about what matters most?  People often recall the good and bad moments in their lives.  These recollections tend to shape them, but living in the present evades them.

Bridges of Hope

In life it’s necessary to build bridges of love vertically and horizontally.  A vertical bridge is to God, Our Heavenly Father.  A horizontal bridge is by loving our neighbors, friends, and strangers.  Jesus Christ who is love died on a cross at Calvary for us.  Let his love flow from above for it unites and sustains.  Its flames are indestructible as if sweeps across our nation transforming people of faith.  It’s inspiring to love and be loved.  Blessed are those who love their enemies, for they are a courageous and compassionate lot.  Elisabeth Elliot (b. 1926), a Christian author and speaker said, “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross.  And the cross always entails loss.  The great symbol of Christianity means sacrifice and no one who calls himself a Christian can evade this stark fact.”  True love is the cross and a bridge to spiritual maturity because Christ showed where there’s loss there’s gain.

A bridge inspires hope.  It requires lifting people up and proclaiming the risen Christ.  As a fundamental belief Christians are strengthened by the Holy Spirit.  Hope like love is joy, and a shining light.  This means justice for those who are marginalized in society.  And believers find inspiration through the Word that speaks directly to their hearts.  Brad Henry (b. 1963), Governor of Oklahoma wrote, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.”  Learning that’s the foundation of progress builds bridges of hope.

Concerns for Others

The church is a missionary body.  Through their ministries a pastor builds a bridge to communities and the world.  This is accomplished by motivating his or her flock.  Parishioners become literally on fire for Christ as they serve their brothers and sisters.  And they teach the Word of truth to those hungering for justice.  Men and women who embrace these pastoral challenges are enthusiastic innovators.  Their charitable work extends to the slums in cities.  Robert C. Shannon (b. 1930), a preacher said, “Never pity missionaries; envy them.  They are where the real action is – where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.”

St. Teresa (1910–1997), a Roman Catholic religious sister and missionary in India wrote, “Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”  Christians should work with the poor and help change their ways.  They should also attend inter-religious meetings to promote these goals.

No longer must God appear, not to be part of the whole.  Having access to the sacraments has been a sticking point among some Christian denominations. Why should this be?  Christians are taught they are one in the body of Christ.  In some congregations the definition of marriage has changed, and led to breakaway denominations.  Christians are concerned about values, although some are more traditional than others.  Why should believers judge?  God knows of our hearts.  With controversies building a bridge to others isn’t easy, but is still necessary.

@ (Dfurstane) Website



Amazing Bread

God intends that our daily bread sustain us.  By being nurtured and filled we’ll find joy.  Being fed by the fruits of the earth is an amazing gift.  This comes with toil, but the soil has to be prepared in the right way to bear fruit.  It’s thrilling when such abundance is used for the common good.  This is an exceptional blessing.  Our bread is more than a meal, but every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.  An Indian spiritual master Sai Baba (1838–1918) said, “Life is a song – sing it.  Life is a game – play it.  Life is a challenge – meet it.  Life is a dream – realize it.  Life is a sacrifice – offer it.  Life is love – enjoy it.”  Such description fully describes the nature and scope of our daily bread.

A French sculptor and graphic artist Camille Claude (1864–1943) wrote, “I am in no mood to be deceived any longer by the crafty devil and false character whose greatest pleasure is to take advantage of everyone.”  Why don’t we become lights in the world?  Such a gift will fill our hearts with love.  By so doing we’ll be with faithful souls as we traverse the earth.  These people are living in peace, and love.  These are blessed saints not ensnared by the pleasures of the world.  They continue to grow in glory, but walk in the spirit.

Our Daily Walk

Being fed the right food we grow healthy.  In our daily walk there’s beauty in our hearts.  By witnessing, visiting the lonely, and those in convalescing homes we’re able to share our stories.  In these ministries we help the depressed by bringing love into their lives.  As disciples we aren’t concerned if some view our efforts as failures.  For we know, we’re doing God’s work by laboring in the fields for the welfare of others.  We’re watering the earth, planting seeds, and awaiting the harvest.  With these efforts inseparable bonds are formed and nurtured.  Being architects of change we’re able to form deep and lasting friendships.

By embracing people we face challenges as protectors of God’s creation.  Mahatma Gandhi (1869–1948), a leader of India’s independence movement said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.  I hold that the more helpless a creature the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of humankind.”  These are some observations that call for our support.

In giving the food of life we ought to climb every mountain to make life livable for all God’s children.  When we cater for the underprivileged we’ll be sustained with his protection.  We ought therefore resist temptation by worldly desires.  In our dreams we must continue trust God by living in the best possible way.  For all things we should give praise and thanks to Almighty God, for it’s through these gifts his infinite wisdom cares for us.  Let us glorify his wonderful works.  God, Allah, Brahma, or Dao has given us choices, so is the faith and trust this Primal Essence has in us.

@ (Dfurstane) Website



Sublime Peace

Seek peace, and illuminate your paths with happiness.  Essential though is for you to cultivate a clean mind and contrite heart.  This is when you’re blessed with gifts of God, Allah, Brahma, or Dao.  You have become a true light and are ideal for undertaking a divine mission. Barack Obama (b. 1961), the first African American President of the United States said, “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you will make progress.”  Our walk of faith leads us to have an enlightened heart.

The joys of this world are fleeting.  True peace is a weapon that’s able to defeat evil.  In this world there’s degradation, and fear, but for believers their future is bright.  By living according to God’s promises they become faithful, and kind men, and women.  These believers might face hardships that are like pin pricks compared to the happiness that awaits them.

The world is buffeted by the winds of change.  If it isn’t war, murder, or crime, deviancy is found in the sensual excesses of life.  Some people hold their heads high, walk with their chests up, and are puffed up.  At best this is a way of displaying vanity.  Others face struggles with broken hearts, and continue to pretend that all is well.  Temptations of the flesh can’t build us up, and it often involves empty praise and double talk.  Worldly types live in the shackles of fickleness.  A poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) wrote, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”  Being true to oneself should be the aim of every individual of faith.

Spreading Joy

It’s beneficial to spread joy and hope in the sacred world.  To be true to ourselves we have to live in peace.  Being sustained by the Primal Essence it’s for us to minister to others.  As lights in the world we ought to walk confidently in the midst of wolves.   Our journey in life would be filled with celestial riches.  Robert H. Schuller (1926–2015), a Christian televangelist said, “God flourished my ministry and my career of creative thinking, communicating and writing back 50 years.”  It was Schuller’s belief that he was blessed in his mission.

To find comforting peace it’s best to review the teachings of the sacred texts of the world’s faith traditions.  Their teachings mirror the true lights of our earthly sojourn.  So it’s wise, to be steadfast in understanding of the Word.  For the monotheistic faiths believe on judgment day we’ll have to give an account of how we have lived.  Believers who embrace these spiritual beliefs would be comforted in their lives.   Ann Landers (1918–2002), a Chicago Sun-Times advice columnist wrote, “Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself; the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass.”  With this realization we know that a devout life will be victorious.

Good Values

How could you improve your personality?  Some people believe you could do so by attending to their personal needs.  They think that they must dress well.  The religiously minded might wear a necklace with a cross dangling on their chest.  Others pay attention if their hair is black, brown, or blond?  And some make sure they are well-groomed.  Without a doubt dress is beautiful and appealing to their admirers.  However there’s a lot more than appearance if you wish to be the best.  You ought to invest in having a well-rounded education.  A good education leads to emotional, intellectual, and physical development.  Being kind and courteous are good qualities to have.  You might view your personality as having a mask of different colors.  Ezra Pound’s Personnae (1909) literally means “masks of actor,” because people are actors on the world’s stage.

People are nevertheless imperfect.   As they work on improving themselves they find they are dogged by weaknesses.  It’s for us to reconsider our attitudes about these defects and view them as gifts.  Try not to be overly worried, but accept your imperfections for what they are.  Maybe you have an addiction.  What should you do?  It’s best to recognize your affliction by taking responsibility for it.  You must try seeking treatment for this disease.  If it’s alcoholism join Alcoholic Anonymous, and confront your disease.  You should share your story as blessings in disguise, and work at melting away its stigma.  This negative gift that was regarded with dread might well be the catalyst for helping others.

A Deeper Understanding

 Through afflictions religious believers have been known to develop a deeper love and understanding of God, Allah, Brahma, and Dao.  Through inspiration people mature in their faith.  Often cancer patients minister to suffering patients at hospitals.  They have found their afflictions as a stepping stone to a unique vocation.  And their outlook becomes more than just coping with an ailment.  An affliction is considered depressing, but the sufferer sees it as a conduit to a valuable ministry.  It’s only right to support the patient in their new role.  Their service brings hope, encouragement, and strengthens the vulnerable.

There are some who view having imperfections as a major problem.  A comedian and actor Carrie Snow said, “Technology … is a queer thing.  It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other.”  Was Carrie referring to the problems of the mass communication system?  Through the mass media, viewers learn about opinion leaders. But after a while their names might be dragged through dirt by some commentators who had praised them.  In life people are presented with the good, bad, and ugly, but the wise learn from them.  Technology whether radio, TV, cable, or the Internet has its imperfections, but should still be viewed as good gifts.  From birth, people are blessed with a myriad of gifts.  Even brain-damaged children share blessings with us.  Tramps that are belittled have gifts that are also valuable.  Why don’t people do away with anxieties they nurture about the afflicted?  Why become upset about situations that can’t be controlled? In life there are struggles, but people are blessed with persistence to see them through.  It’s for us to promote good values and morals in our world.



Leadership Attributes

You’re a leader, and you have to energize your group.  This means finding ways to deal with situations that appear as though they don’t have a chance of succeeding.  It’s for you to diagnose these problems.  Your responsibilities must not be seen as indecisive for you’re working for the group’s welfare.  You aren’t carrying out a private agenda, but are doing this job for the goodwill of all concerned.  Vince Lombardi (1913–1970), a football player, best known as the head coach of the Green Bay Packers wrote, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.”  Thus, you have to realize like in football every member is gifted, and through their gifts there will be success.

 Maximize Potentialities

All members ought to be treated like adults.  They must be listened to carefully, and hear what they are saying.  Situations don’t necessarily work out as planned, but there’s always another good point of view to consider.  It’s for the administrator to motivate the members to be happy about what they’re doing, and urge them to higher levels of performance.  That’s why it’s essential to keep tabs on the heartbeat of the group.  In this way he or she will know more about each member.  In so doing this individual will be best able to promote the website’s growth.  An organizer ought to take things a step at a time and build on each success.  Margaret Mead (1901–1978), a cultural anthropologist said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”  A committed leader will guide their followers forward as he or she works at implementing what’s best for their group.

Leadership Goals

A leader must be people-oriented.  In an organization there’s no room for tyrants, bullies, or autocrats.  With a dictator groups die.  It’s the kiss of death even when a benevolent guide leads by whim.  As an administrator don’t be ego-centric, but democratic, and work in the interest of all.  Dr. Seuss (1904–1991), a writer and cartoonist wrote, “Only you can control your future.”  A spirit-filled guide always leads in the interest of his or her members.

A leader’s role is to help people.  To do so effectively he or she must take ample notes of relationships within their group.  This individual should lead by example, and change the policies that no longer work.  This person ought to stimulate growth by focusing on the goals of the group.  So let the members be energized by the administrator’s effectiveness. A guide must move away from the narrowness of self-absorption, and motivate others in the group.

Lee Haney (b. 1959), a former professional bodybuilder said, “Exercise to stimulate, not to annihilate.  The world wasn’t formed in a day, and neither were we.  Set small goals and build upon them.”  Haney’s message is encouraging.  Some might look for giant steps as a sign of success, but it’s always wise to remember good results often come with little successes.  As an administrator your goals is to build on these achievements until the project is complete.  Remember, “Strive and persevere when the going is tough, because behind every dark cloud there’s a silver lining.”




Works of Love

Works of love bring us joy.  While performing such works people are blessed by God’s grace.  These gifts become apparent when we love others.  God’s love that flows from heaven sustains souls, and causes the unification with the Holy Spirit. For the good news of the Gospel is that with faith people will find security.  Tullian Tchividjian (b. 1972), a professor of Theology and pastor said, “Believe it or not, Christianity is not about good people getting better.  If anything, it is good news for bad people coping with their failure to be good.”  What great news this is for those who have fallen short of God’s promises!


People must love their neighbors as themselves by sharing warmth and tenderness in their relationships.  It’s Christ’s love that makes hope blossom, but such a revelation has to be nurtured. By doing good deeds people come to know divine beauty.  This wondrous love is beyond comparison because it’s found deep within our hearts.  It’s revealed through Christ’s promises.  An author and aviator Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001) wrote, “For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”  How wonderful God’s security is in believers’ lives!  Billy Graham (b. 1918), an evangelical preacher said, “God proved His love on the Cross.  When Christ hung, and bled, it was God saying to the world, ‘I love you.’”

Believers must always put love into practice while serving mankind.  This calls for having humble hearts and a positive outlook.  Such care must be meaningful and authentic.  This is often demonstrated in the Eucharistic celebration of the supper of the Lamb when Christ is adored.  And all are welcomed at his feast.  Through participation believers put into practice their faith.  Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968), a Baptist minister and civil rights leader said, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”  People’s failure to sow love, and making themselves heard are surely the sort of tragedy to which King was alluding.


Desmond Tutu (b. 1931), a South African retired Anglican bishop wrote, “You don’t choose your family.  They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.”  Such love is universal.  At the sublime level it’s one that connects all things.  People promote this truth when they come forward to do their part in the communities where they live.  This service is created, recreated, nurtured, and blossoms into amazing realities.  It’s holy and expresses the eternal blessings of our Creator.

Love is a true gift for all living souls.  Albert Camus (1913–1960), a French author and philosopher captured this best when he said, “Without culture, and the relative freedom it implies, society, even when perfect, is but a jungle.  This is why any authentic creation is a gift to the future.”  Cycles of creative forces keep moving us forward to tap into a newer and better world.  This is through the recognition of the Holy Spirit working in our midst.




Christopher André’s Looking at Mindfulness is a primer of twenty-five lessons on mindfulness. With pictures to supplement the text the author explained how people could be aware of their bodies and environment and not be like robots. Advice is given concerning how to turn off and adjust to the multiple stimuli of film, television, radio, and the Internet. These media only corrupt minds and cause people to be unable to concentrate on what really matters most in life.

By breathing and being in silence people will become aware of their true selves and savor the precious moments of their lives. By being still and reflective they will come alive. Such practice they should make a part of their daily lives. The benefits of these meditations will give them a sense of purpose, release their stress, and help people live compassionately.

But these objectives have to be practiced consistently. It’s true they could begin at any time in one’s life, whether it’s just waking up in the morning, preparing for work, at the job during the day, at home at night, or before going to bed. So when people are faced with difficulties like having problems at work, conflicts, marital problems, are suffering, or under stress, being mindful could definitely bring release and ease their pain.

However mindfulness isn’t a panacea for every problem. It will only allow a practitioner to approach the good and bad experiences of life realistically. They will be able to entertain and deal with the conflicting realities of their problems. With breathing and being still they will be able to understand and minimize these conflicts. It isn’t guaranteed that people will eventually feel better, but they will be better able to understand their problems. For André wrote that hurtful situations might last only for a time with mindful practice. These teachings are supplemented with quotes from psychologists, psycho-analysts, and religious thinkers from the Christian and Buddhist traditions.

Mindfulness is nonconceptual awareness. Another English term for sati is “bare attention.” It is not thinking. It does not get involved with thought or concepts. It does not get hung up on ideas or opinions or memories. It just looks. Mindfulness registers experiences, but it does not compare them. It does not label them or categorize them. It just observes everything as if it was occurring for the first time. It is not analysis that is based on reflection and memory. It is, rather, the direct and immediate experiencing of whatever is happening, without the medium of thought. It comes before thought in the perceptual process.

Henepola Gunaratana, Mindfulness in Plain English (2011), p. 134

Joy of Living

The joy of living is contagious.  Each day it comes like the light which shines brighter and brighter.   In short, it’s our daily bread dished out for us to taste its sweetness.  This heavenly delicacy which is sweeter than honey accompanies us on our faith journey.  Faith is a free and everlasting gift with no limits.  It’s special and supernatural.  Supremely, it’s like heaven on earth while people traverse its fields picking beautiful flowers.  This journey is by the loving care of our Creator who dwells on high.  In our divinely orchestrated world people move independently with a special passion walking by faith, and not by sight.  Vincent Van Gogh (1853–1890), a major Dutch Post-Impressionist painter said, “I am still far from being what I want to be, but with God’s help I shall succeed.”  Van Gogh was talking about divine guidance in his faith walk.   So why shouldn’t we do the same?

A Joyful Witness

Let your shout for joy and penetrate the night air.  Be happy when you witness to others by showing an attitude of thanksgiving to the divinity that is loving and just.  God, Allah, Brahma, or Dao is our bread that feeds us with an abundance of blessings.  For our benefit this Ultimate Reality has bestowed us with the gift of knowledge.  As a testament to such a gift innovators have invented devices that make our lives more enjoyable.  Daily, the Eternal Essence’s sustenance continues to uplift our souls.  We’re able to journey through life with confidence, patience, and perseverance.  In doing so, we relentlessly storm heaven with prayers for the good things of life.  These prayers bring relief to souls longing to discover life’s blessings.

The Journey of Faith

A professor of Internet Law at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Johnathan Zittrain (b. 1969) wrote, “If you entrust your data to others, they can let you down or outright betray you.”  In modern society which depends on the flow of data Zittrain’s statement is true.  On the Internet   there’s concern about security, but people have to trust others, and have faith they will do what’s in our best interest.  Being able to trust is important for the proper functioning of our society.  This task is never easy, but also depends on a Creator whom people depend for sustenance.

Believers grow in faith through their Church, Temple, or Synagogue.  By such a gift they have hope and look forward to the day when they will be in paradise.  These teachings are rich and prophetic.  Love is in the world.  These believers’ security is often alluded to and their souls are at peace.   They are shining lights to other men and women.

A Chinese philosopher, poet, and founder of Taoism, Lao Tzu (604 B.C.–531 B.C.) wrote, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  This expression is wise because accomplishments might not necessary come in the form of mountains, or leaps, and bounds, but in the form of a little mustard seed that grows abundantly.  In John 5:35 it’s written, “He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.”  All it takes is a flicker to illuminate a dark pathway.  This is the kind of faith that brings light in people’s lives.  Truly, light enlightens our darkest deeds.  This could be demonstrated by the way people care for creation that’s a special gift to us.