UpWord Glance



An UpWord Glance

With Fr. Stephen Powley

An UpWord Glance is a weekly article of simple stories meant to uplift and provoke thought. If something touches you, we would love to hear back from you. Hope you enjoy them…Just click on the date/title for the full article. By your prayers…Fr. Stephen Powley

July 25, 2012 The Golden Rule “The Golden Rule”… I am betting most of you can quote it.  No…no…it is not: “Those who have the gold rule!”  That would be some folks’ mind set…but all of us being spiritually minded wouldn’t go there and I certainly wouldn’t go there in An Upword Glance. :>)  The Golden Rule says: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!”
July 18, 2011 Mouse A Mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. He wondered with great curiosity, “What food might this contain?”  He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.  Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning.  “There is a mousetrap in the house; there is a mousetrap in the house!”


July 11, 2012 Hawk Many years ago I read the following story from a book that we were using with our children.  After all this time, this one story has always stuck with me.  I am reminded of it again and again while driving…seeing some drivers (and sometimes myself) consumed with anger over a slower car or an untimely light…and that anger caused them to pass on a double striped line or shake an angry fist at some little ol’ lady.  This story holds many applications…hope you enjoy it!!


Mother Teresa How could Mother Teresa and Napoleon possibly be in the same Upword Glance? Mother Teresa has been held up as a shining example of a Christian by people from just about every faith. Even the most ardent unbelievers seem to have tremendous respect for this woman. She became a spiritual hero to many, many people because of her life. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.


The Littlest Firefighter The 26-year-old mother stared down at her son who was dying of leukemia. Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination. Like any parent she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer a possibility. But she still wanted her son’s dreams to come true. She took her son’s hand and asked, “Billy, did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish what you would do with your life?”


Love your enemies  If you happened to watch the 60 Minutes television program last Sunday evening, then you saw the plight of the Christians in the Holy Land. It is a tough time and has a long history of such difficult times. With all the turmoil going on in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas, this incredible story is one that needs to be heard today.


Truth, In case you haven’t noticed, it is an election year in our country. The television and radio are filled with politicians doing their best to persuade us that they would be the best person for the job. They also seem very determined to convince us that their opponent is an out and out liar. So who are we to believe? Someone recently shared with me the secret for knowing when a politician is lying and knowing you would want in on the secret…here it is



  May 29, 2012: Courage Memorial Day is on May 28th this year.  It is a holiday for us, with picnics,softball, hikes, fishing, and just enjoying the sun.  But it is also so much more.  It is a day to remember the courage of thosewho gave it all so that we might enjoy the wonderful freedom we have in thiscountry.  Without them, we might not beable to enjoy picnics, softball, hikes, etc.


              May 18, 2012: The Road Not Taken  Graduation time is upon us and many friends/family will be graduating from high school, college, or even post-college programs in this month ahead. A few years ago I had the opportunity to say a few words and pray at a Baccalaureate service for graduating high school seniors



December 21, 2011: A Nativity Homily St. John Chrysostom was born in Antioch in the year 354. His father, Secundus, was an imperial commander and his mother’s name was Anthusa. Studying Greek philosophy, John became disgusted with Hellenic paganism and adopted the Christian Faith as the one and all-embracing truth. Read on for more about St. John and his Nativity Homily…



December 14, 2011: Word became Flesh God’s richest blessings to each of you as we head toward the Holy Day of Christmas. Our Advent journey has been meant to prepare us for the celebration of this Holy event. Here is a simple story by an unknown author that brings to light the amazing wonder of what Christmas is all about.



December 7, 2011: Helping Someone in Need How would you like to “get” the very ultimate gift this year?? It is so very possible. And what is that ultimate gift you can receive?? To be rewarded by God for what you have given to help someone in need… it really doesn’t get any better than that!!” Christmas is indeed a time for giving!!



 November 30, 2011: A True Rose The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder. I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.



November 23, 2011: Giving Thanks “Thank You!” Those are two words that all of us love to hear. Sometimes, a simple “thank you” can change the course of a day. I have seen a grumpy, bummer day suddenly become a good day because someone took time to say thank you.



November 16, 2011: Every day in your life is a special occasion We can get so caught up with the grand importance of what we are doing, that we miss out on the truly important things of life. How sad it would be to arrive at the end of our lives and feel it was worthless. God didn’t give us the gift of life to have it be spent in a meaningless way…



November 9, 2011: Courage Courage is a strange concept. We often confuse it with the boldness or even fool-heartedness we see in the movies. True courage is not simply being bold; it is a combination of both mental and moral strength that is able to withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. It is that additional factor of moral strength that makes something truly courageous…



October 26, 2011: These Hands Have you ever paused in your busy day to take a look at your hands? Sounds kind of silly, but perhaps this story will help put it into a whole different light.



October 19, 2011: Everything God Does is Done With Perfection With the Baseball World Series begins tonight, I find myself thinking of those glorious days of Little League…both of my days playing and my sons playing. We’ve all likely heard or seen the fights and cursing that can take place in the crusade to win a game. True greatness should be defined by our character and not at our ability to win at all costs…



October 12, 2011: Today: Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad In It! Do you spend time, perhaps too much time, reflecting back on the past or dreaming about the future? A danger exists for all of us when we spend too much time in such reflections and dreams. We forget to enjoy the day called today! We hold a precious gift in our hands each and every day. The question really is: How will we live today?



October 5, 2011: On Being a Role Model Like it or not, all of us are role models to others. It happens all the time. In our work, we look to those over us to see how people in those positions should talk and act. This is an awesome responsibility that most try to avoid or explain away. Being a role model may be the single most important responsibility of our job!



September 28, 2011: Miracles Miracles come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes the miracle is something many can see; other times it is a miracle that takes place in a person’s heart. Here’s a story (author unknown) that touched me… hope you enjoy it



September 14, 2011: Symbols in Our Lives We are very much people of symbols. If you are into sports at all you recognize the “check mark” symbol as the Nike brand. You can be driving down the freeway and see the “Golden Arches” off in the distance and immediately your children have a craving for a MacDonald’s Happy Meal. For Christians, the one symbol that stands out above all the others is the Cross…



September 7, 2011: The Whole Earth is Full of His Glory Have you ever stopped and looked around you at the incredible place we call home: the earth. What unbelievable diversity we live in: animals of so many varieties, birds of wondrous colors and amazing voices; sea life that can boggle one’s mind with its variety; insects that fly or crawl and some that undergo amazing transformations like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly…WOW!!



August 31, 2011: The Lord is Merciful In our daily lives all of us make “mistakes”… sometimes big…sometimes small. I’m not talking about the forgetting to cross your t’s or dot your i’s kind of wrongs. I mean those “mistakes” that do damage to our souls…take us out of where we could be spiritually in our lives. Sometimes those “mistakes” took place years ago, and still are having a horrible impact on our spiritual lives…



August 24, 2011: We Need to Be Watchful A family that I know recently lost their son in an accident. His death caused many people to come to grips with just how fragile our lives really are. The truth of the matter is that even if we should live to be 100, life is still so very short. I read a story that helped me in thinking about how I should live this precious gift of life that has been given to me.



August 17, 2011: Priceless to God In God’s eyes, every human being has great value. It doesn’t matter how crumpled up they may get; it doesn’t matter how ground into the dirt they may become! Amazingly, they are still just as valuable to God as when they were first born. What is that value: Priceless!! What about you? Yes, you are priceless to God!



August 10, 2010: On How We See Things I received much good feedback on last week’s UpWord Glance about the eyes being the windows to the soul. Thought I would share some more thoughts along the same lines. First though, I wanted to again point out the differences on how people look at things differently. Two people can look at the same thing and see two different things. This little test will clarify the point…



August 3, 2011: Eyes Are the Windows of the Soul People can look at the same thing and see two different sights. So often what we see is a result of who we are… an artist type person sees things much differently than an engineering type of mind. Sometimes, we see things in a different way because of what we have been taking into our minds. What we take into our minds can definitely influence how we look at other people too…



July 27, 2011: On Living in the Present Would you believe the average man or woman will spend 50,000 hours at their job during a lifetime? That’s just average…you are no doubt above average! How much better it would be for us to find satisfaction in our daily lives rather than living for the future. This is true rather one is living for retirement or a promotion. Sometimes the best laid plans (of men and women) can go astray. Take for a good example the following story:



July 20, 2011: Using the Wings God Gave You  Did you ever have that feeling inside that things in your life could or should be better?…that you were meant to do something more with your life, day in and day out? Could it be possible that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives that we haven’t quite arrived at yet? If you have ever felt that way, then the following might be of help.



July 13, 2011: Facing Giants Back in the days of Moses, the Israelites had escaped from bondage, crossed the wilderness and were ready to enter the Promised Land. Spies returned with news that he land was beautiful, but there were also giants, along with powerful armies. They stirred up fear in the Israelites by talking about the hopelessness of trying to fight these “giants”. Rather than trust God and His ability to guide their lives, they rebelled against Moses and God. There can be times in our lives when the future seems to hold many of those “giants”…



July 6, 2011: A Fork in the Road, Part II The UpWord Glance from two weeks ago received a lot of good feedback from folks. It seems like a lot of people are looking at two paths diverging from their lives and wondering which one to take. Sometimes those “forks in the road” are so small they seem insignificant at the moment. Once you’ve chosen one path over the other and gone down it a ways, you find that it really was an important choice you made. Here’s an example…



June 22, 2011: A Fork in the Road All of us face forks in the road on a regular basis; the most obvious are decisions about work. Should we take that new job…should we transfer…should we stay where we are? All of these and more are forks in the road and all decisions lead us one direction or the other. Wouldn’t it be great to travel down both roads; but that can never be our story.



June 16, 2011: The Measure of Success Those of us, who are fathers and grandfathers, hopefully recognize the role model we play for the little ones charged to our care. Children’s values in life are shaped early on by the example of the parents. Parents want their children to be successes in life. But success is one of those tricky terms; how does anyone really know when you’ve achieved “success”?  



June 08, 2011: There Is No Charge for Love! I found myself thinking about the difference from how I love others and how God loves people. I often set conditions…I will love those who love me or are nice to me or do good things for me or agree with me…basically my kind of love is all about me…not others. In my own way, I charge for love so very often, setting my own kind of price on who I will love. God on the other hand pours out His love without conditions…



June 02, 2011: Delight in the Law of the Lord “You can’t soar with the eagles if you’re walking with the turkeys!” Some “wise” sage said that…sometime in the past…someplace unknown to me, but there is some very important truth there. This saying is illustrated really well by a story in the Old Testament (1 Kings 12-14) about the son of King Solomon.


May 25, 2011: A Story About Courage Courage is a strange concept. We often confuse it with the boldness or even fool-heartedness we see in the movies (one guy taking on an army of bad guys with guns blazing in both hands). True courage is not simply being bold; it is a combination of both mental and moral strength that is able to withstand danger, fear, or difficulty.



May 18, 2011: St. Photini: The Rest of the Story This coming Sunday, the Samaritan Woman at the Well is remembered. Her encounter with Jesus can be read in John 4. And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, here is the rest of the story as it was passed down through the centuries.


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