Thursday, August 30, 2007

To You, the Reader of this Blog

I guess I am getting to sentimental but FORGIVE ME. Today I am preaching on "That Special Place." It relates to a small room a woman made for a preacher to stay in. She was a woman of "great hospitality" who knew that the man of God had needs that she could help with.

She told her husband, "Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him (a holy man of God). Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us." (2 Kings 4:8)

She recognized needs in his life. He needed a place to get in touch with God. He needed a place to share his burdens. He needed a place to pray and be given a warm meal. He needed a place to struggle and a place to listen to God. She was a special person who made a difference in his life.

The reason you are getting this is that you (my readers) have made a difference in my life. When I have needed humour you have provided it. When I get worn out by the deaths and sadness I have come to you because you are someone who understands and provides a safe place to share. You have been a part of my life that has helped me tremendously in ways you will never know and I just want to say, "THANK YOU FOR THE SMALL ROOM."

Brother Dan

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Meaning of Joy

I was encouraged by the Apostle Paul's writings about joy in Philippians. Joy is an attitude more than anything else, a way of living, a trust in hope. But what brought the joy to Paul?

1. He was encouraged by the prayer partnership with the people at Philippi. I rejoice because of your prayers for me. Oh, that none of us forget the prayers for others.

2. He was encouraged that they continued to live a Christian life. Keep joyful for God is working in you, and ME, and YOU!

His final words, "Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God."

Encouraging words.


The weather has been horrible in Tennessee. It has been 27 years since I remember anything like it. This is the FOURTH WEEK when temperatures have been at least 100 degrees. It is 101 today. Only tiny specks of rain have happened during that time. We shall certainly remember Baby Jack's coming by the heated summer.

It is so demoralizing. Nothing. Just a heat binge. I have not been outside recently. And if one goes outside it is so unbelievable hot. Even animals want to stay in during this streak. We are all in a water crisis. No one is suppose to use any water, maybe a little after it grows dark.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Jack Michael McReynolds

Jack Michael McReynolds
Originally uploaded by brotherdan44.
Enclosed is an official picture of Baby Jack. He was not as
enthusiastic today. Believe he was tired from being born yesterday.
Everyone got some sleep last night, hooray. Several visitors to see Baby
Jack today. Probably going to bed early tonight.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

First Grandchild

Our first grandchild, Jack Michael McReynolds, was born today at 1:09
pm. He weighted 8 lbs and 6 oz. Melinda was in labor 21 hours. Now it is
time to sleep for grandma and grandpa.

Monday, August 13, 2007


When I am sick, like now with a horrible cold, I resort to old
linguistic remedies for solace. Like looking up Henry Miller or William
Everson on wikipedia. This is turn leads to Charles Bernstein, a new
Language of Poetry, and new ways of energizing the nose driven head.

Yes, I did write poetry. Some was even published in the 70s. And Henry
Miller I first really heard of in Greece. A bus driver read from his
Collous of Mariousa and I was hooked. I even went to his memorial museum
last year when I was traveling the Big Sur Trail.

And Everson. Brother Antonious, was well hidden until I found him again
on Yahoo. The only poems I had read was a book loaned to me by Brother
Paul Quenton at the Abbey of Gethseami during a retreat.

And I never heard of Charles Bernstein until tonight, and no he is not
kin to the Beranstine Bears.

Friday, August 10, 2007


I have one tiring habit that causes me great consternation. I do not
read a book all the way through. I go 50 pages, quit, find another book,
the end up with books stacked everywhere. Then, I leave them until I
finally reach a point where I have to do something, like spend a day
organizing them.

I remember visiting Carl Sandburg's home in North Carolina and counting
13 rooms filled with books, organized alphabetically. I was impressed.
Maybe someday I will get organized.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007



During my early years in Nashville, each year a stranger came to town. He wore a suit and tie, was rather rotund, and carried a heavy suitcase. He would then make his rounds of Nashville. The courthouse, official government buildings, and religious establishments.

He would arrive, stand with his hands uplifted and his suitcase on the ground, look heavenly and "whistle like a bird." We never knew exactly what this meant. Was he delivering us from curses or proclaiming curses.

Well, that is to lead into a major habit of mine, buying used books cheaply. My favorite book sale is the Brentwood Library Book sale, held quarterly. Recently I purchased "The Travels of William Bartram." I am a sucker for travel books and did not look more closely at the contents. As I began my reading I discovered that Bartram was an expert on swamps and lagoons, fish, and tropical snakes and reptiles, hardly the fare of travel to which I ordinarily search.

Anyway, among his discoveries was that of the language of birds, that is their common notes of speech as they are feeding their young or menacing their enemies. Of particular interest was the male and female role in singing. He states:

The males "songs seem to be musical compositions, performed only by the males, about the time of incubation, in part to divert and amuse the female, entertaining her with melody, etc. This harmony, with the tender solicitude of the male, alleviates the toils, cares and distresses of the female, consoles her in solitary retirement whilst sitting, and animates her with affection and attachment to himself in preference to any other."

Wow! Was the Birdman wooing some lady on the 12th floor. Or maybe it is a lesson for us men, "We need to sing and whistle and amuse the female."

To you husbands, now is the time. Get dressed. Stand by your lady and SING !! It will certainly be a memorable experience says William Bartram.

Ladies, when is the last time your husband sang to you?

Bro. Dan

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Thought for Saturday

"Read the day's texts not with scholarly detachment but with a real
thirst to hear God's voice." (Jim Forest)

Have you heard God's voice today?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bits and Pieces - A Summary of the Month of July

Every month, at the end of the month, I review my journal for significant "happenings" and events and meaningful thoughts worth remembering.

I have read several books on London. Going there opens doors, or questions, that have much more understanding in my life now that I have returned from London.


What is God doing in my life? (Always a worthy question)

A desire for a purity of vision !

Places where prayer is valid: (from a T.S. Eliot poem)
1. St. Paul’s Cathedral
2. Westminister Abbey
3. Our chapel
4. Abbey of Gethsemani
5. Hospital rooms and hallways

We can get our priorities out of order. Dan, what are your priorities?

Where should we pray?
1. The beach (Acts 21:5)
2. In a closet

Make room for us in your hearts.
1. Consider us
2. Remember us
3. Pray for us

A sacrament is something visible and physical whereby the Spirit becomes present to us. It is a means of grace.

Our lives need reformatted. Transformed.

God has a way of getting our attention.

Pay attention to our relationship to God.

Do we realize our own need for God?

We can measure our faith by the amount of anxiety in our lives.

Learn to “make the best of a bad situation.”

The Lord knows the way of the righteous: through darkness, light, fear in morning, at night, and during the storm.

Sometimes all we can do is read bits and pieces of scripture. Tiny, tiny bits.

Look for kindnesses that tenderize the heart.

“And when he prayed to Him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea.”

“Even in times of discouragement and despair, God is working out his plan.”

We need to prepare for a special guest.

Our whole world can shift as a result of a hurtful word. Be careful how I speak.

All depression is a result of loss.

And so we came forth and once again beheld the stars.

It is not by our own strength and power but God’s Spirit that we accomplish anything.

We need to share with others what God has done in our lives the last month.

Our prayer should be heartfelt and to the point. !!!!(My greatest bit of wisdom this month)

How do I/we go from working without stopping to praying without ceasing?”

Pray, the plan.

Only in Silence do we have the opportunity to hear.

Silence preceeds God using us.

EVENING PRAYERS: (Vespers)- A time of examination, repentence, and thanksgiving.

A quote from Annie Dillard. “Do not say please but THANK YOU!”

My friend Gary Brown’s advice. I do not ask anything of God, I just say Thank you and Bless.


Well that is where I am at the end of July and August will be greeted by the arrival of Baby Jack, our first grandchild. Only 20 more days to go and I promise not to show pictures (unless of course you ask). With prayers and thanksgiving !!

Bro. Dan