Category Archives: prayer

the power of prayer and my magic ring


The past few weekends The Deistette and I have been working for my sister in-law at a wedding facility she manages.  She was short handed at the last minute one weekend so we agreed to help her out. Well, that one weekend has turned into four. I shouldn’t complain. I mean the extra money has been nice but because it’s about an hour away from us so it makes for a pretty long day.

It’s a neat venue for having a wedding.  They do the ceremony in a small garden-like area that can accommodate about 150 people. The couple does their thing in a gazebo to exchange vows and afterward everyone heads into the reception hall about 30 feet away.

A couple of hours into the reception, someone will start putting away the chairs and decorations from the ceremony. Last weekend that someone was me. Ugh. There I stood looking at a hundred wooden folding chairs thinking, “holy crap it’s humid out here.”  It took me about 40 minutes and two trips to load them onto a flatbed cart, wheel them to the storage area and unload them. Afterward I went back into the reception hall and started picking up plates, restocking items in the kitchen, breaking down the bar, then other clean up. It was pretty much non-stop until we left.

Ugh… when we left.  That’s when I realized that I’d lost my ring… my wedding ring. God I was sick. I took it off when I started putting away the chairs because I didn’t want it to get smashed or cut into my fingers ’cause I was sure my hands would start swelling as I was putting them away.

After telling The Deistette about my lost ring, I called my sister in-law while we drove home. My sister in-law had already left the venue but said she would take a look the next day.

Well, she didn’t go in like she thought she would on Sunday and wouldn’t be there until Monday afternoon. I was sure I had put it in the pocket of the vest I was wearing so it would have to be in the washing machine — unless it fell out while I had been putting the chairs away.  Holy crap. 😦

She didn’t call until about 5:00 Monday evening.  She said she was sorry but she couldn’t find it and she had looked everywhere she thought it might be.

The next day I checked my pants again and again. I checked the floorboard of the car, under the mats, under the seats. I checked around the driveway where we park. Nothing, nothing, nothing and nothing.

I don’t think I’ve ever really delved into the details of my spiritual beliefs other than what I have in the title of this blog and the two tabs about the beliefs of a deist and UU. Not to get into a long treatise about it but I will say part of my spiritual practice includes prayer  — and not like praying to win the lottery or praying for the healing of a loved one. Just prayers of thanks is mostly what I have in my bag of prayers.

But that night, as Emmie fell asleep and I lay there in the dark…    against everything I believe about prayer, I prayed my ass off  that my ring would somehow make its way back to me. I prayed that I would relive in my dreams the events of when I put it away.  I begged my memory not to fail me any longer and give me even the slightest hint where it might be. I rolled over and touched Emmie’s hand where she wears her ring and fell asleep.

The next day when I got back home from work, Emmie told me she found my guitar capo. It had been banging around in the dryer while she was doing our laundry. The night before I had been looking all over for it before heading off to band rehearsal but couldn’t find it. Then she said, “look what else I found.” And put my wedding ring in my hand.

I was stunned. All I could do was hug her. And believe it or not, I cried. I was so happy to have it again. And in a really sweet, whispering, sort of lilting way she said, “you have your magic ring back.”

She said it must have been in my shirt. I don’t know. I swear I checked every pocket I had twice. Who knows, maybe it was in my shirt pocket or maybe it fell into the cuff of my pants leg.

my magic ring

The Deist's wedding ring with inscription that reads "my friend who is next to me"

I’ve called it my magic ring for a while saying it keeps me and The Deistette connected. I usually say it within ear shot of my stepson but being 7 years old he’s getting to an age where he doesn’t really believe in magic anymore.  The tooth fairy, Easter bunny and Santa Claus have kinda had their day for him.

I don’t know.

What I do know is one day I didn’t have my magic ring and now I do. Maybe there is something to that prayer thing after all — or maybe my ring is magic and keeps me and my wife connected after all.

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a UU, Deist and Jew?… in Texas


No… it’s not the beginning of a joke about three guys going into a bar with one leading a donkey to a barstool.  : )

Last Sunday at my UU church our interim minister was preaching about Rosh Hashanah and teaching us about this important holy day of the Jewish faith. Judaism is part of his spiritual practice and it seemed like the first time that I’d seen him get really animated and passionate in the five or six times he’s preached on Sunday. (he’s a part time minister to our church and so only preaches once a month)

It was really cool to see him so… so… I don’t know, like I said, passionate. He even sang chants in Hebrew. very cool.

But the highlight of Sunday service for me was Continue reading

a little bike ride this weekend


ok, I’m completely exaggerating with the post heading. This weekend is my bicycle ride from Houston to Austin.

Admittedly I’m pretty friggin scared. I haven’t trained like I should have and the weather is gonna be really, really bad. Not a good combination to be riding on wet rode with 1/2″ slicks under your butt. People have gotten hurt really bad during the ride even in good weather. A few years ago I, along with a bunch of other riders, waited as officials held us back so LifeFlight could come and take someone to the hospital.

I know there have been people who have died because of hit-and-run accidents while training for the ride but Continue reading

but God will take care of it…


I met one of my neighbors today. Very friendly lady. Actually I guess I didn’t meet her as much as just talk to her for the first time. We were grabbing the mail just before heading to work.

Small talk, small talk, small talk and then she drops her keys trying to close the little door. She says, “oh, i can barely do this I’m so nervous. My daughter is at Texas Woman’s right now in labor.”

“Is that right?! Well, that’s great news. Congratulations on the new grandbaby.”

“Thank you… a little boy.   [slight pause] She’s having complications but God will take of it.”

“I’m sure God will.”

I thought about that exchange the whole way in to work. What makes her so sure… so positive God will take care of it. I mean she said it in a way that was so matter of fact, with such assuredness. She also said it in a way that suggested no harm would come to her daughter or the baby.

Why? How? How did she know with such certainty that God would allow her daughter and grandson to live when so many other mothers and babies don’t make it. Why would God pick her family to not feel loss?

Why did I answer the way that I did…

[Diest bows his head on his desk and says a little prayer for safety. whispers… “amen and blessed be.”]

fast food blessing


I saw a young man praying the other day. By young I mean in his early 20s. It kinda caught me by surprise. I mean, you don’t (well, at least I don’t) really see that much anymore, especially at a fast food place.

I didn’t really notice him until he actually started praying although he had sat at a table located conspicuously right in the middle of the place. He apparently had already taken a couple of bites when he began, which for those of you who pray or grew up praying isn’t really the norm. Despite this breaking of a cultural rule, I was moved by his reverence. I think what made this especially so was he actually spoke his prayer, albeit very quietly under his breath but as if between just him and his God. I think it’s important to note also, he was eating at one of those fast food places located in a gas station.

I think gratitude and humility are a necessary hallmark of spirituality. Why?… because through gratitude we can find it easier to genuinely treat others as we would like to be treated. With humility we can understand that we are truly connected and dependent on one another and thus need each other.

Someone asked The Master which is the greatest commandment? He said love God with all your heart. But The Master then followed this by saying.

Mat 22:39-40
The second is like unto it, Love your neighbor as you do yourself. Hang all the laws on these two commandments.

Hang everything else on these two. Man, that is good stuff.

Namasté. The Divine in me honors The Divine in you.
I bow my head in humility and gratitude.
Thank you anonymous teacher in a fast food, gas station restaurant who reminded me of gratitude .