Showing posts from November, 2014

ICYMI: An Artist Brilliantly Captures The Essence of Ferguson Protest Movement

Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) created this video and posted it on her website and on Youtube.  I saw this in my TL shortly after she posted it and was blown away by her creative artistry in telling the story of Ferguson with her voice and her canvas.  Definitely a must see and share.

Sabbath School Lesson Review: When Faith Doesn't Work

I found the story in the introduction to this past week's Adult Sabbath School Lesson fascinating though tragic.  Who could have known that the good doctor was leading such a dark existence behind closed doors?

Which is kind of the point, methinks.  Did not anybody - family, pastor, friends, co-workers - know that he was having such struggles?  It makes me think of something that I church member said to me a long time ago:

"I will NEVER go to my church if I'm having some kind of life crisis or need help.  These 'holy' people are just hypocrites and just want to get into your business and gossip and judge you.  They don't really care about you and won't help you if you're not part of their clique.  F*** them!

I call that the "when faith doesn't work" syndrome.  In some (not all) churches, the faith community does not work to support the hurting member; the member struggling with drug addiction or pornography; the married couple going thro…

A Way of Escape

1 Corinthians 10:13, 14 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry."
Prayer:  Dear Lord, I feel so weak, so vulnerable to the devil's incessant attacks against me. I feel helpless and powerless against the constant barrage of temptations without and temptations within.  I'm sorely tempted to give up the struggle and give in to the sinful desires of my unregenerate heart.  I've been leaning on my own understanding.  I have not waited upon You and sought Your counsel, but have taken counsel with my own heart in the vain effort to deliver myself from my distress.  I have yielded to my doubts and fears and lost sight of You.  I let the stress and pressure of my test overwhelm me, and have magnified my challenges so that I feel lo…

Why a Christian Nation Leads the World in Incarceration

I was . . . in prison, and ye visited me not. Matthew 25:43.

America has long prided itself on being the bastion of democracy and religious freedom.  It has also touted itself as a Christian nation.  The Pledge of Allegiance reads:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,

And to the republic for which it stands,

one nation, under God, indivisible,

with liberty and justice for all.

But there is a sad irony about a purportedly democratic, Christian nation that has a long and unmatched record of taking freedom away from its citizens, especially citizens of color.  The Sentencing Project reports that currently over 2.2 million Americans are incarcerated, making the United States a world leader in that regard.  American citizens, particularly racial minorities, are locked up and institutionalized at a rate that is 6 times the rate of a typical leading developed nation, according to Brookings Institute's The Hamilton Project.

Mass incarceration is the new slaver…

Navigating The Dark Side

Search me O God and know my heart; try me and know my thoughts.
Psalm 139:23

I recently heard a presentation by Dr. Nancy Jordan about story, pastoral caregiving and "being there" for those suffering grief and loss.  One of the many fine points I gleaned from her presentation was about giving care and creating a "safe space" for the client/patient/other to explore the dark spaces and places in their story.  Sharing about grief, loss and pain is not a pretty, neat process.  Things can get ugly, especially as the memories of hurt and loss are "unshelved" and brought into the present.  So as a loving caregiver, I must be willing to not judge the other or exploit the relationship to lead them somewhere they are not prepared to go.  We are equals in this relationship, and as one who gives care, I must view myself as a fellow traveler invited along for the journey into this intimate and sometimes scary space.  This is a trip, not to satisfy curiosity or take p…

If You Want to Be Rich . . .

If you want to be rich . . .

You can go to school, get an education and land a high paying job,

or start your own money-making business,

or invest your money and re-invest and grow your fortune.

But none of these things are guaranteed to make you a rich person.

But if you want riches guaranteed,

wealth beyond measure,

fortune to last you a lifetime,

give unselfishly of yourself and your time

to those who cannot repay you.

Invest the wealth of your talents and service for others,

and you will reap infinite returns.

Pursue after heavenly treasure -

brotherly love, reconciliation, a good name,

compassion and kindness,

and you will have treasures in heaven.