Sharing a few images from my pilgrimage. The internet connection for uploading is poor. More to come…
Sharing a few images from my pilgrimage. The internet connection for uploading is poor. More to come…
When You Can’t Solve It
There have been a couple of instances this past week that have just stumped me in the relationship department. Both involved phones, texts, and in general the lack of person to person communication to solve relationship issues. The tendency we all have when relationships break down is we blame someone. There is a failure in relating to the other. At times it results in outright hostility, anger, and abusive language or actions. We’ve seen it at the highest levels of our society. The #MeToo movement was spawned by abusive actions towards women but it goes far beyond that.
In the two instances that I have dealt with it was families both of whom experienced some kind of trauma and have not been able to resolve their differences. It’s been frustrating for me because I have not known what to do. I am in a helping profession but sometimes I can’t. I pray for wisdom but ultimately it takes people saying that it doesn’t matter who is right or wrong but let’s find a way to work this disagreement, this problem, or this hurt out. Is it better to be right or be well?
In one case it is a family rejecting a child – it’s abandonment and it pains me deeply. I cannot solve it and now officials who care for kids are working to solve it. The other is a family that is not speaking to each other and have said hurtful things to one another. The Bible says, “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Col. 3:13 or as Jesus said, “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. …” Luke 6:27ff
If we would strive to be more like Jesus we would seek more tender and compassionate ways of dealing with one another. We would not avoid the tough conversations or the tender forgiveness. So until then I will keep praying.
It was February 7, 1964 and the British Invasion began with the arrival of The Beatles at JFK airport in New York City. There were over 25,000 fans there to greet them. What a change began that February and it seems that things have been changing rapidly ever since. I was young and did not understand why the girls swooned so much over these long haired smart aleck Liverpool musicians. Yet, I wished I was as popular as they were. It’s funny how we look for our identity in those who are popular rather than in our own gifts and talents.
The media like a siren call lures us to compare ourselves and live in an imaginary world. Many people feel lost and then say need to find themselves. Looking inside is one way to combat the constant urge to compare but looking to the Word is an even better way. In 1 Samuel 16:7 it says, “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.” (MSG) Who you are is a gift – a unique gift. You are designed to be a blessing to God and to others so don’t discount your talents or abilities. Don’t compare yourself to others. The invasion that matters is God’s invasion of love into the world. Look into your heart and know that you are treasured by the Creator. You are a blessing to become a blessing.
Bowls for What?
Did you know that the term “bowl” originated from the Rose Bowl stadium? It was the site of the first post-season college football game. The Rose Bowl Stadium, in turn, takes its name and bowl-shaped design from the Yale Bowl, which became the design of many football stadiums in the United States. But there is another bowl I’d like you to think about. How about considering how much money you are going to spend for food, or bets, or tickets (if you are so lucky to go) and give the same amount to the needs of the hungry? Last year I may have spent just $30.00 for the day. I’m going to keep track this year and give double the amount to the World Hunger Program. Here is the link:
They have a “give” button on the page. You can do what you would like. Maybe you only buy a bag of chips but that is something. Look at this information from “Feeding America:”
Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America. In 2016:
Hunger is real and there are bowls that are empty – do one little thing this year that may not make the news or get you into a glamours stadium with lavish box seats with food and adult beverages – but do something good.
Super Blue Blood Moon
According to NASA today, Jan. 31, the full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit — known as perigee — and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.” So there you have it. Early this morning I wandered out with my faithful Lab, Pete, and we photographed the super moon. He did not howl as I hoped but I almost did – it was so cold. There were no clouds for a change just an eerie light and haze over the lake and the shadow of the earth across the lunar sphere.
I’m always amazed at creation and its beauty. I’m also amazed at people that can’t appreciate it and think that all this happened because of an explosion billions and billions of years ago. It’s as if you think that your iPhone developed from an explosion in Cupertino, California. Ridiculous thought but it seems like it may take a more reckless faith to not believe in an intelligent being creating the universe then for all these possibilities to line up just right and poof or boom. Scripture says, “By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:3 Creating really is to make something out of nothing and if something was made from something else who made the something before it was something else?
Anyway I don’t want to argue with anyone really. I just want to say that this moon that was so beautiful and it won’t be around again until 2037. May you be so fortunate.
State of the Union
Ken Burns, in his now famous series The Civil War, pointed out that before the war typically you would hear “the Untied States are…” and after the Civil war you would hear “the United States is…” United but separate, then divided, and then reunited as one. We are still struggling for the dream of equality and opportunity. We have not learned how to define that. How do we care for and create a way up for those who are not as privileged as others? We are equal in God’s eyes but the struggle to find equality still eludes us. Is it “are” and “is” that still defines the struggle? Our nation surely has it’s divisions but they are along different lines today.
Tonight there will be another “State of the Union” address. I thought it was a bit humorous that the invitation to the event was misspelled as the “State of Uniom.” As though we still can’t get it quite right as a nation. While we find news that is not always fact-checked and successes that are touted as reality but are questionable in fact, we continue to search for truth somewhere in the middle of it all.
In our search for truth there is something that makes us one that is as old as time. We too often overlook Genesis 1:27 where it says, “So God created “humans” in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them.” Men and women are made in the image of God. Not one sex – both. Not people of one race but all races springing from the loins of these humans. That is the truth that we are faced with. Some call this ‘fake” but why not clearly understand that deep implications here – the very truth of that Word?
It’s not money that makes us successful, or fame, or race, or gender – God sees us, loves us, and wants all of us to know the truth that makes us one. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” If we have a calling at all as these United States it is to be true to our origin as a beacon of hope and equality. There is more than one speech by one president that defines us – we need to still realize this truth that is the very soul of our nationhood.
Indianapolis and Amazon
Could it be? Might it be? Does it have the right infrastructure, workforce, and cool vibe to be the next HQ for Amazon? The NCAA is there, right? Will there be drones delivering packages all over the city? Will Bezos have a second, third or fourth home in Carmel? (And how do you pronounce that anyway?) The Irish betting site Paddy Power gives it 20 to 1 odds – that’s not the New England Patriots type odds but it’s something. So many questions and so little time.
Work is a good thing and when there is an opportunity for people to be employed and care for themselves and their family it is great news. I’m pulling for Indianapolis and Indiana in this mega-opportunity but I realize we are a little like the Charlie Brown of states. Lucy has the football and we are running at it – will she – could she? We shall see. I’ve always loved this passage from the Bible: “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3) I’m no Jeff Besoz but I love my work and I want it to be God honoring. It’s good on what many call TGIF to give thanks for work and the ability to do it. It’s also good to have a little time off – the Sabbath was made for people remember.