I’m singing this old Randy Stonehill song as I write this blog post. I do have news for you—good news—and yes, Randy Stonehill music still greatly influences me.
Did you know that, in the past 30 years, the percentage of people in the world who live in extreme poverty has decreased by more than half? It is TRUE!!! The same is true of child deaths and deaths caused by HIV/AIDS.
Are you shocked? If you are, you are not alone. According to the new Barna research (LOVE Barna almost like I love Stonehill), more than eight in 10 Americans (84%) are unaware global poverty has reduced so drastically. More than two-thirds (67%) say they thought global poverty was on the rise over the past three decades. But that is NOT TRUE!!! Continue reading
Learning to love oneself is so empowering. Freeing. Imagine feeling at peace with the person you naturally are, embracing your imperfections and letting go of the need for flawlessness. Here are some ideas I’ve come up with that have helped me (or could theoretically help me) love myself. Maybe you’ll like some of them.
- Meditate. Create a happy space in your mind. It can be a real place or imaginary–anything goes. When you’re feeling upset or negative, go there and take deep breaths. Imagine breathing in happiness, peace, and joy. Associate a color with it. Feel it wash over you.
- Take a shower. Reflect on life in a positive light. Close your eyes and feel the water and the soap.
- Read. Lose yourself in a wonderful book. I prefer non-violent, non-horror material, but whatever floats your boat.
At my church we have a small group for women called MOOs. MOO stands for Mothers of Offenders. I’m the pastor sponsor of that group but I’m also a true member of that group. Of the five boys we’ve raised they’ve all been an offender, from a span of one night to 30+ years. This is a small group that no one wants to be in. The cost to be a part of this small group is great. It is also a group that we moms all gain life from.
I read this quote from an American Buddhist nun, “When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience the fear of our pain. Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.” (Pema Chodron) Continue reading
I’ve had this blog for a year now. Exactly a year, I believe. It started out as a way for me to try subtly impressing everyone–showing off my writing skills and my oh-so-wonderful ideas without being outwardly prideful about it. I liked to think of myself as a sort of Anne Shirley. I was, in a way. I think I still am, though I’ve changed. I’m sassier and more opinionated, which I guess is something every teenager will grow into and out of at some point. Then it became a place for me to pour out all my inspirational, hopeful stuff (see, a year ago, I would have had a problem with putting the word stuff in a post, but I’m looser about it now). My intentions were good, but I think I thought I knew everything when I didn’t. From there, my blog became a place to weep about my horrible past (September and October), then to post random drivel. Most of the posts from November to January aren’t really worth reading, to be honest. Here’s a quote from one of the posts:
My name is Generic Joe and as you know, I am a member of this congregation. I wanted to tell you that I am a really good plumber and I have friends in this congregation that are great teachers, accountants, government works and auto repairmen. I also wanted to remind you that none of us are seasoned, professional singers like you are. I was hoping this note might serve as a reminder that as the leader of the worship ministry of this church, by definition that means you should keep in mind that leading, not singing, is your most important job on Sunday mornings.
So when you sing the melody I can usually follow ok. I have heard most of the songs enough to grasp the basic melody, although even that’s tough sometimes. Continue reading