Archive for November, 2018

One thing we can do this Thanksgiving…

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

What is one thing we can do to have a great Thanksgiving?

Several years ago I read a study by Facebook on which holidays were the happiest as measured by the words people used on that particular day. The run away winner … Thanksgiving.

Why is that?  I wrote to a friend recently…

One thought … the biggest “head bully” we deal with is something along the lines of “I am not enough.”   Hell does a number on us with that particular question.  We start comparing our lives to others and it gets REALLY tough.  The best way out – crazy – is to work on not comparing.  The best way out is gratitude … and that is FAR harder than it sounds.

Gratitude is work.  A discipline as we move past “I am not enough.” Easy to think, mistakenly, the discipline of gratitude centers on comparing our lives to others, enumerating in our minds the ways in which we find our lives more blessed than others.

So possibly the one thing we can this do Thanksgiving is to drop the comparisons and learn to sit in gratitude just as gratitude.  Gratitude unadorned.  Gratitude not based on comparison.  Gratitude just as seeing the blessing.

I love how one author phrased it with a smile…

This Thanksgiving, may the exercise of gratitude leave us slightly (and wonderfully) stunned!

Who is the Enemy?

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

Who is the Enemy?

The enemy simply put is hate.

As we close one of the most contentious elections in US history it is important to remember the above.

The enemy is not the right.  I know a bunch of them.  Good people.

The enemy is not the left.  I know a bunch of them.  Good people.

The enemy is hate.  And I can honestly say I never met a hate that I liked or that I would invite over for dinner!

A recent article spelled it out with amazing clarity.  The author’s point….  For much of US history we have shared, between right and left, a Venn diagram of sorts, one where differences were differences but there remained a clear articulation of the center where ideals overlapped.  The center, at times of test, held, granted with several obvious exceptions.

That center feels far more tenuous these days.  It feels some days as if the two circles have pulled so far apart that the overlap no longer exists.

A drumbeat you will hear from me frequently over the coming months is that that is why church matter.  Churches can help to remind us of the places where the circles overlap.  Churches can help us remember that love and its expression through civil dialog must come first.  Churches can help us remember, that this, yes this person (s) who drives me crazy much of the time this election season is beloved by God and is our sister or brother in Christ, in the Lord.  While we may never attend a political rally together, we can attend church together, pray together, sing together, eat donuts togethers, sit in a small group together, and serve together.

Churches do not line up neatly or purely on the right or left.  They are the Third Way.

Our hope then?  That the spirit infused throughout that particular Third Way approach brings us back to what we share, brings us back to what we hope, brings us back to the critical work of building community where we listen to each other once again.

Please. Build with us.

MLK titled the construction project well … “The Beloved Community.”

And we see that Beloved Community everywhere.  And we hope to build, with blessed and broken tools, our little bit of it.