Monday, February 18, 2019

Voting


In Sunday school a few weeks ago, a member of the class read a quote from John Wesley taken from his journal, dated October 6, 1774:

"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them,
  1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy:
  2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And,
  3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.
I've been thinking about those words.  Do you find them difficult to put into practice?  When they were read in Sunday school, another member said, "Well, one out of three isn't bad."

We would all agree, I think, that we shouldn't sell our vote, and that we should make a judgement and vote.  But what about the other two?

I admit, I do speak negatively words about the person against whom I vote, and I do probably have sharp words to say about the people who do not vote the way I do.  And yet, I do think there are times when one must stand up and speak against the people and ideas that we believe are wrong, or even evil.  

In a country that is so divided politically, and in a church that is divided by one particular (that we are currently noticing) issue, how do we implement Wesley's advice while still acting and speaking with integrity?

I don't have the answers, and I confess I've not been able to follow Wesley's advice, but I do think we need to see the other person as a person.  Once we change that person into an issue or into an obstacle, and no longer see him or her as a child of God, we lose the ability to act in Christ's healing peace.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day


Happy Valentine's Day

Labels: ,

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Navigating the New Year: A List, Part 3

For the last two days and today,  I'm posting a list I wrote at the beginning of the new year.  Don't take it too seriously, or take it very seriously - whatever speaks to you.  I'm not talking to anyone in particular, or everyone in particular, or quite possibly myself.

In other words, take it for what it is worth - not much, but there are a few laughs in there.  It has forty-five bullets, so 15 on each day.  Here are the last 15:
  1. When it is a choice between doing something or cleaning, do the thing. The dirt will be there tomorrow. (Unless a holiday is coming, then clean. You have to cleans sometime.)
  2. Just because I don't share your Facebook post does not mean I don't love God.  Stop telling me that it does.
  3. When you say, "I wish I had the time to..." you do realize that everyone's days have the same number of hours, right?  Choose differently.
  4. If you are feeling overwhelmed, throw something away. Literally. 
  5. Listen. And don’t let your answer (if there needs to be one) begin with “that is like when I...” too often. It’s not about you. 
  6. Not everyone wants or needs your advice.  
  7. Don’t brag about your ability to say “no” unless you say “yes” sometimes. 
  8. Laugh - it is very good for you. 
  9. Make a list and check things off. Even a false sense of accomplishment can motivate you to get things done. And a list will clear your mind for the action that needs done. 
  10. If your brain is nagging you about something, listen to it. It’s your brain, and it has been right before. 
  11. Ask why. 
  12. Check Snopes before re-posting. You are responsible for what you post, and it’s probably not true. 
  13. When you are posting in response to someone, imagine you are sitting in his living room, and your mother is with you. Would you say it then?  
  14. Proofread. And if necessary (and it probably is necessary) ask someone else to read it, too. 
  15. Beware of lists like this. Investigate the truth of everything on your own. 


Labels:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Navigating the New Year: A List, Part 2

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow,  I'm posting a list I wrote at the beginning of the new year.  Don't take it too seriously, or take it very seriously - whatever speaks to you.  I'm not talking to anyone in particular, or everyone in particular, or quite possibly myself.

In other words, take it for what it is worth - not much, but there are a few laughs in there.  It has forty-five bullets, so 15 on each day.  Here are the next 15:
  1. Change the sheets on your bed, even if you don't want to.  You will be glad you did.
  2. Burn the candles.  Use the pretty printed napkins. Stop saving them. You will never enjoy them until you use them for the purpose for which they were designed.
  3. In a public restroom, check for the presence of toilet paper. First.
  4. Not only do you not always HAVE to be right, there are many times you just aren't right.  Be humble enough to see that.
  5. It just is not necessary to point out every mistake you see or hear.  It's OK to let some of them go by unremarked.
  6. Worry less.  Stop believing that the worst will happen.  You will miss the best of today.
  7. When you say, "I don't know how to wash clothes" or "I can't cook," you just sound silly.  It's not rocket science, and you are a smart person - just go do it. (edit this to apply to whatever you are trying to avoid doing).
  8. It always seems terrible in the middle of the night.  Wait until morning, and it will be less terrible.
  9. Be an adult. Anticipate the results of what you are about to do.
  10. Say thank you, and mean it.  
  11. Do nice things for people just because it is an expression of the love of God. Grace is unearned and cannot be repaid. Give away happy.
  12. What everyone else says and what everyone else does is rarely about you.  Stop assuming that it is.
  13. Leave a conversation learning more about the other person than he learned about you.  If you don't, then you weren't listening.
  14. The way you have experienced a situation may not be how another person is experiencing it, even if you think they are the same, so avoid saying, "I know what you are going through" very often.  You may not.
  15. You will make mistakes sometimes; everyone does. The issue is not the mistake, it is how you respond to it. Be honest, do what you can to fix it, learn from it.  Take more responsibility for it than you think is yours. 

Labels:

Monday, February 11, 2019

Navigating the New Year: A List, Part 1

I have my new computer.  Yippee! What I don't have are my files or many of my programs.  I anticipate those this week.  Cross your fingers and toes.

So, we're back to blogging with a soft start. Today and the two days that follow, I'm posting a list I wrote at the beginning of the new year.  Don't take it too seriously, or take it very seriously - whatever speaks to you.  I'm not talking to anyone in particular, or everyone in particular, or quite possibly myself.

In other words, take it for what it is worth - not much, but there are a few laughs in there.  It has forty-five bullets, so 15 on each day.
  1. Create. If you think you can’t be creative, it may be because you aren’t being creative. The only way to be creative is to be creative. 
  2. Stop looking for the bad. Look for the good. And talk about that. Be more optimistic.
  3. See the people as people, not as issues. See the people first - and then discuss the issues. Failing to see the people is objectification and it cannot lead to peace. 
  4. It is a good and faithful thing to stand up for what you believe. Make sure it is what YOU believe, not what you think you should believe - don’t be a blind follower. Think for yourself. 
  5. People never earn forgiveness, including you. It is an act of grace. 
  6. A MEME on Facebook may not be true, even if it sounds poetic.  Think about it before reposting it.
  7. You have the ultimate power over your computer - you can turn it off.  If it misbehaves, exercise your authority.
  8. You are the boss of your underage children. Act like it.  You are not the boss of your adult children, even when you think you are right.
  9. No one can read you mind, even when you think you are hinting at high volume.  Use words.
  10. What you think has happened, and what has really happened may not be the same.  Stop confusing your conclusions with fact.  
  11. Stop acting in ways that are passive-aggressive.  Even the name of it sounds dishonest.
  12. Send cards. It may not feel like a big action, but it feels like one to the recipient.
  13. Go to church. It isn’t about you, so a sunrise or a garden won’t do it. Be in church so that you can be the church. (Edit for your own faith). 
  14. Whatever happens, you will have a story to tell. 
  15. If you think the Bible says the answer clearly, you are wrong. The Bible is beautifully complicated. Have enough respect for it to realize that.

Labels:

Monday, February 04, 2019

Silent Black Screen

Hello,

I'm still here, but haven't been posting.  About the time I planned to return to the blog, my computer died.  It was fine on a Thursday when I used it happily for several hours, but by Sunday, it would not power on.  Just silent.  All amateur and professional attempts to revive it were not fruitful.  It remains dead.  It Will Not Power On.  Period.

I've ordered a new computer, and I am told it will be here this week.  Life is too busy at work for me to blog from there, so the blog will remain silent a little while longer.

The funeral for the dead computer will be delayed until the computer surgeon is able to extract its brain and transfer its thoughts, hopes, and aspirations to the new computer.

I hope you are staying warm and safe, and that your electronic equipment is alive and kicking.

Labels: ,