Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What screws us up most

Google reports that it was Socrates who said, "What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it's supposed to be."  We carry in our minds pictures of how things in life are supposed to be.  We can recognize those mental pictures of things by all of the "shoulds" of which we speak.  It is that perfectionist part in us that has a long list of shoulds and gives strong voice to them.  It is difficult to accept that many things in life aren't as we think they should be.  In the face of how we think things are supposed to be, a healthy response is to discern a way to adjust, which implies an acceptance of how it really is. Another option is that we may choose to leave the situation.  Adjusting with acceptance or leaving, either is more healthy than constant complaining, criticizing and whining. Complaining, criticizing and whining usually won't change the situation but, those attitudes will change me.  They will create in me a bitter spirit and that's not healthy either for me or others.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pentecost and Memorial Weekend

I don't recall seeing these two special day falling on the same weekend although I suspect they have previously.  However, that's what is happening this year.  I wondered which emphasis Churches would celebrate, especially in my evangelical tradition.  I hoped the Churches would celebrate both. The one Church where I take my brother to Sunday School emphasised Memorial Day with remembrances and recognitions of service men and women.  Another Church to which I regularly listen via the radio prayed for our men and women in service but, no other mention was made. Neither made mention of Pentecost but, I'm not greatly surprised as neither are liturgical Churches. Memorial Day and Pentecost are both important.  It seems to me that both have to do with freedom. One is freedom for our Country via the military while the other is freedom from religious law via the Holy Spirit.  I'm grateful for my freedoms, both national and religious.  Thank you service men and women and thank you Holy Spirit.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Happy Birthday, Bobby

Today we celebrate Bobby's 70th birthday.  In spite of his mental disabilities, he was taught to crochet by our grandmother.  How she did that I'll never know since Bobby is left handed and Grandma was right handed.  Nevertheless, he may do three to five coasters a day.  This week a gentleman from the County Health Department brought him five balls of yarn to use crocheting coasters.  They had asked him, and he agreed, to make coasters for them.  The Health Department plans to use them as gifts to stores in central Kentucky who agree to sell locally grown products.  He'll make a bunch of coasters for their project.  The Christian Appalachian Project has used his coasters as gifts and rewards to some client families as a part of a parenting behavior modification program.  This past Christmas our Church gave boxes of food and gifts to several hundred families.  As  families picked up their boxes, they were able to go to the Church's Christmas tree and takes several of Bobby's colorful coasters which were being used as Christmas tree ornaments.  Since Bobby has little concept of money's value, he isn't motivated by getting paid for his time, energy, skill, yarn, etc.  He just loves to make coasters and have people use them.  No one ever called a meeting, got him organized or developed a "plan" for Bobby.  It just began to happen because folks saw the coasters, heard Bobby's story and asked if he would make some for them.  I think Bobby, and many other disabled folks like him, are wonderful role models of how to do ministry.  Ministry can be simple and effective, especially when motives are pure.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day, 2015

I was blessed to be given a mother who not only loved me without restraint, but, also, taught me to be generous and caring of others.  Mother would give away all that she had if she thought you needed it. I was given two grandmothers who lived a simple life and worked hard until they could no longer go. I suspect I've inherited both of their traits.  I'm grateful for my mother and grandmothers.  My mother-in-law lives with all the complications of Alzheimer's in a nursing home.  She may not recognize us but, nevertheless, we will visit because that's what family does.  Today I'm keenly aware of those women who are who not mothers. For whatever reason they do not have children.  Today can be a difficult day for them, especially around churches. I've suggested to several friends that this day may be a good day to "sleep in" rather than go to church where there will be so much attention given to Mothers.  The measure of a women is more than just having children.