Sunday, September 24, 2023
On Tuesday I conducted the funeral for a long-time friend. My friend was profoundly developmentally delayed. He was not able to talk. His care givers had to clean him after a trip to the bathroom. He could, however, communicate. Often when he saw you, he would laugh as he touched your face or body and then he would clap his hands and jump up and down. He was abandoned by his birth parents. He became a foster child and later some folks in our Church became his guardians after even his extended family would have nothing to do with him. I do not believe that God had anything to do with whatever caused his developmental disabilities. To believe such a lie only makes God an evil reality. I do know that God makes use of individuals such as my friend, as well as my brother, and many others to reveal a person’s value or worth has absolutely nothing to do with their abilities, education, family, money, etc. Everyone is of great value and worth and is a child of God to be valued. It is only this world (a world full of evil) that tries to make one individual worth more than another. That valuing is usually determined by how important or helpful that person is to whoever is making the value judgement. Such an attitude is not only egotistical; it is evil. The judgements of valuing or determining someone’s worth is a reality in this unredeemed world. We may be healthy, good citizens, productive Christians, etc., but we are also a long way away from God’s Kingdom
Monday, September 18, 2023
Today I spent some time watching an old two-story beautiful brick house being torn down by powerful equipment. The house is near the Counseling Center. Houses in our area are close to one hundred years old if not older. As I watched the demolition, I was aware of how quickly and easily some things in our behaviors and values can destroy what has taken years to establish, such as one’s reputation. The house’s demolition took about half of one day, leaving a pile of debris which will be hauled away. What a metaphor of what can happen to one’s life if we are not self-disciplined and thoughtful in our values and behaviors. A person’s character, reputation, etc. takes time to establish but easily and quickly to demolish.
Thursday, September 7, 2023
To those who may regularly read or inadvertently stumble into this blog, I recommend gratitude. Check out Brother David Steindl-Rast’s YouTube videos about gratefulness. A significant aspect of his gratitude is the practice of opening your eyes. For example, on the morning of September 6, 2023, around central Kentucky at 7 am there was a magnificent daybreak with the colors of red and orange reflected off the clouds as the sun made its morning rise. Noticing such a wonderful sunrise helps the day to be wonderful. May you be blessed with a good day, not only this day but every day
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Attachment styles provide good insight into our relationships such as marital, business, parenting, friends, etc. The attachment styles are four: secure, insecure with anxiety, insecure with avoidance and insecure with disorganized (“Thanks” Bowlby and Curt Thompson). I was a planned, expected, and wanted infant. I grew up surrounded by love. My aunts have told me they argued about who would babysit me. My grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins lived in the neighborhood and the entire family as well as most of our neighbors went to the same church. In my childhood, I was surrounded by family and friends. I grew up securely attached. This is an amazing gift which I did not earn by any behavior or attitude of mine. It was a gift for which I am grateful to my immediate and extended family, friends, and neighbors. I am also grateful daily for God’s abundant love because in God’s love we have all been given the gift of being securely attached.
Sunday, August 27, 2023
My neighbor’s puppy loves to chase his tail. He seems to enjoy going round and round with occasional barks or yelps of joy or frustration. I can’t tell what his barks and yelps might be indicating. I do know that he loves to chase his tail and he does that a lot of the time. When I watch him chasing his tail, I know he will never completely catch it. He bits at it but he does not get it. I watch him and think that is what many “Why?” questions are like. We chase our “Why’s?” but never seem to get a firm answer to our question. Rather than ask ourselves “Why” perhaps we need to be asking other types of questions, such as, “What shall I do now?” or “I wonder what this situation means?” I think “Whys?” are frequently like a dog chasing its tail.
Saturday, August 19, 2023
I learned a valuable lesson watching a plumber at work. To make the required repairs he had to turn off the water and allow the water in the pipes to drain. After which, he went about the repairs. Sometimes in a relationship, the stress, frustration, anger, disappointment, etc. must be ‘turned off.’ Turning all that energy ‘off’ may involve some type of separation. The separation may be to walk away, go to another room, etc. or it may even involve going to some other place for a period while the energy, stress, anger, confusion, frustration, etc., drain away. Repairs to the relationship can’t be easily made while the energy of accusation and defensiveness is flowing. The pressure may need to be ‘turned off’ before the accusations and defensiveness ceases their energy flow, then perhaps some repair to the relationship may be made.
Saturday, August 12, 2023
I read from the Psalms each day. I began doing this via the influence of the Lay Cistercians of the Abbey of Gethsemani. The Lay Cistercians are a group of lay folks who make an intentional effort to live by the teachings and guidance of St. Benedict as well as staying in a relationship with the Abbey and the monks. Recently I was reading Psalm 5 and verse 7 stood out, “I through the abundance of your steadfast love will enter your house….” (NRSV). My prayer is that God’s abundant love will lead and guide me not only today and every day as well as ultimately, into the very presence of God, i.e., ‘your [God’s] house.” That is a great promise (“Thanks” ‘Preacher’ Hallock for instilling in me God’s promises). I hope that today I will be sensitive and attentive to God’s abundant love, not only for me but for everyone as well as this earth, i.e., God’s good creation.