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Posts Tagged ‘selfless love’

  • On Thursday I was told online that I needed to sacrifice myself because of my liberal views—that I was responsible for the deaths of the marines in Chattanooga…clears throat…

 

  • I had a post come across my FB feed yesterday showing how many of my friends stood with Israel and to share if I agreed…clears throat…

 

It takes courage to speak up when almost everyone I know is against what I believe.

 

  • About a week ago, I got a call from a person from my church, a person I used to call a close friend until she called me last year to complain about our new minister—saying that he wanted us to love everyone but that she could not love those people overseas who started all of those wars—that she could learn to love black people but not Muslims…clears throat…

 

She was calling last week to tell me how bad our church is having it—that they had to let the cleaning lady go. It seems that everyone will have to volunteer some of their time to clean and she was bemoaning. She said there is not enough money and they may have to shut the doors. This isn’t the first time we have discussed this and my answer usually begins with words about having faith in God except this time I just listened.

 

This time she was upset that the minister (same minister from last year) said he was willing to perform same sex marriages. The congregation said they were against it so they quit having weddings in the church. It’s a beautiful historic landmark and is usually booked about 2/3 of the year for weddings. Money made goes to pay bills including the salary for the minister and utilities. Some in the congregation would rather have no weddings than to deal with any same sex couple weddings. Yes, it is a Christian church. By the way, the people getting married in the church supply their own officiant so there is more to this story and it is a power play of sorts. I don’t think churches are where politics should enter but when a new member comes in, they essentially are forced to choose a side. 😦

 

She wasn’t forthcoming on all of this but I told her that she didn’t want my opinion. When she called last year, I warned her she didn’t want my opinion but she said she did so I told her that Jesus didn’t come for only certain people, that he came for all people and that we should love all. She wasn’t happy and I can only guess that others in the church got my message through her because I got the cold shoulder soon afterwards and I am still shunned by most of the members. That is on them—not me. I gave so much to them and it hurt me but I have given that up. 🙂

 

There are some people who think they are being persecuted…big sigh…sad face 😥

 

Many of these Christians are the ones doing the persecuting and they have been doing it for a long time. This makes me sad. I also talked to a real friend from my church this week. She filled in some of the missing details and she was in agreement with me about our church and about what love really means. For so long we had hoped that the congregation would change but the ones with power have suffocated all life in the church. She and I worked together on many projects only to see them fall through. We have given up because too many people pushed back and pushed others out. You have to follow the words of Christ if you are a Christian church. That love thing is really the foundation of everything.

 

I’m proud that my minister has decided to do the right thing. It took real courage to do what he did. He will be pushed out of the congregation because he spoke his mind. They cannot meet the bills and they will let him go. I’ve seen it happen all too often. It’s the way they do things.

 

Faith is like a double-edged sword. It cuts two ways. You can have faith that you will succeed or that God’s will might not be what you want. The trick is to let the Spirit guide you. If you don’t, then what good is faith? I have prayed and prayed for God’s love to be shown through the people of the church—this was my prayer for so many years and we were doing positive things but something happened. I have dared not to pray that the doors would stay open because what good are open doors if people are not welcome inside? The homeless were never welcomed–only a few of us tried to be welcoming to all people. Those who were in need were not welcomed. Our true fruits are seen when they mature. They can be fruits of goodness or the fruits can be rotten. I pray for the best but sometimes tough love is hard to watch as in this case.

 

A church is not a charity. The people in the congregation are the hands of Christ and are there to help others and its members but they are not the charity. My church has long worshipped money over service to the community. They don’t get it. The building is worshipped and the lady who gave the money for it is worshipped. She never wanted to be remembered and even said so many times. She gave anonymously and I still say if she were alive today, she would admonish the members for not building a new church to better serve the people. She was ahead of her time and I find it quite ironic that she was purpose driven in the 1800s and yet, here we are in 2015 and this congregation believes women should not serve. We have not risen to the call and until things change, I don’t see the congregation growing but only dying.

 

When you have hate in your heart, there is truly no room for any love. You choose what is in your heart. 🙂

 

 

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I’m having an issue—ok, issues. I’ve been stuck inside all weekend (rain and more rain) and that was after I had an awful migraine last week (sinus triggered) that lasted 4 days–never made it to the movie either. I’m going crazy and I am lonely. (sigh) I get down when I get like this…depressed a bit. I had gotten to a point where I’m usually ok with being by myself and all but I’m in need of some romance. Dang. I hate it when I get like this. There isn’t anything I can do. It just happens.

 

I have been dumped on so much for the past few weeks that I’m really feeling the effects. I like to celebrate Independence Day but with just me, I don’t get to do what I want these days. I’m feeling quite down about that too. I fight so hard at times and want to believe there is something better but I don’t see it. I don’t like the loneliness but here it is…still… I fight hard to be an optimist.

 

Over the weekend I was privileged to read about two ministers who I believe have been truly blessed. I write about these two but I know there are more out there. These are the people who should be speaking out for the world to hear—not the jokers that seem to have everyone’s attention and are center stage. They are the ones who have been called upon to serve—to be humble servants. Both ministers have felt that calling—to hear the needs of their parishioners…even their homosexual ones. While many a church believes that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, there are people rethinking this and what exactly the Bible says. I’m not going into what it says mainly because I cannot judge someone.

 

What I see is ministers who are actually walking the path of Jesus Christ and it makes me feel quite glad. One actually broke down and was humbled before God. People in his church came to him seeking guidance. He talked about how when one left, he could not get up but rather got down on his knees and prayed. His prayers were answered because he chose to ask God how to help these people and he did not judge them nor did he say they were not worthy. He treated them with respect. 🙂

 

Another minister felt the call that his church was not serving all those that were in need because their Book of Discipline forbid it. He felt that there was something more that they could do so he presented the challenge before his Sunday school class and they answered the call by seeking to become a reconciliation church. This is a big step in some churches. It is a way to show they are seeking a different path and acknowledging we are different. We can’t cast people out because of the differences and we cannot say they are not welcome. 🙂

 

These are challenges before churches—not just these few but all churches. It isn’t going away. You cannot shut the door on it. You cannot close people out. For the past few years I have talked about being inclusive rather than exclusive and that is my belief.

 

A certain infamous blog person has taken to the blogwaves of how his heterosexual marriage is being harmed by the same sex marriage decision handed down by the US Supreme Court. Ok. I don’t see it. Other people’s marriages shouldn’t affect yours. If they do, you have issues too and they are worse than mine. 😉

 

All of this is going on and I cannot help but feel those heartstrings pull at me again—some call it a minister’s calling but I cannot answer that call. However, I can continue to blog and that might be my true calling after all. 🙂

 

Remember to treat others with true respect and try to love all people. Happy Gardening! 😀

 

 

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Life isn’t going the way a lot of people want it to go right now. I’m sorry. I feel your pain.

 

We are upon the end of June and the US Supreme Court will announce decisions today and Monday for the final wrap-up for this session. One of the big decisions is for same sex marriage. Most people believe (some are scared) that SCOTUS will rule in favor of SSM. That may further exasperate your pain. I think they should rule in favor.

 

I don’t have to defend my beliefs. I’m entitled to have them. I am a grownup and want this for others which means that I’m not being selfish. I think marriage is sacred whether you are married in a church or not. I think it is a serious covenant and commitment. I believe it is for life and I don’t think it should be taken lightly. With that said, I do not advocate a difference of marriage for same sex couples compared to heterosexual couples. I think marriage is marriage and I believe in equality for all people. It’s none of my business what people do behind closed doors. I don’t want to know what you or your spouse or significant other do in your bedroom. It’s no one’s business.

 

I believe this decision was made before they even heard arguments. Writing decisions takes a bit more time. Each justice has to plead their case whether it is in support of the decision or in the dissension. Case law is cited including any precedents that have taken place. I wish everyone knew more about the decisions that have been decided through the years. I never really cared about it until last year and I have been reading more about various cases.

 

People believe that states have the right to govern themselves but there is a problem with that. States are deciding to go against the US Constitution in making laws and that is where problems lie. Certain people have rallied and railed that they will do everything in their power to go against SCOTUS should they rule in favor of SSM. I believe these open threats are tearing at our country. They are wrong. I remember a certain war that was fought on this land…our homeland. Rather than choose to do the right thing, the south chose to go to war and the results were disastrous. We are still fighting the effects of that war which began in 1861 and ended 150 years ago.

 

I look back and see where certain people tried to stop such a nasty war because they knew the consequences. They would rather concede than fight. Certain ministers will have you believe this is the end of the world and that you need to gird on your armor and fight. I say, it is better to reach out a hand than to reach for a sword. It takes a strong man/woman to carry a full set of armor into battle but I wager that it takes a bigger man/woman to lay down his weapons and find compromise.

 

Life is difficult but it does not have to be. The path is lit—the road is clear. We can choose to walk down the path together or we can choose to fight each other in battle but remember that once you pick up that sword of aggression, you need to be prepared to kill. I do not think it is an option or that it is acceptable. Do you? Really read what Jesus tells us in the Bible. The answers are there. All you have to do is look.

 

I may be wrong but I will venture to hope that the vote goes 6-3 in favor with (I hope again) Justice Roberts in support. That would mean a lot. No matter what happens, I give my support to people who are marginalized, disenfranchised, and discriminated against. I stand with them. They are my brothers and sisters and they matter just as we all matter. 🙂

 

Happy Friday! 🙂

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Joan Rivers used to say that and I would get a kick out of it every time.

 

 

But, seriously, can we talk?

 

For the past week or so I have been talking to people about race and how we can get along with others. I have heard some nasty things including that awful phrase that we should send Black Americans “back” to Africa. I don’t get that. You have to be some kind of sick person to think that way. Then yesterday when someone was really being mean, I said they shouldn’t be racist and someone else said the person wasn’t racist…I had a problem. I wondered if maybe they didn’t know what racism is. It turns out they knew they were being racist but they excuse themselves for it and say it is others who are racist. That is worse than not knowing better.

 

Let’s look at what racism means. Racism is when you generalize against a group of people in a derogatory way due to their race or color of skin. It can easily be avoided if we treat others as equals and the way we want to be treated. Simple, right? I think it is but no, it isn’t.

 

In this confrontation, I wasn’t treated nice at all and was called a hypocrite of all things. I don’t know why I expect people to act better. Maybe it is because these people call themselves Christians. They continued to wail about how their rights have been infringed on, yada, yada… I began to get sick.

 

In contrast,  here is a story that began to break my heart to think we are teaching racism to people…to our children. This little girl was told that black is ugly and that she couldn’t be Frozen’s Princess Elsa. How awful. Who would even think such a thing? Here is the story if you have not heard it…link…

 

This is a terrible thing but we are telling kids this all of the time. What is in your heart matters. What you teach children matters. How we treat others matters. This is important. Let’s make it right for all children.

 

Have a great Thursday! 🙂

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Someone told me today that we need to separate races meaning people of color or black people from what he considers white people…head-desk… I say it this way because we are not pure—we have been mixing races for so long. I asked how he proposed on doing that since so many of us are mixed blood and are not really white or black to start with. He began a tirade of how he believed white people were so much better than others and lots of other hateful bigotry remarks…head-desk… I can’t believe people are like this.

 

I don’t have hate for any race. I see us all as one. We are all humans, well the jury is still out for those who think like the guy above. We can choose to be racist or we can choose not to be and accept all people regardless of color. We are all the same. We really are.

 

I have a childhood friend who is white (actually, she is like me—mixed ancestry) but her grandchildren are mixed white and black–each one. She doesn’t see color either. 😉 We grew up in the south with a lot of racist people around but we aren’t racist. I wish people could be like that but even some of my friends are bigoted. It pains me to know I can only do so much but then again, slowly but surely my friends are either changing or they are not my friends anymore.

 

I hear people fighting to keep the confederate battle flag flying in their state—not just South Carolina. I have tried to get people to see things differently but they want to be bigots. They are proud of it too. Why? I sure don’t know. They are tied to a time that supported slavery. That’s not acceptable to me.

 

Something awful happened last week and it was the result of hatred. I can’t tell you how much there is. I have seen changes happen in my lifetime but I have also seen people hold onto their bigotry and they have let it fester inside. It has grown in some ways. I am deeply saddened by what they display because it not only gives us a bad name but it is ugly; NASTY; it is a monster that comes out in the form of what that guy did last week in Charleston.

 

This is not an isolated incident. Believe what you will, but there are people all over who believe like this guy. Some of them take to the internet every day and say awful things. Some talk about our president. Some of them link up on facebook. Some are secretive and some are not.

 

I don’t condone this type of feeling or action. There is no room for hatred and bigotry in this world. Sure, it is a free country. You can be just as big of a bigot as you want but don’t ask me to be your friend and don’t think you are going to get a free pass from me. I will let you know that I don’t support your hatred.

 

Removing the flag is just one of the many things that need to be done. Pride can be an awful thing and this is what has happened because we let pride get in our way. It is time to change…it is time to grow. Humble yourself and ask what can be done for others. Respect should always be given… 🙂

 

The people in Charleston should not have died and people who say racist things should know better–they should act better and treat others as they would like to be treated. We have failed in some ways because we have looked the other way when bigoted people make remarks–we have given them a free pass. No more.  

 

 

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Brené Brown as you may know is one of my biggest heroines. Her testimony of truth is rich, vital, and clearly a part of who she strives to be. She is a seeker. She does not accept life “as is” because she looks at the bigger picture, the gestalt.

I have linked to her videos a few times and I just cannot get enough because she is so relevant to the times we are witnessing. We are a broken society but we can choose to fix the wrongs we have inflicted on ourselves.

I want to share this blog post of hers…

Own our history. Change the story.  —  by Brené Brown

When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.

I know this is true. I may have learned it as a researcher but I live this truth as a daughter, a partner, a leader, a sister, a mother, and a friend. When we push down hurt or pretend that struggle doesn’t exist, the hurt and struggle own us.

I’ve learned that writing a brave new ending means:

  1. We can’t smooth over hurt feelings in our families. It’s too easy for stockpiled hurt to turn into rage, resentment, and isolation. We must talk about it. Even when we don’t want to. Even when we’re tired.
  2. We can’t pretend our family histories of addiction and mental health issues don’t exist if our hope is to write a new story and pass that legacy of emotional honesty and health down to our children.
  3. We must own our failures and mistakes so that we can learn and grow. It’s hard but I’ve seen how it becomes part of a family and organizational cultures and unleashes innovation and creativity. It doesn’t feel comfortable, but courage rarely does.

Owning our stories is standing in our truth. It’s critical and transformative in our personal and professional lives. It’s also critical in our community lives.

Until we find a way to own our collective stories around racism in this country, our history and the stories of pain will own us.

We will not get away from the violence and heartbreak. Fear and scarcity will continue to run roughshod over our country. Yes, the violence in Charleston is also about access to guns and, more than likely, mental illness. But it’s also about race.

Our collective stories of race in the US are not easy to own. …

continue reading — (link)

 

Can we make a difference? Yes… Happy Gardening! 🙂

 

 

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We can choose to build fences and walls or we can choose to build gates, windows and doors. What are you building?

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One of the things I learned when growing up was how to swing a hammer and build ‘stuff.’ I can design things and build projects. I can draw plans and take it to fruition. If I can see it in my mind, I can build it. When you are exposed to so much, you can’t help but learn things. There were small projects to house additions and roofs, dog houses, shelving, cabinets, etc that I have helped with and as an adult, I have built my own projects that I have been happy with. It’s nice to have carpentry skills.

 

On the farm, we had enclosures for pigs and hogs—most were wooden fences. Funny thing about some animals, you must constantly keep a watch out for holes made by the animals either breaking through the fence or digging under it. The pigs were gone by the time I was old enough to repair fencing but there were other farms around. It’s always good to be proactive rather than reactionary. And, it’s no fun chasing down cows or pigs, horses and chickens…

 

Fences are good for keeping animals separated for whatever reason. Same thing for people. Walls are built to keep some people out and some people in. Doors are made to enter and exit but are those doors willing to allow all people entrance? You know what I am getting at. We can choose to allow people in or we choose to keep people out.

 

Several years ago I was the head of the evangelism committee which was supposed to bring people into the church. What do you do when you have a church where all people are not welcomed? People of color were not welcomed. Women who spoke up were not welcomed. A lot of sinners were not welcomed. So what do you do? I had been working on that idea and trying to change it from within for so long but people chose to judge others. New visitors were carefully scrutinized. Did they give enough? Were they good Christian people? Did they swear or drink? Could they bring more money into the church? It was a constant barrage of questions of whether people were good enough to be members like the church is only for the saintly, lol.

 

My idea was that everyone needed to become a missionary—an evangelist—because there was nothing to offer people unless we all got involved. The plan was working and then the minister’s little affairs came to light and things went downhill—fast. Things were tight and people began to be more critical. They didn’t seem to trust and have faith in what could be done. They scrutinized new attendees more closely. Where the congregation should have been welcoming, we didn’t allow people in. If you were homeless, forget it. Don’t attend or that was the mantra from the loudest peanut gallery. I was appalled. By this time I had started to lose hope and with my husband having his affairs, I just gave up. It was too much.

 

See how your actions affect others? You are an integral part of the puzzle. What you say and how you welcome other people into the fold makes a difference. You can build taller fences and more solid walls but in the end what matters is how many gates, doors, and windows there are and if they will allow people entry. Are people welcomed? If not in the church, do you welcome all people into your home?

 

If you think it doesn’t start with you then you might want to rethink. What are you building? Walls and fences, or gates, windows and doors? It matters.

 

Have a great week and may you always break down barriers wherever you go! 🙂

 

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