Monday, March 31 2014
People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what's bitter and move on.
― Bill Cosby
Good morning friends! I know, I know, it's not Monday; it's Sunday. But I'm going to be out of town tomorrow and I still wanted to encourage you, so today it is!
The truth of forgiveness is a well-worn road, but experience tells us it's not a well-learned lesson. Cosby offers us a powerful lesson. You may remember that Cosby's son, Ennis, was killed while being robbed in 1997. The murderer was unrepentant and angry, yet even so Cosby spoke powerfully to save his life, expressing a forgiveness uncommon in our world. Most of us will never experience a slight like Cosby's experience with his son, nor will we commit such a slight, but we will all be confronted with opportunities of forgiveness every day. Have you ever known a relationship to get better when forgiveness was withheld or denied? Have you ever known a relationship to suffer when forgiveness was offered and accepted? We know this forgiveness stuff works and yet here we are, withholding forgiveness, denying it, failing to offer it to others or to ourselves. What messes we are! We all look for the magic pill that will make us lose weight, get healthy, become rich, etc. even though we know it doesn't exist. Forgiveness is no magic pill; it is the path to peace and contentment. Forgive others for any and all slights and be healed. Ask forgiveness, and whether you receive it or not, be healed. And more than anything, forgive yourself for any and all slights, and be healed. Your relationship with other persons will improve if they value forgiveness, and your peace within yourself will improve when you value forgiveness. What will it take for you to value forgiveness? Whatever it is, do it, and be healed. I have faith in your healing journey of forgiveness. Enjoy it! And have a great week.
Monday, March 24 2014
Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and to change the world.
— HARRIET TUBMAN
Greetings, friends! Happy Monday to you, and I pray your week has started with a joyful bang. Let's keep it going.
Do you remember the story of Harriet Tubman, she of the Underground Railroad from the Civil War days? If you're looking for a paradigm of hope, she's a good choice. Though this quote has surely experienced the sanitation of memories through the ages, it maintains a powerful remnant of truth. Do you dream? Not everyone does, but I have always dreamed. Most of my dreams are of the inadequacy sort but occasionally I have a victory dream. All of those dreams are the ones with my eyes closed and my mind at rest. Do you dream with your eyes open and your mind engaged? Everyone does that, but fleshing out those dreams and giving them life and a chance of success are uncommon indeed. We have hints of our "eyes open" dreams when we feel frustration and imagine better, or when we daydream of success, or we recall lost opportunities that make us sad. With these and many more experiences, we dream with eyes wide open. What do you do with your "eyes open" dreams? Do you relegate them to the trash heap? Do you disrespect them? Do you see them as insignificant? Or do you see in them the pathway to greatness, better-ness, real life? I submit that you want to connect your "eyes open" dreams to the future but the imagined discomfort of change scares you so badly you languish the status quo. Just like me. Let's throw off the fear that binds us to mediocrity, and ride the wave of our dreams. We've been given the vision; let's give the vision the chance! Can you do it? I have absolute faith you can, and prayer that you will. Get to it! And have a blessed week.
Monday, March 17 2014
Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.
Good morning friends! Happy St. Patrick's Day, or Beginning of March Madness Day, or 3 Days Until the Vernal Equinox Day! Whatever today is for you, I hope it is a great day.
I chose our quote today with March Madness in mind. It parallels a quote my wife, a music teacher, has taught me: practice doesn't make perfect; practice makes permanent. Once you understand the benefits and purpose of practice it makes really clear the need to be intentional about the focus of practice. Did you know you are practicing something right now? You are. Maybe it's reading your e-mail for the 5th time today, or sitting down, or surfing the net, or avoiding important work, or something else, but whatever you are doing is practice. Everything is practice. So why not practice things that benefit life, affirm life, and sustain life? I've long been fascinated by the connection between practice and momentum. Newton first taught us about objects in motion and rest, and the forces required to change those states. When we think of our lives as being in motion in certain directions, knowing the forces it will take to change those directions, shouldn't we be intentional about the directions we start and maintain? So today you will have infinite opportunities to either practice what you're doing or something new; you will have infinite chances to choose the momentum of your life. A better life can be as simple as taking one new step in a new direction. What will you practice today? What will become permanent for you today? What intentional choice will you make today? I know it will be a good one! Have a blessed and wonderful week!
Sunday, March 16 2014
One day you will wake up and there won't be any more time to do the things you've always wanted. Do it now.
Good afternoon friends! I hope you are enjoying this bit of sunshine and hint of spring. Don't get used to it, though.
I chose our quote today most likely unconsciously. I officiated a funeral today for a gentleman who died a tragic death in a car accident just before the weekend. Sudden, shocking, immediate. What do we do when we run out of time? Have you ever felt the loss of time in your life? It's a shocking realization when we become aware that we can't do what we once could do with ease. Time takes a toll on all of us, and not just when we die but incrementally long before we die. Can't run like we used to. Can't think like we used to. Can do much like we used to. What would you like to do before you run out of time to do it? What is important for you to get done before you can't do it anymore? What will you regret if you don't do before it's too late? Do it now, or soon, and feel the joy and freedom it brings. What will it be for you? I don't know, but I'm very excited for you! Enjoy, and God bless you.
Monday, March 03 2014
EVERYONE makes mistakes... If you can't forgive others, don't expect others to forgive you. ― Eric Handler
Good Monday morning, friends! How about this weather, huh? Springtime yesterday, sleet today. Go figure.
The quote I chose for today came to me this past weekend and it hit me pretty hard. I'm as aware as anybody what Jesus and the Bible have to say about forgiveness, and I believe every word of it, but the way this quote puts things is unique and important. Too often in our thoughts of forgiveness we are focused on our perceived faults of other persons. We think that forgiveness is primarily an outward focused activity. Experience has taught me that forgiveness is a layer of life that touches every area of our lives. For example, as this quote reminds us, we all make mistakes, not just in the past but also in the present and the future. We are mistake-making people. To deny that reality is to live in a make believe world. So how do you forgive yourself? How would your life be different if you could just forgive yourself for making your own mistakes? And if you saw yourself honestly, as a mistake maker, would that help you forgive other persons for their mistakes, to see them in a brotherly or sisterly way? I suspect most of the non-forgiveness activity in our world stems from an inability to forgive ourselves. We judge in other persons that which we abhor about ourselves. Perhaps living faithfully begins with living honestly with ourselves. How honest are you with yourself? Trust me: when you become more honest with yourself, and learn to forgive yourself, you will learn that it's much easier to forgive other persons. In fact it becomes a joy to forgive other persons once you understand the freedom of forgiveness. And then you will experience another level of freedom as other persons begin to forgive you. But it all begins with seeing yourself honestly, and forgiving yourself. Can you do it? Do you want to? Wouldn't it be great? It will, and I have faith you do. Blessings to you.