Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Climb Every Mountain Until You Find Your Dream

Climb Every Mountain Until You Find Your Dream

A day without a dream is like a car with an empty gas tank.
A day without a dream is like a bird with out wings
A day without a dream is like a sailboat without wind

My son Tom and his wonderful wife Rachel are rock climbers. I can only wonder about what they feel after they complete their climb. I am inspired by the rock climbing pictures that they sent me and I am in awe of their climbs.

Every good thing in our lives begins with our dream about how we would like our lives to be, about who we would like to be, about what we would like to do, about what we would like to accomplish.

Our dreams can come true if we are willing to climb the mountain and reach the top. The climb requires persistence, requires the courage to face obstacles and overcome them, requires faith in God and faith in ourselves when the climbing gets hard and we are afraid of falling.

Tom hurt his shoulder and he won't be able to climb for awhile. He will heal and he will climb again because he has faith and a strong will that says, "I can and I will do it." He will continue to pursue his dream because he has already accomplished many things and there are more things that he knows he can do, because he will never give up, never quit.

The musical "Man of La Mancha," has a beautiful line in one of its songs. Don Quiote sings, "Climb every mountain until you find your dream." We discover our dreams after we get our bodies in motion with enthusiasm. We discover our dream as we climb our first mountain.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There Are Hidden Faces

There Are Hidden Faces

There are hidden faces lost in a crowd
There are hidden faces waiting to be found
Jumping Jim-a-knee, they're so quiet that they're loud
Zipping, zapping, feet a flying we are all just trying
Did I say trying? A jet airplane is so slow compared to
The very speed that you and I do fly just to get by them.
Look, oh no don't look! Diddley dum de dum; have you ever seen even one?
They are totally boring and not even one of them has any fun, if you don't count chewing big wads of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum.
They are totally, otta boatlley, and scrim bittley yodely beneath our lofty pride, and we all know that they have no true feelings inside.
Though it is tip tiddley true that if you put them down and make them frown, tears often come to their eyes, mere amusement for us to make time fly.
There are choices; you can ignore them, or abhore them, or if you choose, then you can mop the floor with them again and again.
They are after all, faces lost in a crowd
They are faces waiting to be found
Some might write you a note and leave it on your desk, hoping that you might do all of the rest, might honor them and make them your guest.
They often write words of desperation, words of loneliness and exasperation,
"Won't you please be my friend, I really need a friend. We could do things together and we'd have lots of fun. Please, oh please, you could be the one. Without you I'll ne lonely and oh yes, I am almost undone.
I myself, yesterday afternoon, I found those words in a note on my desk; it was the first face I have ever seen in the crowd and it looked very human, I must confess.
To tell the truth, I almost failed the test; I came oh so close yo saying , "yes."
Today I searched for that face in the crowd; for some reason I was no longer so proud.
I shouted at the top of my lungs, "Where are you, hidden face in the crowd? Come out, oh yes come out, and I'll give you my yes. Yesterday you reached out and well you know the rest. I crumpled your note that you left on my desk, and threw it away lest I pass the test, the test that says I am better than you and I am the best."
Today my face in the crowd vanished, wilted like a spring flower at the end of the season, cut from the field and imprisoned in a vase, lost in a crowd and no longer part of the human race.
You lived out your loneliness and I lived out my pride, threw your life away like I threw your note in the garbage can.
Yesterday you committed suicide; yesterday you died.
I promise you that I will look and find the faces in the crowd,
I will reach out and I will make new friends.
We will spend time together and have lots of fun, and none of them, not even one of them will ever, no never, be lonely again.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Danger, Roadblocks, and Birds

Danger Roadblocks and Birds

We walked the trail and saw the bird on a treetop not far from its nest. We observed its nest on top of a power pole and we saw the danger. The nest was built by the bird to keep her children safe, but it was clear that they were in danger. The power lines were connected near her nest and when lightning shoots across the sky they become a welcome target. It appeared to be a paradox because the most dangerous place may have also provided the safest place for her children, a place that kept them safe from predators. She sat atop a tree nearby and she could see the surroundings, and any threat to her children. In a world of nature invaded by man, the little bird had done its best.

I wondered if the people from the power company would take down her nest. I am not sure, but it seems that the power company people have reasons for doing things like that. Perhaps the little bird's nest building was her attempt to adapt to the changes that man has made to her environment. The question was, would we allow her to continue living with us. It was clear that the future of the little bird and her children was uncertain.

On the ground where we were walking, we noticed a sign which read," DANGER." The sign was near the trail, a warning to us as we walked and observed the beauty of nature. The sign almost read, "KEEP OUT" and "NO TRESPASSING." A list of reasons was also on the sign. Man had not only made life difficult for the little bird. man had also created places that weren't safe for us.

A chain link fence kept us from walking on a concrete bridge that spanned the river. There was a warning without reasons and we wondered by man built the fence. We wondered if humans make our world a dangerous place to live in, and like the little bird, we wondered how we could/can adapt to that. We saw clearly that people make the world a dangerous place to live in. We all can make a long list of those dangers, though I have no idea why those dangers become television entertainment.

We start early teaching our children the danger signs, and add more as they grow older. Some people make our world an unsafe place for children, and they don't wear danger signs. Some people make our city sidewalks an unsafe place to walk. We know the about those dangers and they are ever present.

People move to the suburbs to build their nests, make their homes in safer places, but after awhile the dangers seem to follow them. I wondered what would happen if we put DANGER SIGNS at the entrances to our communities which included a list of reasons.

Perhaps all of this talk about real dangers may motivate us to start changing our world, to start thinking about our society and the reasons that it is dangerous way to live. Perhaps we may ask the question, "Why is it a lot safer to live in Canada?"


Thursday, July 23, 2009


Romans 12:6-8
"If it is encouraging, let him encourage." Romans 12:8

I shared three list of spiritual gifts in my last blog. Originally, I waned to write about encouraging others. Then it occurred to me that it is important to see that there are many spiritual gifts from God, and we have different spiritual gifts. The gift of encouraging is only found in one of Paul's list, and their are other spiritual gifts that are found on all of the three lists.

Encouraging is such an important gift, and I wonder why it only made one list. I discovered that many of Paul's letters and much of his ministry focused on encouragement. "We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God's fellow worker in the spreading of the gospel of Christ to strengthen and encourage you in your faith, so that no one would be unsettled by these trials." 1 Thessalonians 3:2-3
Paul often shared in his letters about sending encouragers to help Christians deal with difficult things.

Paul wrote a short encourager's prayer. "May our Lord, Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Encouragement is one of my spiritual gifts, and it is an essential part of who I am. We don't need to do much to use that gift. Encouraging others may be as natural as breathing. Sometimes it requires more, and then it may be useful to think about an important phrase, "Be interruptable." If a moment offers an opportunity for encouragement, we should be there for another person, even a stranger. If listening to a person is a need that offers encouragement, it may take longer. When we say, "How are you?" or "How are things going today?" do we really mean it, or is it just an empty greeting? I have seen people looking confused when some one attempts to tell him/her about his/her day.

I value those simple phrases because they offer the opportunity for human contact and genuine encouragement. Often a cashier at a checkout stand will share something at that moment. Perhaps we connected because I made eye contact and my voice resonated genuine concern. A previous customer may have been rude and my reply may be, "I am very sorry that happened to you. You always offer a smile and excellent service." The cashier often offers a big smile and the words, "Thank you."

People need encouragement and all of us can offer others encouragement. Some people see encouragement from a negative viewpoint. Sometimes I wonder if they are the people that need it the most. We do not have to apologize for sincere words of encouragement that come from the heart. We don't need to worry about people who reject encouragement.

Encouragement is not counseling. It may be standing with some one through a crisis, but it is not about giving advice. Encouragement may be listening or being with some one, but it's role is not guidance. We may offer empathy, but encouragement is not misplaced sympathy. Empathy is allowing ourselves to share the persons feelings. Too much sympathy may justify some one's staying stuck where they are. Some people seem to want to stay stuck, and they may need encouragement to move on with their lives.

Often encouragement is making positive contact with another human being. We can affirm the good things we see in another person and that may be the start of hope in their lives. My prayer is that we may all find a positive connection in the human family and set aside our differences. Hope for the human race may start there.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

God's Gifts

The Gift of Encouragement
(Romans 12:4-8))

Part 1 Romans 12:1-3
Considerations Before We Get the Job

I have my old, more than worn out, New International Version, bible in front of me. Reading it is like having a time of fellow ship with an old friend. This bible is a comfortable and familiar place that allows me to find favorite verses easier.

The first paragraph explains spiritual worship. Paul begins by asking us to think about God's mercy and offers it to us as the reason that we can offer God our bodies as living sacrifices to God. He explains that we should be holy and pleasing to God. If we want to be holy and pleasing to God we must not conform ourselves to the pattern of the world. We must allow God to change the way that we think about things. That allows us to test and agree to God's will for our lives. which Paul describes as good and pleasing.

Paul begins the second paragraph by dealing with two kinds of pride that will lead to our fall. Though he doesn't deal with this directly, he explains that we should not see ourselves as more important than other people. If we are conforming to the world we will seek power over others, a higher position, as well as greater wealth. Those things become the desires of our hearts and we give them our time and our attention. Spiritual pride sets us above other people, even other Christians because of our view of our relationship with God and what we feel is our dedication to being holy, obedient, and pleasing to God. We reason that we are better, and more important because we perform better for God. Paul tells us to draw on the faith that God has given us, and take a good, hard look at ourselves.

Part 2 Romans 12:4-7
Finding a Job in the Body of Christ

When I read Romans 12:1-3 it helps me to prepare myself to work for God. I ask myself what I want out of life, what I feel will make me feel happy and satisfied. I take a hard look at my life and I accept the fact that I have sinned and I need Christ's forgiveness and God's help in changing myself so that I will be prepared for God to hire me for a job in the body of Christ. That process requires the kind of honesty that is not accompanied by excuses, and requires a sincere desire to change. I don't have to be perfect to get hired, but I do need to deal with my stuff.

Paul compares the body of Christ with our human bodies. All of the parts of my physical body work together to make me healthy. My hands do not say, "I won't be a hand because I would rather be the heart; the heart is more important and I deserve the job. Every part of my body knows what it was made to do and it does its job without an argument. The body of Christ is like that and every job is very important. Together we are the body of Christ and we belong to each other

Paul says that we are given different jobs and we have different functions in the body of Christ. He calls those jobs gifts because our jobs are given to us by God. He explains that we are given our jobs according to the grace that God has given us. That means that we are given the job that God has created us to do. In addition God has blessed us with the ability to do that job.

The List of Jobs/Gifts
1. If a man's gift is prophecy, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
2. If it is serving, let him serve
3. If it is teaching, let him teach
4. If it is encouraging, let him encourage
5. If it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously
6. If it is leadership, let him govern diligently
7. If it is showing mercy let him do it cheerfully

Part 3 Paul's lists of Spiritual Gifts/Jobs
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
I want to talk about the gift/job of encouraging, but first I want to clear up some confusion. You have read one list of jobs/gifts and Paul offers two more lists.Paul

Paul explains, in the first paragraph that he wants us to know about the spiritual gifts because there was a time when we were seduced my false gods. Too often we view things as harmless that put us in real danger. When we read the horoscopes in the news paper we are conceding to a false god and believing that the false god knows are future. Children take part in popular role playing games and video games that have characters from the world dark side. We also watch movies and read books that deal with words and spells and forces that come out of the pit of hell. We dismiss them as harms stories meant only to entertain us, but Harry Potter and Dungeons and Dragons would be put on Paul's list, which cautions us not to visit these seductive and evil tools of Satan. They offer very real and evil powers to children and adults.

God offers us a power that is greater and uses that power to work for our good. Before we seek God's spiritual gifts we must leave the paths of hell and the ways of the world and begin walking in God's light.

Paul begins the second paragraph by explaining that there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but they all come from the Holy Spirit. They work in different ways, but God works through all of them.

God gives us spiritual gifts to be used for the common good. We should never fall to spiritual pride and believe that we are better than other Christians or "Special," because God has given us a spiritual gift.

The Second List of Spiritual Gifts/Jobs
1. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom
2. To another the gift of knowledge by means of the of the same Spirit
3. To another faith by the same Spirit
4. To another gifts of healing by that one Spirit
5. To another miraculous powers
6. To another prophecy
7. To another the ability to distinguish between spirits
8. To another the ability to speak in different kinds of tongues
9. And to still another the interpretation of tongues

Paul concludes that all of these gifts are the work of one and the same Spirit, and God gives those spiritual gifts to each person according to his will and purpose.

The Third List of Spiritual Gifts/Jobs
1st Corinthians 12:12-31
Paul prefaces his list of spiritual gifts by reminding us that the Body of Christ, like our physical bodies, has many parts, but there is only one body. Paul makes reference to our baptism. "For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body- whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free- and we are all given the one Spirit to drink."
In 2 Corinthians verses 21-22 he explains what happened, "For now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what his to come." God doesn't care about what race or ethnic background that we have, or what claims other people or any legal system has on us. We are all part of the same body of Christ.

We can look at the body of Christ from three different perspectives. Some see it as a local church, others as a denomination, and still others as all of the Christians.
If we see the first two as units of the body of Christ, then they should all be able to work together as one body in Christ. Paul had to deal with two separate churches, the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians. He also has to deal with conflicts between his missionary, gentile churches, and groups within his churches. Before we move toward receiving our spiritual gifts, we must understand that there is only one body of Christ and God is free to call us to serve any of the denominations and local churches. God will use us and the spiritual gifts that he has given us wherever he sees fit. Perhaps different units of the body of Christ have different missions and doctrines, but they are all part of the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of it. Paul reminds us in the third paragraph that "there should be no division in the body."

The Third List of Spiritual Gifts/Jobs
1 Corinthians 12:27-31
Preface - "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you are a part of it. And in the church God has appointed -
1. first of all apostles
2. second prophets
3. third teachers
4. then workers of miracles
5. also those having gifts of healing
6. those able to help others
7.those with the gift of administration
8.and those speaking in tongues

Epilogue - Paul reminds us that we are given different gifts/jobs. Why are there three different lists. Paul was not seeking to create a doctrinal statement. Paul was writing letters and answering questions. Though there are similarities, each list deal with at least one issue that needed to be resolved.

Next time we will look at the spiritual gift/job of encouragement.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Journey

The Journey

God has blessed me with a wonderful partner and we share our life journey together. She has given us a beautiful family and she has nurtured our children. She has offered me her love and she is my soul mate. I know that my wife, Sharon is a gift of God.

We have walked together for over forty years. During those years we have faced many challenges and we have grown. God has been our teacher and God has given us many lessons to learn. We agree that, in the beginning, we were two frumpy people fumbling with love, and we needed each other.

The part of our marriage that held us together during our hard times was and is our commitment to each other. There were days when we could have separated or divorced, days when we wondered why we chose each other. We were and are committed to each other and our love for each other held the belief that things would get better. We learned to blow on the coals in our hearts until the flame grew again and became a bonfire blaze.

We went through days when the experts, Christian and secular, advised us to declare bankruptcy. God has always been our source and God has always taken care of our needs. I worked three jobs and Sharon worked a full time job. There were Christmases that we had no money to buy gifts for our children. We had one thing to hang on to and that was and is our faith in God.

During our years together we have learned how important our family is and we thank God for the gift of our children and our extended family. Our family has always been there for us and we have done, and we do the best that we can for our family. Our family has been held together by the commitment that we have to each other. We share our journey and we walk together side by side.

The journey that all of us take does not come with guarantees. None of us know what the future may bring. We do know that God knows what he is doing. I found a little quote that sums up every thing, "Good morning. This is God! I will be handling all your problems today. I will not need your help. So have a good day!"


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Out of the Ashes, the Phoenix Rises

Out the Ashes the Phoenix Rises

We would go on as we always have, if there wasn't a catalyst for change in our lives. We may not like the catalyst because it is often painful, but it is a gift from our God and it comes from a greater wisdom. Going back to the place where we were is like taking three steps backward.

Where we are is not our final destination. We have arrived at a place of preparation for the next stage of our journey. We receive valuable training and we have the opportunity to make important changes in our lives. There is important work for us to do and we have two choices to make.

We are only meant to be there for awhile. Some choose to stay there because their pain seems to be more comfortable than change. They will never discover their true destiny. Others allow the catalyst for change to help them to let go and move on. At every stage of of journey there is a time to let go and move on. The gifts received from letting go and moving on are peace and new energy for our journey.

I have learned that pain points to a place that can heal and feel good again. I prefer progress to pain. It is a lot more than, "The Power of Positive Thinking;" it is the reality of positive being. We have risen from the ashes of our lives and we have given ourselves permission to soar and ride the thermals with the sun on our backs.

I have offered you a few pictures of me that show me in different stages of my journey.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Radical Acceptance

Radical Acceptance

Perhaps one of the most painful things is when a person or persons lie about us/you/me, and there is nothing that us/you/me can do to change that lie. False words are like the glowing red hot branding iron, and they burn their image, brand the flesh, causing a lot of pain. The path to radical acceptance is believing that some good will come out of that, but that isn't always true. Sometimes the liar has personal reasons for lying, an agenda, or a cover up of his/her actions. It works for them and leaves the other person a victim. I have learned that honesty is not the norm for our society. Honesty is often much weaker than the lie. What is a human being without a conscience? What does a life journey mean if it's destination is not honorable and true?
Shalom is the only true answer to that and it offers kindness, gentleness, foegiveness, and grace. That is a path toward radical acceptance that I can walk,


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Three of my acrylic paintings

Three of My Acrylic Paintings

I like to use acrylic paints because they are forgiving (I can easily correct my mistakes) and they offer me many more color choices and lots more space. The last painting is a a copy of one of my ink drawings. I've added a few details and changed a few things.

My wife, Sharon advised me to create original paintings and the first two paintings are originals. In one sense the copies of my ink drawings took more time because my effort was to make an accurate copy. Yet, original drawings can take a lot of time, too, because a new creations require a lot of decisions.

My photographs could be better. I photographed them hanging on my wall and that was difficult. It would have been better if I took them down. I have created twenty nine acrylic paintings and there is only room for twenty seven paintings.

The first of the two left over paintings was inspired by a couple that got a divorce because of infidelity. The images in it connect in a paradox mixing graphic portrayals of pain with serene images of hope. The second painting shows the face of a man in chaos and turmoil. In addition to the man there are three animals; two bears and a tiger. There is also a woman who seems to be at peace amidst the swirling colors of chaos and turmoil.

I almost forgot my first two paintings. One is a scent set in the garden of Eden. There is naked couple and an evil serpent. The second painting shows a human sacrifice by Inca people, high up in their temple. The rest emphasizes the dark reality of it all.

No one knows what to call my art because my paintings and ink drawing are very unusual. I am not sure where they come from. Perhaps my imagination enjoys its work. I hope that you enjoy them.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fortresses, Violence, and Tattoos

Fortresses, Violence and Tattoos

Monday C.C. and I went to a parts supply store and I complimented a woman working there on her tattoo. It was a green lizard on her left arm. She said, "I got it a long time ago when I was young. My parents told me that I couldn't have a tattoo, so I went and got one. We talked about her job and we connected briefly as human beings. Moments like these are important to me.

Too often we live inside of our fortresses and our conversation is what the Transactional Analysis people call "Past Times," words that are safe and not connected to any information about us. They argue that we talk about sports and other stuff for that reason. I find that many people are hungry to say something real, even if it's only a few words.

I am curious about what we call entertainment. The crime shows on TV show explicit violence in crimson detail. Violence does not connect people in a positive way. The news stations give a lot of attention to violence. News is often called info-entertainment. Again, I can not understand how acts of violence can be called entertainment. Yet magazines, newspapers, and TV news shows seem to disagree with my position.

Years ago a number of people watched the brutal murder of a woman and did nothing. That event made the news. The conclusion reached by the experts was that all of the violence on TV has made us numb to real violence.

I remember small country towns where people sat in front of rural post offices or in small cafes. They talked about life in the country, their kids, and other real stuff. In those communities, people knew their neighbors and connected with them in positive ways.

I grew up in a neighborhood like that, and perhaps that's why I never meet a stranger. You know that famous line, "A stranger is just a friend that I meet for the first time." That can be dangerous, but it can also be wonderful.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some Days the Dragon Wins

Some Days the Dragon Wins

We can do our very best with our relationships with people and something can happen that has a negative effect on them. The other person may cut us off and leave us wondering what happened. The problem is that we don't know what happened. We may reach out in love and still receive no response from that person. At some point we have to radically accept that there is nothing that we can do.

There are other dragon days. We may try very hard and get a job interview after a lot of rejections. We did our best in the interview and we left hopeful. Later we receive an email or letter that lets us know that we didn't get the job. Looking for work these days seems to be a long and winding road with few stops for interviews. Men derive a good part of their self esteem from having a job and doing well. What happens to them when they are jobless? What keeps them going day after day?
Perhaps it is just a small ember burning in their heats and they must blow on the coal in their hearts by making the best effort they can to find a job. Perhaps they must lower their expectations.

A few negative responses from a significant person in our lives. well intentioned,
may be very painful, especially if we haven't received many positive responses from others. They say that it takes ten positive responses to balance one negative response. I try to find good reasons to give others positive responses, and some times they are store clerks or strangers.. I know that people receive too many negative responses and on those days the Dragon wins.

Perhaps the metaphor serves us well. It seems to me that we need more dragon hunters, and less dragon days.


Monday, July 6, 2009


Drawing at the top
"The Cat's Outside"
Drawing at the bottom
"Three Friends and One More."

If you look at the drawing , "Three Friends and One More," you may miss the little guy or assume that he is the girl's doll. A group of friends seems to be like that; one friend doesn't get noticed, or doesn't see, to stand out.

I am not sure that the phrase, "Birds of a feather flock together," is true. Oh sure, sometimes they dress alike, and they may speak the same lingo, but don't be fooled; they are different in many ways; they only pretend to be the same.

It is true that they may share some of the same values, or hairdo's, or visual cues to prove that they are the same, but different than others. Trust me, within our hidden selves may be our "good riddins selves," , stuff that may awaken friends from their intellectual slumber enough for a, "Hey, you are different from me. Can I live with that." What's happened to viva la difference?" Nothing, except boys finally figure out why girls want the seat left down, and ; "Does that have anything to no with sex?

I am wondering if we just pretend not to see or hear any differences because we need friends. You will notice the drawing on the top is ,"The cat's outside of the house," and then you notice the little mouse. We may use the phrase, "The cat's out of the bag." I trust that you don't keep your cat in a bag, though on occasion your cat may explore a bag because cats are continually curious. Literally the phrase means that the cat is out exploring something else, a box, or some tiny insect traveling through our house. We don't keep our secrets in bags on four by six inch note cards, though that would save a lot of time. Our friends could draw a note card from our bag and we would be the topic for discussion. I actually don't have any secrets, except for a few very boring secrets like, I can't do Trig, Geometry, or Calculus.

I believe I'll end this blog with a phrase now repeated. which I have dissected from an embarrassing moment in puberty, "VIVA LA DIFFERENCE!" By the way, It's no secret that puberty is embarrassing.


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Family Is Forever

Family Is Forever

A family observes painful things and celebrates events with great joy. The divorce of a family member and whatever reasons that surface may feel like sandpaper on an old wound. Grace and forgiveness and love become the healing balm that is required. I find that those gifts of God carry more wisdom than hours of family discussions. Family is forever and all families, at some point in time, need healing. I focus on the healing because family is very important to me.

The marriage of two of my three sons and my daughter were times of joy-filled celebrations. Each of them found a very special person and we are all blessed because we have three new members in our family. Change is good but the transitions sometimes require time and love. We are not perfect; I have more than a few flaws, but we love each other and family is very important to us.

The birth of a child, a niece or nephew for some and a grandchild for others is a time for joy and celebration. A new life brings new life to the family. Families grow and new generations emerge.

Families face conflicts from time to time and some of them are not easy to resolve. At times like that I wish I had more wisdom and I turn to God in prayer. Family members don't need to agree on everything to love and accept each other. Our understanding of God and how to make our spiritual journeys may be different. Sometimes that may cause some family members to feel rejected or judged. Shalom asks us to radically accept each other for who we are and to let God's love be the foundation of our relationships.

Family relationships need not be patronizing. We must learn to love each other in honesty so that we can have authentic relationships. That may test the ties that bind us, but it is necessary for healthy relationships. Loving each other in honesty requires grace and the freedom to know each other fully. Shalom tell us to reassure each other with the words, "You can trust me to love and accept you when you share our differences because I will always love you and I will never abandon you.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Just Art, My Art

Some of My Ink Drawings

These are some of my ink drawings. I hope that you enjoy them.