The radical

The church has very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified Him as a fitting household pet for pale curate and pious old ladies. Dorothy Sayers

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Often our image of Jesus is the sweet man surrounded by a group of children. The image is not wrong. Jesus did do that but we can’t leave it there. Jesus was radical. He flouted the mores of his day and defied the ruling hierarchy. He loved so deeply that he was willing to give his life. He was not afraid to heal lepers and eat with tax collectors. We are called to fight against prejudice and injustice just as he did.

Change your mind not your plan

It is so easy to think that we can’t do something. Recently I was making a baby blanket in crochet. I haven’t done that in a long time. Not a difficult task one would think….but I got a short distance into it and decided I couldn’t do it. Now it is sitting in my yarn pile waiting for me to change me mind.

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Yes, it is my mind that needs changing. By becoming easily frustrated with it I decided that I couldn’t do it. I was struggling and I quit. I can’t tell you how many times I have done that with something.

The mind is an amazing thing. It can help us or hurt us. Learning to focus on that positive side can be difficult. I can finish that blanket. It may frustrate me at first but I can do it and I will.

I put off

We procrastinate. I think we all do. We put off things. Those of us who have anxiety would rather suffer being anxious than tackle the thing that is causing the problem. We would rather obsess about it and keep putting it off. This make the anxiety blossom and nothing has gotten better.

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I am better at doing things than I used to be. Somewhere along the line I discovered that doing the thing I dreaded got it our of the way and then I felt better. Sometimes the list has to be scrapped until the next day. Sometimes I fall back into the trap of putting things off and then I suffer for it.

Image result for listsOne of the things that got me started was some advice a number of years ago. The person suggested making a list of the things that needed doing and then prioritize them. You may not get to the end of the list each day but you will be able to cross some things off. Seeing those cross outs makes you feel better. It also tackle the things that I obsess about first.

It doesn’t work for everything but is does help with some things.

 

Flowers and friends

Nobody sees a flower—really—it is so small it takes time–we haven’t time—and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. Georgia O’Keeffe

We often hear the phrase “take time to smell the roses.” The truth is we seldom do take the time. There are some people who do but most of us don’t. Georgia O’Keeffe painted the flowers and she took the time to really see them….on a level most of us never will. Do I ever see the beauty? Do I ever experience the smell or the shape of the petals? Not often.

O’Keeffe compared this to the time it takes to have a real friend. Seeing all the things about a person and understanding them takes time. Accepting  who they really are takes more time and the ability to see beyond the surface. We don’t often take that time but that is how we find friends who understand and accept us as we are.

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Stop and really look at that flower. Absorb everything about it. Take the time to do the same things with those who could be real friends.

Drugs and Devices

My husband is scheduled in April for the implantation of a device to prevent clots. This started me thinking about such devices and prescription drugs.

The FDA regulates drugs and devices used in the US. In general this is a good thing but there are some holes in the system.

If a device is very similar to another device it can be approved without as much testing as the original. This can be used by companies to slide in products that have not had the extensive testing required by the original. For example, there is not just one heart valve replacement on the market and they may not all be considered equal.

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There are similar issues with drugs although the problem can present in a different way. Has anyone wondered why the company that raised Insulin prices astronomically was able to do that? A small change in the medication made it able to considered a different drug and was therefore allowed a different patent allowing the price gouging. Insulin was originally given away by its creator in order to help mankind. Look what has happened now.

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We have so many problems with our medical system and these are ones not always at the forefront. If only we could all care about the patient and not all the outliers how wonderful the system could be.

Tell the truth??? or not??

Truth said in love can hurt before it heals. Unknown

Sometimes we know something that we feel needs to be told. It is something that we know will be a surprise (not always a good one). It is something that could be devastating. What do we decide to do?

This can be an awful decision. It is important to look carefully at why we would disclose. It is possible that we might never be forgiven. It is possible that any friendship will be gone. Do we want to tell for us or for them? Will the disclosure be worth the pain it could inflict? We absolutely have to look closely at ourselves and think about the outcome. Sometimes revealing something it not necessary in the long run. Some times the repercussions will be too painful and can be unnecessary.

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Taking the time to think everything through is most important. Hurting someone should not be done lightly. Think before you do!

Why?

Today we went to see the movie 1917. I am not fond of war movies but my husband wanted to see it. I don’t want to talk about the movie but something that came to me while watching.

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Another war….how many since? Why are we this way? Why do we go to war rather than solve problems? Why are we greedy and selfish? Why do we hate those who are not like us? Why are we not loving and kind and compassionate?

Did we start out that way or did we grow into it? And the real question is what can we do to change?

Lots of questions and no real answers. Rilke’s quote tells us to live in uncertainty and wait for answers.

“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” Rainer Maria Rilke

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I hope that he is right and that some day, somehow, a miracle will occur and the earth will be a place of peace and love.

Success at last

Today I have been working on communion bread for my church during lent. Since I make bread all the time you would think that this would be easy. Not so! I lost my original recipe and have been hunting for another one. So far I have tried two that didn’t work for me. They both tasted fine but looked awful.

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failure #2

So I gave up and came up with my own recipe. Here’s hoping that this one works. If it doesn’t it is back to the drawing board and next week is Ash Wednesday. See what we get when we volunteer. Something that is usually easy can turn into a nightmare.

If this one works I will post a photo of it. Here’s hoping.

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Success

Can we help?

In life, we often want to help someone who doesn’t want help. Sometimes they are right. Sometimes trying to help is the wrong thing to do. But sometimes they genuinely need help and there are many reasons why they might refuse.

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Pride can frequently get in the way of accepting help. Many of us were raised to believe that taking help obligates us to return the favor to the person who helped.  Over the time that I have lived I have become a big proponent of “paying it forward.” We don’t have to be beholding to the specific person but we are called to help someone else in the future. However,we should never feel obligated but take the opportunities when they present themselves..

I know for sure that I can get the bit between my teeth and be determined to finish something myself. I can push away anyone who really wants to lighten the load. I want to “do it myself” like a three year old.

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When people turn us away from helping it is difficult to know when is the right time to push and when we should just back away. I really can’t guess myself. It is an individual determination. I wish I had some crystal ball but I don’t. I do know that there are times that I have had to back away or lose any chance to remain a friend or help later.

Don’t mess with Mother Nature

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The new virus that has risen out of China is just an example of how vulnerable we are. People travel the globe and it is so easy for someone who is infected to travel before they know they are sick.

It is very likely that some time in the future we will suffer a pandemic. There have been pandemics in the past…affecting the known world. They did a good job of culling the population.

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With the earth being past it’s ability to manage the number of people I do wonder if this would be its way of fighting back. Maybe we have messed too much with Mother Nature.