Take Time To Reflect

President George Washington observed, ‘We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.’

When we reflect, we are able to put things into perspective; we gain new appreciation for things you didn’t notice before.

Few of us have clear perspective in the heat of the moment.

Most of us who have survived a traumatic experience usually avoid similar situations at all costs.

In fact, there is a science and study called Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) which have a tremendous impact on future violence victimization and perpetration, and lifelong health and opportunity.

Thus, we all have had this early childhood experience and hence possess unresolved issues that can cause us to react.

Reflection can empower us to respond!

Reflective thinking enables us to distance ourself from the intense emotions of an experience and see it with fresh eyes.

Indeed, this process is one of the first steps to getting rid of our emotional baggage.

Each of us has been shaped by the experiences, good and bad, that we’ve had in life.

What we refuse to deal with deals with us, and often in harmful ways.

We ‘act out’ of our unresolved issues.

In his book The Other Wes Moore, Wes Moore writes on page 157 “Early losses condition you to believe that short-term plans are always smarter.

May I

Yesterday was a tale of two worlds — time in a high school with truly promising students and then watching the telecast from Washington D.C.

Writing something inspirational and positive today strains me in so many ways.

I’m quoting a leader from the past, Eusebius, who wrote and hoped the following:

May I be no one’s enemy. and may I be the friend of that which is eternal, and abides.

May I never quarrel with those nearest me: and if I do may I be reconciled quickly.

May I love, seek and attain only that which is good.

May I wish for all persons’ happiness and envy none.

May I never rejoice in the ill-fortune of one who has wronged me.

When I have done or said what is wrong, may I never wait for the rebuke of others, but always rebuke myself until I make amends.

May I win no victory that harms me or my opponent.

May I reconcile friends who are angry with one another.

May , to the extent of my power, give all needful help to my friends and all who are in want.

May I never fail a friend who is in danger.

When visiting those in grief, may I be able by gentle and healing words, to soften their pain.

May I respect myself.

May I keep tame, that which rages within me.

May I accustom myself to be gentle, and never be angry with people because of circumstances.

May I never discuss who is wicked and what wicked things he has done. but know good men and follow in their footsteps’

Character

As a very unique, seldomly used currently, richly nuanced word — character!
Some people come to mind when he say or think “he or she is a character.”
A grandson comes to mind — he embodies a complex of being brilliant, irksome, fun, and so much more.
And leaders such as Ghandi, Mother Theresa, also embody character.
Merriam Webster defines character as “the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation; main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish…”
Former President George H. W. Bush and his wife, Barbara Bush, will soon be honored with coins bearing their images.
According to a resolution approved by Congress this week, the Treasury Department must mint and print presidential dollar coins with the image of President Bush for one year and bullion coins with the image of his wife during the same time period.
The representative who introduced the resolution in the House stated that the couple “epitomized the very best of America—and like their country, they were tough, strong, and kind.
Our world is better because of them.
According to some, the Bushes are proof of the lasting power of character.
An early community leader, Peter, listed the qualities of character in the letter (2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV) “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Do we have character?

(Part of this blog come from The Daily Forum by Doctor Jim Denison)

Keep On Together

Keep On Together

We are a few days into our New Year and New Decade.

Those resolutions.

Our job.

Our relationships.

Paul, a writer and leader of centuries ago wrote to his coming in Galatia “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (Galatians 6:9 TLB)

If things don’t happen right away or when yowethink they should, that doesn’t mean we should quit.

We need to be diligent and have endurance.

The tunnel may seem extremely dark right now, but there is always a light at the end. It may be just around the corner!

Don’t give up.

We do not come in this world as a result of our own actions — others’ union have conceived us and gave us new life.

Our family, friends and others live with us.

In those moments of difficulty and doubt, ind a spiritual family—a church and a small group—to help you through the tough times.

Is there a “right thing” you’ve been doing that has just worn you out?

My “Panera Pals” and “Salt and Light” group at church form a life giving network!

Both And And

Both and And

A slightly tortured phrase expresses a life giving and life receiving experience of life.

I am both a septuagenerian in chronological time who spends time with others, at home and outside the home, of that same decade, and a person younger in heart in emotional years who spends time with grand kids and high school students.

This mural of time and spirit enlivens the life of a wide range of people.

While physical age states where we fit in a time dimension, emotional and spiritual states paint a mural of blazing colors!

Spending time with Carol and Panera Pals and spending time with grandkids and high school students fills the soul of many, leading to learning, mirth, and many a good laugh.

An article CLIFTON B. PARKER says

“When older adults volunteer to work with children, both sides benefit, according to new Stanford research.

When older adults contribute to the well-being of youth, it cultivates a sense of purpose and extends benefits both ways, according to a new Stanford report.”

Such relationships are important for society.

They can help ensure that children and teens receive the kind of attention and mentoring they often lack, especially among the most vulnerable populations, the Stanford scholars said.

These relationships also offer older adults opportunities to learn about new technology and trends, and experience the excitement of seeing the world through a younger perspective.”

Bringing old and young together benefits both

Patience

Look at that candy bar and chips at the checkout line.

And then stacks of chocolate and roses entice around Valentines day in the stacks of greeting cards.

After we have looked at items on the Internet, and then, voila, ads pop up tempting us to buy, buy, buy.

I am a “gadget guy” and I need to rein in my rapaciousness to buy yet one more gadget.

Impulse buying causes our closets and basements to spawn multiple and unneeded items — like ants attracted too sugar, we are seduced to make quick decisions which have long lasting consequences.

Patience flies away in the face of the immediate, temptation.

Proverbs 14:29 reminds and counsels “It’s smart to be patient” (CEV).

Our culture worships impulsiveness and spontaneity. It tells us that spur-of-the-moment, “gut” decisions are the right ones.

You’ve probably heard repeatedly to “follow your heart.” Feelings often lead us in the wrong direction.

We need to rely on truth outside of ourselves.

“What a shame—yes, how stupid!—to decide before knowing the facts!” (Proverbs 18:13 TLB).

So when we don’t yet have all the facts, slow down. Don’t rely on our gut, your heart, or our feelings.

Take the time to look for objective truth outside of ourself.

Proverbs 14:29 says, “Patience leads to abundant understanding, but impatience leads to stupid mistakes” (CEB).

Don’t make quick decisions that we’re going to regret.

And the same is true when you don’t have all the facts. Instead of just “following your heart,” take the time to slow down and make a careful decision.

Remember: It’s smart to be patient.

 

Elements of this come from an email by Rick Warren 1/3/2019, majority written by Phillip Kapela.

The Joy and Cost

Noise.

Chaos.

Disagrement, derision, division…

We live in perilous times, and we cannot and should not escape the challenges that confront us as real people in a real world filled with risks and uncertainties.

We might want to transcend the troubles that face millions of people every day in many parts of the world, but as is the human family on ” single fragile planet beset by danger, we are all in this together. 

In AP History classes in which I was substitute teaching today today, students were writing an essay titled “What Can I Do To Unite Our Country?” These classes worked on the need to deal with union in our country.

The polar opposite of “unity” is “division.” Rather than “one” and “we” there is “many” and “me.” Chaos emerges from the diviseness in our world.

In December 1776, Thomas Paine wrote in The American Crisis, “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” He added: “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.”  (denisonforum.com, 1/7/2019)

While the victory of unity can light up a dark world, such victory must be created at a great cost — no personal comfort but pain.

At the end of Steve Perry’s book The Bishop’s Pawn, from an unknown source, the following both proclaims and warns: “A nation that continues to produce soft-minded men (and women — my addition) purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.”

Steadfast

Steadfast
We’re just a few days into the New Year/New Decade, and the made resolutions are …
As a word ‘steadfast” describes a present state, and as an additional word “steadfastness” portrays a lifestyle.
Steadfastness characterizes the lifestyle of a long-distance person who daily, weekly, monthly, and so on, keeps moving on.
While the hare moves quickly now from place to place, the turtle gets there in time!
“steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”
Keep at it!
The “Story The tortoise and the hare,” from Aesop’s fable taught this centuries ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeZe2qPLPh0
In an ancient text in 1 Samuel 2:21the author wrote this “You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile

Marvel

Be Marveled

While moving forward into this New Year and New Decade, let’s look around at the marvels in our world and life.

A few days with a grandson both invigorated me and enlightened me to the marvels in each and every person, place, and element of life.

The experiences ranged from making cinnamon rolls together to laughing at comedy shows.

Persons, both known and unknown, offer an opportunity to experience a new world in this New Year and New Decade.

The article below elucidates this:

https://www.chicagotribune.com/columns/mary-schmich/ct-mary-schmich-new-years-column-review-2014-20200101-2i6uytxapvarpixwpjusd5bbbi-story.html

Let’s insure that we do it NOW for a sage wrote long ago in Ecclesiastes 11:4,

“If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (TLB).

Nunc Coepi

Nunc Coepi

What Does Nunc Coepi Mean?

The translation of Nunc Coepi is “now I begin.”

These words are taken from Psalm 77:10 in the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible.

Philip Rivers, football quarterback, has this printed on his apparel — sometimes a Nike shirt that read “Nunc Coepi.”

Nunc Coepi is a phrase that Rivers, a devout Catholic and father of seven, used during his delivery of a commencement address at the Catholic University of America in D.C.  Interstingly, The Chargers have adopted it as a team phrase.

In the commencement address at Catholic University in 2014 Rivers told the class in prayer, in habits, in relationships, in profession.  “Whether you made a bad grade or didn’t so well on a project.  You must begin again.”

To read his speech in its entirety, check it out here.  It’s absolutely worth the read.

We can all say “nunc coepi” “now I begin” — a New Year and a New Decade.

A Beginning.

Beginnings are watershed moments: the beginning of a new career, life in a new city, starting college—even the beginning of a new day, hour, or minute, a new decade.

Every new beginning is a step of faith because we don’t know precisely what events will transpire.

There will be trials and there could be triumphs.

We will be fall on our face and we will choose to get up again.

We will exclaim “WOW and WOOHOO” at success and cry “WHOOPS and I’M SORRY” at failure.

Dark and light, life and death, success and failure — a life of “both and” will weave a new tapestry of magnificent diversity and beauty.

In the Judaeo Christian life, faith, and life style one name stands out as a statement and promise — we will not go through this New Year and New Decade alone!

Emmanuel.

In the book of Joshua (1:5) the following is proclaimed and promised: “I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Nunc Coepi