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A Safe Place

Mon, 21 Apr 2008 05:22:04 +0000

Security.  Why is it that we have a tendency towards finding the wrong place to hide?  When life hits us hard, the place that “feels” safe may be the worst place to go.  What is it about sinful human nature that can’t get it right when it comes to finding a safe place to land.  It would be like running from a hungry lion right into quicksand!  For example, my chosen retreat is to withdraw into myself.  Suddenly the housework doesn’t get done, I don’t feel like cooking.  It’s like my computer is still on but is in hibernation mode.  Not completely shut down, but just enough juice to perform the basics on half the energy.   For one person it may be video games, for another it may be food.  Whatever it is, our nature seems to want to do completely the opposite of what we should be doing. 

 

God tells us to come to Him all who are weary and He will give us rest.   I believe that finding our identity in Christ has a lot to do with trusting that he has our best interest in mind.  Be careful not to give others the power to define who we are.  Only God knows the heart.  If I really understood this I would have made some very different choices in life, taken more risks, or even reached out to more people.  My safe place would look a whole lot different!




Gratitude Journal

Sun, 20 Apr 2008 20:58:01 +0000

Hello,

 

I have been reading about abundance and gratitude.  I know that expressing gratitude for what I have in my life leads to peace and contentment, but recently I have become aware of the connection between gratitude and abundance.  I have mentally expressed gratitude for the good things I have and make an effort to recall them when difficulties arise.  I now understand that abundance comes from this inner gratitude. 

 

I have resisted writing the gratitude journal, but now feel I would like to make the effort to daily express my gratitude for the life I have been given.  I would like to share with you my 5 things that I am grateful for and I invite you to join with me in a community gratitude jounal.

 

I am grateful today for:

1.  The air that I breathe.

2.  The warmth of the sun.

3.  My health and strength.

4.  The children that I have.

5.  The love of a good man.

 

What are you grateful for?

 

Misty




The heart of people!

Sat, 12 Apr 2008 05:58:35 +0000

 

“ The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings. "

Jeremiah 17: 9-10 NKJ

 

Think about it, God even sees our thoughts, and will judge them. He considers the heart wicked!

How do we handle that???




THE OX MOUNTAIN PARABLE

Sat, 22 Mar 2008 21:05:51 +0000

I found an interesting parable I would like to share with BlogHer folks. This is one of my favorites. The text is based on a literal translation from the Chinese, found in an appendix to I.A. Richard's Mencius on the Mind.

The Ox Mountain Parable

i

Master Meng said: There was once a fine forest on the Ox Mountain, Near the capital of a populous country. The people came out with axes and cut down the trees. Was it still a fine forest? Yet, resting in the alternation of days and nights, moistened by the dew, The stumps sprouted, the trees began to grow again. Then out came goats and cattle to browse on the young shoots. The Ox Mountain was stripped utterly bare. And the people, seeing it stripped utterly bare, Think the Ox Mountain never had any woods on it at all.

ii

Our mind too, stripped bare, like the mountains, Still cannot be without some tendency to love. But just as humans with axes, cutting down the trees every morning, Destroy the beauty of the forest, So we by our daily actions, destroy our right mind.

Day follows night, giving rest to the murdered forest, The moisture of the dawn spirit Awakens in us the right loves, the right aversions.

With the actions of one morning we cut down this love, And destroy it again. At last the night spirit Is no longer able to revive our right mind.

Where, then, do our likes and dislikes differ from those of animals? In nothing much. People see us, and say we never had in us anything but evil. Is this our nature?

iii

Whatever is cultivated rightly, will surely grow. Whatever in not cultivated rightly must surely perish. Master Kung (Confucius) said: Grasp it firmly and you will keep it. Grasp it loosely, and it will vanish out of your hand. Its comings and goings have no fixed times: No one knows its Country!

Of our right mind, of this only should we speak!




Today marks the end of Ramadan - Eid Al Fitr

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 14:39:31 +0000

Eid al-Fitr is the day that Ramadan concludes. The actual day is decided in the Muslim world by moon-sighting committees. These national groups ensure that it is timed to meet the new moon in each country. In the Philippines, for example, it will be observed from Oct 12. iIn Pakistan and Bangladesh, it starts on the 15th.

For the first time this year New York's Empire State Building was lit up in green to honor the festival, as green symbolizes a happy occasion in Islamic culture.

This is not only a time to celebrate the end of the fasting period, it is also a time for great charity. On the day before, gifts of food are made to the less fortunate.

On the actual day, the family will wake to a small meal, and then attend special prayers. Then families feast together. This day is also a day to ask forgiveness and to make visits to the graves of loved ones. This day is very charity, home and family centered, much as we in America feel about Thanksgiving.

Bikini Girl shares her family's Malaysian recipe for Beef Rendang - a traditional Eid Al Fitr recipe in Malaysia.

In Java, Opor Ayam or javanese Coconut Chicken Curry is traditionally served.

A variety of Indian Eid recipes including some tasty mutton dishes can be found here

I am not a Muslim, but I hope that ouir Muslim sisters will chime in here and share how they are celebrating Eid, and perhaps share with us some of their traditions and recipes.

To all our Muslim readers - "Happy Eid!" and "Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair!" (May every year find you in good health!")




Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Red.

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 02:33:33 +0000

Hello All:

I promised some young feminist friends of mine that I would help spread the word about their October 31st campaign to call attention to the horrific episodes of violence against women of color across the country in recent months: the young woman in West Va. held against her will in a mobile home for over a month and raped and tortured by over six people; the Haitian in West Palm Beach, Fla. who was forced by assailants into a sexual act with her son. There's been no consistent outrage, no consistent media attention, no organized efforts on behalf of these and other women like them.

I write about black women and the Protestant faith there on my blog and am doing my part to galvanize women in the church around these and other feminist issues: Something Within.

Young feminists over at Document The Silence and What About Our Daughters have taken matters into their hands and are committed to making sure these women are not forgotten.

Women everywhere are being asked to wear red on October 31st and to do what they can on that day to challenge and call attention to sexual violence on their blogs, in their classrooms, etc.




Is it appropriate to send a child to a different-faith school?

Thu, 06 Sep 2007 14:34:46 +0000

If you were a parent, and do not want to send your child to public school, would you consider sending your child to a reliigous school that is of a different faith than what you practice at home? I am (a lapsed) Catholic and went to an all-girls' Anglican (Episcopal) school in Toronto with lots of girls who were not even Christian. My Jewish boyfriend thought that it was weird that I went to that school and even weirder that non-Christian parents would even consider sending their daughters to a school named after a well-known Anglican! To me, a school is a school, and if it can give a child a wonderful, well-rounded education, then it shouldn't matter what the religion is.