You are currently browsing lorihtursue’s articles.

People are a strange.  It seems like one moment they are ignoring ugly realities and the next they are dwelling on the negative.

But when we face fact, hope can make a huge difference.  I’ve been doing a lot of reading the past few weeks about various animal species and the environment.  I can already hear your groaning but stop.  Seriously.  Knock it off.  Because there are stories of hope.

At one point the Bald Eagle was endangered but when we faced the damage that DDT was doing and banned it that was the beginning.  Eagles have made a comeback and I occasionally see one soaring over our church.

The American alligator is another success story.  This one was endangered because of habitat destruction and hunting.  People conserved habitat and hunting was banned.  Alligators are no longer endangered.

Reality and hope.  Working to make a better world.  God gave us inquiring minds as well as drive.  We just need to apply them.

–SueBE

Advertisements

As is the case with many denominations, the PC USA is facing drops in membership, older facilities and new kids (churches) on the block.  But there are also exciting new events.  Saturday my husband and I were at the Presbytery meeting and a new church of Kenyan immigrants was chartered.

In the 1960s when many of the churches in our area grew and flourished, there was no question about chartering a church of African immigrants. But today?  Today they are a vital addition to our church.  Yes, our area is changing but change isn’t always bad especially when it means new brothers and sisters in Christ joining the family.

–SueBE

 

Sitting on my bedside table is a copy of Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  If you haven’t read it, Waking Up White is a memoir about race in which Irving discusses her own early misconceptions and how she eventually woke up.  As I was reading last night, it brought to mind the above quote from Lewis.

Race is a tricky thing.  It can take a long time to realize this if you’re white because you may not realize that your own race is baseline normal.  This means that anyone who isn’t white, or white enough, is abnormal. I can’t think of anyone who isn’t white who fails to understand this most likely because it is daily reality.

But if you’re white?  You can stumble along oblivious.

That almost makes it sound like I think races are separate and isolated but they aren’t.  How we see race is a function of different peoples bumping up against each other just like the rooms in a house.  Most houses have multiple rooms – kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms.  Together they make a building a house. Our racial issues are not the problems of black people, Asians or First Nations.  They took all of us, white people included, to come into being.

If you haven’t read Waking Up White, I recommend it.  I’m sure some of you have already come fully awake but if you have the book also contains talking points to help initiate discussions.

–SueBE

 

 

My son and I had an interesting discussion yesterday at lunch. The main topic was how one generation shapes the next and often not in the ways that they expect.  Often children, instead of following in the footsteps of their elders, react and pull back from some belief or practice.  Do children follow us or react to us?

I can’t say that I have a lot of answers here.  But that thought alone is a good reason, in my mind, to treat people with respect.  Otherwise, anti-male feminism might give rise to something we don’t like.  That’s my son’s theory anyway.  Maybe he’s just sick of people told that all men are rapists and all white men repress. When we choose our path, it is important to consider how it will impact others.

These may not be the only topics we discuss at lunch but he is a new college student.  His professors tell them that they will be the next generation to shape the world. And these professors are not subtle.  It will be up to them to solve the problems earlier generations have created.  As his engineering professor put it, “It’s your choice which future you face, Mad Max or Star Trek.”

–SueBE

 

I don’t tend to see myself as a self-limiting person but sometimes it seems that I am.  On January 1st, The Boys came over to cook some epic chili.  They watched a video of a recipe they wanted to duplicate, more or less, and I tried not to cringe.  pepperoni?  Bacon?  In chili?

But I managed to keep my mouth shut.  As long as they didn’t find the package of bacon I had hidden in the deli drawer in the fridge, I could make us all bacon and eggs if need be.  While I went to visit my Dad and do our shopping, they did their own and got to work.  The result?  Wow.  I never in a million years would have chosen this recipe but it was so good.   So good.

There’s a reason that God sends bold, brassy teens into our lives. They are there to remind us to see beyond the limitations we’ve place on ourselves.

–SueBE

Consider the above as you work on your resolutions or goals for the upcoming year.  Schedule time to listen for that still small voice.  He may have something in mind for you already.

–SueBE

 

This is a brutal time of the year for many people.  Reduced daylight.  The stress of the holidays and seasonal spending which can exacerbate financial woes.  Loneliness and more.

As much as I don’t love the busy-ness, I love Christmas music no matter how insipid my 18-year-old tells me it is.  Lights?  I love a well-lit tree.  Manger scenes?  Stars?  Cookies?  I’m your girl!

But I try to have a care for those around me who are less in love with the holiday season.  I keep my eyes open for people who may not have plans for Christmas day.  Our table seats 8 or 10 if we decide we really  like each other.  And you can always add auxiliary tables.

I do my best to share hope, to reflect light – especially those awesome Christmas lights.  Spread joy.  Fill the world with His Blessings.

–SueBE

 

What choices do you make every day that bring you closer to God?  For me, it is often a matter of spending time out-of-doors and feeling the wind on my face.  I’m not sure what it is about a cold wind that just feels right.

Perhaps you find God when you work with children, cook for a friend, or simply meditate.  Personally I think Heaven is as unique as the person who seeks it.

Take a step back from the hustle and bustle.  Listen for the voice in the wind.  Look for grace.  Feel the warmth of his love.  It is there for those who seek it.

–SueBE

When God sent His Son as a small babe into the world, he did it with great intention.  Here was our savior.  Here was the grace that we needed to finally find God.   Approach the manger with the intention of an open heart.  You will find what you need to carry His Love into our broken world.

–SueBE

 

I’d love to be thinner.  And my house.  I want it to be neat.  Social justice?  The environment?  Yeah, I hope things get better there too.

But the problem is that I realize that change require more than hope.  It requires action and we just can’t act to fix everything.  It just isn’t possible.

So what does change really require?  Desire.  Drive.  Determination.  If we have these things, we will work to make change happen.

This means that my house will probably stay messy but I’ll keep working for social justice.  One of the things that I’m doing is reading a book – Waking Up White by Debby Irving.  As a start to facing racism head on, our presbytery has asked everyone to read this book. And each church needs to host a conversation of some kind.

What kind of event will we host?  I don’t know.  We haven’t gotten that far but we are determined to do something and four of us have started planning our event.  Desire.  We’ve definitely got that.  Fortunately with four of us working together we’ll keep each other moving forward.  We think we can.

Where are your desire, drive, and determination focused?

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: