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There is so much noise in society today.  People telling you to buy.  Music and sound bites.  It can be hard to keep track of the small voice of God and the inner voice that urges us on.  That’s why, at least for me, quiet it vital.  Spend some time listening today.

–SueBE

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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

Celebrate the end of 2017 by taking some small action that will forward your goals for 2018.

–SueBE

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I’ll never get these Christmas cards ready in time.

I’m not done shopping.

I’ve got to start making the cookie dough.  Start!

It is so easy to let negative thoughts tumble around in your mind. The problem is that once they take over there, they start to color how you see the world.

You forget that you’ve looped a friend who is going through a divorce into a new group of friends.  That you finished rewriting a book and turned it in.  That you’ve got a really good idea for an inspirational how-to for writers.

All of that falls by the wayside.

But when you beautify your inner dialogue, you start to see what is positive.  You note what you’ve done right.  You see the talents of those around you.  You remember that they too are children of good, carrying his light into the world.

Not bad for something that started out by getting rid of some of those negative thoughts.

–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

Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent.  As part of the celebration, our youth gathered at the front of the church and lit the first candle in the Advent wreath.  The first candle?  It represents hope.

It is so easy to feel hopeless.  So many are sick.  In our Sunday school class alone, we have three people being treated for various kinds of cancer, one with a bad knee, and a lady with chronic depression.  In the past week, there have been car accidents which means totalled cars and injuries.  And that’s just among those of us in one class and their families.  Add into this environmental issues, the economy and politics and . . . Can’t you feel it?  Hope is ebbing for so many of us.

When I feel it start to get me down, I try to remember to turn to the youth.  Just among our children, we have intellectuals and artists, a young man with a profound sense of what is right and wrong, and several budding scientists and more.

Hope in the time of Advent goes beyond what we can do with our own hands. It encompasses the Hope to be found in Christ, the living word of God, the light of the world.  But these youth? They are a reminder.  Their energy, their drive, their determination remind me of what can be done in His name.  And then I remember to be grateful.

–SueBE

Whether you are working for social justice, environmental awareness or simply trying to ease a friend’s burden, you are shining a light into the darkness.  Some will appreciate it.  Others?  Not so much.  But that’s okay.  Keep carrying Christ’s light into the world.  The world oh so badly needs it.

–SueBE

Remember to laugh and sing.  No really.

Let’s face it.  Most of us are not facing the kind of adversity in life faced by Sojourner Truth.  We just aren’t.

Besides, God gave us the gift of joy and it seems like an awful shame to waste it.

–SueBE

Admittedly I’m still working on this one.

–SueBE

Knowledge is like paintHow do we know what we know?  It sounds like a riddle or a tongue twister.  But think about it.  How do you know something?  Is it because someone told you?  You saw it with your own eyes?  Or you experienced it?

There are a wide variety of ways to attain knowledge.  Many animals learn only from their own experiences.  Eating X made me sick.  

Other animals can learn by witnessing another experience something.  That’s going to leave a bruise!  

Human beings can learn in yet another way.  We can learn through what we hear and what we read.  God gifted us as a species with insatiable curiosity.  My advice to you — Listen to people who are unlike yourself. Read, read and read some more.

Why?  Because you can’t paint with an empty can. 

–SueBE

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