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We live in a broken world.  There’s no doubt in my mind that this is true.  As Ruth wrote in “Give the Past the Boot,” we continue to suffer from past events often because we keep replaying past mistakes and harms in our minds.  And in “Until,” Lori wrote about how hard it is to believe in either government or church. The world is definitely broken.

But you know what isn’t broken?  God.

God is whole.  Think about that for a moment.

God. Is. Whole.

It can be so hard to keep moving forward in this broken world.  It seems that no matter what we do, something is still wrong.  In the words of Mr. Incredible, “No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for… for ten minutes!”

But that’s the reality when you are broken people living in a broken world.  And some days that is really going to get you down. That’s why I didn’t post on Friday.

And I get the irony of today’s quote.  I really do.  But there’s also a beauty in it and I think that’s why the Diary of Anne Frank continues to be such a popular book.  Anne Frank was someone who saw the light and life in the world.  She knew it was broken.  But she also looked for that glimmer of light.

What can you do today? It doesn’t have to be big.  And it isn’t going to fix everything.  But it might be the thing that catches someone’s attention and turns them toward God, God the Whole, God our Light.

–SueBE

 

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This quote applies to so many areas of life.

Are you active in your community, working to help improve the things that need improving?  Or do you move?

Do you volunteer in your children’s schools?  Or do you put them in private schools to avoid the bad element?

Unhappy with your church?  Do you work to make changes or do you go in search of another?  I have to admit that here I’m lucky.  I’m Presbyterian.  The members govern the church.  We hire the pastor.  It is ours.

But I’m also lucky because I’m an idea person.  I don’t see a problem and panic.  I see a problem and start looking at the possibilities.  In truth, it is a tendency that can annoy other people.  Even if I don’t know how to take step 1 (turn of the water flowing across the floor), I know who will know.  So you make that phone call.  You get a mop.

I don’t have Edison’s patience.  Honestly, I don’t know that I would have found 10,000 things that didn’t work as I struggled to make the lightbulb.  But that’s okay.  That’s Edison’s thing.  I can do my thing to make the world a more beautiful place.

When we act as Christ’s hands and feet, we aren’t just looking for greener pastures.  We are looking, in my not-so-humble opinion, for ways to make the pasture greener.

–SueBE

I really do think that we reflect our thoughts.  If nothing else, our faces bear witness to our personalities.

For example, my son has what we lovingly call “resting smirk face.”  He always looks like he’s thinking something irreverent.  A kid with that smirk has got to be up to something.

And, as his mom, I can tell you that if he isn’t up to something now, he will be in just a few minutes.  That’s definitely how God made him.

Me?  I wish I had a resting smirk face.  But I’m often running over some problem in my mind.  How could she have done that?  And really? How did he think that lie wouldn’t come back to the rest of us?

I’d love to say it doesn’t show in my expression, but I’m pretty sure it does.  Which is yet another reason to turn these things over to God. Dump the replays.  Dump the worries.  And fill in the empty places with His light and perhaps just a bit of mischief.

–SueBE

This is a saying that I can see as the heart of a parable.  Why?  Because it is really about so much more than planting a tree.

It is about all of those days where you find out about a mistake that you, or someone else, made days, weeks or months ago.  Do you fix the mistake or throw up your hands in defeat?

It probably comes as no great surprise, that I’m a fixer.  I research and fiddle and compare until I get it to work.  I am very “I’ll do it myself.”

But that also means that I have I hard time acknowledging that someone else might now how to do it.  More than once my husband has come along with the solution only to get snarled at.  Not that that stops him.  He too is a fixer.

And that’s what we need today.  People who are willing to fix things that have been wrong for a long, long time.  That’s what Ruth wrote about in her post, Somethings Got to Change. When people of any given demographic know that they will be WRONG simply because they are black/male/unemployed or whatever, then something has got to change.

That’s what being the hands and feet of Christ is all about.  Helping those who are the least in our society.  Fixing what has been wrong for a very long time.

–SueBE

“I don’t know. Let’s look that up.”

It was one of the most common phrases around here when my son was growing up.  Actually, now that I think about it, it is still really common, but there are three adults in the house to look things up.  Thank God for Google.

Yesterday in adult Sunday school, someone told us about a church she had visited as a teen.  The pastor told her that they didn’t believe in the Trinity because “we don’t understand it.”  Whoa! What?

How can you not believe in things you don’t understand?  If that was the case, I’d cease to believe in a good chunk of humanity, calculus, and a whole lot of other things.

I can’t say that I always love not knowing something or not understanding.  One of the men, a retired engineer, is way too good at putting me on the spot.  But I think he enjoys it.  “You always looks so surprised!”

But how can we learn and grow if we thing we know everything?  Isn’t that an attempt to put ourselves on the same level as God?

I’m okay admitting that I don’t fully understand the Trinity.  I’m enjoying studying about it but that study would probably be a lot less interesting if I already knew it all.

What are some of the things about faith that you find “un-knowable”?

–SueBE

Thank you to Lori for her hurricane season prayer.  Holding up all of you who are in the path of the storm.  Here in the middle of the country, I’m just waiting for word from various cousins.

We may not be able to calm nature’s storms, but we can avoid contributing to the strife around us.  I don’t know about y’all but it has been bad here.  The worst part?  Trying to fix problems and calm rough waters without letting people know what I think.

Debugging group pages that other people have goofed, dealing with scheduling issues and more.  I can’t even tell you how many letters I’ve written and posts I’ve made only to delete them.  No, no.  No one needs to hear that.

Whether we are working to change a bad policy or striving for justice, we choose how we do it.  Yesterday, I watched an interview with Beto O’Rourke.  Only after the interview was over did I realize something.  Yes, he’s running against Cruz.  And, yes, he’s against Trump’s wall.  But not once did he bad mouth them.  Not once.  He talked about what the people of Texas could accomplish but not once did he cut anyone down.

Work for change.  Make peace.  We can do it.

–SueBE

Target is deleting certain key words from the descriptions of books on its website.  Readers searching for books that reflect the transgender or LGBTQ experience may fail to find just the book they need.  Some descriptions have been corrected but authors have had to contact the chain again and again.

Somehow the wall is still being built.  This in spite of the fact that Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke had another viable plan.  A plan that wouldn’t divide.

Us and them. It’s a human thing.  And yet God made us all.

And I’m not saying that I’m above it.  Who hasn’t made a crack about Boomers?  Or Millenials?  Republicans or Democrats?  As much as I try not to do it, I still catch myself saying divisive things.

And yet.

He has made us all.  Just a little something to think about.

–SueBE

 

 

What we do impacts who we are. Don’t believe me?  Think about spending time with someone who is abrasive and perhaps just a bit mean.  Don’t you become just a bit abrasive yourself?  And crabby?

But the good thing is that the impact isn’t always negative.  That’s right, you can build a better you.

One of the best ways to do this, in my opinion, is to spend some quiet time with God.  This can be prayer time, scripture time, or time spent making things.  Yes, I’m a maker.  When my hands are busy, my mind drifts.  Or go for a walk.  That’s another great way to be a little busy physically which can actually help your mind take things in.

It seems like so much of what we read is about being more productive and multitasking.  That’s awesome but so is time spent with God.  It can help you be a more open, relaxed and light-filled person.

–SueBE

Isn’t it funny when your kids echo you and don’t even realize that’s what they are doing?

As a lifeguard, my son often works with young swimmers.  The other day boys from a group home visited the pool.  As a former scout, my son slipped into his older-scout mode.  These are my rules.  They seem strict but they will keep you safe.

He admits that he is much stricter than other guards who don’t explain things and then have to get on the kids.  But he was also surprised that the kids really like him.  When he goes on break and comes back, they get excited.

What he doesn’t realize is that he’s mirroring his father’s parenting style.  He always complained about his Dad’s rules but they’ve always had a great relationship.  And really? They get up to a great deal of mischief together it just happens to involve safety glasses and sometimes even hearing protectors.

But it also seems like a good reason to spend time in prayer.  If we are going to mirror what we are exposed to, it seems best that we mirror light and love in a world that so badly needs both.

–SueBE

 

It seems like every topic is a potential argument anymore.  Where do you go to church?  What school do your children attend?  That isn’t a swoosh I see on your shoe, is it?

With so much shouting going on, it can be really hard not to judge.  One thing that can help?  Remember that each and every one of these people is a child of God.  Not Christian?  So what.  If you believe God made people, he made non-Christians too.

When you feel yourself getting judgy, try to remember that.  Oh, right.  Child of God.  And he created us all in love.

It is okay to get frustrated but just remember, God loves you.  God loves them.  And, in truth?  We all probably annoy him.

–SueBE

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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