Some days are harder than others. For each of us, we go through seasons that often bring change, and the change doesn’t always feel great. There are times when we have been pushed into a new unknown, but all we want to do is head back to what is comfortable. The hard part is, without moving forward, there is no growth. I know for me, I get so caught up in the future and wanting to be in the place where I feel like I’ll have “made it,” that I forget the immediate and the opportunities to love other where I am. Last week I talked about having the reaction of love with others, but today I want to talk about loving yourself.Continue reading
February is always a fun season. You get to see all sorts of pink Valentines stuff that no one really needs, unless it’s the heart shaped Reese’s candy. It’s a season of love, the end of the winter season is around the corner and we remember being in class and getting those great little paper notes. Love is so much more than this, it can often just be seen as the romantic, but the reality is that love is so much more than feelings toward another person, it is an action and one that should be our first choice.
I’m struck by how little love there is around us.Continue reading
Spooky season is almost finished, which means this is our finale to the b-movie series here on the blog. Today, since I like to keep you on your toes, we will not be looking at a movie, but a TV show, and a specific episode. The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Serling (who also narrates each episode), sets a spooky tone in every episode with wild scenarios, all based in real issues we deal with. The episode we will be looking at today is titled, “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” the setting takes place in a suburban neighborhood and suddenly a flash in the sky appears and everything stops working. The neighbors gather in the street confused about the power outage and strange flash, and a little boy suggests it could be aliens infiltrating the neighborhood. Panic starts, then fingers are pointed at one another power comes on in certain houses, driving the people to become more and more untrusting of one another. The anger leads to a death, then the street erupts into chaos.
The final moment of the episode shows two aliens watching these events, and they simply say that all they need to do to conquer earth, is create confusion and the humans will destroy themselves.Continue reading
Well, it’s been a bit of a challenging past two weeks. We’ve seen a lot of great first steps towards justice and choosing to recognize that there is still a deep problem in the world.
How is it hard to choose to support and lift up the voices who are unheard? For my fellow believers, how are we not at the forefront of loving others?
We must all continue to look at ourselves and see how we can be a positive voice for the unheard. What I have seen is what happens time and time again; we are choosing to look for other narratives because the current makes us uncomfortable. It’s easier to look at a small issue, rather than address the hundreds of years’ worth of hate and prejudice.Continue reading
One of the scariest situations to be in, is a new place where you know no one. Growing up, I didn’t move a lot, but I was put in situations where I had to meet new people all the time. I grew up in a church where there were a lot of kids, went to a bunch of homeschool groups then a real school, there were continual moments growing up where I found myself faced with people I had no clue about. That can be very intimidating. What if they don’t like me? What if they make fun of me? What if no one wants to be my friend? These questions are based in a real fear that we experience, but often, we let that fear control us. I had to learn early on that I sometimes had to do the scary thing first and get scared later, that meant putting myself out there a lot and not knowing what would stick.
I really love people. Everyone has a unique story, because all of us are unique. I love meeting new people and I really love when people can get together and have fun. I am loving my new job, and I really love every person I’ve had a chance to meet. We are all experiencing a new massive opening, so all of us are having to figure out the details and rely on each other to get it all done. I am loving every second of it, and love being able to encourage the people around me. I’ve been in environments that are completely opposite to what I’m experiencing now. In both work and outside of work, people can quickly become judgmental and start drawing lines in the sand of people they just do not like. We begin having this mindset of making those we don’t always like or get along with, become this idea of the “other.” This is just a concept that occurs when we begin to de-humanize others around us. We take stereotypes and turn them to the extremes. I think as of recent, we have seen the escalation of this idea. By the time of writing this, there was another mass shooting, and the driver behind the murder was hatred of other people. Now, I’m not saying that everyone who has ever acted on or believed a stereotype of someone else will commit a murder of that scale, what I want to talk about is the importance of empathy. There is just a general lack of empathy that I’ve noticed, and I’m sure you have too.
Well, life is getting back into the usual swing. Classes have begun, summer truly is coming to a close, kids are back in school, and life has become busy once more. Each day we wake up and are met with choices. Some simple, like what do I want for breakfast or does this shirt match my socks? Yet some are more complicated, and not often as obvious. Choices like, how will I treat people around me today or how will I react to the struggles that may come? The world we live in today can be pretty scary, we see terrorism continue to harm people across the world, we are in the middle of an election year where both candidates would rather point fingers than try to solve real issues, and each day we walk past people who may be going through some of the darkest times imaginable. I remember being a leader at an elementary camp for my church and over hearing a conversation from two boys asking each other what they would do if someone attacked the camp. Woah, the fact that two young boys would think of this because our news is filled with the reality of how dark our world is, was something that made me think about a lot of things. In that moment I thought of the verse in Romans 12:21 which says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”