We give thanks for the blessing of winter

We give thanks for the blessing of winter
Season to cherish the heart
To make warmth and quiet for the heart
To make soups and broths for the heart
To cook for the heart and read for the heart
To curl up softly and nestle with the heart
To sleep deeply and gently with one at the heart
To dream with the heart
To spend time with the heart
A long, long time of peace with the heart
We give thanks for the blessing of winter
Season to cherish the heart
Amen

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Prayer for Winter. Leunig

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Be Inspired

Be inspired….watch this TED Talk by Janine Shepherd

Janie Shepherd: A Broken Body isn’t a broken person
Cross-country skier Janine Shepherd hoped for an Olympic medal — until she was hit by a truck during a training bike ride. She shares a powerful story about the human potential for recovery. Her message: you are not your body, and giving up old dreams can allow new ones to soar.

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A Prayer for Jarryd

Today we stop and pray
For Jarryd
The surgeons gifted hands.
Waiting on the sidelines
We feel helpless
Hopeful
Hearts full
Of love, concern
For good results.
How brave you are
So young
Endured enough pain.
We stop and pray.

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A Year of Being Grateful

A Year of being Grateful: Day 149

I have just signed up for a ‘30 Day Drawing Challenge’. The challenge is to draw for at least 20 minutes a day and comes with daily drawing projects. What was I thinking? I am still trying to keep up my daily journal for ‘The Year of Being Grateful’, the ‘30 Day Forgiveness Challenge’ and my own ‘lose 5kg’ and ‘daily bike ride’ challenges!

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 2 Draw your first hot drink of the day.

30 Day Drawing Challenge: Day 2
Draw your first hot drink of the day.

It seems like the ‘30 Day Challenge’ is the latest ‘in thing’ to do and some of the intense, motivational hype can be overwhelming. It’s easy to be negative about being positive, but the reality is I am always being ‘challenged’ with things in my day-to-day life that have to change and be dealt with. And, I love positive real life stories and am continually being inspired by people who have managed to ‘turn their life around’ and actualised “be the change you want to see in the world.’

For the past 6 months I have been writing a daily gratefulness journal [that equals six, ‘30 Day Challenges’!!] so…. all this being grateful…. has it had a positive impact in my life?

Reading over my daily entries I can see that I have become more aware of what I have and am surprised at the joy and appreciation found in the seemingly simple things: a comfortable bed, food, friends, laughter, family, health, roads, a washing machine, work, music, a kind word, thoughtful act, wood chopped, fire burning, a flower, bird song, sunset.

An unexpected habit changer has been that I now slow down and live in the moment more, I stop and reflect on my day, think, pray. Also, I consciously make more of an effort to show appreciation and say thank you. These are new, positive habits, that have not been as hard or time-consuming as I thought they would be.

Now back to the 30 Day Challenge – according to ‘My 30 Day Challenge’ website you can “Change your life in 30 days by creating new habits or by getting rid of bad ones,” “take a small step everyday to create a new habit.”

“Do you want to be in good health? Do you want to be more successful? Do you want more love? Now you can! Start today with 1 challenge for the next 30 days and stick to it! Keep a log and stay inspired!”

Below is a list of 30 ‘30 Day Challenges’ by Martijn Schirp. Interesting suggestions, I am not sure about the ‘having a cold shower every day’ challenge, even if it is supposed to make my skin beautiful!

Today I will enjoy my bike ride along the foreshore, turn off the news and draw an animal, say no to chocolate and be grateful for bike paths, the warm winter sun and left-over casserole for dinner.

After 30 days of drawing maybe I will be able to draw a decent cup of tea!

Elaine

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Forgiven Time

More about forgiveness: a quote from the book that I have been reading, “The Weakness of God” by John D. Caputo. Very insightful, Graeme.

Forgiven Time : Jesus and the sinners

“In the kingdom of God, we have been arguing, strange, incalculable, unaccountable, impossible things happen (which is also why we love it so). Among the most impossible of these, the most resistant to calculation, the most unaccountable, is forgiveness. Forgiveness, in many ways the most amazing grace (gift) in the kingdom, disturbs our sense of law and order, disrupts our sense of economic equilibrium, undermines our desire to “settle the score” or “get even,” blocks our instinct to see to it that the offenders are made to “pay for” what they did. Hence, it is the decentering centerpiece of a poetics of the impossible (if there is a center), the heart of the kingdom, the heart of a heartless world, and the principle un-principle of our sacred and eventful anarchy.

The sinners we meet in the kingdom are forgiven, even as Jesus forgave his Roman executioners – which is the sort of reversal we have come to expect in the kingdom. Sinners protected from stoning, even preferred, not crucified, and the preference shown them leaves the noses of the righteous out of joint.

The death of Jesus was interpreted in the early church as a prophetic death, not a sacrificial one, that is, the death of a just man who took a hit for telling the truth, for speaking the prophetic word, for contradicting the world and interdicting its hardness of heart with his parabolic stories of the kingdom. It was the ‘world’ that made Jesus pay – not God – for contradicting the world. It was the world that thinks in terms of paybacks. In this sense Jesus died because of the sinfulness of the world, not the sacrificial exchange for wiping out the debt of sin or to offer the devil a ransom. The world positively hated what it heard, hated this madness of the gift and this kingdom forgiveness. He came to the world and contradicted its ways, and the world made him pay for that. The system of payments belongs to the world; is one of the defining marks of the world, one of the defining features of the rule of the world, even as priestcraft, thinking in terms of rigorous sacrificial exchange, is sheer and utter worldliness (economics), even though it is engaged in celestial commerce in the exchange of heavenly wares. But the rule of God, of the Abba, is an event, is marked by the gift and forgiveness.

Abba, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Forgive these unrepentant Roman soldiers, who mock and torture and kill, and who are not the least bit sorry. Now that sounds like the kingdom. That has the ring of paradox of an event, of the weak force of God, of the power of powerlessness, of a sacred anarchy, of the parabolic excess of the kingdom. That is the way things work in the mad economics, the economics of a sacred anarchy, where abuse is returned by love, where offence is met with forgiveness, where Jesus completely disarms the Grand Inquisitor with a kiss, where the strict accounting system in the economy of exchange is thrown into confusion and disarray by unaccountable, impossible gifts.”

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Delighted to Support Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge

Check out Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge. “The Forgiveness Challenge is a free 30-day online program developed to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life.”

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We’re humbled to bring you this interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu about their new Global Forgiveness Challenge as well as HumanJourney.com, a platform for transformational ideas that Archbishop Tutu is co-founding with book and media creator Doug Abrams. WordPress.com is delighted to be a partner in this initiative.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved! Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved!

What is the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge?

The Forgiveness Challenge is a free 30-day online program developed to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life.

How does the Forgiveness Challenge work?

Each day, participants receive an email from us that directs them to a new post on the website that presents an important insight into forgiveness and that offers them…

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Welcome to LoveFirst

With our ‘new site’ up and running we continue on our journey looking at a new kind of Christianity, moving from dogmatic doctrines to faith and from fear to love. The Peter Rollins quote and video, posted below, articulates the ‘love first’ themes that we have been exploring.

“To love is to know God precisely because God is love. A new community, at it’s best, can teach us again that love must be the first word on our lips and also the last, and that we must seek to incarnate that sacred word in the world. I recently heard a well-known speaker say that if faith does not cost us something; it is nothing. Only much later could I respond: if faith does not cost us everything, it is nothing. Orthodoxy as right belief will cost us little; indeed, it will allow us to sit back with our pharisaic doctrines, guarding the ‘truth’ with the purity of our interpretations. But, orthodoxy, as behaving in the right way, as bringing love to the world around us and within us…that will cost us everything.”

Join the conversation.

Elaine & Graeme

 

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