Tag Archives: understanding

The GOP Tax Plan Illustrated

Sometimes it can be difficult to get our heads around the massive injustice of the GOP tax plan. The numbers are staggering, and the sheer immorality of the Republican leaders is beyond comprehension.

The illustration above is an attempt to give a graphic picture of the reality of what’s going down. #BLOTUS and his Republican cohorts are desperate for a win, and they are obligated to pay back their mega donors. This tax bill will do both while most of us will suffer the consequences.

Every concerned/outraged citizen needs to contact their representatives and shout/scream “NO.” And we need to do it now.

recognizing a Jesus person

Mr. Laurie has a great point. There’s a huge difference between being a religious person and being a person who follows the lifestyle and teachings of Jesus.

Religious folks, Jerry Falwell, Jr. for example, all too often, have a world view that they claim is Christian. Nothing, however, could be further away from the truth.

A Jesus person doesn’t preach hatred, bigotry or greed. A Jesus person doesn’t support racism or white surpremacy and doesn’t endorse or condone the use of violence. Yet, a religious person is free do do all of this.

A Jesus person can be recognized by their openness and acceptance of others and their caring and compassion for anyone in need. Jesus people are the ones who attempt to demonstrate a lifestyle of love rather than fear, reaching out to build bridges of hope and understanding rather than walls of separation.

One last hint to help recognize a Jesus person, look for a joyful smile.  Religious people have an extremely difficult time faking that. They are usually far too angry.

nothing is to be feared

We cannot control the actions of others. That is a given. But, we can control our response.

One of my favorite passages in the New Testament is in the First Letter of John where the writer talks about the need for loving each other more. In one verse he writes, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear..”

We need to love more, and we need to fear less. As Madam Curie so elegantly states, nothing in life is to be feared. Nothing. So that includes those that don’t look as we do,  those who speak a different language, those that worship differently than we do, those whose sexual orientation is not like ours, and even those who might hate us,

Fear is a powerful demonstration that the depth of our discipleship is too shallow. Our lack of love for those we do not understand is a clear signal that we do not love God enough to understand. We have nothing to fear.

a simple prayer for the poor

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and Joy. Amen 

a simple prayer of Mother Teresa for the poor and hungry

a long and lonely hunt

I do not know John Taylor Gatto. Recently, however, I came across a quote on prayer attributed to him that resonates with me. It is a fitting reflection as we begin the new year. I would love to know what you think of Gatto’s words.

I pray for strength to accept that lives most often end in tragedy, that quests don’t always work, that understanding is a long and lonely hunt, that I can’t reason my way to love, eat gold, or live forever. And that none of this matters. I pray to understand that I am here to find my way back to God, whatever that takes, and all the rest, save love and duty, is an illusion.

 

prayer for insight

Most merciful and gracious Lord, we thank you for another night of safety and rest. We praise you for another glorious day filled with the promise of your presence and power.

We pray today to be more mindful in all we do.  We pray today to have more understanding, especially for those in dire circumstances and deep difficulties. Help us to see beyond the superficial. Help us, Creator God, to glimpse the same beauty in those in need  for which you allowed your Son to go to the cross.

Allow us to be fully open to your leading. Allow us to be perfectly useful to you in touching those that crave a loving touch, those who shiver with the chill of neglect, and those whose hunger is far deeper than just bread.

Help us this day, o Lord, to have insight in how best to meet the deepest needs of those you place in our path. AMEN.

the soul of genius

True genius without heart is a thing of naught — for not with great understanding alone, nor imagination alone, nor both together make genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius. — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

I believe it. It is not the mind of God that is most important to know, but the heart of God. The closer we are to the heart of God, the more love we have for one another, the easier it becomes to demonstrate that love in ways that help heal our broken world. The great Indian poet,  Rabindranath Tagore, put it this way:

He who wants to do good knocks at the gate; he who loves finds the gate open.