Mindfulness Versus Polarity

My son’s army figures have overtaken our bathroom! But, I thought it a fitting (ironic?) backdrop for this quote. “To celebrate the particularity of individuals and cultures is to see and understan…

Source: Mindfulness Versus Polarity

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Banks more Predatory than Payday Loan Agencies?

I loved this wonderful blog post by Dr. Oliver-Snyder, Words and Creation. The focus of being quiet and mindful with one another in order to have understanding, peace and grace is wonderful and well put – along with the meditative picture that she created with the wonderful quote.

I also like this quote:

Much of the criticism that is made in Zechariah (and the reason for Israel’s demise) surrounds the unfair treatment of the underrepresented such as the use of manipulated weights for measuring the worth of merchandise, or taking advantage of another’s setback. The oracle understood that if a few possessed a great deal of wealth while others in the community were destitute, there was something very wrong with the manner in which the society functioned.

It made me think of this Fresh Air interview I recently listened to: Why More Americans Are Giving Up On Banks. In this interview, author Lisa Servon, author of The Unbanking of America, shares how a growing number of Americans are finding alternatives to traditional banks such as using Payday Loan or Cash for Check Agencies. I’ve always looked at those places with disdain and viewed them as predatory to middle to low income people. After listening to this very informed author, I don’t see it quite this way anymore and was just flabbergasted to learn that in 2011, Americans paid $38 billion just in overdraft fees! Servon shared how banks now make most of their money and use tricks to increase these kinds of fees that basically target lower-income customers. I look at all the things like these, that are somewhat a result of deregulation, and see how there are those in society who find ways to focus on taking advantage of the middle to lower-income demographic for financial gain and in a sense keep them in that place by continuing to a cycle of fees and dependence and create an unequal burden for those less privileged.

Which brings me back to Dr. Oliver-Snyder’s quote above that when those with wealth take unfair advantage of those without, that there is “something very wrong with the manner in which the society functioned.” And this message is seen repeatedly throughout Scripture in both the Old Testament and in the words of Jesus in the New Testament.

I see this as a moral issue. But we often ignore this as a moral issue and call other things as vastly more significant on the moral standing.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:34-36

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Song for the week: Wishing for This

Last day for me to listen to Christmas music this year – but this week I’ve been really getting into this 2006 song by Leigh Nash. I love this whole EP. Several covers, but this song is an original and I love these words, which are a good prayer for the new year:

so drop your hands into this heart of mine
oh how it needs lifted
I wanna forgive and I need to be forgiven
I wanna let live and I need to do some livin’
I wanna find a light this Christmas night with you
I wanna find a light this Christmas night with you

 

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Song of the Week: In the First Light

I had forgotten about this song, but heard it today and it’s such a great song for Christmas – and inspiring words. Gave me goosebumps!  Hope you enjoy.

 

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Song of the Week: Polarize

I had heard of Twenty One Pilots from my youth but had not heard them until I saw them on Saturday Night Live, where they did their songs “Heathens” and “Ride” and I was hooked. The emotion they put into their music, their self-reflecting and honest lyrics, their catching music. They infuse issues of self-doubt, insecurities and faith in their music – all of which I can relate to.

Btw, the rerun of the SNL episode that they were on will be airing this Saturday evening. I highly recommend checking it out. You can also watch it on NBC with provider log-in. If you’re unfamiliar with their music, those two songs are good introductions to them.

I really like this song for some of the phrasing, including “Domingo en fuego, I think I lost my halo”. “Domingo en fuego” meaning “Sunday Fire”. Great poetry here and an encouragement to me to be a better person (lyrics provided below):

 

 

“Polarize”
by Twenty One Pilots

Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me down,
Those stairs is where I’ll be hiding all my problems,
Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me out,
My friends and I, we’ve got a lot of problems.

You know where I’m coming,
From though I am running,
To you, all I feel is deny, deny, denial,
I wanted to be a better brother, better son,
Wanted to be a better adversary to the evil I have done,
I have none to show to the one I love,
But deny, deny, denial.

Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me down,
Those stairs is where I’ll be hiding all my problems,
Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me out,
My friends and I, we’ve got a lot of problems.

Polarize is taking your disguises,
Separating them, splitting them up from wrong and right,
It’s deciding where to die and deciding where to fight,
Deny, deny, denial.

I wanted to be a better brother, better son,
Wanted to be a better adversary to the evil I have done,
I have none to show to the one I love,
But deny, deny, denial.

Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me down,
Those stairs is where I’ll be hiding all my problems,
Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me out,
My friends and I, we’ve got a lot of problems.

We have problems
We have problems

[2x]
Domingo en fuego, I think I lost my halo,
I don’t know where you are,
You’ll have to come and find me, find me.

We have problems
We have problems

Help me polarize, help me polarize,
Help me out,
My friends and I have problems…

We have problems
We have problems

I wanted to be a better brother, better son
I wanted to be a better brother, better son
I wanted to be a better brother, better son

 

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Song of the Week – Faithful

We had a really rough week in our family this past week and this song has been really helpful for me. I haven’t blogged in a while but want to get back to it and thought I’d start with the “Song of the Week” thing I’ve done a few times and actually try to post a song a week. I hope this is an encouraging song for you on this day. Lyrics provided below. Good words to meditate on.

Faithful

You never promised me that this would be easy
I never knew that anything could be this hard
I wanna trust that You know what You’re doin’
But right now, I’m just fallin’ apart
It’s hard to see it when I’m livin’ in the moment
But Your love’s still written on my heart
I get lost when I feel the wind blowin’
I gotta cling to who You are
‘Cause You are good
Even when You’re not understood
No matter how many skies fall down
I’m covered under the peace I’ve found
You’re my shelter when there’s nowhere else to go
No matter how many times I break
You promise always to keep me safe
You’re my rescue when I’m spinning outta control
You are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
I’m leaving doubt and sorrow in the distance
I’m gonna trust, and cast my fears aside
My life’s a work that I know You’ll finish
I know I’m gonna be alright
It’s You I’ll chase
Even when I can’t see Your face
No matter how many skies fall down
I’m covered under the peace I’ve found
You’re my shelter when there’s nowhere else to go
No matter how many times I break
You promise always to keep me safe
You’re my rescue when I’m spinning out of control
You are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
You are
And oh, oh, oh, oh
My God is always faithful
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
(My God, my God)
And oh, oh, oh, oh
My God is always faithful
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
(My God, my God)
No matter how many skies fall down
I’m covered under the peace I’ve found
You’re my shelter when there’s nowhere else to go
No matter how many times I break
You promise always to keep me safe
You’re my rescue when I’m spinning outta control
Lord, you are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
You are
Oh, You are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
You are faithful, faithful
You are
Songwriters: Jon Steingard / Sam Tinnesz
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No Other Name

Just spending some time in mindfulness today and this song came to me. Love these words! Very powerful for me today:

There is no other name
By which man can be saved
There is no other Name under Heaven
There is rest for my soul And the wounded made whole
And the captives set free and Forgiven

Such love as I’ve never known
I’ve found in the grace that Flowed to me
In my unrighteousness
This is why my heart and soul
And tongue confess

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A Heuristic for Changing the World

Such great words here and reminders. I love these tidbits:

“…my malaise festers when my soul is starved of grace. And grace is crusted over by the ideas of who I think I should be or what others think I should be or think they know of me.”

“By widening my circle of compassion, I am free from the prison of my optical delusion that restricts my perception of what I do to the few people nearest to me.”

“My range of influence may seem very small, but it is not isolated. And the more open I am to widening that circle, the more that circle opens still wider and to more spheres.”

We are both less than and greater than we realize. When we unwittingly and inevitably fall into the posturing that the world revolves around us, we must realize that we are both less than and grater than this.

Eirene

A few days ago, seemingly out of nowhere, my 10-year-old son, Clark, declared, “Mom, I believe you’re gonna change the world.” Pause. Come again? “Yeah, you have the biggest brain of anyone I know and you like to help people.” Well. Hmm.

How did Clark know just how much I have been struggling with feeling like a dud, that all I’ve been doing these last few years has made no difference to anyone anywhere? How is it that my youngest child could see in me something I cannot even begin to think is true of myself? I mean, come on—he’s only 10.

Then, my 15-year-old son, Lysander, announced at dinner, “Mom, you are the best chef ever. No one is as good at cheffing than you.” So, I only heated up fish sticks and tater tots. Ok. They are not to be believed.

It is true: parenting is an invaluable job…

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Psalm 23 in song

Love this version of my favorite Psalm to music by Jon Foreman. I chose the image on my blog of a person walking down a path in the countryside as a reflection on this Psalm. My journey is taken is in faith and trust, in each step…

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest in fields of green with quiet streams
Even though I walk through the valley of death and dying
I will not fear ’cause you are with me
You are with me

Your shepherd staff Comforts me
You are my feast in the presence of enemy
Surely goodness
Will follow me
Follow me
In the house of God, forever

God is my shepherd
I won’t be wanting
I won’t be wanting
He makes me rest in fields of green by quiet streams
Even while I’m walking through the valley of death and dying
I will not fear ’cause you are with me
You’re always with me

Your shepherd staff comforts me
You are my feast in the presence of enemy
Surely goodness will follow me
follow me
In the house of God, forever
In the house of God, forever
In the house of God, forever

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GPS Tracker in fake Tusk, Joseph Kony and human tragedy

Elephant

Really good podcast here from Fresh Air on the Ivory smuggling problem and it’s cause and affects rooting in human tragedy. I just hope we can all become more aware and help do away with purchasing religious (or otherwise) ivory items.

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/08/12/431908397/gps-trackers-in-fake-elephant-tusks-reveal-ivory-smuggling-route

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