Don’t Judge, Because You Just Don’t Know

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“Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle.”
Philo of Alexandria

Don’t judge what you don’t know, because you just don’t know.

 

I was in the checkout line with my small pile of necessities for dinner-makins plus a large box of Haagen Dazs chocolate almond covered ice cream bars (don’t judge. It was one of those days). The woman in front of me was fussing over her items as the clerk was scanning and carefully bagging her groceries. “No, no, no!” she snapped at the clerk, “I don’t want those things put together.” She hastily took a couple of things out of one bag and put them in another. “I like them like this!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry, ma’am,” the clerk was patiently accommodating. When her things were organized just-so, she paid the bill and walked out the door.

My turn. Her prickly attitude made me a little more conscious of my favorite clerk. I flashed a warm smile, “Looks like you’re having another busy day!” It was a feeble attempt to undo the bad energy that had just wafted through his checkstand. He smiled, trying to hide his embarrassment.  And just as he was scanning my Haagen Dazs, the lady returned, this time without her bags. Continue reading

Grace

GodsGrace Light

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“What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country…”
Robert F. Kennedy, April 4, 1968

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Yesterday was a historic day – as is now well-known, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage for all. It was also the day of the funeral for Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims of the shooting that happened a little over a week ago.

You will recall that on Wednesday, June 17, a young white man entered a church in South Carolina where a bible study group was meeting, and shot and killed 9 people, including Rev. Clementa Pinckney, a senator for the state of South Carolina. Once arrested, the shooter said that he intended to start a “race war”.

Yesterday, President Obama – a long-time friend of Rev. Pinckney – stood before a crowd of nearly 6000 people and delivered a eulogy that was astoundingly beautiful and stirring. His theme was grace. Continue reading

Who Is My Neighbor?

The Good Samaritan by Walter Rane

The Good Samaritan  by Walter Rane

“Resolve to be tender
with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving,
and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been
all of these.”
Lloyd Shearer

“If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
John F. Kennedy

One day while hanging out in a local Starbucks with a mixed group of intellectuals and religious people, Jesus and a Lawyer got into a little neighborly discussion.

A certain lawyer stood up, saying, Master, What shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:25

The question was simple and straightforward, but the intention behind the question was not.  It was a trap.  This Lawyer was trying to lure Jesus into a debate.  Jesus wasn’t in the mood for contention, so he turned the tables and answered the Lawyer’s question with a question. Continue reading

Lift

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“We make a living by what we get,
but we make a life by what we give.”
Winston Churchill

“He is not great who is not greatly good.”
William Shakespeare

“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2:10 KJV

The Apostle Paul said those last words to the Ephesians, but they were intended for us as well.  We are created by a great God to do great works.  He invites us to use this life to look out for one another – to serve.

I saw the most honest and inspiring example of this on a video message. Had to share it with you. Continue reading

Second Milers

Extra Mile

 

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing right.”
Hunter S. Thompson

“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”
Abraham Lincoln

“Success begins at the extra mile.”
Yuikan Shirik

If you are going to undertake something grand (ie a Prom), three rules of thumb are necessary for its success.
1.  Pray for inspiration.
2.  Give it your all – and then some.
3.  Surround yourself with talented people who are willing to do the same.

27.2
At a recent track meet, Hoka athletics (the event sponsor) handed out these 27.2 stickers. You may have seen similar oval bumper stickers with numbers like (26.2), or (13.1).  For non-runners, these numbers may make little sense, but for distance athletes, these digits tell a story.  Stickers marked 26.2 or 13.1 is a proclamation that this person ran a marathon or half-marathon.

Pretty awesome accomplishment.  But if 26.2 is the number of miles in a marathon, and 13.1 the number of miles in a half-marathon, what’s with the 27.2?  Quick math or a peek at this blog’s title gives it away.  It’s the extra mile.  A suggestion to go a second mile further.

I love this concept with sports, but I love this even more as a metaphor for life.  Continue reading

UnCommon Courtesy

photo: iStockphoto.comDNY59

 

“Life is short, but there is always
time enough for courtesy.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I was raised right – I talk about people behind their backs.
It’s called manners!”
Kathy Griffin, Comedian

“Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you.”
Elsie De Wolfe

Morning Meltdown
So, I’m driving my boys to school the other morning along with every other parent in the tri-city area. (What happened to the days when we walked to school?)  Anyhow, streets are narrow, traffic is bumper-to-bumper, 3/4 of us are still in our pajamas, and the snail-paced rush hour is only a test of patience in our attempt to get to school – on time. But this did not excuse the very bad behavior of one mom.

Three of us approached a 3-way stop T-intersection.  Two of us reached the intersection at the same time (me and the guy across going in the opposite direction).  After we stopped, me and the guy logically continued.  But the gal to my left (who had stopped last) apparently thought someone had done her wrong because she screeched around the corner and butted up right behind the guy wailing on the horn, flipping her finger in the air, yelling profanities. Continue reading

Paradigms

spectacles-glassesEvery person on this planet wears a sort of pair of glasses through which they see the world. A set of lenses through which we filter and perceive life. These glasses are called paradigms. Paradigms are a sort of personally prescribed focus that are formed from things we’ve been taught, experiences, prejudices, opinions – everything through which we perceive the world.

As much as we would like to think that our paradigms are accurate or ideal or fail-proof, they are far from it. This is the problem with paradigms. The glasses we create for ourselves sometimes have blinders that prevent us from seeing the larger picture.

How can they be accurate if our field of vision is limited by personal comfort and happiness? How can they be ideal if our focus is biased to personal power and success? How can they be fail-proof if our peripheral vision only sees our own education, goals and dreams?

We need to shift our paradigms. We need to change how we perceive this world.

How do we do this? Continue reading