This myth justifies hardheartedness (or often condescending paternalism) toward those whose poverty must be their own fault, and it allows those who believe it to congratulate themselves for their hard work and responsible life choices.
Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart -- poisoned as it is with pride and pain -- and replacing it with his own. Rather than tell you to change, he creates the change.
Pious readers encountering this question may be shocked or offended. It borders on being disrespectful, even unseemly. Yet that's the question that kept coming to mind as I read the passage many preachers will be dealing with this coming Sunday.
And so the days have been. It could all change tomorrow. I could be a grieving mom. I hope the day never comes. Dare I say, in a small way I grive with these moms. I am so sorry they have lost their babies. I am in awe of their courage.
Most people think acceptance has something to do with liking your circumstances. In truth, acceptance merely means recognizing the obvious, cooperating with the reality of it, and finding ways to move forward in spite of the situation.
Do you have the presence of unconditional support for your projects and the challenges they bring? Do enjoy the value of a good listener who offers no comment or criticism but who is simply there for you?
Just as a sponge can only take on water after being wrung out, so too must we be able -- regardless of our experience or education -- to continually renounce our own fullness, lest we become bloated and stale.
My experience is that too many of us under-value, or fail to recognize, our true worth. We do not take good enough care of ourselves, or we sell ourselves short when it comes to being true to ourselves and going for what we really want in our heart of hearts.
We have two dogs in our heart. One is our actual ego, our reality as spirit soul, and one is the false ego, or our false identification with our temporary material body. Whichever we one we feed the most becomes dominant in our consciousness.
After a few days in London I recognized a pattern. It seems to be a common theme that Brits are uncomfortable taking compliments. In response to this realization, I decided to vlog about it! In this video, I offer tips for how to take a compliment and practice receiving.
Early in my life I was told to be careful how I treated strangers because I might be entertaining angels without realizing it. A few days ago a small clan of angels arrived on my patio without my invitation or knowledge.
Lent is like an excursion into the wilderness during which I leave my familiar dependencies to embrace silence, solitude, and deprivation beyond the daily attractions and distractions that shape my life.
That's what's best about this time of year: If we can redirect our energies away from the frenzy and be a little more grateful of our own health and capacities, we can also be better at offering thanks to others.