Let’s Try Kindness

Let’s try kindness. Let’s simply try simple kindness.

I see too much of short-tempers and touchiness. I see too many relationships which could be heaven on earth, but which fall far short.  I have to watch while one hurts the other one seeming not to feel any empathy for the pain.

One person gives the other person a world of hurt when they could be enjoying a mutually loving and caring relationship. Offered happiness and unconditional love, we choose our personal agendas. I wonder what could we be thinking?

People take for granted that they’re going to be treated well while taking for granted the human gift that’s been given to them.

It’s hard to watch people lower the bar on their own relationship, as though the offender will benefit in any way. If the bar is lowered, it’s going to be lowered for both of you. Do you mistake forbearance and patience for a lack of feelings? Do you actually think that your partner will take what you dish out, and persevere in holding up his side forever?  You must think an awful lot of him; in fact, you must think he’s not even human.

Because any human being is going to get enough of being treated selfishly one day. He will then have three choices: he can decide to diminish so much that he’ll let you pummel him into a doormat whom you won’t respect, or he will decide not to take your garbage anymore, and give it back to you. Or he’ll decide that someone else will actually respect him and treat him as though he’s loved.

You say it’s because you can’t respect him? That only says something about you.

If you can’t respect someone who consistently treats you with kindness, sympathy, patience and hopeful attention, in the face of irritation, selfishness of feelings, and dismissal, and does not return anger for anger…you just aren’t able to respect.

And you are missing the obvious:  God has given you an unbelievable gift which you ought to treasure, and you are ungrateful.

What if, instead of looking for irritation, putting our personal agendas before other people’s feelings, and imposing on the other person’s patience and love, we decide to be considerate? What if we are simply polite (even if we don’t actually feel happy about it)?

What if we seek not to hurt even though we must pay the price of swallowing our selfish moods? How about if instead of serving our own childish feelings, we decide to serve the people God has chosen to be our companions in life?

What would we lose?

How about if the law in our houses, from now on, is kindness? What if we adopt a standard that even some people who never set foot in a church are able to pull off? What if we decide to expect kindness and love?

Because simple kindness is a shelter against all the troubles of life, and no relationship can withstand consistent unkindness.


This is a revision of one of my very first posts, and the recipient of my very first “like”.


Time to Take a Deep Breath

There’s so much to be said about the political moment, but is there any point in saying it? Here are a couple of thoughts among many.

Life Must Go On

It’s time to acknowledge that that candidate which you have hypnotized yourself into supporting may not win the election. There’s a 50-50 chance! You should prepare yourself for the possibility so that you don’t feel the need to drive off a cliff when it happens.

Sadly, it seems we are living in times which show the truth of this quote:

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

Abraham Lincoln in dangerous times spoke words which clearly apply to our time. That ought to make us look up from our screens and re-think our personal paradigms.

One of the two will win the election. The other will lose. And when that happens, you will have to go on living. Working, going to school, taking care of your family. The same country you live in will still be here. It will not have become a gulag overnight.

It will be bad. There is no possible way that our nation will prosper and improve after November 2016. And there’s a strong case to be made for our complicity in our own demise. But let’s not set ourselves up for self-imposed ultimatums.

Take a breath. It makes no sense to vilify half of your countrymen and purposely live in hate and fear.



Tale a fresh look at reality. Whichever your candidate, it may be time to admit that yours is outrageously compromised. You don’t have to become blind to his/her ethical failures and political disasters. It is possible to admit that she or he would be an unprecedentedly bad president, and still to concede that you must reluctantly vote for him or her.

I see friends on social media supporting one candidate or the other with a fervor which I can only describe as hysterical. Willingly blind to his/her flaws, their social-media lives are devoted to the utter destruction of the opponent. There are no flaws, and the opposition is both evil and stupid. A few months before, the same people were re-posting memes about the absurdity of their now-darling’s unfitness to hold office.

We have here two candidates who are bad at representing themselves in epic proportions.

If I’m a presidential candidate who’s been a Senator, Secretary of State, and I occupied the White House for eight years only twenty years ago, I’m doing nothing but mention one accomplishment after another. I’m pointing out to you how effective my governance has been and the obvious evidence all around us that I’ve changed our nation, and the world, for the better. If my opponent has no policy experience at all, I’m drawing an unfavorable comparison between his lack and my excellent experience.

This candidate is struggling to give you any reason to vote for her other than that her opponent has an obnoxious personality. It’s certainly true, but I daresay there have been a few successful presidents who weren’t likeable personally.

As for Trump’s debating skills: almost any one of the other contenders for the Republican nomination would have easily bested Mrs. Clinton. It should not be hard to “win” a debate against a person with a history in government as inept, reckless,corrupt and scandal-plagued as she. She is the picture of entitlement, unabashedly piqued at those who would expect her to work for the right to sit in that Oval Office chair.

Such a person presents you with so much low-hanging fruit that it ought to have been easy. How could he have failed to show her up?


It’s a Trap

Someone please tell us it’s all been a huge prank.

The race for the presidency of the United States, formerly the greatest nation in the world, has become the contest for the #1 most powerful jerk in history. No decent person with honorable motives can get anywhere near the race for the nomination anymore. And we did that. Let’s be honest. We aren’t really interested in a contest for an honest, disinterested servant of the people. If one tried to run we wouldn’t understand what he was trying to do. That probably happened already.

So we’ve all been drafted into a caricature of a real campaign. Instead of weighing the relative worth and fitness of two public servants, we are actually trying to choose which power-mad narcissist we hope against hope won’t destroy the country in less than four years.

Many of you have managed to convince yourselves that you’re excited about this or that candidate.  But in order to do so, you’ve had to actually become irrational. Don’t do that to yourselves.

Focus is Difficult

I’ve been re-posting and reblogging, but I really haven’t written much since June. I haven’t been able to focus well enough to finish a thought.

I could say that I’m overwhelmed with all that’s on my plate, but I was doing all the same things before I stopped writing; I only took considerable time away from the other things to write. I still have just as much time, as long as I can justify writing rather than acting responsibly and getting stuff done.

I think I simply got off track. I had to prepare for VBS. I was the craft teacher for grades 4 through 6, and there are no canned craft ideas or coloring handouts for me, no! I just think the kids deserve to learn something real about the subject of the VBS theme, work on open-ended art which allows for their own creative expression, and take home something that’s not going straight to the trash. Then you have to actually prepare the materials and work out how to instruct the kids to carry it all out. (And when VBS time arrived, I had to take over in another grade unexpectedly, so we together had to come up with some craft ideas on the spot.) That might sound easy but it actually takes a lot of time and mental energy. It takes some sustained focus.

I’m not good at sustained focus. I can keep sustained focus for one extra-necessary thing at a time. I can either write or do art.

When I was on the writing track, I was thinking about writing most of the time. I always have many more posts in progress than I have finished and posted. If I had a “brilliant”, “insightful” thought I was instantly composing it for a post like I was in the grip of a bad habit.

But once VBS loomed, I was heading down the art track. After VBS, I had to get serious about my little business. I had to start making new books for the arts festival where I was going to be a vendor. And the other one. And I must be treating my business like a business and not like a hobby. Regular work times in the daily schedule and all that.

The business is micro, but it’s starting to gain momentum. Someone from a local gallery and arts center saw my booth at the fair and asked me to sell my books at the center’s shop. I am more than excited over this. I really have to pay attention to the opportunities now.

So I have been on the bookbinding and cover-designing track since July, and I’m going to be fixed on that mental track probably til early December.

I have quite a few posts in the works, but I really don’t know when I’ll be able to gather the mental steam to treat them right. Thanks to you all who are reading this; I know you’re faithful friends and I appreciate your loyalty. A hug to each of you.

Hope to talk to you soon.


Always distracted: stopping to take a picture of my picturesque arrangement because the sun.

God Laughs

Even we believers think that the devil is the god (small g) of this world.  He certainly believes it. We surrender to this discouraging scenario, and sigh at the uphill battle before us.

But we ought to laugh at this because our experience actually proves otherwise.

You have a conversation with a fellow church attender which seems to you unremarkable, more than chit-chat but no heavy lifting on your part. You walk away and go on with your life. Later, this same friend tells you that you had been the voice of God, saying to her precisely the words she needed, at exactly the right time. And you had casually dropped that verse which seemed to you like a good fit, but which confirmed God as the author of your advice, because it was the secret verse at the center of her lonely turmoil all along.

Were you in a trance or controlled by a remote irresistible force? Did you feel anything? Of course not: you only thought you were having an easy conversation with a friend. You didn’t know you were being a conduit for words from heaven to a needy soul. God did that.

Have you noticed how easy it is for Almighty God to work in and through you in this supposedly Satan-controlled world?

Satan is called the prince of this world. He is called a lion wandering about seeking whom he may devour. He is permitted some time and some freedom to work his will.

“I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming, and he has no claim on Me.”

The prince is a pretender to the throne and he will be cast out.

“Now judgement is upon this world; now the prince of this world will be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”

Because of the discouraged worldview we borrow, we convince ourselves that God has to break through! or work some magic in conflict with the natural flow and the laws of physics to make Himself known. Like it’s a super-supernatural feat for the Creator of the universe to make something happen in the universe He designed. That’s ridiculous.

It is actually effortless and seamless for God to work in our interactions and in the world.

It ALL belongs to Him, his fingerprints are on every atom, He’s everywhere. He can move and connect people effortlessly. It’s ALL His and the devil is a deceived fool.

The only thing standing in His way is our free will, and that’s negotiable. Ask Jonah.