Teaching for Wisdom

GREEN CIRCLE: WE CHANGE MINDS AND HEARTS

Month: July 2016

Wisdom from a Mole…..

A Sioux Story
Shared from: www://.nativeamericanteachings.com/

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said :  “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality.”
The eagle said, “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.”
The Creator said, “No. One day they will go there and find it.”
The salmon said, “I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean.”
“No. They will go there too.”
The buffalo said, “I will bury it on the Great Plains.”
The Creator said, “They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there.”

Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, “Put it inside of them.”

And the Creator said, “It is done.”

A Prayer for the Children

WE PRAY FOR THE CHILDREN

We pray for the children
Who sneak popsicles before supper,
Who erase holes in math workbooks,
Who can never find their shoes.

We pray for those
Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
Who can’t bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
Who never “counted potatoes,”
Who are born in places where we couldn’t be caught dead,
Who never go to the circus,
Who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for the children
Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money

And we pray for those
Who never get dessert,
Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
Who watch their parents watch their parents watch them dies,
Who can’t find bread to steal
Who don’t have rooms to clean up,
Whose pictures aren’t on anybody’s dresser,
Whose monsters are real.

We Pray for the Children
Who spend their allowance before Tuesday,
Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
Who like ghosts stories,
Who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
Who never rinse out the tub,
Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
Who don’t like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
Who squirm in church and scream in the phone,
Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
Whose smiles can make us cry.

And we ray for those
Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
Who will eat anything
Who have never seen the dentist,
Who aren’t spoiled by anybody,
Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
Who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for the children
Who want to be carried and for those who must,
Who we never give up on and for those who don’t get a second chance.

We pray for those we smother and for those who will grab the hand of
anybody kind enough to offer it.

Author: (A women who wants to remain anonymous)

The Good Samaritan: Good Preaching

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Periodically I will be posting insightful preaching from all faiths. If you would like to share something you preached or taught or heard someone else preach on a topic pertinent to our times and the caring of all our children, please email me with the draft.
This is a good one taken from the Christian Lectionary for the Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary time.
Fifteenth Sunday of Ordinary time: Deuteronomy 10: 13-14 Colossians 1:15-20—Luke 10:25-CY. C Sunday July 10,2016

Greetings:

Too often, this parable of the Good Samaritan is heard as a pleasant moral lesson of kindness and neighborliness, but it is so much more important than that! It is a masterful attack on communal prejudice.

It is our obligation today as twenty-first century Christians to place this parable in the context of ancient Mediterranean society which was an honor and shame society. Mostly we are also called to understand the importance of a simple question directed at a teacher.

A question in the ancient Jewish world was not perceived as a question for information. Questions were seen and experienced as a challenge to a man’s honor. The person who asked the question, and did not know the answer, therefore, would be shamed by their ignorance.

From the start, the writer of Luke’s Gospel tells us that the questionnaire is an Expert in the Law and is putting Jesus to the test. In doing this Luke sets up a very dramatic scene for a real exchange of ideas to occur, but he sets the stage first. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is consistent—He is always insulting the questionnaire. (I call this a Christian “touché moment”.) Setting the story up this way, Luke exposes the truth behind the questions:
Lawyer: “Teacher, what must I do to inherit everlasting life?”
Jesus: How do YOU read it?
The Expert on the law answers so directly and correctly that he exposes that he already knew the answer when he asked the question. This quick exchange exposes the fact that he is a liar that is well trained in the Law. Jesus in a simple response to the Lawyer says: “You answered correctly—do it and you will live.” (Touché). But this expert in the Law, needs to save face also, so he asks, “Who is my neighbor”?—knowing full well that Hebrew Law at the time said only people of your tribe were your neighbors.

Another trick question, but Jesus blows him away with his answer/story of the Good Samaritan and his ending question, “Which of these three became a neighbor?” This smart lawyer loses the match. He asked the question, “Who is my neighbor?” and now Jesus asks, “To whom must you become a neighbor?

The lawyer realizes that one must become a neighbor to anyone and everyone in need. One must reach out with compassion to all people, even to one’s enemies. The Samaritans in this case. Jesus introduces something very new to the human condition.

Jesus gives us a “third way” in dealing with social injustice and fear and violence. Followers of his third way don’t just have to chose fight or flight from an unjust situation, but can choose active non-violence. Jesus’ way deliberately invokes and exposes the violence and the lies of the oppressor. Jesus’s way is a gift not a law. It is a CHOICE—THOU MAYEST. Choosing LOVE is a decision of conscience .
Jesus’ way requires that we acknowledge that my neighbor and I share a human trait: Something in me and my neighbor is very dark and we need God’s help and mercy to bring it to the light for healing. Jesus’ third way also asks us to see all violence as a symptom of a unjust society.

In our second reading, Paul, knew and understood this deep human darkness within himself and within the people of his early Jewish/Christian communities. Today, we hear from Colossians, a community experiencing great violence from without and heresy from within. Paul being the Jewish/Christian mystic he was turns the violence of the Christ’s cross into the LIGHT of reconciliation for all people. For all neighbors….Mercy for All…Reconciliation for all PEOPLES. He gives us hope that we can change human darkness into the light.

I am reminded of Elie Weisel’s words from an early interview regarding his book on the Jewish Holocaust: “The opposite of Hate is not Love, it is Indifference.”
If you came to Church today confused, bewildered, sad, or angry; You are among friends, and you are not indifferent; If you came this morning deeply desiring change in this country, and the world that we share with others; You are not indifferent; You are simply practicing what writers of our first reading using the voice of Moses was asking their people to do, Finding God’s word near you…In your mouth and in your heart. God is within us. God is also within our neighbor.

YOU CAN DO TWO THINGS AT ONCE: Breathing and Walking

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Cyndi Lee is the founder of the influential Buddhist-based OM Yoga. She now owns the Yoga Goodness Studio, in central Virginia. She is training to become a Buddhist chaplain. She is sharing this advice to any one deciding to change their ways of being. It all begins with leaning how to breath again.  (slightly edited)

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“Instead of an afternoon tea or lemonade,
Try a walking mediation;
Just walk slightly slower than your normal pace
but not so slow that anyone would notice.
What makes it a meditation is that you are
paying attention to the experience.

As you move along, really see what is in front of you and notice the sensation of your feet against the ground.
Whenever you realize that your mind has strayed,
in a friendly but firm way,
return it to the experience.

Integrating mind and body with a conscious walk lets you cultivate concentration, engage your muscles, bring fresh air into your lungs, and take your brain off your worries. Remember-you don’t have to walk super-slow, like a zombie. But take your time.

You are not trying to go
anywhere but inward.

Summer Reading for Children who want to learn about other religions

 

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Interfaith Understanding:  Simple SUMMER READING FOR CHILDREN

A CHILD’S SUCCESS IN LIFE ALSO DEPENDS ON THEIR ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO APPRECIATE, UNDERSTAND AND CONNECT WITH OTHERS…..

There is a great divide of understandings between religion.  The Children I meet and their parents are asking for some resources that would help them all meet the wisdom challenges that the heart presents:  Here are just a few books I would recommend:

Religion of the World for Kids by Shalu Sharma.

The Author is a practicing Hindu with a keen interest and education in other relegions of the world.  She believes that just because she is a practicing Hindu, that does not prevent her from teaching her children other faiths.  She also believes that Teaching children abou other cultures, religions and countries of the world will make them more tolerant towards others in an ever increasing violent world.  We couldn’t agree more:

A CHILD’S SUCCESS IN LIFE ALSO DEPENDS ON THEIR ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO APPRECIATE, UNDERSTAND AND CONNECT WITH OTHERS…..

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July 2016– Thought for month of July

WISHING ALL AMERICANS A DAY OF REFLECTION AND INSIGHT!

America and Americans “…America-complicated, paradoxical, bullheaded, shy, cruel, boisterous, unspeakably dear, and very beautiful.”
John Steinbeck

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