Archive for April 2014

FORGIVING ONE PAGE AT A TIME and WHEN TO FORGIVE   13 comments

Last evening I finally got my DVD working and watched a program on Forgiveness. Unfortunately I was alone at home, so there was no one with whom to share my distress. So now you are it.

The problem with the topic of forgiveness is that people are talking about all kinds of things. Not just apples and oranges, but throw in some carrots and tomatoes too

So, here are some things that distressed me. One person thought that forgiving meant not getting angry. WRONG. Anger is the first step – well, maybe the second – in a long tough process of deciding whether to forgive, and if so, how.

Another person thought forgiving meant saying what the other person did was all right. WRONG. If you think the other person did nothing wrong, then there’s nothing to forgive. No, forgiveness happens, if you choose it, because the offender did something wrong.

Some seemed to think that forgiving means the lawbreaker will pay no price for the crime. WRONG. You are not the legal system, though these days you certainly do have an opportunity to influence it. You can forgive, relieving yourself of the negative effects of un-utilized anger, without preventing appropriate legal penalties.

And that brings me back to anger. What a gift! What a motivator! The issue is not to avoid or deny anger, but to harness it.

Some thought they couldn’t forgive unless the offender requested it and showed sufficient remorse. That may be the truth for some people, but it has its negative effects. Mainly the loss of power. As long as you are waiting for the person who hurt you in the first place to take action, you are powerless, stuck with your anger and pain.

One more thing I noticed. A couple of people said murder was unforgiveable because the person who was hurt is dead and therefore can’t act. But the truth is, the murder of one person has a wide-ranging effect on loved ones, fellow workers, the larger community. The killer has hurt each of those people. Each one has the right to forgive – or not.

There’s more, but I’ll stop here. My point is that the decision whether to forgive – and how – is a long, complicated personal process. And yes, I did say “whether” to forgive. That’s the point.

And as I see people wrestling with these problems, I can’t help wanting to make sure they are aware of my two books on forgiving. The point in both of them is to help readers make their own decisions. No speeches, just guidance through the options and considering the outcome of one’s choices.

I’ve got to find out how to put a PayPal button on my blog. In the meantime, Please reduce my stress and yours by checking out When to Forgive and Forgiving One Page at a Time

By the way, if you decide to buy “Forgiving One Page at a Time,” don’t choose the kindle edition. I tried to stop the publisher from turning it into a kindle book. It won’t work, because it really is fashioned as a diary with some points and questions on the left hand page and a place for your own entries on the right.

One last thing. If you have an opinion about either of the books, please do share it in the comment section.

Thanks

THE ACCORDIAN EFFECT   14 comments

Sometimes the past appears in the present pulling the present into the past like the motion of an accordion. That happened for me last night at a very moving presentation of Dubois’ “Seven Last Words of Christ” at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Excelsior, Minnesota. The sanctuary was full and darkened, lit primarily by seven candles in front of the bare altar. The choir was full. The organ, the drum, and the harp were near perfection, as were the four professional soloists and the choir itself.

As each “word” was completed, one candle was extinguished and, for the finale, the choir sang in the dark without music. No one broke the silence in the end as we left.

For me, it was not just beautiful. I relived the years of singing one of the soprano solos in Hamden, Connecticut. But more than that I saw and heard the conducting organist, long gone from us, and the other friends no longer in my life, and many gone on to the next stage in their journey.

The day before yesterday we had celebrated Maundy Thursday where we received the new commandment to love one another. Yes, the accordion effect last night did flood my soul with love that survives even the death of those who have blessed our lives and moved on.

PROGRESS WITH BOOK COVER FOR “FIGS & POMEGRANATES & SPECIAL CHEESES.”   8 comments

I’m excited to say that I’ve found the ideal person to do the cover for “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses,” the reedited version of “Mrs. Job.” It will portray Dara’s move from Nomad to Royalty — emphasizing the love story aspect and using the colors of her family’s expertise in weaving as a kind of frame.

There’s one thing I like, but I need feedback about. She has introduced a little Astarte in the lower corner, reflecting the conflict in the story as Job demands that Dara give up her devotion to Astarte in favor of his God. I’m concerned that some potential Christian readers might find it offensive.

I’d appreciate opinions. And I’ll be able to make this more specific as the design progresses.

For the header today I’ve chosen a piece of a photograph of the area of Petra (Edoms’ locale) taken by friends Babs and Camille. The whole thing is, of course, much more attractive, but I have to fit the scale allowed for a header.

as9

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