Friday, December 31, 2010

"Firecracker" By Frazey Ford

My brother Bob introduced me to the music of the Canadian Group, the "Be
Good Tanyas". This cut by Frazey Ford, founder of the group I find
riveting, even more so when performed live. Here she is at Lilith Fair
this last summer.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 - Letting Go of Old Hurts - Reflection from Henri Nouwen

As we head into the New Year, of we are carrying any old hurts forward with our New Year's Resolutions please read and keep this in mind.  I am not sure I can totally do this but I "resolve" to give it a try.  BEN

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Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

Letting Go of Old Hurts

One of the hardest things in life is to let go of old hurts. We often say, or at least think: "What you did to me and my family, my ancestors, or my friends I cannot forget or forgive. ... One day you will have to pay for it." Sometimes our memories are decades, even centuries, old and keep asking for revenge.

Holding people's faults against them often creates an impenetrable wall. But listen to Paul: "For anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old order is gone and a new being is there to see. It is all God's work" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). Indeed, we cannot let go of old hurts, but God can. Paul says: "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not holding anyone's fault against them" (2 Corinthians 5:19). It is God's work, but we are God's ministers, because the God who reconciled the world to God entrusted to us "the message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19). This message calls us to let go of old hurts in the Name of God. It is the message our world most needs to hear.

Share your thoughts on this reflection.

These reflections are taken from Henri J.M. Nouwen's Bread for the Journey.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Handling Anger - (Important in the "holiday rush")

Reprint of an earlier blog entry I posted in late 2006.   Today it bear repeating in this time of "rushing about" for the "holidays".  I know I only wrote part of it, the rest is from a source not noted.    Peace, BEN

In an earlier article I wrote about the difference between destructive and constructive anger and how Thich Nhat Hanh writes about taking care of our anger. There are three things you can do to help take care of your anger.


  • Acknowledgment - The first point of change happens with awareness. Often times we either are not aware of our anger because we are suppressing and repressing it or not aware of the warning signs before we just explode. Awareness of the warning signs that anger is present is important to begin to get in touch with. The most practical way to do this is by paying attention to our bodies. Think of a scenario that really makes your blood boil and let it stew in your mind for a bit. Then shift your attention to your body and notice what sensations are there. You may notice warmth, tightness in the chest, tension in certain muscles, teeth clenching, and pressure in the eyes. Get to know these physical feelings as they can be a great guide as to when anger is arising.


Along with knowing the warning signs, it’s important to acknowledge in our own minds when anger is here. We can even say; anger is here right now. This nonjudgmental acknowledgment is critical recognizing that there is discontent in us at the moment and it would be wise to do the next step. 


  • Care of Anger - It is well known that when we are in a state of anger or in a state of repressing our anger, we often times say or do things that we regret later. It’s not that the anger is “bad”, it’s just that often times having a dialogue when really angry isn’t as effective as cooling down and then coming back and expressing what you are feeling. How do we take care of our anger in the moment? With the recognition that the anger is there, you may choose to step away for a bit and notice this discomfort or pain inside. With awareness of it, you may even bring your attention to your breath and say “breathing in, I am aware of this anger, breathing out I calm my body.” You may also choose to take a walk, while attempting to be “tender” and embracing your anger as if it was a little child, a mini-you, who needed love inside. After some time the anger will soften and transform a bit revealing what may be underneath it. This will take some practice.


  • Awareness of others - Often times when we get angry there is someone else involved. Our reaction often is one of retaliation to get back at the other person with little awareness that this actually increases our own suffering as the conflict escalates. We don’t want to hold back or pretend we aren’t angry, but we also don’t want to retaliate as this doesn’t help. In this step, it is important to really try and put yourself in the other person’s shoes to see why they possibly reacted the way they did. This can be very difficult or near impossible if it was a serious offense of abuse. So take this step with caution and at your own pace.  Peace in yourself, can lead to peace in the relationship.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Prayer requests for a Monday

Serious matters for a serious time.  Sorry I've not had time to update these blogs but hope you'll pray or give good thoughts to these:
  • Leisa - Aid worker trapped in Haiti with the recent post-election violence and her two adopted sons that they may make it home safely.
  • Robert - Second Cancer operation in 9 months.  Happening now.  Prognosis unsure.
  • Wendy, Johanne and David - Bad cancer diagnosis.  Safety for Wendy as she drives from Chicago to CT to be with her brother and sister-in-law

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