The only things standing between you and the compassionate, wise, and creative person you want to be are matters of choice. Your choice. No one can occupy your generosity except you. Gary Zukav
Meditation: When we are afraid and angry about “not having or being enough”, we hold on for dear life. We start hoarding. We start being competitive. We compare. We have to dominate. We envy. We hate people we don’t even know. We develop a mentality of scarcity. We feel that the universe is hostile and that there is no “good will for all”. This fear and dominance mentality has caused much harm in the history of this country, and it is once again intentionally created by the current political leader. The goal is to divide this country into many fractions and have mistrust and fear win people’s hearts. For when people are afraid and divided they forget where they come from and that they are really “one”, and they either follow the leader blindly or attack each other…
However, when we remember our history as a country of immigrants and allow the Spirit of generosity to heal our fear, we can open our hands. We start letting go. We start sharing and giving freely. We no longer need to compare and measure. We don’t have to judge others. We don’t hate, but develop a stance of generosity. We believe that the universe will take care of us and through us also of others who are in need. We believe that there is a universal “good will for all.” This country of immigrants was built on this Spirit of generosity. We would not be here without it. Let us choose to remember the oneness that comes with generosity and that has shaped and healed this country many times in its history…
Prayer: Generous God, stop the Spirit of hate, envy, and fear from winning the hearts of the masses. Instead pour out your Spirit of generosity into this country’s soul once again. Remind us that this is a country of millions of immigrants that sought refuge. Let us mirror your generosity by welcoming and sharing the abundance we have. Amen
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is. Winston Churchill
Meditation: The Mueller investigation methodically has indicted person after person. Plea deals were made, immunity was granted. The persons who have been indicted are all former employees of the president. Some of them have over a decade worth of information. They agreed that under oath they would not lie: not about their own crimes nor about the crimes of anybody else they worked with or worked for. Today Mueller spoke up after two years of silence, contradicting the lies that were told about his report. We witnessed one more step on the journey of having the truth finally come out. The US government has not been here before. The president, his family members and his advisors are in the bright investigative lime light. What they have whispered in private rooms, thinking it would remain hidden, shall be proclaimed from the rooftops. A legal hurricane is building, getting ready to hit the Whitehouse. There is no global warming producing intense hurricanes? There is only fake news? Really? Mr. President, are you prepared for the legal hurricane to hit the Whitehouse?
Prayer: God of truth and of justice, we pray for protection for the legal processes in this country. We pray for the constitution to survive this storm. We pray for the witnesses to be on one accord so that no talking about “fake news” can blind the masses. And we pray that the legal storm that will hit the Whitehouse will cleanse it from all lies and deceptions and reveal to the world any illegal acts that have been committed. We pray for protection of the leading legal institutions and representatives in this country. Amen
Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops. Luke 12:4
My dad is Caucasian, and my mom is African American. I’m half black and half white. Being biracial paints a blurred line that is equal parts staggering and illuminating. Meghan Markle
Meditation: When my biracial daughters were four years old they witnesses how a biracial man was sworn in as the US President. For eight years they watched with pride how this man and family were role models with high integrity. They felt represented and validated. About a year ago they witnessed a young feminist biracial American woman become part of the royal family in the UK and a few weeks ago, the first in history bi-racial British prince “Archie” was born. My daughters were elated. I am grateful that in the midst of the current American backlash against women and against minorities plus the reemergence of open racism and the oppression of free speech, my daughters have seen and still see examples of what is possible. There is no way back! There is no stopping! The future of our world will depend on the reconciliation of the races and the inclusion of minorities as equals and every person as an important member of society.
Prayer: God, we pray for Harry, Meghan and their son Archie as they courageously create history as the first multicultural and bi-racial British royal family. May their marriage and family find the freedom and support they need to thrive. May our children who represent the next generation be inspired by this young couple’s courage, integrity and their positive use of power and influence. Thank You that the current hate filled “Zeitgeist” will in the end not be able to overcome the larger worldwide movement of inclusion, acceptance and reconciliation of different races and classes. Amen
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34-35
The psychopathology of the masses is rooted in the psychology of the individual. Carl Jung
Meditation: How in the world did our country end up in the situation we are in? Did our individual mental condition become manifested in a collective psychopathology? Our current time in the US can maybe best be described with the words of a trauma survivor. Eve Ensler said: “I think culture is where things change in us deeply. But right now, I think that people are very traumatized. They are very scared. Having grown up in a house with a perpetrator who was violent every day and terrorizing every day, I feel like that this country is suddenly very much like the house and the family I grew up in. Every day we are glued to our phones, glued to our television; “What is this psychopath going to do next? How will he embarrass us? Who will he bully or hurt or humiliate today? It’s so easy to get locked into a syndrome where the perpetrator is ruling your life.”
Prayer: God, our country is going through a severe mental illness. Collectively we have experienced several traumatizing external events in the past years, and then we experience also severe traumatizing reactions and handling of those events. We are afraid. We are feeling trapped in a “family situation” that traumatizes us daily. God have mercy on our country. Restore us to health. Help us to make decisions that lead us collectively out of this system as it is set up currently. Free us from all oppression. Amen
There are six things the Lord… detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6:16-19
Nationalism is a form of collective narcissism, where the citizens possess an inflated self-love of “their own people,” to the exclusion of other human beings. Bryant McGill
Meditation: Our nation is led by a pathological narcissist who evokes the worst traits that our country is capable of: nationalism as collective narcissism. Decisions are being made that sacrifice whole groups of people on the altar of self-adoration. The current leaders justify their oppressive new laws by splitting into declared “good versus bad”, “us versus them”, “Christians versus Moslems”, “citizens versus immigrants”, “healthy versus those with a precondition” . This primitive and narcissistic defense mechanism of splitting causes great suffering for many innocent people. I am afraid even more minorities will be left behind in the coming years. Many will fall through the intentionally cut holes in our social safety net. Holes and road blocks are being established everywhere: The powerful leave others to be without power: to not have a way to get a legal visa, to not find a way to get affordable health insurance, to have no way to escape bigotry nor get away from increasingly hateful and threatening talk and behavior…
Prayer: God, we pray for our nation that is being torn apart by collective narcissism. We pray for those judged, discriminated against, jailed, and tossed aside. Your heart aches for those sacrificed on the altar of self-idolatry. God, we pray that Your will be done. Let the church become a place of refuge, a beacon of hope, a voice in the wilderness that prophetically claims Your values that are opposite of what is currently happening in this country. Stop the craziness. Let those who Your Spirit leads stand up against the exclusion of the vulnerable, the sick, the stranger and the declared “other”. Heal our nationalist exclusivism and our country’s collective narcissism. God, have mercy. Amen
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Bad politicians are sent to Washington by good people who don’t vote. William E. Simon
Meditation: The past months and even years now, I have felt paralyzed. How in the world can a democratic system sell out to an oligarch and align itself with an oppressive regime? How can an elected Western president betray his country’s legal system and surrender to the person who invaded and manipulated it’s social media and voting system? As a German the history of the Soviet Union and its successor represented in Putin are very present to me. Many Americans don’t seem to experience the devastating urgency of the recent events. Many seem unaware how Russia is out to undermine all and any democracies, how it wants to conquer the parts of Europe back that had belonged to the Soviet Union, and how it positions itself to become the ultimate ruling power in the world. The urgency of our times could not be greater. A narcissistic, greedy, incompetent, compromised and dependent American president is selling the American people and its democracy out to the Russians. An urgent political development the Americans have never seen before. The 2020 election will be the most important elections in America’s history yet.
Prayer: God, awake in this country the awareness that the life and death of democracy itself is currently at stake. Awake in us the awareness that our voting is the only power we have to choose life and oppose death, so that we and our children may live. God, have mercy on us. Amen
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19
What do you do when life blindfolds you and spins you around? We think it’s our fault, that we’re to blame, when really we should be focused on being gentle with ourselves. Melody Beattie
Meditation: This past month of May has been a whirlwind. There are many extra events (graduations, confirmations, end of semester testing, family gatherings, travel needs) scheduled everywhere, throwing families off their usual schedules and their equilibrium. Politics is overwhelmingly dark and maddening. Work schedules have been crazy as well with extra meetings, extra traveling and extra strategizing events. May has been a month of temperature changes on top of all of that. Our bodies want to slow down, but instead are forced to function twice as hard as usual. Being blindfolded and spun around is a good image for the past month. When we can’t keep up and when we begin dropping and losing things, or when we don’t meet deadlines, we could start getting frustrated with ourselves and push even harder. Instead, it is so helpful to know that we belong to a merciful God who wants to comfort us in the midst of our “spinning” experience. When we are troubled, God wants to comfort us. Living grounded in God’s Grace means that we can refrain from being harsh with ourselves on top of life being rough. Instead we lean into the experience of self-compassion. We acknowledge and validate how hard the past month has been, and we give ourselves credit for still standing. Or if standing is too difficult, we sit or lay down for a while, just resting. It is wonderful to belong to a God who is patient and compassionate.
Prayer: Gracious God, when we start blaming and judging ourselves for not being more “functional”, Your Spirit intervenes. You remind us of all that has happened to and around us. You remind us of the things we could not control but that impacted us deeply. And then You fill our heart with compassion for ourselves. And after you comfort us in this way, You also give us compassion for others who are “spinning” in the dark, just like us. You are such a safe place to land. And we are grateful! Amen
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 2. Corinthians 1:3b-4 (NLT)
The English language has 112 words for deception, according to one count, each with a different shade of meaning: collusion, fakery, malingering, self-deception, confabulation, prevarication, exaggeration, denial. Robin Marantz Henig
Meditation: We live in the era of deception. A six year old on the street was asked what he thought about president Trump after his first year in office. The boy answered: “He changed the world. He took away harmony.” It seems to me that American children grow up today exposed to all 112 nuances of daily broadcasted political deception. However, it is intriguing to learn that the Native American community of the Apaches, who have a particularly negative view of lying, in their language only have two words for lying or deceiving. They did not need more words, as it happened so rarely in their culture. Our current American culture needs more than hundred words to describe and talk about deception, as it happens every day in many ways. The view of lying and deceiving is being normalized by our current political climate. The lack of harmony the boy describes is grounded in us becoming what our behavior and our mind engage in. We as culture are shaped by the language we use.
Prayer: God of history and God of the present day, as the Native American culture was eliminated and their values of harmony with nature became eradicated, the newly imported language and culture brought with it the frequent use and many nuances for the phenomenon of lying and deceiving. Behavior (and thus culture) creates language! God we pray that we, including our children, will remain critical and awake. We pray that we adults will teach the next generation in words and in practice the opposites of those 112 words. Amen
They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid. Zephania 3:13
“No two eating disorders are the same.
No two individuals are the same.
No two paths to recovery are the same.
But everyone’s strength to reach recovery IS the same.”
― Brittany Burgunder
Meditation: My family of origin has dealt and is dealing with eating disorders. It is a genetic disorder that has caused much shame and physical and emotional harm in my family. I struggled with anorexia when I was 14 and with binge eating when I was 21. At the age of 29, I finally entered therapy and my eating disorder went into recovery. I will always need to have a conscious and mindful relationship with food.
My daughter recently went through 4 months of eating disorder treatment. For both restricting food and also for food binging behavior. Her symptoms had become severe, so that recovery was a must. We found an amazingly modern eating disorder hospital here in Atlanta only for teens age 11-16 years old. This recovery place became a safe haven for my daughter. She learned language to talk without shame about her eating disorder, she developed new coping mechanisms, she had individual and family therapy and learned to eat mindfully and in a balanced way. As family we began eating dinner together (which we had not done for years), and we have learned what triggers an eating disordered person. We try to avoid those triggers and practice having the shared meal be peaceful and pleasant. I am relieved and grateful to share that my daughter has come a long way in her recovery. She has learned what triggers cause her restricting or binging of food. She now has a nutritionist and a therapist who specialize in eating disorders. There is no shame in having an eating disorder. There is help available. Recovery is possible.
Prayer: Thank you God for professionals who specialize in eating disorder treatment in teenagers. Thank you for the holistic treatment of the teenager and of the family. Thank you that a disordered relationship with food and body can be recovered. Thank you for having my daughter back.
Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. Isaiah 61:7
God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. Rudyard Kipling
Meditation: Many of us remember their mothers today. Many women are being thanked and celebrated on this special occasion, and they deserve all recognition and love that comes their way. I like to also remember on this day, that there are many unusual and unrecognized “mothers” among us. I am thinking of and I am grateful for all kindergarten teachers, nurses, teachers and loving neighbors. I am grateful for all men and dads who choose to be mothers and who have motherly features. I am thankful for aunts and grandmothers who sometimes love a child exactly how the child needs to be loved. I am also grateful for women who are in their heart and in their ways with children definitely mothers, only not in a biological way. And I am grateful for the joy and the challenge to be a mother myself. I have never learned as much, grown as much and have been stretched as much until my children came along. They have made me a more patient and forgiving person. They are my mirror and show me my growing edges and my weaknesses. And they are such loving and forgiving girls who also see my strength and who appreciate me in my effort to be a Mom who learns and changes along the way as they grow and mature into their very own personalities.
Prayer: God, we are grateful for spouses and children everywhere who prepare red roses, thank you pictures and cards, self-baked cakes and breakfast in bed. We thank you for all families that celebrate in this way today. We are also aware of those who are sad today, as they miss their mother, or miss being a mother. Comfort them and help them see You as their mother who wants to provide them with what they need. Thank You for all who take the role of mothers in biological or in chosen ways. They make the world go round. And they stand in for Your presence. They help us believe that You still exist and that You still care. And we are grateful. Amen
As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you. Isaiah 66:13a