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Encouragement for the Journey 23 September 2012

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings Fellow Traveller,

This past week I have been learning to live with pain in my lower back from a ruptured disc. I use the word ‘learn’ because that is what it is, things I took for granted doing now I find extremely painful and difficult. Pain is a vast subject of physiological and neurological research, with many papers and dissertations written on its causes, effects and treatment. It is sufficient to say that each human being experiences pain from a little baby teething to those of us older travellers who experience pain from diverse ailments of the human body.

Pain is an interesting phenomenon; believe it or not, pain is a valuable gift that we humans have been given. Pain lets us know something is seeking our attention within the human body and psyche. Pain of course is an essential tool for diagnosis and treatment of human disease and injuries.

When we think of pain, we tend to associate it with physical pain; yet, there is emotional pain, especially around grief and loss. Also there is emotional pain that comes with depression and despair.

Generally speaking when we experience physical pain we tend to receive more sympathy and care from others than if we were experiencing emotional pain. Have you noticed how much attention one receives if one has an arm in a sling, say compared to one who is experiencing emotional pain. A person experiencing emotional does not wear a label saying I am in pain. For unless one was is aware or sensitive to changes in a person’s demeanour or energy, their pain would often go unnoticed.

Throughout our life, pain visits us in diverse ways, sometimes the effects of pain are visible while at other times it remains hidden yet still felt, yet always an indication that something requires our attention.

Each person’s response to pain will be very different and for some they have a very high pain threshold. What is so essential and important is to remember that we often never know what emotional or physical pain another person is going through. Sometimes, we have to live with chronic pain and that affects how we respond to life and how others respond to us.

If you are looking for answers to pain in this encouragement for the journey, alas, I have none. It is just a reminder that pain is not our enemy; rather, it is like a text message that arrives requiring our attention.

May you have strength and courage in your moments of pain and discomfort.

Meanwhile Peace in the dignity of difference

Alf

 

September 26, 2012 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 16 September 2012

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings Fellow traveller,

 

Early this week I stopped at a pedestrian crossing while two people crossed. Nothing unusual in that you may be thinking. However, one of these people was being led by the other. The one being led had a long white cane and I assumed that he was blind and being orientated by the sighted person around the community. Of course I could well be wrong but that was my perception that led to my assumption.

When a person has a disability or is going through an experience. Those who walk alongside, like the sighted person, may empathise but can never fully understand or appreciate what the other is truly going through.

The unfolding drama of human life takes place on many levels and we only experience a fraction of what is occurring before our eyes. That is how it has always been, indeed will continue so to be.

When we appreciate this phenomenon of our human existence, we are set free from being judgmental and assuming we know how another should be and feel. Jesus, offered us wise counsel when he invites us to judge not, least we be judged.

The first part we may understand, but the second part of ourselves being judged is often forgotten. For the criteria we use to judge another’s life, are the very areas in our own life we may be refusing to see and indeed change. Jesus also says about taking the log out of our own eye before we may see the speck in our brother or sister’s eye.

These sayings of Jesus are over flowing with wisdom and practical guidance for living.

I wonder what the Christian church would be like if each person practiced these simple but profound truths? I suggest that our communities of faith would be the salt that savours our society in very profound ways.

Of course the first step is to start with ourselves. For the only person who I can change is me. This powerful truth is very often forgotten in the midst of our busy and wonder – filled lives.

Meanwhile Peace in the dignity of difference

Alf

 

 

September 26, 2012 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 9 September 2012

Encouragement for the Journey 

Greetings Fellow Traveller, 

Today is a special day in the life of our Community of Faith. For at our quiet and reflective service, four members of our community of faith will share their reflection on the bible text John 7: 37 – 39.

I readily admit, I am quite excited at what each person will share with us. It is important to resist the temptation to compare one reflection with another. For each person who reflects will bring forth from within their own thoughts, ideas and rumination for our edification.

A helpful way of looking at what will happen today is to consider a diamond. Which when cut, produces facets to reflect light. Light flows through a diamond in more than two ways, producing an amazing effect.

So today, each person is letting the Spirit’s light shine through what they share with you from their heart to yours.

Consequently, as each pathway of light in a diamond is different, so each person’s reflection will be different.

Please be prepared to be challenged, encouraged and inspired. Let each person reflect their light to you and in receiving, you will be blessed, I am sure.

A special thank you to each person who shares today, for their willingness to spend time reflecting upon the text and to share that reflection with us.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

 

September 11, 2012 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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Encouragement for the Journey 2nd September 2012

Encouragement for the Journey

Greetings Fellow Traveller, 

On this our Kids N All Sunday, we celebrate Father’s Day. Father. The very word is filled with all manner of images. Its very utterance evokes memories buried just below the surface. Who can tell what still walks within the labyrinth of the human heart.

For many of us our Father is no longer alive, and we live with the memories of that person who once had a physical presence in our life. For some of us, we never knew our Father; there are of course different reasons for this. For others when it comes to Fathers Day we are numb, no feelings it is just another day. While for others memories of our Father are tinged with both pleasure and pain.

This Father’s Day, I invite you to consider that each person’s appreciation and understanding of their Father will be different and consequently their response will be different. We respect and honour these differences.

Father’s Day is more than a commercial ploy seeking to encourage spending on cards which are read once then forgotten or the purchase of expensive gifts. Rather, it is a time for other things, precious things which no amount of money can buy.

I am not even going to suggest what those precious things could be, sorry to disappoint you. Instead, I leave that to your imagination, for you alone know what you hold within your own heart.

I am speaking here of course of becoming aware what is happening within, learning to appreciate there is another vast universe awaiting our exploration. Travelling in this vast inner universe does not require mega dollars, rather, just time, moments of silence and a commitment to care and nourish our own soul.

Along the way, we will again be reminded that being an adult brings opportunities for growth, change and wonder. May this Father’s Day, offer you moments of joy and continued courage to live with the unresolved of the heart.

Meanwhile Peace

Alf

 

September 4, 2012 in Ministry Team's Blog by

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