Mike’s Rumblings – 12-02-22
This is an audio version of Mike Murphy‘s Friday rumblings. This is a regular post on Facebook that I’ve turned into a podcast. I decided Mike’s words needed a wider audience. You may agree or disagree with what he says, but there is certainly much food for thought contained here. You can friend Mike on Facebook for the printed version or read it below
1. “In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate …once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.” ~ Dan Hodges, British Journalist. NY Times
“Across the country, openly carrying a gun in public is no longer just an exercise in self-defense — increasingly it is a soapbox for elevating one’s voice and, just as often, quieting someone else’s…to intimidate opponents and shut down debate” ~ Mike McIntire, NY Times
All this is horrifyingly true. It’s quite clear the collective, moral will needed to fix the problem of gun violence doesn’t exist. That’s probably because we’re too busy saying ‘whatever’.
2. “For centuries, Christianity has presented itself as an “organized religion”—a change-averse institution . . . that protects and promotes a timeless system of beliefs that were handed down fully formed in the past. Yet Christianity’s actual history is a story of change and adaptation. We Christians have repeatedly adapted our message, methods, and mission to the contours of our time. What might happen if we understand the core Christian ethos as creative, constructive, and forward-leaning—as an “organizing religion” that challenges all institutions (including its own) to learn, grow, and mature toward a deepening, enduring vision of reconciliation with God, self, neighbor, enemy, and creation?” ~ Brian McLaren
Organizing religion vs organized religion. Discuss.
3. “Teaching children about the existence and inherent worth of LGBTQ people isn’t grooming them, teaching them to blindly hate LGBTQ people is.” ~ Jon Pavlovitz
In Florida where I live ‘grooming’ is a word that our Governor just loves to use. I’m beginning to realize that it is code for sic ‘em.
4. I have to be honest about something. You know the whole ‘crypto currency’ thing? There’s nothing about it that I find understandable.
5. “Why Pray? Why should I spend an hour in prayer when I do nothing during that time but think about people I am angry with, people who are angry with me, books I should read, and books I should write, and thousands of other silly things that happen to grab my mind for a moment?
The answer is: because God is greater than my mind and my heart and what is really happening in the house of prayer is not measurable in terms of human success and failure.
What I must do first of all is to be faithful. If I believe that the first commandment is to love God with my whole heart, mind, and soul, then I should at least be able to spend one hour a day with nobody else but God. The question as to whether it is helpful, useful, practical, or fruitful is completely irrelevant, since the only reason to love is love itself. Everything else is secondary.
The remarkable thing, however, is that sitting in the presence of God …day after day, week after week, month after month …radically changes my life. God, who loves me so much that he sent his only son not to condemn me but to save me, does not leave me waiting in the dark too long… I gradually realize that … a very small, gentle voice has been speaking to me far beyond my noisy place.” ~ Henri Nouwen
Love this “A very small, gentle voice has been speaking to me.”
We’re never alone.
“God comes to us like the sun in the morning—when it is time.” ~ Carlo Carretto, The God Who Comes
6. “The words “gratitude” and “grace” come from the same root word, gratia in Latin. . . . “Grace” is a theological word, one with profound spiritual meaning. Grace means “unmerited favor.” When I think of grace, I particularly like the image of God tossing gifts around—a sort of indiscriminate giver of sustenance, joy, love, and pleasure. Grace—gifts given without being earned and with no expectation of return—is, as the old hymn says, amazing. Because you can neither earn nor pay back the gift, your heart fills with gratitude. And the power of that emotion transforms the way you see the world and experience life. Grace begets gratitude, which, in turn, widens our hearts toward greater goodness and love.” ~ Diana Butler Bass
7. “Both optimists and pessimists contribute to society. The optimist invents the airplane, the pessimist the parachute.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
I’m well aware of my cautious tendencies and the streak of pessimism that can sometimes mess with me. My wife, an optimist, counsels me not to linger too long with pessimism nor to use caution as an excuse to procrastinate. She says that they have rarely served me well. She’s not wrong.
8. That space between stimulus and response – that’s where the action is. It’s where you can gather yourself, take a deep breath, say a prayer, and calculate a proper response. Sometimes, all we have is a few seconds. Some days, we have hours. But that space is available to us. Using it wisely might diminish the likelihood of doing or saying something stupid.
9. “Angertainment.” Don’t know who coined the word but it’s a good one. The House GOP has already signaled that we should buckle up ‘cuz angertainment is what they’re bringing to the table in January. Can’t blame them really. It’s all they’ve got. And if their media buddies at FOX decide to go along for the ride (why wouldn’t they) we’re in for a sneak peek at what play time in hell is like. Lucky us.
10. “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” ~ Will Rogers
Curiosity is both cultivated and curtailed in a variety of interesting ways, huh?