Advent Day 4 #Patience #reThinkAdvent

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Look at the fidget! It’s part of the latest education craze to deal with adolescent behavior – not being able to sit still, concentrate, or focus.

So I ordered a bunch of fidgets and leave it up to small group leaders at our Confirmation sessions if they want to use them. Heck, I even bring them to our church staff meetings every once in awhile.

If you want a demonstration of patience, ask an educator. Better – ask a volunteer who works with teens AT NIGHT – after the teens have been sitting in school all day, are tired, over worked, and have little capacity to learn or grapple with theological concepts. Those youth leaders are the sapphires and rubies in the kingdom of heaven!

We have one small group at my church that needs extra patience. Lots of boys and one in particular who puts everyone to the test. I’m thinking of them in the last 3-week stretch before the Christmas break – in the worst time of the year to have to sit still and listen and participate. #patience !

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Advent Day 2 #Longing #reThinkAdvent

As a part-time caregiver for seniors, I spend a lot of my time in and out of senior residences. I may help people in their house or at a care facility. We go to doctor appointments (not easy getting a fold-up wheel chair in the back of my VW Beetle but it can be done), I do dishes and iron pants to put the crease in (my mother would be very proud), I read books to them or watch Andy Griffeth.

Today’s Advent theme is “longing,” and I can’t help but think about this word as it relates to elders. All the memories of good lives lived mixed with broken dreams and promises. Longing for children to come visit, longing to feel someone touch them with affection, longing to remember or understand.

So I took some pictures on my way to the laundry room when I was helping a lady today. She has incontinence with her Parkinsons and always needs her bedding re-done and it takes extra long for their driers to dry her single-bed comforter. With quarters in hand, I read the signs for social time and reminders of community living and thought of all those in the building who have longing in their hearts this Advent.

Click here to see the #reThinkChurch #rethinkAdvent plan

Dear Lord Jesus, you know the cries of our hearts. You see what we have left undone in our lives and you see our sins. You love us and you take care of us anyway. Thank you for the promise that you are the One who meets all our longings. Amen.

April 14, 1933 – A prominent German protestant clergyman… didn’t stand up to Hitler…

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pp. 17-18

In a radio broadcast to the United States on April 4, 1933, the most prominent German Protestant clergyman, Berlin Bishop Otto Dibelius, justified the new regime’s actions, denying that there was any brutality even in the concentration camps and asserting that the boycott- which he called a reasonable defensive measure – took its course amid “calm and order.” His broadcast was no momentary aberration. A few days later Dibelius sent a confidential Easter message to all the pastors of his providence: “My dear Brethren! We all not only understand but are fully sympathetic to the recent motivations out of which the volkisch movement has emerged. Notwithstanding the evil sound that the term has frequently acquired, I have always considered myself an anti-Semite. One cannot ignore that Jewry has played a leading role in all the destructive manifestations of modern civilization.”

Today there are religious leaders a-plenty who are working overtime to normalize Trump. “We are making good progress,” they report. “Illegals” and “Muslims” are the bad guys that we must go after…

Those pesky Christians in 1933 did… nothing. I keep thinking… I know you’re tired. But wake up, there’s work to do in the resistance.

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From p. 17

The boycott of Jewish businesses was the first major test on a national scale of the attitude of the Christian churches toward the situation of the Jews under the new government. In the historian Klaus Scholder’s words, “during the decisive days…, no bishop, no church dignitary, no synod made any open declaration against the persecution of the Jews in Germany.”

Does this sort of (a lot) sound like Trump?

From “Nazi Germany & The Jews 1933-1945” Saul Friedlander pp 10-11

Whatever the various motivations may have been, Hitler displayed a form of leadership that was to become characteristic of his anti-Jewish actions over the next several years: He usually set an apparent compromise course between the demands of party radicals and the pragmatic reservations of the conservatives, giving the public the impression that he himself was above operational details. Such restraint was obviously tactical…

…the Jews reasoned… the influence of conservative members of the govt, & a watchful outside world would exercise a moderating influence on any Nazi

 

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My paranoia over Trump led me to scarf up some used Amazon books regarding Nazis. This kind of paranoia can’t really hurt me though so I’m reading about Nazis. 

Here right on the first pages it talked about how the artists and theater people were the first to scoot out. And of course with last weekend’s news about Hamilton and Mike Pence, my feelers perked up.

I’ll try to post as I see more. But Trump seems to be on every page.

“The Zionists continued to believe that the initial upheavals could be overcome by a reassertion of the Jewish identity or simply by patience; the Jews reasoned that the responsibilities of power, the influence of conservative members of the govt, and a watchful outside world would exercise a moderating influence on any Nazi tendency to excess.”

Today Dan Rather also gave another one of his sober warnings. I like that dude.

He said

We are a great nation. We have survived deep challenges in our past. We can and will do so again. But we cannot be afraid to speak and act to ensure the future we want for our children and grandchildren.

“The fewer the words, the better the prayer.” ~ Martin Luther

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Know anyone who blathers on when it’s time to pray?
I found this quote by Martin Luther so fun… “The fewer the words, the better the prayer.” I think it takes more faith to pray short prayers.

If God knows what we need before we ask, our asking is just entering into that knowing. By naming our troubles and tears, by naming our joys and our celebrations, we enter into God’s heart for us. But it doesn’t need to be longly worded.

Do you have a habit of regular prayer time? If not, it might be just fine. Keep the prayers short. Employ faith to help you remember that God is already on your side.