The Relationship Between Shame and Bitterness {...what kind of power do you want to have?}

Here is what I know: WE have to receive the grace of God. This is life or death. WE have to choose to live as close to God’s Original Design, as close to the garden of Eden as the cross has made possible: lives that are innocent, holy, and unashamed. No one outside of us can shame us - shame is an inside job. (I am not saying that others won’t try. I am saying we do not have to allow it.)

Shame has great power in a relationship. Because the one who can successfully shame - whether low-level shame, or dramatic, intense accusation - that person can wield power over us. The one who can hold up past mistakes or present shortcomings to our attention in such a way as to manipulate us to respond the way they want us to respond? That is power.

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Your Solstice of the Soul

I hope and pray each of you had the best Christmas yet. But even if you did not, there is still one more gift of Christmas, and it is waiting there just for you: the gift of being able to hope in God. It is always darkest just before dawn. Those who have seen this fact with the eyes of their soul, know it is no cliche. It is rock-bottom truth: Beginning December 21st and forward, light starts to grow greater than darkness.

Welcome to my version of Winter Solstice Soul Care. I am such a light-lover.

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The Art of the Middle (...and Laura McCollough's Art and Faith Creative Retreats...}

Given the fact that I didn’t pick up a paintbrush until I was middle age - well past my mid-forties, and I am only now almost 52 - it can seem like a kind of miracle that I traveled to Bellagio, Italy to teach art last week! Consider this quote: “The great victory, which appears so simple today, was the result of a series of small victories that went unnoticed.”

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