Author's details

Name: Kim
Date registered: March 3, 2012

Latest posts

  1. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Hide and Seek — August 27, 2014
  2. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Self-examination — August 25, 2014
  3. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Give Thanks — August 19, 2014
  4. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Gratitude — August 18, 2014
  5. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Jesus in it all — August 15, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Forming a Line — 1 comment
  2. connexions: Ten clichés Christians should never use — 1 comment
  3. connexions: 3 short quotes from Bonhoeffer (b. 4th February, 1906) — 1 comment
  4. connexions: Simone Weil, b. 3 February 1909: 6 pensées — 1 comment
  5. Sandpiper's Thoughts: Interrupting — 1 comment

Author's posts listings

Aug 27 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Hide and Seek

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Do  you pay attention to the Children's Moment in worship?  It's always more interesting when the children have a conversation with the person who is leading worship.  Sometimes, it's fun to watch the worship leader struggle to keep on topic while the kids tell him their stories.  Other times, what the kids say is incredibly theologically wonderful, and in it is the gem of the lesson.
I was listening to the Children's moment in worship the other day. The lesson was about Psalm 139.
Where can I go from your spirit?
   Or where can I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
   if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
   and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light around me become night’,
even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is as bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light to you.
(vs 7-12)
Can we play hide and seek with God?  One little girl said that if we try, we will find that God always knows where we are.  In fact, she said, God is there before us.

That's a great definition of prevenient grace from a 9 year old.   We should all remember her wisdom.

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Aug 25 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Self-examination

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I've never sold a house, but I imagine, when the time comes, you inspect your house.  You discover where the flaws are - where you might need to do a repair or an improvement, and then you start working to fix the problems.

Do we sometimes need to do the same things for our spiritual life?  Do we need to step back and do an inventory?  List our problems and confess them to God, so that God can repair us?

What is the benefit of confession?

  • Is it one way that we can be rid of the idea that there is nothing wrong with us?  Are we sometimes blind to our sins?  Can self examination and confession open our eyes to our own problems?
  • Does confession make us more grace-filled toward others' issues, and less judgmental?
  • Could it be that by discovering our issues that we open ourselves up for improvement?  Transformation that wouldn't happen otherwise?
  • Does confession offer healing? I've seen people who are so convinced of their flaws that a sense of unworthiness stops them from opening themselves up to their capabilities.  Is confession to God incomplete without acceptance of forgiveness and openness to transformation?  I think we need to remember that God meets confession with grace and love - and with healing.

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Aug 19 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Give Thanks

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I mentioned last week that I spent some time in prayer after communion just thanking God for all of the wonderfulness in my life. It's am amazing practice, because thanksgiving builds a way of looking at the world.

Kalas, in the book I am reading, asks, "Why express your gratitude to other people?"  He answers the questions, and here are my answers (some of which are the same as his):

  • We are called to spread light.  Remember yesterday when I quoted the idea that gratitude is love with a memory?  Sharing gratitude for a service given is sharing love, and that is light.  We do it because we are called to do it.
  • What if the other person doesn't seem to care about our words of thanks?  First of all, you don't really know what effect your words and actions will have on another person.  Secondly....
  • Being grateful transforms who you are.  When we are grateful, we see more for which to be grateful.  
  • And to put it bluntly, life needs more grace from you and me that it needs silence, or even grumbling.  

So give thanks.  Kalas, in the first half hour of each day, lists those things from the previous day, for which he is thankful.  I've done that for periods of time.  It's helpful to me to have a "rule" to list at least three. Specifically.  I can look at the blank sheet of paper, and think, "Yesterday was terrible; there is nothing to be grateful for."  But if I must list three, I can find them.

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Aug 18 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Gratitude

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I really do have some new pictures to show you; I just need to spend some quality time with my laptop computer first.  Anyway...

I just started a book I've had on my shelf for a while called I bought a House on Gratitude Street by J. Ellsworth Kalas.  I think I'll write today's posts with just a few one liners from what I've read so far (Introduction and half of Chapter 1).  Maybe some of these will be future posts; maybe they will only serve as springboards for your own thoughts:

  • Gratitude is love applied...gratitude is love with a memory.
  • If you insist on holding on to the conviction that you're a self-made person, you'll never buy property of Gratitude Street.
  • When we rise above deprivation, it can easily make us small and mean inside...
  • Gratitude that is not expressed is meaningless.  Gratitude is not complete if it is simply a feeling within one's bosom.  Unfortunately, however, we often leave gratitude in that unfinished state.  That is because gratitude is such a warm and fuzzy feeling that we think the feeling is the essence of gratitude when in truth the feeling is just the beginning.

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Aug 15 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Jesus in it all

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I am not a person who believes that God micro-manipulates every aspect of our lives, and I don't believe that everything happens for a reason.  Some things just happen, and it can be awful and terrible or wonderful.

Very often, people make things happen, and sometimes people make horrible things happen.  It seems very unfair (and dishonest) to place the causality on God.

And sometimes a tornado strikes or a flower blooms - and it's random.  We want to have a cause, but often there is no cause, and it is very often not part of God's plan.

Watching this video reminded me that in the randomness of life, we often see God.  Just because I believe that God doesn't cause horrible things to happen to us, it doesn't mean that I would ever deny that God is in the midst of all that happens to us and around us.  In these times, when life is turned upside down, we can often see God.


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Aug 14 2014

Sandpiper's Thoughts: Beautiful?

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The other day I was watching a Ted Talk for Youth.  The presenter was helping teens to understand what sexual objectification is.  Warning:  I will use the word sex in this post.  If this bothers you, skip this one.  If you came here via a search engine, looking for something else, you might be disappointed.

I think the presenter was right when she said that we don't have a firm grasp on what sexual objectification is. I'm glad she was teaching teens how to recognize and avoid it.  It also occurs to me that I am glad she clarified my own thoughts about it.

As Children of God, we are people of sacred worth.  We are not objects, and we should not treat each other as objects, or allow ourselves to be treated that way.

How do you recognize sexual objectification especially in the media?  These are five questions that the presenter used to explain the concept, and I have found them in various locations across the internet.

  1. Does the image show only parts of the sexualized person's body? - In this kind of image, perhaps we would only see her legs and his behind.  Maybe her face would be covered, removing her humanity, so that we only see her body.
  2. Does the person stand in for an object? - Think of a woman's legs standing in for table legs, or barely clad woman begins used as a table.
  3. Does the image show sexualized persons as interchangeable?  The image that comes to mind to me is Robert Palmer.  His band was all women, and they looked exactly alike.
  4. Does the image affirm the idea of violating the bodily integrity of a sexualized person who can't consent?  That one is kind of self explanatory without me drawing you a word picture, don't you think?
  5. Does the image suggest that sexual availability is the defining characteristics of the person?    Picture a beautiful woman with the catch phrase, "Used, but you don't care" to sell pre-owned cars.

Why did I feel compelled to write a blog post about this?  I think too often we forget to see the person in front of us; instead we see an object, sexual or not.  We become so immune to it that we don't recognize it in the media, and we say nothing about it.

Actually, the trigger that caused me to write this post was a very innocent beautiful baby contest in our newspaper.  Should we be voting on the visual beauty of infants?  Please don't be offended by this - It is where my mind travels after listening to this talk and then seeing the contest.  We just need to be aware, and teach our children.

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