Advice from Me to Myself

Dear Self:

Great Salt Lake (July 2009)

Have you read your own most recent pastor article?  Why, look, it arrived at the post office just yesterday.  How timely!  Take another look at what you wrote.  Remind yourself, again, how very tempting it is to think that *everyone else* could use a holy attitude adjustment and how “helpful” you are with always-just-right advice for other people.

So, now you have stumbled — yea, fallen flat! — again.   And somehow it always seems so unexpected!  Do you really need yet another reminder that ordination did not inoculate the Rev from looking for love in all the wrong places, or from forgetting to look for love at all?  Your well can dry up, too, you know.  It’s better to notice when the level reaches “low” before it’s all the way to “empty.”

“Hindsight is 20/20,” of course, and so are all the other cliches that involve “a new leaf” and “heal thyself” and, most definitely, “eating humble pie.”  Here, have some.  Yours is gluten-free, of course!

These things you know; these things you preach; these things you write.  So, here it is, your most recent newsletter article, appropriately entitled “Good News is for Sharing.”  You wrote it.  Now live it.  Today.

Love you still,

August 2010

Have I mentioned that I’m a new grandmother?  My grandson, Daniel, was born on May 31.  His parents have chosen to live most inconveniently in Portland, Oregon.  I have just returned from my first “Granny Pilgrimage” to see the precious child.  Neither air turbulence nor flight cancellations nor red-eye flights could keep me away!

You said it!

Have you seen pictures of my new grandbaby Daniel?  I keep some with me all the time.  Just ask.

Oh … have I told you I’m a new grandmother?  I forget whether I have or not because the news seems new to me in each day and in each minute.  He’s the most beautiful child I’ve ever seen.  That’s saying a lot after having birthed and raised to adulthood three amazingly wonderful and beautiful children.

Daniel is my new good news!  What’s yours?  What are you excited about today?  What captures your imagination and fuels your actions?  Is it blueberry bushes full of the fruit of future pies and cobblers and bowls of berries?  Is it the Phillies, “your team” whose members you can name and whose TV games you never miss?  Are you passionate about your exercise program and how it makes you feel so great?  Are you still full of the last trip you took to a fun and interesting place, launching easily into stories you love to tell?  Do you have a quilt to show off or a book to share?  What can’t you stop talking about?  

Perhaps, your conversation is full of your job, your overwhelming schedule, your shortcomings, your fears …

To be sure, there is challenging news in our world:  the economy, the environment, military wars, culture wars, to name a few.  Our families are challenged; our communities are challenged; our churches are challenged.

GOOD NEWS!  We who claim Jesus’ promise of “life abundant” (John 10:10) are “good news” people today!  We do not wait for circumstances to change nor do we totally preoccupy ourselves with being change agents or work horses.  We are — now, today, in this moment — bearers of good news, messengers of tidings of comfort and joy, ministers of reconciliation, because we are not offspring of this world.  We have recognized that we are children of God.

From Luke 6:45:  “… it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.”  What is overflowing from your heart?  What does your mouth say?  Share good news with someone!  Share it with me!  I never get tired of hearing good news, over and over again!

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