Salt and Light

Cindi Gale

Matthew 5:13-16 New International Version (NIV)

Salt and Light, the Words of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. 

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.


Music and video credit:  “Salt & Light” by Lauren Daigle, Paul Mabury, & Leslie Jordan.
From Lauren’s debut album, “How Can It Be” (2015 – Centricity Music)…

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Religious Law Versus The People

Cindi Gale

I am a Christian, so naturally I know a lot of believers. For the first four decades of my life, the vast majority of Christians I knew were faithful attendees of churches where quiet faith was mixed with heaping portions of helping others. If they engaged in political discourse, it was apart from religion. If I compared them to people of the Bible, they were Marys and Marthas, Pauls and Peters, Sarahs and Abrahams. Sometimes, especially in times of grief and tragedy, they strongly resembled Jesus.

Over the last ten to fifteen years, the face of Christianity has changed dramatically. While many continue as they always were, a growing number are more reminiscent of pontificates or angry political commentators than followers of Christ. Declarations of condemnation are no longer disproved by many congregations, they are encouraged, expected, and applauded. Promoting very specific social and political beliefs have become synonymous with right-standing…

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When People Show You Who They Are

“When people show you who they are, believe them.” … When a person let’s you know … they say, “I told you I was unkind. So now why are you angry?”

I suppose Maya Angelo’s question is a rhetorical once, but I’m going to answer it anyway, because God knows I’ve spent countless hours over decades trying to understand how twisted relationships happen.

“Why don’t you believe them the first time they show you, or tell you, who they are?”

Because…

  • You very much want them to be better than they are at any given point in time.
  • You are optimistic they can be.
  • You are committed to the relationship, and don’t give up on your commitments that easily.
  • You aren’t ready to give up on what COULD be, if only some crucial corrections are made.
  • You know this person CAN be good, you’ve seen them act the part with ease when they’re around people they want to impress.
  • You hold onto hope that they may one day choose to be that good person behind closed doors too, they may never again turn cruel or abusive when alone with you.
  • You think of a particular type of “subtle diminisher”: if only they choose to be decent, instead of provoking under the radar; if only they stop slandering or mocking or shaming you in front of people, giving you no chance to react. If only they stopped playing innocent while leaving you with two crappy options: take it in order to be polite, or object and appear the b—, or fool.
  • You think of another type of “fine-upstanding-public-image-person”: they may eventually feel shame that they are the opposite of their finely-tuned act; if they are smart enough to craft such a persona, they should be smart enough to want to be on the inside what they portray on the outside.

THERE IS A POINT though, with some people, when …

  • You are pushed to your limit.
  • You know you’ll be selling your own soul if you continue on with them.
  • The trend of their behavior toward you isn’t improving, it is in fact worsening.
  • You are certain the person has dug in their heels and has no intention of considering the good of the relationship. They do not want to give up their ways, their selfishness, their abusiveness, their ugly methods of disarming or manipulating you  — they value their tactics, they prefer their ways.
  • They don’t mind at all if you end up destroyed in varied little ways.
  • They will not change in time — they will certainly delay or prevent you from a good life if you continue in their trap, their sick dynamic.
  • They have never, and you know they will never be accountable for their ways.

THAT IS THE TIME you know you must …

  • Withdraw your trust.
  • Limit the relationship.
  • Remark your boundaries.
  • And in some cases … WALK.

It’s after all that “living and learning” that YOU LOOK BACK and think … “Why didn’t I believe them the first time they showed me and told me who they were?” …

You didn’t know. You simply didn’t know.

But NEXT TIME …

  • You will be vigilant.
  • You will be discerning.
  • You will not prematurely and naively trust.
  • You will be a wise manager of your own life.
  • You will know to keep the optimal distance.
  • You will never again SUBMIT and COMMIT your life to a scoundrel, a user, an abuser, a manipulator, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a Cruella de Vil …

 

Galatians 6:7.  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

Job 34:30.  That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared.

Depression Isn’t Sadness and Suicide Isn’t a Cry For Help… by Steve Safran

This is an excellent and informative article in the wake of two recent high profile suicides. Two people in my own life also recently committed suicide. Each was a shock. When someone we know, or know of, dies in this manner, we struggle to comprehend “why”. Most people conclude they were depressed. But what does that mean – depressed?

Blooms and Bubbles

Kate Spade. Anthony Bourdain. Two gut-punching suicides that have people asking “Why them? They had it all!” Sure, Bourdain lived a hard life, but Kate Spade, the queen of whimsy? She was wealthy, adored and…

Depressed.

We need better words. One of the biggest disservices to the field of mental health is to call the diagnosis of “depression” by the name “depression.” Everyone “gets depressed.” It’s a commonplace word: “I’m so depressed the meeting I planned fell through.” “The ending of that show was too depressing.” “He’s too depressing to be around.”

None of these examples has anything to do with the psychological definition of Depression.

People who live with depression are wired differently. Our brains perceive life differently than those who do not have depression. Let me put it another way.

Suppose you were born left-handed in this predominantly right-handed world. Suppose that was considered OK from time to…

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Crazy Ambition

Cindi Gale

Some people just don’t get it. It’s like they were raised on “The Little Engine That Could”. They even generalize it to —

We think we can!

We think we can!

What do you do with people like that? I mean, check out this video. Who thought to expect a large high school class to put together a performance for graduation in just two school days? What about the students who never sing or dance? — who assumed they could do it? And the length of it! — how could all those kids remember almost ten minutes of choreography and lyrics when ceremony time came?

Someone should have realized the expectations were unreasonable. The whole thing was ridiculously over-ambitious.

It required solidarity — surely it was much too much to hope for.

Didn’t anybody tell them that?


The video is owned by MoStreet Productions. The following information was provided by…

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Power Washing

Cindi Gale

Eighteen years of accumulated algae, mildew, dirt, and moss resided in the shallow pits and crevices of my cement drive. I hadn’t noticed as I hurried across it, coming and going in my SUV, fetching mail from the mailbox, or lugging water to my little garden behind the garage. Yet when I finally looked at it, it was oh-so-obvious.

It took most of three days this week to dislodge the grime with a power washer. Little by little. An inch at a time. Hovering the wand the longest over the most stubbornly-embedded areas. It was slow, careful, tedious work.

Today my driveway and parking slab are like new. Clean. Free of algae and mildew and dirt and moss — liberated of all grime. It shines white in the noonday sun.

People collect years of grime, too. We barely notice as we hurry through life. We don’t know we could be made…

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