Tag: Humility

This Friendship Was a Special Blessing for One of Them

 

This story, which is making the rounds, reminds me that we all need friends. Famous people are famously lonely and famously unhealthy. They famously have a lack of people who they can trust to enjoy them for their human qualities as opposed to their fame, wealth or status.

I don’t take from this story that Lin Wang was lucky to know Charles Barkley. I take that Barkley was wise to cultivate a friendship with a guy who could be normal in Barkley’s presence.

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Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins Sunday night. Unlike our secular New Year, it is the Jewish time for re-establishing our relationship with G-d and acknowledging His kingship. In addition, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Jews are directed to ask for forgiveness of all those we have hurt, before […]

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Quote of the Day: Getting Our Egos Out of the Way

 

“He has told you, O man, what is good,
And what the Lord requires of you:
Only to do justice, And to love goodness,
And to walk humbly with your God;
Then will your name achieve wisdom.”
Micah, 6:8

Recently this verse was the haftorah paired with the weekly reading of the Torah. I had heard the verse before, but as a fairly new student of Torah, I hadn’t read it in context. I understand that this verse is the only one from Micah included with the haftorahs. I also realized how deeply moved I was by both its beauty and simplicity.

For some background, the Jews described in the Torah were continually straying from Judaism and adopting the culture and religions from the populations within which they lived. (Some things just don’t change.) G-d was repeatedly berating them for straying, for worshipping idols, and for abandoning their belief in G-d. After berating them, He would then tell them, through the many prophets, the kinds of lives they needed to live, as the people chosen to set an example for the world. In the case of this verse, G-d was speaking through Micah to tell the Jewish people what was expected. No matter how difficult it might be.

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Do you recognize the author? “My modest goal is to re-propose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities. For the Lord has chosen each one of us “to be holy and blameless before him in love” (Eph 1:4). We are never completely ourselves […]

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The Not So Quiet Legacy of Sir Nicholas Winton

 

On the heels of a recent post by @Jon about legacy, I read a story about a man who, at the tender age of 29, began to create a legacy that would not be revealed for 50 more years. Jon asked the question, “How do you want to be remembered? Sometimes fate answers that question for us. Even in the midst of the darkest of times, a light was shining brightly, illuminated from a quiet soul with no thoughts of legacy, who rose to the challenge of his day.

In 1938-1939, Nicholas Winton single-handedly began to rescue Jewish children from the Holocaust. He brought 669 Jewish children from Czechoslovakia to Great Britain, in an operation later known as the Czech Kindertransport, helping them to find new families who gave them a home.  Most of the children’s parents would perish in the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. He never mentioned the children he rescued to anyone.

One day, some 50 years later, his wife, Grete, found a notebook in the attic containing the names and pictures of all the children that her husband had saved.  Grete gave the notebook to a journalist and Winton was invited to appear on a television program. He didn’t know the audience was comprised of all the people whose lives he had saved. Now adults, they came to express their profound thankfulness. When counting the 669 children that he saved, along with their offspring of children and grandchildren, Nicholas Winton saved the lives of over 15,000 people.

Satan’s Devices

 

I’m still unhappy about what happened in church Sunday. We were following the sermon–an encouraging and faith building teaching session on how God uses the seemingly small and mundane incidents in our lives to further His own ends. Then someone’s phone dinged once. I felt irritated, but it was once. Then it dinged again. And then again. Not really loud, but enough to be a distraction.

I’m thinking, Really? Can’t you just shut that off for a little while? Is it that hard? (I had switched mine to vibrate right before church.) Then it just kept up with clusters of chimes throughout the service. I turned around slightly trying to figure out who it might be. I thought I had her pegged, a young woman who appeared to be openly texting in church. Mentally, I made a list of options for her: put it on vibrate, take it outside, or wait until later. I tried to imagine what could be so important that one had to carry on a text conversation right there. A medical emergency of some sort? Still, come on.

My younger daughter leaned over and asked if it was me. Nope, I had turned my sound off. People are something else. But I started to feel uneasy. When it was time to stand up, I picked up my purse and subtly checked my phone. Oh, horrors — there was a string of messages on the display. From my sister. I checked the switch. Instead of turning the sound off before church, I had turned it on. It had already been on vibrate from earlier that day. Sigh. My sister had chosen that morning to have a big group exchange with family members. About the weather in California, primarily, with bonus screenshot of the night’s temperature report from my little brother.

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I’m normally pretty distrustful about Canadiana. It is often insincere, often shallow. At its worst, it is pure angry reaction: like Trudeau the elder defining being Canadian as being not American. At its best it is jokes like: Q: How do you get a Canadian to apologize? Preview Open

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We pray. Christians pray to the triune G-d.  This post is one in a series on Christian prayer, and how we learn to pray from the Lord’s Prayer.  Today we come to the “petition” where we ask our Heavenly Father for stuff.  We cannot help but be self-centered in wanting stuff, but as we learn […]

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[CaptainPower asked, so the following is excerpted from my book.] “Classical” ideas of humility dovetail with Christian piety; suggesting we should reduce our goals and aim for less ambitious lives. This idea of humility implies treating ourselves as small and unimportant. Preview Open

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I pride myself in being a competent cook.  Cooking is one of those basic life skills, like tying your shoes.  I am always baffled by any grown man who doesn’t have that basic life skill. Grilling is another skill on a whole other level.  I grew up with an electric range, so cooking with fire […]

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