SCSW India Youth Exchange 2013

We’ve been dwelling in the word together as a group. Using the same scripture before the trip, daily during the trip, and after. It’s the road to Emmaus story. We are going to be traveling with Jesus as well on our own road of discovery.

Luke 24:13-35

The Walk to Emmaus

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, ‘What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?’ They stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, ‘Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not know the things that…

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Each Day Fall in Love


Somewhere each day we have to fall in love with someone, something, some moment, event, phrase. Somehow each day we must allow the softening of the heart. Otherwise our hearts will move inevitably toward hardness. We will move toward cynicism, bitterness, fear and despair. That’s where most of the world is trapped and doesn’t even know it.

The world’s been in love with death so long that it calls death life. It tries to conjure up life by making itself falsely excited, by creating parties where there’s no reason to celebrate…. Yet the only way to experience joy is to give yourself to reality. Joy comes after you go that extra mile and offer yourself first-thing every day.

Ask the Lord to give you the grace to fall in love. Then you’ll see rightly because only when we are in love do we understand.

Source: The Passion of God and the Passion Within, Inward/Outward.

Celebrating Darwin: Religion And Science Are Closer Than You Think

Celebrating Darwin: Religion And Science Are Closer Than You Think

“When it comes to evolution and Big Bang cosmology, what positions do different faith communities take? There’s actually less conflict between the faith and science communities than you might think. And while there has been no shortage of controversies between the two camps—with disputes about the science curriculum in US public schools a relatively current one—only 11% of Americans belong to religions that openly reject evolution or Big Bang Cosmology. Take a look at the graph below and hover over any religion to see its position on the matter or click to see more details.” Huffington Post Religion Blog, Posted: 02/12/2013 6:41 am


Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?

This is a link to the “Provoked to Newness” podcast with Brian McLaren talking about, Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? (Wisdom for a Change Blog, Alan Brisco)


Lenten Carbon Fast: How about Lent for all of creation?

From the Tearfund website: Our day-to-day lives may not be impacted severely by the changing climate – yet.carbonfast2012

But what about people who struggle to feed their families or find a home that won’t get washed away, or who can’t work because the fields have been destroyed by droughts and storms?

Join us in the Carbon Fast this Lent to respond to this challenge, remembering how God has called us to respect and look after his good creation and to protect poor people who we know are suffering the most.

The Carbon Fast has now begun! And you, and your church, can get involved in the following ways:

  1. Get our weekly Carbon Fast email – Sign up using the form below.
  2. Download the Carbon Fast 2013 weekly actions for your church.
  3. You can also follow the Carbon Fast on Twitter – @TFCampaigns, #carbonfast or Facebook.

Talking with Your Kids about Alcohol Use

Talking with Your Kids about Alcohol UseFeb 04, 2013 01:43 pm | Lisa LeeAs a parent of five girls, between the ages of 5 and 15, I find myself thinking very often about how I am communicating with my children about the things in life that matter the most. I also seem to be thinking back a lot to my own childhood, and reflecting on the ways that my parents communicated with me and my sisters as we were growing up.One issue that has become clear to me is that when I was a teenager, my parents were very involved in my life and I knew that they loved me, BUT they never once told me to avoid underage drinking or warned me of the dangers of drinking alcohol. What their avoidance of this topic caused for me was a sense that I had permission to take part in drinking with my friends in high school and college.

I remember my parents telling me stories of their drinking parties in college, BUT they never once told me that it was wrong and that they regretted it. Highlighting these memories is not for the purpose of criticizing my parents, but rather to remind me of what happened in my life because of it. It also encourages me to be incredibly mindful of the influence of what I say and don’t say to my own children.

With all of our daughters, my husband, Mike, and I have been trying to have open communication, and sharing insights from our own growing up years as honestly as possible. It can sometimes feel awkward to approach challenging topics, but the advice I seem to hear often is that the more you can make an attempt at talking with your kids, the better.

Here are some tips from a website, www.parentfurther.com, which is a great resource for research-based advice and tools for parents on a wide range of topics.

Lisa Lee

Talking with Your Kids about Alcohol Use

It’s important to start communicating with your child about your values and beliefs as early as possible. By maintaining open and honest communication, you can help your children feel comfortable talking with you about difficult issues, such as alcohol use and peer pressure.

Don’t wait for your children to bring up alcohol—use advertisements, news stories, or personal incidents to raise the issue before it becomes a problem. Ask your child what he thinks about the alcohol use he sees on TV, in movies, or among his friends. Point out advertisements that target teens. Talk about your views on underage alcohol use and ask your child what he thinks about it as well.

During the high school years, many kids begin to think they’re old enough for sex, drugs, or alcohol. Talk to your child about how she defines maturity and when she thinks individuals are old enough to engage in these activities. Be clear about why you think she should wait until she’s older and which values your opinions represent.

Talk to your kids at least weekly about the peer pressure they experience or see at school and in their social groups. Some children are more comfortable talking about what they witness, so be patient if your child doesn’t want to talk about his experiences right away. It’s much easier for some kids to talk about what they see before they talk about what they experience.

If you consumed alcohol as a teenager, be honest with your children if they ask about it. Tell them about the consequences you faced.

Talking with your kids about alcohol use isn’t always easy. But it’s important to start the conversation early so you can teach your child the necessary skills to resist alcohol when he or she is faced with a tough decision. Begin talking today so your child’s first lessons about alcohol are from you—and not her or his friends.

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