Today’s World often seems filled with turmoil, struggle and hate. The people we want to look up to continue to say and do shocking things. Our leadership, at all levels, is filled with people who disrespect others and make selfish decisions. So many of our leaders, from local positions all the way to our top national leaders, have become perverted by the power they hold. How do we move forward as Christians in such a place as this?
There have been at least 231 mass shootings in the United States during 2019 so far, 220 people have died and over 900 injured. (gunviolencearchive, wikipedia) Other sites return even greater numbers of people. Where do people get the idea that the best way to get their point across is to shoot massive numbers of strangers? How do we move forward as Christians in such a place as this?
So many have been deeply hurt by the Church. There is great corruption in power to which even the Church (the institution) has succumbed. The Church has espoused some teachings that do not fit within the divine agape of the One Who Loved Us Into Being. Even individual Christians have demonstrated hateful attitudes and behaviors. We are witnesses to corruption and hate from our local communities all the way through to our global leaders. To where can we look for hope and healing? Does Christianity hold any real hope and healing for us today?
There are certainly wonderful things happening too. In the last week, I personally witnessed someone who lost everything since Hurricane Irma, giving their time, energies, skills and yes, even some things to others. Having chosen a new life and spent the last year putting everything into place to begin, this person has witnessed others in need and chosen to compassionately do what they could to help and encourage. Why? Because, especially through this horrific time, this person became aware of God’s strength, guidance, healing, and love in their life and for their life like never before. Out of deep gratitude for these divine gifts, this person is now living larger than ever imagined with much less.
Especially in times like this, it’s important to focus on and meditate on those things which encourage us, build us up in healthy ways, things that lead us toward hope.
I believe there are core truths that Christians and non-Christians can hold onto. Richard Rohr puts it in such a beautiful way: “Whether or not you identify as a Christian, Richard invites you to see the Christ—the unifying principle of wholeness at the core of the universe—in everything and everyone. What does it mean to be the Body of Christ, the cosmic and coming Christ, now and for the future?”
“Unifying principle of wholeness at the core of the universe-in everything and everyone” Can you imagine, if we each meditated on that, just deeply thought about it, a few times each week what a difference it would make in the way we interact with one another and the rest of creation? Think about the difference it would make in your life.
In fact, I’m inviting you to try it out. Intentionally, for the next 3 days meditate (deeply think) on the phrase: “Unifying principle of wholeness at the core of the universe – in everyone and everything“. Do this at least 3 times a day for 3 minutes at a time. You’ll need to set aside (turn off phone, essentially go into a closed closet, turn off TV, make sure rest of family (roommates) know to leave you alone for 3 minutes) and see what happens.
What we pour into our minds, hearts, eyes and ears makes a difference in who we are. To build the strength to stand through the tough times, we must fill ourselves, again and again, with unifying and timeless principles.
Please come back and share your results:
It’s time for our annual 4th of July parade where we celebrate our freedom created by our ancestors, protected by our military, and that you and I are responsible to keep in check by our living, voting and speaking up.
Some of the things that threaten our freedom is stressors, depression, violence, apathy and unhealthy relationships. Living Springs Counseling provides a space where you can address these stressors in your life and create new healthier happier ways of living for you and your family. If you are a person of faith, we include your faith in your journey. Our fees make all this affordable for you and/or your loved ones.
Living Springs Counseling will be marching in this year’s parade handing out ice pops. We invite all our supporters to join us and the fun. Be at Anthony’s parking lot by 9:30 am and look for our Golf Cart. The parade route is approximately 1 mile. If you have a wheelchair, bring it and hand out ice pops too!!
To contact us for appointments call 305.942.4226.
Each year we have such an amazing time at our High Tea Extravaganza! We hope you’ll come join us again this year! If you haven’t been there yet, there’s no time like the present. Above is our 2 time winner of the Crazy Hat Competition. Who will win this year?
Imagine a 4 course meal of finger food AND supporting a vital local not for profit for just $25.
Imagine laughing, eating and enjoying all kinds of natural teas …
Imagine silent auction opportunities galore …
AND you don’t even have to dress up! That’s right wear whatever feels right to you and have fun doing it. You might ask, ok so we can have fun … why else would we support this organization.
Living Springs Counseling helps build and improve the quality of community here in the Keys. We accomplish this by …
Living Springs Counseling provides the ONLY very affordable Certified Pastoral Counseling in all of the Florida Keys. You are able to address depression, grief, stress, faith, and relationship/couples issues. We do not take insurance (42% of working age Monroe County residents don’t have insurance anyway) and you’ll find that our sliding scale is very affordable. Even homeless residents and residents on disability can afford us.
We also offer parenting classes (approved by the UK Family Court for mandated parenting classes), continuing education classes for clergy, and last resort Rx assistance for Monroe County Residents.
Of course, we ALWAYS accept donations. Please click on our donations page above.
Click here To purchase tickets to our High Tea Extravaganza! June 15th; 1-3 PM at MM 98.5 bayside – Pirates Cove Clubhouse
Looking forward to having fun with you!
Did you ever wonder why scientists get so excited when they find a planet with water? They regularly bypass all kinds of truly amazing planets, stars, galaxies and more with a plethora of valuable discoveries and go straight to the planets that include water. It turns out that scientists have never found any substance that sustains life better than water. Where there’s water there’s probably life.
Guess what amniotic fluid is. You guessed it, water. Did you know that the water of amniotic fluid does much more than protect the developing baby? As pregnancy continues, this water provides a way for electrolytes, proteins, carbohydrates, other nutritional and developmental elements to get to the developing child. Even more, when the fetus swallows this water, it helps in the formation of the gastrointestinal tract. Water is vital to human creation.
Do you know why plants need water? Plants are about 90% water. When plants are not watered properly they wilt. This is because of something called turgor, which is water pressure inside the cells that make up the plant’s skeleton. When a plant is properly hydrated, there is enough water pressure to make the leaves strong and sturdy; when a plant doesn’t get enough water, the pressure inside the stems and leaves drops and they wilt. Plants also need water for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is what plants do to create their food, and water is critical to this process. Once in the leaves water evaporates, as the plant exchanges water for carbon dioxide. The water from the leaves evaporates through the stomata, and carbon dioxide enters the stomata, taking the water’s place. Plants need this carbon dioxide to make food. Transpiration – this exchange of water for carbon dioxide – only occurs during the day when there is sunlight. This is why you might find dew on plants in the morning. The plants contain a lot of water because all night long water has been entering through the stem and being pulled into the leaves where it can’t evaporate. Since the water doesn’t evaporate at night, the water has no where to go so it remains on the leaves as dew. When water evaporates from a plant during transpiration it cools the plant, in the same way the humans sweat to cool off in the heat. A mature house plant can transpire its body weight daily. This means it gives off a lot of water! If people needed that much water, an adult would drink 20 gallons of water a day. (UCSB ScienceLine)
Not only does water create life and sustain life, water can also be destructive, hurricanes, and beautiful, Niagara Falls. Water refreshes us, swimming, and provides a source for exercise and healthy nutrition (fish and seaweed). Water cleans and feeds.
No wonder God choose water to be used in baptism. Water gives us rainbows. God led the Israelites to freedom through water. God provided safe passage through the river Jordan to the promised land. In creation, God swept across the waters and brought forth light.
Our lives are blessed by water in more ways than we know.
How has your life been blessed, changed, rearranged by water?
Here is a quote from my book: Becoming: A Spiritual Journey
“Jeremiah has a wonderful understanding of God as the fountain of living water that has so completely flowed through my life in the years since. It’s not even just a river of living water as John talks about, but an actual fountain. I picture a magnificent shower of water shooting up from the center, cascading down with its refreshing life-giving breath on everything willing to receive it. Dancing around the fountain, I see life flourishing and growing in a brilliant array of greens. A fragrance of joy and hope permeates the air as new life buds forth. This is the vision my Creator gave me as I struggled to reach out for just a drop, knowing that God’s right hand was holding me through it all.”
May you know God’s Blessings through water today and everyday.
That special person, the one who not only always has your back, but also walks alongside you, laughs with you, encourages you, holds your heart as a great and wonder-full treasure; has taken vows to continue to honor you and respect you for life.
Yes, that one, close your eyes and picture him or her. Let your mind flutter through the many superb memories, one to the next and next. Listen to your heart. What is it saying? What feelings fill you up? At some point, during this exercise you’ll come to a screeching halt. There are also times you and your spouse have said terrible things to one another.
All married couples disagree from time to time, this is normal and healthy. However, some couples are cruel to one another regularly. Some couples turn disagreements into personal attacks. This is not normal and it is not healthy. Sometimes couples are more like roommates, this is not normal and it is not healthy. Sometimes one spouse makes all the decisions, sets the rules, controls the money and assumes the responsibility to punish any perceived transgressions. This is not normal and it is not healthy.
If you want to get the most our of your relationship, if you want a healthier relationship that you can count on, if you want to feel loved and make your spouse feel loved … a good way to start is by rebuilding your love maps. John Gottman, PhD and his wife have carefully studied relationships and how to heal relationships for over 40 years. The Gottman Relationship Counseling process is proven both scientifically and with many couples. Gottman trained therapists are in demand and people will pay hundreds per session.
Our Pastoral Counselor is a Gottman trained therapist. Dr. Feeser has completed her Gottman Couples Therapy training and utilizes this process with our couples. However, because of the economic strains on our community, Living Springs Counseling charges between $30 and $70 per session on a sliding scale. Call us 305.451.9554 to discuss possibilities and make appointments.
Here are some typical Love Map questions:
Who are your partner’s best friends? What things is your partner most worried about right now? What does your partner dream about accomplishing? Describe your partner’s worldview.
There are many fun ways to build your love maps. Contact us to find out more. You and your spouse deserve to love and be loved in healthy ways. We look forward to hearing from you.
Advent Season, Hannukah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, 12 Days of Christmas, St. Stephan’s Day
December is rich with meaning and it’s spelled LOVE. This isn’t the warm, mushy,squishy, wishy washy love. The love that God actually gave to you and me must have much greater substance than that. Give any one of us a bad day and we can do serious damage to the mushy squishy love. The love God gave, gives and will continue to give to us can and has withstood the tests of evil, death, nastiness, hate, loss, grief, anger, threat, indifference, life, chaos, and so much more, imaginable and unimaginable.
So, what does this love look like? Where have we witnessed it? When have we shared it with others?
God’s love, agape, works to overturn the injustices we tend to normalize.
These are not easy things to do. Most of us can’t even agree on what’s appropriate. Agape love is messy, it’s risky and has cost. Agape does, agape gets up, rolls up it’s sleeves and gets to work for the good of all. Agape love respects each person as one of God’s very own beloved. Agape love understands each person as one of inherent worth and continues regardless of any resistance. Agape is also something that we participate in as God’s very own beloved. If we truly believe in God and have a living relationship with God then we are continually called or urged by God to live out this life giving love.
I’ve seen this love when a couple adopted a teenage girl, almost ready to age out of the system. They did this for her benefit and yes, they loved her with familial love too.
After Irma, many families have been homeless. There was a lady who reached out to another lady and her little girl who were living in their car because their home was gone. The three of them are now living together until the woman and her daughter can get back on their feet.
What examples of agape have you seen?