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Compassion–Signs of Hope

When we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope. ~Henri Nouwen  This morning we spent time reflecting on our past, where we have been, pains we…
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Compassion Fatigue

Massive exposure to human misery often leads to psychic numbness.  Our minds cannot tolerate being constantly reminded of things which interfere with what we are doing at the moment.   ~Henri Nouwen  This morning I (Tom) watched the news and was struck by the formulaic/ritualized way the news was presented.  I heard about two children…
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Compassionate Presence

When do we receive real comfort and consolation?  Is it when someone teaches us how to think or act?  Is it when we receive advice about where to go or what to do?  Is it when we hear words of reassurance and hope?  Sometimes, perhaps.  But what really counts is that in moments of pain…
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Compassion Defined

Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.~Nouwen For next several blogs we want to talk about Compassion.  And specifically, we want to reference a book we love by Henri Nouwen called, Compassion.  This is a subject we have talked about before but want to talk about in more detail because we believe…
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LOL-Laughing Out Loud

Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand. Mark Twain   We have all heard the adage that laughter is the best medicine and this past week both of us saw those words come true once again. I (Michael) spent time with a friend who for the last seven years has been going through an…
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The Secret to Happiness?

Even Children feel better when they share what they have.-Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton Last week, I (Tom) was enjoying my vacation at the beach with my wife and two children.  One of the days my two a half year old son Luke was playing in the sand when another young girl about his age…
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Busyness-The New Spirituality

As we write this message this morning, we’ve already taken a swim. It’s a massively hot day here in the northeast U.S. and temperatures are approaching 100 degrees. It’s been in the 90’s, without relenting, for the past week. We’re writing in our bare feet, with the Wimbledon semi-finals playing in the background and we…
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Learning Your Love Language

One of the things that has been most helpful for us in developing and growing our relationship together, in our relationships with our wives and in our relationships with others in our lives has been learning our own love languages. Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages, states that every person needs two…
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The First Duty of Love

The first duty of love is to listen.     Paul Tillich The fancy word for what we are called is counselors.  But really, truly, we believe that mainly we are listeners.  To be honest, there have been many meetings we’ve had with others in which we didn’t have a whole lot of answers or much wisdom…
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Loneliness–One of the Greatest of all Diseases

One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody. ~Mother Teresa   Both of us know friends who for many years have bottled up deep feelings, wounds, guilt, and pain inside.  They have been afraid to share because they fear being judged–they think to themselves, if she or he only knew where I have…
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