Putting on My Happy Face

I’m not going to lie. Past 24-48 hrs didn’t feel great. Tomorrow until about mid October, I have 2 conferences to present short papers in, a week long seminar/workshop and preaching once.  Well, maybe that isn’t so bad.  But yesterday morning until now, it felt like an insurmountable amount of overwhelming tasks before me. But a practical stranger, someone I have not really met, but has seen a picture in which I have a radiant smile on my face, reminded me to keep smiling today because my smile shows God’s love in me.  I’m like, wa, wa, wa, what?

So I decided to put on my happy face today and be happy today.  I don’t know how to do this. I am going to start by smiling and to keep smiling as much as I can throughout the day today.  And I am going to start by being thankful for things that are going well and things that I appreciate in my life. And I am going to also think positive and good thoughts today.  So yes, today is and will be a happy day, because I put on my happy face!

Monday Mornings

Monday mornings are the hardest! Trying to get a sense of what I need to do this week and trying to be productive, as in get something done. After getting a sense of what I need to do, I feel overwhelmed. Of course, now I can’t concentrate and it’s become hard to get anything accomplished! Anyone else have similar struggles with Monday mornings, especially for people who are working at home? Maybe a solution is getting out of the house, one might say. But been trying to do that but hard to do that this morning! Monday mornings are the hardest!

Running my first 5K for Suicide Prevention – Sat 9/28/2019 – In Memory of Esther Lee

In Memory of my friend Esther Lee, and in order to raise awareness and financial support for suicide prevention, I plan to run my first 5K this Saturday 9/28 at 9 am in NYC.

The official event, Samaritans 21st Annual 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention is taking place in Boston, MA at the same time.

If you or someone you know needs to talk, call or text 877-870-HOPE (4673).

Putting this event and intention out there for awareness of preventable aspect of suicides, and if you are having suicidal feelings/thoughts, you are not alone.

I have preached past 2 Sundays on the importance of talking about depression, hopelessness, and suicides at churches and also that it takes a “village” to support those who are in need of support and compassion. Planning to preach this sermon as many times as I can, at different churches I get invited to preach at until we don’t need to hear it anymore at churches from the pulpit, from pastors, during Sunday worship.

Would you like to help me raise awareness and funds for preventing suicide?  I am a virtual participant (running by myself in NYC rather than the official event in Boston, MA). So I didn’t have to pay registration fees and I’m not obligated to raise money. I’m raising money anyway in the spirit of raising awareness. Raise Awareness and Funds for Suicide Prevention 

What if we could offer companionship and comfort to those in need?

“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.

Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.

Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.

Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.

But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.

He ALWAYS does that.”

5:01 PM · Sep 9, 2019· – @Jarrid Wilson

I don’t know that depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, trauma can be cured, there is healing, but not sure there is a cure. But for sure the excruciating and mind numbing pain and suffering they can be managed. It requires vigilant up keeping of all that it takes: therapy, medicine, skills to manage anxiety and cognitive and behavior therapy to modify distorted thought and behavior, and it really takes a community and network of support to maintain one’s mental health.

I just want to say, if you are feeling hopeless, depressed, suicidal, or suffering from any pain, that I have been there and am here now and am more than happy to be here for you. Reach out, because invisibility of depression means we don’t always see it even when it’s really painful.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255
P.S. Prayer request – I feel I have to speak on this issue.  So I’m going to preach on depression, mental illness, and suicides this coming Sunday. Please pray for me to speak clearly in a way that is helpful and to have boldness and courage to speak out about how God has worked in my life as well.

Shout out to – Philosophize This!

Discovered podcasts by Stephen West on Philosophize This!  He has a 5 part series on Gilles Deleuze and it is excellent!  His explanation is clear, easy to understand, and he argues for the relevance and significance of Deleuze’s ideas. So so good!

Deleuze’s concepts – shift of focus from being to becoming, affirming existence in terms of difference, concept of machines instead of substance, and importance of the interconnectedness of events over identity –  are explained by Stephen West in clear way that captures nuances and complexity of ideas.  I am really impressed.

I recommend listening to all 5 podcasts in order, but if you only have time for one or have background knowledge of Deleuze, you could work your way backwards.

Thank you, Stephen West for your amazing podcasts on Deleuze!  And how about some future podcasts on affect theory???

Gilles Deleuze – Difference pt. 5 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – Flows pt. 4 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – Anti-Oedipus pt. 3 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – Immanence pt. 2 on Philosophize This!

Gilles Deleuze – What is Philosophy? pt. 1 on Philosophize This!

This Instagram post!

I was inspired by this post: www.instagram.com/p/BybO-FwhbdJ/

by @heysarahcarter to write this comment… “Your commitment to show up to create space for the broken And bruised hearted – this speaks to my spirit. Because the broken and bruised hearts, where can we call home?”

Benediction by Nadia Bolz-Weber, at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

I preached today about how to live the life of Christians, here and now, even as we pray, Come, Lord Jesus. During the sermon, I read the benediction by Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, which was read at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans.  I read the benediction during the sermon as an example of the kind of life we must live as Christians, the kind of prayer we must pray in today’s day and world. .

..So gifted, so loved, so loving, so sad, and yet the world is a better and happier place because of Rachel…

Video of the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

Benediction by The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber, at the funeral of Rachel Held Evans

“Blessed are the agnostics. Blessed are they who doubt. Blessed are those who have nothing to offer. Blessed are the preschoolers who cut in line at communion. Blessed are the poor in spirit. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“Blessed are those whom no one else notices. The kids who sit alone at middle-school lunch tables. The laundry guys at the hospital. The sex workers and the night-shift street sweepers. The closeted. The teens who have to figure out ways to hide the new cuts on their arms. Blessed are the meek. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“Blessed are they who have loved enough to know what loss feels like. Blessed are the mothers of the miscarried. Blessed are they who can’t fall apart because they have to keep it together for everyone else. Blessed are those who “still aren’t over it yet.” Blessed are those who mourn. You are of heaven and Jesus blesses you.

“I imagine Jesus standing here blessing us because I believe that is our Lord’s nature. This Jesus cried at his friend’s tomb, turned the other cheek, and forgave those who hung him on a cross because He was God’s Beatitude— He was God’s blessing to the weak in a world that only admires the strong.  

[And shall Rachel have this last word…]

“‘Jesus invites us into a story bigger than ourselves and our imaginations, yet we all get to tell that story with the scandalous particularity of this moment and this place. We are storytelling creatures because we are fashioned in the image of a storytelling God. May we never neglect that gift. May we never lose our love for telling the story. Amen.'”