Lent goes deeper.

Refining and Reforming

cena-lent ………..for Ivan

Like many things in the liturgical calendar, Lent is what you make of it. For some people, lent is a time to give up Facebook or dessert, stripping away a worldly pleasure to more identify with Christ’s suffering. Some use it as second act for failed New Year’s resolutions. But Lent goes deeper. The events and seasons on the liturgical calendar can be great guides, facilitating worshipful experiences and reflections that deepen one’s understanding of God and their need of Him. Seasons like Advent often guide believers into a deeper understanding of the brilliant hope found in the coming of Jesus Christ while awaiting His return. In contrast, Lent is a season of darkness.

The six-week season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday. Familiar to many only by the external sign placed upon foreheads, Ash Wednesday services act as a mirror for the Church, assisting believers to better understand the…

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The 5:1 ratio of positive to negative feedback

I read a book recently by William Gentry called “Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work for: A guide for new leaders” and he makes the simple but profoundly true observation: “…strive to give five positive pieces of feedback over a period of time before you must deliver a negative one.” he bases this suggestion on research done by relationship experts John and Julie Gotterman in their work investigating successful marriages vs. those ending in divorce. according to the research- the ratio of positive to negative interactions for successful/married couples is typically around 5:1, whereas, unstable marriages show a ratio of 0.8:1.

In his book he also points to research showing how non-verbal communication (facial expression, tone, body gesture and proximity, eye contact, etc..) makes up anywhere between 65%-93% “..of the total emotional interaction between two people.”

I know I needed this reminder!

Why the Electoral College Matters

I understand the hurt that pro-Hillary voters feel following their surprising loss to Trump. It was a surprise for everyone. And I still remember vividly the pain I felt after losing the last two elections to Obama. Empathy and concern for all Americans has always been a path toward healing following a divisive campaign season. For those who have not been alive long enough to witness a transfer of power, this process can be uneasy to accept. However, we need to remember two things, 1. this is the way that our government was set up to run and it has sustained peaceful transitions of power successfully thus far, and 2. Most election cycles are filled with deep divisiveness and vitriol due to a disagreeing populace.  This is not the first or last time we will have disagreement on how to govern our country. Disagreement and diversity of opinion is what makes our world (the U.S.) go around.  Majority rule is not the answer.  Trashing the Electoral College is not the answer.

Resources:

Videos: Do you understand the Electoral College? and The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College

Articles: The Electoral College Still Makes Sense Because We’re Not A Democracy AND Why We Use Electoral College, Not Popular Vote and The Heritage Guide to the Constitution and Why the 2016 Election Proves America Needs the Electoral College

Conservative Republicans as well as liberal Democrats all share in the responsibility to hold the President-Elect accountable at every level. The rise in popularity of Trump has been described well HERE but regardless of the reason for his ascent, it is all of our duty as “we the people” to participate in the conservation of this great Constitutional Republic.

True Class Shown by Hillary and Obama

I am pleased with the class and honor that Hillary and Obama showed following the election. They showed humility and honor to the process and principles that have maintained this country’s greatness.

See below:

HERE Obama’s remarks on peaceful and smooth transition.

HERE Clinton’s concession speech

There is a cynical part of me that wants to not trust the genuine nature certain pieces of Hillary’s speech but I must avoid that temptation.  Her and Tim Kaine both quoted from the Bible and with humility and tact she reached back to traditional American values of hard work and perseverance encouraging people to never give up on what they know is right.  She also used pro-Constitutional language when praising the First Amendment with its freedom of religion and expression.  She lauded our tradition of following the rule of law.

My cynical question is, where was all of this on the campaign trail? She did not show any preference toward the constitution or traditional pro-American values. It was all divisive pandering to the fringe left. She knows that she lost 85% of the evangelical vote to Trump. She knows that evangelicals care about the First Amendment and that the amendment has been the recipient of constant attack under Obama for the last 8 years.  I would hate to think that she somehow used this speech as the beginning of new a campaigning outreach tool  for the DNC so that they can capture more evangelicals next time.

Again, I think her humble approach and sincere demeanor in her speech is admirable.  I hope that she was sincere and I hope that people rioting in the streets in protest to the election outcomes can take her example as the right response.