non despicable you

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John Newton did some wretched things, he was a slave trader. He was involved in a despicable industry. Contrary to popular belief, he did not change his ways after a terrible storm in which he called out for God’s mercy. He was still active in the Slave trade for another six or seven years after that event. Millions of people (including children) have sung his song called ‘Amazing Grace’ and wholeheartedly sang the words “that saved a wretch like me”. Please understand that you are NOT a wretch! You are not wretched and you never were. Some of us have done bad things. Things that hurt others, things that devalue our fellow brothers and sisters and weigh on our conscience. However, at the centre of our being we are all intrinsically good and perfect. Gold that has fallen into mud still has the same value.

My wife and I look after children that are not able to live with their biological parents. These children have suffered violence, abuse and things we don’t want to mention. As a father, foster carer and nurturer do I tell these children that they are wretched? Sinful? Accepted by God only if they say ‘the sinners prayer’, repent of their sins? No, these precious children have already been told that they are useless, worthless, no good, they have suffered untold trauma, violence and abuse. I WILL NOT tell them that they are wretched. I would not want them to sing it either. I will tell them that they are loved, beautiful, accepted.

I implore you to tell your children that they are of great value and worth. Tell it to your Mum and Dad, tell it to your wife, husband/spouse/partner, tell it to your brothers and sisters. Tell it to those you meet, and most importantly, tell it to your totally non despicable self.

begin to see the perfect you

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Sometimes we create enemies where there are none. However our biggest enemy is not knowing who we and our brothers and sisters truly are. For various reasons and to differing degrees our minds get screwed up and life gets confusing and complicated. Nevertheless on a much deeper level your true self is good and perfect. Start to see the perfect you. Change your mindset. See all that is good and perfect in your innermost being, then spread that goodness to those around you. 

“Children are beautiful, fragile, innocent…” – By Trish Leroy-Shaw

Children are beautiful, fragile, innocent, vulnerable, demanding, hard work, unique, frustrating and incredible beings. Some of them are brought into the world by adults who are wrestling with their own humanity. Often good people with insurmountable problems, but loving their children isn’t one of them. These children find themselves in a world not of their making and not of their choice. Both parent and child find themselves grieving the loss of the other. The parent confronted with yet another insurmountable struggle, the children thrown into a world of confusion, fear and heartache. Is it right? Not really. However; We are a family that opens our heart and homes to these children and help them hopefully restore a healthy relationship with their parents, if possible, whilst providing a safe, caring and loving home.

Advocating for what’s best for these children is what we do. Giving them a sense of belonging and acceptance regardless of blood ties is paramount. Supporting and encouraging relationships with their parents is crucial, not only for now, but into the future. One day these children will be parents. There needs to be a hope and a chance given to change the cycle that cripples so many families and lives. There are more than 6000 children in NSW alone that are in ‘out of home care’. 

I’d like to encourage you all to consider becoming a foster parent. It’s not a walk in the park, but our own children weren’t/aren’t that anyway. Just wait and see. There is a shortage of carers in Australia, yet there are so many parents out there already raising children?!

Every child deserves to be fed, clothed, loved, protected, encouraged and adored. Some are hard to love because of their past, but God calls us to love the un-lovelies and in time the diamonds shine through. It takes understanding, patience and a good sense of humour, as well as training and a good support agency. Give it some serious consideration.

Awesome Frank Schaeffer Interview

This awesome interview was live streamed on YouTube today. I love the wisdom and honesty that resonates so strongly from this wonderful enlightened man. The video is over 2 hours long, it starts at 1:42

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBRXbsHs2LI

A little about Frank Schaeffer: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books. Frank is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as “pretty terrible.” He is also an acclaimed author of both fiction and nonfiction and an artist with a loyal following of international collectors who own many of his oil paintings. Frank has been a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the Today Show, BBC News and many other media outlets. He is a much sought after speaker and has lectured at a wide range of venues from Harvard’s Kennedy School to the Hammer Museum/UCLA, Princeton University, Riverside Church Cathedral, DePaul University and the Kansas City Public Library.

http://www.frankschaeffer.com/

I am a theist, but I understand that I could be wrong…

I am a theist, but I understand that I could be wrong. It’s possible that when I die I will cease to exist, however in my heart of hearts I don’t think this will be the case. I believe that in the coming ages I will spend time with (amongst others):Julius Caesar, Ghandi, Jesus, Florence Nightingale, my beautiful Grandmother and Grandfather, Hitler (yes even that dreaded evil Hitler), Anne Frank, the French guy who wrote Papillon, Winston Churchill, my highly intelligent atheist son, Christopher Hitchens, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Michael W (and Rhonda) Jones), Robin Williams, the Queen of England, my biological brothers, sisters, Audrey Hepburn, (don’t tell Trish!), children, foster children, Facebook friends, all my school friends, the dysfunctional bully at school who always wanted to fight me, my tormented alcoholic father, Twitter and IG friends and of course my lovely wife Trish Shaw (if she’s not weary of me already). I may be wrong, but the idea that I will one day meet and spend time with everyone who has ever lived brings sustenance and joy to my innermost being. There are some people that for certain reasons I don’t want to meet again. That’s okay, my belief is that these things will work themselves out in the ages to come, because in the end LOVE will prevail. None of the above mentioned people will suffer in some sort of (supposedly) divine torture chamber called Hell. That’s just bullshit. I am thankful to have LOVE in my heart and a hope for the future. In this life but also the life to come. Am I deceived? Maybe, but that’s okay, I love my life and am incredibly thankful for the amazing people I meet everyday. Peace to all.

 
 

Robin Williams

The creator occasionally brings people into our lives to shake us up, make us a little uncomfortable and laugh at the absurdities of life. Now that he has gone, it is up to us to live our lives with a touch more craziness, laughter and boisterous absurdity, bringing some light and laughter to our brothers and sisters. He shined his light as best he could and we are the richer for it. In different ways we can do the same, this will most assuredly make the world a better place.