Thursday, April 28, 2022

Beware the Errors of the Prosperity Gospel

Just some early morning musings.
Please beware of the errors of the prosperity gospel. These errors, in various forms, have seeped into our society (and in many cases flowed into our society) for nearly a hundred years.
Actually, these or similar errors go back longer than a century, into antiquity, as people watched Job suffer monetary and health losses and they said he must not be right with God. A whole book of the Bible is devoted to refuting this way of thinking. God said that Job was a righteous man.
God is not a puppet master or a marionette, pulling the strings of our lives and of those around us. He gave us free will...all of us. And each of us can be affected by the sins and even by the very human mistakes of any. Whoa, that's a heavy thought. But let's think about the ripple effect. If someone makes an unjust law that stays on the books for centuries, it reaches across time. If someone ruins the supply of a life-giving commodity, the effects can reach across a country and perhaps even the globe.
We don't know all the reasons bad things happen, but we need only look at Job - and Jesus - to know that sufferings of this life cannot be assumed to be punishments or a lack of blessing. As I heard one good priest say emphatically, "All *good things* come from God!"
So, what are some of the dangers of prosperity gospel thinking? Perhaps a kind of despair (thinking we are not good enough.). Perhaps a lack of compassion (how many times have we seen "the poor" criticized, as if it is all their fault?). Perhaps a lack of charity to those who are not deemed worthy (paying for the drink of the next person waiting in the drive-through line in their SUV, but always avoiding the homeless with averted eye).
Let's remember in all adversity that we can always turn to God. In some cases, he might fix the problem through a miracle or through science or through inspiring us what we can do next. But other times, he might give us comfort, or patience, or joy in the midst of sorrows. Sometimes he might send someone to encourage or comfort us or to help us with our needs. We don't have to be "worthy" to receive God's blessings. He is always with us, always loving us, all of us, rich and poor, healthy and sick, loving us as a good Father.



Sunday, January 02, 2022

Little Saint Therese Grows Up - Free on Kindle - Limited Time

Little Saint Therese Grows Up is currently free on Kindle through Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 11:59 p.m. PST.  The book is available in both as a Kindle book and as a paperback book. This free Kindle offer gives you a chance to find out if you might like to buy the paperback edition. Or, you could just use the Kindle book, if you'd like. 

Little Saint Therese Grows Up shares little true stories about St. Therese, her love of God, and her trust in his love. Hopefully, children of all ages will enjoy the book, but the reading level was specifically designed for children of a second or third grade reading level to read to or with a parent, grandparent, or another loving person in his or her life.

You may click on this link to learn more or to obtain your free Kindle copy:
Little Saint Therese Grows Up

Thank you and God bless you in the new year! 

Margaret Mary



Saturday, October 16, 2021

Very Young Children, Child Development, and the Pandemic

For some families with very young children, the pandemic has been difficult. If you are staying mostly at home or going out less than you would have if there were no pandemic, here are some ideas.

 If you can, please get the children out of the house, safely, of course, whatever that feels like for you and your family. Maybe take a walk in the neighborhood. Possibly taking a drive to a farm or a duck pond would be nice or whatever is easy to access in your area but not crowded, if you're concerned about crowds. Get them outside of the house or apartment, and point out an airplane going by, or the garbage truck, and how those who collect the garbage are some of our community helpers.

Also, there are things you can do at home to give young children enrichment and social skills. Books open whole new worlds to them.

 Games, whether card games or board games - geared to their age - help them learn to take turns and give them the fun experience of doing something together with others. There are games made especially for younger children, although some may be more geared to children 5 and up, and may need some little modifications for 3's and 4's.

 Sing songs. Playing songs on TV or the web is good, but it's also fun and bonding to sing songs with them (or to them, until they pick it up). Also, if they don't get out as much, they can dance, jump, spin, even at home. You can find preschool songs online which feature movement.

Build structure into their lives. Have a place to eat meals. Maybe sit down together at the table most evenings to eat dinner. Of course, now and then a picnic outside might be fun, too. And I'm not saying anyone should have a strict schedule, just that some routine is helpful for their wellbeing.

 Establish some boundaries in their lives. You probably wouldn't let your child of 3 or 4 run inside of a church or at the library. But if you're not going out much, it might be harder to teach those kinds of boundaries. Is there an area of your home which would be safer for them if they don't run? That would be a good place for teaching the skill of respecting boundaries, such as "walking only" in this area.

And one more thing I would suggest is teaching them to come when you call them. Maybe they want to keep playing, but it might be helpful at some time - maybe even vital for their safety - if they learn to come when you call them to find out what it is you want. And then, at least some of the time, they can go back to their play.

 Just some thoughts I have had, while thinking about the young children in today's world, some of whom have been in their own homes a lot more in the past year and a half than is usually the case, some of them for half or more of their lives.

 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Little Saint Therese Grows Up - A Revision of My Previous Little Saint Therese

The Little Saint Therese Grows Up book (a revision of my previous Little Saint Therese) is now live. I am running a promotion on the Kindle version of the book, from midnight tonight, Thursday, August 26th (Pacific time) to midnight Saturday night, August 28th (Pacific Time), so, for two days.
Feel free to get the Kindle book and not buy the paperback. Free is free. No strings. But, of course I do hope that if enough people take the free Kindle book, that some of them - some of you - might buy the paperback to share with a child in their life. I feel like the paperback will provide a better reading experience for the child, with little pictures, however simple as they are stock pictures, but just to have a visual and hold the book in their hands. The Kindle has the same pictures but not on the same page as the text as they are in the print book.
But with the Kindle book, you can see what you think of the book...or read it with your child if you don't feel you have the money to spend on the paperback. Whatever you like. I just wanted to have both formats available to you all.

Incidentally - fun fact - I first offered my original Little Saint Therese as a free e-book, back in about 2003, when my son Paul put it online for me, on my then-website, so that I could do that. Children who had read it then are adults now! Wow, how time passes!

Anyway, I hope you will enjoy my revision. I enjoyed writing it.
Blessings. MM