Hearts Of Stone

1458243566040.jpg

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 27; 147:12-20, Exodus 7:25-8:19, 2 Corinthians 3:7-18, Mark 10:17-31


In his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul tells the people the law under Moses (which he calls the “ministry of death”) was chiseled in stone, while the ministry of the Spirit is written on their hearts. He also distinguishes them as the ministry of condemnation and the ministry of justification.  For people who were used to having all of God’s requirements written down in an agreed-upon format, this was an understandably difficult transition.

The New Testament wasn’t compiled until well after Paul’s death. When he preached about Christ, Paul wasn’t beholden to specific texts, a situation with both challenges and advantages. He had to constantly meditate on what the will of Christ might be, since he was the first person bringing this message to most of the people he encountered. On the other hand, not being bound by chapter and verse, he was free to speak the language of the heart, which created opportunities for mercy often unthinkable under the restrictions of pure law.

The New Testament is a collection of testimony and letters of advice and encouragement, not a basis for hard and fast laws, no matter how much some might like it to be. So how do we know what to do? The challenge of the ministry of justification is that we can’t actually read what is written on anyone else’s heart. Because it’s our nature to prefer defined expectations, we tend to assume it matches what is written on our own, and build our expectations for them on that basis. If we begin to judge people for not meeting our own self-imposed limits and rules, we are back to the ministry of condemnation, and the living words written on our hearts harden like stone tablets.

Our job is to understand what God has written on our own hearts, and live accordingly. Paul’s ministry of justification assumes the law is on our hearts, and encourages us to assume the same of others. Christ invites and trusts us to fulfill the law of love, and encourages us to allow others the freedom to do the same.

Comfort: The ministry of death has passed. Christ offers us new life.

Challenge: We are responsible for discerning, through our relationship with Christ, what is right and what is wrong.

Prayers: Merciful God, thank you for the ministry of life made possible through Jesus Christ. I pray for the wisdom and discernment to follow your will, not my own. Spare me from judgment as I spare my neighbor. Amen.

Discussion: What hard and fast rules do you cling to that may be more yours than God’s?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Faith in the Familiar

teach me your ways

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 34; 146, Genesis 45:1-15, 1 Corinthians 7:32-40, Mark 6:1-13


Can you imagine any of your childhood friends becoming the Messiah? Neither could the people of Jesus’ hometown. When we have known someone since before they were toilet-trained, or have endured their adolescent moodiness, or have witnessed other personal (all too humanizing!) traits, our ability to see her or him as truly extraordinary can evaporate. Executive washrooms are exclusive for a reason. Familiarity may not always breed contempt, but it doesn’t often promote reverence.

When Jesus tried to teach in Nazareth, people took offense at his attempt. They asked: “Isn’t he just that carpenter? You know, Mary’s kid?” Their unbelief amazed him, and limited his abilities. Like a nightmarish high school reunion, his peers’ preconceptions negated all he had become. We may judge in hindsight, but how would we react if the neighbor kid started telling us we needed to rethink our concept of God?

Though none of our neighbors, children, siblings, parents, or friends are likely to be the second coming of Christ, the reaction of the people of Nazareth serves as a warning. We don’t always want to hear challenging truths from someone we know well. We may brush off legitimate criticism from friends by reminding ourselves (and them) of their own faults. We might ignore good advice from Dad because “he always worries too much.” After watching our children make mistakes we warned them about, we may have trouble learning to see them as capable adults. Companies often bring in consultants to point out obvious truths not because consultants are smarter, but because strangers lack the baggage we use to discredit our peers when we don’t like what they have to say.

What damage do we cause our relationships when, even unknowingly, we dismiss people because they are familiar? Maybe we’re not preventing them from performing miracles, but how much might they accomplish if shown a little faith? One way to try seeing the face of Christ in everyone is to define them by their potential, and not by their shortcomings. Sometimes they may let us down, but how we can rejoice when they lift us up!

Comfort: No matter how other people see you, God sees you as He created you to be.

Challenge: Be discerning, but don’t fall into the trap of cynicism.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving me space to grow. Please help me to live into the potential you have created for me. Please help me support and foster the potential of others. May we develop all our talents to serve God and neighbor. Amen.

Discussion: Is there anyone in your life – children, parents, friends, etc. – you are seeing through outdated eyes? How can you change that?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

A Stone’s Throw from Grace

stones-1523693-1279x852

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 42; 146, Genesis 26:1-6, 12-33, Hebrews 13:17-25, John 7:53-8:11


You don’t have to be a Christian to recognize the quote, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” It’s the pivotal line from a story in John’s Gospel. In this story, the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman who’d been caught in adultery. The prescribed Mosaic punishment was death by stoning, but the Pharisees – knowing that stoning wasn’t exactly Jesus’s style – asked him what should be done. They hoped to trap him into contradicting the law so they could bring charges against him. Jesus paused for a bit, wrote something on the ground, and then gave his famous answer. One by one her accusers slipped away until only Jesus was left. He refused to condemn her, saying only “Go and sin no more.”

The inclusion of this story in John’s Gospel is not without controversy. It doesn’t appear in the earliest manuscripts, and many editions of the Bible are sure to note this. It’s kind of ironic that such a questionable story became one of the most recognizable. Why does this story compel us?

Perhaps because – authentic or not – it embodies an idea that it seems we need to hear and learn over and over again. If our relationship with God is about pointing out what other people are doing wrong, instead of humbly examining our own hearts, we aren’t getting the message.

Do we as a faith community need to hear about the reality of sin and immorality? Absolutely. Do we as a faith community need to point to and single out and shame it everywhere we (think we) see it? Absolutely not.

Why is it so many non-Christians (and former Christians) see the faith as full of people ready to cast stones? Well … they’re not entirely wrong. The loudest messages shouted from beneath the Christian banner tend to be ones of condemnation. Now loudest doesn’t mean exclusive or truest or most frequent, but it does disproportionately influence what people perceive and remember.

Christ’s message isn’t one of condemnation; it is of love. We all know John 3:16 and wave it around a lot to point out who is “saved” and who isn’t, but for some reason we don’t spend nearly as much time on 3:17: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Condemnation cuts people off or turns them off, and neither wins anyone to Christ. But we like it. We struggle with (and succumb to) the same temptation as the Pharisees to twist scripture to justify punishing or imposing our will on others. Once Christianity became the dominant force of the Western world, we seemed to forget forcing the Good News on people is bad news.

Grace invites us in and asks us to leave the door open; religion is an excuse to shut people out. When Jesus tells us what is sinful, it’s not so we know when to punish or control other people; it’s so we know when we are creating a rift between ourselves and God. If other’s people sin does not affect us or exploit the innocent, it’s none of our business. In a culture where the Christian majority has learned to take offense at the idea of sharing public space with people who don’t share our faith or values (and we forget even within Christianity they are nuanced), it affects us far less than we like to think it does. Every one of us has enough planks in his or her eye to keep us too busy to worry about someone else’s speck.

We are forgiven. That is a thought that should be so humbling we can’t conceive of throwing stones. Instead, let us pass on the message of grace and love by being Christ’s open hands to the world.

Comfort: God’s love will deliver us from fear.

Challenge: Ask yourself what temptations you find hardest to resist, then ask what need is still not being met by giving in to them.

Prayer: In you O Lord I seek refuge and peace. Amen.

Discussion: What fears drive your behavior?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

The Good Consultant

1454766986357

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 63; 149, Genesis 24:28-38, 49-51, Hebrews 12:12-29, John 7:14-36


As a profession, consultants have a mixed reputation. After consultants have provided expensive professional expertise, employees commonly respond (correctly) with: “They didn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know.” If this is the case, is the service valuable or not? It can be — if what the business really needed was confirmation, not innovation. It may not sound as poetic as The Good Shepherd, but Jesus was also The Good Consultant.

When Jesus had grown popular enough that Jewish authorities began plotting to kill him, he had two choices: go into hiding, or follow his calling. Despite the danger, he began preaching openly in the temple during Sukkot, one of the most important festivals of the year. People marveled that he, who had not been taught, could teach so wisely. Jesus responded by saying his teachings were not his own but those of God. He advised anyone who doubted his credentials to apply a simple litmus test: was he speaking for his own glory, or for the glory of God? “Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.”

In this particular case he was preaching about their hypocrisy when it came to applying the Law of Moses, but he wasn’t providing any new information. Many prophets before him told the people of Israel their observation of the law was meaningless — even offensive — to God if they weren’t offering mercy and justice to the least among them. Like many enterprises, they were too busy performing day-to-day operations to step back and ask whether they were really fulfilling their mission in the best way. They knew the right things, but needed Jesus and other prophets / consultants to spur them to change direction.

In our spiritual lives as in our work lives, we need to recognize when established authorities are glorifying themselves and the status quo over the mission, and when outside voices are telling us what we already know to be true. The Good Consultant steers us away from hypocrisy and ego toward mercy and justice.

Comfort: When your conscience tells you to choose mercy over the wishes of authority, you should probably listen to it.

Challenge: Oftentimes following Jesus means defying “business as usual.” Make time to step back and measure your beliefs and actions against the teachings of Christ.

Prayer: God, I will do my best to listen to your voice above all others – including my own. Amen.

Discussion: When you ask your friends or colleagues for advice, how often do you already know what the right answer is?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Sowers Gonna Sow

seeds-1117851_1920

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 12; 146, Ezra 5:1-17, Revelation 4:1-11, Matthew 13:1-9


In the Parable of the Sower, a man casts seeds across many types of ground. Some of it is a bare path where the birds can snatch it up. Some of it is rocky and rootless. Some is thorny and inhospitable. And finally, some of it is good soil. The different types of ground, Jesus eventually explains to his disciples, represent the different types of people who hear the Gospel.

Not much is said about the sower, who may be Jesus, but who may also be anyone (or everyone) spreading the Good News. Would we consider this sower a good steward of his responsibilities? It sounds like an awful lot of seed went to waste. Why weren’t his efforts more focused? Was he unable to tell good soil from bad? Maybe. Maybe not. In the end, each type of soil yielded or did not as was its nature … but the sower left no ground without potential.

When it comes to spreading grace, or acts inspired by grace, stewardship takes on a new dimension. Funds may be limited, but generosity is not. Physical resources may be limited, but love is not. Time and talents may be limited, but forgiveness is not. So why be stingy with generosity, love, or forgiveness? Even if they don’t yield what we would hope, we don’t run out of them. They are meant to be cast about widely – almost irresponsibly – because they aren’t about what we get back.

Are some people going to take advantage of our good nature? Almost certainly. Are some people never going to “get it together” despite our best efforts to support them? Definitely. Is it our job to size them up in advance and decide whether or not to waste our efforts? Or to withhold that seed in a clenched fist, as though there’s a finite supply, until we find the exactly right spot to sow it?

If we want to be sowers like the one in the parable … it is not. So sow.

It’s a balancing act. We want to be wise about how we steward finite resources to meet needs, but we also want to be wise about which resources were never ours to keep anyway.

Comfort: The more generous you are, the less you will need.

Challenge: When you find yourself withholding what you have received through grace, meditate on why.

Prayer: Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, may the Lord now rise up, and may we follow. (based on Psalm 12:5)

Discussion: Do you think your definition of who “deserves” grace is the same as God’s?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Bad Judgment

mind-2197437_1920

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 56; 149, 2 Kings 2:1-18, 1 Corinthians 4:1-7, Matthew 5:17-20


Judgment is a difficult practice to avoid. We try, but it is a persistent demon. When we’re lucky we meet it face-to-face and recognize it for what it is. Though we might fail we at least recognize we aren’t to judge others for what we consider their faults and failures. But sometimes that demon comes at us sideways or sneaks up on us from behind. Isn’t judging someone’s behavior as good or worthy still a form of judgment? And isn’t claiming we would do better under the same circumstances a way of passing judgment on ourselves and others over things that are merely hypothetical?

When Paul learned the people of Corinth were practically looking for excuses to pass judgments on each other, he told them: “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you received it, why do you boast as if it were not a gift?” Paul offered himself as an example of someone who judged himself neither favorably nor poorly: he left that up to God’s final judgment, saying: “I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted.”

Living without some judgments is impossible. We have to decide – among many other things – whom to trust, whose company we should value and whose we should avoid, and whether someone’s behavior is helpful or harmful to themselves, us, and the community. The difference between lower-case, every day judgment and Judgment with a capital J is whether or not we approach it with an assumption that we understand more than we do. Other people’s motives, struggles, and limitations are largely not just unknown but unknowable to us. Only God can judge, because only God knows the entire truth.

It’s not our place to determine whether other people are using their gifts as well as they should or could be. It’s our job to figure out how we should be using our own gifts, and never be complacent about whether we are. Perhaps the most nefarious disguise Judgment can wear is a reflection of our own face, telling us what we’d like to hear.

Comfort: God will get around to judging what needs to be judged…

Challenge: … and very little of it may end up being to our satisfaction or expectation.

Prayer: I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. (Psalm 111:1)

Discussion: When have you realized you judged someone wrongly or harshly?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Compromising Positions

communication-73331_640

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 56; 149, 2 Samuel 1:1-16, Acts 15:22-35, Mark 6:1-13


The word “compromise” has multiple meanings. In one sense it refers to the give-and-take between parties negotiating an agreement. For example, if a couple planning a wedding disagrees on whether the event should be held at the beach or in a hall, they may compromise on an outdoor venue which faces the beach but provides shelter from inclement weather.

In another sense, compromise means to weaken or undermine someone’s strength or credibility. If a pharmaceutical researcher fails to disclose his study is funded by the company who wants to take the drug to market, we might say his conclusions about drug safety are compromised.

We may be willing to compromise. We are almost never willing to be compromised.

In the first case, active participants seek accord. In the second, the consequences are one-sided so it may seem like the comprosmised party is a passive participant, but very often they are a victim of their own misdeeds.

As more and more gentiles converted to Christianity, Jewish disciples didn’t agree on whether these believers needed to follow Jewish customs, particularly circumcision. In the end, they officially agreed that the rules for gentile believers were “abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.” Why was circumcision taken off the table? Because Peter reminded the Jewish Christians that they were saved by Christ’s grace since they had failed to bear the yoke of the very law they were trying to impose.

Having compromised themselves, the disciples learned to compromise.

We don’t need to impose our rules on the world around us. Let’s not blame Christ for our compulsion to condemn and shame others we call sinful.  Didn’t Jesus say “judge not lest ye be judged?” Your sins and mine helped pave the road to the cross just as much as anyone else’s … and Jesus died for all of us.

Yet overlooking the broken state of the world does it a disservice. Perhaps the compromise between ignoring sin and condemning people is sharing with them the good news that Christ loves us all.


Additional Reading:
For thoughts on today’s passage from Mark, see A Burden Shared, Faith in the Familiar, and Expect the Unexpected.

Comfort: Compromising is not the same as selling out.

Challenge: In the newspaper, look for stories that result from people’s unwillingness to compromise. How could they be handled differently?

Prayer: O Most High, when I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Amen. (Psalm 56:2)

Discussion: When have you felt good about a compromise? When have you felt bad?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Stories of Survival

book-1659717_1920.jpg

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 51; 148, 1 Samuel 21:1-15, Acts 13:13-25, Mark 3:7-19a


If you joined David in the middle of his story, you might not realize he was the hero. He lies to a priest about being on a special mission from the king to get him to hand over the holy bread normally reserved for temple rituals. Yes he was hungry, but was sacrilege his only option? Then he tricks the priest into giving him the very sword he took when he slew Goliath. When he feels he is in danger of being exposed, he pretends to be mad by committing vandalism and drooling all over himself. Over the next few chapters he’ll employ deception several times, until eventually to save his own skin he commits himself to the service of the enemies of Israel.

Because we know his story from the beginning, we are sympathetic to his reasons for lying, stealing, and deceiving in order to survive.

Are our attitudes as generous towards people we actually know?

The vast majority of people we meet are in the middle of their stories. It’s not always a flattering chapter. Like David, they may be doing what they believe they need to do to get by. When the little lies work for David, he starts to tell bigger ones. People return to the survival mechanisms that get results, and if they have had difficult lives, what they’ve learned may seem wrong or unthinkable. Our choices make sense to us because we know our own stories and motivations, but to someone else they may seem terrible.

If we haven’t had therapy we probably aren’t aware of our own survival mechanisms, yet we all have them. Even when we are aware, overcoming the unhealthy, ill-advised, or sinful ones can be difficult to impossible. While human beings rank these behaviors in a hierarchy of evil, whatever separates us from God is sin.

Our choices make sense to us because we know our own stories and motivations. When other people’s choices don’t make sense, we don’t have to accept them but we have better options than condemning. We can love until better choices seem like valid options.


Additional Reading:
Read more about today’s passage from Mark in Rocks, Thunder, and Dough.

Comfort: The story of your life isn’t defined by its worst chapter.

Challenge: When people disappoint or hurt you, try to understand what might disappoint or hurt them.

Prayer: Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. (Psalm 51:1)

Discussion: When have you been surprised to learn “the rest of the story?”

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Learning to See

alone-971122_1920

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 96; 147:1-11, 1 Samuel 16:1-13, Acts 10:1-16, Luke 24:13-35


“[F]or the LORD does not see as mortals see;
they look on the outward appearance,
but the LORD looks on the heart.”
– 1 Samuel 16:7b

An entire movie genre features attractive yet shallow young people learning to appreciate the inner beauty of their less attractive peers. The beautiful person usually doesn’t admit to themselves how they have fallen in love with someone who is – by Hollywood standards – not quite as beautiful (and very likely someone they have previously tormented) until after a dramatic makeover montage reveals hitherto concealed physical beauty.

What would happen without the makeover? Would the handsome jock remain in denial about his feelings for the nerdy writer who never discovered the right conditioner for her split ends? Would the popular cheerleader continue to friend-zone the bespectacled mathlete who otherwise won her heart?

Not that beautiful people deserve all the blame. The plain Janes and Jims in these movies aren’t falling over themselves to date average looking people. It’s still a real statement for a film to explore romance between two ordinary-looking (or – gasp! – slightly unattractive) people. And it’s not limited to romance. Action, science fiction, and horror movies often use the shorthand of physical appearance to indicate who the heroes and villains are.

As a culture we buy into these ideas. When we don’t like someone, we are much more likely to comment negatively on their looks or the way they dress – especially if they’re women – though it’s entirely irrelevant. Conversely, when we feel kindly toward someone, we are disposed to more favorably rate their appearance.

How do we learn to see as God sees? Maybe the trick is to love first, and see second. Psalm 139 says God knit and loved our inmost selves in the womb. Is it possible for us, limited by mortal understanding as we are, to decide to love people before we meet or even see them? First impressions may be visual, but we can control our first expressions toward someone. When the holy in us deliberately chooses to greet the holy in others, the scales of judgment fall from our eyes.


Additional Reading:
For thoughts on today’s passage from Acts, see Double Vision.
For more on Luke’s resurrection story, see Risen and Recognized.

Comfort: God knows your inmost self.

Challenge: The next time you are tempted to comment on someone’s appearance, ask yourself why you think it would appropriate to do so.

Prayer: Bless me, O LORD, maker of heaven and earth, of body and soul. Amen.

Discussion: How does getting to know someone’s inner life affect how you perceive their outer appearance?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!

Twists and Turns

rosesthorns

Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 88; 148, 1 Samuel 13:19-14:15, Acts 9:1-9, Luke 23:26-31


Trying to cleanly divide the world into good and evil is like untying  a pretzel: it turns out to be inseparable unless you break it. Most of us think we make good choices, or at least justifiable ones. We rarely have time to take a mental step back and evaluate all the circumstances which have shaped what we consider to be “good” before making our day-to-day choices – let alone apply that level of critical thinking to other people’s choices. Therefore, we easily slip into thinking people who believe or choose differently than we would are bad decision-makers or even bad people. Yet circumstance is sometimes all that divides us.

Simon of Cyrene is thought of favorably by much of the Christian church – but why? He was a man the Romans forced to help Jesus carry the cross. We think it’s good that for a time he relieved some of Jesus’s burden, but we can’t separate that from the truth that he participated in also helping along the crucifixion. Who is to say what we would have done under similar circumstances? Resisted? Carried it even further? The influence of the empire – be it ancient Roman or modern American – drives our actions (for good, ill, and both) more than we care to admit.

And then there’s Saul on the road to Damascus. His conversion, while incredible, was not voluntary. Saul wasn’t convinced by the apostles; he was in the business of arresting them because he believed he was doing the right thing by defending his faith. The resurrected Christ spoke to him personally and struck him blind. Who could be an unbeliever after that?

But here’s the thing. No matter what road we’re on, be it to Golgotha, Damascus, or the convenience store around the corner, Christ travels with us. We are both flawed and trying to do the right thing, our lives a tangled braid of delights and disappointments to him, and he loves us through all of it. We don’t understand ourselves well enough to judge anyone else. And Jesus frees us from feeling like we should or have to.


Additional Reading:
For more about today’s passage from Acts, see Staring at the Son.
For thoughts on Psalm 88, see A Thing of Horror?

Comfort: Whatever road you’re on, Christ travels with you.

Challenge: The next time you make negative assumptions about someone, put in the effort to make some positive ones and note how hit impacts your perception of them.

Prayer: Turn, O LORD, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love. (Psalm 6:4)

Discussion: Do you ever take time to ask yourself why you believe what you do?

Join the discussion! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to join an extended discussion as part of the C+C Facebook group. You’ll be notified of new posts through FB, and have the opportunity to share your thoughts with some lovely people. Or feel free to comment here on WordPress, or even re-blog – the more the merrier!