Following Our Faith isn’t Always Safe

Dear Reader:

* I thought finding this Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower blooming yesterday after a record breaking overnight freeze….(still fighting to stay alive and be seen)…was (nothing short of a miracle) and the perfect symbol for the stories of famous men and women who fought to be a voice for others who had no voice.

When I discovered the bloom tucked away behind some bushes to protect it during the winter…all I could think of was Blake’s most wondrous piece of prose….”To see the world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower.”

As a lover of history I was excited about discovering this book of “dangerous” prayers spoken by historical “movers and shakers” in world history. This book reminds us that  “Christians were never meant to have a safe faith.” So true…especially understood when we remember how our country was populated by  immigrants fleeing religious persecution.

 

Synopsis: From St. Francis of Assisi to Harriett Tubman to Billy Graham, God can use ordinary people who pray courageous prayers to do extraordinary things for Him. No matter your age, position, or status, praying dangerous prayers will change your life—and likely the world around you as well.

Haven’t we all considered the possibility of finding ourselves in a life and death situation… based upon our response to be of a certain religion and faith…would we  stand up for our faith or falter?

In this book we meet 50 people who met the challenges of defending their faith and belief along with the freedom to practice it. One thing all had in common was the conviction that every man and woman should be guaranteed the freedom of religion and equality… at any cost.

Martin Luther King, Jr is among the ‘fifty faithful’ who understood that practicing one’s faith doesn’t stop at singing and praying…it is putting one’s fears aside to change life for the downtrodden who have no voice.

*As I grow older…I forget just how much Martin Luther King, Jr. accomplished in his thirteen short years marching for freedom…

(Resource: Martin Luther King, Jr. excerpted from Dangerous Prayers by Thomas Nelson)

During the late 1950s, Dr. King launched a campaign to achieve legal equality for African Americans in the United States. His strategy involved utilizing acts of nonviolent resistance, the power of communication, and grassroots efforts, which together achieved seemingly impossible goals.

Dr. King also served as the spokesperson for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which ultimately led to the end of racial segregation on public transportation. In 1963, he led the March on Washington, which drew 250,000 people to the national mall and influenced Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act, making it illegal to discriminate against minorities.

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” and his “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” are among the most revered messages in American history.

He is the only non-president to have a national holiday to memorialize him, and at age thirty-five he became the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

His “dangerous” prayer selection from the book:

O God,… we thank Thee for Thy Church, founded upon Thy Word, that challenges us to do more than sing and pray, but go out and work as though the very answer to our prayers depended on us and not upon Thee… Help us to realize that man was created to shine like the stars and live on through all eternity. Keep us, we pray, in perfect peace, help us to walk together, pray together, sing together, and live together until that day when all God’s children, Black, White, Red, and Yellow, will rejoice in one common band of humanity in the kingdom of our Lord and of our God, we pray. Amen.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

So until tomorrow…Give us the courage Father to speak out when we see injustice in our daily lives…we need to be role-models for our faith…not talkers but do’ers.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

What a fun day yesterday turned out to be…it might have been one of our coldest but it was the warmest in every other way!

***The first thing that happened was the mailman dropping off a package from Denmark and inside was all kinds of mementos, souvenirs, home-made Christmas tree ornaments, a book of Hans Christian Andersen Christmas Fairy Tales, and even chocolates from the royal court!!!! It was all from the wonderful Larsens (or as they signed ….the Viking and his Three Mermaids) who visited Mike and Honey in the mountains and then me on their American vacation last summer. Too sweet! I am just blown away!!!! I can not thank you enough!

And then Brooke arrived…we had been trying for awhile (since Christmas) to get together and finally it worked yesterday…we started out with a fire in the den but by the time we got back from lunch and sat out in the bright sun on the deck…it actually felt good. We went to Oscars to eat, had a fabulous lunch, and talked the whole time we were together…so much fun! Thanks for coming Brooke.

 

 

 

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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