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February 2015 Newsletter


This Month's Article was written by
Pastor Julie Baker - Trinity United Church
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada

"Spiritual View"

With a couple of weeks of the new year under our belt, it is about now that many of our new year’s resolutions start to crumble.  Our resolve meets life circumstance, and what seemed absolutely possible on December 31 seems no longer possible.  We meant to do it, we thought we could do it, we tried to do it, but alas, it didn’t work out.  And so we quit. 
I’ve been thinking lately about how many things like that there are in my life; things that seemed like good ideas at the time that didn’t work out; things that I tried to do, or wanted to do but just completely failed.  I don’t know about you, but I hate to fail.  It doesn’t feel good.  It hurts.  It is embarrassing.  It can break your heart, or break the hearts of those around you, which can feel even worse.  It can feel like you are in the midst of that proverbial tunnel without being able to see any light at the end.  It can crush your confidence, and make you doubt your worth.  It is no wonder that many people are so afraid of failing that they never bother to try. 
Have you heard about failure festivals?  Apparently there are companies who are now encouraging their employees to talk about their failures together.  They gather them together and invite them to talk about their best failures of the year; what did they try that just didn’t work at all?  What was their biggest mistake?  How did they repair the damage?  What did they learn from it?  What will they do differently another time?  What will they try next? 
The argument is that failure, rather than success, may be the key to thriving in this ever changing world.  With success, people keep doing the same thing.  When they fail, they are forced to adapt, change and become creative.  Think about Thomas Edison, who is said to have failed with a thousand different filaments before discovering a material that worked in the incandescent light bulb.  Or John Hopps, who stumbled on the idea of a pacemaker by pulling the wrong part out of a box when he was studying hypothermia.  Slinkies, post it notes and penicillin are also things that were said to be discovered “by mistake”.
And it turns out that most of our new year’s resolutions are not successful the first go round.  Those who quit smoking, for example, often have to try several times.  But it is worth trying again, and again, and again, because there are some gifts in not getting it right the first time.   
First, when you fail, you build a community of loyalty.  Those who are willing to stick with you in the worst of times are actually the best kind of people to have in your corner. 
Second, in this world that is bent on perfection, when you fail, you discover that not being perfect doesn’t kill you after all.  It is a marvelous freedom which allows us to move forward and live according to what truly matters, rather than some outside definition of what is perfect. 
Finally, life is difficult, and complicated, and when we fail, we remember how much of it is beyond our control.  Rather than crush our confidence, we can discover a new kind of confidence that helps us survive when things don’t go our way.  Humility and determination are a powerful combination.  I think it wasRobert Galbraith, (a.k.a. J K. Rowling), author of a fiction novel; The Cuckoo's Calling, who suggested that ‘rock bottom’ became a foundation upon which she could build her life.
Our spiritual traditions have long said something similar, although we haven’t always recognized it.  Jesus didn’t seem to have a problem with failure.  He spent a lot of time with those who were known for their mistakes – those who the world defined as “sinners”.  He was forever telling people to “forgive each other” an unlimited number of times, and “go, and sin no more.” 
Indeed, as far as I can tell, it is impossible to live without failing.  So this year, when we encounter failure, may it not tempt us to quit altogether, but rather confirm in us a commitment to apologize and take responsibility for what we have done, learn from our mistakes, and move forward, ready to try, try again. 
Invitation from Bob:
Folks, the awesome Pipe Organ pictured above, is a must see if you are traveling near Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, Canada.
The Trinity United Church is located on Tupper Street south, immediately behind the Bank of Montreal. "Look for the tall steeple.
You may call ahead, (204)-857-4471 or stop by, Monday-Friday 9:00-4:30 p.m. or join them Sunday mornings at: 10:30, Sunday School plus youth as well.   I am sure the proud folks there would love to take you on a tour of this historical church. An overall work of beauty and art.

Note from Bob

As far back as I can remember, Our Mom would share our growing experiences, (good and mistakes), with us and tell us to use them as learning lessons and stepping stones throughout our life ahead.
I find that quite interesting and so true have Always practiced that idea and have seen it prove itself, time after time. Yet all you ever hear is people everywhere  always saying ," don't dwell on the past, don't look back, forget what has happened or just plain, forget it and all the rest and move on".
Well, I disagree and still feel that Mom, was 100 % correct,  (gotta-Love our Mom's), and I feel Pastor Julie seams to be on the same track as I am.
If in class, a student makes an error, they go back, check it out and correct it,.....thus the person learns from an error and a new stepping stone is completed and so on through out life with all other issues.
We are not perfect. We will always make mistakes. Hopefully, we'll correct these errors, learn from them, become a better person in every way that Our Father wishes of us and so we carry on.  Hopefully sharing our new acquired knowledge with others.
Thanks for the back up Julie. Our Mom's must have been in the same class room of "God's Lessons in Life". 
We must learn from our past :-)
After reading Julie's Featured Letter please join us and enjoy the video, "The Encounter"  that Cheryl has for us all. Then go to "Inspiration Corner" and join us as we listen to the video of "God's Love Letter" to us all. I Promise you will be Blessed from above.
Blessings, Bob Olynyk   Your  Host.

This Months' FREE MOVIE is:

"The Encounter"

Click HERE! to watch now!

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If you’d like to contribute an article, about your faith, your music, or a story that would inspire, and have it featured in an upcoming newsletter, please send your article, 1000 words or less, to:
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Thank you. ~  Bob Olynyk
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