Nov. 28, 2013 Civility in Xian Scripture

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st ignatiusNovember 28: Civility can grow from deep gratitude.

Colossians 3:15, “And be thankful.”

And be thankful. I’ve always liked the way that St. Paul would throw that in here and there, and he does it often. He does in his letter the Colossians in chapter 2 as well, speaking of being rooted and grown up in Christ he adds an “and be thankful” for good measure in verse 7.

When our passage ended with those words yesterday I knew I’d have to come back and use them again. I don’t think St. Paul scatters them around without intention and meaning… I think he sows his letters with the seeds of gratefulness hoping for a nice harvest in the lives of his readers!

I believe that thankfulness, or gratefulness, or gratitude, whichever word we choose, is a seriously underrated theme in scripture and a solid foundation for civility. Ingratitude  and being unthankful leads to a lot of harshness in our words and missed opportunities to build one another up. St. Ignatius said, “I think that that ingratitude is at the root of all sinfulness.” Amen. I’m declaring him the patron saint of our Thanksgiving this year and including a painting of him I made a couple of years ago. =)

Be grateful! Be joyous! Love with gusto!

AMDG, Todd

And Update on The Dream…

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I threw this out and many beautiful souls have responded with rich insights and encouragements, so I thought it was time for an update…

Around eight days ago I had a bunch of words and a couple of ideas. Today the dream has a name, a website domain, a twitter account, a three page organizational document, offers for videography/photography and web hosting services, contacts with established nonprofits, four committed, way talented and wonderful board members, a lead on a friendly lawyer who is knowledgeable in helping establish nonprofits legally, and finally our document is being reviewed for free by a professional grant writer… GOD IS TRIPPING MY FUSES!

How many times have any of us wanted to wake from a dream and find it to be our reality? I am awed and humbled by what is happening in the hearts of people and by the ease of making things happen with this little dream. I don’t want to be unthoughtful in my words or less than totally sincere. I am freaking out! And it all makes me very aware of the need for some gratefulness. St. Ignatius of Loyola said that he figured, “The root of all sins is ingratitude.” Word.

So, this is where we have come in a very short time… but so much remains to be done before we ever put the needed antiretroviral medicines in an individual’s hands! In fact, this is crunch time for me. The need for me to do paperwork is terrifying. Paperwork is my worst allergy. The temptation to slow down, rein in and be “common sensical” is overwhelming. But the thing is out of the bag and running and I will not quench it.

So pray with me, please. Go to and light a virtual candle in thanks, praise and humbled request for all God has done, is doing and will do with us!

And for all those wondering, the full name is Envision HIV/AIDS Relief in Africa, or Envision for short. The domain is, though there’s nothing there yet. The Twitter is @EnvisionAfrica.

Scared silly about living the dream but still smiling,