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Spiritual: September 30, 2015 Issue [#7233]

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 This week: You Can Lead a Horse to Water
  Edited by: Shannon
                             More Newsletters By This Editor  

Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

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Welcome to the Spiritual Newsletter. My name is Shannon and I'm your editor this week.

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Letter from the editor

"The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on. It is never of any use to oneself." ~ Oscar Wilde

My daughter phoned me the other day to ask whether or not she should say something to a friend who confided she's having an affair with a married man. She said the friend asked for her opinion, but my daughter was reluctant to speak her mind.

Something I've come to realize over the years is that even though people may ask for your advice, they don't really want it. They may even resent it, and you. What they really want is corroboration--someone to tell them what they're doing is okay.

It's a trap.

Truth can be a tricky business. "It's fine," they say. "Tell me what you think. I want to know." No, they don't.

I struggle with this. I am a very direct person, and if someone asks me what I think I'm going to tell them, but a lot of people don't know how to deal with candor. They find it off-putting. They don't want to hear, "I think stealing from your employer is a really bad idea," or "No, I don't think it's okay to have an affair with a married man." They prefer you acquiesce or say nothing at all. All they really want you to do is listen.

Something else I've come to realize over the years is that the people who are asking for advice already know what's right. They know the answer. They know stealing that box of printer paper from work is wrong, they know sleeping with their best friend's husband is wrong, otherwise they wouldn't be searching for absolution. It wouldn't even be worth mentioning because it wouldn't be an issue.

Sometimes people we care about get themselves into appalling situations, and we feel like not warning them of their imminent ruination would be like watching a speeding car careen toward a pedestrian and not shouting, "Look out!" So what do we do?

For me, remaining silent would be like saying what they're doing is okay. I would be complicit, but on the other hand is what I'm about to say going to make any difference whatsoever? Probably not.

Let them know you love them, that you're worried about them, that all you want is what's best for them and for them to be happy. It's okay to say, "You know, I think this is a mistake." It's okay to disagree as long as you're respectful and do it as kindly as possible, but ultimately the decision is theirs. Like the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Has someone come to you for advice? Have you felt like a friend or loved one put you on the spot by telling you something they've done or are doing that you disagree with? How did you handle it? How about one of your characters? Has one of your characters been faced with such a situation, and how did he or she manage it? Send me your comments and I'll share them in next month's newsletter.

Thank you for reading.

"I see it all perfectly. There are two possible situations. One can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it. You will regret both." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

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Editor's Picks

I hope you enjoy this week's featured selections. Please do the authors the courtesy of reviewing the ones you read. Thank you, and have a great week!

 Power in the Word  (E)
Joan of Arcadia . Joan gets suspended from school, for bringing a Bible to class
#2058409 by MrBillyD

Working Out a Viable Salvation Context  (E)
An chapter from my Witness to Withness journal
#2058526 by drifter

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1873070 by Not Available.

Shimmer  (ASR)
"I have to bring you into another world, little one. Don't be scared."
#958748 by Satuawany

 Is there Scientific Proof of God?  (E)
An examination of the demand for scientific proof of God's existence.
#1263786 by Basilides

Jessica's Book of Gratitude 2015  (E)
For every Thursday in 2015, I will be writing what I am thankful for.
#2024042 by Thankful Jess

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Ask & Answer

The following is in response to "I am Grateful:

shepherd46 writes, "Shannon, wonderful article on being 'thankful!' I have been living with chronic pain for almost five years with back and leg pain. It all began when I helped my mother who suffered from Alzheimer's. For several months I helped her get in and out of the shower and later the back pain began. Mom is gone now but I'm not sorry I helped her. However, for a long time I was resentful about the pain but in the last two years I have learned to be grateful for almost everything: a good night's sleep, being able to do ordinary things like work in the garden for awhile, be happy for another day, happy to view a sunset and being with a husband who loves me and who helps me each day. I give thanks to a God who loves me and who is always with me--no matter what I am going through, day or night!" Yes! Because it all goes by way too fast, and it's the little things that make life worth living--the little things that we'll miss the most. I know that sounds cliché, but it's true. I can't tell you how many times people who have lost loves tell me things like, "You know, I was always on him for leaving his dirty clothes in the middle of the floor. What I wouldn't give to see those clothes now--to smell his cologne on them one more time," or "You know what I miss most? Hearing her walk through the door every night after work." The little things are precious. We have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for sharing yours. *Heart*

Zeke writes, "You should definitely be grateful for each day since the alternative is not good." That is exactly right, Zeke! And that's always my response when I hear people complaining about getting older, too. *Delight*

Quick-Quill writes, "Shannon another great NL. There is a verse in the Bible that says pray without ceasing. Hard to do with all that goes on in our daily lives. It's the attitude of prayer or thanksgiving that needs to be developed. I don't go around thanking God every 5 min listing what I'm thankful for. There are times when I'm more aware of something to be thankful for. I tell God I'm thankful each morning and night for all He has done throughout the day or night. I'm thankful for the things He does that I don't see or protection. 8/31 My husband dropped me off at work and stopped at a red light. When it turned green an 85 yr old man didn't stop for the red light on his side and hit the front of our car bouncing off to hit another car. If My husband had anticipated the light and been a little farther into the intersection the car would have hit him full force in his door. Thank God for his protection in spite of the man's lack of judgement. It's being thankful all the time that covers the times we can't say it fast enough." Absolutely right, Tina. I'm SO glad your husband is okay. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. *Peace*

speidoman writes, "Keep up with the gratitude work, Shannon. Like you, I have a lot to be grateful for as well as some challenges put in my way to strengthen me. I have mental illness and a form of spinal arthritis known as Ankylosing Spondylitis. Norman Cousins, the editor of the New York Post (in the states) had it and he developed a wonderful attitude towards it. He watched funny movies to lift his spirits and fight this dreadful disease. I believe that the attitude towards this disease is most important. Although I said it is a dreadful disease, I try not to be afraid of it, I try to befriend the disease by getting along with it. I sometimes get more done at night when I am in pain and perhaps had too much caffeine while the neighbors try to sleep. I do try to be grateful, because I feel that it is so important." Aw, thank you. And you are so right in that it is so important. Thank you for sharing your story with us. *Angel*

Steve adding writing to ntbk. writes, "At our church we did Thanksgiving in a Bag for many years. Ironically this was written and shared here just the night after I was robbed at Walgreen's. It was a snatch and grab, but things were hairy still. Wound up having to have PT for my arms, but never got any counseling for the mental trauma. I was thankful then for the fact that I was still able to work and to get help for the pain that was in my arms. To this day I can find so many things to be grateful for, that the things that seem to be insurmountable just fade away in the distance. Thanks for another stellar NL, Shannon. Copeantor out!" Thank you for your kindness, Steve, and your consistent support and friendship. I'm so sorry that happened to you, but it seems you've found the silver lining. *Rainbowl**Rainbowr*

Elfin Dragon - contest hunting writes, "I can relate to your husband. I will turn 46 in October and have had 3 different back surgeries, minor surgery on my wrist and 2 on my knees. A couple years ago I fell and broke both my right tibia and fibia - a rod was placed in my tibia through my knee. I also deal with fibro, chronic migraines, osteoarthritis, arthritis (which may be going into rheumatoid). But with all this I'm actually thankful for each day, though each day is filled with various amounts of pain. I've noticed I'm never out of God's loving care. He's helped me keep a roof over my head, food to eat, transportation, medical care, and a part-time job I love and which doesn't kill me by the end of the day. Plus I have a very loving family, which seems very rare these days. Even with my own recent divorce, I'm still very thankful for all I've mentioned every day." Yes. I am a firm believer that we create our own happiness/misery, and your story is an excellent example of this. Despite all you've been through, you are still happy and grateful. Thank you for sharing your story with us. *Hug1**Smile**Hug2*

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