BK’s YouTube Picks: Kitten Therapy

So I got word that my ethics application to get my research project has been submitted and being processed today. I’m still struggling to find the words for my literature review, but my panicked writers block has meant that I’ve got lots of other things accomplished.

Trying not to stress out, and knowing that some of my classmates are feeling the same way is making me feel a bit better. However, I am thinking that having a  place to be barefoot sitting on the grass in the warm sunshine with some kittens sounds wonderful. SoulPancake, if you could make it over to the UK? It would be much appreciated!

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BK’s BookPouch: SoulPancake Books

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One of my roles this week is to be Prayer Space Coordinator. Knowing that campers will be at different stages of discovering and working out what their spiritual beliefs are, I want to make sure I create a space where everyone felt comfortable to meditate and be inspired. I’ve had the honour of helping set up the very first 24-7 prayer rooms in my old church in Aberdeen, the University of Aberdeen and at my current church when it was in its original building. In your typical 24-7 prayer room you’ll often find books, bibles, a lot of bare walls covered in white paper, relaxing lighting and lots of nooks and crannies with cushions.

Along with the usual books of devotions and liturgy, I decided to make a couple of purchases that weren’t outwardly faith based.

One is Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome. Brad Montague and his younger brother-in-law have been sharing a message of hope, building communities and doing things to make the world a better place through their creative videos that have been championed by Soul Pancake. The Kid President is a great example of how you don’t have to be a grown up to make a difference, and the book has interviews and stories which inspire people to do good things where they are.

The other book is Rainn Wilson’s Chew on Life’s Big Questions book. Although Rainn is a follower of the Ba’hai faith, this book I think is appropriate for people of all or no faiths. The book creatively gets you thinking about deeper questions about life, the universe, spirituality, faith, prayer, philosophy, humanity…and I hope can be a bit of a conversation starter. It also prompts people to think about how they interact with the world and God. I know my friend who is a vicar has found it a really useful read, so I hope it helps gets the brains of our campers and leaders percolating some deeper thoughts to filter.

The other book with a Soul Pancake connection I’m taking along is Fly A Little Higher by Laura Sobiech. The story of how God answered her prayer (and showed her how to pray) while she helped her son, Zach battle osteosarcoma, and supported him while he learned how to live while dying is a story that is inspirational and told with such eloquence, honesty and grace. I know people of all ages and beliefs who were inspired by the My Last Days documentary that focused on Zach and his friends and family. While I was in Germany last year, my roommates and I had Zach’s song, Clouds as the tune on the alarm that woke us each morning in the Kolpinghaus. I think both of them have since downloaded it themselves too and every now and again they message me about it on facebook. If you haven’t read Laura’s book, I really recommend that  you do some time soon.

As for what book I’m taking along just in case there are some quiet moments to capture a bit of reading…To Kill A Mockingbird is coming in my backpack. I figured that since it’s the 55th anniversary of it’s publishing I should really read it. (It was one of the casualties of English class in high school – I didn’t trust recommendations by English teachers after a year or two!)

 

Kid President & Book It Forward…

Well, I don’t know if there is a better way to begin the year than a message from the Kid President of the United States of America. Robby Novak (I’m sorry…Mr President), I LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE your idea.

I’ve actually sort of done this already, as every one of my friends’ kids got a book from me this Christmas. Were they shocked? No. I think they all know now that Auntie Laurie/Mum & Dad’s crazy friend Laurie (delete as appropriate) loves to read books, share books and assist in filling up their bookshelves.

Miss Sweetroot and I share a favourite author – Jacqueline Wilson, but as she has already got pretty much every single one of Jacqueline’s books including the newest one I thankfully discovered she had bought before I bought it for her birthday (Opal Plumstead) I had to go a different tact. Miss S loves to dance, and has been studying ballet since she was a tot, so I got her one of my Mum’s favourite childhood books – Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield.

Elastaboy got given a book that I loved as a kid, but never had my own copy of… The Jolly Christmas Postman.

Mr Teapot got a Christmas version of Peter Rabbit written by Emma Thompson.

Mini Kahuna got a copy of a Paddington Bear book, after we went to see the new Paddington film at the cinema for his big sister’s birthday at the end of November.

Jambino and Princess Monkey got copies of the Nativity Story (I spent a long time in various bookshops trying to find ones that didn’t have white blonde character illustrations because I do not want them growing up with the whitewashed version of bible stories).

And Little Miss Thunderpants got a book, and now I can’t remember which one it was (because I kept changing my mind in the shop, and now I can’t remember which one I got her in the end. Rats! Bad Auntie Laurie).

I love the idea of #BookItForward, and so I think that a little bit of my book points and book token may have to be spent not on a book for myself, but a book I have loved to pass on to someone else.

But which book to choose? There are so many!!

Time for a ponder…

If you do it, will you share which book you pass on to a friend or family member?

Why do we gossip?

You had to know (if you know me) that I would share a SoulPancake find within the first week of this new blog. And this one is on a topic I can have a lot of rants about. Gossip.

Why do we gossip?

From the people in this video, it seems that the conclusion is we gossip when we feel insecure, when we want the attention away from ourselves.

There is a point where Jesus talks about why we shouldn’t judge others and he tells the people with him at the time “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

I know I’ve gossiped. I hate it. It’s something I try not to do, and I do try and make an active effort when conversations turn into gossip to try and divert the conversation to another topic or stop it completely. The speculation. The judging.

Ugh.

The worst thing when people are not just telling me something that happened but putting an extra bit on it or how terrible someone is or what they think is going on – is wondering…what is that person saying about me when I leave the room?

It doesn’t build up trust or friendship.

So let’s end the culture and share stories that we have the blessing to share, and not buy the types of media that are damaging people (because yes, actors, musicians and even *gasp* politicians are people too). My rule is if I wouldn’t talk about it in front of the person who is the topic of conversation it should not be coming out my mouth.

There’s only one exception: and that is planning fun surprises!!

Why do you think we gossip, and what positive alternatives can we put into action to grow a culture that is different from the gossip culture?