Don’t Give Up!

Luke 18:1-8                                                                                                                      10.20.19

The Osage nation, together with other native American tribes, was shuffled to a desolate area of the Midwest called “Indian Territory”, with some of them settling in what was to become the state of Oklahoma.  Over a period of many years, the US government systematically removed tribes from their ancestral lands and forced them to live separated from white settlers treating native Americans like they did not belong here, refusing to allow them to practice their traditional religion or speak their native tongue.  It was a painful period in our history that has left its imprint on multiple generations to follow.  When oil was discovered beneath their section of “Indian territory”, suddenly the Osage were wealthy, wealthier than any of their neighbors of any ethnic background.  Every member of the tribe was allotted a regular share of the proceeds from the oil production.  Yet because the Osage were not viewed as fully capable of managing their own money, most were assigned whites to serve as guardians over their share of the oil money, many of whom were dishonest and disrespectful, refusing to allow the Osage to spend their own money as they needed or claiming a portion of the funds for themselves.

This ugly story is chronicled in the book our multicultural book club is reading for our November discussion, titled Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann.  In it, the sordid, shameful history of the way we have subjected people to oppression is exposed for all to see.  Continue reading “Don’t Give Up!”

Giving Thanks

Luke 17:11-19

As a result of a conversation we had during a marriage enrichment study, I decided to write a note of thanks to my in-laws, expressing my gratitude at the superb job they did at raising the man I married.  It took a few minutes of my time and one postage stamp. The reaction on the other end was surprise, joy and deep appreciation.  The power of a short little note of thanks amazed me.

Maybe you are a writer of or have been a recipient of hand-written thank you notes.  They are not as common as they used to be, and when we get one at our house, we are both touched and appreciative.  There is something special about taking the time to express gratitude, no matter the scenario which called for gratitude, no matter to whom the thanks are due. Taking the time to express gratitude to God is worth doing on a regular basis.

Let’s take a closer look at the story of the healed leper who came back to express his gratitude.  First, we have to imagine that all of the ten lepers who were healed through their encounter with Jesus were ecstatic.  They had been living a life separated from their families and their friends, unable to draw near the community due to their contagious skin disease. Continue reading “Giving Thanks”