A Place Setting [SSL87]

A Place Setting [SSL87]

It’s time for another Wednesday audio delivery of Spark My Muse.
This is Soul School Lesson 87

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Soul School-Lesson 59: Family Gatherings and Conflicts

Soul School-Lesson 59: Family Gatherings and Conflicts

I’m thankful for YOU.

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Family gatherings can be complicated. Sometimes we look froward to them and other times we feel tense and anxious knowing that problems could arise. Here are some ways to navigate those times by taking some realities into consideration. I hope it helps.

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Soul School-Lesson 57: The Prisoner Prayer

Soul School-Lesson 57: The Prisoner Prayer

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Today on Soul School I am sharing a version of a presentation on prayer that I gave to the inmates at Federal Prison FCI Schuylkill who (voluntarily) attend ongoing LIFE Ministry (Christian) classes.

My book on prayer is called LIFE AS PRAYER:

My book was inspired by Brother Lawrence and this book:

The Letters of Brother Lawrence

Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the kingdom of God while serving as a brother in a monastery near Paris. For Lawrence his life was involved the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” Lawerence often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must only open our hearts to receive God and God’s loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic (which is mainly a collection of letters from him and remembrances of him) has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God presence in all God’s majesty and feeling God’s loving presence throughout each simple day.


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27 Things to Talk About At Thanksgiving Dinner


There’s no place like home for the holidays…

It can be fun, it can be World War III, or something in-between…but there’s no place like it!

I checked around and found out some people are counting on one thing to get them through Thanksgiving this year.

• Food? No.

• Gratefulness? No.

• Football? No.

• Shopping? No.

What then?

That’s right, the medicine that’s kept family feasting bearable since the dawn of time. Even cave-dwellers were digging up their stashes of mead before gathering with the clan around the family fire pit and feasting on wooly mammoth, or what-have-you.

Some families don’t drink alcohol, of course. This is no time for hair-splitting. You’ve come here for help. Scroll down for the resource!

For introverts holiday gatherings can be tedious, but it’s more than that. It seems that most of us are less used to conversing face-to-face. It’s a lost art. We get itchy so soon now to numb out or escape on smartphones, tv, and the computer and then time for connection is wasted. Or, the discomfort of connecting (or misconnecting) has us looking for the exits. I’ve been there!

Here’s the truth: When extended families get together there’s usually baggage, off-limit topics, old wounds, jealousies, and enough backstory to create torrents of anxiety. That’s the side of the holidays that doesn’t make it to the commercials.

No, it’s not always like this.
Sometimes it’s just family fun and favorite foods, and good times from start to finish, but that isn’t really the way things go typically. At the very least there’s the stress of the adding obligations and scheduling everything will wind things up.

Here’s some help!
Rather than zone out or make guests uncomfortable, which is also time-tested family tradition in many homes too, try these conversation starters as you feast and holiday! Recycle them for other days if you had fun with it, or think of some of your own. Don’t put pressure on anyone to play, but use this quick download as an excuse to to try something different.  It really doesn’t take much to upgrade your holiday.

You might want to implement a 2 hour technology fast. This seems like a great idea…then you do it and 20 minutes later your nerves start to fry. (That’s what I mean about a lost art!) This can help with that.

Feel free to view, download or print the file below.

Other tips:
• You might want to place a printed question under each plate, or into a hat to draw from. Feel free to have duplicate questions circulating too.

• A person can answer the question that they get or they can swap with a previous question (your house rules can be different–just have fun with it. The point is to have fun).

• Remember keep the whole thing chilled out and enjoyable.

Not sure how to start?

Just say, “Hey, everyone, I thought this year instead of just asking everyone what they are thankful for, I thought we could play a game while we eat!

• If it doesn’t work out, just blame the game. Easy-peasy.

Click here to read, download, and print.
(It’s also a good way to get your kids involved and keep them busy.)

27 Things to talk about:

(FILE) Tabletalkgame DOCUMENT

Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

I’d love to hear how things went.

Let me know! and stop back to hear the audio podcast released twice per week.

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