WORSHIP WITH US!
8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Justice Sunday 2017

Our church will be celebrating Justice Sunday this week, as we get ready for our 2017 Nehemiah action and another year of working with BOLD Justice, working with county leaders to make our world more just.

 Every year, when we have our Nehemiah action with BOLD Justice, I think about the book of Nehemiah, and the other prophets, books that are less familiar to me than much of the Bible.  Many of those Old Testament prophets focus on the idea of justice.

Justice is different from charity.  Charity often fixes an immediate problem:  think of a food bank, for example, where a family gets several bags of food to tide them over.  Justice looks at the larger picture and ponders why we need food banks at all--where are the jobs that would allow people to earn enough to buy their own food?

Even if we aren't successful at creating change, God still calls on us to work for justice. 

Not to contribute to charity, although God mandates that too. But to work for justice.

In a book I cannot recommend highly enough, The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg explains the difference this way: "Charity means helping the victims. Justice asks, 'Why are there so many victims?' and then seeks to change the causes of victimization, that is, the way the system is structured. Justice is not about Caesar increasing his charitable giving or Pilate increasing his tithe. Justice is about social transformation. Taking the political vision of the Bible seriously means the practice of social transformation" (page 201).

He offers this comfort: "The world's need for systemic transformation is great, but it is important not to become passive or discouraged ('without heart') because the need is so great. None of us is called to be knowledgeable about all of it or capable of doing something about all of it " (page 204).

We are lucky to be part of a church that works for both justice and charity.  We are stronger in a group than we are alone.  Together we can help create a world where everyone has what they need.

We have been successful on many levels.  It's time to celebrate that success--and to continue the work.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Verb Choices in the Beatitudes

This Sunday, we return to our study of the Beatitude with this portion:

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled."

What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness? Several weeks ago, we talked about what kind of righteousness--personal righteousness or societal righteousness.  But I can't stop thinking about the verbs, especially in the context of our current political time.

What does it mean to hunger and thirst after righteousness?  What type of yearning is Jesus discussing here?

Many of us might say we hunger and thirst in this way.  Don't we post our outrage on Facebook as various groups look to be in danger of losing human rights?  Some of us have spent the last few months marching--some of us have spent decades marching.  Maybe we've taken a vow to communicate more regularly with our legislators.

I'm thinking that the key to understanding these verbs, this hungering and thirsting, has to do with our intention.  Notice that we are blessed not if we rage and rail for justice.  Jesus does not say "Blessed are those who are angry about injustice."

Of course our anger may be what moves us to the deeper emotion, the hungering and thirsting for righteousness.  Hungering and thirsting speaks of a yearning that lasts, that even as it is filled, it reoccurs. 

These verb choices suggest that we are never done with the task of hungering and thirsting after righteousness.   After all, even if we've eaten the most filling meal, we'll still be hungry 24 hours later.

In these times when many of us feel like we're fighting for rights that we thought had been secure, that thought is an odd comfort.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Women's Sunday at Trinity

March is the month designated to celebrate women's history; March 8 is International Women's Day.  We might ask ourselves why we still need to set time apart to pay attention to women.  Haven't we enacted laws so that women are equal and now we can just go on with our lives?

Sadly, no, that is not the case.  If we look at basic statistics, like how much women earn compared to men in the very same jobs, we see that the U.S. has still not achieved equality.  Although the Lutheran church has been ordaining women since the 70's, although we have a female bishop in the top position, our local churches are still likely to be led by white men.  If we look at violent crime rates, we discover that most violent crime rates have fallen--except for rape.  If we look at representation in local, state, and federal levels, we see that members of government are still mostly white and male.

And that's in a first world country.  The picture for women in developing nations is bleak.

Most of us understand why a world where more women have access to equal resources would be a better world for all of us.  Many of us have spent years and decades working to make that world a reality.  Those of us who go to Trinity are lucky enough to have a church that supports the vision of equality that God offers to us as what the Kingdom of God looks like.

Not everyone has that experience.  And sadly, many people have experienced discrimination against women coming at them through their churches.

So, this Sunday at Trinity, we'll hear about women of the past who have kept the flames of faith alive.  We'll ask forgiveness for all the ways we've been agents of oppression.  We'll envision a better future for all.

It's what we do every Sunday, although this Sunday we'll use the lens of gender to help us have a clearer sight.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

What Type of Righteousness?

This Sunday, we continue with our study of the Beatitude with this portion:

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they will be filled."

What does it mean to hunger and thirst for righteousness?  Next week, I'll write more about those verbs, hungering and thirsting.

Why righteousness?  Why are we hungering and thirsting for this quality?  What does it mean?

One of the traditional ways to interpret the word righteousness is to talk about moral correctness, about doing what God has told us to do, about living the right way, about keeping the commandments.

Many of us have been harmed by that way of thinking, by being told what proper children should do, how good wives should behave, about what kind of desire is O.K. and what is not, about how we must constrain ourselves into the forms that have been deemed to be acceptable. 

But we have been reminded over and over again that Jesus does not come to judge us this way.  God may be sorrowful over our actions, but it's not because we're not following some ancient code.  It's because our actions are so harmful and not allowing us to live the kind of wonderful lives that God knows are possible for us.

What if righteousness is not about our individual lives?  A more modern interpretation might take a larger intrepretation--we are hungering and thirsting for a society that is more just, more merciful, more like God's kingdom than the empires that oppress us.

Walter Wink reminds us that even if we believe in free will, this belief doesn't mean that God can't act in the world. But God won't act if we don't ask or demand it: "This is a God who works with us and for us, to make and keep human life humane. And what God does depends on the intercessions of those who care enough to try to shape a future more humane than the present" (Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination, page 301).

It's important to remember that there are many ways to work for justice, and one of the most important is to keep in our minds a vision of a better world, a place of peace and justice. Too many of us succumb to despair. We can't believe that change will come. Yet the history of the late twentieth century teaches us that social change may come in what appears to be a sudden instant, although observant people have been preparing for years or decades.

We are called to be part of that creative process.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Transfiguration Sunday

The readings for Sunday, February 26, 2017:

First Reading: Exodus 24:12-18

Psalm: Psalm 2

Psalm (Alt.): Psalm 99

Second Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-21

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9


Here we are at Transfiguration Sunday again. We celebrate this festival on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, although the earlier festival day was August 6.

It's such a familiar story that we may feel that we can get nothing new from it.  But it's a story that bears repeating. 

When I read the Gospel again, I'm not surprised by Peter's offer to build booths and celebrate the Transfiguration in a commercial way.  Christ's command to tell no one makes me pause.  Why can't we share this amazing moment?

Christ says this often. Go and tell no one--that seems to be a constant command. And it seems antithetical to the task of the Church.

In just a few months, we'll get a very different  Pentecost message. Aren't we supposed to go and witness? Spread the good news? If Jesus is our role model, what do we make of his command to stay silent?

In some ways, perhaps Jesus knew the times he lived in. He knew that early fame would undo his purpose. He knew that people would focus on the physical plane--"This man can heal my blindness"--but not the spiritual plane, the one where we need healing the most.

He also knew that people who see visions, who catch a glimpse of something otherworldly, are often shunned by the community. What would have happened if James and John and Peter came down from the mountain and proclaimed what they had seen? How would the community have responded?

Jesus knew that he couldn't appear too threatening to the status quo too early. In the verses that follow, the ones not included in this Gospel, Jesus makes clear that persecution follows those who see visions. And that persecution still persists today. Our culture tolerates those of us who pray. It's less tolerant of those of us who claim that God replies to our prayers.

The life of the believer is tough, and one measure of its difficulty is knowing when to speak, and knowing when to hold our tongues. Sometimes we should keep our counsel. Sometimes we should testify verbally. Always we should let our lives be our testimony.

Christ also might have been wary of the human tendency to rush towards transfiguration.  We yearn to be different, but so often, we shun the hard work involved.  We might embrace transformation before we stop to consider the cost.

Like Peter, we might want to turn Christ into Carnival: build booths, charge admission, harness holiness. Jesus reminds us again and again that the true work comes not from telling people what we’ve seen, but by letting what we’ve seen change the way that we live. Our true calling is not to be carnival barker, but to get on with the work of repair and building of the communities in which we find ourselves.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Sandra Carter Funeral Service

The funeral for Sandra Carter will take place as follows:
Visitation: Thursday February 23rd 4:30PM - 6PM in the sanctuary
Funeral Service Thursday Feb 23rd 6PM in the sanctuary.
Memorial meal to follow in the hall.
Singers invited to be of an adhoc choir to lead the hymns

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Who Are the Meek?

By Kristin Berkey-Abbott

When I first read the Beatitude text that talked about the meek inheriting the earth, my thoughts went immediately to the traditional definition of meek:  the ones that keep their eyes down, the ones that don't toot their own horns, the ones that will let themselves get bulldozed by the strong--the ones that will suffer brutality and take it.

But later in this same chapter of Matthew, we'll get to the part about turning the other cheek.  Here, too, I was taught that I was reading a text advocating non-violence.  But a more careful reading and analysis suggests something else.

These are resistance texts. Yes, resistance texts.

These are texts that show us how to resist evil in such a way that evil elements will not turn around and destroy us. Likewise, these are texts that show us how to resist evil in such a way that we don’t become the evil that we are resisting.

It’s important to remember that the culture of Jesus was a vastly different culture. It was a culture based on honor. It was a culture based on social hierarchy. It was also a culture ruled by Romans who were not going to tolerate social unrest, Romans who would not hesitate to slaughter dissenters.

So, if an member of the occupying empire army orders us to give up our coat, we can strip naked, giving up coat and shirt--which is an assault on honor, an assault that mortifies the soldier whose orders led to public indecency as much as the one who strips.  It's also a way of showing that we won't be controlled.  But we haven't done anything wrong--in fact, we've followed instructions and gone above and beyond.  What's the poor soldier to do?

Jesus shows us how to live in this world, how to resist evil without being destroyed by evil.  Some of us are in a position where we can do more to resist evil and oppression--and Jesus will call on us to do it.  But some of us cannot.  Jesus shows us how to live in the world, especially if we live on the margins of society.

What if the meek inherit the earth because they survive?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Welcome to the New World Order, God's Order

The reading for Sunday, February 12, 2017:


Matthew 5:5 "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."


Here again, we see an inversion, a way that Christ tells us that the world of the kingdom of God is very different than the world of the empire that surrounded early listeners.  In Simply Jesus:  A New Vision of Who He Was, Why He Did, and Why He Matters, N. T. Wright explains the Beatitudes this way:   "The Beatitudes are the agenda for kingdom people.  They are not simply about how to behave so that God will do something nice to you.  They are about the way in which Jesus wants to rule the world.  He wants to do it through this sort of people--people, actually, just like himself (read the Beatitudes again and see.  . . . When God wants to change the world, he doesn't send in the tanks.  He sends in the meek, the mourners, those who are hungry and thirsty for God's justice, the peacemakers, and so on" (page 218, italics in original).


These types of people are not the ones endorsed by most of the world. Spend a night watching television and contemplate what it says about our culture. We don't see many messages that remind us to be meek, to hunger for justice, to work for peace, to be pure in heart. No, we're supposed to dance with stars, or sing for a panel of harsh judges, or watch dramas about ghastly criminals.


Watch those in power and contemplate how rarely we see the meek speaking from a position of authority, as if they inherited the earth.  No, it's the other types of people who gobble up all the air in the room.  They're the ones who seem to have it all:  money, fame, access to anyone they want in any way they want.


Those of us who have studied history may feel bleak, as if it's always been that way.  But God's way is not the world's way.  And sometimes, we see an interesting glimpse of what God might mean.


I want to remember times when it seemed like no progress could ever be made, and then, voila, history changed in what seemed like a flash:  the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, for example, or Nelson Mandela being set free. 


Those who are younger than I am might not realize how huge that event was for me and many other activists.  Apartheid seemed like a government system that had existed forever, an entrenched evil that had a deathgrip on the country--likewise, the Soviet Union.

And then, it vanished, and a much more humane system evolved.  It's still far from perfect, but it's better than the old system.


Much of the reason why these systems crumbled was because of the meek, not the powerful.  Part of what set the stage for the crumbling of these systems is that people acted as if they were already free.  I'm thinking of Vaclav Havel and his group of writers and artists, who refused to stop creating, just because the State told them they must.  I think of Nelson Mandela, who spent his decades in prison not plotting revenge but dreaming about the best ways to govern. When he was released and elected president, he was ready with plans for creating a better South Africa.

My historical analysis is much too brief, but it's what comes to mind when I read about the meek inheriting the earth.


That’s the way redemption works—not in the ways we would expect, but in surprising ways that take us where we could not dream of going, and sometimes faster than we would expect. If we could travel back in time to tell the people of 1985 that the Soviet Union would soon crumble and South Africa would be free of white rule, the people of 1985 would think we were insane. If we could travel back to the first century of the Roman empire to tell of what the followers of Jesus would accomplish, those people would laugh at us—if they even knew who Jesus was.


We can choose to live as people of God, no matter what our human empires would have us believe. We do not have to weep in the ruins of our cities. Jesus has promised us that the new world order will look nothing like the world order that has held us captive for too long.


Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Strategies for Those Who Mourn

Last week at church, we talked about mourning with a focus on refugees.  No matter where we stand on the political spectrum, we can agree that our world situation, with so many people fleeing from all sorts of terror, gives us plenty of opportunity to mourn.

Jesus promises us that we will be comforted.  For those of us sitting on the sofa, waiting for comfort to come--may I suggest that we take a more active approach?

Now is a good time in the life of our nation to become more involved politically--it's always a good time.  We could call or e-mail our senators and representatives to let them know how we'd like them to vote and what kind of nation we want to see.  The process should work this way.  It's a representative democracy, after all.

But we might sink into more despair if this action is the only one that we take.  We may have legislators who will do whatever they want, regardless of their constituents.  We may feel that we call and call and call, and nothing happens.

Maybe we need something more immediate.  I thought of this when my college roommate saved the Campbell's soup labels on cans that I was going to recycle.  She told me that I could take them to my public library, and they could get free books that way.  I had never thought of that.

I don't use canned soup often, but I do occasionally use them when I need chicken or beef stock.  What a great idea to save the labels.

We could do the same with box tops, which come on many products and local schools can trade for stuff.  I mail mine to my sister, who collects them for my nephew's elementary school.  But at the time that she no longer collects them, I could still donate them to a local school.  Look around the chancel and see who has small children and ask them if they want your box tops.

What are some other actions that we can do that will take a small amount of time but bring some good into the world?  Let me list some:

--For those of us who want to get more involved in refugee issues, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service offers ideas, like letter writing to those detained or a visitation program or a way to donate money.  Go here for more details:  www.lirs.org.

 --When we go grocery shopping, we could pick up some items for the food pantry. 

 --When we go to a big box store, like Target or Wal-Mart, we could buy a package of socks for the homeless.

--Don't forget about the power of money.  We can write a check to national or local groups that are working for the changes we want to see in the world.  Even small checks are better than no checks.  Lutheran World Relief does an amazing amount of good work with not much money.

--Does your employer match your charitable giving?

--Don't forget about our own church which does an amazing amount of community work on a very small budget.

 --Bring some treats to the local office of your favorite non-profit or charity.  Raise the spirits of the people who are usually working long hours for low pay.

--Read to children.  At first this action might not seem simple as many groups now require a background check.  But once you're done with that, you might find joy in sharing stories with children.

--Buy children's books and give them to elementary schools and libraries.  Support programs that support summer reading.

--Don't forget about the importance of self-care and care of those around you.  You cannot keep giving and giving and not replenish yourself.  What would make you happy?  Do those things.

As we begin these activities, we may continue to feel bogged down in despair; we may wonder when comfort will come.  But through the months, as we knit ourselves more securely into our communities by our actions, we are much more likely to find the comfort that Jesus promises.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Second Beatitude

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Gospel reading for Sunday, January 29, 2017:

Matthew 5:4

The text for this week is deceptively simple:  "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

We might assume that Jesus is talking about Heaven, a time when we will be reunited with our loved ones and find the ultimate comfort.  Or maybe we say that we're all comforted eventually, because time passes and we get used to our losses.

We forget, or never knew, how Christ's listeners would hear this text.  They did not have the benefit of modern psychology that instructs us in the best ways to mourn and how to emerge on the other side a healthier person.  Christ's listeners would have a very different idea of what happens when we die:  perhaps there would be a reunion with loved ones, but it would be in a very distant time after we've all laid in the cold earth a very long time.

The idea of a mourner being called out for blessing would be very odd indeed.  Mourners are those who have lost much--how can they be blessed? It's those who don't mourn who are blessed--right?

Those of us who have mourned deeply may also be baffled.  How can we be blessed when hollowed out with grief.  We may look at our pre-mourning time and feel like we've been exiled to a distant land.  We may look with envy on those who have never experienced mourning.  We may tell ourselves that those who mourn are cursed, not blessed.

This message is central to the teaching of Jesus.  Everything we thought we knew will be overturned. Christ has come to overturn the natural order of our societies, an order which doesn't work very well for many of us.

Most of us will not escape mourning--but the central message of Christianity is that death does not have the final answer.  We will not be exiled in the land of grief forever.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Broken Spirits

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

This Sunday, we continue our study of last week's Gospel reading:

Matthew 5:  1-3

One of the things I learned last Sunday was how to more correctly interpret the idea of being poor in spirit.  The word "poor"--the exact word in Greek--doesn't mean poor the way that modern readers might assume.  In fact, last week I made this very mistake:  poor as lacking something, like money.

Last week, Pastor Keith told us that this particular word, "poor," evoked a bent-over poor.  We have seen this kind of poor in our own cities:  the homeless person begging at the intersection, so disabled from this life that standing up straight is not an option.

What does it mean to be that kind of emptied out spiritually?  The verse, after all, is "Blessed are the poor in spirit."  Some weeks, I know exactly what that kind of spirit must be.

I'm not talking about spirituality, the way that many might when reading that verse.  I'm thinking about my general human spirit, that spark that makes a person unique.

Some weeks, I feel like a dimly burning candle on a windy night.  The wind buffets my tiny flame, and it's in constant danger of going out for good.  What use am I to anyone?

This passage reminds us that there's room for us too, even when we're bent over with our broken spirits.  We don't have to be spiritual superstars.  Jesus includes us, even when we're spiritually impoverished.

And when we're hollowed out this way, maybe we'll have more room for Jesus.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Sermon on the Mount: Poor in Spirit

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The Gospel reading for Sunday, January 15, 2017:

Matthew 5:  1-3

This Sunday we begin our study of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes.  Some have said that if you were choosing the most important passages of the Gospels, we'd do well to choose this text.  Some have called it a guidebook to the proper behavior of Christians.  Is this text an updating of the Ten Commandments or the replacing?  Or something else altogether?

As we read the Beatitudes in the coming weeks, ask yourself if Jesus speaks to you in this passage.  Which beatitude seems tailor-made for you?  Where might you be called to improve?

We should also try to listen to these passages with new ears.  If we've been going to church any length of time, we've heard these texts before, often many times.  How might we have come away with the wrong idea? 

Let's take Matthew 5:  3, where Jesus says that the poor in spirit are blessed.  What does it mean to be poor in spirit?  Let's list some possibilities that come to mind:

--hypocrite

--prone to depression

--a poverty of the pocketbook

--non-believer, someone who can't believe

--a person who is toxic to others

--someone who doesn't tell us how they really feel

--angry mindset

--gossiper

On and on I could go--what does Jesus really mean when he talks about people who are poor in spirit?  Many interpreters come to the idea that poor in spirit means someone who realizes how lacking they are in a spiritual outlook, and thus need God even more.  But as we sit and ponder all the possibilities, we see that this small passage could mean many things.

For those of us assuming that the Sermon on the Mount isn't about us, perhaps Jesus begins with this calling of the poor in spirit blessed, because who amongst us can't relate?  We've all had moments when we're impoverished that way.  Jesus calls us blessed, which may not be what we'd expect.

For those of us who see the Bible as a guidebook for moral behavior, we might see ourselves challenged to approach the text in a new way.  For those who see moral behavior as our ticket to Heaven, we might also be challenged to think differently.

Christ came to announce that God's plan for redeeming the world had begun. That plan involves our pre-death world, which is not just a place where we wait around until it's our turn to go to Heaven. No, this world is the one that God wants to redeem. Christ comes to invite us to be part of the redemptive plan.

The Sermon on the Mount might be the essential teachings of Jesus, distilled into several pages.  In this early part of the text, we see an inclusive message.  We may not be spiritually gifted, but we are blessed too.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

Sunday Jan 8th

So Trinity Lutheran is back on regular schedule on Sunday - 830am and 11am in the sanctuary and 945am cross+generational worship in the hall.
We are re-affirming baptismal promises in worship and celebrating all the celebrating things like birthdays, anniversaries, sobrieties - you name it - for the Months of December and January during coffee hour.
The weather is supposed to be cool for south Florida in the morning - but our AC is on vacation at the moment - so a happy coincidence!
Blessings and see ya tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Meditation on the Baptism of Jesus

by Kristin Berkey-Abbott

The reading for Sunday, January 8, 2017:

Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17

This week's Gospel finds Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, a ministry that shows what a difference to world history a year or two can make. Notice that Jesus begins with baptism.  I love the fact that the Revised Common Lectionary returns us to the baptism of Jesus to start every year.  What a difference from the secular ways we start the year.  In today's Gospel, instead of harsh resolutions, we get the words of God: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."

We tend to see Jesus as special. We can't imagine God saying the same thing about us. But in fact, from everything we can tell, God does feel that way about us. God takes on human form in its most vulnerable, as a little baby.  How much more of a demonstration of love do we need?

For those of us who are big believers in affirmations, we should print out those words and paste them on our bathroom mirrors. What does it mean, if we believe God is well pleased with us?

Many of us dwell in the land of self-loathing this time of year. Maybe we've spent too much money on our Christmas festivities. Maybe we've eaten too much in that time between Thanksgiving and New Year's. Maybe we've already broken our New Year's resolutions. We look in our mirrors and see multiple reasons to hate ourselves.

We look in the mirror and see ourselves as we imagine that the world sees us. The world looks at us and feeds us criticism: too fat, too plain, too wrinkled, too odd, too tall, too short. A diet of that commentary quickly leaves us malnourished. The world looks at us and judges us in terms of all the things we haven't accomplished yet: no child or children who don't measure up, lack of business success, a house that's too small or in the wrong neighborhood, no publication credits, no worthy creative products, the wrong kind of degree or no degree at all. Seeing ourselves through the eyes of the world means we compare ourselves to others and hold ourselves to impossible standards.

No one wins this game.

Try a different practice for a week or two or 52. Look in the mirror and see yourself not as the world sees you. Look in the mirror and know that God loves you. God chose you. God delights in you.

Our spiritual forebears might have worried that this kind of practice would lead to too much pride. But frankly, our culture has changed. In a world where more people are seeking help for the diseases of depression and anxiety disorders than ever before in human history, and many of the rest of us are trying to self-medicate, perhaps we shouldn't worry too much about big-headedness.

God chose you. God delights in you. God loves you.

No matter how much you improve yourself, God will still love you. No matter how many times you lose sight of your goals and move further away from the best self that you could be, God will still love you. Of course God sees your full potential and probably hopes that you'll move in that direction. But even if you don't, God will love you anyway. No matter how miserably you've failed, God will always welcome you.

We've lived in the land of self-loathing long enough. Why cripple ourselves with this kind of thinking? There's work to be done, and the world cannot afford for you to waste time feeling bad for all the ways you've failed. Every day, remember your baptism (perhaps as you bathe, as Martin Luther recommended) and the larger meaning of your baptism.

God loves you.  Love yourself as deeply as God loves you.