I Could Be Wrong

July 11, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Nobody is more dangerous than he who imagines himself pure in heart; for his purity, by definition, is unassailable.” James Baldwin

It all began nearly thirty years ago.

New to the forward thinking of the Episcopalians, I found myself in disagreement with one particular point in a sermon given by the Bishop of the LA Diocese. So, following my inquisitive proclivities I approached Bishop Fred Borsch afterwards during “coffee hour.” It was then I most respectfully questioned the biblical accuracy of his position.

Bishop Borsch thoughtfully considered my question before he responded, “You know, Charlie,” (I had introduced myself to him), “together we believe in the truths of the Scripture and that the words in the text are certainly not “wrong.” Although together you and I believe that Scripture is not wrong, we as errant human beings might be wrong in our interpretations.”

That brief encounter with the Bishop changed my thinking forever. I Could Be Wrong! No matter how sure I may be of any given “truth” I could be proven wrong when confronted with new information. That was when I chose to begin holding my “beliefs” in a bit of suspension, always prepared to be open to new ideas.

James Baldwin was right on target when he assailed the notion of self-righteousness by calling those with such beliefs as dangerous. Certainly, those with unassailable beliefs can be unapproachable. Ergo, “never talk about religion or politics” in a friendly gathering.

In times like we face today, I can think of no better words to live by than “I could be wrong.” My personal beliefs are always assailable and I wish to be open to other ideas.

Now, for me, I still hold certain beliefs very close to my heart and I have a hard time imagining someone changing my mind. But… you never know… I could be wrong.

When In Doubt

Count Yourself as Blessed

Photo courtesy of Deagreez at istockphoto

#158 Terry Hershey – The Content of Our Character

July 8, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

I’m really interested in how our show evolves today, because I think today’s topic may be the most challenging we have ever discussed. What we are going to talk about is something that money can’t buy, translates into all languages, and yet it takes enormous desire, time and discipline to cultivate. And it may be the most important measure of who we are in a free society. And that is… the subject of Character.

My fear is that accomplishments, acquisitions and blatant consumerism have blinded us to that which really matters. It’s not about what we have; it’s about Who We Are. And yet… apart from some religious institutions, who is focusing on the subject of character. Oh I am sure it must be in the curriculum of some universities.

Still, few high schools teach the subject, it is not part of our electoral process, and it feels vacant in our consumerism in which we are far more interested in price and product.

But, what about the character of our leaders in industry and politics? Are we, as consumers, more interested in what they provide for us than the depth of their character?

As might be expected, today I plan appeal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, from his historic I Have a Dream speech. I want to discuss less on “what we do,” that “who we are.”

For at the end of the day, as they say, You Are Your Values. Ultimately, your values represent the barometer by which you coordinate your activities, your actions, and your beliefs about other people.

Today I bring back our friend Terry Hershey, author 17 books, acclaimed public speaker and teacher, and minister of grace and human dignity.

Visit Terry at www.terryhershey.com .

Under the tab on e-courses you will find the free E-Course: The Power of Pause.

For more with Charlie Hedges please visit www.thenextchapter.life

 

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Self Reflection in Pandemonium

July 5, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 2 Comments

“Montaigne left the world to follow its own chaotic crazed paths in an effort to only concern himself with one thing: to be rational within himself, to remain human in an inhuman time, to remain free in the vortex of pandemonium.Stephen Zweig on Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)

Sometimes the disorder of social pandemonium requires a respite or retreat in order to gather one’s thoughts. It is so easy to get caught up in the tyranny of the loudest voices, resulting in a chaotic world, both personal and social.
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#157 Darrel Larson: When Helping Hurts

June 30, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 0 Comments

Show Notes 

Today I plan to dedicate our show to an unsung but essential topic: I want to discuss the potential shortcomings related to economic and social aid to the Developing World, (or in old terms, 3rd World countries).

Basically, the question is this: is your investment in the poor and disenfranchised in the Developing World being administrated with the longer term needs of communities being considered, or… is it about short term walk away money?

My guest, Darrel Larson, has vast philanthropic experience in several foreign countries, including Fiji, the Philippines and several countries on the continent of Africa.

With hearts for developing the social good to the most needy in the world, Darrel and I will spend our time today discussing how oftentimes, our desire to serve the poor and disenfranchised can frequently result in short-term benefit, but longer term disadvantage.

I recently watched a documentary titled, Poverty Inc. (a quite informative and a bit disturb documentary) that developed the concept stated in Steve Corbett’s popular book, When Helping Hurts. The thesis: if we give resources such as money, or in my case water wells, without empowering the communities to assume responsibility of these gifts we have given them, the result can be “dependence on foreign aid,” instead of independence, self-determination and self-respect. Like the familiar adage, we are giving them fish, not teaching them to fish.

Today, we will discuss the idea of projects “with” locals verses projects “to” locals. Three types of giving will be discussed: Relief Giving, Alleviation from Poverty Giving, and finally, Developmental Giving.

My guest, Darrel Larson is a seasoned vet in international affairs regarding poverty. He is currently International Director of Sawyer Filters, which provides clean and safe water for thousands of homes across the world. Darrel is also founder of the non-profit, Give Clean Water, and he has served Outreach Pastor at two churches in San Diego.

 

For more with Charlie Hedges please visit www.thenextchapter.life

Check out this episode!

Selfish or Social Individualism?

June 27, 2020 by Charlie Hedges − 4 Comments

“In the waning days of the Western Roman Empire, Augustine described society as preoccupied with pleasure-seeking, selfish, and living for the moment.Rod Dreher

Hmm. Sound like any culture you know today?

Before reading the quote above I wrote in my journal this morning…

My thoughts remain encumbered by the massive nationwide and worldwide challenges to my daily life: pandemic, racism, economic breakdown, and the moral state of the union decidedly enmeshed is selfish individualism.
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