Tom Adams

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Giving, Institutions and Working for Justice

Giving, Institutions and Working for Justice

A sermon I heard Sunday got me thinking about a 12-Step friend, Ralph, who would say to me frequently: “Tom, give up, give in, just give.” Ralph was quite a bit older than me, and I dismissed this saying the same way I did when he told me, “Everything is just the way it is supposed to be.” I concluded his was a point of view that came with age and declining aspirations. Yet, I am growing into an understanding of this idea, but more from a sense of acceptance than the loss of capacity to imagine.

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Exploring How Faith Connects Us: Many Views

Exploring How Faith Connects Us: Many Views

Over the past few months, I have explored the different ways guest contributors and I experience faith. In one post, I talked about the ability to “wait for it.” A friend recently shared how her efforts to grow in patience have led her to see patience as the practice of empathy. Since patience is not a strength of mine, her comment got my attention. I was reminded of how my impatience often comes from a belief I know better or best in most situations and an accompanying unwillingness to wait for or respect someone else’s approach. I now see that a corrective act of faith is to believe everyone is entitled to a personal point of view. In this more open response to alternative approaches, I know I don’t have to accept unacceptable situations. Rather I believe that I can make a choice in a way that is empathic and respectful without attacking what is different.

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Faith explored – more views

Faith explored – more views

Last week I shared a post by guest contributor Eileen Doud where she shared her faith in Jesus. Oddly to some, this was the first time my exploration of faith directly mentioned Jesus. I say “oddly” because I was raised as a Catholic, studied for a while to be a Catholic priest and continue to be a practicing Catholic. I do believe in Jesus and, at the same time, believe there are many names and ways of conceiving of a power greater than me, the divine, the Big Spirit or God.

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Why not give up: faith and resilience

Why not give up: faith and resilience

A friend of mine lost his wife recently after a three-year battle with cancer. Anytime we saw Bill and Margaret together, their total and deep love for each other was obvious. Talking with him and hearing his devotion and connection to her was inspiring. Now as he grieves his loss, he is alone in the same home, taking the same walks, eating meals at about the same time. And yet it is all different. And profoundly sad.

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“Family” and Faith: The Power of Shared Beliefs

“Family” and Faith: The Power of Shared Beliefs

I recently attended a memorial service for my older cousin, Paul, back in the community where I grew up. While I have not always considered it so, I increasingly appreciate the blessings of being born into a large family. My Mom came from a large, farm family of Irish Catholics. She had two brothers and three sisters – all of whom married and had four to eight children. It’s a challenge sometimes to remember all my cousin’s names, never mind the next generations of their children and grandchildren. In contrast, my Dad had only one sister but my three siblings and I share two wonderful cousins from that side of the family.

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About Tom Adams

Tom AdamsTom Adams writes and speaks on topics vital to the intersection of our personal lives with our community and global lives. He has for decades been engaged in and written about nonprofit leadership and transitions, spirituality and spiritual growth, how we each contribute to a more just and equitable world and recovery from addictions and the Twelve Step recovery movement.