HOW blessed we are in Stroud to have a local newspaper!

So many communities have lost theirs.

But the people of Stroud have continued to support the SN&J because it fulfils a need.

Where else do we find our local news, opinion, events collected altogether in one publication?

Furthermore, this newspaper has retained this column to allow us to share observations intended to give pause for thought and spiritual uplift.

Those who contribute come from a range of faith traditions.

We present a tapestry of ideas from our own varied backgrounds and experiences which we hope will be helpful to others.

Fundamental to my own experience is my growing understanding of God.

I have learned to understand God as pure Love as John in the Bible writes (I John 4:8) – constant, ever-present, unconditional Love.

I’ve recently come to learn more from St Paul’s assertion that “we live and move and have our being” in God.

To me, this means that as God is Love then we are living moving and having our being in Love.

I have found these insights useful in my interactions with others in my job.

Very recently we were making no progress in a decision and were running out of time.

Reluctantly I realised my attitude was probably wrong and I needed to start from a different basis.

Paul’s statement says ‘we’ and I understood that to mean that all of us are together in God, in Love.

In which case we meet, interact, negotiate, give, receive, walk, drive and so on in this supreme consciousness, the atmosphere of Love.

As I thought about my colleagues and myself as ‘living and moving’, that is reasoning, deliberating and collaborating in the realm of Love, my negative thoughts fell away.

When I view other people as combative, underhand or obstructive and consider myself as unquestionably right, then I‘m in difficulties and the situation worsens.

Conversely when I lift my thought to affirming that God is Love and that we are all operating within Love, it changes my view of other people and myself. The following day we moved forward most constructively with actions that no one had foreseen and which worked out beautifully.