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Proverbs 16:28 - Gossip

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


TWELVE YEARS AGO Cathy Stouffer (a true gem of the Haliburton Highlands and owner of Master’s Book Store) told my husband and I about  Jungle Jam and Friends: The Radio Show, that was available on CD. The shows  are usually  set in the jungle,  although they do take place in other locations as well.  The stories follow a familiar pattern where there is an introduction followed by a 10 to 45 minute story.   Shorter stories end with a fun song, longer stories have songs scattered throughout.   Some episodes follow very funny characters like Gruffy Bear, Nozzles (the elephant), Raquette (the skunk), Millard the Monkey, Max the Giraffe,  Sully the Aardvark and other stories follow a boy named  Marvy Snuffleson and his sister Katie and their visits to the remarkable Razzle Flabben Island.   All episodes teach a lesson about the Bible or about Christian life. On Cathy’s recommendation we bought the full set of stories and they quickly became our best friends for travelling in the car and for bedtime stories. We listened to every story hundreds of times and laughed our heads off. We fell in love with all of the goofy characters.  Not only were the stories  great for making us laugh, but they sparked many conversations at an early age (for Madeline) about all kinds of topics.  I remember the first story we listened to.  It started with a simple statement - the Bible says in Proverbs 16:28, that, “a gossip ruins friendships.” That was the extent of the lesson.  The story then began and the Jungle Jam gang learned about the importance of not gossiping through a series of silly situations. It was a very simple tool to introduce my daughter to Christianity, the Bible and how all traditions teach about ways to be a good person. Now my daughter is 12 years old and we still continue to have conversations about issues like gossip, or being selfish or kindness,  etc., and what I find fascinating is that the yogic tradition teaches many of the same lessons but just in different ways.  In the yogic map of the body, we all have a subtle body that is where energy gathers and collects and moves.  The energy that makes our hearts beat, our stomachs digest is the energy I’m referring to.   The Vishuda chakra (an energy centre) located at the throat is all about how we use our words to express ourselves in the world.  It is about pure radical honesty, finding your voice and mastering the way in which you use your voice.  The yogis understood, as do the Christians,  that words can help and word can harm and we all learn at a young age from our families how we communicate and what stories we tell.  I’m grateful for all of these traditions that challenge us and encourage us to be the best that we can be.  We all need to learn.  And I’m thankful for Cathy Stouffer.  She has been a behind the scenes teacher for my daughter for many years. Tuesday, 19 February, 2013

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