Thanksgiving Paradox

The Thanksgiving Paradox

What do I mean by a Thanksgiving paradox? As I reflected on all those people in my life who I’m thankful for, I came to realize this holiday has been darkened by Black Friday, due to the extension of that shopping spree to cover this entire week. The little focus that is given to this holiday is now overshadowed by materialistic greed.

Seriously, how many of you use Black Friday sales to do your Christmas shopping for others only? I’ve been as guilty as the rest – finding a great bargain in something I wanted (but not always needed), and braving the hungry crowds fighting to save a few dollars. I think this may be the third most spiritual holiday (after Christmas and Easter) in a faith-based sense, yet it is given less attention than any other (including Memorial, Labor, and Independence days).

Today let us remember those we are thankful for – people (and/or pets) – who make life worth living.

JR

 

Moments to Treasure – a Prayer Book

New Book Moments to Treasure Released

I’ve just released Moments to Treasure: Prayers for Navigating Life’s Journey, a prayer book that covers the seasons of life. It’s available on Amazon and CreateSpace, and the Kindle version (without pictures) is a free download through Thanksgiving 2013 (11/28). This book actually includes one prayer from Spiritual Response, along with about 29 others plus several reflections. The paperback includes color photos and is dedicated to my granddaughter, who’s doing very well.

I’ve set up a website for it and there’s a special offer to download FREE a fillable PDF document – where you can create your own special book – collecting all the inspiring and comforting words in one place.

I hope you find it useful.

John

I Believe – October Special

It’s not ready yet, but it turns out that’s not a big deal. What? I’ve enrolled I Believe: A Year of Reflecting on One’s Faith in the Kindle Matchbook program. However, just before preparing to release the news I found out that I was a month too soon. Not in enrolling, but in when you can see it.

So, beginning in October, if you’ve purchased the book from Amazon you can download the Kindle version – FOR FREE!

That’s right. And it doesn’t matter when you purchased it. So you don’t have to buy them together or think, ‘Rats! I bought the paperback last year.’ You’re still eligible.

I’ll mention it again when it actually goes live.

John

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

(To those that celebrate it, especially beyond the eggs and candy.) Someone asked an entertainer last night that I went to see what he was going to do on Resurrection Sunday. I’m thinking this had to be a setup, right? The entertainer was Jewish. He said all he knew was that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

Do we really know that? Or was his victory over death the act of choosing to do what he believed he had to do, knowing it would lead him to death? How often do we remain silent, unmoving, or turn away, thinking or knowing that if we act, it will result in our own death?

J

Lent – Day 38

I listened to discussion on the radio last night about one of the current hot topics, gun control. One woman, who had been shot as a teenager, said it didn’t change her outlook on the subject – she still supported owning guns. She said something like, without guns being available, the shooter would still have gotten one.

An earlier report, several days before, shed the most light on this subject. The study’s author found that the majority of gun-related deaths, almost two thirds, were from self-inflicted wounds. Suicide. So while we dance around the elephant in the room, addressing the more horrific incidents of violence, the current dialogue does nothing for the greatest number. Seems to me kind of an opposite use of the Pareto Principle, the 80-20 rule.

But as is usually the case with these topics, my thoughts turn to Jesus and how he modeled life. What would he have done? I think it’s cliche to say he would abhor them, even if I cite the passage about those who use the sword. Instead, I look at how he cherished life. All life; but especially the downtrodden, the ignored, the shamed. It comes down to values. Do you value life? Do you value life so highly that in addition to taking care of yourself, to protecting animals, to protecting the unborn, to caring for the sick, you wouldn’t think to kill another human being?

Is life that precious to you? Or is it only your own?

J

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