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

Lent – Day 23 – Examination vs. Reflection

I had a dream last night that I was pleading with a group of politicians to look out for what was best for the country, not just their party. Although a lot of them seem to be older than me, they act like they are from the ‘Me’ generation. (I think I was before that…I think.)

Then I read this morning’s poem, Divided, and was amazed that it was about that very same thing. (And no, I had not read it the night before or the day before, if you’re wondering.)

I also realized, after reading the thought for the day, that there is a difference between examination and reflection. I considered this because I’ve been struggling with saying out of one side, ‘don’t judge where you are’ and then asking you to reflect on what is happening. How is that not judging? Well, to me, the difference is this: Examination is a head activity, where you are evaluating and inspecting what you’ve done and coming to a conclusion, a judgment. Reflection, however, comes from the heart. It is not judgmental; it is more a sensing of where you are, what you’ve experienced. Rather than analytical it’s experiential.

We’re taking action this week, maybe not all the time, but some of the time. We’re in the process of changing, which may include episodes of old behavior mixed with the new. As we become more immersed in the present moment, we become more aware, and reflect as we live, rather than in hindsight. It truly opens one’s eyes to life.

J

Lent – Day 19 – Sunday 3

The discovery period is over. You should now understand how you want to change your response in the given situations. My guess is you are already using the new response, at least some of the time. I think this is the beauty of being deliberate. The more you become aware of the present moment, the more naturally you respond to it.

And when they say, ‘Time flies,’ I think it flies fastest when you are focused on the moment. You don’t realize or think about time anymore, and thus when you look up, so much time has passed and it has seemed to be nothing. I imagine that’s the way it is when we are reunited with God. We become present to the moment and to our creator, and time loses all meaning.

I think that happened to me this weekend, which is why I missed several posting days. I had read the reflection for the day, but missed posting something here. I look forward to the coming week.

J

P.S. I was made aware of another prayer site that is excellent, and includes daily prayers, here. I find it very familiar in some cases to my own thinking.

Lent – Day 12 – Sunday 2

Okay, I guess I missed Friday when some new windows were being installed. I went back and corrected the day number on yesterday’s post.

Last night I attended a Buddhist prayer meeting, I believe it was to honor someone’s passing, the father of a family, grandfather, and possibly great-grandfather. So we sat in back and prayed with them. The chants/prayers were in two different languages. I believe the first was Thai, although my wife said the monk had mentioned Bali. The second was Vietnamese. As I prayed and listened, it struck me how familiar the feeling was to one experienced when saying a rosary in a group. And how similar to an Indian dharma prayer meeting I had attended as well.

I thought of the commonality of humanity and wondered again why we spend so much time trying to differentiate ourselves and despise those unlike us, when at the core we are all the same: human beings.

This week wraps up the Awareness phase of the RADAR system, and we consider and reflect on how aware we have become to when our response is triggered. By now I would not be surprised if you can anticipate the opportunities for change before or as they are occurring. I’ve reached that awareness at times, and can sense a change in me even when I’m not purposefully doing anything different.

Do you feel a change in the level of peace in your life?

Lent – Day 11

Another Saturday, and now we are just about ready to close out a week of Awareness. It’s easy to make a change during this week, but without a plan of action, I think it would only be temporary. So I want to leave the Discovery phase for next week. Why? We still have today and tomorrow, and if you work the typical five weekdays, then the opportunities that arise on the weekend may be different. The situations will be different. We’ll take stock tomorrow of all the opportunities experienced this past week, filing them into different folders of situations and triggers, before we work on discovering our alternative action/response.

I don’t know why Christians or other religious have a problem with atheism. Other than never seeing any contributions from them, what’s the threat? And when you think about it, in the end we’ll all know who was right. And if they were, well, they won’t be able to tell you, “I told you so.”

And this Lenten reflections book is usable by anyone, believer or not? If you don’t believe, just skip the Scripture reading.

J