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

Lent – Day 29 – a new pope?

We are in the middle of a week of change! In our own lives, if we are following the Irrational Joy Lenten practice, we are replacing unwanted behavior with something new. And around the world many wait anxiously for a new leader for their church. I see opposite ends of the spectrum at work. On the one hand, people are waiting for someone to guide them, feeling uncertain about what direction they should follow, hoping that their new leader will embrace their own values.

On the other hand, people are choosing to follow God as they believe they are led, living in the moment, reflecting on what God stirs within their hearts, changing to better reflect that spirit to the world around them. How easy it is to accept those who believe as we do; how difficult to embrace those who think differently.

J

Lent – Day 15

If you had a choice between being well-known, respected, and highly followed (on Twitter or wherever your social universe resides, be it electronic or physical), or having made an impact in several people’s lives (of which you were directly aware), which would you choose?

It’s easy to pick the second choice, altruistically speaking, yet I wonder when we look at our daily lives, which choice our actions reveal to us. Is there much of a difference between the two? I think it boils down to the reasons behind our behavior. And that’s part of the discovery process, in terms of choosing a new behavior. After identifying the root of our existing behavior, (if we are successful in that, which is not a given), we consider how we might behave differently, what actions we might choose to perform instead, from the standpoint of that root cause – not to perpetuate it, but to change it.

And so I want to discover a new action that brings out the best in me, not to glorify myself, but to glorify God, quietly.

J