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Lately I have read several books that have discussed the growing disenchantment with religion and yet maintain a heightened interest in being “spiritual.” In fact, we live in an area with a large population who express an interest in being spiritual, meaning concerned with deeper things than mere materialism, and desiring to live meaningful lives that make the world a better place. It’s just that many people do not think of church when they consider these things.
I visited a bookstore recently, a large new building on the edge of Nashville that houses thousands of used books, CDs, DVDs and games. Of course, it was a great place to be, because (as I joked with the salesperson) there are two kinds of people in the world – those who go to bookstores and those who don’t. And if I quote my friend correctly, “Those who do not read have no advantage over those who cannot read.”
Would you choose to be poor over being rich? Would you choose to be powerless instead of powerful? Would you choose to endure mistreatment unjustly rather than fight for your rights? Would you choose to be homeless and wander the streets from town to town? Would you give up your status and position in order to go far away and help someone who won’t even appreciate what you are doing while you are there?
We are just a few days away from the start of school. Frazzled moms and dads are counting it down! And it’s one of those really beautiful days as I write, one of those days that seems to come just before school starts and hang around after school starts when you can’t go out and enjoy it.
Thanksgiving is a genuinely American holiday, rooted in the earliest days of the Puritan colony, the first one an expression of thanks shared with the Native Americans who had helped them survive the winter.
We have all kinds of freedom, and we take for granted that we are free to choose for ourselves, to act as we please, think as we please. In fact we have come to define freedom as the ability to do what you want to do. If someone or something constrains your actions, we consider it an abrogation of our freedom.
What do you do to kick off your new year? Do you make resolutions? Start an exercise plan? Make out a new budget? Those are all good things to do, but I usually think about the year that is just past and consider what I long to see happen in the new year.
Do you wonder what it would be like to be unemployed, evicted from your home, sleeping under a bridge somewhere and reduced to asking strangers if they could spare a couple of dollars so you could eat?
There is an idea floating around the world today that sells people on the idea that they are the absolute authority on all matters of judgment about good and evil. And sometimes I even hear people say that you can’t judge or assess anyone else’s behavior or choices because their individual discernment of good and evil trumps yours.
A few days ago I had to pay my taxes and this year I owed some tax! Which is both good and bad: good that I had something to be taxed on and bad that I had to come up with it and my current estimated tax payment for 2014 at the same time. Poor planning?
If you like getting outside and walking, running or biking on the paved trails in Enumclaw, Buckley and Orting, consider checking out the new Sumner Link Trail in Sumner. It is a newly-constructed, paved trail that follows the White River as it undulates through the north valley of Sumner.
The apostle John recorded one of those prayer times (John 17) in which Jesus noted that his followers would not always fit comfortably into the world around them.
What do you think about church? Do you “attend?” Are you a “member?” Do you avoid it like the plague? Or you wouldn’t miss it for the world?
Once I was on the ferry in Hong Kong. I had maybe 25 cents in my pocket and two days to go before I got on the ship to go home. I was thinking (I was 17) that maybe I had spent all my money too fast, without thinking about what I was going to eat for the next two days.
Do you ever browse through the “self-help” section of the bookstore? Assuming that you can find a bookstore you will notice a huge selection of possible titles, all of them purporting to accomplish the task of making you successful, handsome (beautiful), wealthy or powerful. And there are even more books telling you how to be proud to be yourself just the way you are, no changes or improvements necessary. Be yourself. Be proud. Learn to accept yourself as you are and be strong and bold in your self-confidence.
Perhaps you make (and keep) resolutions each New Year, but I learned sometime ago that anytime I tell myself I should change something, it just means I don’t want to change it. But I’m always tempted to make resolutions anyway! It’s such a nice thought as one year winds down and we start to look ahead to next year, to think that we should consciously plan to do things better.