Monthly Archives: December 2014

Problems everyone should have

Everyone has problems; always have, always will.

But some problems are better (more desirable) than others.

I have some of the best problems in the world.  Everyone should have such problems.  They’d be so much better off.

For example, this man shows up every time I look in the mirror, and I’m absolutely hating on him.  He’s so good-looking, I can’t stand it.  I’m jealous.

“Jackie” and The Rolling Stone

Bookmarks:
U-Va. students challenge Rolling Stone account of alleged sexual assaultTV experts who aren’tFox news affiliate distorts coverageVast dogfighting ring in Baltimore, Baltimore County broken upMonkey heroically rescues its friendPhylicia Barnes update
Continue reading “Jackie” and The Rolling Stone

A place to begin

John 9:1-3:

1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”

The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.

Continue reading A place to begin

“Son”

I don’t like Elder Conrad.

At the shelter, they compel us to attend chapel every night. A different group presents each night, following a monthly rotation. Elder Conrad and his group come the second Sunday of each month. In nigh on four years, he’s never said a single thing I felt merited attention.

There is one exception.
Continue reading “Son”

Counting my blessings

Here is a short list of things I can be grateful for.

A clean sheet every night*
A clean pillow case every night*
A blanket every night*
A pillow every night*
A hot shower every night
Clean clothes available every day
A good supper every night
Financial resources: At this time, anything I want, I can get.
(Anything I can’t get, I don’t want.)
Moral support from my family, my friends and my church.  A ton of people are pulling for me, hoping for my prosperity.
The best problems in the world. (See next Wednesday’s post.)

*(To my knowledge, no other shelter in Baltimore City provides these things. If you don’t bring your own, you sleep on a bare mat. A change in that situation is something to earnestly hope for.)

The inevitability of evil

Sooner or later, it had to happen.

Sunday, about 14:00, I had just bought my second coffee at McDonald’s.  I put it on my table and, as they require me to do, took all my things with me to go out and smoke.

Related:  Does McDonald’s discriminate against the homeless?

Outside, I took one more shot at trying to understand how evil — negativity, conflict — happens.

There are those who say that evil is necessary because without it, humans would never be able to appreciate joy.  I have never found this believable.
Continue reading The inevitability of evil

Status report: A snapshot of my life right now

On Tuesday 12/02, my therapist asked for a thumbnail summary of my overall situation.

I said, “I have goals, I’m taking concrete steps toward those goals, and I have a ton of hope.”

I know no way to account for this but the exact scenario I set forth in “Chaos overwhelms the poor:” I pay attention only to the concrete here-and-how, and to what I myself can do.  (Related:  Here – Now – Can.)  From the farthest reach of my right fingertip to my right, to the farthest reach of my left fingertip to my left: within that range lies all my responsibility, everything that I can control.  Here, the world appears orderly.  Here, I can order and manage my affairs.  Here I have power.  I can act effectively.  I can easily find hope.

A ton of hope.
Continue reading Status report: A snapshot of my life right now

Cosmology

I originally wrote this as an introductory passage for “What the New Testament means to me.”   I wound up leaving it out as I didn’t think Ezekah would care for a whole lot of abstraction.

As I view the world right now, I see three elements:  (1) What Is, including the material (seen) world, the spiritual (unseen) world, and all possibilities of events that can possibly occur.  I may as well call this “God.”  (2)  A single set of principles that govern existence and all events that can occur.  What we call the laws of physics are an example of these principles.  I may as well call this “God’s will.”

(3) Human activity.  It may be that there are no commandments, and no such thing as sin.  Rather, God’s will is inviolable; and it is how we interact with What Is, inevitably in accordance with those principles, that brings weal or woe.  If we act this way, we can have a world of harmony, beauty and joy.  If we act that way, we’ll have a world of poverty, violence and bloodshed.

So far, there is neither need nor room for teachings of John and Paul that deviate from Jesus’ teachings in the Synoptics: no need nor room for a Son of God, perfect sacrifice, “belief in” Jesus, or heaven or hell — aside from the heaven or hell we create for ourselves in this life, here and now.

“What the New Testament means to me” points to ways to create, in effect, heaven on earth.  The opposite path is described in “A living hell.”

Change Begins Here

This is square-on with a forthcoming post of my own, “A place to begin.”

Random Words

better than todayI woke up this morning thinking about change. Thinking about how we begin to change our world, one person at a time. That’s exactly it. We create change one person at a time, one action at a time, one THOUGHT at a time.

Change begins with us and within us. The world will not become a better place by leaving it up to someone else. Change will not happen as long as we believe things are not our problem or that we don’t make a difference.

Change begins within us. By changing how we see ourselves and treat ourselves, we begin to change the way we see others and treat others. By changing how we see others and treat others, we begin a ripple effect that reaches out over the miles changing how others see and treat each other.

Change does not and will not happen overnight, but over time…

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