Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What Are You Feeding

I have arrived at a point in my life where I believe those little hunches, the whisperings in my head, and those powerful AHA moments are the Holy Spirit speaking to me. If that's more than my readers can swallow, then feel free to think of the following as one of the previous rather than the latter.

My attention has been almost forcibly drawn lately to the controversy surrounding the book series and movie entitled The Golden Compass. It seems lots of people who claim the title Christian are up in arms and protesting this movie because of its atheistic roots and uncomfortable ending. There have been emails by the droves being forwarded about how horrible this movie is and how I shouldn't let my kids watch it. I haven't seen the movie nor read the books, so I have no idea what it is about other than from the feedback of those forwards.

I have, however, during the course of my life watched and even participated to some extent in repeated boycottings and protests of things that conflict with many Christian principals. I remember the big deal when Dynasty first hit the airwaves. We all boycotted Proctor and Gamble which inflicted significant pain on me (no Jello for a 10 year old) but little on P&G.

From what I can tell, all that boycotting and protesting was less than successful at achieving the ultimate goal. The trash on TV is worse than ever 20 years later (can you say Desperate Housewives?) Oh, yes, there are always some small victories in the favor of Christians, yet I believe we do more harm than good when we draw attention to and unwittingly promote that which we seek to destroy. We put all of our thought energy and our physical effort toward seeking to attack and banish something we don't like.

Here's is a basic science lesson. Sounds a bit like that New Age stuff, but it is basic science. When we think a thought, there are chemical reactions that occur in our bodies. There are electrons that fire and do their thing in our cells, and electric signals are sent throughout our bodies that affect several organs and systems in our bodies. That electrical energy never stays totally contained in our bodies. It radiates out from us. Science has measured the electromagnetic field of the heart 16 feet from the body, and it only stopped their because that's as far as the test equipment was capable of measuring. If prayer is as powerful as Christians claim it is, then that same power of thought and spoken word would apply to most any thought or expression pursued earnestly.

If thoughts have energy, why in the world would someone want to "feed" energy into that which they dislike or disagree with? If God is the supreme power in all the universe, then he is quite capable of handling those things which do not fit his desires for humanity if he so chooses.

I tend to think of God as a polite, loving father rather than a demanding, bossy, controlling one. He waits for his children to ask of him before intruding into their affairs. If in fact he is the supreme power of the universe, and if in fact our thoughts, words, and actions have powerful attracting energy in them, wouldn't it make more sense to spend our time and energy praising God and reminding him of his power and feeding his power (not that he needs it, but even God likes to be told that we love and adore him)?That would in turn send out positive energy which attracts good things into our lives rather than nurture anger and bitterness and hatred toward what we don't want. Doing so serves to further promote and publicize that which we dislike while attracting negative energy back to our own lives?

Remember the saying, "Whatsoever a man thinketh, so is he." If we spend our time and energy thinking and acting on that which we do not want, we will get it. If we spend our time and energy thinking and acting on that which we do want, it likewise will be ours. Dwell on what you do want, not what you don't want.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

New Age Christianity

Did you ever wonder why "churchy" people get so freaked out by anything new age? I used to be one of those churchy people who thought new age stuff was of the devil. Then one day God opened a door that changed my life as I walked through it step by step. The churchy people tend to think it was an act of Satan, but here's the caveat: Satan isn't capable of doing good, and many good things have come about as a result of this change in my life.

First of all, what is New Age? Wikipedia has some interesting thoughts, but apparently New Age is kind of tough to define. It encompasses a lot of things, some of which I don't agree with. That's okay. I don't have to agree with everything and everybody everytime I encounter something to benefit from it's offerings. I had a preacher during my churchy days that used to say, "Eat the meat and leave the bones." In other words, take the good stuff and ignore that which is a little tough to swallow.

The good stuff is the part of New Age that says you become what you think about and focus on. Gee....if that is such a bad thing, then I guess once again, Jesus doesn't fit in with the churchy people. Jesus was, after all, the epitomy of new age. He hung out with a bunch of guys kind of commune-style. He wore those funky toga-like things and sandals. He talked about energy leaving his body (see woman with issue of blood story), and my personal favorite, that part during his sermon on the mount where he tells people that whatever think in their heart is who and what they are.

Then there is all that stuff about faith to move mountains, and that story about dead dudes and Jesus being transfigured. What was that if it wasn't New Age? Sounds like some energetic spirits making themselves visible. Oh, yeah, right....according to churchy types, that was a miracle from God to show the apostles Jesus power and authority. Besides, God doesn't need to do that sort of stuff anymore. He's got nothing left to prove and no one left to convince. Yeah, right. Anyone seen the news lately?

And that part where he told people they and their sons and daughters would do greater things than even He did......I want some of that. Sounds pretty new age to me.

Did Jesus worship stars or bow before a statue? No, not that I am aware of. Did he teach people about nature and lessons to be learned from its cycles? Yep. Did he talk about attitude and heart and passion? Was he into healing and the power of thought and mind over matter (calming the sea)? Uh-huh. Jesus was New Age before New Age existed. Maybe we aren't truly "Christ"ian unless we are a little New Age.

Put that in a 1970's era bong and smoke on it for awhile. :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tulia Tornado

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Google Adventures

In about 45 minutes, I will attempt to teach others about something I am just beginning to learn. I lead some really amazing people in something called staff development. No, it isn't a production line for shephard crooks. It is a means of growing teachers into a new way of facilitating student instruction. And about that word "facilitating"......I like that because it means I don't have to be the expert. I simply have to lead others to the water and guide them in discovering some neat tools. I think too often we expect teachers to be total experts in all areas. That sets them up for failure where technology in education is concerned. I would prefer someone show me what's available then get out of my way so I can take it and run. I think that is what our students prefer. They want guidance, but they also want to show us what they can do above and beyond what we teach least where technology is concerned.

Not many academic subjects can boast that kind of engagement. How many over-achievers are there in a World History or English III class? Most kids will do only what the instructor demands of them and no more. When technology is thrown into the mix, some students will knock our socks off with the quality of products they create.

Today we are covering the neat tools Google has made available to teachers (and the rest of the world) for free. They include Google Earth, Google Maps, Google News, Blogger, Docs and Spreadsheets, Picasa, Google Groups, SketchUp, and iGoogle.

By the way, I kind of like iGoogle. That customization of my homepage is really neat.

Forty minutes to go. Guess I'd better head that way.

Dreams and Schemes

Every day brings a new perspective to my daily routine. Kids, husband, parents, and siblings all give me a reason to look for new ways to accomplish our heart's desire.

Take my latest scheme for example. One of my children has taken to horseback riding like a duck to water. I can blame that on my big brother who "saw" something in her interactions with other animals. Being a "good" parent, I want to encourage the talents and interests of all my children, of which there are four. We now own a horse, travel to horse shows in the region, and are looking for a way to put the horse and the rider in the same general living space. Right now, Uncle Andy has horse custody, but riding once every two to three weeks doesn't lend itself to making a great rider.

Options are surfacing. We'll see where this goes.