LifeRevelation

Life is a Revelation…be encouraged

Archive for the category “Bible”

For You

http://www.desicomments.com/flowers/good-afternoon-flowers-for-you/

This post is going to ramble somewhat, but hopefully you will extend me a little grace as I get to my point for writing today.

Maybe it is because I spent the afternoon with a couple of old friends who race bicycles and we just had a great time talking as they laid down some very respectable times on a 12 mile time trial. We reminisced about the old days and how we were getting along as age begins to affect our riding abilities.

I guess it could be that I just finished reading the autobiography of a rock icon who I have followed for over 42 years, Gregg Allman.  I remember the effect of the Allman Brothers’ Live at the Fillmore album had on me some 38 years ago. As a youngster, all of 17 years of age, I was simply blown away. Now I listen to him with tears in my eyes. Our lives have paralleled one another in many remarkable ways, but the thing that got me the most was when he has spoken about how he felt regarding his music. The power of believing rock n’ roll could save your soul. I felt that for a long time and it was a very rude awakening when I discovered possibly the complete opposite was true.

Or it might be that today is Sunday. And Sunday’s have always produced a certain melancholy mood in me. Even long before I became a Christian, when I was about as far away as one could get from any type of moral, ethical lifestyle I would feel a difference on Sunday. If I were on a multi-day bender of cocaine, alcohol, and debauchery, when Sunday rolled around I always pulled back from the edge. Many times I would take off by myself and just go someplace where I could be alone. I remember several times I parked across the street from a church as it was letting out. I watched as they came out, talking, laughing, the kids running, and the couples walking arm in arm. Some carried a black book that I was fairly sure was the Bible. I sat there in my new black-on-black Porsche  928 and wondered why people would get up early and come to this building. I thought about what they did in there. I was completely unchurched and didn’t have a clue as to how it worked. But still I wondered what it would be like to go.

Of course, it could also simply be that I am not as young as used to be. The truth is I have probably lived more days than I’m going to live. That thought never ceases to amaze me. I’m not sure why, but it always does.

I’m writing all of this because I am warming up to something that I want to say: to quote Janis’ I want to share a little piece of my heart with you.

I started this blog back in February and I didn’t have any idea what to expect. I knew there where ideas I wanted to write about. Ideas about honesty, and truth, and respect, and boundaries, and morality, and love, and compassion, and a zillion other things, but I didn’t know how they/me would be a accepted. And it was me. My thoughts and ideas and the words I write, well they are me. They are how I live my life. They can’t be separated from me. They are me.

I want you to know how deeply you have touched the very depths of my soul by your open acceptance. Every comment you have written and every time you selected the Like tab has brought a smile to my face and a grateful feeling to my heart. There have been a couple of thousand comments and I have no idea how many likes from all over the world, but each and every one has been like a soft breeze blowing straight across my heart. That breeze brought refreshment, encouragement, and enlightenment to a parched soul.

There are far too many of you to thank individually and I’m afraid if I were to call out a few it would perhaps diminish what the rest would take away from this post. So I’m resisting the urge to do that, because I want everyone of you who have used the valuable (and limited) time in your life to read, like, and/or comment to know you have lifted my Spirit.

So from the very bottom of my overflowing heart…I humbly thank you.

I bow before you.

Be encouraged!

The Wall Street Journal & Me

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-astonished-businesswoman-reading-newspaper-image13499072

I knew there would be a day when it would finally happen. In my mind I had thought/seen/dreamt about it many times. Usually when I was in that half awake/half asleep semi conscious state in the morning before I roll out of bed to take our rescue Husky Callie out for her 2.6 mile morning walk/trot/run when she sees wildlife adventure.

In my mind’s eye I could see myself picking up the Wall Street Journal at the local gas station/snack shop, like I do every morning, and casually turning to the Review section where I would unfold the newspaper and gaze with misty eyes, and a burgeoning sense of pride, at the one inch headline with a sharp clear black/white photo. The photo would perfectly encapsulate the intellectual weight of the article, accompanied with the byline Stephen Edwards…always in bold.

Well it didn’t turn out exactly that way. In fact, it wasn’t even close. But they did have an article about the same subject I’ve written about, which is probably as close to getting a piece in the Wall Street Journal as I will ever get.

The article is entitled, “Why We Lie”, (Saturday/Sunday, May 26-27, 2012) and it is written, not by me, but by Dan Ariely. I have no idea where they found Mr. Ariely at (according to the WSJ he is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavior Economics at Duke University. Tell me there isn’t more than one way to skin the cat.). I figure he was Plan B.  My post Lying-Maybe…Maybe Not was published on April 14th. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m thinking that is about the time my cell phone battery went dead. I’m surmising they (WSJ) read my post, were blown away by my depth and insight into the human psychic, tried to call, couldn’t reach me, then in a moment of panic (which I am sure they now regret) got hold of this southern yahoo from Duke.

I do have to give Mr. Ariely his props though, although he was obviously Plan B, he did do a fairly decent job of throwing together some interesting facts and supporting data. For instance, his overall nutshell conclusion is, “Everybody has the capacity to be dishonest, and almost everybody cheats–just by a little.” Which is kind of the problem. Because when you have nearly everybody cheating a little, that adds up to a lot.

He did all kinds of fancy studies and found out that people will increase their cheating/lying when; others around them cheat/lie, thinking others benefit from your cheating/lying, and (this one put a smirk on my face)…knowingly wearing knock-off fashions. The last one seems to kind of open the door a crack to cheating/lying. The idea being, “What the hell, it is such a small thing.”

Now on the positive side Mr. Ariely did discover one thing that seems to cause folks to curb their larcenous tendencies one hundred percent of the time; when participants were told to think about the Ten Commandments or swear on the Bible with their right hand, they completely ceased from cheating/lying. Interestingly even when the participants identified themselves as self-declared atheists, when asked to swear on the Bible, their cheating/lying dropped to zero. Seems like being reminded of a moral code had a significant effect on their behavior.

The article is adapted from Mr Ariely’s forthcoming book, “The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone–Especially Ourselves” to published by HarperCollins on June 5. He goes on to demonstrate the devastating effects of the everybody-cheats/lies-a-little syndrome has on our society. He closes with a paragraph I am reproducing here in full, because I believe it is an excellent summation of what I have been trying to talk about for some time:

“We want to install locks to stop the next Bernie Madoff, the next Enron, the next steroid-enhanced all-star, the next serial plagiarist, the next self-dealing political miscreant. But locking our doors against the dishonest monsters will not keep them out; they will always cheat their way in. It is the woman down the hallway–the sweet one who could not carry away your flat-screen TV if she wanted to–who needs to be reminded constantly that, even if the door is open, she cannot just walk in and “borrow” a cup of sugar without asking.”

Lying and cheating have become so commonplace, it is difficult not to encounter it everywhere; the doctor who pads with extra treatments, the bank that takes an extra day to process your check, the mispriced items at Wal-Mart (always in their favor), the inability to return an item without a receipt (even when they can look up the transaction on their computers), the “I’ll be there in a minute” reply”…it just goes on and on.

I still wonder what would happen if we had a Occupy Truth Movement. Susie and I are starting a new business and we are using the tagline “Do It Right” as our vision statement…maybe it should be “Do It Right, No Matter What.” We interested to see what will happen as we decide to not fudge anything. Everything will be transparent…from our salaries, to the amount of money the company generates, to what the money gets spent on, to how we conduct the day-in-day-out business operations. It will be an adventure…and of course, I promise to document it here.

Be encouraged!

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