Posts Tagged ‘passion’


Word of the Week: patriotism

Happy 4th of July, everyone! Happy 240th Birthday, America!

We interrupt my normal Monday posts for a word we all say we know. However, I think that on this special day, it’s smart to remind ourselves what we’re celebrating.

Because our founding fathers (and mothers!) gave us freedom of speech, it’s easy to state how dissatisfied we are with our country currently. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that we need to change some things about our country. In doing that we often begin to question whether or not our founding principles are still valid.

I suggest they are still as valid today as they were 240 years ago. We still need to guard against tyranny by another regime far, far away from our borders. We still need to keep our government in check when it gets excessive. We still need to allow people to worship whoever and however they like. We still need to promote the general welfare. Is that easily accomplished?

Of course not. It wasn’t 240 years ago, either. People died defending these rights. Friends. Family members. Children. People lost homes and farms and businesses. It was chaos.

But out of chaos came something truly unusual and beautiful. Respecting others and defending this grand experiment we call a democracy.

So, it bears repeating the Merriam-Webster’s Online definition of patriotism:

patriotism: (ˈpā-trē-ə-ˌti-zəm) love for or devotion to one’s country

Despite the rancor of this year’s politics, patriotism is still in the top 10% of popularity for English words. Perhaps even more interesting are some of the synonyms and antonyms for patriotism:

Synonyms: constancy, faithfulness, loyalty, steadfastness, passion

Antonyms: desertion, falseness, treachery

Let’s strive for a few of those synonyms this day and every day especially as we elect a new President this year. The world could use a little constancy, faith, loyalty, steadfastness, and passion.

Be safe!

Wednesday’s Post: More news from Solitude...

You Might Also Like: Word of the Week: Beltane; Word of the Week: anastrophe; and Word of the Week: ablution



Slow Reader Thursday: i am not but i know I AM

Gospel of John

On My Soapbox: WARNING! If e. e. cummings had had Microsoft Word and grammar check, he would have thought twice about using all lower case letters in his poetry. How do I know this? Just try to type the title of the book I’m reviewing this week without Word wanting to correct all your lowercase i’s! And since I have always enjoyed Mr. cummings’ poetry and his innovative use of lowercase, this especially annoys me. Okay, I’m getting down (off the soapbox) now.

I’m sure today’s author, Louie Giglio, was also annoyed as he desperately tried to type this title and his entire book, littered with the lowercase i. And he was trying to do this for one very good reason: to make the point that we are very, very small people in comparison to a very big God.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I had difficulty reading this book at first. Your first clue is that I did not do this review one week ago, as scheduled. Have you ever felt that a book didn’t penetrate your soul the way it should have simply because you had finished reading a book that will never leave your soul??? That’s how I felt reading i am not but i know I AM.

Is Mr. Giglio a poor writer by comparison? No. His use of words is truly creative. Is his message to us trite and over-exposed? No. It’s rather fresh. Is it 1600 pages long, making it difficult to finish? No. Even with 3 very readable addenda, it’s a mere 166 pages long.

So, what was the problem? Me. I tried to read this book like I read every other book—in bits and pieces, around other tasks in my daily schedule and while multi-tasking. Now, this usually works for me very well. Not so with this book. This book demands serious reflective time and consuming it in rather large chunks, since the message slowly builds upon itself.

Because Mr. Giglio emphasizes that we should be servants first and think about ourselves last, I also felt that he writes quietly. No big applause or bravado with his writing (although he readily admits to succumbing to that, upon occasion), but simple, timeless truths about who we are not and who God is.

And despite my initial loathing of this book, page 134 reduced me to tears. Giglio states, “When I crumble under the pressure, I have lost the plot, declaring that the outcome of life rests squarely on my shoulders, not His.” Ouch. Yep, that would be me.

And I am taking something more (than this one quote) away from this book—the One-Word Bible Study method, in which Giglio meditates on only one word of a Bible verse each day. The first day he did this, the word to be pondered was “and.” Not exactly an exciting word to begin a Bible study, hunh? And yet, by merely thinking about “and” for one whole day, Giglio was given huge insights about God and his relationship to God. Similar things happened on subsequent days, even when the word was “the.” So, trust me, I am about to launch into some one-word Bible studying myself.

So, to read or not to read? That is the question. Yes, most definitely read it. Don’t let little me get in your way. But, do yourself a favor—read it when you have a serious chunk of time to devote to it, so that it can penetrate your soul the way God intended.


Lessons Learned from Star Wars…

Star Wars

Experts are now saying that one way we could prevent meteors from wreaking havoc on our planet is to use…a death star. No, I’m not making this up. Next, they will be telling us that Luke Skywalker is running for President in 2016. I can see it now…Light Sabers at the party convention! And at the convention party. 😉 So, since I came of age in the 1970’s and happened to inflict my kids with the same love of all things Star Wars, here’s a little reprise of a note I wrote on FB upon the re-release of Star Wars in 3D:

1. You only think you know who your father is.

2. Once you allow someone to put your hair in braided concentric circles around your ears, you will be forever labeled a bit of a nut case. Even if your mom and dad are a tad famous.

3. There are cowboys in galactic space warring. Chief among them is Harrison Ford. And I love cowboys.

4. The force is with you…if you can lift a spaceship in a swamp.

5. Talking backward….wise, you will sound.

6. If your name is Jar Jar, you belong in a jar…with the lid tightly screwed, to prevent escape.

7. I would have needed GPS to avoid crashing into trees in those airborne motorcycles in Return of the Jedi. And even then, I’m not promising much.  I would have been Ewok kibble, for sure.

8. If you want to catch all the one-liners in Star Wars, take your childhood best buddy with you. You’ll giggle your head off. Probably because she likes to add a few one-liners of her own.

9. If you want to watch someone’s eyes bug out watching that ship pass right over your head in the theater, take the eldest DS, who now understands why it’s not quite the same on DVD.

10.  George Lucas should be in charge of the U.S. government. If nothing else, he will be able to conjure up enough special effects to make us think something was actually accomplished.

11. The creatures in the bar strangely resemble my memories of…people I met in college. At a bar. And not in a good way. This might be why I don’t go to bars much anymore.

12. Darth has a really bad allergist. Anyone who can’t control their asthma better than that should be kicked out of the AMA.

13. Never give your two DS‘s light sabers. I learned to move all the lamps out of the living room.

14. You can be around your brother for years…and not know it. See # 1.

15. Karate suits look better with boots.

16. You never know when you might not actually be in a cave.

17. In the future, all cities will have dirt streets again.  Maybe because we’re all racing around voluminous rocky “mountains” in midair.  But people still walk on these dirt streets. Hmmmm…..

18. A huge mechanical-looking orb will be called a star. What? (And will now defend our planet against those nasty invaders called meteors.)

19. Never fight on a narrow walkway with asthma patients. See # 12.

20. The mean guy you know today will be a piece of cake to defeat tomorrow. Because…tomorrow you meet the next mean guy and he looks way crazier than the last guy.  And he has a red face with horns.

With you, the force will be…if you go to the movies this weekend. 🙂

Point to Ponder Challenge: What idea is lurking in your head that you think is a little preposterous, at least in the eyes of the world? Is it really that preposterous or does it just need some tweaking? What would need to happen to find out how to tweak it? Put those steps on paper or in your planner and make at least one happen this week!

Tomorrow’s Post: A Slow Reader at the Cross Roads…


The Ration of Passion

Poetry flower

It starts when we’re 4 or 5,

The learning of how to survive,

In a world of business and power,

Where few ever explore the flower.


And then when we’re 8 or 9,

We realize that we have a spine,

But relentless is the pressure to conform,

And we hope that we can transform.


Around the time of a teen,

We learn we must have self-esteem,

But only if we work, as forewarned,

Toward the conventions of society’s norm.


We want so badly to be “good,”

And do what we know we should,

But lost in the drive for power,

Is the soul’s last hopeful tower.


So, off to work we go,

Hoping our soul will learn to know,

A new sense of self and love,

But, it merely goes on like an ill-fitting glove.


It isn’t who we truly are,

Like putting a cloud in a race car,

And finally we realize our error,

And the all-engulfing time terror.


So, we finally engage the fear

And learn to trust in what’s clear

And work on our heart’s dream

To fuel our innermost seam.


And to the world of conformity

We say, “Following you is deformity.”

For us to be His chosen

We yield to a life less frozen.


Monday’s Post: Word of the Week: What did you think campestral meant?




Love Letter for my Readers…

love letter

Since today is all about passion and pursuing love, today I’d like to share about my passion for my readers. Here is the “gift” I hope to leave all of you:

  1. That you will pause to think. So much of our lives are “automated” now, whether that is because of technology or because we have so many routine things to do each day. While technology is a wonderful aid and the to-do list does need to get done, I fear that our society is failing to think because of these two “tyrannies” and think creatively. And if we fail to think, we fail to solve the pressing problems of our day and of our society. Honestly, I think that is a lot of why Congress can’t seem to get anything done these days.
  2. That you will find your passion. I have spent over 50 years denying myself the one thing that truly makes me happy. And while my circuitous route of denial has taught me a lot, the fact remains that I probably could have been a much more productive citizen had I decided to pursue writing in my early days. I hope you don’t make that mistake. But if you have, fear not! Even us old people can pursue many passions.
  3. That you will embrace your passion. I feel that all of us are here for a reason–a reason that no one else can achieve. When you embrace your passion and pursue it, great things happen. For you and everyone around you.
  4. That you will act. Too much of the world thinks great thoughts and then abandons them. There is much need and much soul poverty going on in our world and it often causes even more heartache for those who do try to act and give something to the world in a positive way. In doing that, you may find you gave something to yourself.
  5. That you will share. I know it’s scary to post things in an open web site, such as this, but you are my “teachers.” When you share your own experiences, it enriches mine and often enriches others.
  6. That you will become the best version of yourself. This, unfortunately, doesn’t happen overnight. Oh, how I wish it would. But, the honest truth is that sometimes we just aren’t ready for evolving into the next version of ourselves and have to be “pushed” into it. But, in so doing, I believe that we affect so many in a great way.
  7. That you will love others more than yourself. I am denying a huge part of myself right now to do this blog, honestly. But, I believe in doing my best to help you on your journey to your “best version.” When I am focused on that, I edge, ever so slightly, towards being my best version.
  8. That you will laugh. So far the blog is pretty serious. But, I am in the “learning curve” of this blog, so hang in there with me. When we laugh, it’s easier to learn and explore.
  9. That you will explore. Venture into a new area, one that intrigues you in a good way. Learning is the great age-defying secret of our world and there is plenty of it at our fingertips now. So, be curious. Investigate. Research. Learn….and perhaps, most importantly, “bookmark.”
  10. That you will face your fears and get honest. I put these two items together because our society is scared of honesty! Being honest is often a very unnerving activity. I am often accused of being “too honest.” But, I don’t believe in playing “mind games.” My experience is that honesty often invites others to be honest and leads to confronting our foibles and eventually leads to that better version I hope we all strive to achieve. Facing our fears often leads to the same outcome.


When we become the best version of ourselves (or approach it as closely as we can), it is liberating. It is a freedom our forefathers envisioned for our country. It is worth giving everything to see it to fruition. It is, for at least a brief glimpse, Heaven.

Tomorrow’s Post: Why Men (and Boys) Need Women…