Tuesday, June 30, 2009

If money wasn't an issue...

...I would:
live in Paris.
pay off all my kids debts.
give my daughter the most extravagant wedding ever.
buy two miniature dachshunds.
self publish both of my books.
walk away from this house that is falling apart around me.
visit my friend in Australia.
have someone do my accounting and taxes.

If money wasn't an issue...money is ALWAYS an issue.
Walden Fan

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Shack

I just finished reading "The Shack". My brother gave it to me about a month ago. He wanted to see what I thought because he had read it and had some misgivings about the content. I had several friends who had read it as well and loved it. So I set out to read it and form my own opinion. After completing it, I can say it had an affect on me. More so than I had anticipated.

For those people who are not sure about how they feel about God, it's a must read. As long as you take it as fiction and an allegory of your spiritual walk with God. I've had friends ask me, "Why, when bad things happen, does God allow it?" This book does the best job of explaining that than any other I have ever read. Especially for those that have not been raised on the Bible or been taught scripture.

The other topic I believe was explained clearly was the "relationship vs religion" aspect of God. So many people look at God as a religion. This book explains very clearly what it means to be in a relationship with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Since the main character asked many questions of God that we all have asked at one time or another, the answers laid it out simply and clearly: it's not about following a religion, it's about having a relationship with God.

That said, there were a few things mentioned that I had a hard time swallowing. But, for the most part, I found most of the answers to be Biblically based.

Here's my favorite passage from the book:

Religion must use law to empower itself and control the people who they need in order to survive. I give you an ability to respond and your response is to be free to love and serve in every situation, and therefore each moment is different and unique and wonderful. Because I am your ability to respond, I have to present it to you. If I simply give you a responsibility, I would not have to be with you at all. It would now be a task to perform, and obligation to be met, something to fail. Let's use the example of friendship and how removing the element of life from a noun can drastically alter a relationship. If you and I are friends, there is an expectancy that exists within our relationship. When we see each other or are apart, there is expectancy of being together, of laughing and talking. That expectancy has no concrete definition; it is alive and dynamic and everything that emerges from our being together is a unique gift shared by no one else. But what happens if I change that expectancy to an expectation--spoken or unspoken? Suddenly, law has entered into your relationship. You are now expected to perform in a way that meets my expectations. Our living friendship rapidly deteriorates into a dead things with rules and requirements. It is no longer about you and me, but about what friends are supposed to do, ore the responsibilities of a good friend. Responsibilities and expectations are the basis of guilt and shame and judgment, and they provide the essential framework that promotes performance as the basis for identity and value. You know well what it is like not to live up to someone's expectations.

I've thought about this passage for days. I wish we could all grasp this in all of our relationships, not just with God, but with one another.

While you can't throw away the basic importance of gathering together with other believers for ministry, you also can't throw away the importance of that relationship with God. It's the basis of everything. There are some very excellent points made in this book. Organized religion may stand back and gasp, but, you can't discount the fact that there are many people who need to see that God is not a God of rules and regulations.

Decide for yourself. Pick up a copy and read it today. Let me know what you think,
Walden Fan

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Two movies---two completely different endings

This past weekend I saw two movies; both of them love stories. One had a happy ending; the other ended tragically. I suppose somewhere in the middle of the two is real life.

The first movie, The Proposal, was your typical happy ending love story. The man and woman who started out hating each other, end up falling in love and ending happily ever after. They were from two different worlds and grew up in completely different family backgrounds. But somehow they found love in common and began to see that they really weren't that different after all.

The second movie, Revolutionary Road, was a love story that ended tragically. The man and woman fell in love quite quickly, but became disillusioned by the reality of life. They sacrificed their dreams and settled in a suburban lifestyle where the husband went off to work and the wife stayed home with the kids. Neither were happy and nor could they find peace with their choices.

While we would always like to believe that life is more like the first movie, and less like the second one, there were some realities that emerged from both.

  • Sometimes people from two different worlds can find happiness.
  • What you see on the surface is not always what lies beneath.
  • Compromising your dreams might cause you extreme unhappiness.
  • You can find value and purpose in your life, even though it's not what you expected.
  • If you have someone who believes in you, you can find happiness and regain your passion.

Personally, I go to the movies to escape. But, many times I find unexpected truths.

See you at the movies,
Walden Fan

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

If I could turn back time...

...would I? Yes. I'd erase all the hurt. Take away all the pain. And go back to the time when we understood each other and knew what the other person was going to say before they said it.

But... can you really go back in time? Can you take back words that were said in anger? Can you erase the pain caused by those words? Can you change the outcome of something that seemed to be inevitable?

I wonder...
Walden Fan

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Non-confrontation Confrontation

It's always amazed me how easy it is for some people to fling veiled confrontations without saying what is really on their mind. Some people might call it sarcasm; I call it non-confrontation confrontation. Most of these are done in emails and text messages, and even on blogs. Why? Because it's easier to hide what you really feel when the person can't hear your voice or see your face. Plus it also shields you on some level from the response you don't want to hear. You can hit delete or ignore and the unwelcome message is gone.

Trying to decipher the non-confrontation confrontations,
Walden Fan