LifeWalk

______________________ LIFE, FAITH, ETCETERA

Love Wins. AIDS Loses. March 30, 2014

1500 Presenting 1979 small_a

May 3rd is the annual Northeast Indiana AIDS Walk.
May 5th is the 35th Anniversary of Kathy and I 1st saying, “I Do.”

In connection with both, we’re having a

 

Sweepstakes/Give-a-way!

We’ll be giving away lots of books (including “Love Wins”), CDs, DVDs, and maybe some surprises!

All you need to do is send your name and email address (used to notify you if you win) to:
          lovewinsagain@yahoo.com
You may enter once-a-day until sweepstakes end on May 1st.
Only if you win will you be asked for your mailing address!

Of course, while you’re entering, we ask that you seriously consider making a donation to
the Northeast Indiana AIDS Walk.**
A donation is not required for sweepstakes entry, but will be appreciated.

This is a “Winner’s Choice” sweepstakes.
1st place winner will be able to choose from all prizes listed below.
2nd place will choose from remaining prizes, and so on.

So, GOOD LUCK, and thank you in advance for your support!

- Kathy & Dave Foreman

DONATE HERE.

Enter Sweepstakes by emailing “lovewinsagain@yahoo.com”

————————

Prizes Include:

Love Wins (2 copies)

    Love Is The Cure

        Blue Like Jazz (The Movie)

            The Loudest Sound Ever Heard

                Inlaws & Outlaws

Fall To Grace

    The Shack

        Does Jesus Really Love Me?

            Plan B

                What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

    The Secret Message of Jesus

        Faith, Doubt and Other Lines I’ve Crossed

(Most books are new and unused.  A few are “lightly” used.)


————————

Fort Wayne AIDS Task Force:
Mission
The mission of the AIDS Task Force in Northeast Indiana is to help improve the quality of life for men, women, and children with HIV and AIDS, to educate the community in order to decrease the incidence of HIV and STD infection and to increase the public’s understanding of and compassionate response to HIV and AIDS.
The AIDS Task Force proudly serves the following counties in Northeast Indiana: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley.


** Nether the Northeast Indiana AIDS Walk nor The AIDS Task Force are not connected with or sponsors of this sweepstakes.  Nor are any of the authors, publishers or artists represented in the prizes awarded.  This sweepstakes, the drawing, and the prizes are all the responsibility and discretion of “LifeWalk,” (i.e. David Foreman).

————————–

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’



Matthew 25: 34-40



 

DONATE HERE.

Enter Sweepstakes by emailing “lovewinsagain@yahoo.com”

 

The Wisdom of Psychopaths February 25, 2014

psycho

The Wisdom of Psychopaths:
What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success
- Kevin Dutton

A totally fascinating read.
An amazing ride through the human psyche.

When most of us think of psychopaths we think of killers, like Bundy and Dahmer.  We think of the violent and/or seemingly emotionless men (and women) who’ve committed unthinkable atrocities.
But, according to this book, the majority of psychopaths are of the non-violent, “functional” variety, and they occupy our boardrooms, police departments, government leadership and our pulpits.

There’s tons of clinical data here, but it’s couched in interesting stories of real people, and the experiences of our author.  At one point, with the use of Transcranial magnetic stimulation, Mr. Dutton actually experiences being a psychopath.  Fortunately, this is a temporary state!
We look at various diagnostics used to determine the presence of psychopathy.
We discuss moral dilemmas.  We ponder the reality of being “guilty but not to blame.”  We examine “evidence that society is becoming more psychopathic.”  We explore the “‘Primary colors’ of personality” and traits that are, shall we say, high-scorers among psychopaths.

There are lots of interviews with professionals in the field, as well as with bonafide psychopaths.
CEOs, presidents, soldiers, Tibetan Monks; they’re all here.
For me, some of the more striking information was the overlap of characteristics shared by psychopathy and spirituality.
There’s an intriguing section presenting credible evidence that Saint Paul (Apostle Paul / Saul of Tarsus / That dude who wrote a lot of the New Testament) was, in fact, clinically a psychopath.

Being a person of faith, this whole book brings to mind the scripture statement that we are made so “wonderfully complex” (Ps. 139:14 LB). The “wiring.” The chemistry. The whole nature/nurture business. That so much of who we are boils down what switches happen to be thrown I find captivating.
There are, of course, professionals who disagree with Kevin’s basic premise (that psychopathy in moderation can be a good thing). For example, there’s Martha Stout, Ph.D.
She’s certainly not the only one. Obviously, we should always read various viewpoints of any subject matter.
Still, if you’re a psychologist, counselor, pastoral care worker, or just someone interested in the inner workings of the amazing mass we call the brain, this Kevin Dutton book could be an interesting part of your library.

- df

Buy the book. Click HERE.

————-
QUOTES:

- Psychopathy and sainthood share secret neural office space.
- Saul of Tarsus…could today, under the dictates of the Geneva Convention, have been indicted on charges of genocide.
- Psychopaths never procrastinate.
- Is it possible…that the saint and the psychopath somehow constitute two transcendental sides of the same existentialist coin?
- Not all psychopaths are behind bars. The majority, it emerges, are out there in the workplace.
- There will always be a need for risk takers in society, as there will for rule-breakers and heartbreakers.
- In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the experts mind there are few.


Buy the book. Click HERE.

List of the most psychopathic professions:
  1. CEO
  2. Lawyer
  3. Media (TV/Radio)
  4. Salesperson
  5. Surgeon
  6. Journalist
  7. Police Officer
  8. Clergyperson
  9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

The book also includes a list of least psychopathic professions.


Buy the book. Click HERE.

 

Heroes And Monsters. January 12, 2014

heroes and monsters
Heroes And Monsters
- Josh James Riebock

Yet another book recommended to me by my daughter-in-law.

This is a memoir like no memoir I’ve ever read.  It is, as the author states, “A true story… except for the parts that aren’t.”  That’s because like “Walter Mitty,”  “Ally McBeal,” and “The Life of PI” the author expresses many of  life’s realities through fanciful renderings.  The result is a sad, funny, tragic, triumphant journey of life in the real world.

The writing exposes how we all have the potential for both good and bad.  We are simultaneously “heroes and monsters, both arsonists and architects at the corner of the damned and the divine”.
It’s also about relationships: With God, with others, and with ourselves.
(Some of the material came at a very good time for what life is throwing at my wife and I right now.)

This book is published by a “Christian” publishing house, but expresses the author’s spiritual journey in a way that I find somewhat universal.  It’s a very engaging and encouraging read without being “heavy-handed.”
If you like memoirs, I think you’ll really, really enjoy “Heroes and Monsters.”  If you’ve not been into memoirs in the past, this one is a great piece with which to start.

Read more comments and reviews by clicking HERE.

“A beautiful book…Josh tells his life story with lively prose that explores the paradox of human splendor and wretchedness while dangling hints of redemption…For Josh, the road traveled with God is twisting, bumpy, potholed…and well worth the ride.”
–Drew Dyck

A Few Quotes:

- We hold each other. Sometimes, that’s all we can do.
- For a human, discovering that their perceived reality is inaccurate sends a tremor through their soul.
- A dream is a piano without keys. Fear calls everyone a friend. But dreamers, well, fear cozies up to them the most.
Buy the book. Click HERE.

- Yes, I knew that life could be cruel to people, but I never knew it could be this cruel to me.
- Flawed people I don’t mind; it’s the perfect ones who scare me.
- For the first time in my life, my dad isn’t a hero or a monster to me. Just a man trying to find his way.
Buy the book. Click HERE.

- A friend isn’t someone who lets us be ourselves. A friend is someone who will die to keep us from becoming anyone else.
- Here in eternity, death has been exposed as the greatest hoax in history.
- All good things must come to a beginning.
Buy the book.  Click HERE.



 

2013 in review December 31, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.



The busiest day of the year was July 9th with 118 views. The most popular post that day was the review of “Faith, Doubt, and Other Lines I’ve Crossed“, a book by Jay Bakker.

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Recommended Reading November 24, 2013

Filed under: 2. Books,3. Christian Life,4. Marriage Equality,5. Culture,6. Politics,7. Science,8. Sex,Church,Entertainment,Green,Health,Heaven & Hell,Humor,Relating to God,Religion,Scripture,Sexuality,Social Issues,The End Times,Tithing — lifewalkblog @ 2:26 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



Every so often, I update and re-post this list for my new readers. So…

These are just some of the books that have helped me SO much on my journey.
They have challenged me in ways I could have never imagined!
I believe they can truly help change the way we live.
(CLICK ON ANY BOOK image for a few quotes, or a brief review.)


Velvet Elvis   He Loves Me   The Shack 

If Grace Is True                Blue Like Jazz    

Holy Terror      Insurrection     Fall To Grace   

Lies
(And The Lying Liars Who Tell Them)

                        Torn    Image         Grace (Eventually)  



A New Kind
Of Christianity

A Heretic’s Guide To Eternity         Love Wins   Love Wins

The Myth Of A Christian NationThe Year Of Living Biblically 

 

Rejecting Religion. Embracing Grace 
(Hey, I’m mentioned in this book!)

The Misunderstood God         Evolving In Monkey Town   


There are so many more; Like Bert Gary’s “Jesus Unplugged,” and Jim Palmer’s “Divine Nobodies.”
There’s  “The Orthodox Heretic,”  by Peter Rollins, and “Crazy For God,” by Frank Schaeffer


Happy reading. Have a good life.


CHU
Oh.  Recently, I was contacted by publishing house HarperColins.  They asked me if I would read and review a new book they were getting ready to release.  I wasn’t sure at first if it was a “legit” email.  Turns out, it was.  I was very honored.
The book is “Does Jesus Really Love Me?
A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America
,”
by Jeff Chu





What?  You’re still here?!?!?
OK then, here’s a list of some MORE books:

The Naked Gospel

A Time To Embrace

Do One Green Thing

What’s Wrong With Homosexuality?

Jesus Wants To Save Christians

 

WHY? October 27, 2013



So often, when tragedy strikes in the life of a Christian (well, and many others, I guess) the first response is “why?”
“Why God?
Why is this happening to me/us/them?
There’s also “What?”
What is God trying to teach us?
What did we do to deserve this?”

I look back at when I was in the “Charismatic” movement. Everything was cut and dry. Life, even “life in Christ” often boiled down to the reasons why. Tragedy almost always was the result of a lack of faith, God’s punishment, or even demons in the pictures on your wall. [Yes, folks. We actually taught that.]

I am thankful for my faith in Christ, and I’m thankful that although it may not seem as comforting as my former theology, I find it much more real and grounded. I thank God for so many of the “stirrings” and teachings that led to, and have continued since, leaving institutional religion. Not the least of these is no longer focusing on “Why?”
I’ve said in the past, often the answer to “why?” is simply “sometimes life sucks.”
The rain falls on everyone.
Good things happen to “bad” people.
Bad things happen to “good” people.
I don’t get it.
But, not focusing on “why?” helps move us on to “What now?”
For sure, that doesn’t keep you from being sick with worry. It can, however, keep you from wasting time on a question that likely has no answer. Certainly no discernible one.

I hate that bad things happen to good people; things they certainly don’t deserve.
I hate that life can be so fucked-up, bat-shit crazy.
I get mad at God. Terribly terribly mad.
And still, I pray to the very God I’m angry with.
The very God whom I’m not sure will grant my request.
And I believe that God is perfectly OK with that. I don’t need to feel guilty for some purported lack of faith.
Without some form of faith, I wouldn’t be talking to God in the first place.
People, I guess, mean well. But when someone is struggling, the last thing they need is pat answers, platitudes, and a handful of scripture quotes.
“Why” is a natural question.
It’s an honest question.
But in sorrow or tragedy, it’s not a very useful one.
I know it’s not useful for me.
I don’t care why.
I need to know “What now, God?”

 

Finding Faith: A Search For What Makes Sense September 26, 2013

search

“Many people crave certainty.
They want dogma.
They want guaranteed answers.
This book is not for them.”
- Steve Chalke


This book may not be for “them,” but it is for pretty much everyone else.  So many people think they must abandon intellectual integrity in order to exercise faith.  Mr. McLaren shows, once again, that the two are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, good faith will make sense.
Brian, as a Christian, has a definite point of view, but he doesn’t discount other views, or disrespect those who differ.   He offers insights on various avenues of thought, and the logical conclusions (as he understands them) to which those avenues will lead.

Here is a book that is intentionally made so as not to be a cover-to-cover reading experience.  Brian sets up each chapter by giving a brief description of the material, and then telling us who would benefit from reading that particular chapter.  Very different.

Some of the questions addressed are, “Does it really matter what I believe?” “Can I believe in Atheism?” “Why are there so many religions?” “Aren’t all religions equally true?” “What is the relationship between faith and knowledge?” and, one of my favorites, “Don’t all paths lead to the same God?”

Early on we look at the strong difference between good faith and bad faith.  Here, McLaren states “I would rather have a wrong faith that is good than a right faith that is bad.”  So, yes, we are discussing again the importance of how you believe vs. what you believe.

In Chapter 3 (my second favorite in the book) there is an absolutely wonderful chart of “The Four Stages of Doubt.”  These can simultaneously be refereed to as “The Four Stages of Faith.”  Sadly, people often get stuck in an early stage, and never move forward.  The refusal to move forward gives rise to dangerous fundamentalism.  This includes not only Christian fundamentalism, but also that of Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Atheists, et al.  (Brian gives reasons to consider that believing there is no God is, itself, a “faith” position.)

Chapter six looks at polytheism, pantheism, dualism, good monotheism, bad monotheism, and (briefly) panentheism. We also examine the role of creation in revealing God, and how that relates to an “art gallery” experience.
In the seventh chapter, Brian “addresses a number of common objections or frustrations that people have with monotheism, regarding God’s personality, gender, subtlety, and the like.”  Is God personal or impersonal?  Relational or non-relational?  Male or female (Beyond semantics / Maternal imagery)? There’s a nice bit that addresses the fallacy of a question like “Don’t you think the Creator of the Universe has bigger fish to fry than answering the prayers of children and old women?”

Chapter 8 (my personal favorite) is “Don’t All Paths Lead to the Same God?”  I would actually suggest beginning with this chapter.  Brian has clearly (as have I) made belief in Christ his faith-choice.  But he does so, as I hope I also do, with true respect for those of other faith traditions.  
No religion
owns God or has a corner on the “truth market.”  There is a simple, yet great graphic in this chapter that addresses the subject of truth.

We’ve all heard it said “It doesn’t really matter what you believe.”
The thing is, what we believe can have world-altering consequences. What we believe does matter.
If you believe your God tells you it’s OK to fly planes into towers full of people, that matters.  If you believe your God tells you it’s OK to own people because of their skin color (or any other reason), that matters.  If you believe your God tells you it’s OK to withhold rights from a group of people because they don’t love who you think they should love, that matters. If, on a positive note, you believe your God tells you to love and care for others, be respectful, and take care of the planet, well, that also matters.
We’re told that , concerning the beliefs we consider, “We need open windows, but good screens.”
We’re given 4 guiding principles, and four screening principles. These 8 principles are more than worth the book price. This chapter should be required reading for… well, for everyone.  Really, the simple approach of this section, taken seriously, would go a l-o-n-g way in creating a more peaceful world.

There are, I think, some statements and sections that could initially appear as somewhat arrogant.  But if you give Brian the benefit of the doubt in those moments, there’s a clear overall picture of a man who holds his beliefs and strong convictions with sincere humility.  It’s like Rob Bell said, “You can hold something with so much conviction that you’d die for that belief, and yet, in the exact same moment say, ‘I could be wrong.’”

So, click one of the links, buy the book, pick a chapter, and dig in.
This book really is a buffet.  You can nibble, fully dine, or pig-out.
Be sure to allow time to digest, and get the full benefit of the nutrients.
Of course, you can always go back for more.

- df

Buy the book: Click Here.

[NOTE:  This is one of a pair of books.  The second (which I've not yet read) is "Finding Faith: The Search For What Is Real."]

QUOTES:

* We are on a level playing field; none of us lives with absolute, unassailable certainty about anything; we all live by faith.

* The finding of faith and the growing of faith… ironically can feel like losing faith.

* [We see] Jesus’ consistent refusal to do things that would force people into believing in him.  Instead, he always allowed room for doubt and presented people with the opportunity to explore their questions.

* If you are born in India, you are probably going to “know” Hinduism is the true religion; if in America or Guatemala, it will probably be Christianity; if in an intellectual family in France, agnosticism or atheism; if in Iran, Islam; if in Israel, Judaism.  There are exceptions, but it appears clear that the majority of people choose their beliefs based on social acceptance, peer pressure, and other factors rather than on a sober independent investigation of the objective evidence.

Buy the book: Click Here.

* If a professed belief is not sufficient to promote action, then it would better be called an opinion or an idea or concept.

* As someone who deeply respects the Bible, I think we do it a disservice by implying that it can do something that no book can do.

* Isn’t conceit – the sense of certainty that I am already so right and superior that I don’t need to learn or listen –  the greatest possible barrier to faith?

* There are strong reasons for making a faith commitment to the atheist position.

* Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. [Thomas Jefferson]

* Monotheism has apparent downsides too… crusades, holy wars, jihads, division, controversy, bigotry, confusion, contradiction, overwhelming complexity.

* We aren’t proving anything here; we are simply suggesting that if human beings have a seemingly incurable, innate, cor hunger and thirst for spiritual meaning, that that is at least evidence – though certainly not proof – that there may be a reality corresponding to the desire.

* It is wise not the close the door too fast on theism.


Buy the book: Click Here.

—————-

the four stages

For a better understanding of the chart, and an overall great read,
buy “Finding Faith: A Search for What Makes Sense.” Click HERE.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93 other followers

%d bloggers like this: