Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Irritations Among Us


Irritations point to conflict, and most of us welcome drama only if it comes in forms of good stuff. The drama that reeks of perpetual upheavals mainly annoys or  repulses us.

Yet I've been thinking in recent hours about people who, during their lives short or long, really annoyed others, sometimes in great numbers. Ironically, the irritating people in such cases were among the gentlest and humblest of people. Most were among the smartest and most compassionate.

Their dogged unwillingness to be demonized out of their basic beliefs made them into gross irritatants for  others not able or willing to listen to arguments made to support a view, or to tolerate differences not to their liking or not popular in their select, ingrained groups.  

Later, many of us who found some people to be irritants have given thanks for the influences of their irritations. Kept some off the streets when they wanted to be there at the wrong time or with the wrong crowd, i.e., out of danger. Kept others from making messes it might take a lifetime to clean up or clear up, if ever. Opened some eyes, helped soften some hearts and strengthen some minds at the same time. I thank God for these kinds of irritating people. Irritating people have led great changes for the better, scorned for a time and valued generations later.

Copyright (c)2011 Opinari Writers Network

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Writers, Where Do You Want to Publish?

NEW YORK - MAY 06:  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos (R) ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Jeff Bezos, Amazon, and  Arthur Sulzberger, NYT
Do you want to publish your book with a technology company or a publisher? The New York Times has reported that Amazon Publishing will publish "self-help guru" Timothy Ferriss's next book, following his bestselling start with Crown Archetype. Amazon was the author's first choice for his second book. 

Maybe you'd like to read the reason the author gave for his choice of Amazon, and maybe you'd like to analyze it. Ferriss said: 

The opportunity to partner with a technology company that is embracing publishing is very different than partnering with a publisher embracing technology (source: NYT).

That may be a clever statement, but what does it mean, exactly? How is it different... very different? Where does the writer explain his meaning? Is his statement a real explanation, or a way to avoid the matter of... what Amazon was ready to pay, versus a company where technology serves publishing, and not the other way around? Who knows?

Copyright (c)2011 Opinari Writers Network
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Yes, We Consider and Taste the Goodness

Infant Jesus and John the Baptist, Museo del PradoImage via Wikipedia
Painting of young Jesus and John the Baptist
Consider the goodness of Jesus, a Jew born in a time and place of the Roman Empire. It conquered Judah, Samaria, and beyond. God sent Jesus in those harsh days and revealed him as the one, God as man. 
     Today, some refer to "the Christian faith" and "Christianity." When he grew up and taught, Jesus didn't use those terms. They did not exist, and anyway, he warned about the dangers of religion. As the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus--Jeshua--showed complete authenticity, something longed for in every generation. He was not about religion. The Christ could not be untrue to the Father in heaven, to others, or to himself.
     Consider the forgiveness Jesus gave. A woman caught by others in adultery was close to being stoned when Jesus said a few words that made every hand drop the weapon in it and every foot depart and go its own way. At another time, a woman who knew that her sins had been forgiven shed tears of gratitude and love when she washed his feet. He said, "...she has shown great love," because "her sins, which were many, have been forgiven." (Luke 7:36-8:3)
     Consider the strength of Jesus. It is written that Albert Einstein said, as he saw Germany being run over by Hitler's conquering government, that "he  had always thought that when the crisis came to Germany, the universities would be the bulwark of human freedom..." However, the centers of higher learning and intellectualism "capitulated and collapsed" under the invasive pressures of the increasingly harsh and ruling government. It was the Christian church "that has kept alive whatever of freedom is left...."  Consider the goodness of unwavering and suffering strength, which is of God. In the 1930's, Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Germany, the ten Boom family of Holland, and countless other believers across Europe--kept human freedom alive by living in Christ and like him being faithful unto death. Taste that goodness!  

Romans 8:31-39
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? .... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Quoted texts are from Forward Day by Day, 1937, reprinted for July 6, 2010.

Copyright (c)2011 Opinari Writers Network
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