24 May 2016

Pointers to Some Interesting Things

Every once in a while, I point people to some of the interesting things available on the Internet that I have either produced or enjoy.

There are a handful of podcasts that I listen to and get inspiration from.  Maybe you will like them as well.

http://www.econtalk.org/ - Econtalk is hosted by Russ Roberts, a libertarian-leaning economist, who interviews other intellectuals on a variety of topics, not just economics.

http://www.dancarlin.com/ - Both of these podcasts, Hardcore History and Common Sense, are absolute gems on History and current events.  Both end up being occasional recordings, but always worth it.

http://3950.net/3950-and-the-liberty-net/ - This is actually the recording of a weekly ham radio net that has been going on for over four decades. Hard-core conservatism (way beyond me) and just wacky news and commentary from regular ham operators.  The absolute opposite of "production quality" broadcasting.

http://longnow.org/seminars/ - Just when you think you have me pegged, I also listen to the podcast straight from one of the Merry Pranksters and folks that made Berkeley and San Francisco libertine - hippies all grown up.  No more LSD (maybe), but hard-core neo-liberalism just the same.

I write other things besides silly blog posts.  I used to style myself a fiction writer.

The Miracle of the Quilt - Still my most popular and published short story, available for free and on Amazon.

Rachel and Her Knight in Shining Armor - My wife Lisa's favorite novella, the pinnacle of my Great Writing Year of 1998.

Navigiary: Escape is my first novel-length fiction story, actually the first part of a trilogy that I haven't further worked on in a while.  Maybe a few sales will give my initiative to finish Part Two and Three!

Feel free to enjoy one or all of the these!

22 May 2016

"May We Bless Your Home?" - Matthew 10:13

I hope I don't alienate too many of my readers in addressing some thoughts that came out of The Things that Constitute A Good (Religious) Visit blog post and various scripture "jags" posts. I am a priesthood leader in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I blog about insights that come from my work there alongside more quasi-secular things like The Psychic Proximity Principle. There is significant value in perspectives gained in one area of endeavor that can be applied to another, so I always hope my non-Mormon readers can find these posts of some value.

In chapter 10 of the book of Matthew in the Bible, Jesus gave his twelve apostles priesthood authority and sent them out to preach and do the miracles that they had seen him perform.  As part of his instructions, he told these disciples to do the following as they visited the homes of believers as they traveled:

Matthew 10:13
And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
I am a descendant of Aaron, the brother of Moses, who was ordained, along with his male progeny called the kohenim, to lead the Levitical and Aaronic priesthoods. My resulting family heritage includes the reciting of the priestly blessing in certain settings.  At its conclusion, this blessing states this:  "May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace..."  I personally connect these "peace" references together - if you are in a worthy house, or are visiting a worthy family (I interpret this as being welcomed in the home and the family being accepting of your spiritual message), you should leave "your peace" (or your priesthood blessing) with them.

As a home teacher, priesthood holders are commissioned by the local bishop and the quorum leader to serve their assigned families. This service is meant to keep each family diligent to their covenants, help them to progress toward exaltation, and to bring the power of the priesthood into their lives. As part of that service, bearers of the priesthood should leave their blessing ("your peace") wherever they visit. You holders of the priesthood should always offer to leave a blessing on the home and the family before you leave a visit.  As a bearer of the Melchizedek Priesthood, it is your duty to bless the homes you enter as permitted by the head of the household.

Here are my suggestions on pronouncing a blessing on a family and their home:
  • Seek inspiration in what words of blessing to give.
  • Respect the head of the household. Offer to give a blessing and accept their choice regarding this. If they request specific blessings, honor that request within the inspiration you receive.
  • Personalize the blessing to those you bless and their circumstances.
  • State that this is a blessing and state your priesthood authority, similar to the way you would do so in an ordination.
  • State that all blessings are contingent on faith and worthiness.
As I have personally done this, I have found my power in the exercise of the priesthood has increased and I have be inspired with the words of blessing that the LORD desires to be said. I have also found that the families that I bless are strengthened in their desire and ability to obey the commandments of God and grow more worthy of further blessings. I know that you will also have needed inspiration as you prepare yourself to receive it and share it more often in the form of a home teacher's blessing to those you serve.

17 May 2016

Personal Radio and Randomized Inspiration

For those of you seeking to apply the Psychic Proximity Principle, I provided the example of long and quiet walks that help a person feel "weak magnetism" and listen to the heart.  Today, I provide a more interesting way to open yourself to inspiration:  personal radio.

Many years ago, I set up a server at my house to publish web pages and sites for myself and some friends. I didn't feel like the server was well utilized, so I rigged up a small FM transmitter to the server's sound output and create some scripts to play sound files that could be heard through the various radios in the house and out in the yard.  Nothing fancy at all.

I "broadcast" old radio shows, Celtic folk musicnews and philosophy podcast episodes, and "talks" from the general conferences of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).  Before I got fiber internet, I had service that was spotty at best, always living on the fringes of Internet coverage.  Therefore, it was often necessary to actually download my radio content and store it locally so that there weren't breaks in the broadcasting schedule due to bad connectivity.

Late at night and on weekends, the schedule turns predominately to the LDS Church general conference talks, which are kept in a folder on my server and played randomly.  If you don't know, many of the speakers at LDS general conferences are prophets of God and apostles of Jesus Christ, men who give their lives in connecting people to the divine and sharing what God wants them to say.  Like the Psychic Proximity Principle, you don't necessarily have to apply a religious spin to listening to such men, but the effect will be there: these are men of experience and insight with very inspired things to say. During the quiet hours of the late night and early morning and on weekends, my radio puts out speeches from these men, again, randomly. In the process, I have noticed something very interesting.

It seems that themes begin to emerge from the random sorting of these talks. For instance, I often get "music jags" where several hymns, usually interspersed between talks in the original broadcasts, come out the radio in bunches! It is almost as if "someone" is scheduling the programming for me.

We don't have the radio on all the time, but it always seems that when I am listening, there is some insight being talked about that applies to my life or helps me with some challenge I'm facing. Of course, inspiration is everywhere if you look for it, just like the Psychic Proximity Principle says, but it is just another example of that weak magnetism between us and where we need to be. It just seems uncanny how a random playlist can produce what I need in the occasional moments that I access it!

As usual, I figure that it is God pulling the strings as I permit it. As I leave more opportunities open for him to take the driver's seat in my life, I find that the most amazing things happen for my good.

You can do something similar to my radio station to give inspiration a chance to reach you better and more often:

Put a folder or inspiration talks or music on your phone or mp3 player. I choose those conference talks, but you may have other sources. For uplifting things to come to you, however, you need a folder of uplifting things - weak magnetism doesn't attend low entertainment. That done, you set up your player to present things to you randomly. Then, you listen.

If you have an experience like mine, from day to day, you will hear words that you need, presented to you in the times when you need them.  Sometimes, they will be words that make you think or indite you.  Other times, they will buoy you up during difficulties.

The point is to give God, your heart, the wisdom of others, or whatever you choose to call it, better opportunities to communicate with you.  Whether it is long, quiet walks or listening to a "radio" that can be influenced by the Psychic Proximity Principle, either will open you up to the weak magnetism that will lead you to your best potential!

Happy Journey!