More Effective Blogging

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I met with a special young woman, age 11, yesterday, special because she is a distant relative through marriage She showed me her Myspace blog and mentioned that she never blogs anything.

My suggestion to everyone, especially the very young, is to look about you each day, and find something which interests you. Then blog about it. Ask a question. Make a comment or criticism. Express your opinion or belief. Posting each day is a good exercise in writing and self expression. If you have a spell checker available, then make a game of finding and correcting all the spelling errors. Make a list for yourself of frequently misspelled words, and try to memorize them so that you will not make the same mistake in the future. Force yourself sometimes to read or watch something that you do not enjoy, for the sake of growth and expansion of your world and understanding. Randomly read an article from The Wall Street Journal at http://wsj.com , or watch a senate or congressional proceeding.

One of my great interests is comparative religion study. Whenever I see something interesting on religion or spirituality, I blog about it. We don’t need a teacher to give us a writing assignment. We can give ourselves a writing assignment each and every day. It can be a lot of fun! You may sometimes hear people say “use it or lose it.” Well, “use it or lose it” is especially true about our mind and intellect. Our mind is just like a muscle. If we exercise all the time, like a weightlifter in the gymnasium, always adding more and more weight to our topics, then our minds will look like Olympic stars, with dashing figures and rippling muscles. If we NEVER exercise our mind, then it will be as flabby as a couch potato.

Here is what I did for today’s blog. First, I though about my young relative and her lack of blogs.

Next, I took a topic of interest from Sunday morning television.

I enjoy watching Rev. Joel Osteen http://www.joelosteen.com and Rev. Reflo Dollar, whose television ministries run back to back on Sunday morning.

Rev. Osteen spoke about prayer, saying that we do not have to pray to God in the Old English of the King James Bible, saying “thee” and “thou art”, but rather we may speak in a normal voice, in our daily colloquial speech.

Joel Olsteen did end with a little prayer which said, “Jesus, I invite you into my life as my Savior.” Joel explained that, if you repeated that prayer with him, then you are “born again.” I disagree with such a notion. I have known many people in my life who might, for whatever reason, in a moment of emotion, decide to repeat Joel’s little prayer. But I know perfectly well that these people would not change their ways or lifestyle. And, if you cannot change at all, then what does it mean to say that you are “saved.” I think it is far better to be able to honestly say “I am changed, transformed, reformed.” An alcoholic may decide to say Joel’s prayer, but if they do not stop their drinking, then, how have they profited, for they are, at best, a saved alcoholic.

Joel is right that one does not need to pray in the Old English of the King James translation, saying “thee” and “thou art”. But, I personally feel that it is more important to be “prayerful” than to actually pray. Now, what does it mean to be “prayerful” but not pray. Well, throughout the day, it is possible for us to realize all the good things that we have and feel grateful for them. If we live in a free society, we may feel grateful, for many live under a tyranny where they may not say or read or watch anything they please.

Whenever we eat or drink or go to the bathroom each day, we may realize how blessed we are to have such good health, and remember those who are on dialysis or in the intensive care ward, and do not enjoy such normal body functions. We are prayerful when we realize that we do not have unlimited time on this earth, but shall one day grow old and die, and therefore, each day and hour is precious; something not to be wasted.

It is very easy to get into the habit of automatically reciting a number of written prayers each morning or evening, or every Friday or Saturday or Sunday, in our mosque or synagogue or church or mandir or gurudwara, or vihara (and, if some of these terms are unfamiliar to you, then why not google on them and blog about it?). But, if we mechanically recite prayers, and are not prayerful in our mind throughout the day, then how do we profit; how have we changed; how are we to transform?

And, by the way, if it should happen that we are grudgingly changed or reformed, but go about complaining of the burdens of our new life, and yearning for the pleasure of the old life, then how much have we really changed. Perhaps our life and activities have change, but we are still the same, still desiring the same things.

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