Creative Fortune Cookies

 

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, fortune, cookies, predict, FunnyDon’t you just love the pseudo-prophets who write your future in the fold of a Chinese fortune cookie?!? I mean, how do they know so much about me? How can they offer so many people the hope and revelation they have sought for all their lives, or at least since the won-ton soup?!? Amazing!

             If, like me, you’ve eaten in Chinese restaurants w-a-y too often, you’ve read every fortune cookie imaginable. And that gets you mad! “Can’t they come up with anything just a little more original?”  I’ve always wanted to create a few fortunes myself. Like—

The egg-roll you just ate was poison.

 The person across the table is recording your conversation.

 Oh, and he has a gun aimed at you under the table.

 You will be married this time next week.

 Your baby’s gender will be male; species yet unknown.

 Wherever you go, that’s where you are; unless you’re not here.

 Eat more horse.

 Depression is good for high blood pressure.

 Never fear the unknown. Discover it.

 God is not out to get you. I am.

 Does your wife know you’re here?

             Whatever your “fortune” holds remember that you are the one ultimately responsible for what comes about in your life. Well, unless you put yourself in God’s hands; and that can be a risky business in itself. Maybe the government, or the church will…, nah, never mind.

Fortune cookies are fun; some more than others. No one wants to entrust their future to some dumb artificially flavored, colored thingy with a piece of paper cooked inside. But life is about trusting— in your own abilities, and in others. Learn to do it. Risky— yes. Worth it— also yes.

Maybe you can write a couple zingers along the way that will make the Fortune Cookie Hall of Fame.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

________________

 

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Mystery & Mysticism

 

 Dr, Gary, Davis, Needinc, Clueless, Christianity, Christian, science, mystery, awe, universeWe’re missing something in Western culture. We’ve lost a sense of awe of amazement, of wonderand reverence. We’ve settled for scientific discovery as a finding in the natural world, be they earth-bound or galactic. Though the scientists, biologists, geneticists, astronomers and medical researchers who uncovered them are far more thrilled than the rest of us, in general, outside the scientific community; we have come to accept discovery as commonplace— as if we have been doing this since the inception of the universe. Not so.

             Though the Ancients may have been visited by extra-terrestrial beings to start them along their path of technology, in more recent days, say the past 2,500 years, we have come to rely on innovation and invention. A rudimentary scientific method was initiated by Parmenides in the 5th century BCE. The “scientific method” as we know it, was formulated almost entirely by Galileo Galilei in the 16th century; his question-hypothesis-speculation provided us with an even more precise approach through which to screen and test our findings.

            Still, there is something missing. It is that sense of mystery when we gaze into the heavens. With the naked eye we cannot even see their end:  with a telescope, a little deeper; with the Hubble Telescope, deeper; a radio-telegraph, even deeper. Wouldn’t you think that measuring something 45,000,000,000,000 light years away might provoke a sense of awe onto the gazer? How far away is that, actually? Well, try this— http://scaleofuniverse.com/

If we could use the world’s largest electron microscope, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, we would see the order and accident of the universe at a minutia level, far below the atomic level. Coupling the breadth of the universe with the order and accident at the 0.0000000001 yoctometric level (quantum foam & string theory stuff), it should be observably obvious that the universe, this earth, and our own bodies are very intricate entities.

But with these incredible measuring devices where is the mystery? Where is the awe and amazement? As science uncovers more of the complexity of our world, be it across the universe or within the electron of an atom, it seems, to this writer, that there is little probability of it all staying in balance through mere coincidence and chance. The survival of the fittest hypothesis seems just too simplistic.

Is it possible that the mystery and awe have been there all along? Just not discoverable with our measuring tools. Rather, it is within the human spirit, of which we all partake; but also for whom this universe was created. It has been said that God creates: we measure. Maybe our past mystical experiences were not merely flights of fancy after all; but rather explanations of what we had actually seen, yet not measured. Mysticism unmeasured.

If it turns out that We are what all of this is about, then there will truly be a time of celebration and rejoicing…, not to mention our great humility and contrition.

For what it’s worth,

Gary

 

insanity

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christian, Christianity, insane, core, values, change, It’s often said that the definition of insanity is “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”  Although attributed to Albert Einstein (1879-1955), the definition is so widely used that even the great genius himself may have usurped it elsewhere.

            Nonetheless, we all do it. We all continue in the same procedures, the same management practices, the same life-style choices, the same patterns of daily life, and wonder why things always seem the same; monotonous, flat, zestless, perfunctory. Ergo, insanity. And I am just as guilty as anyone else.

            So, how do we confront this irksome, repetitive monotony? Surely there are training courses and books and articles in abundance that can help us change our ways. But is it simpler than behavioral re-patterning? Is it more basic, something intrinsically connected to the human condition? This writer believes it to be so.

            Our desire for sameness is a reflection of our need for safety, stability, security. Change, though also needed and usually necessary, threatens our inherent security levels and launches us into uncertainty, hinting of future instability and a relinquishing of our personal and/or corporate safety.

            Change, whether it be continuous change (improvements on past ideas or inventions, like automobiles), or discontinuous change (major paradigm shifts, like smart-phones), is a natural challenge to our way of life. We need to adapt to the “new,” which implies letting go of the old. The earth is no longer flat; nor is the British Empire an empire; nor is the atom the smallest particle. Shifts in discovery and invention challenge the way we perceive our world: they change our patterns of life on an individual and global scale.

            When change is disruptive of our way of life, be it for better or worse, but especially for the worst, we must adapt and challenge what comes our way. The formations of nation-states across early China and medieval Europe were bloody affairs, uprooting peoples and destroying cities and lands. The same can be said for the formation of the United States. On a personal scale the arrival of a new baby is disruptive of a way of life; so also does moving your family to a new location bring uncertainty into the formerly predictable way of living. Insanity.

            This ever-changing, uncertain world makes it all the more imperative that each of us formulate a set of core beliefs and principles that are both true to reality and aligned with truth. To not have these core values in your life is to foster further instability and insecurity.

            It has taken me years to construct my core values; and they still require tweaking every year of so. What about you? Are you aware of your core values? At rock bottom, what holds you together?

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

extent of our ignorance

Dr, Gary, Davis, Clueless, Christianity, NEEDinc, education, ignorance, books, reading, An early 2014 research study brought to light an intriguing commentary on life in these United States—

·         33% of High School graduates never read another book in their lives.

·         42% of College grads never read another book.

·         80% of US families did not buy or read a book in 2013.

·         57% of books are not read to completion.

·         70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore or searched for a book online in the last 5 years.

·         70% of all books published never earn a profit (mine being some of them).

            Based on these observations we might conclude that people in North America are becoming increasingly uninformed about the world around us; be that fictional, scientific, historical, or present day. On an educational level, Finland ranks #1. The United States ranks #22. Maybe it’s all that ice, sub-zero weather and tundra.

            Our ignorance is simply revealed in these questions—

·         Where were Shakespeare’s plays performed? (The Globe Theatre.)

·         Who is the President of Canada? (Trick question. Canada doesn’t have a president. Look it up.)

·         What is the latest theory about the creation of the Universe? (It created itself.)

·         When was Muammar Gaddafi President of Liberia? (He wasn’t; he was dictator of Libya.)

·         Who are your State Senators?

·         What was the tipping point of the Second World War? (D-Day, the capture of the German Enigma machine, the Battle of the Bulge. Your decision.)

            We are a nation where very few people are motivated to learn, to stay abreast of world events, or who have forgotten our own history. Thus Deconstructionism.  If we do not READ we will simply go with the predominate opinions/positions handed to us by our TV/Internet news media. And HISTORY? Who has time for it!?! I mean, whatever could History teach us?

            Our ignorance is not yet complete. But it is NEVER too late to challenge what’s trending.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

“When did doilies and your mother’s dishes become so important to you?”

Dr, Gary, Davis, despair, Hobbit, Dwarves, doilies, comfort zone, dreams,  It was with this question that Gandalf the Grey, Wizard of Middle Earth, challenged Bilbo Baggins of the Shire in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

            Bilbo had become comfortable, complacent, uncomplicated; retired, in some senses. He had grown at ease with the life he had come to enjoy in the Shire. Everything was as it should be; everything was in its place; life moved along within predictable perimeters. Then, in one evening, his world was launched into chaos and mayhem with the arrival of Thorin Oakenshield’s band of thirteen dwarves. With dwarves and dishes flying everywhere Gandalf arrives to bring a meager sense of order to it all. It is then that the Quest to retake the ancient Kingdom begins to take shape.

            It is often out of chaos and mayhem that our own lives begin to take shape. Tragedy cuts short our plans and dreams; broken trusts confound our relationships; fear grips our souls with spiritual and emotional stringency. There seems no place to go but…, actually, there just seems no place to go: we believe there is no way out of the quagmire that bogs us down in futility.

Thus do we give up.

            Do not despair. There is always a way to push your way through the fray and conquer. Some suggestions, if you will—

1.      Stop! Give your heart and mind time to recover from the shock.

2.      Ponder. Think through your own shortcomings as well as external causes of the recent events that plunged you into this devastation.

3.      Talk with wise friends; not just with drinking buddies who will commiserate with you. You need sound advice and reflection.

4.      Pray for guidance from above…, especially if you do not believe in a god. There just may be one who might surprise you. Boo!

5.      Do NOT watch excessive amounts of TV to escape. That will merely dull your senses and make you tired the next day.

6.      If you are married, talk with your spouse about what you are experiencing. This is the one person in the world who loves you the most. Time to open up.

7.      If the road ahead still seems muddled, seek professional advice. A life-coach, a professional job coach, a relationship therapist, a pastor, AA. You do not have to go this road alone.

8.      Recall your own network of friends. There usually is someone there with connections.

9.      Use an actual piece of paper and pencil (not pen) to clarify issues, draw connections, identify failures (your own & others), and to lay out your next steps. Do this alone first, then, with someone who knows you v-e-r-y well. BE HONEST.

10.  Let it all go on a walk, a run, a basketball court, Ultimate Frisbee, or a fine dinner out. Thinking about your situation ad infinitum will drive you crazy.

I make these recommendations because I have been where you are now in life. I have known the pain, the broken trusts, the tragedies, the loss of those I love, the personal failure. You can and will get through this— for your own sake, and for those you love.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary