Breathing, Gratitude and the Power of Silence

As we rush about our busy lives, how often do we stop to savor the joy of being able to breathe, or the joy of being able to sit in a state of peace and stillness? How often do we remember that, of all the blessings God has given us in this world, the blessing of being able to breathe affords one of the most profound occasions of gratitude?

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My OCAMPR Workshop on Gratitude During Times of Suffering

Last week I had the privilege of traveling out to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology which was hosting this year’s conference for The Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology, and Religion. I was asked by the OCAMPR board to present a workshop on the topic ‘Gratitude During Times of Suffering.’ My talk, which was recorded on Ancient Faith Radio, is available by clicking on the video below. It is also available for mp3 download here.

Kickstart Campaign to Finance My New Book

For over a decade I’ve worked as a freelance writer for a variety of publications. Now that I’ve reached midlife and look back over my career, the three themes that stand out as being the most significant are (1) gratitude (2) attentiveness (3) being human.

I am hoping to pull together some of my writings on these topics and self-publish them in a book of essays. In addition to organizing my past writings for this book, I will also conduct fresh research for some new essays on these important topics.

In order to make this project a reality, I need significant funding. Quite simply, the more funds I’m able to raise, the more time I’ll be able to afford to work on this project. If I’m successful in raising the amount of money required, Kickstart will release the funds to me after a 45-day campaign. However, if I fall short of raising the necessary funds, all the money will be returned to the contributors. Kickstart has the mechanisms on their website for facilitating these transfers with financial accountability.

If you would like to be involved in helping to support this project, here are some things you can do:

  1. Visit my Kickstart campaign and consider pledging $20 or more.
  2. During the next 45 days, periodically visit my personal Facebook page and my public fan page and whenever I post something about this project, click “like” and “share.”
  3. If you have been blessed by my writings, then please write a few sentences on your Facebook page saying something positive about my work and including a link to my Kickstart campaign.
  4. Repeat step #3 at least four times during the next 45 days.

Thank you for your support!

Click on the following link to go to the webpage for my Kickstart campaign:

Being Grateful, Being Attentive, Being Human

Reading Habits of a Recovering Pragmatist

Paul Johnson makes reading history feel like reading gossip.

Paul Johnson makes reading history feel like reading gossip.

I’d like to take this opportunity to recommend some good novels that have recently blessed me.

But first, a few words about my approach to reading in general.

As far as my reading habits are concerned, I’m a recovering pragmatist. That is, I used to choose which books to read based on a rational calculation of how they would benefit me, rather like someone whose eating habits are based entirely on calorie counting and health considerations. So instead of reading Paul Johnson’s enjoyable books in which history comes alive and almost feels a bit naughty (he makes history seem like gossip) I might read a boring monograph instead.

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