The countries that are likely to be more attractive and gain soft power in the information age are those with multiple channels of communication that help to frames issues; whose dominant culture and ideas are closer to prevailing global norms (which now emphasize liberalism, pluralism, and autonomy); and whose credibility is enhanced by their domestic and international values and policies… To the extent that official policies at home and abroad are consistent with democracy, human rights, openness, and respect for the opinions of others, America will benefit from the trends of this global information age. But there is a danger that the United States may obscure the deeper message of its values through arrogance. – Joseph S. Nye Jr; Soft Power, The Means to Success in World Politics
According to archaeological evidence, we strayed from Nature with the beginning of civilization roughly ten thousand years ago. That quantum leap beguiled us with an illusion of freedom from the world that had given us birth. It nourished the belief that the human spirit can be molded into something new to fit changes in the environment and culture, and as a result the timetables of history desynchronized. – E.O. Wilson; The Creation
Democracy and political maturity must evolve in tandem through the engagement of all in the responsibilities of citizenship. Proper schooling and a strong civic culture are important, but in the end democratic citizenship is a practice, and the experience of doing it is our best teacher. – @dkorten David C. Korten; The Great Turning, From Empire to Earth Community
One of my favourite songs to sing in church contains a set of lines that roll in my head more than any other. On an almost daily basis as I go through my routine these words come back to me again and again. In musical terms its call the bridge, that section of a song between a verse and chorus that follows a different poetic pattern so it stands out and drives the point home. The words I’m referring to come from praise song simply entitled “Hosanna”;
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
Recently I have been struck by the notion of being in tune with God’s will. Because human beings have been endowed with free will it is very often the case that our will and God’s do not align. I got thinking about this a while back when I heard a preacher declare something along the lines of “the reason Jesus taught us to pray ‘your will be done’ is simply due to the fact that God’s will isn’t being done, if we are to make a lasting difference in the world we need to make sure we are aligned with God’s will.” [Matthew 6:10]
The world isn’t messed up because of something God isn’t doing, it’s messed up because of the things we are doing that are contrary to God.
It shouldn’t be on God to fix everything, he didn’t mess it up – it’s on me!
I was in a small group meeting several months ago when I witnessed the following exchange between the leader and one of its members;
Question; “Why does God allow such horrible suffering?” Leader; “Why do you?”
KA – BOOM!! MUSHROOM CLOUD – YEARS OF FALLOUT!
Every year at the end of August I find myself almost unconsciously taking some time to revaluate where I’m at with my journey through life. It has to do with the way we align our calendars around the school year. From the age of 5 it’s ingrained in us that life shifts gears on September 1. The summer is over, time to get back to work. This ebb and flow of the calendar year is so ingrained in our psyches that it’s become a part of our culture. So as I sit here and prepare to move in to a busy fall of transition and the unknown, I pray earnestly for healing in my heart, open eyes, and the alignment of my will with God’s.
Listen to “Hosanna” and read all the lyrics here;