Loose the Chains

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“Loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of bondage. Set free the oppressed and break every yoke.” ~Isaiah 58:6

My freedom will only be complete

when all people are free!

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The Wishing Map 86

Have you ever deceived a group of people “for their own good,” only to have the plan blow up in your face?

Mitch Teemley

Wishing pix-Title-(framed)

Note: To read The Wishing Mapfrom the beginning, click here.

The Wishing Map

Chapter Nineteen: The Naim Games (Continued)

Previously: Zack chose twenty semi-finalist naims (gnomes) for a storytelling contest, after which he planned to announce Naimian’s new Storysmith–and make his escape.

⇔ ⇔ ⇔

By mid-afternoon, word had spread that Namian’s Storysmith (Zack) would introduce a wonderful event at the Naim Games! Anticipation rose to the point of frenzy; all had seen Master Zaggyzim when he’d arrived yesterday (it was hard to miss a four and a half foot tall giant!), but few had heard him tell stories yet.

Little Bud worked the crowd (“My Uncle Zaggy is coming!”) while Zack ducked out to meet with his Leaf Naim Pretenders. On the way there he spotted Bulgy headed for a heartwood tree with half a dozen burly bodyguards. He offered a statesmanly “hey-fah!” but Bulgy and his posse…

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Jimmy Fallon, New Ebola Czar!

Three years ago, I was desperate to get people to discover my still-new blog, so, as an experiment, I used the two top trending topics of the moment–Jimmy Fallon and Ebola Czar–in a single post. And it worked (kind of). Then I pseudo-hypocritically made fun of the whole idea because, in truth, I loathe trend-watching.

Since then, I’ve been blessed with a growing following, despite my stubborn unbuzziness. So I’ll probably continue to blow algorithmic raspberries because, well, it’s more fun than collecting the overripe fruit everyone else is throwing!

Mitch Teemley

giphy.gif“Jimmy Fallon, the new Ebola Czar?”  Yes!  Jimmy Fallon! Ebola Czar!

OK, no, not really.

But as of yesterday,Jimmy Fallon and Ebola Czar were the top trending words in America. And as a new blogger, I’ve been told the best way to increase traffic is to use current buzz words, 1) in my title and, 2) multiple times in my post. So there you are. Here are a few more, just for good measure: Jimmy Fallon! Ebola Czar! Jimmy Ebola!

Yes, this was a test. Sorry if that makes you feel deceived. But, wait, I have a point:

More and more, what we see and hear is chosen for us by vast computer servers. If President Obama were to base his choice on the current buzz, Jimmy Fallon would, in fact, be the new Ebola Czar. This week, anyway.

Is that a good basis for making choices?

Computers are…

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Got the Monday Blues?

Do you have trouble getting going on Mondays? I do. I spent a lovely hour in the mythical kingdom of Planning this morning, but now I find myself in the dull grey land of Doing, wondering where the exit is.

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“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”
~E. B. White

Here are two things to brighten your Monday:

pumpkin spiceFirst, this is a Pumpkin Spice flavored blog post! Really. (Lick screen) Mmmm… Better, huh?

And here’s a little Monday tip that helped first grade teacher Mrs. Clark:

394397_461148760584507_1083283206_nI tride this an it werks rilly good u guys! Rilly. It will make u fell good. Rilly!!

You’re welcome.

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The Perfect Church Service

“The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.” ~C. S. Lewis

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Growth Plan

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Gun Control vs. Self Control

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Every time there is a mass shooting in the U.S. the gun-control debate is revived. “Guns kill!” one side chants. “Guns don’t kill, people kill!” the others side retorts. And while it’s true that no gun ever killed anyone without a human pulling the trigger, it’s also true that no human ever killed anyone by pointing their finger and shouting, “Bang!”

The truth is: both statements are correct. Guns kill. And so do people. Therefore, any real solution must address both issues.

Guns kill. Modern weapons aimed at large crowds, as demonstrated in Las Vegas, kill and maim with hideous efficiency. Yes, the U. S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms. But the Founders clearly did not mean this to go unchecked: from the beginning, convicted criminals forfeited the right; and it’s long been the consensus that violently unstable people forfeit the right, as well. America’s half-baked registration process needs to be retooled with up-to-the-moment information about disqualified individuals, and about privately owned semi-automatic weapons and explosive devices (“bump stock” devices should be outlawed altogether). In the early days, guns were registered with town sheriffs. In the era of interstate travel, that information must be nationally coordinated. Will it stop people from killing? No. But it will diminish it. And diminishing human chaos is the best any law can hope for.

People kill. It has always come down to Self vs. Other. Cain (Self) slew Able (Other) because Able had something Cain wanted. The highest moral codes have always striven to check this bent, to promote selflessness over selfishness. But when accession to moral codes erodes, anarchy ensues. When the ethics-driven Roman Republic became the power-driven Roman Empire, truth faded: One-time legitimate sports and arts events devolved into spectacles in which human beings were raped, tortured and murdered as entertainment, as “artistic” statements. Plebeians were taught to believe in everything, while the cognoscente no longer believed in anything.

Modern culture is undergoing a sea change like that of ancient Rome, only it’s happening far more quickly. Former civic values—duty to God, family, country and community—have become outmoded, replaced by duty to Self. Can the trend be reversed before we dissolve, like Rome did, into chaos?  I don’t know.

Families, schools and communities would have to recommit to teaching the kind of selflessness depicted in stories like Casablanca, Schindler’s List, and Hacksaw Ridge. And the ultimate story of sacrificial love, the story of Jesus on the cross, would have to be mirrored far more effectively in the lives of His followers. They can’t make people believe, but they can model selflessness, they can live it (the word Christian means “like Christ”). In fact, that’s what He calls them to do in Luke 9:23-24. He doesn’t command them to take up arms against Rome. He says, “Take up your cross,” die to yourself, and in the process, show others

How to live.

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