Friday, November 22, 2013

A Shattered Birthday

On November 22, 1963 shots rang out in Dallas, Texas ending the life of President John F. Kennedy and imploding Camelot. The entire nation seemed to instantly erupt in grief and mourning.

In the village of Lake Orion, Michigan those same shots shattered my eighth birthday party and burst forever the bubble of innocence that surrounded me at that time. I suddenly knew that the world out there was potentially dangerous. I now realized that heroes could be killed.

My family seemed transfixed by the images on the television for many days as the nation paid its respects to our fallen hero.

We are forever connected Mr. Kennedy. As the nation remembers the events of fifty years ago I realize that there is an eight year old boy inside of me who was forever changed that day in 1963.

One of the ideas that he shared that has helped shape my life is:

"And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A Week of R&B (Rice & Beans) Completed

Rice and Mung Beans with friends!
Eat Less Give Life!

In the incredible way that Divine Order manifests in my experience, It is so perfect that the final meal of rice & beans (in this experiment) was prepared by my friend Chef John and was shared with friends as we took a break from food prepping for our Homeless Shelter Week #4. We enjoyed a tasty lunch of mung beans, nicely spice and cooked into an porridge like consistency.

I have had many "ah ha" experiences this week, many opportunities to reflect and notice changes happening in my thinking and, I suspect, in my living as well.

  • Once again, I have learned that plant based meals are tasty, satisfying and easy.
  • Like most things, when I really pay attention to my patterns and thinking there are simple changes, small shifts, that I can make that have incredible and positive results.
  • I spend more money that I am comfortable with on food, especially eating out. When I calculated what I did not spend of food this week, the number was startling. Spirit has nudged me with a place to put that money to use.
  • Eating mindfully is a powerful spiritual practice.
  • This has been a journey, taken with others, that I will never see or know. People all over the planet who eat sustenance  meals such rice & beans, rice & noodles, potatoes, yarrow root and more.
  • The experience has been deeply spiritual.
  • Rice and beans are great for breakfast!
  • I am being called by Love to simplify my routines, my practice my thinking and my life.
  • I intend to incorporate more plant based meals into my weekly diet.
  • I loved taking this journey in community
  • More to follow ...
Thanks God for this powerful way to be aware.

Always in Love,



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halfway through a week of R&B (Rice & Beans)

This week long journey of eating rice and beans has allowed me to step back and observe my relationship with food. I have a heightened inner awareness of how much time, money and energy I focus on food. What to eat, where to eat, is it time to eat?

There is something very calming in the simplicity of rice and beans. Meals are quick with little fuss or mess and more satisfying than I had imagined. Not that I haven't wanted other things like a cheeseburger, pizza or ___. I noticed the smell of bacon and eggs wafting through the neighborhood as I took Porkchop out to do his business this morning.

I had some tortilla's so today I made rice and bean burritos. As I ate, images of the people all over the world who eat this way most every day filled my mind. Then images of the people who would eat this way if they could.

Thanks God! I am blessed by rice and beans.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Week of R&B (Rice and Beans) Begins

    The First Batch
  • So why beans and rice for a week? And What is the purpose of this anyway?
On Saturday, Nov 2, 2013 - I was looking for some way to kill some time because the power in our neighborhood had browned out. After running errands and visiting family, I was driving South on M24 and drove by Kensington Community Church - Orion campus. I have been to Kensington in Troy may times over the years. Even though they and I have some big differences around issues like LGBT folks and women in ministry, I appreciate their commitment to God, Outreach and to service. I always take something home when I visit.
At the beginning of this particular service lead pastor, Dave Wilson, was talking about the three week series of lessons that would start the following weekend, Nov 9 & 10, entitled, "Rice & Beans." He talked about how approximately one thirs of the people on our planet live on a sustenance diet, such as rice and beans. 

The basic idea is that one the first week, the pastors would call the church members to eat rice & bean for breakfast, lunch and dinner and track what they would have normally spent on groceries and eating out. Whatever they saved by eating rice and beans will be collected on weekend #2 of the series and the proceeds would be used to support 10 initiatives that Kensington has going, local and global, to make a difference in the lives of God's people. 

The three ideas that hooked me into participating:
  1. This is not about digging deeper so we can give more. This is about shifting how we live so we can do something to make a difference in our world. WOW! I have heard the "dig deeper please" pitch and frankly I have made that pitch many times. My brain was exploding with the idea of shifting how I live, even for a short time, to make a difference.
  2. The journey we are on is a shift from charity to compassion. This really touched me in that we are gearing up for shelter week #4 next weekend and I immediately made the connection about shifting from charity to compassion. That place insides that is not trying to help the nice homeless people, but sharing part of the journey with them.
  3. The invitation to do this week "in community." To tweet and FAcebook and Instagram and talk about this on Social Media and in small groups. 
So I began the seven days of eating rice & beans for every meal. We were told we can add items we already had on hand, and I have added some cheese and salsa a couple of times, however I am following the very basic rice and beans for the most part.

I have two events during this time that are dinners, so I will add two additional evenings of rice and beans next week.

This is a spiritual journey for me. I intend to be very introspective so that I might "hear" God's guidance and direction.

I am not sure what I will do with the money I save from not buying all the stuff I usually buy and from the meals I will not eat in restaurants. Spirit will let me know what to do at the proper time. There are plenty pf places that can use a few dollars to feed, house and clothe people.

Always in Love!


(c) 2013 by Richard L. Beattie