Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday Sixteen Freewrite

“None of us lives for themselves.” Be True. Be Kind. Go. So honored and blessed to wear the ring of this worldwide order

What a wonderful weekend. I had some goals like catching up on my walking so that I could make my goal of 123.1 miles for the month of "Walktober." So I walked 8.5 miles on Friday, and it was a lovely warm day (for November). Because I was walking, I was able to catch up on my other goal of getting through The Path to Power: The Years of Lyndon B Johnson, and I did by Saturday! I walked and listened and turned it back in early yesterday so that the three people waiting could get started! This was my second check out of the book, and I didn't want to have to wait a third time and wait 6-8 weeks before I could get it again! So YAY, I finished.

But the biggest goal was completing my "Year of Preparation" for the Order of the Mustard Seed with 24-7 Prayer. I took my vows yesterday at 1 pm on Zoom while the people in the UK ushered us in (over 100). What is SO COOL is the ring that I had ordered in August had not come yet. Everyone in the UK had gotten theirs, and even someone in Minnesota. So, 1 hour and 7 minutes before the swearing-in ceremony, I got my ring! YAY! 

I feel that joining this Order was such a good decision, and I remember this day last year when I prayed that God would tell me who could be my sponsor because I knew no one in the Order, and they wouldn't tell me who was in it because of laws that prohibit it in the UK. So I prayed, and Scotty Burns' card fell out of the book How to Pray (by a founding member of the OMS) because I had been using his business card as a bookmark! He had given it to me when we were in the same small group for the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life Portland (SEEL Portland). I wrote him and asked him if he knew anyone in the OMS, and he said, "Me! I took the vows yesterday." LOL! So he became my sponsor and my cohort leader, and it was such a lovely experience. I love the Prayer Watches and the meetings. SURE, it was all review for me, but how fun to do all the contemplative things I have been doing on my own in community! 

After the Vow Ceremony, we went to Finley Wildlife Refuge to walk along Cabell Marsh because this is the last weekend it will be open. Then we went out to eat at Long Timber Brewing in Monroe. I love my family. 

I love my OMS family. Along with the ceremony was the Online Gathering that was excellent. I even won the new book Be Still that they will be mailing to me from the UK! 

Since I was up at 2 am watching the Online Gathering and went all day (Oh, I also met with my English language conversant from Malaysia and prayed for India for my other 24-7 commitment), I fell fast asleep at 7 pm! I fell asleep so content and so blessed to be part of the family of God and the Weaver family with my precious George, Michael, and Paul!  

Saturday, October 30, 2021

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power

 


This is a very LONG and DETAILED book of President Lyndon Johnson's growing up years in Texas to his life as a young congressman. 

I would love to say Johnson was a man of high moral character and integrity, but, sadly, I cannot. Are there any politicians who are not into power in the long run? Did he have any convictions about anything? He supported the New Deal until Roosevelt died, and then he didn't. He was just wanting to be president, and he would do anything to pave that path to power. One thing he did have: DETERMINATION, but to what end?

How appropriate that I would finish this book on the author's 85th birthday! 

I think Caro is fastidious and detailed about too much. His books would be much more accessible if he edited things a bit. (Do I really need to know every last detail about kerosene lamps in rural homes?) I will say that I learned a ton about Johnson and about the differences in the urban and rural areas in terms of basic necessities like electricity. It was shocking. 

This is only one of four volumes written about Johnson, and Caro has yet to write the final volume! 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Visio Divina

 

https://www.pitts.emory.edu/woodcuts/1700MartAV1/00028914.jpg
Engraving by Otto Elliger

Today, we had Lectio Divina in Elisha and the Widow's oil from 2 Kings 4. Now, I am doing a Visio Divina from this engraving. 

Whenever I have visualized this in the past, I have thought of little glass jars from all over. I was not thinking of those big jars that were probably from that time period. 

(Sorry about the exposure of her breasts in the picture above. Maybe the product of the art of Otto Elliger's time.)


She gathers the jars, and she trusts. Elisha has to trust too. It was so perfect for me this morning as I had just reviewed the messages back and forth between an Afghan friend and me. I had asked a similar question that Elisha asked, "What can I do to help you? On August 2, I said, "We would love to help in any way we can." I had expressed concern on July 9th. I should have been more forceful that he NOT go back into the country (He was in a neighboring country) and get his wife out. I don't think they were getting the news we were getting.

Anyway, Elisha did not intervene in what God was doing. He did not "make it happen" for her by providing her with the money to pay her debts. He just had her sons go and ask the neighbors for empty jars. 

God did provide the funds for them to get out, and I want to trust that he will make a way to get a refund for the plane tickets for his friends who changed their minds about going out of the country. 

I will trust God to provide for their every need. 

Elisha trusted and encouraged faith in the people he led. 

On another note. I have a new directee. My love for doing direction with cross-cultural workers all over the world is coming true. I am praying that these podcasts we are doing will encourage more of them to seek out direction as part of their growth. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

At Swim Two Birds by Flann O'Brien


 

This was supposed to be a funny book, but I just didn't get half of what he was talking about. Maybe because I am not Irish? It was a CHORE to get through, and I don't know why it would be on the 1000 Books to Read Before You Die List. 

It is about a student, and he writes three stories that end up intertwining with each, and his characters rebel against him. It is supposed to be a "sophisticated example of metafiction," but I just found it to be really stupid. 

Monastery of the Heart


 In this book, Sister Joan Chittister writes in a poetic style about the "Rules of St. Benedict" and how to have a Monastery of the Heart even when you don't live in a monastery. I found it lovely. I realized I didn't need to buy the book because my library already has it! 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wednesday Freewrite about Fasting

Photo Credit: Nitish Meena from https://quotefancy.com/ 

I really love to write. Just sayin'. I don't know if I will ever get around to publishing the many things that I have written and used in my ministry, but I enjoy it so much. 

This is why I "freewrite" on a regular basis. And I do it here for anyone to see. I don't really think of anyone seeing it, but I tend to be a "what you see is what you get" kind of person. My life is really more of an open book. I have nothing to hide. And why would I want to? 

(This is how I know I am not a Type 3 - many 3s have a "persona" they present to the world, and it is something I have never quite gotten. That is why I always say that even though I appear on the outside to have more of an Enneagram 3 wing, I identify internally with the Type 1 wing more.)

There has been a big push to have 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for a breakthrough in the group that I am a part of. I think that it is premature, but I missed the meeting because I messed up on my emails for two weeks and had it on "attachments" being at the top versus "latest date." So I totally missed the whole meeting where many got excited about having 40 days of fasting between March and Easter. I love to fast, no joke. I have been doing it since my days in the Navigators because that was what everyone did. It is weird to have many of these people talk about having never really done it until more recently. I also read the Celebration of Discipline in 1978, and that spiritual discipline was reinforced. So, my team is in the middle of developing podcasts on different spiritual disciplines, and they are more geared toward abiding. So I see a big difference between abiding for eliminating distraction that causes me to seek God's face (every time I have a hunger pain, I turn that hunger into a hunger for God) versus fasting for breakthrough (seeing something "happen") So if this fast happens, it will be 9 months into a 12-month journey through the abiding disciplines. It will seem like a hiatus in the abiding practices train that we are on. 

So why not wait? I agree that God's Chosen Fast is an excellent book to read. That was one of my guiding books when I got even more intentional about fasting. And much of it was for personal reasons, but some of it was for breakthrough (I fasted until Kenneth came out of his coma in the 90s, and he did). 

So how do I communicate that to the masses and be bold? I want to be a revolutionary, but I think the building block needs to be abiding first. Then we get into the power part. It would just break up what we are already doing. 

At this point, the podcasts will be done in June or July of 2022. Why not have that happen after the abiding part is all done? Then we can get to the power part. Why rush to the POWER? I am not talking about naval-gazing, but I believe gazing at God causes us to move out in power. We cannot manufacture the power. I skimmed the chapter on fasting in Celebration of Discipline, and that was very good. 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Friday Fire Freewrite Fifteen



 I love my freewrites. I can call them journaling. Although journaling really is more for my own eyes. 

It has been a very good week. Yesterday was a really good confirmation of the direction that God has me going in.

This week in the 2nd Half Collaborative, we are encouraging practicing "Unhurry." I think it is termed that to go along with The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer (Portland resident - go Oregon). I like reading the reflections of the people in the cohort I facilitate. I don't doubt that each of them is a hard working person. So it is good for them to slow down.

I don't really think of it as "not working" either. Maybe it is because I need to practice what I preach. I think of my reflective walks before and after my spiritual direction appointment as part of my job. I would to an After Action Review with my commanding officer in the army, right? Well this is like an AAR with my boss who also happens to be my Father, King, lover of my soul, etc. So it is a little different from a "commanding officer." I also see this as practicing what I preach. Which is not hard because I think I am called to this kind of life. 

It was not that yesterday was not full. I woke up and had time with God (Celtic Morning Prayer/Pray as You Go/Lectio365). Then I went to the 2nd Prayer Watch with the OMS. We had meditation in 2 Corinthians 3 about the Holy Spirit. I consider these prayer watches times of slowing down. So later, in the 3rd Watch, I led them through a Breath Prayer time "Holy Spirit Come" because three out of four of us were in the 2nd Watch. This was so good for me. Holy Spirit Come. 

Then I got on my bike and rode to class, taught it, and rode home, ate, rested, recreated (watched a bit of Survivor that I recorded) and went to Jo's Silent Prayer time for 45 minutes and Examen (4th Watch) with the group. I had my Celtic Midday Prayer time. As Jo's time, she played a song that had a burning fire in it. Things just clicked for me as that was the vision I saw on November 3, 2018, about a "Community of Contemplatives in Action." I kept thinking it was with one group I have been involved with for 27 years. I still sense that it is, but my OMS community is already there. There is no fighting for that. It just is built into the DNA of the group. It is a wing and not a weight, even though I am taking on a leadership role with one of the Prayer Watches and sub for Jo's Silent Prayer time. I just get to experience God with them.

I loved my week though with the prayer time for our part of the world with like-hearted people (most of whom are NOT with the group of 27 years - interesting). I just want to be open, but I still feel like it is with the 27 year group. 

Well, I am off to my time with the Jesuits in Scotland! 


BYE! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero


 I will be interviewing someone on my podcast about the impact that this book has had on her life. I have had this book on my shelf since 2018, but I have never gotten around to reading it. I skimmed it a few weeks ago, and I saw it was a review of much of the stuff covered in all the other books I have read over the years, but I thought I would give it another try and looked to see if I could listen to the audiobook through my library. BINGO.

I loved it! I loved that the author read it, and it does have many of the things other books have on the subject of spiritual disciplines with emotional health being the one missing in those other books. I loved how he looked into his own background to see how he viewed God and related with other people. That is where this book goes above and beyond the other ones. I loved his great New York accent. 

I give this two thumbs up and cannot wait to interview that woman!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Freewrite Fifteen

I am going to talk to one of my bosses today in about 55 minutes. I am a bit nervous. I am going to tell him that I will be finishing up my involvement in the project by December 21st. I heard you on this, God. So, as much as I love this project, I need to have an end date to it to do what I really am made for. I have loved all the involvement that I have had with everyone, but God has other plans for me, and I have to realize that I don't always do well with the machine of an organization with me, and I prefer to move freely, seeing what God puts in my lap. So I want to articulate that vision clearly and succinctly to a person who doesn't quite "get" what my team is trying to do, even though he tasked us with it. So it is hard to have a task given to us and then have the people in charge not get it. 

On another note, (freewrites are there so I can switch subjects at will without caring that they have nothing to do with each other) I am going to take my vows for the Order of the Mustard Seed. I really like this group. I don't think I will do anything beyond leading a Prayer Watch. They seem to have their leadership team locked up pretty tightly. So I like that little slice of contribution, and I like being able to go to the prayer watches when I can. 

I had a long meeting with a directee yesterday. It was interesting and something I need to pray about, but I came away happy we caught up. I believe this person loves God, but I am not quite sure this person knows where she is going. I knew very specifically where I was going in terms of discipleship by her age. More importantly, investing in people. I am not sure they have caught that vision of investment. So I pray. I am so glad that this person is seeking. 

After meeting with one of these bosses, I will meet with one of the people on my team who has asked me to do spiritual direction. 

Then I get to pray for the world for one of my hour prayer slots. I am not sure how much longer I will be doing this. I have been at this for quite a while (two or three years), but this time commitment has been since January 1. I think I might transition to doing this over the course of every day for a week rather than one hours each week. It has been fun, but I will say my prayer apps that give me things to pray about have not been working! So weird. I don't know who to ask, but maybe this is a charge to discontinue and go back to praying through Operation World again. I love doing that, and I have been doing it periodically since 1984!

I have this strange sense of excitement and liberation about discontinuing my involvement with the group I have been in for a year. Less is more. As I reflected with Kim during lunch last Friday, I realized that I really am used to running my own show and being more independent. 

I have to decide about the 2HC that I am involved with. I love the people and the heart behind it. It is a very well-thought-out curriculum. I would recommend it. I find that I am not connecting with the group as much as I would like, and I wish I could, but all the women are Europeans, and there is a reticence that I cannot put my finger on. Feeling like an outsider still. 


There goes my timer. BYE!

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Friday and Sunday Freewrite

Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels

FRIDAY 9:30 am

Fifteen minutes for a freewrite/journaling session.

I am having an OK day. I decided that I wouldn't go to supervision. I love the Sisters, but I don't really feel like I am connecting with the group at all. I have one more session that I paid for, but I think I will bow out. I need to tell the Sisters no. 

I loved the Prayer time with the OMS this morning. Simply meditating through Ephesians 1. Scotty is a great leader, and I really enjoy working with him. 

I also like the time with the Scottish Jesuits and learning about Arrupe. I did not realize he was a medical doctor who work with Hiroshima victims. WOW! We meditated on Matthew 11:28-30 for fifteen minutes, and it is a passage I always go back to.

SUNDAY 11:04 am

Happy World Mental Health Day!

Well, I started this and never finished it on Friday. I don't know what happened, but it is now about the same time 48 hours later. So here I go.

Ah, what a difference 48 hours can make. I was a little unnerved, but I am so glad that 

1) Talked to my small group cohort co-leader about some things. He has created such a beautiful program for everyone, and I wanted to tell him that and ask him how he thought I was doing instead of letting little insecurities build up about the job I am doing. 

2) I did bow out of the Sisters' Supervision Group. It was not meeting my supervision needs. I am going to just let Fran do supervision and direction with me. I do so much better with that. There are so many little issues that I find coming up as I do all of this. I feel pretty good about my direction, but it is the little things like what do I do about keeping the time to one hour? What do I do about someone who does not pay me and I break my Code of Ethics by not mentioning it? What do I do when someone comes late? Or they don't come at all and do it more than once? What do I do when someone doesn't reschedule, and I wonder whether they want to keep on meeting? Do I contact them? Do I assume? If I don't know, I get insecure. All that said, Fran has already been very helpful about that.

3) I had to work through the insecurities that I felt about not knowing about the meeting last Thursday. It was because my email was set to having attachments come in and the new emails that were coming in were not at the top. So I missed a BUNCH of them for TWO WEEKS! I felt so stupid, but I think missing the meeting helped me to see that I had some unresolved issues with the leader of the group after our smaller group meeting last month. That prompted me to ask to meet privately with him. I still have to sort out all my thoughts about that, and I think that I will continue to ask God what he has for me to say. I think I have "dropped the stone" of unforgiveness about how I was treated in that meeting, but I feel led to tell him how I felt: as a member of his organization for 27 years and as a woman. It might not go well because I do not know him, but I do not feel this way in my secular job AT ALL. So it is weird to feel this way with a group I have been with for so long. I want to maybe help him see where he might be using his position and intimidating people, not because he is overpowering, but because he has to realize that because he is in a position of power people do not naturally want to stand up to him or tell him what they really think about things. I know it happens. I also know what it is like to lead and find out through the grapevine that people were not honest with me about how I was leading. So I just need to spend a lot of time praying about all of this. Am I scared? I don't think so. I will just have to listen as I go. I don't think I want to continue, and I need to tell him that, but I had already decided that December 21st was going to be the cut-off for me in this before I even met with him. There has to be an end to every project, and my partner has been discouraged about the fact that this will not necessarily change the culture. 

I have one minute and thirty seconds left.

On a wonderful note: I LOVE being back in the classroom. SURE, it is a royal pain to have to wear a mask and clean up things after people come in, but I get to talk to students again! That is what I love about my job. 


Thursday, October 07, 2021

Continuing Thoughts About Slowing Down


I have a prayer watch in an hour and fifteen minutes. So I will journal/freewrite for fifteen and then take a nice long walk before my bike ride. 

I think I realized that I have added another two or three layers to my plate, and this is where I am at. 

I would love to talk to my spiritual director, but she is not answering me. 

I think that going back to teaching in-person really is more time involved. It isn't as simple as putting out a mat on my living room floor and setting up my computer. It is riding my bike to campus, opening my room early, getting COVID sanitation things set before and after class; but I feel like the benefit far outweighs the cost:

1) Face-to-face with young people

2) Conversation instead of me alone in my living room talking to a computer with everyone's microphone muted

3) MUSIC that doesn't sound distorted and not a problem (because some people cannot hear it and other people can)

4) PROPS that I don't have to arrange for people to have to purchase or get from my boss

5) Extra time riding my bike that I probably would not do if I did not do it

6) Seeing the beautiful fall leaves turn as I ride

7) The hustle and bustle of a college campus

8) Extra income (not a big deal though)

So I do think I love being back, but I think it is more time than it was before, and if I go to two classes in subsequent terms, it will be even more time cleaning and adjusting because of COVID.

So, there is that. I providentially had one directee take a hiatus because she is doing the Spiritual Exercises and another has moved and transitioned (and I questioned after two sessions whether it really was a good foot for me and for her). I have one I don't know if she is going to continue because I have met with her a lot over the last four years, and she does not have a lot of time flexibility. So I have fewer directees now. That is great. I am wanting to transition from local to global directees too.

But I am still doing another group facilitation, and I started that before this class. I like it, but it is WAY more time than the 60 hours they originally told me it would be. So I am in a bit of a quandary about whether I would continue next year. Is it a good fit for me too? I am so much more a one-on-one director and co-leading a group has been awkward for me in many ways. I think the group is too big too. I would put people in groups of four. So I would have one leader for four instead of two leaders for eight of us. Not my call. I love most of the content though, and I am very familiar with it.

I am also leading a Prayer Watch. I love being IN the Prayer Watches, and leading one is pretty easy because it is a silent prayer time which I do anyway! So I like that, but it does involve time preparing. I like it though, but that is one thing that was added in the fall. 

I decided to not participate very much in the Book Babes this year too. I won't go to the picking party. They did not pick any of my books this last year, and I ended up leading one because all three of another person's books were picked. I am also uncomfortable with political discussions sometimes. Last time the majority were making comments about people who choose not to be vaccinated, and I think that is a personal choice (I am vaccinated, but I am not going to condemn my friends who are not.) I was uncomfortable with that. I really love those people though. I think I need a break for this season of my life. And the people that I am closest to are in the Renovare Book Club. So I am happy about continuing that. Maybe go back after I retired from OSU?

I am also seeing that my commitment to developing Abiding Resources has reduced since I got through the podcasts we already have. The rest will come in with a trickle, and I have asked the last seven to come in by December 1st so I can have them in by December 21. The rest are "icing on the cake" podcasts that can trickle in. I am happy to find resources for them during my break between March 10 and April 2 when we go on our big trip, but I won't be doing any more interviews after December 21. that is when I feel like the leadership of this sub-group will end. I think P can take it to another level. I think my money will run out by then too. I will hopefully transition more to spiritual direction within the organization. 

Renovare Book Club is going to start up again, but if I am not doing the other one, I will have the bandwidth. I love most of the books we read. I love the people. I love the resources they provide. So I think I can do that. So surprised they all wanted to continue too!

So I will drop Abiding and Power and Book Babes. I won't have the OMS Cohort next year either. So that will be good. I will sponsor Elizabeth and Claire though. I am also going to not do as many 1000 Books to Read Before You Die. I am getting to some I just DON'T LIKE!

I need to go on my walk. LOVE to write these days.

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Wednesday Journaling


Today's "Just One Minute" subject was "Slow Down." So I am going to be intentional about walking more slowly around the house and not rushing about. I also am going to go and have a Centering Prayer time after this journal/freewrite because I will not be doing it with the nuns of East Mosely today. It is the Wednesday IMAGINE! I miss doing them every week, but I have the OMS Prayer Watches, and they are a little more personal. 

Speaking of the Prayer Watches, I have loved them. I started in January and I do them pretty regularly. It is not every day, but if I am up at 5:30, I go ahead and join in. Today was weird, we had someone new to the Watch, and he made a blanket political statement, and I thought that was interesting being that I have never heard anyone lash out about a politician on a Watch before. It has happened in my Cohort a couple of times, but that was early on, and I wonder if my cohort leader said something because it has not happened in months. So it was a little unnerving for me. I have decided that I will just "Drop the Stone" of it (another subject in the "Just One Minute" course I am taking). I decided to move on from the Watch at that point, but it was almost over. So I don't think anyone even noticed that I did. I just think there is no place for political statements in a prayer watch. Just my opinion. I will disengage when that happens. 

I think I am finally over what I felt from Sunday. It felt good to go to class and have such a life-giving time with my students. I love my class this term, and I love my coworkers. They are all so nice and kind and easy to be around. I know that I cannot do this forever, but it is so good for me to get on my bike, rain or shine, and go and teach a class. It moves my body, engages my mind, and connects my heart. It does it all! So I will be there for at least another year. In fact, I am going to maybe do two classes in the Spring, but I won't start until May 2 in the middle of the term. That is because we are going on a trip to the Meditteranean in April. I am excited about that. They gave me the time off of work to do it. 

Well, I think that this has been long enough for me. Going to slowly move through my day. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Journaling on a Tuesday Morning


I think I just need to journal a bit. I know I always call these "freewrites," but in many ways, they are a journal.

I think I still have all the adrenaline running through my body from booking tickets for our Afghan friends. I feel like my journey with them will just involve prayer from now on. It has taken a lot out of me to do what he is asking me to do. It has been wonderful to find so many wonderful people who have given so generously for them to get out of the country. I want to turn my attention back to the women (and their family members) who are in the refugee camps now. That is where I am feeling led. 

All that said, I don't like to get pushy or bold or even angry! Sometimes anger is called "righteous," and my dear husband and my dear God has continued to tell me that what I did was OK, but the adrenaline that flowed through my veins as I stood up to J's stubbornness took a toll on me physically. I woke up at 12:30 last night in a sweat. I don't know why. I had slept peacefully for three hours, and then I just woke up. I had a lovely time reading my book though. That was so nice. I just don't like having to stand up to anyone. I feel so uncomfortable in those Type 8 shoes. I am connected to it, and my early learning told me that that Type 8 was the "bad" side of me. The type I go to in "stress," but J's message came to me while i was peacefully sipping a drink in my backyard and reading a soul-stirring book. There was a part of me that just "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I am sick and tired of your hesitating (because hesitating can get you killed). If your friend got out, why didn't you!!!" I needed to just be bold, and I know that, but I always hate the feeling I have after that. 

I have to go to teach my class today. I love teaching. I know once I get on my bike and go, I will feel great. I just got a late start this morning since I was up from 12:30-4 am. I had a VERY EARLY time with God. LOL! So I have not quite shaken off the sleepies (since I usually get up at 4:30). 

I am also trying to figure out my schedule for the next term. I feel the need to "pull in." Everything I do I love. I don't love the politics of one of my jobs. But the rest of what I do has me working with wonderful people. I know that one of my jobs needs to have an end to it. I have lost confidence in its leadership. The actual job is fun though. I have met so many warm and wonderful people. But I feel like I need to be done with it by the end of the year. 

Well, I better get going to class. One of my students is going to demonstrate for me. That will be really fun. 

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Reflections on Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength

Below is an excerpt from a blog. I am putting it here so I don't lose it over time. It is from: 

https://faithalone.org/blog/is-there-a-difference-between-heart-soul-and-mind/

Is There a Difference Between Heart, Soul, and Mind? — Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27

Another great and difficult question rolled in the other day:

I have a question I’m hoping you can answer for me. In Matthew 22:37 (also, Mark 12:30 and Luke 10:27) it seems that there is an implied distinction between “heart,” “mind,” and “soul”. Is it possible, though, that the writer was using these terms just to emphasize that we must love God with our entire being and that there really is no distinction between these terms? Or, if there is a distinction, what is it?

Tough question. How would you answer it?

I think the Lord is speaking of our entire being. However, that doesn’t mean that there are not distinctions between the heart, soul, and mind.

Heart, soul, and mind can be unique. But they can also be used interchangeably as often happens in the NT.

Heart = inward self where feelings, emotions, and thinking occur.

Soul = the entire inner person.

Mind = the inward part of us where thinking occurs.

As you can see, all three terms overlap in meaning like a Venn diagram. But they are not identical. So when speaking of the place where belief occurs, the NT authors can speak of the heart (Mark 11:23; 16:14; Luke 8:12; Rom 10:9) or the mind (Rom 12:2; 2 Cor 4:4) or even the soul (Acts 14:22 seems to fit in this regard).

I found this very helpful article on what the Biblical word heart means.

Here is an excerpt from that very helpful article: (https://faithbibleministriesblog.com/2012/07/06/the-heart-and-the-mind-what-the-biblical-word-heart-means/ 

Biblically

When both the Old and New Testaments speak about the heart, it never means merely human feelings (emotions).

The Biblical word “heart,” is the inner aspect of a man, made of three parts all together, with the primary part: the brain.

A Brain (The Mind)

   1) Mental Process, which is the major part (where action & reaction take place), which is to lead a person in their life.

   2) Emotions (which only process as a reaction), as icing to enrich our lives.

   3) Will, the seat of the will (discretionary, volitional, decision-making) where decisions are made between the rational and the emotive.

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...