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My last post at SpaceAgeSage was a few moons ago, but now I’m back in the saddle again ready to ride the blogging range. Many of my readers here knew of my martial arts background and desire to write books. That is all coming together!

The best news is I’ve started Think Like a Black Belt blog! Drop on by for a sneak peak before my official launch and full tweaking of the site to discover the how to defend yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. I’ve just started with a few posts, but more will be added soon! Topics I’ll be writing at Think Like a Black Belt are:

  • Basic Self Defense Moves
  • Mental Toughness
  • Unplugging from Emotional Predators
  • Martial Arts Wisdom
  • Frontline Stories
  • Kids & Self Defense

Coming soon to the site will be my e-book Think Like a Black Belt — 15 Personal Safety Tips. I’m excited it’s almost here because the information is vital for keeping safe, but it’s also a tremendous help to parents. Over 100 discussion questions — at least seven on each of the 15 tips — will help parents and older children explore self defense topics. More information on that soon-to-be-unveiled gem of self defense knowledge is here.

I’m also blogging at LoriHoeck.com, where I “Write just for the Hoeck of it”  — poems and prose, old stuff and new stuff, a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Thank you for stopping by and hope to see you in my new blogs soon:

Think Like a Black Belt



Oh yes, feel free to browse here at SpaceAgeSage, too, but I’m officially retiring it as I move on to more exciting writing!

Hello one and all,

I’ve been writing this SpaceAgeSage blog for just short of a year now.

Time for a change. 

I guess studying Ecclesiastes has made me realize this blog’s cycle is over.

Time to plant roots in a new blog (or two) and finish my novel.

Why the change?

  1. Months of writing Morning Pages kept revealing one thing I need to do: Let go and let God.
  2. Ancient wisdom or self help books have great information, but the only thing that keeps me truly growing and changing is a relationship with God and his Word.
  3. My sense of the upcoming year for the U.S. is not rainbows, butterflies, and singing happy songs.
  4. I’ve put a lot of myself into this blog as part of a cathartic need, but I’ve not designed it for large readership or monetization.
  5. Posting to SpaceAgeSage has not improved my writing.  I’ve enjoyed writing more for self expression rather than for the art of writing. It’s time for me to delve more into the artistry of words.

Thanks to those who have stuck by my SpaceAgeSage blog. I’ve learned a lot about myself from the process:

  1. Weaknesses and strengths may take longer to show up online, but they eventually do.
  2. Writing is more about yourself, your ego, and your heart than you may realize.
  3. When a certain passion fades, it’s time to reassess the roots of that passion.

To my fellow bloggers, I’ve learned a lot from you all:

  1. Distances don’t mean hearts and minds need to be so far apart.
  2. Even if they are one sentence long, words of encouragement help lift and heal.
  3. Sharing knowledge builds community because people don’t listen until they know you care.

I’m not sure what’s next. I plan to publish and promote an e-book, finish and publish a techno-thriller, and start another blog or two that are in the mental works. I want to ramp up my writing so that I post higher quality prose — perhaps even poetry. Caregiving for my mom has taken a rough turn and her denial of certain limitations has created a lot of stress for me that has affected my health so I need to focus on my own well-being for awhile, too.

When something concrete happens, I’ll let you know with another post here.

Thanks to you all and be seeing you in comments here and there.

And to all bloggers, here’s a quote I think most of you can appreciate:


A reporter interviewing A.J. Muste, who during the Vietnam War stood in front of the White House night after night with a candle, one rainy night asked,”Mr. Muste, do you really think you are going to change the policies of this country by standing out here alone at night with a candle?” Muste replied, “Oh, I don’t do it to change the country, I do it so the country won’t change me.”
~ Andrea Ayvazian ~

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Photo credit: speech path girl

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As I’ve noted in my last posts, I’m studying the ancient and timeless wisdom found in the book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible, starting with the passage I wrote about here.

Each line of this passage describes life’s unchanging and changing natures by showing opposites that aren’t in contradiction, but rather part of a spiral or cycle. The first lines are:

A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

Having grown up on a farm where we had a small herd of cattle, these words make sense to me on a deep level. Animals, for the most part, have shorter life spans than we do. Watching their life cycles in miniature to ours helped me realize early on that all life begins and ends within a bubble of time.

In other areas of our lives, many things are born and die: ideas are born and die, emotions are born and die, friendships are born and die.

Once we understand the cyclical nature of life, we plant where we hope the most healthy growth will develop. It takes a while to learn this, so sometimes we have to uproot what is planted. For example an alcoholic may plant friendships with a bunch of hard-drinking buddies, but then realize she must uproot from those friendships for awhile to get sober. The same applies to drug addicts, gang members, or those whose “friends” use them more than love them.

The planting and uprooting concept also applies to work. Some of us are being uprooted because of recent economic downturns and some of us are choosing to make changes for the better. In the later case, Sean of the blog Writer Dad has moved from running a pre-school with his wife to working online as a writer and entrepreneur. He writes of his sink or swim life changes:

Drive to work, finish the week, cash your paycheck, purchase the essentials (alongside the frivolities), buy some more, refinance, drench yourself in sweat the second the economy buckles…I’d rather sink or swim.  The old way just isn’t enough …If life isn’t working, change your behavior.  Do without.  Go hungry.  A diet doesn’t have to be about food.  Find what you want from life, then figure out a way to work toward it.  I knew what I wanted, and I gave myself a year. Half the pages have fallen from that calendar and right now I’m surrounded by nothing but blue.

(Feel free to drop by and encourage him and his family!)

The comedian George Carlin had a completely different take on life and cycles which I have to include here as a bit of levity on such a heavy subject:

The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating    …   and you finish off as an orgasm.

How do you see life cycling around you?

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Photo credit: speech path girl

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Blog writing has been a process of discovery for me. Reading and chiming in on other blogs has helped as well. Even Twitter opened my eyes to some realizations.

But it was reading a book in the Bible called Ecclesiastes again recently that finalized some insights for me. The author of Ecclesiastes had enough money, clarity, and power to explore every pleasure he desired. He could say that he really did do it all, had it all, and explored it all. At the end of his life, he realizes that there is “nothing new under the sun.”

I’m beginning to realize it, too.

This book of the Bible was written by King Solomon. Eugene H Peterson, author of the The Message translation of the Bible, writes this in his introduction to Ecclesiastes:

Unlike the animals, who seem quite content to simply be themselves, we humans are always looking for ways to be more than or other that what we find ourselves to be. We explore the countryside for excitement, search our souls for meaning, shop the world for pleasure. We try this. Then we try that. The usual fields of endeavor are money, sex, power, adventure, and knowledge.

Everything we try is so promising at first! But nothing ever seems to amount to very much. We intensify our efforts — but the harder we work at it, the less we get out of it …

Ecclesiastes is a famous — maybe the world’s most famous — witness to this experience of futility. The acerbic wit catches our attention. The stark honesty compels notice. And people do notice … more that a few of them are surprised to find this kind of thing in the Bible … Ecclesiastes actually doesn’t say much about God; the author leaves that to the other sixty-five books of the Bible. His task is to expose our total incapacity to find the meaning and completion of our lives on our own … It is an exposé and rejection of (the) expectation that we can live our lives by ourselves on our own terms.

After my last post in which I quoted a famous passage in Ecclesiastes, Jean Browman wrote:

I love those words. They’re so much richer than the overly simplistic self-help stuff we sometimes encounter.”

Barbara Swafford wrote,

There’s so much truth in each line, and like you, it’s taken me years to figure it out.”

Hmmm …

Let me ask you, dear readers, this:

Do you think the echo chamber of the internet — the tendency of bloggers and social media users to repeat similar posts and discussions — is an indication that there really is, as the author of Ecclesiastes writes, “nothing new under the sun?”  In other words, if we all talk together online for a hundred or a thousand years, will we (on our own) find any truly new answers to the age old questions?

After being in a legalistic cult for several years, I found my well-worn Bible to be an irritant for years. Every time I opened it, I could see and hear preachers of my past explaining a non-authentic view of Christianity. My side notes, the dog-eared chapter tabs, and underlined passages all reminded me of wrong teachings, things that pulled me away from God.

I used another Bible for awhile, one with no tell-tale memories, but then I discovered The Message translation by Eugene H. Peterson which uses contemporary language. It renewed the life and energy of the many messages in the Bible for me. Nowadays, I can pick up any Bible, including my old, heavily used one and it doesn’t matter, but The Message still has a warm place in my heart.

I recently picked it up again to read Ecclesiastes. Most people have heard this passage from that chapter of the Bible. Here first is the New International Version‘s translation:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

The Byrds used similar words in their song Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season).

I had to laugh when I went to get the YouTube link for this song. One of the comments came from Ronoc62 “… I don’t completely understand the song but I like it anyway.” The words sum up how I thought about this passage most of my life, too.

Here’s The Message version:

There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth:

A right time for birth and another for death,
A right time to plant and another to reap,
A right time to kill and another to heal,
A right time to destroy and another to construct,
A right time to cry and another to laugh,
A right time to lament and another to cheer,
A right time to make love and another to abstain,
A right time to embrace and another to part,
A right time to search and another to count your losses,
A right time to hold on and another to let go,
A right time to rip out and another to mend,
A right time to shut up and another to speak up,
A right time to love and another to hate,
A right time to wage war and another to make peace.

These few words — no matter if you sing them or rephrase them — speak so eloquently to the changeability of time, chance, and life. They also reveal the value of wisdom from a lifetime of experience, from having “been there; done that,” from having seen the robust nature of humanity in all its facets.

It’s taken me almost 50 years to figure this passage out. I learned because I’ve “waged war” when it was time for peace — and vice versa; I’ve sat counting my losses when my time would have been better searching —  and vice versa; and I’ve tried to reap from a field I did not adequately plant — and vice versa. I learned by doing and by making mistakes. That is what much of life is all about, yes?

I plan to write a few posts about the wisdom of Ecclesiastes in future posts, with a special emphasis on the contemporary language used in The Message translation.

Until then, I would ask:

What do you think of these words about the changing seasons and times of life?

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Photo credit: speech path girl

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