~SOUNDINGS~: Exploring the Depths of God and the Universe – Contents and Introduction

by Frank L. Jordan III

~SOUNDINGS~ Final Front Cover

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PRESS 333
PO Box 9785
Norfolk, VA  23505
www.press333.com

Copyright © 2011 by Frank L. Jordan III

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the author and/or publisher.

Cover image: This composite picture of the Helix Nebula, often called the Eye of God, was created by the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

ISBN-13:  978-0-6155-5462-4
ISBN-10:  0-6155-5462-4

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For my mother and father—of the Silent Generation,

my wife—of the Baby Boom Generation,

my daughter—of Generation X,

my son and stepdaughter—of Generation Y,

and my granddaughter—of Generation Z,

and really …

For all of their generations

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CONTENTS

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         Introduction

PART I: The Essentials

     1. Manifestation – here

     2. Collaboration – here

     3. Processes – here

     4. Evolution – here

     5. Humanity – here

     6. Presence and Absence – here

     7. Sensation – here

PART II: The Effects

     8. Chance – here

     9. Time – here

     10. Environments – here

PART III: The Obstacles

     11. Death – here

     12. Natural Disasters – here

     13. Accidents – here

     14. Disease – here

     15. Mental Illness and Disability – here

     16. Evil – here

PART IV: The Interventions

     17. The Chosen – here

     18. The Man – here

     19. The Exalted Way – here

     20. An Inspired Life – here

     21. A Matter of Balance – here

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Introduction

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God is real. I know that God is real because I’ve personally experienced the love, presence, and power of God at key points in my life. Usually these have been times of extreme crisis, but God’s love has flowed during good times also. The elation I felt when my two children were born was from God, although I didn’t fully realize it at the time. The enveloping love that grew over a four-day religious retreat took me by surprise.

I’ve also experienced God’s transforming power during many of the realizations I had that make up the contents of this book. I consider most of these “good time” experiences. But some of the realizations came only after I had had a profound conversion experience, a conversion that occurred during one of the worst crises of my life. At one point in our marriage, my previous wife and I were on the brink of a serious separation when I realized that I would never be the father that I had always wanted to be for our children—our daughter, then eight, and son, seven—and that that would hurt them. All of a sudden this incredible love swept over me, filling my heart with joy, and I knew it was from God. I knew it was God’s love because there was a presence and a power to it. This love knew me intimately, was closer to me than my very breath.

Even though my previous wife and I did still separate for a few months, this life-changing event was key to us being able to reunite at that time. We would remain together for ten more years, years that I’m certain helped shape our children into the wonderful young people that they now are. I am proud to have been their full-time,  live-in dad during that time.

It was from this conversion experience that I learned that God is Pure Love, that he loves us passionately, and that there are times when this love breaks through in a profound way. I can’t say for certain, but it’s possible that some of the realizations I had before my conversion—many of which are found in this book—could have contributed to my being able to receive that experience when I did. God only knows where I would be, and how my children’s lives would have been impacted, if I hadn’t received it.

The views put forth here—my soundings—took many years to develop. They have enabled me to reconcile aspects of my faith with much that modern science has to teach us. They have offered me comfort and peace during the deaths of all four of my grandparents in the same year, the loss of a close aunt to colon cancer, the tragic death of my younger brother in a car crash, and the loss of a beloved stepmother to Alzheimer’s. They helped me make sense of the world when my defenses came crashing down in the midst of an emotional breakdown—an episode that has even worked its way into the pages of this book, and will resonate in me for the remainder of my days.

I offer these soundings as a possible comfort and support to others. I don’t believe these poetic essays will in themselves save anybody. Only the Spirit of God can do that. But I do believe that they offer unique, contemporary explanations for many of the dynamics between God and the natural universe—explanations that could help tear down some of the walls between us and Pure Love. In the process, I’ve tried to articulate with some clarity a worldview that is often otherworldly. I hope I’ve succeeded.

God knows I’ve tried.

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