• SoulSeeds
    • Ian Lawton moved to the U.S. in 2004 with his family (Partner Meg; children, Hugo, Darcy and Raina). They came so that he could begin the role of executive minister at C3/ Christ Community Church in Spring Lake,West Michigan. http://www.christ-community.net

Fierce Love

Love is the ultimate outlaw. It won’t adhere to rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question.

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Looking for a Christmas Miracle

When you see something so clearly, you inevitably wonder why it took so long to find the solution. It’s the same with so many things in life. Once you see reality clearly, you can’t believe it took you so long to see it. Suddenly everything becomes clear. When you fall in love, find your passion, realize an injustice, see nature’s beauty, it’s like scales fall off your eyes and everything becomes clear.

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Green Grass in Concrete

Don’t be discouraged or impatient. Nature reminds us that perseverance is not always a linear process but it always involves change. Human beings persevere the same way a leaf falls to the ground- back and forth, two steps forward and one step back. Be prepared to change and fall, many times and then get back up. Life can be a wild and unpredictable ride, but there is always more to come, more to learn and more to become.

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Moon to Earth – A Cosmic Perspective

This cosmic vision changes everything. The incredible thing is that from the moon, you don’t see people and animals and plants as if they are separate, you see patterns of light and shade. You see one small and fragile ball hanging like a mobile over a baby’s crib. It’s all one and not fragmented into human needs and earth needs. The needs are one and the same. Viewed from outer space, the borders between countries, the distinction between human and non human, rich and poor, man and woman, all become trivial.

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Up Close and Personal With Nature

If you’re the sort of person who is motivated by getting up close and personal with nature, then create plenty of opportunities to do that. Remind yourself that your life is dependent on the life of the earth, and your life affects the earth in every moment.

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Getting Real About the Planetary Crisis

If you take an honest look at the problem, it’s hard to ignore the role of our human lifestyle in creating the crisis. But what do you do about it? Is guilt or regret an effective motivator? Can we force ourselves to change our lifestyles, or is this just a band aid on massive scar?

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Putting Heart Back Into Earth Care

I’m yet to meet anyone who openly admits that they don’t care about the earth. We all SAY we care. The real question we need to ask is, “What are we prepared to do? How far are we prepared to go in our activism? Will we make radical changes to our lifestyle for the cause?”

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Emerging Spirituality and Awareness Conference- Session Previews

Beyond all the things that divide us, both from ourselves and each other, awareness brings us back to our essential oneness. In June 2014, Ian Lawton, founder of soulseeds.com, had a series of transformative conversations with renowned spiritual leaders from many traditions on the topic of awareness. Whether you caught the conference live or not, you can now access any or all of it in the way that best suits you. Find out more below about the DVDs, CDs and book version of the conference and increase the peace, both within and in the world. This conference has aired, but you can still own all 31 sessions!

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Ten Ways EVERY Church Pastor and Youth Worker Should Use Social Media

Every church pastor, and youth worker, should be using Social Media. Every church should also have an online strategy, but church strategies need to be bigger than their pastors. Pastors come and go, and for this reason, I’m a big advocate for pastors to have their own independent online presence. While pastors are in particular churches, their presence will inevitably direct traffic back to the church, but beyond that pastors will develop a non-local online tribe who will support them no matter where they are.

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Know You’re Not Alone

Community can’t make your problems go away, but it can remind you that you don’t have to face them alone.

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Beginning Well

Beginnings are a time to shake up your own assumptions, and others, and recommit to living with absolute authenticity. Materialism doesn’t bring as much satisfaction as you hope, familiarity doesn’t bring as much comfort as you expect, and security doesn’t bring as much peace of mind as you imagine. So set out, in tune with higher values like integrity and trust.

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For Fast Relief, Slow Down

There are many symptoms of a mindless fast life, and poor health IS one of them.

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Give Peace A Chance (w/Andy Holtgreive)- SOULSEEDS radio

Audio Sermon

There’s a cycle of violence in the world, and to a great extent we’ve all bought into it. None of us are innocent. Every one of us has a mind and a worldview and a responsibility to craft a worldview, a story; one that is full of peace, one that changes the cycle.

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Vision- Cleaning Your Lens

From SoulSeeds.Com

Your vision doesn’t have to be pretty, and it doesn’t have to conform to other peoples’ expectations. It just has to be clear. What if your vision is lost in a blizzard like mind fog? It’s sometimes hard to see past the demands of the moment to imagine life in the future.

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Change From the Inside Out

Imagine being truly happy, inside and out. Why not?
Imagine being completely at peace with yourself and the world. Why not?
Imagine living a life that matches your highest vision. Why not?
Imagine changing destructive habits with ease and replacing them with life affirming activities that fill your life with meaning. Why not?

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Heaven Within

I see no conclusive evidence for an afterlife. Having said that, I find enormous meaning and power in the metaphor of heaven and feel very motivated by the many ways we can manifest heaven both in this life and beyond our life.

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Soul Seeds

Lawton discusses the healing power of being present in the moment.

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Proposition 8 and Christianity

“When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one.” The epitaph on Leonard Matlovich’s tombstone. He served for 12 years in the U.S. Air Force, received exemplary ratings for his service in Vietnam, won a Bronze Star and Purple Heart. After revealing his homosexual orientation, he was dishonorably discharged.

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Love the Hell Out of Each Other

Hell is a religious myth intended to hold you captive to fear and the church’s teachings. Stand up to the myth and pull its beard. You will find that it comes off in your hand. You can not be denied. You are an adventurer, storming the gates of hell and fear.  The good news- There is no reason to believe there is an actual place of eternal suffering after life called hell.

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Authenticity

The way to be all that you can be is to be more yourself. I mean you right now, not after some spiritual makeover; but as you are now, without any pretence and with the layers of conditioned thinking stripped bare. When you hear an inner voice say, “Yes, I am fully myself and authentic in this moment”, then follow that voice. I’m talking about the sort of moments when your skin tingles with the goodness of life and your place in it. sbnr.org

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Meditation On Choice

Prayer is choice; choice about where you direct your thoughts and intentions, choice about where you place your hopes and desires, choice to slow down and focus on compassion. www.sbnr.org

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Global Ecology- How Big Is Your Backyard?

Will you love with a love so broad that you know that what happens in your backyard affects and is affected by what happens in the planetary backyard that we call the earth?

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Jesus and Buddha-Kindred Spirits

That is the core truth of Buddhism. We expect things to go well, and when they don’t, we suffer. The truth of Buddhism is that when we drop our desire for life to be different than what it is, at least a lot of our suffering will disappear as well. Drop the attachments, and the suffering will be dropped as well. That’s the way to enlightenment in Buddhism. You hear in the core teachings of Buddhism the bringing together of laughter and suffering, laughter as an image for accepting everything as it is, as perfect just now, and sorrow as an image for wanting it to be more hopeful. We hold those two things in balance all the time, and I believe the same is true in Christianity. Christianity also is an attempt to hold together laughing and sorrow. I want to suggest that as we move toward Easter that we might see this journey as that balance. You can’t have Good Friday without Easter Sunday. You can’t have Easter Sunday without Good Friday. Christianity at its essence brings together suffering and laughter.

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The Birth of the Third Jesus

Whatever you believe about the first and second Jesus, don't let it distract you from your essential humanity and life purpose. Something magical is taking place in your life. Your inner star is guiding you to a new consciousness. It might look rough like an old farm shed, and it might not be very grand, but it is a miracle none the less. Wise ones will gather around. They might not bow down and worship you as the Messiah, but they will nurture the birth of this new consciousness that you are part of them and they are part of you.

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Imagining a Progressive Revolution

Imagination is your memory of the future, not like a fantasy imagining things there are not really there, but really seeing what was awaiting your attention all along. The soul of the universe is whispering to you through her mythic imagination, calling you to action. Symbols, dreams, myths and stories bubble up in you, often from beyond your conscious awareness, carefree in the face of reason's tight lipped caution. When we meet in this space, the doors of imagination flung wide, we imagine the possibilities for a world filled with peace and justice, and say with clarity and passion, "Why not?"

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When Less Affiliation is Good News

What is the least religious state in America? Oregon. The most religious? Mississippi. Oregon, not Mississippi, reflects the emerging trend of the western world; cynicism about institutional religion and little desire to affiliate with any particular religion or denomination.

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Abundance and a New Earth

Consider what it means to be rich towards God during a recession. What does it mean to live with abundance when so many people are feeling anxious and fearful about the future?

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Progressive Christianity Values Life and Liberty

Briefly this morning I want to explore a progressive Christian notion of God, the Bible, and the after life.  I often speak about God within, between and beyond. I want to re-visit that idea for a few moments. Within you, resides the Inexpressible that is beyond words, concept, and thought. An exquisite bliss resides within you. Within you is the Inexpressible, Indescribable, Ineffable peace that passes all understanding.Most of us only have glimpses of this peace, but at moments of meaning or clarity or self growth or compassion, or a sense of higher purpose, you realize God within.

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Reclaiming Kingdom Before it Comes

You are here to be self-aware, and with your awareness to extend compassion to all that surrounds you, both people and earth. When you are truly aware, you can never be separate from anyone or anything. Any sense that your actions don't affect the whole is a delusion. Any sense that what happens to the earth doesn't affect you is also a delusion.

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Kindred Spirits in Moderate (Progressive) Islam

The progressive movement in Islam, though small and not well organized, is interested in regaining the true spirit of Muhammad and Muslims through the centuries, a spirit of peace, compassion and mercy. Those we would consider progressive Muslims more often describes themselves as moderate Muslims to distance themselves from the fanatical terrorist wings.

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Compassion and the God Between

One of the central symbols of the Christian tradition is the cross. When we move beyond the notion that Jesus died to appease God’s wrath at our sins and begin to see the symbol of Jesus as a human being holding in his body the suffering of the world, then we get closer to the essence of the origins of our Christian tradition. Just as Jesus was a human being holding in a bodily way the suffering of the world, so you have our own Christ consciousness, and in a sense you hold the pain of the world.

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Giving Thanks for the Good, the Bad and the Surprising

Ian Lawton is pastor of C3/ Christ Community Church in Spring Lake,West Michigan and on the TCPC Executive Coucil. What does it mean to live as if I am surrounded by miracles, even though the kids are fighting, the mortgage is overdue, there seems no end to global conflict and my back hurts? Who should I be grateful to, and for what?

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A Gigantic Global Drum Circle

There is a vitality, an enlivening energy that occurs when your vision manifests in action. Because you are the only one of you that has ever existed and ever will exist, this action is unique and essential to the evolution of Life. If you stay awake to this vital energy, and keep the channels of awareness open, you have realized the greatest success that a person can achieve. Don't get me wrong. It's rarely neat and tidy. It's not always satisfying. In fact there is usually a divine dissatisfaction about following your bliss. It is this blessed unrest that raises your life above the steady hum of the daily grind and makes your life work exceptional.

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Jesus Through the Eyes of Rumi, a Sufi Mystic

Occasionally throughout history, someone comes along and moves a religion
from being a pond religion to an ocean religion.  Someone comes onto the
scene and blows the lid off the top of religion, reforming it, transforming
it.  Jesus was one such figure.

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