Starting Spiritual Direction: A Guide to Getting Ready, Feeling Safe, and Getting the Most Out of Your Sessions

Rev. Dr. John R. Mabry can help. He has been a spiritual director for nearly twenty years, and is the director of the interfaith spiritual direction certificate program at the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, California.

Starting Spiritual Direction is one of the first books on spiritual direction written for people who are receiving spiritual direction, rather than giving it. In a friendly, easy-to-read style, Dr. Mabry tells you everything you need to know to make your spiritual direction sessions a sacred and fruitful time.

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Microdosing on Christianity

It’s been a thing for a while in Silicon Valley. Computer engineers, seeking a creative edge, take small doses of hallucinogens on a regular basis. They claim it enhances their problem-solving capacities without impairing their ability to function. (Having lived in that part of the world for over two decades, I can attest that while IQ’s are high in Silicon Valley, EQ’s – emotional intelligence quotients – are often not up to par. Folks in that business already get away with odd behavior, so who notices or cares if they microdose on the job?)

Hearing about this phenomenon got me to thinking. What else could people microdose, to good effect? Then it dawned on me that Christianity might well be a candidate.

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Prayer and Prayings

I need to address this important subject because prayer is such a significant part of public church services and also it can be a vital part of one’s personal religious life.  Some people engage in praying very frequently and regularly.  Some people call it a time of meditation, a quiet time, time given to God, or something else.    For many people, they feel it is an important way in which they can grow in their personal relationship with God.  However many in the church have serious questions about prayer; how it works and if it does.

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Hymn: Stand up, stand up for justice

For righteousness and peace
In places of oppression
Let love and hope increase.

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Post 9-11 Sewing Circle

As a peace activist opposed to war, and later as a bagpiper serving with the Vietnam Vets honor guard in Florida and Texas, I played at many military funerals. None is a happy occasion. The saddest moment, for me, was the flag folding ceremony. This reflection is drawn from those rituals. Sam Gould’s poem, Don’t Stand to be Recognized, comes to mind.

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Hymn: Sung to “My Jesus I Love Thee”

Here in the stillness we come face to face
With life giving presence, and unfolding grace.
Refreshment of spirit, renewal of mind,
These are the gifts we are destined to find.

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A new hymn for the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation

God, you made your good creation and you hold it in your care —
From each starry constellation to each forest under-layer.
Tiny creatures, mountain splendor, rivers, lakes and ocean floors —
You are loving, kind and tender in your care for what is yours.

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In Pursuit of Silence

This award-winning film is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound, and the impact of noise on our lives. Be inspired to experience silence and celebrate the wonders of our world.

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Beauty Beckons

Beauty beckons us to seek her face
To find in her both awe and grace

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Hymn: Building a community

Building a community of love and grace
Reaching out and drawing in we make a place
Where all can live in unity and find the space
To live and grow in such amazing grace

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Reading Between The Lines, Adult Curriculum (Electronic and Hard Copy)

Reading Between The Lines is a lectionary based life-centered biblical resource designed for small group youth and adult education in church and home, for individual study or as an aid to preachers. One of the texts from the Revised Common Lectionary is chosen each Sunday. The exploration begins with encountering the story found in the biblical text. The focus then shifts to how this story is happening in the world around us. Finally the questions turn toward how the story is an event in the lives of the people in the group. The journey through the text seeks life-giving questions that wait to be lived.

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Credo Novum

I trust
One Eternal Presence,
God of Scripture,
the I am and I will be,
Creative force of the universe, the Source of life.

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The Power of a Daily Practice

We all know yoga is good for us, but what are the real benefits of having a daily practice? From dealing with stress to spiritual transformation, Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, Ph.D., explains the profound changes that come from a regular yoga practice.

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Time And A Created Universe

I am speculating that few people would argue with the concept that all life forms exist as developing entities that are superimposed on an intangible flow we call time. As self-conscious humans, we seem to have an innate awareness of the advance of “something” where change can be perceived as rather sudden and dramatic or almost imperceptible. Our lives are lived with this backdrop of measured, forward advance in units ranging from nanoseconds to eons. We are all familiar with our time-reckoning devices such as clocks and calendars as everyday aids to help govern our daily behaviors through the passage of our lives.

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A Word of Hope

A couple days ago, I asked my social media friends how they were feeling right now and if they were holding up under the stress of the news. More than 300 people commented. The most often used words were “exhausted,” “angry,” “sad,” “overwhelmed,” and “helpless.”

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None the Matter Where it Goes

Maybe it is that I am casting old eyes aside
cautiously lingering after my two old friends that served
Maybe this is the time of slow wandering to ponder lost moments
Careful to seek a place where stern voices cannot find me
Willing to go anywhere at this unfamiliar pace to open new eyes

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A New Lord’ Prayer For A New Time With The Same Lord

  Beloved Spirit, holy, wise, and merciful: We live in You. We offer ourselves, that You may live in us. We move and think, touch and reach out to all Creation by Your given life within us. …

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Prayers for Progressive Christians, A New Template

Morwood goes beyond “devotion and spiritual practice” in “Prayers for Progressive Christians, A New Template”. In the first part of the book he summaries the key theological shifts that necessitate changes to liturgical, group and personal prayer. In the second part he demonstrates how these major shifts in theological thinking can be incorporated into a new template for meaningful, contemporary prayer.

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