Book Review: “Breakthrough” by John C. Robinson

John Robinson takes on a challenge that befuddles most of us in this interesting and even challenging book, Breakthrough. How does a scientist, or in this case a psychologist, deal with someone who has had a deeply, life changing spiritual experience, and yet has had no religious or spiritual experience himself. Most professional psychologist are not trained for this kind of thing, and Tom was no exception.

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Worship Materials: Bible Sunday

From the Festive Worship collection

1. Without an overview of the Bible it is very easy to gain an erroneous impression of what the Bible is all about.
2. Look behind the words to the people.

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A Clay-Revealed Divinity

A pale lump of moistened clay was sitting on the ground Amid the vastness of nature, God’s creation all around Its undefined shape and chemical substance just laid there No special object of beauty or reverence at …

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Fears of Faith

Some leaves in winter dangle on
Though wrinkled, fragile, old

Stubborn leaves that flinch on empty trees
Through cruel storms in damning cold

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Worship Materials: Human Relationships, Endings

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

Nothing lasts forever in the same form.
To feel that one cannot let go of another person is to experience possessiveness rather than love.
Love is not ownership. Seek to capture love and all you catch is the cold of manipulation.

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Worship Materials: Human Relationships, Beginnings

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

Romance is only healthy within the context of our love for life, for the mystery, for the divine. Without it romance will be a vain pursuit of a total oneness which it cannot provide.

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Worship Materials: Beginnings and Endings

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

1. Buried in every beginning is an ending.
2. The exit from one world is the entry into another.
3. To attempt to hold on to what has already gone is to live in a world of unreality.

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Book Review: “Inside the Miracle” by Mark Nepo

Mark Nepo is a poet and philosopher who has taught in the fields of poetry and spirituality for more than 40 years. Inside the Miracle is his 16th book. We have happily profiled him in S&P’s Living Spiritual Teachers Project. He focuses his writing and teaching on the process of inner transformation and the salutary dimensions of relationship. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.

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Inside the Miracle: Enduring Suffering, Approaching Wholeness

In the midst of our most trying circumstances lives a miraculous gift-a healing process that shapes our journey of becoming our better, more wholehearted selves. With Inside the Miracle, bestselling author Mark Nepo presents his latest book, offering a collection of poems, reflections, and essays that explore how we can inhabit the endless reservoir of aliveness that abides within our most difficult challenges.

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The Dragon King

The Dragon King is an overcoming all obstacles children’s hero story inspired by the real life circumstances of a boy named Ethan who was severely burned in 2006. It’s a story about magic–and dragon fire, a razor sharp horn, a battle in the sky, green scales and dragon tears. But more than that, it is a remarkable journey of courage, compassion and the power of imagination to forge one’s own destiny.

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Worship Materials: The Year

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

Each day can be a life time.
Time is the enemy only if we let it control our lives.
Time is redeemed by timeless moments.

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Worship Materials: Forgiveness Litany

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

All of us have experienced mental or physical suffering at the hands of other people. But each of us has also brought suffering to others.
However when we are unwilling to forgive, we deny the essence of God’s loving-kindness, and deprive ourselves of the healing for which our life-force longs.

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No shallow prayer

No shallow prayer
but words which plumb
the depth of our desire,
to which we might aspire.

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We Light these Lights

A new prayer for Hanukkah by Rabbi Brant Rosen

We light these lights
for the instigators and the refusers
the obstinate and unyielding
for the ones who kept marching

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Worship Materials: Birth

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Birth is a miracle but not magic.
2. To relive our birth is a challenging, awesome and therapeutic experience.
3. With such complex origins how could I possibly imagine that I am simply an ordinary person.

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Where Are You?

Where are you, my Comfort?
In fears, apprehensions
Disruptions, grief, delays

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Heaven on Earth

A Thanksgiving Reflection in the Midst of a Terrorized World

Like many others, the Thanksgiving holiday is another reason I love the autumn season. The occasion gives us the allocation of a few fleeting moments to pause and express appreciation for whatever we have, but only for the time being.

In a world either terrorized or abused by those who have little regard for it, it has become downright dangerous and nearly complicit, to encourage the illusory notion of any sweet by-and-by; expecially for those who can’t seem to wait for it. If there is to be any knockin’ on heaven’s door, the place is always here, and the time is always now.

Since none of us can imagine with any certainty whatsoever that unknown reality from whence we have all come, all we can really know is what is. And, considering all those most authentic, very earthy and non-religious parables Jesus used to try to describe a “reign of God” – or, if you prefer, “kingdom of heaven” – they all seemed to be very much of this earth, and the stuff of daily life.

I do not believe in any afterlife of my own. And I’m done with any notion of a heaven that is anywhere else than on the face of this earth; with whatever we make of it, and for the time being. The poet, Robert Browning, once wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?” The painfully obvious fact that we have so utterly failed to grasp such a paradise, does not yet mean we should hold back our reach of it.

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Worship Materials: Trinity

From the Festive Worship collection

THEME The many and the one – Images of the imageless God.

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION
1. Do not let the Christian doctrine of the Trinity alienate you from the oneness of God; for God is both the many and the one.

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