Perfecting Love

If God is love, then God is something we do, rather than somebody or something we try to believe in. If God is love, then God is a relationship, and not a Guy in the Sky or some other kind of supernatural entity. If God is love, God is nothing to fear. If God is love, when we really love someone – even of another religion, or of no religion at all – God is in that relationship, blessing it. So these three words wipe away all the theological debates about science and common sense versus religion. These three words sweep away the problem of evil, the perennial conundrum of how an all-powerful God could love people while allowing horrible things to happen to them. If God is love, then God is not in charge of the universe. Love is extremely powerful, but it is not directive. Love does not force anybody to do anything, nor to force anything to do anything to anybody. If God is love, then God is omni-attractive, not omni-potent.

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Peace is Like Warm Syrup

I think each of us is born with a place of grace, a spot free of regret, disappointment, fear, shame and loneliness. To me it’s that untouched place from which is birthed love, joy, compassion, kindness and peace. Throughout our lifetime though, this place can become clouded over and we may lose touch with it from being wounded and hardened by life. Yet this place of pure grace remains untouched. Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, defines peace as harmony and tranquility derived from the awareness of the Christ, or unitive, consciousness. I believe it is known by many names including what is called Atman, Oneness, Buddha Nature, Tao, and what Jesus called Love, and we embody it when we become aware and awaken this consciousness, known as our Most Noble Self.

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Trill LeBeau of Cosmic Serenity – No Lies (Music Exchange Session)

Trill taught himself to sing and play guitar at 19 in college. He would sit in the racquetball court, turn the lights out, and as he likes to say, Experiment with the Experience. Diving Further In to his roots, and listening through his ancestors, he has found a voice and essence that is as captivating as it is charismatic. With a side note of comedy, and an eccentric yet eclectic fashion style, Trill LeBeau (singer/songwriter) and younger brother Collin “Jaledub” (percussionist) make up Cosmic Serenity. They are also often joined sporadically and nomadically with other beautiful Creatures of Creation, while exploring the features of a full band, or with Trill as a solo artist.

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The Inward Journey, the Outward Gaze

Progressive Mysticism with Julian of Norwich

Theologian Karl Barth once counseled, “Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.” In graduate school over 40 years ago, I heard a modification of Barth’s wisdom, “The preacher should have the New York Times in one hand and the Bible in the other.” This advice surely applies to the spiritual seeker and social activist as well. We must have our eyes trained on eternity while boldly living in our time and place. Touching eternity, the cosmic wisdom of God, grants perspective and hope in the moral arc of history. But the wide perspective – our hope in God’s arc of justice – is of value only if it guides our pathway in responding to the unique challenges of our time.

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Going Where We’ve Never Been

The turning of the calendar is meaningless in many ways. What really matters is how much of the past dominates our minds. Entering a new year can be powerful if we first set aside our resentments and pain of past disappointments and hurts. Moving into the future can be a time to discover new worlds, new friendships, new love.

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Christmastide* Greetings

I hope you’ve been having a restful and reflective season. And, I realize that, for many of us, this has been a difficult season – whether simply feeling the weight of national and global tensions and tragedies, or the pain often borne uniquely in our immediate context.

I carried this paradox with me in my conversation with my dear friend Alexander John Shaia yesterday. It was our final Make Advent Great Again dialogue, and it’s too good not to share with you

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Family, Friends, Food, Credit Card Debt, Guilt, and Resentment

While there never has been a “war on Christmas” there has been plenty of debate among Christian sects as to its “true meaning.” There is, of course, no mention of the holiday in scripture and the two birth narratives in the gospels tell such different stories that we can be thankful that they at least agree on the name of the baby. But if we allow ourselves to ask our modern culture that it really means, beyond the shopping, gift giving, and requisite office parties, the culture, from Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” and Hollywood’s classics, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” and “A Miracle on 42ndSt.,” it would seem that the true meaning of Christmas is a change in an individual’s heart from being cold, distant, and unloving into something more loving, joyful, and generous. That’s a conversion narrative that isn’t especially religious and, with Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, I will say, “God bless it!”

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What Type of Kindness Will Make You Happy?

For World Kindness Day, we wanted to know what type of kind act brings the most happiness. The results are in and may surprise you!

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What Child is This: A Christmas at Bremmer’s Novel

When a baby is abandoned on the loading dock of the second-largest Christmas store in the world, it kicks off a heartwarming mystery that will fill you with the Christmas spirit.

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Spiritually Literate Holiday Gifts

Examples of gifts that have meanings attached to them and reflect spiritual practices from the Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy.

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Maybe God is Too Big

Belief is giving of one’s mind, faith is giving of one’s heart – this is focusing on the smallness of God. Like I said, maybe God is too big sometimes. If so, then start practicing the smallness by the giving of your heart – to yourself, to a loved one, a stranger, and the one unrepeatable moment just barely in the peripheral vision of your world.

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Evensong Sermon

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

This is one of my favorite passages in the Christian Scriptures. Imagine someone coming to you, with soft-voiced compassion and saying, “I will give you rest for your soul.” Wouldn’t you want to learn more? Yes, yes, please… and how can you do that?

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On the 50th Anniversary of Thomas Merton’s Death

Monday, December 10th marks the 50th anniversary of Thomas Merton’s death—which has now been confirmed as a martyr’s death by the recent solid and important investigative study, The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton by Hugh Turley and David Marin (as well as by my own encounters over the years with three CIA agents who were in Southeast Asia at the time).

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Darkness In The Light: Depression During the Holidays

Regardless of whether it is seasonal, situational or clinical, the experience is one of disconnection – from life. You identify as the Outsider, not belonging anywhere. The brain says you “should” feel differently, but you don’t. There is nothing more bleak than being alone “in the cold,” left out, hungry and lost in the dark while you look around and see others are gathered around the fire – the flames of life – sharing happiness, family, joy, peace and friendship.

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I Pray Anyway: Devotions for the Ambivalent

I Pray Anyway. Devotions for the Ambivalent by Joyce Wilson-Sanford is comprised of 365 daily reflections and 12 monthly personal stories. It tells of the author’s return to a prayer/devotions practice as she shares her own very naked, very funny, very touching prayers and reflections.

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I Pray Anyway PLAYbook

Discussion and Workshop for I Pray Anyway: Devotions for the Ambivalent

PLAYbook for I Pray Anyway: Devotions for the Ambivalent is a creative, thought provoking guide/curriculum based on the book I PrayY Anyway: Devotions for the Ambivalent by Joyce Wilson-Sanford.

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Will you join us in this quest to enliven Christianity for the sake of all Creation?

********** Review of 2018 **********

When you give, we are able to continue to create meaningful children’s curriculum that has the power to shape the future of our world by impacting thousands of communities worldwide. When you give, we are able to maintain a website that is a global community and open source for progressive Christians everywhere. When you give, we are able to support authors, activists, leaders, teachers, liturgists, musicians and theologians to share their explorations and creations with a global audience. When you give, we are able to partner and work closely with other organizations making sure to support the movement — and not just our place in it. We are leading dynamic explorations in theology and sharing expansive and relevant ways to practice devotion.

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New Creation with Matthew Fox (Video) + A Community Offering for You This Holiday Season

Hi friend,Are you looking for community on the way to Christmas?

Make Advent Great Again just might be what you’re looking for.

We’re back to compassionately struggle – not against some fabricated ‘war on Christmas,’ but against the steady dehumanization that attempt to desecrate God’s image in the face of each other – the war on Advent.

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