Bound Consciences

While visiting Jerusalem in November 2017, I attended an interfaith book launch for a book written by a Palestinian Arab Christian. At the reception, I spoke with an Evangelical Lutheran pastor about her church in Jerusalem and asked how Jews, Christians and Muslims treated the LGBTQUI community in the Holy Lands. She told me that many of the people in her congregation had “bound consciences.” She then explained that those two words meant the church members were working out how to accept the gay community in both their personal and their church lives. Huh?

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What’s really important in life?

Because we are here – God’s DNA is in all of us, and he gave us a mind and a conscious and a passion for life to live it to the fullest. Keep your heart and mind open to all that surrounds you and figure out for yourself what is important in life. Be glad that you were able to witness this wonderful world the short time you will be here.

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Stigmatizing Hunger – A SNAP Decision

  Order this and other biblically-based social justice posters from LA artist John August Swanson Many millions of hungry people got fed, effectively and cost-efficiently, choosing the food they needed in supermarkets like anyone else.  Farmers and …

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What If…

What if Jesus is our mirror, so we are like him, eternally and unconditionally beloved sons and daughters of God. What if we cannot be separated from God, because we are already embraced and enfolded in God, and God is already in us? What if that’s what baptism is really about? Not a sectarian, conditional, invisible bar code for access to the love of God, but the outward visible reminder that we are all, already, One with God and each other? All: all races, all colors, all genders, all creeds/none, all religions/spiritualities/none.

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Integral Church: A Handbook for New Spiritual Communities

This handbook is perfect for clergy, healers, therapists, interfaith ministers, as well as those interested in developing their own spiritual practice or starting their own home church, study group or community using integral frameworks.

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Another Take On Blessing

Entrenched theists can go on believing that their God can interfere with the natural processes of existence by conveying her blessings on chosen individuals or groups. If you want to believe that God blesses America, you can, but be aware that it is an empty phrase.

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Meeting hate with love.

Be like the peacemakers. Be like those who do not fight violence with violence. Find common humanity and celebrate it. Talk with people. Love people. Because hate does not dispel hate. Darkness cannot take darkness away. Only light can do that. Only love can cure what ails us.

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Patience, Anger and Compassion

Patience is not a beast we can slay and master.
Rather, patience is an adversary ever rising to do battle with us again.
The universe seems to conspire to always test our mettle.
We level up, we have more patience than we ever have had, and, again, yet and assuredly again, there arises a new situation that will demand yet more and more of us. We cannot win against patience.
At best, we can keep our calm for longer and longer than ever before.

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New from Award-Winning Author Diana Butler Bass

Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks

The author of the multiple award-winning “Grounded” and leading trend spotter in contemporary Christianity explores why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offers practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminates how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls.

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Prayer of Confession

O God who suffers at our spiritual and ethical failings, and rejoices at the turning to virtue of our hearts and spirits: We confess that we have gone astray by our thoughts, words, and deeds. We have been irresponsible by what we have done, as well as what we have left undone.

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The Transformative Power of Listening

Robin Grille shares a powerful story on the transformative power of listening to children and on our innate need for connection.

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To be a we …

Is actually a we
The what I am is what you are
There is no separate me
For I don’t weigh a single pound
Nor look a single see
I can’t be touched, I can’t be found
My body I can’t be
And so it is with you, my friends
You are unseparably
The we what are the you the I
The whom the her the he.

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Do Good, and Lend: International Service Ideas

Donating your time and energy to causes that benefit others is the ultimate way of practicing servitude. Working within your community to create change is just as important as contributing to well-being on a global scale. Practicing selfless servitude can provide a lifetime of rewards. The increasing importance of international outreach and global travel contributes to helping maintain health, peace, and prosperity for all people — not just in this country, but abroad and in other parts of the Americas as well. From medical and mental health professionals contributing to natural disaster relief to volunteers educating in rural areas — there are a number of ways to to practice the Christian act of giving that also allows you to travel and experience other cultures.

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Playing Favorites

The Problem with Blessings and Curses

“Have a blest day?” What in this world does that mean? Better luck or good karma, instead of bad? In the ancient world, denoting someone as “blest” was a way of expressing a deity’s special favor towards that person. If that sounds quaint, there are still plenty of people today who believe they can curry favor or improve the odds of achieving more blessings than curses; while politicians routinely conclude their speeches by invoking the Almighty to bless the good ‘ol USA. There’s just one problem. It doesn’t work.

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Where Charity and Love Prevail: The Matthew 25 Solidarity Test

When people express opinions about a particular issue, I always look to see how charitable they are in this. Do they take the concerns of others seriously and try their best to get to the bottom of it? Or do they simply dismiss their concerns outright without getting involved? That is often a clue as to whether their opinions are in line with Christian discipleship.

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Grow Your Heart Two Sizes this Season

Whatever you’re celebrating this month, I encourage you to look around in awe at the many ways we connect with something bigger than ourselves. There is beauty in all of it. In embracing the dark of the solstice and the darkness in us. In rededicating ourselves to a sacred path through eight candlelit nights. In celebrating the light of the world being born in the most unexpected place.

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Why I Love Terrorists- Video by Prince Ea

It seems like wherever we go we can’t escape conversation, media, or general fear of terrorists. In this video I share why I love terrorists and why I think we should all shift the way we think about terrorists.

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What Will I Give Back? How to Discover What Your Soul Still Longs to Do

Conscious Aging organizations encourage elders to contribute their time, energy, wisdom, and experience in “giving back” to the world. So when I retired, I was surprised by how much resistance I felt to getting involved.

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