Piggy-Backing on Bonhoeffer

At the end of a short story by Heinrich von Kleist there is the line: “I would not have found you to be such a devil if you had not presented yourself as being so angelic.”

I realized that this can apply to our conceptions of God. We have been told many bizarre things about God that have led to unrealistic expectations. So I start with the famous quote from Bonhoeffer “God is weak and powerless in the world…” and explore a proper relationship given this fact.

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Communion of Life

As a follow-up to last week’s post, “Thank You for the Body that Loves Me,” I present another meditation on our earthiness, another in a series of reflections from my earlier books that I hope may lift our spirits in this new year. The series opened with “Peace of Mind” and will continue throughout the season of Epiphany and, who knows, maybe beyond.

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Loving The Wilderness

For forty days and forty nights
you wander in the wilderness
and face temptation
of body, heart, mind and spirit.

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year One, Ages 6-10, For MULTI CLASSROOMS

  Progressive Christian Spiritual Curriculum Compassionate, Intelligent, Inter-Spiritual, Non-Dogmatic   Group Curriculum with Teacher’s Handbook and 3 DVDs   Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and …

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A Joyful Path, Children’s Curriculum, Year One, Ages 6-10, For SINGLE CLASSROOM

  Progressive Christian Spiritual Curriculum Compassionate, Intelligent, Inter-Spiritual, Non-Dogmatic   Group Curriculum with Teacher’s Handbook and 2 DVDs   Are you searching for a way to connect children with an authentic spiritual experience that is inter-spiritual, creative and …

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Gratitude: Maturing in the Ocean of Experience

Most people are familiar with Meister Eckhart’s, 13th and 14th century philosopher, theologian and one of the great Christian mystics, statement on thankfulness… so simple, yet not always easy to really live. “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” Think about this for a minute… how many of us and how often do we think of “thank you” as a prayer? And an even bigger question for me is, “Is this true? IS it enough?”

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Christianity As A Contributing Cause Of The Current Ecological Crisis

Durham Street Methodist ChristChurch New Zealand (Aotearoa) January 20, 2019 service led by Rev. Bill Wallace featuring some of his hymns. Our theme today is Christian Theology and global warming.

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Prayer in the Context of Progressive Christianity

I’m puzzled about prayer in the context of Progressive Christianity which has replaced the interventionist God “up-there” or “out-there” with the God-within. The typical (conventional) church service liturgy invariably includes an “Intercessions” segment. What meaning does this (segment) have in the context of “progressive” thinking? Should it be abandoned?

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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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Prayer Changes Us – BRUNCHtalks 7

As our images of God expand, we must move beyond praying to an elsewhere god. All of life is lived in the midst of Divinity. The life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth point to the reality that Divinity is LOVE. All life is lived in the midst of Love. Prayer is seeking connection to Divinity/Love. Prayer changes us, changing us, changes creation, and so prayer changes the ONE in whom we live, and breathe, and have our being.

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? PRAYER ? – BRUNCHtalks 6

When you no longer imagine the LOVE that we call God as an elsewhere-god, a personified deity who manipulates creation to fulfill our wishes, what becomes of prayer? Our BRUNCHtalks continue to explore what it means to say we are “Progressive in approach: Christ-like in action.” Some technical oversights meant that part two of our talk was not recorded. However, part one is intact and you can view the video of Richard Rohr on Prayer as A State of Communion here which lead us into part two’s discussion.

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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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All Saints – Giving thanks for the Divine in One-another!

All Saints’ Day is a day for remembering.  The word saint simply means “holy”. In the New Testament, all those who believe and were baptized were referred to as saints. It wasn’t until round about the third century that the church began using the word saint to refer to those who had been martyred for the faith. Over time these martyred saints were held up for veneration and people used to pray to them to intercede on their behalf. I’m not going to go into all of the institutional abuses that led Martin Luther and the later reformers to abolish the veneration of the saints. Except to say, that while the Reformation put an end to the veneration of the saints in the protestant churches, it did not abolish the concept of sainthood.

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Tune: Fulda (Walton) William Gardiner (1770-1853)

Creation’s splendour calls forth praise
for Nature’s wealth, for vibrant life.
This planet home, a wondrous gift,
is threatened now by greed and strife.

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River Current: The Physics of Prayer

Most religious traditions affirm the practice of prayer. But have you ever thought deeply about how prayer works?

Do we think there’s a man up in the clouds who hears our prayers and decides whether or not to grant them? Why do we need to pray over and over for something—why isn’t once enough? Why do we pray at all if God already knows our thoughts and desires? Do we think God will be more likely to grant our prayers if we pray for something fervently and repeatedly? Are we trying to prove to God how important something is to us by praying so hard? Are we trying to control God?

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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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On Prayer and Getting Answers To Prayer: A Hopefully Encouraging Response To Another’s Questions about the Efficacy of Prayer

I see prayer as intentionally engaging our conscious mind with our highest values. In prayer, I’m reminded of the things that matter most–not only for myself, but for others. By aspiring to focus my mind and heart on these things, I become more open to the possibilities I can wisely (hopefully) choose to make life more meaningful, purposeful, or beautiful.

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Nevertheless, She Persisted

In a late night session on February 7, 2017, during Jeff Session’s confirmation hearing for U.S. Attorney General, just weeks after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the United States Senate voted to silence Senator Elizabeth Warren after she read comments made decades earlier by Edward Kennedy and Coretta Scott King that criticized the civil rights record of Senator Sessions. Warren was censured because Senate Rule XIX prohibits ascribing “to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” To silence her, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell led a party-line vote that forced Senator Warren to take her seat and refrain from speaking. McConnell later said “Senator Warren was giving a lengthy speech. She had appeared to violate the rule. She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.”

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