What’s on TV Tonight?
Posted: 05 Jan 2017 09:17 AM PST
A scene depicting an American heartland barn dance
by William Medcalf
I didn’t intend to write a series on smart phones and social media. This is a blog about spirituality, religious harmony and related topics, after all. I try to keep on topic. However, given the tumultuous 2016 presidential election, many people have been rethinking how we use these new technologies. Does it serve our faith life? Does it improve our culture and society? Is this really the best way to evangelize? One thing led to another.
I stumbled upon some thoughts that have been sitting with me a long time.read more
Sermon for Seekers Church for November 6th, 2016 The Call Statement of Seekers says that citizenship matters. This is a sermon concerning Christian faith grounding for citizenship. This is the worst presidential campaign I remember …read more
First a quote from the January 20, 1961 Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy.
He ended it with the words:
“…. asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
They were prescient words: “here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.” Was the new President aware the moment he was speaking of the need for an American response to the ecological challenges facing the Nation? We do not know. However, it all became clear one year later when Rachel Carson published her seminal book Silent Spring. Along with many other Americans, the President too read the book. It had become an instant best-seller and the most provocative book in decades. It began the environmental movement in America.read more
Sometimes our greatest breach with Scripture is not when we outright contradict it–it’s what we choose to prioritize, diminish or outright ignore. There is a time for everything under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). We need to put first things first and second things second.
Much of Christianity focuses on salvation plans and doctrinal ideas.read more
Communications Strategy isn’t the only thing a church does, but it has a way of revealing what a congregation values – and where its future lies.
Churches also engage with new members, train their people in spiritual disciplines, raise up effective leaders, pay special attention to young adults, and do mission. They worship, they extend pastoral care, they educate, and they transform lives.
In other words, a church has a full plate. Communications Strategy tends to shape what gets on that plate.read more
That we all want to live meaningful, happy lives is self-evident. The question is, how? Finding God in the Body answers this question with action, spiritual practice.
Finding God in the Body draws from the wisdom of the world’s traditions–Buddhism, contemplative Christianity, Judaism, and Twelve-Step spirituality–to present not a smorgasbord, but a synthesized, modern view of embodied spirituality. It turns inward to examine the human condition, meeting personal suffering with heartfelt insight and transformative practice. It steers clear of the wishful thinking, unfounded beliefs, and cynicism that define much of the spirituality genre.
Tall. Long, light brown hair. Blue eyes. A calming gaze with an outstretched teaching arm. More likely than not, this is how westerners imagine Jesus. Contrast that with the reality. Jesus, like most men of his time, probably weighed about 110 pounds, stood little over 5 feet tall, and would not have lived much past 40. Popular Mechanics recently offered us an image of a swarthy Jesus with curly Afro type hair and a facial appearance that to me seems much like a Neanderthal. Google it and have a look. That, most likely, is the real Jesus. Whatever doctrinal belief you may hold about the man, he was a man, and that’s what he looked like. Personally, it brings a smile to my face to understand that when I talk to or about Jesus, it’s this little Jewish guy that I have in mind.read more
In every waking moment we make choices: mostly with sensible decisions based on coherent information with due consideration for consequences. But intellect alone does not control thinking. Neuroscientists point out that our actual ‘brainpower’ lies in signals between 86 billion unique neurons. Their intricate networks communicate, relay, and integrate signals within and between regions of the brain. These regions function with changing strengths and different information for various purposes. Their electrochemical impulses act and react with a barrage of rational, emotional, social, cultural, environmental, and physiological influences. Galaxies of neural forces evaluate risks and benefits in every choice.read more
Like a cosmic singularity, the jam was so tight and strong, so energetic and energizing, that it ended with a Big Bang. The movement really began when the marchlesss marches ended, after the long waits at crowded subway stations. We got home, turned on our screens and gazed awestruck at the images of ourselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder, filling squares and boulevards and bridges, spilling into side-streets. Now we move from protest into organized, long-term activism to stop the inhumane, immoral, and unpopular agenda of Trump and the Republicans.read more
In May 2017, people from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon to share knowledge and wisdom, learn from each other, celebrate, be inspired, and find the tools needed to create and enliven local movements within our communities. Together we will explore sacred oneness, Christ consciousness, eco-spirituality, social justice and the way of universal and personal transformation that honors the Divine in all.read more
The Shakers, in their pious oddity and their strange holiness remain, however small, a crack in the wall that divides us in this increasingly insular, hierarchical, and oppressive era. They rejected the apparatus of state, economy, industry and military. Theirs was a pacifist army against Moloch’s minions. In offering us difference they enacted the possibility and promise of that difference.read more
Noam Chomsky offers two dire warnings following the election of Donald Trump: The first is an accelerated use of carbon based fuels that will bring the human race to extinction and the other is a renewed nuclear arms race leading quickly to a nuclear war. As real as these threats are, this sermon speaks to the ways in which fear is a villain that pushes us to make the worst decisions in response to these global threats.read more
Not to be overly dramatic, but we are simply a speck of stardust floating on the infinite sea of the universe, hitching a temporary ride on the train of evolution. The underpinnings of our existence are bizarre antics of elementary particles, and we are surrounded by the unexplained suffering that ensues when the whole system seemingly goes awry. We create our own world, divorcing ourselves from reality, even as we occasionally bump into something that seemingly transcends the everydayness of our existence.(See earlier reflections). Who are we, anyway? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?read more
What a wonderful threat this is! You can now listen to music from around the world only providing how close we all can be. No borders on this radio map. From the Pacific sounds of Radio Guam to the Siberian tunes of Radio Sabir, a new interactive 3d map allows you to listen live to thousands of radio stations across the globe.read more