Reflections At The End Of A Road

What were the stained glass stories in this church that were based on predominant, traditional, Christian Bible interpretations? Those were the understandings that were given to me as a youth when in Sunday school and Vacation Bible School classes. I decided to walk by each window to take a really close look.

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It’s Not Necessarily So: A Senior Priest Separates Faith from Fiction and Makes Sense of Belief

The title says it all! It’s Not Necessarily So: A Senior Priest Separates Faith from Fiction and Makes Sense of Belief. A wise parish priest and educator not only tackles the problems in the institution of the Catholic Church and the dogma of the Catholic faith, but also offers solutions and spiritual insights.

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If not for our sins, then why did Jesus die?

Sir, with all due respect, you shared well concerning how Jesus did not die because of sins. Please share your views on the reason or why Jesus died.

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Cultivating Wonder

In this hectic season help us to remember,
even the simplest actions count.
Let us pause and take a breath
to feel the miracle
of air filling and emptying within,
as though God is breathing into us.

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I Wonder as I Wander (Appalachia)

Words and Music collected by John Jacob Niles Revised words by Tina Datsko de Sanchez

I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus our Rabbi did teach that we try 
To love one another, no you and no I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.

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Reverence and Relevance – First Sunday of Advent

On this first Sunday of Advent, consider the new that is coming. Take some time to discover what you are most missing in your life – and then give that thing away. Where you long for a friend to support you, instead be the friend who calls another to find out if they are well. When you long to know peace, instead be the non-anxious presence during times of tension. Where you long for community and connection, be the heartbeat of whatever group you are with. When you long to feel less afraid, be the hand that reaches out with generosity. When you long to know your presence here matters, be the gift of welcoming.

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Some Virgins and a Rabbi meet Sophia: a sermon on the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids and Sophia

The parable of the ten, what??? Bridesmaids??? Really, ten bridesmaids, it sounds like the set up for some elaborate joke. Ten bridesmaids were waiting for a bridegroom, they waited so long that they fell asleep! I don’t know, you fill in the rest! I’ve never been much good at telling jokes, I’m more of a storyteller. Part of the fun of a story is the journey itself, but when you tell a joke you have to worry about punch lines. I tend to forget punch lines, or if I do remember them, I usually manage to mess them up and loose the laugh. So, there were these ten bridesmaids waiting for a bridegroom. Five of the bridesmaids were wise and five of the bridesmaids were foolish. The wise bridesmaids brought along some extra oil for their lamps, the foolish bridesmaids did not. Long before the bridegroom arrived all ten of the bridesmaids fell asleep. Yada yada yada!

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God Is Radical Love

Radical love stops a stranger on the street
and invites her to God’s eternal banquet.

Radical love stays up all night,
plotting ways to make you laugh.

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Paul for the People: John Dominic Crossan Imagines a “Letter to the Americans” in His New Video Series

By Peter Laarman for Religion Dispatches

Crossan follows 201o’s “The Challenge of Jesus” with the newly released “The Challenge of Paul,” available free of charge to up to 1,000 congregations, colleges, or seminaries.

Intrigued by the idea of bringing high-end critical pedagogy to the people, I asked Crossan how his passion for biblical studies led him to want to engage with laypeople – and what that experience has been like.

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For Christ’s Sake! It’s Not About God!

– a sermon on the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25: 14-30

We all know full well that millions and millions are suffering and dying and yet to protect ourselves we bury what has been given to us, because we are afraid of being consumed by the wicked master who will surely banish us into the darkness if we do not keep safe what we have been given. We dare not risk loosing anything at all, lest we end up in the outer darkness weeping and gnashing our teeth.

So, for the most part we play it safe and we don’t take any risks and we spend our lives living in fear of that wicked master. If I had to draw a line between the wicked slave-master and some character, I wouldn’t have that line end up with God. Indeed, I’m sure that the wicked master is not God.

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Learning to Welcome the Dark: Advent 1

By Leah Schade for Patheos

I invite you during this Advent season to spend some time with darkness, even if it scares you a little. I’m not saying you have to plunge in the deep end and risk your safety. Try dipping toe in the shallow end at first. When the sun goes down, don’t immediately turn on the lights. Don’t turn on the t.v. Put away your glowing cell phone. Sit in the darkness for a while. Try it just for 10 minutes at first. Maybe 30 minutes if you’re feeling brave.

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Devil’s Whisper Music Video

from Raury's new Album "All We Need"

“Devil’s Whisper” taken from Raury’s new album ALL WE NEED.

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A Review of John Shelby Spong’s “Unbelievable”

By Zachary Houle

Once in awhile, a book comes along that completely shatters your Christian world view… Unbelievable basically takes all you think you knew about the church and the Bible, and aims to turn everything on its head.

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You Are God: The True Teachings of Jesus

By Brandon West

In this article we will explore how the true teachings of Jesus can be summed up by three little words: you are God. Some missionaries came to my house the other day and I was given the opportunity to come face to face with the religious mind, to discover their relationship to God, and to remember my own (non-voluntary) experience with religion.

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“Wake, Awake for Night Is Flying”—New Verses for Advent Hymn

The words and music of this famous German hymn were created by Lutheran Pastor Philip Nicolai at a sad time in his ministry. During the winter of 1597-8, over 1300 people died of the plague in the small village of Unna, near Dortmund, where he pastored. He officiated at many
funerals, as many as 30 a day.

In a preface to its publication with other hymns and meditations he said he wished “to leave [them] behind me (if God should call me from this world) as a token of my peaceful, joyful, Christian departure, or (if God should spare me in health) to comfort other sufferers whom He should also visit with the pestilence.”

The hymn draws richly from biblical sources, including images from the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) and the Book of Revelation.

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Tracee Ellis Ross Has A Message That All Women Need To Hear

Tracee Ellis Ross has accomplished many of her dreams ― and even won some of the highest honors her industry has to offer ― but it takes just one sentence for someone to make her feel diminished.

In an inspiring speech for Glamour’s Women of the Year Summit, the “Black-ish” star opened up about the way some people respond to her being a 45-year-old woman who is not married and does not have kids.

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If I Called Myself a “Christian”

  A Call for a New Christology   You can read and/or print a pdf copy of this commentary Here. NOTE: An earlier 2-part Words & Ways commentary in 2011 approached the question posed in the title, …

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Feast if the Transfiguration ‘A’

  It is good for us to be here. Be attentive. The Webster Dictionary defines an ‘aha moment’ as a point in time when one has a sudden insight or realization and I would add, a mystical …

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