Some Principles Before We Vote

If you’re part of our community, you know that our denomination is deciding if they will ask us to leave. I (Doug) wrote a book that raised some red flags for them, so they’ll decide soon whether my credentials will be revoked. If that happens, our community will vote to stay or remain in the denomination. […]

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Seriously?! “Sacerdotal?” Come on!

Organized religion has a bad name these days. And religious jargon has an even worse one. So when we hear religious words, we tend to glaze over and shut down. Unless we dig deeply enough to understand what they mean — and where the life and vitality was when the words were first used. So […]

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Penance: It’s Not What You Think

We conclude this rather lengthy lesson on the prayer of confession — the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure with this epilogue. If you’ve seen a movie where the the priest finishes confession with an assignment, “say ten hail-Mary’s,” or some such thing, you might have an idea about what penance is. But that’s not really […]

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Making it Safe

We can’t practice the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure we’ve been talking about these many weeks — without creating an environment that is safe for doing it. Today’s lesson is about the practical things we must have in place before this transformative prayer practice can work. Have a listen, Doug  

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Addiction: Not Just For Addicts

The 12-step tradition has hard-won wisdom to offer. Turns out, the same dynamics that govern addiction to alcohol, drugs, or the other well-known addictions — govern all of us. The way our brains balance themselves makes over-use of any tool, almost automatic. So, there is much the 12 steps can teach us. Today we talk about […]

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To know ourselves deeply, the questions we ask are really important. Fortunately, our tradition has left us a legacy to help us ask good questions. They are wrapped up in the ancient practice of confession — or as we’ve framed it, the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure. Have a listen, Doug  

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There are three steps in the ancient prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure (confession). Step 1:  We pay attention to our negative emotions Step 2:  We undertake a thorough self-examination Step 3:  We engage forthright self-disclosure The second step is tough! It’s hard to see what is going on in us under the surface. Fortunately, our […]

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It’s Hard to See . . . What We Can’t See

Einstein once said that we can’t solve our problems – with the same level of thinking that got us into them. This highlights the trouble we face when we come to the ancient prayer of self-examination – confession. The second step in this ancient prayer is to undertake a thorough self-examination. The problem is, our minds […]

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A Fearless Moral Inventory? Hmmm. Thank you. No.

We work really hard to keep an internal equilibrium in the face of a deep internal sense of shame. Some of feel the shame, others feel the bravado of confidence we use to keep the shame at bay. Either way, like duck feet under the water, we’re paddling like crazy, to keep our lives moving […]

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We’re All In This Soup Together

We’re looking at two bedrock prerequisites behind the prayer of confession — the prayer of self-awareness and self-disclosure. Last time, we looked at the first: our worth or preciousness are non-negotiable givens. So, we don’t have to observe religious rituals to curry God’s favor. This time, we look at the second:  we’re all in this […]

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I Was Being Kind of an Ass…

But in my defense – I didn’t know I was. The story I was telling myself, is that I was being strong, and dependable, and sturdy. In the story I was telling myself, I was the good guy. My wife was the bad one. But I was wrong. And thank God, someone had taught me […]

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If you grew up in church, there’s a good chance you have some negative feelings toward the ancient prayer of confession. It may be, for you as it is for many, tainted with the idea that God withholds grace and mercy until you knuckle under, acknowledge how truly foul you are, and beg for mercy. […]

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Easter 2015

Death. That’s an ugly topic for a happy day like Easter! But don’t judge too quickly. Turns out that keeping our death ever before us is part of the ancient wisdom – and is in fact, a pathway into a deepened experience of life. Have a listen, Doug  

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Palm Sunday 2015

Crushing disappointment. Who wants to celebrate that!? But if we reflect on what happens to us in the seasons of our lives when the inevitability of pain, suffering, and hopelessness washes over our lives. — we realize they often invite us into seasons of deep transformation. Forewarned is forearmed. We could work with these dark times […]

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The Art of Watchfulness: Prayers of Detachment (6)

We’ve seen in this lesson, that the lives we live in the few years we get on this earth, are deeply affected by a simple pattern… Thoughts create desires. Desires create actions. Actions create habits. Habits create the very lives we live. We’ve seen that the prayers of detachment we’ve discussed (fasting, simplicity, solitude), are designed to break up […]

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People! Their voices are always in us. Their expectations. Their beliefs. Their values. And those voices run deep! We don’t usually recognize them for what they are. We usually just think they’re our own minds telling us “The Way Things Are.” So, the unexamined life (you know; the one Socrates said was not worth living) becomes […]

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