I prepare these posts the day before, so I can’t write a synopsis of what Dan will be saying tomorrow. But I suspect it will be worth listening to. Dan is my friend, and more than about anybody I know, he cares about the people of our city. My hope is that we get to […]
"Grace seems to create the very emptiness that grace alone can fill." - Richard Rohr We all begin our spiritual life as either a false positive or a false negative, but we don't have to remain there. Are you still a false negative of worthiness? God has instilled in everything (including us) an inherent worth, but sometimes we get in the way of that. He has told us not to call unholy what He has made holy or to call unloved what He has called loved. But how do we change our view?
Next week I'm going to begin a lesson "The Clutch of Death." I'll talk about how when we try and hang on to happiness, try to clutch the things we desire, while we may attain fleeting moments of pleasure, true and abiding happiness will elude us. As preamble to that lesson, today I encourage you to relax on the journey. Striving, straining, and fretting about our soul's advancement on the journey yields very little return. Peace, hope, and trust, on the other hand, yield a tidy return. Desire... that's the primary driver of the spiritual life. Desire God, desire truth,
We pause between these lessons, to review an important spiritual principle in our community's history... "The Central Organizing Principle of Life in God is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit." Now if you come from the Charismatic tradition and think you know what those words mean, think again.
As co-creators, we can access the Agape Love of the indwelling Trinity by clinging, by patting blindfolded into the future and by backing into truth. When we do access this Agape Love, this indwelling Trinity, we sometimes experience energy, sometimes strength, and sometimes stillness.
Yes, we're in the middle of a lesson on rethinking prayer, but the 4th of July calls for some appropriate remarks. We're staying on the theme that will expand our understanding of prayer, but doing it in a 4th-of-July kind of way. God bless you.
Jesus gave two central commands on which to build the spiritual life. Love the Divine, pursue the Divine, prioritize the Divine with all your heart, and second, love people with the same passion you love yourself. In this lesson, we think together about what this means, and how we can do it. Since Jesus made it so central to the spiritual life, there's a lot riding on us getting it right. Have a listen.
Listen to this prayer from Francis of Assisi. It sums up today's lesson. Have a listen. Doug. --- Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; ...where there is injury, pardon; ...where there is doubt, faith; ...where there is despair, hope; ...where there is darkness, light; ...where there is sadness, joy; O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek ...to be consoled as to console; ...to be understood as to understand; ...to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; ...it is in pardoning
by Robin Camu What Do We Really Want? The deepest longing of the human heart is to connect with God. Yet, many of us go through lives unconscious of this fact. When we feel the yearning for Divine companionship, we often misidentify the sensation and grab for our distraction of choice, which ultimately leaves us […]
Today, we conclude this short, 2-week lesson looking at how we think about God. Our "God-as-Person" metaphor, we see, limits our spirituality. We're looking at a more expansive spirituality available to us when transcend our historical tendency to explain God with too much precision. As we dismantle our images of God, reform them, in the process, we awaken to a new dimension of spiritual experience.
Today, we begin a short lesson together (only two weeks) in which we look at what comes to our minds when we use the word "God." Usually, it's a super-big-and-wonderful Person, a King, a Parent, a Bridegroom, a Righteous Judge. These are all metaphors for God found in the Bible that have found their way into the unconscious assumptions of many of us. However, an interesting thing happens when we frame an image of God in our mind. We limit our experience of the Beyond-Our-Faculties-To-Comprehend, Divine to that which fits into our fixed mental image.
Scientists are finding out that our minds are more “plastic” than we ever dreamed. They are finding that neural pathways can be changed resulting in minds being changed. Likewise, when Jesus commanded us to repent (literally, to change one’s mind), He was implying that the working out of our salvation is our responsibility, the giving of yourself a good life is your responsibility. Recent approaches to psychology are also encouraging the “changing of one’s mind,” by stepping away from one’s thoughts and by being more objective in accessing their usefulness to a life lived according to one’s values.
This week I (Doug) had an appointment with one of the 12 year old girls in our community. Her mom brought her by to talk about question she has about God. She'd just been diagnosed with Crohn's disease and was asking a variation of an ancient trouble spot for Christians: How can God be completely good, and have created a world with such horrendous pain and evil?
This week, my dear friend and a fixture in our spiritual community died. Jim Amundson was a letter from God, written for us to read. In today's lesson, I discuss Divine Grace, and my text will be Jim's life. Jim Amundson 1936-2009
Jesus's admonition to love our enemies and turn the other cheek may be mis-interpreted due to the lack of cultural context he placed it in. Find out what Jesus may have intended it to mean by looking for a third way to react to an insult to you.