Monday, October 24, 2016

Reflection for the Week - October 24

Many self-help books portray things in an optimistic one-sided fashion that leaves us with half-truths. Resilience, for example, is not merely the capacity to overcome adversity – positive – but also can be the ability to embrace a stubborn attitude in regards to changing destructive patterns in our lives – negative. Thus, we should read these books critically and be willing to look at both sides of an issue. Don’t simply opt for a ‘positive,’ when things are actually in fact much more complex.


Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Musings - October 21

Forgiving others for the deep wounds they have caused in our lives is something that takes time to grow into. But recall that we are beings in time - we exist in and through past, present, and future. Thus, we should not expect instantaneous resolutions. God is patient with us, so let’s be patient with ourselves. Forgiving, then, may be a long process and hopefully it will be one that we are challenged to take more seriously as each day goes by.   


Radical Spirituality

If you’re burnt out by churches, disgusted with hypocrisy, fed up with hype, searching for integrity, struggling with your faith, looking for God, exploring spirituality, hoping to understand something about life and following the Crucified & Risen One, these books are for you – Living Spiritual Rhythms - Books 1-4.
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - October 20

Oppressive regimes in church and society are appalling. Keeping laws, doing works, and making business so frequently take precedence over God’s love. People are reduced to management schemes and treated as products. New themes and actions of redemption, community, and creativity need to be put in place that will challenge these awful tendencies and their attempt to rob people of learning something about the mysteries of the living God.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Living Spiritual Rhythms - October 19

Tenacious obscurity sometimes plagues us and we’re unable to see as clearly as we would like. Groping around for illumination saturates our thoughts and feelings, and there are no easy answers to be found. We fear being excluded, alienated, and lost. Yet, living and working through the shadow of time is a continual and viable challenge, as we search for renewed light and embrace it as we are able.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Reflection for the Week - October 17

The failure of the self-contained centered self, the “I” of high modernity, has all too often translated into the failure of the entrapped, reduced, de-centered self, the “ZERO” of low postmodernity. While clearing debris away from ourselves is an essential priority and a continual process of same and change, we find the glaring necessity is to find a “real” self in the midst of the wreckage. Unfortunately, our legitimate fears of being deceived may lead us into further shams of the “I” or the “ZERO”, though instead our trajectory towards protection should be to turn to Christ and faith, which offer us a credible way through to a re-centered and reconstituted self beyond the arrogant “I” or the imprisoned “ZERO”.


Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Musings - October 14

There is a marvelous wonder and a profound mystery in committed relationships. The hope of beauty and fear of danger encircle our hearts and challenge us to move forward in love. We wrestle with “letting go” or “holding on,” with “form” or “freedom,” with “suspicion” or “trust.” On the way from an individual to a mutuality of space—shared lives together at different levels of intensity—we are invited into new ways of being, seeing, and living, where the drama of inoffensive possession neither stifles, nor disdains the narrative of oneself or the other.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Reflection for the Week - October 10

Retreating behind the walls of fear diminishes the prospect of loving and being loved. There is, however, it is true, the need for spiritual strength and wisdom to be able to come out from hiding and to consider fresh possibilities, albeit without the assurance that it will all work out in our favor.
Terrible hurt and pain can make such a move all but impossible. Rejection and reaction seem to be the only responses that make sense, as new suffering always appears inevitable. Yet divine and human grace cuts into the fiber of wounds, gradually challenging us to break down self-destructive barriers, which in turn will then help us to develop a careful trust and suspicion dynamic and to offer and embrace love.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - October 6

Many of the things the apostle Paul wrote are linked to his own particular mission on behalf of the Crucified and Risen One. To take all of this on ourselves seems foolhardy, yet if that’s the case, what applies and what doesn’t have to be carefully worked out. But let’s start by putting Paul’s writings into Categories like: Creation, Israel, Judaism, Law, Sin, Wisdom, Christ, Redemption, Resurrection, Spirit, Faith, Origins, Cosmos, World-view, Cultural Influences, etc. Paul worked with what he had and this wasn’t at the same level in each category. He had, for instance, more ‘information’ about Israel and the Law than he did about Creation and the Cosmos. He wasn’t ‘wrong’ about the latter; he just didn’t have the tools to see these in any other way than an ‘ancient cultural informer’ would have given him. In contrast, according to the narrative of Acts, and the testimony in the letter to the Galatians, the Risen One broke into his life at some point and commissioned him as an apostle to non-Jews, which gave him a whole new set of information to work from. As far as I can tell, this kind of encounter / event didn’t happen to Paul with respect to the way the earth goes around the sun or how cells, molecules, and DNA work. Thus, Paul’s perspectives on nature and the cosmos are exposed to far greater limitations. I don’t think we should ignore that when we consider the question of human origins, the natural world informer, and the interpretation of Genesis 1-3 or Romans 5-8.