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Showing posts from August, 2013

Enough

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"Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car, and house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it."  Ellen Goodman, as quoted in Beginnings; The Spiritual Life

Daily

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And Jesus said to everyone, "All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23 CEB

Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes...the Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved." Acts 2:46,47 CEB

I've always been intrigued with the great addition provided by Luke when he adds "daily" to Jesus' call to take up the cross and follow him. It's the one and only difference with Mark or Matthew in this section they all share. 
It suggests that discipleship can only be daily if it's anything. It's regularly "saying no," (CEB); no to the ever constant ego demands for comfort, convenience and certainty.
Cross-taking can still put our lives very much at risk in the wrong part of the world. But while it can still mean martyrdom, doing it daily means something a little different. It now becomes more about my saying no to the incessant demands o…

And Own that Love is Heaven

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This isn't a typo in the UM Hymnal. In the 6th verse of O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, the word is "own" and not "owe." When we receive God's love that is there for the taking, Charles Wesley suggests that "we then shall know, shall feel our sins forgiven." God's love is an anticipation of what is to come.
Owning God's love for myself is life-long, not just once and for all. We are created to love and be loved. It will always be deep source of wonder and joy that God's love for us is at the beginning and the end- and beyond the end.
We will know as we are known, love as we are loved. But not yet. St. Theresa of Avila confessed to God that although she did not love God, she wanted to love God. I cannot love as God loves. The only hope of growing in love to others is in owning God's love. We love because God first loved us. I John 4:19 
The hymn O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing doesn't make sense until we understand that i…

Fixers

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The problem solver or the "fixer" lives in every one of us. We may be attracted to movies that tell of how things get fixed, like The Godfather or a series like Ray Donovan. Both examples mirror the myth of redemptive violence, where murder and mayhem are a stepping stone to something else- in these cases, career advancement.

Even if we say we reject the myth of redemptive violence, we do like problems solved, don't we?  
Tex Sample, the one-time seminary professor, described whole faith communities of what he termed the cultural middle, where the main function was to offer an "explanatory theology." It explains why everything is the way it is. Upper managers provide the same function for their corporate bosses and shareholders. In their own way, soothsaying managers learn how to explain away anything potentially perceived as a problem.  

If you look on social networks of all kinds, you'll find people who don't really know each other offering all kind…

Internet Use Disorder

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This week's post at Sacred Space is a sharp reminder that good things can be misused- and can be a hindrance to the spiritual life. The Irish Jesuits are timely in naming the loss of sacred space as one casualty of internet dependency. The many tools of the internet have the capacity to invade our mental and spiritual focus.

We can be described as an ADD culture, which has safety consequences all its own. Beyond the safety concerns, like texting while driving or walking through traffic, the lines between private down time and public work time are almost gone. Employees are beginning to ask employers for the time they spend away from the office working on various projects. An off-the- wall tweet or post can get you thousands of followers, fired, or both.
Like other addictions, the sickness of IUD is a dependency. I don't know about the physical dimensions of the disorder. Like anything we use to mask our pain, a nice convenience like the internet can easily become a life drai…