"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Protecting Ourselves From The Word Of God

"(Jesus words) They are essentially subversive of the established arrangements and ways of thinking. That is clear from the way they first entered the world,  their initial effects,  and how they are preserved in the New Testament writings and live on in his people. He himself described his words as "spirit and life" (John 6:63)  They invade our real world with a reality even more than it is, which explains why human beings then and now have to protect themselves against them."

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

Monday, July 24, 2017

Only If God Wants It To.....

"All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If He wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that."

(Brennan Manning. All is Grace )

It's OK Not To Be OK

"So I told him, told him everything, about my disgust with my own motives and my thoughts of walking away from it all. In that moment he said a powerful thing, a life-changing thing: “You are on the threshold of receiving the greatest grace of your life. You are discovering what it means to be poor in spirit. Brother Brennan, it’s okay not to be okay.”My gut reaction was, This guy’s a loon. But then he led me to the first Beatitude as translated from the New English Bible: How blessed are those who know that they are poor, the kingdom of Heaven is theirs."
(Brennan Manning. All is Grace)

Neither Burning Nor Theological

"The village didn’t have running water, so each morning I would ride out in a donkey-driven buckboard with a water tank in the back. I would later return with the prized possession, water. To say I was popular with the people is an understatement. One of my realizations in such an earthy atmosphere was that many of the burning theological issues in the church were neither burning nor theological. It was not more rhetoric that Jesus demanded but personal renewal, fidelity to the gospel, and creative conduct."

(Brennan Manning. All is Grace)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Jesus Deals in Feathers?

"My hope is to gain a fresh hearing for Jesus, especially among those who believe they already understand him. In this case, quite frankly, presumed familiarity has lead to unfamiliarity, unfamiliarity has lead to contempt, and contempt has lead to profound ignorance.

Very few people today find Jesus interesting as a person or if  vital relevance to the coyrse of their lives. He is not generally regarded as a real-life personality who deals with real-life issues but is thought to be concerned with the feathery realm other than the one we nust deal with, and must deal with now. And frankly, he is not taken to be a person of much ability. "

(Dallas Willard. The Divine Conspiracy)

Life Has No Opposite

"Life has no real opposite; death is merely a transitioning, which takes trust every time we walk through it."

Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

Want Conclusions Without the Process

"By and large, what human beings want is resurrection without death, answers without doubt, light without darkness, the conclusion without the process."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Joining Jesus And Christ

"In the second person of the Trinity, we have the visible epiphany of the Unmanifest One. First in the form of creation itself— which is “the Christ” in our shorthand— and secondly in personal form, whom we call “Jesus.” Someone who reverences the first epiphany (apophatic, sat) is surely best prepared to rightly reverence the second— kataphasis, chit. Up to now, we’ve led many people to love Jesus, but many less were led to recognize, honor, and love the Christ. The major future task of Christian theology and practice is to finally join the two together."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Silent Friend

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.”

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

A Friend

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”
~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

More Power

The temptation to consider power an apt instrument for the proclamation of the gospel is the greatest temptation of all.

~ Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Faith People Bring Freedom

"During President Trump’s speech in Warsaw, Poland, on Thursday, he memorialized Pope John Paul II’s momentous 1979 visit to the city.

For many historians, the Polish-born pope’s Mass in Victory Square, more than anything else, set in motion the events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall a decade later and the dissolution of the Soviet Union soon thereafter. The people in attendance knew exactly what President Trump meant when he spoke of how the millions of Poles attending that Mass “did not ask for wealth. They did not ask for privilege. Instead, one million Poles sang three simple words: ‘We want God.’”

The Dangers of Arrogant Ignorance, by Jonah Goldberg. July 7, 2017 12:00 AM. National Review

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Please, BE Guilty By Association

"For Christians, "guilt by association" is NOT A THING. If your friendships aren't diverse enough to bewilder others, you're doing it wrong."

Jonathan Martin

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Trinity Explained

"God for us, we call you Father.
God alongside us, we call you Jesus.
God within us, we call you Holy Spirit.
You are the eternal mystery that enables, enfolds, and enlivens all things,
Even us and even me."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

The Humility Words Require.

"Most of us do not know the ground of silence before speaking, the spaciousness around words, the inner repose after words, the humility that words should require."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

They Day We Stopped Dancing

"This now-evident pattern is why so many of our contemporary spiritual teachers say that most of our problems are psychological in their manifestation, but spiritual in their solution. Most Christians of the Middle Ages more easily trusted the spiritual solution than we do, but they seldom had the vocabulary to describe the psychological manifestations as we do today. We articulate the psychological dimensions so well, and in so many ways, that contemporary people are trapped in sophisticated and helpful descriptions of the manifestations but have no One to surrender it all to. There is no Receiver Station, because we jumped off the divine waterwheel and withdrew from the dance."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

Can't Trust You Because I Can't Trust Me

"People accuse me of all kinds of things, both wonderful and terrible. They’re usually half-right, of course. But invariably, they’re talking about themselves, and they can’t see it. This principle of likeness has positive and negative manifestations— what you see over there is what you are in here. Always. Mistrustful people don’t know how to trust themselves or anybody else, and so they lay it on you."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

The Liberality Of Hateful People

"Hateful people see hatred everywhere else, have you noticed that? They’re always thinking someone’s out to screw them over, someone’s trying to hurt them. They create problems wherever they go. We call them “high-maintenance” people."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

Living A Stingy Vengeful Christian Life

"If you are still a black-and-white, rigid thinker who needs certitude and control at every step—well, the Trinity will feel out of reach. Grace shows up where logic breaks down, so you won’t go very far. No matter what passage is given to you, you will interpret it in a stingy, vengeful, controlling way—because that’s the way you do life."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

God Can't Love You Less

"God cannot not see his Son Jesus in you. You are the body of Christ. You are bone of God’s bone, and that’s why God cannot stop loving you. That’s why no amount of effort will make God love you any more than God loves you right now. And despite your best efforts to be terrible, you can’t make God love you any less than God loves you right now."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance.

Fake Transaction Forgiveness

"The trouble with so much conventional religion is this cultural attitude of, “Well, I’ll forgive when they’ve earned it, when they’ve proven themselves.”That’s not forgiveness—that’s a deal! God loves you precisely in your obstinate unworthiness, when you’re still a mixture of good and bad, when you’re gloriously in flux. You’re not a perfectly loving person, and God still totally loves you. When you can participate in that mystery of being loved, even as the mixed bag that you are, you can receive the gift of the forgiveness. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the only magnetic center that knows how to forgive other people—especially when people have really screwed you, really betrayed you, really abandoned you, really humiliated you. And sooner or later, this happens to all of us."

~Richard Rohr. The Divine

Sunday, July 2, 2017

We've Seen Empires Rise and Fall in Djenne

When the Jihadists attacked the north and seemed to be on the march towards Djenné in 2012 I decided to leave for the south. I remember asking Yelfa if he would leave if things took a bad turn in Djenné. He did not really understand what I meant at first. The he just laughed and said “leave Djenné? never! I realized that his forefathers have seen empires raise and fall for a thousand years in Djenné...

Swiss lady Sophia, Djenne Djenno Blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Letting go of our need to be right

True liberation is letting go of our small self, letting go of our cultural biases, and letting go of our fear of loss and death. Freedom is letting go of wanting more and better things, and it is letting go of our need to control and manipulate God and others. It is even letting go of our need to know and our need to be right—which we only discover with maturity. We become free as we let go of our three primary energy centers: our need for power and control, our need for safety and security, and our need for affection and esteem.

-Richard Rohr

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Room By The Sea

"How nice it is to stand in a room by the sea, drinking Scotch whiskey, listening to familiar words, and watching the clowning of friends who love one another. It is like a reunion
of combat soldiers."
(The Saddest Pleasure. Moritz Thomsen)

Not Really Beautiful?


"She was not really beautiful, but there was a tremendous calm power behind her pleasant but ordinary features. It was an absence of hang-ups a sense of joyful acceptance, a glow of pleasure at the miracle of being alive.
ln one second she communicated to me the rare and beautiful sense of being completely human."

(The Saddest Pleasure. Moritz Thomsen)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gods Fingerprints

Imagine what the world would be like if we treated others with inherent and equal dignity and respect, seeing the divine DNA in ourselves and everyone else too—regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, appearance, or social class. Nothing less offers the world any lasting future.
-Richard Rohr

Only the Forgiven Forgive.

All the conflicts and contradictions of life must find a resolution in us before we can resolve anything outside ourselves. Only the forgiven can forgive, only the healed can heal, only those who stand daily in need of mercy can offer mercy to others. At first it sounds simplistic and even individualistic, but it is precisely such transformed people who can finally effect profound and long-lasting social change
-Richard Rohr 
(Sorry for blowing up your newsfeeds with Rohr, just too good not to share)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Guts and Faith

"We are called to embody the love of God in our lives. Not just talk about it or think about it or pray about it. We must live it in our guts, our muscles, our hearts, our eyes, our ears, and our tongues. We manifest that love when we share the ordinary rhythm of life with others who are likewise seeking to grow in love and compassion."
(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance )

The Scriptures Do Not Offer Certainty

"Rational certitude is exactly what the Scriptures do not offer us. They offer us something much better and an entirely different way of knowing: an intimate relationship, a dark journey, a path where we must discover for ourselves that grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness are absolutely necessary for survival— in an always and forever uncertain world."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Two Or Three Is Enough For Church.

"Two people excited about the same thing are the beginning of almost everything new, creative, and risky in our world. Surely this is what Jesus meant by his first and most basic definition of church as “two or three gathered.”"

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Two Or Three Is Enough Church!

"Two people excited about the same thing are the beginning of almost everything new, creative, and risky in our world. Surely this is what Jesus meant by his first and most basic definition of church as “two or three gathered.”

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Powerless Leaders

"It seems to me that the only people who can handle power are those who don’t need it too much, those who can equally let go of it and share it. In fact, I’d say that at this difficult moment in history, the only people who can handle power are those who have made journeys through powerlessness."
(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

God Does Not Dominate Trinity Displays

"Stop idolizing the so-called “1 percent.” There’s nothing worthwhile up there that is not also down here. Worst of all, it has given 99 percent of the world an unnecessary and tragic inferiority complex.

Trinity says that God’s power is not domination, threat, or coercion, but instead is of a totally different nature, one that even Jesus’ followers have not yet adjusted to. If the Father does not dominate the Son, and the Son does not dominate the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit does not dominate the Father or the Son, then there’s no domination in God. All divine power is shared power, which should have entirely changed Christian politics and relationships.

There’s no seeking of power over in the Trinity, but only power with—a giving away, a sharing, a letting go, and thus an infinity of trust and mutuality. This has the power to change all relationships: in marriage, in culture, and even in international relations."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

There Could Be Three

"This is precisely the behavior we’d expect in a binary system— a place of “two-ness” in opposition. At best, when we’re finished yelling at each other, we might try to compromise and form some kind of “synthesis” position out of our dialectic. This is how the philosopher Hegel saw the world: one of dueling dualisms. But the Law of Three asks the question we’ve been asking: What if we don’t live in a binary universe, but instead a ternary universe? If three-ness captures the essence of the cosmos more than two-ness, it means that we can hold our first-force or second-force perspectives iith earnestness, while fully awaiting some third force to arrive and surprise us all out of our neat little boxes."

~ Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

Sunday, April 16, 2017

God is Not the Only Infinite One?

"The intriguing thing about the mutuality of the Trinity is that the names—the roles— the energies— are really interchangeable.

We don’t want to typecast the Father as the only infinite one, the Son as the only imminent one, or the Spirit as the only intimate one!"

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Your Not In Charge

"Holy Mystery in grateful recognition that we’re not in charge of very much and we understand very little."
(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

We Don't Understand God?

"To draw from Karl Rahner again, he suggested that for fifty years we should all basically stop using the word God. Because, he says, we normally don’t have a clue what we are talking about!.....

This becomes quite evident when we see what we have done with Jesus himself, who was given as the fully visible and obvious manifestation— and we still used him for our small culture wars. We still pulled him inside of our smaller psyche and out of the protective silence of the Trinity. We pretended we understood him perfectly whenever we could interpret him for our own wars, prejudices, and dominations. Poor Jesus.

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Members Only Behaviour

He consistently makes the outsider the heroes of his parables and the recipients of God’s multifaceted grace....

By and large, we didn’t get it. Catholicism replicated almost down to fine detail the ritual and legalistic mistakes of Judaism, and Protestantism has imitated us quite well, while trying to cover their tracks by just getting legalistic about very different issues. But it is the same ego game. And one could easily argue that our fellow Abrahamic path, Islam, has followed suit in mirroring our most egregious members-only behavior. Because that’s where immature religion always finds itself; it isn’t first of all a search for Holy Mystery and how to love. Most early religion is a search for the egoic self, a search for the moral high ground, and certainly for being better than those other people over there."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Held Or Holding God?

"We’re standing in the middle of an awesome mystery— life itself!— and the only appropriate response before this mystery is humility. If we’re resolved that this is where we want to go— into the mystery, not to hold God and reality but to let God and reality hold us— then I think religion is finally in its proper and appropriate place."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Our Christian Pharoah View Of God

"What physicists and contemplatives alike are confirming is that the foundational nature of reality is relational; everything is in relationship with everything else. As a central Christian mystery, we’ve been saying this from the very beginning while still utterly failing to grasp its meaning. Even though, as confessional Christians, none of us would have denied the Trinitarian mystery, in essence we did. As described earlier, for all practical purposes, those of us raised Christian grew up with a monarchical God, a Pharaoh sitting at the top of a great pyramid. Right? We grew up as functioning monarchists…while the revolution of Trinity remained humbly hidden in plain sight. “Oh yeah, I know God is three persons, but what does that really mean?”

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Everything is Relationship

"What physicists and contemplatives alike are confirming is that the foundational nature of reality is relational; everything is in relationship with everything else. As a central Christian mystery, we’ve been saying this from the very beginning while still utterly failing to grasp its meaning."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Hidden Faithfulness

"There is now a hidden faithfulness at the heart of the universe."

Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

Seeing The Divine Dance - Or Not

"The degree to which you can see the divine image where you’d rather not tells me how fully the divine image is now operative within you."

~ Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Experts At Church

“I'm extremely concerned that we've become experts at the activities of church - to the point that we can do them without God. No matter what our favorite emphasis might be: worship, the gifts, making disciples, the lost, the poor, social justice, liturgy, unity, theology.... There's one thing that’s vastly more important than all of those activities combined – it’s Him. Intimate relationship with Him; with the Father who is rich in mercy and loves us with a great and lavish love.”

~ Tom Zawacki Charlottetown  Prince Edward Island  Vineyard Church

Why We Fail at Prayer

"Many of us fail at prayer beacuse we see prayer as a place to be good, rather than as a place to be honest."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sorrows

Sorrow, by Sleep At Last

It feels like falling.
It feels like rain.
Like losing my balance
Again and again.
It once was so easy;
Breathe in, breathe out.
But at the foot of this mountain,
I only see clouds.

I feel out of focus,
Or at least indisposed
As this strange weather pattern
Inside me takes hold.
Each brave step forward,
I take three steps behind.
It's mind over matter -
Matter over mind.

Slowly, then all at once.
A single loose thread
And it all comes undone.

Where there is light,
A shadow appears.
The cause and effect
When life interferes.
The same rule applies
To goodness and grief;
For in our great sorrow
We learn what joy means.

I don't want to fight, I don't want to fight it.
I don't want to fight, I don't want to fight it.
I don't want to fight, I don't want to fight it.
But I will learn to fight, I will learn to fight,
'Til this pendulum finds equilibrium.

Slowly, then all at once.
The dark clouds depart,
And the damage is done.
So pardon the dust
While this all settles in.
With a broken heart,
Transformation begins.

Steady

"I'm  only steady on my knees"

Sleeping at Last - Son (lyrics)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Pilgrimage To Set A New Course


"Pilgrimage can grow from all kinds of motives: need for rest, realization that something about your faith has grown dull or stale, a transition, trying to process a major crisis, longing for healing or resolution, inexplicable attraction to a particular sojourn, desire for more intense prayer, yearning to explore and better understand your beliefs, wanting to review your life or set a new course."

~ Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking

Pain or Christians Who Convince Us God Us Not That Good

publication of “A Grief Observed,” which Lewis wrote after his wife’s death. God’s megaphone didn’t just rouse Lewis, it nearly shattered him. In writing about his bereavement, Lewis described what it was like to go to God “when your need is desperate, when all other help is vain, and what do you find? A door slammed in your face, and a sound of bolting and double bolting on the inside. After that, silence.” He added: “Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him. The conclusion I dread is not ‘So there’s no God after all,’ but ‘So this is what God’s really like. Deceive yourself no longer.’ ”

There is also, for me at least, consolation in the conviction that we are part of an unfolding drama with a purpose. At any particular moment in time I may not have a clue as to what that precise purpose is, but I believe, as a matter of faith, that the story has an author, that difficult chapters need not be defining chapters and that even the broken areas of our lives can be redeemed."

(After Great Pain, Where Is God? Peter Wehner)

Monday, March 20, 2017

We Need A Three Miles-Per-Hour God

"Theologian Kosuke Koyama presses this notion of appropriate speed even further. He suggests that some things God can teach us only very slowly, at the pace of walking, the speed of life. He marvels that Israelites needed forty years of trekking through the desert. They learned "the word of God in the wilderness as they walked three miles an hour” with “the three mile an hour God.""

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking)