"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).

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)

Driving Pains....

"Think of commuting or fighting traffic (No wonder that walk-
ing the Camino caused many to reexamine their occupations.) The
soul-killing boredom of driving is evidenced by the popularity of using
cell phones or personal entertainment devices while underway. Driving
is an activity that is almost always merely a means to an end."

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

Not Knowing You

"Pauses, breaks, and respites have disappeared.
The norm of multitasking leaves us unaware of what goes on within or around us."

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

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Relationship Between.... Atoms And People

"The energy in the universe is not in the planets, or in the protons or neutrons, but in the relationship between them. Not in the particles but in the space between them. Not in the cells of organisms but in the way the cells feed and give feedback to one another. Not in any precise definition of the three persons of the Trinity as much as in the relationship between the Three! This is where all the power for infinite renewal is at work: The loving relationship between them. The infinite love between them. The dance itself. In other words, it is an entirely relational universe. If, at any time, we try to stop this flow moving through us, with us, and in us, we fall into the true state of sin—and it is truly a state more than a momentary behavior."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Walking to See

"I also know that my watch moves more slowly when I am on foot. Walking affects not just space and distance but also time itself. In our high-speed way of living - which we intriguingly call 'driven' - we miss many things."

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

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Holy Walking

"If saunter really does stem from 'Saint Terre' then by using my own two feet I am learning to honor and cherish the holiness of place - many places in fact"

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

Friday, March 17, 2017

The World Through A Windscreen.

The first day that I began hiking the Bruce Trail, the route was enormously rewarding and the scenery breathtaking. Large, old trees powered overhead. I marveled at gargantuan limestone boulders that threatend to break off and plummet down high cliffs. I was awed by lovely glades. What struck me even more than the beauty of these vistas is that they were within a mile or two of where I lived in my teenage years. They were there all along, but I had never seen them; my movements and views were confined to an automobile. I saw nature through screens.....

Ironically, I could spend hours captivated at home by glittering TV images of nature but did not bother to walk a mile or two to engage the bountiful beauty in our own backyard"

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

We Can't Even Schedule Time For Life

"There are obviously serious things awry in our lives. We are frantic, frenetic and frazzled. People sleep less and work more. Too many acquaintances I care about are addicted to computer games or Internet pornography. Families eat together less and less. Folks gobble down food on the run. Churches have difficulty scheduling the simplest, most basic events.
I do not rest easy with how I live my life. I suspect that our cultures steadily increasing interest in spirituality has a lot to do with the fact that many of us function in ways that are personally and ecologically unsustainable."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

We'll Not Find God When We Move Either

" I am challenged in this regard by a fellow resident of Indiana, essayist Scott Russell Sanders, to take more seriously the merit of "staying put." Our unsettled way of life detracks from our ability to honor any place. If we do not learn how to detect God standing still, we'll not find God when we're moving around either.
Thus one of the three central Benedictine vows is stability, the promise to remain committed to a single place and its community for the rest of one's life, trusting that God will speak and convert even - and perhaps especially - when the place no longer easily entertains. Once I was struggling in my work as a pastor and felt tempted to find easier work without the complications of congregational life. Henry Newman encourage me to stay instead and, it his words go deeper.

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking:A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

People Unaware Of My Dreams.

"Before my sojourn I spoke often with many acquaintances about my plans. Frequently, friends had never heard of the Camino. I tried comparing it to the Appalachian Trail, but some were  unaware of that too. I realized that places that most engaged me and loom large in my imagination are off the radar screens for many."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Paying Insufficient Attention

"Some folks seemed credulous at times with their potpourri of ideas about reincarnation, auras, harmonic convergence, crystals, energy and Karma. Still, these were seekers who thirsted and longed for God. I ruefully recognized that I had paid insufficient attention to such folks before, not just on the Camino.
I am not alone. The church as a whole is often largely absent to such folks......

On the whole there is a larger missed opportunity. Is there not a way for the church -"not just along the Camino but elsewhere as well - to welcome such seekers? Can we not respond to this yearning with hospitable listening and conversation? On the Camino many pilgrims ask themselves the most basic and most important questions: Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? Am i significant? Is how I behaved important? How ought I to live? Is there a reason for hope? These are existential matters, the very concerns that Christians profess to know something about.:

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

Listening More - Declaring Less rapidly

"That's simple and respectful companionship with others got me to listen. Meals, rest stops and walking provided opportunity for long, leisurely conversation. There was no hurry to get things resolved; we had plenty of time to explore. As a professor - and formally a preacher - I spent much time proclaiming the right way to think or theologize, but here I was called into a different, more attentive mode.
I had a chance to see folks as complex and authentic human beings, true neighbors and fellow strugglers, not some stereotype that is easy for me to dismiss. They too, as Philo of Alexandria's Council reminds us, we're fighting their own great  battles."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking:A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

Leave Me Alone Christian

"Our withering evangelism successes prove it.  80 percent of people simply don’t care what we believe and wish to be left alone; 10 per cent of people do care what we believe and hate it enough to boycott and raise hell.  And the other 10 per cent?  That’s us – the Christians.  And we haven’t even bottomed out yet insofar as the slide from orthodoxy is concerned."

Stephen McAlpine

No Debate

"Theological colleges continue to send out eager young Christians into the fray armed with apologetic weapons and arguments that presuppose debates about issues that the secular culture has already determined are not open to debate."

Stephen McAlpine

How to Talk About Jesus?

" I found many pilgrims to be people of reflection in virtue....
People I meant wanted to live in ways that contributed to the well-being of others. They were all willing to settle for selfish materialism or consumerism. They were convinced that there is "something more," that matters of the spirit are vital. I often experienced compassion and care: in hospitality, shared meals, companionship and concern for my well-being. Folks freely shared counsel and food, water and support.

Folks felt strongly about considering themselves pilgrims, authentic ones at that. They were comfortable on this route of Christian significance. They reveled in church art, architecture, history, rituals and symbols. Many visited each church building that was open, attendant Mass whenever it was available and appreciate it the pilgrims blessings that were occasionally offered by local priests as we passed through their towns. Yet they also complained of the institutional Church: its wealth and power, dogma and hypocrisy.  Sadly, almost to a person, they were disbelieving when I talked about Christian nonviolence, a central idea for Mennonites, for people I met, the militarism of George W. Bush is now the face of Christianity. Some without professing Christian faith carried Bibles. And most seem passionate about admiring Jesus. I came to understand that the best way to talk about my faith was to speak of following Jesus, certainly a good metaphor for any pilgrimage."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

Christians Reject Non-violence

"Sadly, almost to a person, they were disbelieving when I talked about Christian non-violence, a central idea for Mennonites; for people I met, the militarism of George W. Bush is now the face of Christianity."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along The Camino de Santiago)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sleeping With God....

"Now let’s try to convince you that this being whom we call God is, in fact, loving. We haven’t had very good success at this, right? In my decades of priesthood, I’ve observed that the vast majority of Christians are afraid of God. In my now broad and worldwide experience, I do not find most Christians to be naturally more loving than those of other faiths. We just think we are! It’s rather disappointing to find this out, but it’s inevitable if you’re basically relating to this God out of fear and if your religion is, by and large, fire insurance just in case the whole thing turns out to be real. You’re not really in this dance. You haven’t crawled into bed to sleep between your divine Parents."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Best Way To Tell God Off

"Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them: show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability... Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration they say just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God!

(Francois Fenelon (1651-1715), Spiritual Letters of Archbishop Fenelon. Letters to men, London)

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tell Me Stories Not Verses

"We live in a ulture that is not telling us to give me the versus of Jesus. It's telling is, crying for us to tell the stories of Jesus."

Leonard Sweet

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Mini Communion

"The celebration of the Lord's Supper in a Christian home in the first century and in a cathedral in the twentieth century cannot be more different, they bear no relationship to each other."

(Dr. William Barclay)

Worthiness Games.....

"The religion, spirituality, and politics of worthiness games, belonging barriers, and achievement rewards will never be the cure: these are in fact part of the dis-ease. But God’s joyous unveiling as Trinity can melt even the most hardened constrictions, illuminating the way toward a fourfold re-union of Spirit, self, society, and sense of space."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Private Back Decks.

"Most of us live privately and individualistically, isolated and cut off from one another. Instead of front porches for visiting with neighbors and passersby, our backyard decks are sheltered behind fences.
We no longer stroll on sidewalks, with opportunity to chat with pedestrians, homeowners and shopkeepers; rather cars move into and out of garages with automatic doors. As we drive, we keep windows closed; all the better to enjoy heat or air conditioning, music, or cell
phone diversion. In the meantime we grow impatient with folks who
drive slowly or hesitate a second too long at stoplights. Then we do not wish a Buen Camino! but honk horns or display certain fingers instead. No doubt many of us face challenges, but often we're not aware of what others undergo, with no sense of appreciation for their great struggles."

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

Resisting Hierarchy

"Pilgrimages resist hierarchy and structure; folks temporarily suspend regular roles. Simplified dress codes, strenuous challenges and pared-down lifestyles, in the context of a supportive community, all contribute to what anthropologist call "liminality." This describes a betwixt-and-between state that can help convert people from one way of life to another."

~ Arthur Paul Boers.  The Way is Made by Walking

Friday, March 10, 2017

Chtistus Victor

"The Christus Victor model has rightly been recommended as a fruitful resource for believels’ church theologizing. Yet the emphases of Christus Victor have been presented as opposed to those of the classical creeds. Through an examination of patristic writers (chiefly Justin Martyr and Irenaeus), who both advocated Christus Victor and affimed many creed-like staments, this essay argues that these two resources need not be incompatible.
It then outlines more positive ways in which believers' church theologians can appropriate the creeds. Finally, this  shows how Christus Victor, as conceived by Justin and lrenaeus, involved not only the social and ethical dimensions that believers’ church theologians stress, but personal and spiritual ones as well.....

Since Christus Victor can be appropriated without setting it sharply
against the creeds, let us consider this motifs content. Most basically,
Christus Victor depicts Jesus' atoning work as a conflict between the
forces of God and the forces of evil. Jesus opposes the latter during his
life, is apparently conquered by them in his death, but triumphs over
them through his resurrection. Weaver traces this conflict through Jesus'
ministry. He stresses good news to the poor and love for enemies as
basic features of God's reign; and Jesus' rejection of Satan's approach to
power in the wilderness and at Peter's confession as flash points of the
struggle (281-83). In such a motif, Jesus, God's reign, and later the
Church clearly stand over against the forces that otherwise rule the
world.....

Thursday, March 9, 2017

People Can't See God Through Our Religious Fog Shit

"People can’t see God clearly because
we keep creating fog banks of failed
legalism, self—focused religion,
definitions of holiness that extract us
from the real world, and fear of our
new neighbors because they are not
like us. We are not friends of the
world, which makes us very unlike
Jesus—the one we purport to follow."

(Hugh Halter. Brimstone: The Art and Act of Holy Nonjudgement)

Disconnected Pain

"Because I’m convinced that beneath the ugly manifestations of our present evils—political corruption, ecological devastation, warring against one another, hating each other based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation—the greatest dis-ease facing humanity right now is our profound and painful sense of disconnection. Disconnection from God, certainly, but also from ourselves (our bodies), from each other, and from our world."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

God Works Even When We Don't Notice or Participate

"Yes, God is saving the world, and God goes on working even though we fail to notice, fail to enjoy, fail to pass on, and fail to fully live our one and only life. We become like the small god we have too often worshipped, and thus spectators at our own funeral."

(Richard Rohr. The Divine Dance)

Jesus is near!

"But the victorious minority, unintimidated by the cultural patterns of the lockstepping majority, live and celebrate as though Jesus were near—near in time, near in place—the witness of our motives, our speech, and our behavior. As indeed he is.

(Brennan Manning. The Signature Of Jesus)