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God Helps Us to do More than We Can Think or Imagine

God Helps Us to do More than We Can Think or Imagine

God wants you to do more and be more than you can think or imagine. How great is that? I know he wants this for us because in 1 Corinthians, Paul tells us that God is preparing for us things so good that they exceed our imagination; and in Philippians 4, Paul says that the Spirit gives us the power to do all things. An invocation from my prayer book recently summarized it this way: “Almighty God, through the power of your Holy Spirit, you enable us…

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Now I Become Myself

Now I Become Myself

A poem by May Sarton in the interim of a rather post less blog season: Now I Become Myself Now I become myself. It’s taken Time, many years and places; I have been dissolved and shaken, Worn other people’s faces, Run madly, as if Time were there, Terribly old, crying a warning, “Hurry, you will be dead before–” (What? Before you reach the morning? Or the end of the poem is clear? Or love safe in the walled city?) Now…

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Addiction as Idolatry

Addiction as Idolatry

When I was in Thailand, I saw idols.  They were outside bakeries and 7-11s.  They would be sitting on shelves behind the cash register at restaurants.  Cab drivers glued them to their dashboards and placed pieces of their lunch in front of them.  I even saw them outside of brothels when a group of us did a prayer walk through the Red Light district in Bangkok.  I watched as women offered food to these small statues surrounded by incense before…

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Children Make Spirituality Hard

Children Make Spirituality Hard

I work from home, which means I work in an extremely chaotic workplace.  I frequently have to lock my office door and put on headphones.  Still I hear children banging on my door.  I hear children crying, and Mary yelling at some child who has just disobeyed her.  It can be crazy.  Just hearing the chaos can put me on edge.  This is especially true when I’m trying to meditate or pray.  It’s almost impossible. I often wish I had…

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Do You Think For Yourself?

Do You Think For Yourself?

From Willimon’s book, Pastor, in a section where he describes the church as a world or culture in which it’s members learn how to live — a place that has rituals, practices and ways of being that teach us who we are and how to be in the world: So, when an early twenty-first-century North American says, “What the church says may be OK for some people, but I think it is important to think for myself,” that person thinks…

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Despair is the Extreme of Self-Love

Despair is the Extreme of Self-Love

From Merton’s New Seeds of contemplation (emphasis is from the author): Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love.  It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost. In every man there is hidden some root of despair because in every man there is pride that vegetates and springs weeds and rank flowers of self-pity as soon as our own resources…

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Stress and Spiritual Rhythms

Stress and Spiritual Rhythms

There’s a scale in our bathroom.  Every time I go in there to take a shower or do my business, I look at it and think, “I wonder what number would come back up at me if I were to stand on that thing.”  Over the last year, it has brought nothing but depressing results.  Beginning with the time that we went to weekly services last April, I’ve gained 20 lbs.  I don’t like getting heavier for a variety of…

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Sin

Sin

Gary Anderson says sin has a history.  He’s not talking about the history of our personal sin — why we did it or what it’s enduring effects were.  He’s talking about the history of the way we talk about sin.  He says this is evident by the change of metaphors that are used to describe/define sin in the Old Testament. He explains why this is significant by employing the philosophical thought of Riccouer, who argues that the meaning of words…

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Journey to Mosaic — Where has my Dad Gone?

Journey to Mosaic — Where has my Dad Gone?

“He left for work in the morning and never returned.  We didn’t know what happened to him.  I called friends and then I called his co-workers.  Only later did I discover that he had been pulled over on the highway and arrested.  He doesn’t have a drivers’ license — he can’t get one because he’s an undocumented worker — and once they realized he is an undocumented worker they deported him.  We didn’t even get to say goodbye.  We’ve been…

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Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

Are Chinese Mothers Superior?

An article asserting the superiority of Chinese mothers in comparison to their western counterparts has been making the rounds recently.  I’ve had it emailed to me and I’ve seen friends posting it to their facebook walls.  You can read the article “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” online. The article is written by a Chinese mother (who happens to also be a Yale Law School professor and author) named Amy Chua.  In the article she anecdotally argues for the superiority of…

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