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Reflections Archive for 2005
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Living with the Saints
Saints aren't just the people officially sainted by the Roman Catholic Church; they are all believers, all who have chosen to follow the Way of the Christ, however imperfectly. ...
--from "Signposts Daily Devotions"
by Molly Wolf

Dealing With Fear
Fear is hardwired into our brains as a mechanism for self-preservation. For example, we might be driving down the street and suddenly another car pulls in front of us. ...
--from "Dealing with Fear" 
by Rod Spencer

Looking Back on Depression
In the midst of severe clinical depression I have never felt anything redeeming about it, spiritually or otherwise. But when I emerge back into life, several things become clear. ...
--from the question "How could depression lead to a richer spiritual life?"
by Parker Palmer, Ph.D.

Seeing Through the Veil
I believe every human being has these experiences of something deeper than the ordinary. ...
--from "The Eyes of a Child"
by Lowell Grisham

Why We Pray
Prayer is not really about getting God to do something for you or to get God to make a change about something. It is about building a relationship with God. ...
--from "Your Spiritual Coach"
by Renée Miller

How do I truly forgive, especially when the offense is repeated without remorse?
--from "Ram Dass to Christ:
or How a 1960s Guru Showed Me Real Christianity" 
by Nick Lewis

A Place for God
Every major religion has some form of spiritual practice of attention or mindfulness.
Whether it is meditation or simple awareness, spiritual depth occurs when there is focus
and singularity. ...
--from "Creating a Sacred Space"
by Renée Miller

Actively Letting Go
Letting go is a participatory process, not a passive one. Our task is to have the courage to identify what needs to be released, THEN be willing to work with God to let it go. ...
--from "An Interview with Linda Douty,
author of How Can I Let Go if I Don't Know I am Holding On?"

After Katrina, Let the Tears Come
Trying to shut down suffering—that's not the way of Jesus the Christ, who wept at
Lazarus's tomb, whose mother and friends endured with him through the Crucifixion.
That's not God's way. ...
--from "Grief: After Katrina, Let the Tears Come"
by Molly Wolf

After Katrina
As inadequate as I feel to speak in the face of such tragedy and loss, I want to say clearly and firmly that our Center, our God, does hold. Perhaps more than ever, in the midst of crisis, God is with us.
I believe this with all my heart. ...
--from "The Center Will Hold"

by The Rev. Margaret Jones

A Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Katrina
O God, we remember when the disciples of Jesus were terrified after a long night on a
turbulent sea. ...
--by Rev. Canon Reneé Miller

A Different Kind of Peace
We are in the habit of thinking too narrowly about peace. We understand it as being released from trouble or disorder, or having the chaos of our lives stilled. ...
--from “"Lose Yourself in the Presence of God"”
by The Rev. Canon Reneé Miller

The Practice of Being Alive
The kingdom of God is available to you in the here and the now. But the question is whether you are available to the kingdom. ...
--from “"Walking with Peace and Presence"”
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Good Enough
Be still and know that I am God.
"Look at that," she said. "I don't even know what that means." I thought she was going to cry. It means just what it says. STOP. ...
--from "Good Enough"
by Margaret Jones

The Movement Toward Simplicity
In the spiritual life, less is more. Not only do we have cluttered closets, but we have cluttered schedules and cluttered thoughts, resulting in cluttered spirits. ...
--from "Am I On the Right Path?"

Linda Douty

Bombs and explosions: A Londoners guide to keeping the faith
I remember my first-ever religious studies lesson at school. By way of introduction, the teacher wrote on the blackboard, How can God exist if bad things happen in the world? ...
--from "Reflections on the London Bombings"
by Simon Cohen

Keeping Life's Questions
For me, vital religious faith isn't so much about answers. It's more like facing in the direction of answers. ...
--from an interview with the author about his new book, The Spirit Searches Everything
by Frederick Borsch

Prayers for Freedom
Gracious God, when the struggles of life hem me in on every side, open me to the freedom of your presence that can help me see beyond every restriction, every limit that binds me. ...
"Prayers and Essays on Freedom"

Radical Trust
It is far more challenging and rewarding to place our trust in Jesus than merely to believe that doctrinal statements about him are objectively true. ...
--from "Trust in Jesus," reprinted with permission from Becoming Human
by Brian Taylor

Hearing the Silence
How do we become sensitive to voice of God? Thomas Merton said it well: "Silence is the language of God--all else is poor translation." ...
--from "Getting from Sunday to Monday: Opening Yourself to the Guidance of God"
by Linda Douty

A New View of Heaven
When I was a child, growing up in a very conservative church, I was taught that heaven--which was most certainly a place--was the reward for those who had accepted Jesus into their lives. ...
--from "Signposts Daily Devotions"
by Susan Hanson

But...What if I Don't Get It Right?
In the end, we will not always know what God's Will is before we have to plunge forward. Sometimes we just have to assume that since we have not received any guidance from the Spirit, God has left it up to us. ...
--from "How to Find the way Forward,"”reprinted from the new book Becoming Human
by Brian Taylor

Releasing the Reins
In the New Testament, Jesus hinted at the difficulty in controlling or defining the process of spiritual growth. He was often asked to define the Kingdom of God... and did he ever do that? ...
--from "Getting from Sunday to Monday: Barriers to Change"
by Linda Douty

Become Simple
We live in an increasingly complex environment. At times we're bewildered by moral choices
that seem ever more gray and uncertain, such as those presented by stem-cell research
or new definitions of gender identity. ...
--from "Become Simple,"” reprinted from Becoming Human
by Brian Taylor

Forgiving, Again and Again
Some years ago I came across an idea that helped clarify and deepen my understanding of forgiveness. Forgiveness means relinquishment. It's that simple. ...
--from "The Parable of the Slighted Son"
by Mark Muesse

My aunt Bae never had any children. She thought of me as her son and made me feel special, and I loved her for that. ...
--an excerpt from the book Moments of Forever
by James Ian Walter

"I am confused. How can I get back to the truth?"
First, trust the confusion. Faith ought to be confusing, not because God is beyond reach, but because it is hard and confusing work to let go of old ways ...
--from "What Are You Asking?"
by Tom Ehrich

For Ourselves and Others
What does it mean to "take the journey ourselves”? Remember that we have free will: We can refuse to move, to explore, to take the trip. ...
--from “"Getting From Sunday to Monday: Moving from belief to experience,
from information to transformation"
by Linda R. Douty”

Dealing With Disappointment
It’is important to realize that our faith also may be a source of our disappointment--that is,
when we misuse faith. ...
--from “"Dealing with Disappointment"”
by Earle Donelson, Ph.D.

This Fleeting Life
After everything is over here, after that last day, we affirm that life continues in Christ. It is not historical life -- history happens only here. But it is a life for which we can prepare ...
--from "Against a Life of Might-Have-Been"
by Barbara Crafton

An Easter Way of Life
The Easter story is not only an experience, an event. It is a way of life. The resurrection of Jesus created the hope in Christians that death is never the end -- resurrection is. ...
--from "Living Easter,"
an introduction to "A Thought a Day for the 50 Days of Easter"

The Darkest Day
There was one more thing that was finished that day, and that was the separation between Jesus and God. ...
--from “"It is Finished"”
by The Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor

Moving Beyond Our Comfort Zone
God's Truth for our lives is not locked into and limited to scripture, as some teach. God's eternal realties are not frozen in what has already been accepted by the majority. ...
--from “Who's to Blame?”
by The Rev. Canon William A. Kolb

Heeding God's Call
Integrity is not about fairness. It is about living in the hands of God. What does that mean?
It means that we are open to possibilities that our lives are meant for a higher purpose ...
--from "Midlife Questions"
by Ron McDonald

We also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. --Romans 5:3-4
I wonder how many of you will stop reading after seeing today's scripture. Paul’s famous, or infamous, words used to be a real turn-off for me.
--from “Signposts Daily Devotions”
by The Rev. Margaret Jones

Keeping Lent
What are you giving up for Lent this year? What is your Lenten discipline?
These are common questions in the season of Lent. For years I used to try to think of something that would require me to endure some significant (I could even say faithful) deprivation).
--from “A True Lenten Discipline: Walking with Christ”
The Rev. Margaret Gunness

LOOKING WITHIN: Finding God Deep Inside
One task of the spiritual life is to boldly assume the arduous but awesome assignment of re-discovering our original ‘self.
--from "Collections: A Collage of Suggestions for Deep Reflection"

Facing Who We Are
This past weekend I reread a book by Barbara Brown Taylor called Speaking of Sin, The Lost Language of Salvation. I urge you to read it this Lent.
--from “Ash Wednesday - A Wake-up Call”
by The Rev. Margaret W. Jones

The Deaths We Grieve
There is no life without death, and the accompanying grief that is natural to the experience of death in all its forms. But there is no death apart from the possibility of new life and transformation.
--from “The Deaths We Grieve”
by Senter Crook

Craving Something More
I was drawn to the monastic life because it seemed to stand for what I loved most about the faith
of my fathers and mothers.
--from “Washing Out My Ears,” installment 11 of “Born Again and Again: Stories of the Spirit,
Lessons for the Soul”
by Jon Sweeney

Lord, Grant me Wisdom
Wisdom isn’t learned from books or lectures, but from life, especially from one’s failings and yearnings.
--from the question “Could I please be granted wisdom?”
by Tom Ehrich

The Everyday Mystic
Life pushes on in steady and seemingly unceasing beats. Going to work, doing errands, caring for children, getting over illness, working through grief, caring for pets, gardening, paying bills, phone calls, email, meetings.
--from "Mystery and Mysticism"
by Renée Miller

A Prayer for the Victims of the Asian Tsunami
O God of grace, we come before you with hurting hearts to plead for those who are the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Asia.
--from "Responses to the Asian Tsunami"
by Renée Miller

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