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Reflections Archive for 2003
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All Knowing, All Loving
If you go to your favorite bookstore, you will find shelves of literature about mankind's search for God ...
--from "God's Faith in Us"
by The Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel

God Is With Us
Just as God's transcendence assures us that we have meaning, God's immanence--that is, God's being as near to us as our very breath-- assures us that we are never alone or in total isolation ...
--from the spoken meditation "God Is With Us"
by Renée Miller

A Constant Message
Holiness is never fussy or sentimental. Neither is a good poem; it’s ultimate realism. My evidence for this belief is that holiness endures, persistent as a weed through the depredations of all the ages, ...
--from "Being Real About Life"
an excerpt by Kathleen Norris

The Nourishing Darkness
This is the season when we remember that darkness may be fruitful—the darkness of the soil where the hidden seed sleeps, or the darkness of the womb where new life is created. ...
--from the essay “A Celtic Christmas”
By Mary Earle

What is Holy?
Let me suggest to you that holiness is not what you think it is. ...
from "Being Real: Why Would You Want to be Holy?"
an excerpt by Renée Miller

A Simple Thank You
As one grows closer to God, gratitude spreads from a category of "blessings" into every part of one's life. ...
--from the essay "Getting from Sunday to Monday: Am I on the Right Path?"
By Linda Douty

Opening Yourself to Others
True hospitality crosses every barrier. The hospitable heart acknowledges that hospitality does not depend on the worthiness of the recipient. ...
--from the Daily Signposts
by Renée Miller

The Cure for Spiritual Blindness
Take stock of your spiritual eyesight and, if, as I suspect, it's not as sharp as it ought to be, then you're probably having a hard time seeing the hand of God at work all around you. ...
--from "Sight for Sore Eyes"
by the Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel

Discerning God's Message
The central focus of our faith is the belief that God has entered into conversation with us. The challenge is to be open to what God is trying to say to us.
--From the question "How Can I Know When It Is God Who Is Speaking to Me?"
by the Rev. Dr. Brooks Ramsey

The Things that Matter
Lots of things recede in importance as you grow older. Sitting in the front seat. Being first. Being popular. Being like other people. ...
--From "What We Really Need”
by Barbara Crafton

Practicing Belief
You don't want to simply practice a piety that is antiquated, or that causes you to feel guilty for what you have and have not done in your life. ...
--From the question "Is it all right to be spiritual without being religious?"
by the Rev. Renée Miller

Born Again: A New Heart
Being born again is the work of the Spirit. Whether it happens suddenly or gradually, we can't make it happen,
either by strong desire and determination or by learning and believing the right beliefs. ...
--an excerpt from "The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith"
by Marcus Borg

The Physical Truth
We agree that life is fleeting - and I know that the older you become the more sensitive you become to this - but it is exactly because life is fleeting that our bodies are sacred. ...
--from the essay "After We Die... There is burial or cremation: What Do We Do With Mom's Body?"
by Jon Sweeney

Our Bodies, Our Selves
We forget that aging is not the enemy. We have forgotten that in the fairy tales of our youth it is the wise old man who appears in the guise of Father Time to illuminate life's journey with redeeming light ...
--From "Growing Older: We are God's Creation even as we age"
by Sally Thomason

The Safeguards of Our Souls
When life is charging forward at breakneck speed, it seems nearly impossible to have time to order and ground our souls. ...
--from Signposts
by Renée Miller

Change from the Inside Out
If we try to grow spiritually using the measuring stick of success in our culture, we will experience repeated frustration. ...
--from the essay "Getting from Sunday to Monday: Barriers to Change"
by Linda Douty

On Running Races
We are a people hungry for tenderness. Especially in these days of global fear, meanness on the streets, false victories, and unaffordable health care, we long for blessed kindness. ...
--from "Focus on Film:'Seabiscuit'"
by Dr. Lee Ramsey

An All-Encompassing Love
What is the love that the scripture talks about? This love that says, "I love that which is unlovable." ...
--from the text "Beauty and the Beast"
by the Rev. Dr. Daniel P. Matthews

Trusting Radically
Faith as radical trust in God, not trust in statements about God, but trust in God. ...
--from "What is Faith?"
by Dr. Marcus Borg

A Web of Love
The only way to move from that sheer, empty feeling of loneliness of the soul is to bravely step out into the tousled web of connections with others and with God. ...
from Signposts: Daily Devotions
by Renée Miller

Waking from Sleep
Life is filled with tragedy and celebration, fullness and emptiness, sadness and joy. Moving within these extremes is a part of what it means to be human - to be alive. ...
--from "Waking from Sleep"
by by Renée Miller

The Eyes of Your Soul
How, then, can we live a life of peace and faith? How can we believe
that God is in charge? Well, some of us can and some of us can't. ...
--from "How Do You See?"
by Bill Kolb

What is the point of asking theological questions? Can we ever really know the answers?
Do we stop learning when we graduate from high school? College? Law School? Seminary? Graduate school? Medical school? No. As human beings, we are constantly learning and discovering new things. ...
--from the question, "What is the point of asking theological questions? Can we ever really know the answers?"
The Rev. Canon William Stroop, Ph.D.

The Divine Compass
The same God who called so many in the history of the people of Israel to journey to him, and with him, calls U.S. ...
--from "The Sacred Map: Looking Beyond Ourselves for God's Direction"
By Stephen Holmgren, D. Phil.

" Who do people say that I am?... But who do you say that I am?" --Mark 8:27, 29
It's not the religious establishment that gives the answer. It is not doctrine, dogma, or discipline that gives the answer. It is not the words, ideas, or thoughts of others that gives the answer. It only and always comes down to this ...
--from Signposts: Thoughts for Meditation
by Renée Miller

How Can I Live a Life of Faith?
By offering yourself to God. Ideally we do this day by day. But sometimes we can't. Sometimes it is just too difficult ...
--from the question, "How Can I Live A Life of Faith"
by John B. Fritschner

For God and Country
Christian patriotism--an appreciation of what was, a realism about what is, and a devotion to what must be: all three at once ...
--from "Patriotism--From a Christian Perspective"
By the Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel

A Hunger for God
"So what now?" [my spiritual director] heard me say. She had explained my hungry condition to me; I understood it now, but I was still in an "effort" mode. I was waiting for my next assignment ...
--from the reflection "A Hunger for God"
by Linda Douty

Moving Toward the Sacred, Step by Step
Walking the labyrinth really somehow turns the key and the lock for many people ...
-- from "A Mirror of the Soul: Exploring the Labyrinth as a Tool for Spiritual Navigation" - "One on One" Interview with Lauren Artress

The Words of My Mouth...
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord; keep watch at the door of my lips. --Psalm 41:3
It is a response of passion. Speaking, that is. Words always follow the passion that pulses in the heart. ...
-- from Signposts: Thoughts for Meditation by Renée Miller

Give Us Today Our Daily Bread
Life is all about the present. We only get life in daily increments. There's no guarantee that tomorrow will arrive for any body. ...
--from the sermon "Give Us Today Our Daily Bread"
by The Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel

Anchored in Prayer
The power of prayer is the power that comes to us when we realize that God can be our point of reference in the midst of all the confusions of our daily lives ....
--from the question "What is the Power of Prayer?"
by The Rev. Margaret Gunness

Through the Eyes of the Artist
Art is not religion, at least not for Jewish and Christian believers. But artists, at their best, often serve the ends of faith. ...
--from "Focus on Film:The Pianist"
by Dr. Lee Ramsey

Glimpses of the Real World
When in your past have you had that tingling sensation of an altered state of consciousness?...
--from the essay "The Eyes of a Child"
by The Rev. Lowell E. Grisham

Seeing The Matrix
"The Matrix has you." This message makes it through Neo by way of his computer. Its meaning will occupy the rest of the film. ...
--from "Who Put These Fingerprints On My Imagination?"
Engaging the Matrix
Adapted from Everyday Apocalypse by David Dark

Practicing Resurrection
When I think about the resurrection now, I don't only think about what happened to Jesus. ...
--from an "Introduction to her memoir Practicing Resurrection"
by Nora Gallagher

The Yoke That Frees
How can the desire to be resurrected--to be delivered from hardness of heart--be fulfilled short of joining a monastery?...
--from "Jesus Is Here, Resurrecting the Cracked and Hardened Heart"
by The Rev. Canon Renée Miller

What Makes This Friday “Good”?
When all of our own hopes have died, we still have this faith that seeks nothing for itself--not wisdom, not spiritual power, not rescue from sufferings ...
--from "My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?”
by The Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor

A New Direction
The U-turn is a sign from God. God accepts U-turns in Judaism and Christianity, and especially during our holy sea sons. ...
--from "A Sign From God" by Rabbi Micah Greenstein

The Place for Pain
If you want to help the world, if you want to be of service, become a person of faith, a person of hope, a person of love. ...
--from "Miracles Within: God Turns Anxiety to Faith; Anger to Hope; Fear to Love"
by the Rev. Lowell Grisham

These Are the Times for Perfect Trust
What is "perfect trust"?...
--from "What Are We To Do? Thoughts on Community, Compassion and Comfort"
by the Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel

The Primacy of Faith
Faith is not the state of believing but the state of trusting in the source that makes faith possible. ...
-- from the essay "The Nuts and Bolts of Jungian Psychology and Spirituality" by William Walker, D. Min.

Moving Past the Past
God promises to us as individuals, to our families, even to our church that we will receive the power to stand up straight, to reenter life fully, and to move forward with confidence. ...
--from the essay "The Difference Between Curing and Healing" by the Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel

Dust and Ashes
Returning to dust implies that we've been dust before. Has that occurred to you?...
--from the essay "Dust and Ashes" by The Rev. Dr. Katherine M. Lehman

Falling in Love with God
Have you been able to let yourself fall back in love with God? Have you dared to give your heart to him?...
--from the sermon "The Gift and the Burden of Love" by the Rev. Margaret B. Gunness

What is Spirituality?
Spirituality I define as becoming conscious of and intentional about our relationship to God. ...
--from the sermon "Jesus and the Christian Life" by Dr. Marcus J. Borg

Present Love
We may say, "I will always love you," and that is a sentiment that can come from the best there is in being hum an. ...
--from the essay "Present Love" by The Rev. Canon William A. Kolb

Coping With Change
Change and transition don't always have to be bad thing s. ...
--from the essay "Coping With Change" by Earle Donelson, Ph.D.

The Science of Faith
There is not a disjunction or disagreement between Biblical stories and current scientific thought about the universe. ...
--from the Question "As a Christian, how do I reconcile stories from the Bible
with current scientific thought?" by The Rev. Canon William Stroop, Ph.D.

A Shared Longing
The good news is that God understands our barriers and limitations, so great is God's longing for U.S. ...
--From the essay "Listening for God" by Linda Douty

The Ongoing Story
Think of scripture as a progressive conversation among seekers after God through centuries and across cultures. ...
--From the Question "How can the God of judgment and punishment, as often portrayed in the Old Testament, be reconciled with the concept of a God of love?"
by The Rev. Dr. Katherine M. Lehman

Searching for Treasure
Finding and keeping alive faith in Jesus, present and resurrected now in our time and space, can be like a pursuit of elusive treasure. ...
--From the essay "An Epiphany"
by The Rev. George Yandell

Living in Christ's Light
Christ has pitched a tent in our lives. The light is here, and this light will bring us both challenges and promises. ...
--From the sermon "The Light of Christ"
by Katherine Bush

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