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Reflections Archive for 2004
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This is Christmas…
The wonder of the Incarnation is that in Jesus we are told that God and humanity are meant for each other. ... In Jesus, God knows intimately what it is to be a toddler
--from “ What Shows Me that God Cares”
by Mary Earle

Unfaltering Faith
Our Faith in God has its beginning, if it is to be more than some faulty human philosophical speculation, in an awareness and appreciation of God’s Faith in us ...
--from the essay “What Can I Know for Certain?”
by The Rev. Dr. Robert R. Hansel

God Among Us
Underneath all of the busyness, the rushing, the effervescence of the holidays, there is the mystery of infinite love, waiting to take flesh yet again ...
--from "Finding God in the Eyes of a Child"
by Mary C. Earle

It' s Dejà vu All Over Again
He may not be as poetic as the writer of Ecclesiastes, but Yogi Berra knows a truth when he sees one.
--from Signposts Daily Meditation
by Susan Hanson

The Deepest Thanksgiving
Whenever it becomes clear that heaven has heard and answered our prayers, we find our hearts
grateful and we are moved to offer thanks.
--from Signposts Daily Meditations
by Renée Miller

Praying the Way Jesus Prayed
It was amazing to me…amazing that I had heard a hundred times over the Psalmist’s saying, “Seven times a day do I praise Thee,” and never bothered to ask what he was talking about ...
--from “What Drew Me In and Kept Me Practicing Fixed-Hour Prayer”
by Phyllis Tickle

Stripping Away the Grime
What do you suppose would happen if we boldly let go of all that others have done and all that life has done to us–and all that we have done to others and ourselves?
--from “Imagine It. We might see God”
by Renée Miller

Our Next Step…Together
The power of love builds communities that can exert great force in a society. It takes great strength to build community.
--from ”Living Spiritually in an Arguing World… The Power of Community”
by The Very Rev. Ward B. Ewing

Facing the Aftermath
Sometime between Frances and Ivan, a friend asked this question: Is God mad at us Floridians
or what?
--from "Life After Frances: Post-Hurricane Reflections from a Weary Floridian"
by Marcia Ford

If you love to listen you will gain knowledge, and if you pay attention you will become wise.
--Sirach 6:33

We all know the type: the person who carries on a conversation while looking past you the entire time. Is he searching for someone more interesting, someone more important than you?
--from Today’s Signpost Daily Meditation.
by Susan Hanson

Steps Toward Peace Within
Walk in such a way that peace becomes a reality in every cell of your body, in every cell of your consciousness, because our consciousness is also made of cells.
--from “Walking with Peace and Presence”
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Looking at the Other Side
To express our opinions, to stand up for what we believe, to act upon what we feel is a fundamental right and in a large sense a necessary part of being fully human.
--from “A Different Point of View”
by Sally Thomason

What Is the Heart of Christianity?
To me, the absolute center of Christianity is embodied love. In my reading of the Bible and in my experience, that's it...hook, line, and sinker.
--from the question “What Is the Heart of Christianity?”
by Anne Robertson

What Difference Does a Prayer Make?
I think efficacious prayer isn’t about getting. What you may want is an answer to a problem, or guidance about a job, or even the right numbers for winning the lottery.
--from Beyond Words: 15 Ways of Doing Prayer
by Kristen Johnson Ingram

Are You Listening?
Listening as the prophets listen, is not being able to hear clearly, the way you can hear [someone talking to you]. It means listening with what St. Benedict calls 'the ear of the heart.'
--from “Listening with the Ear of Your Heart”
by Mimsy Jones

Knowing What’s Real
We can take seriously a different kind of knowing. It's a very ancient kind of knowing--the ancients called it intuition.
--from the question “How can I know the truth about Christianity if I question the Bible’s status as the literal Word of God?”
by Marcus Borg

I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit. --Psalm 77:6
"Who am I?” is a question we never outgrow. Whether in our teens or in our later years, we want to know what influence our past has had on our present, what motivates us, what our goals are.
--from Signposts Daily Meditation
by Susan Hanson

A Very Good Read
In our fast-paced environment, the slow savoring of ideas and concepts has gotten lost in the push for quickness and efficiency.
--from “Spiritual Reading”
by Renée Miller

What Really Matters
To be Christian, I would say, is to live within the Christian tradition as a metaphor of the sacred, and also as a sacrament of the sacred.
--from the question “ … Is believing certain creeds really what Christianity is all about?”
by Dr. Marcus Borg

The Time for Talk
Ecclesiastes says there is a time for every purpose under heaven. There’s a time to talk--and
I believe that this is it.
--from "Talking When Times Are Tough"
by Bob Hansel

You have made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. --Psalm 104:19
Living as we do in climate-controlled homes, and working in windowless rooms, we can easily forget
what time of day it is.
--from Signposts Daily Devotions
by Susan Hanson

The Tangible Effect of Prayer
God's gifts are given actually and immediately, but they are resources which we, as God's stewards,
must put to work in our own lives if they are to bear fruit.
--from "For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory ... "
by Bob Hansel

Defining the Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is like standing on your head and seeing the world upside down. It is seeing things differently.
--from "Your Kingdom Come"
by Mimsy Jones

Praying the Hours
People have prayed at fixed hours during the day for centuries. Quietly easing away from the
obligations of home or work, they take a few moments to spend time with God.
--from "The Complete Guide to the Ancient Practice of Fixed Hour Prayer"

Choosing Your Path
When God created humankind in the divine image, the highest expression of that image is the
power to be a decision maker.
--from the question "How can I know what God wants me to do with my life?"
by The Rev. Dr. Brooks Ramsey

Praying When There's No Time to Pray
My interest in Celtic prayer came at a critical junction in my own spiritual journey. I had just
begun to discover the great contemplative writers of the Christian tradition.
--from "Celtic Prayer: Recognizing God's Presence in our Every Experience"
by Sylvia Maddox

Meditate with Music
In order to use music for meditation, it is important to note that meditation, in all its forms,
provides an environment in which we can set aside the thoughts that move so constantly
through our minds.
--from "Using Music to Hear the Holy"
by Renée Miller

Is It All Right to be Spiritual Without Being Religious?
It's not altogether all right to be spiritual without being religious.It's only partly right for some,
some of the time, but it can't be most right in the end, over time.
--from the question "Is It All Right to be Spiritual Without Being Religious?"
by Katherine Lehman

Praying with Your Heart
St. Francis very often prayed by heart, which means that the words of prayers like those that follow
reverberated inside of him.
--from The St. Francis Prayer Book
by Jon M. Sweeney

Doing Prayer
The truth filters down to earth through many screens and sieves, and I can't know while I'm on
earth how valid the truth is about prayer. And that's a good thing.
--from "Beyond Words: 15 Ways of Doing Prayer"
by Kristen Johnson Ingram

Heeding the Call
As in all myths and fairy tales, the world created by Tolkien is much more black and white
than our own.
--from "The Lord of the Rings: A Commentary"
by John Tintera

Rooted in Faith
It is difficult today to imagine how I could not be a Christian after all the preaching I've heard.
Thunderous, rhythmic word-pounding the spirit of God.
--from "Medicine Men" the third installment of
"Born Again and Again: Stories of the Spirit; Lessons for the Soul"
by Jon Sweeney

Who Do We Forgive?
In religious terms, forgiveness is not always simple. Jesus seems to say that forgiveness is,
to some degree, dependent on an accompanying change in behavior.
--from "How Do We Give and Accept Forgiveness?” an excerpt from Finding Faith at the Movies
by Barbara Mraz

Creating the Kingdom of God
God’s Kingdom is less a place or an idea than it is a total commitment to love one another--
for it is through our love of one another that we become the agents of God, willing to work
to bring about God’s Kingdom on the earth in the present time.
--from "Where Is the Kingdom of God?"
by the Rev. Bill Stroop

The Freedom of Letting Go
Each and every one of us has been a victim of the inequity of life.
We have all suffered pain and betrayal.
--from "Imagine It. We might see God"
by Renée Miller

Walking in Faith
I think there's only one reason to go on that journey. It's because God calls us [to go].
And the key thing to remember is . . . we don't know the destination!
--from "In Abraham's Footsteps"
an interview with Bruce Feiler

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

The End… and the Beginning
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

Leaving Egypt" : Leaving Security for a Life of Faith
Sometimes old patterns--though unhealthy and undesirable--are very seductive, because they
seduce with their promise of familiarity and safety.
--from "To Fly or Not to Fly"
by the Rev. Canon William A. Kolb

The Things of God; the Things of Man
What I want to leave you with today is a serious question. I want you to recognize that Jesus is
not now and never has been the legitimate source of any support for separating the so-called
real world from God's world.
--from "Caesar's or God's?"
by the Rev. Dr. Robert Hansel

The Stories of Our Selves
Somewhere in the Zohar, the classic text of Jewish mysticism, it says, "The stories in the
Torah couldn't be about what they say they're about because we could write better stories."
--from "Born Again and Again: Stories of the Spirit, Lessons for the Soul"
by Jon Sweeney

Why Follow a Practice, A Rule of Life?
I think my rule sets me free. It gives me time for my spontaneous self. It gets the chores
out of the way. It assures me that I will do the things I have decided I want to do, so that later
I don't feel like a jerk because I didn't do any of them.
--from "A Rule of Life"
by Barbara Crafton

Ask, and It Will Be Given You
It is one of the most frequently quoted of all passages from the Bible, and the one that we most
hope is true, at least the first seven words: "Ask, and it will be given you."
--from "Signposts: Daily Devotions"
by Renée Miller

We Are Dust
Lent is about mortality and transformation. We begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday
with the sign of the cross smeared on our foreheads with ashes as the words are spoken over us,
"Dust thou art, and to dust thou wilt return."
--from "Taking Jesus Seriously"
by Dr. Marcus Borg

Seeing through to the Soul
We are much more than our egos, thanks be to God. We are also souls. If we identify with our souls,
then we begin to see things as God sees them.
--from an essay on “The Spiritual Teachings of Ram Dass”

What Can Christians Learn from Other Religions
We can learn more about God. After college I lived in Japan for two years. Among the many
things I did there was to study and practice Zen.
--from the question, "What Can Christians Learn from Other Religions?"
by Mark Beckwith

A Reason for Our Angst
At some point, we, as human beings, become aware of this gap between our beliefs and our
experience and begin to wrestle with our questions about how to live authentically.
-- from "Being Real: Spiritual Tools for Authentic Living"
by Linda Douty

The Gift of Others
We exist to be miracle workers for one another, and it is in community that we are called to grow.
-- from "Being Real: Spiritual Tools for Authentic Living"
by Joan Chittister

The Long Journey Backward
There comes a time for many of us when our heart murmurs softly to us that we need to
return to our roots.
--from "Signposts: Daily Devotions"
by Renée Miller

Walking a Sacred Path
To walk a sacred path is to discover our inner sacred space: that core of feeling that is
waiting to have life breathed back into it through symbols, archetypal forms like the labyrinth,
rituals, stories and myths.
--from "Walking a Sacred Path" by Dr. Lauren Artress featured in
"A Mirror of the Soul: Exploring the Labyrinth as a Tool for Spiritual Navigation"

Finding the Center of the Soul
Most of us arrive at a sense of self only after a long journey through alien lands.
But this journey bears no resemblance to the trouble-free travel packages sold
by the tourism industry.
--from Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
featured in "Being Real: Spiritual Tools for Authentic Living"


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