Monday, July 30, 2012

Why We Struggle

Letting Go

We don’t come to God (or truth or love) by insisting on some ideal worldly order or so-called perfection, but in fact we come “to knowledge of salvation by the experience of forgiveness” (Luke 1:77)—of reality, of others, of ourselves. One reason why I am so attracted to Jesus and then to Francis is that they found God in disorder, in imperfection, in the ordinary, and in the real world—not in any idealized concepts. They were more into losing than winning. But the ego does not like that, so we rearranged much of Christianity to fit our egoic pattern of achievement and climbing.
Isn’t it strange that Christians worship a God figure, Jesus, who appears to be clearly losing by every criterion imaginable? And then we spend so much time trying to “win,” succeed, and perform. We even call Jesus’ very “losing” the redemption of the world. I think Christians have yet to take that message seriously. Religion has largely become “holding on” instead of letting go. God, it seems to me, does the holding on (to us!), and we must learn the letting go. - R. Rohr

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

For some heavier but very interesting reading on the Three Spiritual Pathways: here.

Alban - Building Up Congregations and Their Leaders

Alban - Building Up Congregations and Their Leaders

Beautiful Blogs

Question answered: Why don’t Chicago drivers stop at crosswalks?

Question answered: Why don’t Chicago drivers stop at crosswalks?

Isn't this just about consideration
God, help us to bend for one another and to slow down to help, to smile, to interact, to laugh even with the stranger. This is what makes life good, rich, sweet.

The Way of NonViolence

Conspire Magazine and blog here. Very interesting perspectives. I think we need to talk about these things more in our churches. Where do we go from here?

How Do You Keep the Sabbath?

How Do You Keep the Sabbath?

Words for You

these two quotes seem to go along with one another:

"I myself feel that I cannot get along with this society very well. There are so many things that make me want to withdraw, to go back to myself. But my practice helps me remain in society, because I am aware that if I leave society, I will not be able to help it change."
- Thich Nhat Hanh,from Being Peace

"Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual edification."
- Romans 14:19

Saturday, July 21, 2012

God is Still Speaking

Very Good/ Not Perfect

Genesis 1:31

"God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day."

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

Did you ever notice what God says when God is all done creating the heavens and earth, the perch and porcupines, the golden retrievers and evening grosbeaks, and after God has blown the breath of life into a clay figure made in God's own image? God says, "Very good." I imagine it was a deep, drawn out, satisfied, and happy (maybe even a little surprised and proud) "Veeerry goood."

"Very good," not "perfect."

For which we can be grateful. "Perfect" would have been like, "don't touch a thing." "It's perfect, don't mess it up." It's complete, finished . . . perfect.

But "very good" is like, "This is cool, this is great, but not all done or finished." Which is a way of saying that there's a place for you and me and something for us to contribute here. "Very good," but not finished.

And another thing, did you notice how a day works in the Bible? A day is not from morning to evening. In the Bible it is from evening to evening, night and day make "a day." The day doesn't start when I get out of bed in the morning (this came as a blow to my ego). The day has been in progress for a long time (without me). While I was dead to the world, God was busy. Morning light invites me to join a work-in-progress.

When I got used to it, this evening to evening day was a big relief. God was in charge. Not me, not you. It doesn't all depend on us. But then, "very good" says, "you do have a part to play, a contribution to make. We need you."

Go easy into this day--it doesn't all depend on you. But go into it with joy--you have a part to play and a contribution to make, and without you it won't be the same.


Thanks, God, for being such a wise and good God and creating a very good world with a place for each and every one of us to make a contribution. Amen.
Anthony B. Robinson Nov 2011
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know.
Be still.
Psalm 46:10
"My hunger for the freedom of my own people became a hunger for the freedom of all people, white and black. I knew as well as I knew anything that the oppressor must be liberated just as surely as the oppressed. A [person] who takes away another [person's] freedom is a prisoner of hatred ... is locked behind bars of prejudice and narrow-mindedness. I am not truly free if I am taking away someone else's freedom, just as surely as I am not free when my freedom is taken from me. The oppressed and the oppressor alike are robbed of their humanity."
- Nelson Mandela

Sermon on Salome, Herod, and the Beheading of John the Baptist

Sermon on Salome, Herod, and the Beheading of John the Baptist

Thursday, July 19, 2012

God is Still Speaking

Promising Friendship
Excerpt from 1 Samuel 23:14-18

"[David and Jonathan] made a sacred promise of friendship to each other." (Good News Bible)

Reflection by William C. Green

It's hard to have close friends. Some blame this on the pace and pressure of life today, with financial and career demands more time-consuming than ever. Others argue that social networking lets simpler virtual friendship make up for the real thing.

But as psychologists point out, the absence of close friendship leaves a void that the best marriages and closest partnerships can't fill. Primary loyalties reach a breaking point when made to carry the full emotion of both parties. Relationships fall apart, and rates of loneliness, depression, and even suicide grow.

Earlier cultures traditionally considered friendship so important that newborns were assigned a best friend right at birth! Mary Wollstonecraft, one of the earliest advocates of women's rights, spoke of both men and women in noting that while Eros is transient, "the most holy bond of society is friendship." She echoes Aristotle's argument that friendship is essential to the public good by enlarging understanding beyond private and domestic life.

The Bible itself speaks not only of the love, mercy, and judgment of God, but of the friendship of God. Abraham and Moses are called "friends of God." God needs others. That's why we were created. In the divine image, we in turn are made to need others - not only as with Adam and Eve but also Naomi and Ruth, Jonathan and David, and the friendship commended elsewhere in Scripture. Jesus calls us friends (John 15:12). He says we reciprocate by being a good friend of others.


May I be a good friend of yours, God, by being a better friend of others. Amen.

Food Carts in Chicago

Back on My Feet recently partnered with StreetWise and Neighbor Capital to introduce the innovative Neighbor Carts program to residential team members. Neighbor Carts, supported by a vendor-training grant from the city of Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development, enables individuals to become successful and profitable fruit cart vendors. Participants in the program have the unique opportunity to both manage their own fruit cart stand and help increase access to healthy foods across local communities.
New vendors receive intensive training, including modules on sales and marketing techniques, customer acquisition strategies and customer service. Vendors also receive basic job-readiness preparation and additional financial and social services support through Streetwise. Neighbor Carts provides the street permit, fruit cart and supporting infrastructure. John Piercy, founder of Neighbor Capital, believes that Neighbor Carts can be the practical answer for two of the top issues facing Chicago: unemployment and access to healthy foods. Piercy believes that Neighbor Carts “is more than just a fruit cart; these carts bring about social change.”
Neighbor Carts currently has several carts in operation, with plans to place several more into service in the coming months. Seven Back on My Feet members have attended orientation, and four have already submitted applications and been approved to begin training.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

History of Mandela

I can't wait to sit down - do some dishes, fold some laundry - and listen to this history of a great activist and leader who still graces this earth with his presence and wisdom. Listen up!

The God Particle

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Is God in the House?

Yes, we have to take responsibility for ourselves but as Christians we are comanded to also take responsibility for one another.
Perhaps the reluctance to take responsibility is due to the fact that the problems we face are too systemically complex, too deeply entrenched or too structurally intractable. It can be argued that the many moving parts to the puzzles of life make it unfeasible for anyone or any entity to take comprehensive responsibility. But the unfeasibility of full responsibility does not give us license to take no responsibility at all. Rev. Kenneth L. Samuel
I'm sorry that much of our discourse these days is about being left alone or being content in our prosperity just because we got here and everyone else should get to this point too, without "help". The fact is none of us did anything alone or ever will and just because our brothers and sisters are struggling doesn't mean we shut them out and say "too bad".  If that's the way we want to shape our thoughts and guide our hearts we are in big trouble and God has left the room. God only exists when we make Him present and active in our lives by loving. Period. There is enough to share. There is enough joy to go around. May we keep God in our homes, in our hearts.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Gun Worship


Exodus 20:13

"Thou shalt not kill."

Reflection by Anthony B. Robinson

As I watched the fireworks of July 4th this year, I couldn't help but think of fireworks of a different sort: gun violence.

America, we got a problem. With over 300 million privately owned guns, we are the most heavily armed civilian population in the world - by far. In second place is Yemen, where the rate of gun ownership is still less than half that of the U.S. Annually in America 100,000 people are killed or wounded in incidents of gun violence.

While the gun industry never tires of telling us that "guns don't kill people, people do," it's hard to imagine that Trayvon Martin would be dead if George Zimmerman hadn't been carrying a gun.

In Seattle, where I live, it's been a terrible year for gun violence. In just one awful week in May there were six separate shootings, leaving 10 dead or wounded. Earlier this year there were multiple incidents of children getting ahold of guns and shooting themselves or their classmates.

Over the last 40 years, there's been a concerted effort to convince Americans that gun ownership is a fundamental and defining right. I don't buy it. Ordinary people carrying concealed weapons is not the definition of citizenship; it is the failure of citizenship - and of civil society.

This isn't only about the sixth commandment (see above). It's also about the first: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Guns have become a kind of god in America. Our gun worship is idolatry. Time for churches and preachers to speak up.


Deliver us, Lord, from evil. Deliver us from the fear that causes us to buy and possess handguns. But first of all, help us to confess this truth: we have a problem. Amen.

Lessons for Our Whole Lives: Church-based sex ed | The Christian Century

Lessons for Our Whole Lives: Church-based sex ed | The Christian Century

Social Justice Sojo Blog

This is the place to go for quick information and short takes on the day's news. If it's important to Christians who care about economic justice, immigration, faith and politics, peace and nonviolence, and creation care, it should be on this blog:


How to live a life free from plastic

How to live a life free from plastic

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Blog Heaven

this is so darling and simple.....perfection!
source of hand-crafted food from around the country....
home decor bliss
popular topics on fashion, life, culture, food....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

For Your Home

you can get this print from minted up to 44x66inches!

tip: thin paint and use a straw (blow!) to create colored fireworks!

Monday, July 2, 2012

"As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive."
- Colossians 3:14-15

Sunday, July 1, 2012

For Bread

Did I already post this Ghandi quote? Even if I did, it's worth another post. Communion in church today was wonderful. The more I participate in breaking and sharing bread, the more full I become. God, thank you for coming to us in the form of something that will fill our bellies as well as our hearts.

There are so many hungry people in the world that God could only come into the world in the form of food.” M.K. Ghandi

It is marvelous, that God would enter our lives not just in the form of sermons or Bibles, but in food. God comes to feed us more than just teach us. -R. Rohr

Sermon on Fear, Self-centeredness and the Storm at Sea

Sermon on Fear, Self-centeredness and the Storm at Sea

Words for You

"Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil."
- Ephesians 4:26-27

Another Perspective

excerpt from a piece in Sojourners written by Jim Wallis:

This last week, I’ve watched the endless political pre-coverage of the Supreme Court decision, and I was struck first by the poor quality of the questions being asked. Now that the decision has been made, the pontification is just as bad. We need to be focused on those who are left out and left behind, not who is up or down in politics and the polls.

The pundits ask: How will this affect the election? Who’s the political winner; who’s the loser? Republicans or Democrats, Obama or Romney? Is the Supreme Court too politicized or not enough? Who is protecting and who is destroying the reputation and dignity of the court? These are interesting political questions but not the fundamental questions for Christians to ask.

Our bottom line is different. We don’t start with politics, but rather with how these decisions affect real people. Here are our questions: How will the results of the decision today affect the people who still don’t have adequate and reasonably priced health care? What about the people still not covered under the Affordable Care Act? Will there still be those who are too poor to be healthy in America? How do we move from a mindset that views health care as merely a commodity and not a human right? These are the questions for Christians, not who wins and who loses the political debate.

Coming to God

We come to God much more by doing it wrong than by doing it right. God absolutely leveled the human playing field by using our sins and failures to bring us to divine union. This is surely the most counterintuitive message of the Gospels—so counterintuitive that it largely remains hidden in plain sight.
~ Richard Rohr, June 2012