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Eastering

                   Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us, be a crimson, cresseted east..." These words from  Gerard Manley Hopkins in his poem, "The Wreck of the Deutschland," have been hovering in and around my spirit in this past week. Holy Week is always about what seems to be the painfully slow journey of Jesus throughout Jerusalem to the cross. It is a process, a horrific unfolding of the sorrow and pain of pathway to the crucifixion and all its … [Read More...]

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Revisiting GracePlaces–Gratitude in Holy Week

During Lent I have been returning to practices where I had already experienced the Grace of Christ, each week adding a different one, in exercises of remembrance and of stretching. This last week, the one we call Holy, I returning to and adding one practice where I have recognized God's Grace over and over, the practice of giving thanks, being grateful for all the ways that God come to me, daily, and for all time. I am choosing in this week to practice those prayers of gratitude; but along with … [Read More...]

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Revisiting GracePlaces: Loving the World-Lent V

My early beginnings taught me to distrust the world. I spent some years of my childhood in a country across the ocean behind tall walls called a missionary compound, an enclosure I was never to leave alone for fear--of danger, of attack, of getting lost. Yet I read and I see that God loved the world. It has been a challenge to me to reconcile God's love of the world, so freely spoken and acted on, and some favorite sayings of my upbringing from sacred texts that tell me not to love the world or … [Read More...]

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Revisiting GracePlaces: Loving my Neighbors-Lent IV

The house next door is vacant. I confess that I am glad. The neighbor who last leased the house was troubled, and her troubles spilled over into my back yard. However, I am not sure that my heart was very open to her in welcome caring. I know that one of the places where I met met the Grace of God in my life--both as gift and as propelling energy --is when I have followed Jesus' mandate to expand my loving of my neighbors. Since I have lived on this block in the same house for 30 years, I don't … [Read More...]

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Revisiting GracePlaces: Making Joyful Noise–Lent III

I am so blessed to have been raised in a family, a faith tradition and an era in which singing praise to the Holy One was as natural and ordinary as brushing my teeth or doing my homework. Every day had our singing in it. My mother put us to bed singing, There is a happy land far, far away...where saints in glory stand, bright, bright as day. At Sunday dinner we shared offering grace by singing a capella in four part harmony, We thank Thee, Lord, for this our food... Every day there were family … [Read More...]

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Ignited by SACRED FIRE: a Book Review

What a gift to discover this book in the middle of Lent! Ronald Rolheiser, Roman Catholic writer in spirituality and theology, has written a book that covers new and evocative ground for those who have been on the journey of Spirit a long time in this book, Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity. He divides that journey into three parts: Essential Discipleship; Mature Discipleship, the one he addresses most thoroughly in this book: the struggle to give our lives away; … [Read More...]

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Revisiting GracePlaces: Lent II-Walking a Labyrinth

I am revisiting places where I have experienced Grace as a Lenten practice this year, reminding myself of ways in which I have been met by the Holy One in the past. I began in reclaiming periods of silence last week, and am finding that both the struggle to become and then to stay silent is a very powerful practice in my ability to pay attention. This week I am adding another practice which has taken me into deep reflections -- walking the Labyrinth. The three movements evoke different … [Read More...]

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Revisiting GracePlaces: Lent 1-Silence

I have felt overwhelmed with the number and variety of Lenten resources that have come my way this year through many channels, each one seemingly more inviting than the next. I needed to take a moment to stop, to breathe, the listen to what the Spirit was inviting me to let go of or add on as a way of walking toward Easter in a more focused way. As I mused over the possibilities, I kept coming back to older practices in which I have encountered Grace in the past, but have let slide---some out of … [Read More...]

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An Invitation to Stillness: Book Review of Be Still and Know

An Invitation to Stillness: Book Review of Be Still and Know by Norris J. Chumley No one can dispute the 21st North-American need to encounter silence with as much noise as most of us live with and in today. In his book Be Still and Know: God’s Presence in Silence, Norris Chumley investigates one slice of Christian contemplative tradition, hesychasm, a practice of prayerful silence, in its historical and present day Eastern European practice in the Orthodox tradition. This book is … [Read More...]

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Joyful News for Women and Men: Jesus Feminist, A Review

A Joyful Invitation to Women and Men: a Review of Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey I read this book with a swirl of emotions. It was 40 years ago that I with gladness was transformed by the same good news that Sarah Bessey has discovered and proclaimed: the Bible tells us in Jesus Christ that “women are people, too.” I came from evangelical provenance, although a different strand, from a Reformed branch, rather than charismatic, but one that took Scripture seriously, with authority. This … [Read More...]