Chocolate for Lent

Chocolate

Lent (the forty-day period of preparation for Easter Sunday) has a bad reputation in some quarters as solely negative and dour time. However, the season of Lent is not only a challenge to give up a bad habit (to loosen attachment to the aspects of our lives that unduly occupy our attention), but also an invitation to take on a spiritual practice to refocus ourselves on something positive and healthy. You might take time each day of Lent to:slowly and contemplatively read from a sacred s … [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Netflix Streamed in 2014

Broadchurch

This list is not my favorite new releases of the year. Instead, it is the best of the content I watched since this time last year. It also does not include films that I saw in the theater. In addition, this list is in alphabetical order because agonizing over a precise order would take out all the fun: Broadchurch Series 1 of this critically-acclaimed in the U.K. is now available streaming in the U.S.: The ratings in Britain this spring were very strong — just shy of what “Downton Abbey” earne … [Read more...]

Top 10 Best Albums Listened to in 2014

AltJ

This list is not my favorite new releases; instead, it is the best of the albums I listened to for the first time since last year. This list is also in alphabetical order because agonizing over a precise order would take all the fun out of remembering these albums:Alt-J, This Is All Yours: Judging from Alt-J's 2012 debut An Awesome Wave, here are the minimum requirements to earn the "next Radiohead" tag: be a British band that likes guitars and computers. And yet, with few other groups … [Read more...]

Jewish Readings of Christian Scripture: Parables as Deeds Not Creeds

short

Yesterday I posted about "Reading the Same Text Differently with Jews & Christians Read" about the ways Christians have often appropriated Jewish scripture in a way that does not fully appreciate the ways that Jews understand their own texts in very differently. In this post, I am turning the tables to consider Jewish readings of Christian scripture — in particular, Jesus’ parables. The inspiration for this post is a new book, Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controv … [Read more...]

The Meaning of the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) for Today

Palmer

Parker Palmer, in his modern spiritual classic A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life relates the classic Daoist tale known as “The Woodcarver”:A master carver, made a bell stand of precious wood. When it was finished, all who saw it were astounded. They said it must be the work of spirits. The Prince of Lu said to the master carver: “What is your secret?” He replied: “I am only a workman: I have no secret. There is only this: When I began to think about the work you co … [Read more...]

The Sacred in Music

Blacwell

Poetry and music engage us in ways beyond what can be contained in prose alone. Poetry uses language playfully to gesture beyond the more straightforward meaning of most texts, offering the possibility of breaking open fixed ideas to new possibilities. As Emily Dickinson once mused about the power of poetry:Tell all the truth but tell it slant — Success in Circuit lies Too bright for our infirm Delight The Truth's superb surprise As Lightning to the Children eased With explanation k … [Read more...]


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