Let It Go by Riley O’Brien Powell

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I’m reminded that there are times in life when its good to give in, to let go. When sensing the momentum and giving ourselves over to the process is what is most helpful in order for our purpose to be accomplished.Let’s just jump right in and get up close and personal. I’m Riley, pictured above, in labor. A few weeks ago I gave birth to my fourth child. At home. In my bathtub. Yes, on purpose. Its not that we were just too lazy to get ourselves to the hospital. And its not that we are frivo … [Read more...]

A Muslim and Atheist Team up to Promote Freedom of Conscience

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I was born in Pakistan, completed my medical school there and then moved to the United States for specialized medical training. I also moved to escape the horrid persecution my Islamic sect – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community - faces back home. In America, I could enjoy all the freedoms I was denied under Pakistan’s law, most importantly the freedom of speech. I therefore set out to use social media to raise my voice for freedom of conscience world over – and specifically in the ‘Muslim world.’ … [Read more...]

Following a Crucified God and Letting Go of Being Right

The Place Where We Are Right by Yehuda AmichaiFrom the place where we are right flowers will never grow in the Spring.The place where we are right is hard and trampled like a yard.But doubts and loves dig up the world like a mole, a plough. And a whisper will be heard in the place where the ruined house once stood. I often think about deleting my Facebook account. I like to keep up with my friends, but scrolling through my news feed can feel like watching a bar fight, and … [Read more...]

Forget your perfect offering

What is the wholeness that imperfection brings?

In his song, “Anthem” Leonard Cohen sings, “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.”For many of us, perfectionism is an ongoing struggle. I would like to think that being a person with a disability forces me to relate to what’s true: an imperfect body carrying, being the home of, a loved and loving being. The fact is that for many years, I struggled with something else beneath the surface. I worked harder and smarter. I tried to be cleve … [Read more...]

Caught Up in the Thing

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I recently had the opportunity to go on a trip to Disneyland and some of the other parks in Southern California. It was my first visit to a Disney/Disney-type park. Going to Disney was an eye opening experience because all of a sudden I was thrust into a world where everyone was there for the same reason. We all came to see the park and to appreciate the wonders that were set before us. This uniting purpose, this sense of being together for the same reason, strangely opened the door to … [Read more...]

A Theology of Sin is a Distraction. It Doesn’t Exist. And Other Cultural Myths…

 The world is not an evil place to be. It's beautiful. Sure, what is beauty is strictly a subjective definition. For some, beauty is in a sunrise. For others, its in a poem. Or a kiss. Or a Tim Burton movie. Evil is itself also subjective. Yes, what this means is that certain things that have become evil are actually not evil. Homosexuality is not evil. Anger is not evil. Some acts of Abortion are not evil; my claim would be that, if its to escape responsibility, then one should ask … [Read more...]

Hints of Jubilee

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The Old Testament practice of jubilee is perhaps so radical that it is not only inconceivable to imagine its practice in the present time, it was apparently impossible to legislate as a part of the ancient Israelite legal code. The prescription of leveling every gain achieved at the expense of others (land gains or human servitude) every 50th year was designed to specifically prevent the formation of a permanent, multi-generational impoverished class in Israel. Historical evidence generally … [Read more...]

Flexible Faith

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You really can't go back home again.  Or at least if you do, it's best to bite your tongue and sit on your hands.One of the running jokes among my friends who are experimenting with emergence ways of doing church is the ongoing aggravation we have with sermons.  There is nothing inherently wrong with sermons, of course, and we all appreciate the inspiring elocution of a good homiletician who has something important to say and is saying it with flourish and passion.  It's just that we've got … [Read more...]

Metamorphosis: Healing and Transformation

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The path to transformation is full of suffering. When I speak about spiritual woundedness and church-hurt, which seems to be more and more lately, I use the metaphor of childbirth.Childbirth is an excruciating process, and when naturally felt in the body a woman reaches the crescendo of pain, the point called the “transition,” where it feels like the body can’t handle one more moment, this is the very point the body transforms the pain into new life, into the birthing of a new being.The T … [Read more...]

Journeying Through the Dark Side of Emergent Christianity (Toward the Light!)

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This month on the Emerging Voices blog we want to focus on moving through darkness and into light ie: transformation. Tomorrow Teresa Pasquale is going to speak to us about healing woundedness. But today I want to talk about leadership and some of the dynamic that have generated some of the woundedness we see in the Emergent movement.Emergent leadership is being called into question and has been for sometime. In the past few years I have watched the founders of this conversation be attacked … [Read more...]


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