Texting vs. Flirting with a Monk

It's late and I would enjoy drifting off into dreamland but something in me feels unsettled, an inner agitation.  In the past, I would have allowed this to take root and my thoughts would encircle a 'problem'. But now I know I can go inside to escape turmoil, establishing peace. Somehow we've forgotten that mental calm and balance are our natural default state.Getting centered can be done with meditation or replacing negative thougths with positive ones like a mantra. Reminding ourselves-- I … [Read more...]

Milwaukee and the Space Between

What is the name for the thing that happens when people ask you to do as they say, not as they do? What is the name of the thing that happens when people have a promise and a duty and they not only fail to fulfill it, they show disdain for their responsibilities? People who cry for peace but then act for war come to mind. All of these factors weigh heavy in the burning of Milwaukee. I’ve been there in recent years, wide boulevards and clear skies, Midwestern charm. Has there been a higher p … [Read more...]

Sexism in the Church

This topic was bound to come up given some of the things that are going on in the election. For instance, the complete dismissal by D.J.T. of women's complaints against ex-FOX news head Roger Ailes. The blatant denial of anything inappropriate mixed with the complete dismissal of a woman's word against a powerful man is a clear example of how sexism can exist in many subversive ways, even when HR policies are written to prevent it. And while we would love to believe that this kind of sexism … [Read more...]

Jesus, the Cause of Division

The lectionary reading for this week is putting some folks on edge. It is Luke 12: 49-56, you can read it here. As a Christian who is deeply attached to the social justice and liberation narratives found in scripture, reading this text at face value was a little irksome. I will confess that I would much rather have Jesus say "Turn the other cheek" than, "I did not come to bring peace." The deeper I looked, the more sense this passage began to make. At first it doesn't sound like Jesus, but then … [Read more...]

When Faith Fades

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
 the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
Fo … [Read more...]

Westboro Baptist, Eye-gazing + #DemsInPhilly

  Why would a Christian Yogi Mama head into Philadelphia amidst the crowds of Bernie or Bust supporters carrying her hand-made sign displaying-- We are already connected Look into my eyes and see Well, not to face down  the infamous, vemon-spewing  cult, Westboro Baptist, that's for certain. But when I found myself in 93 degree sweltering heat, it was nothing compared to the hellfire and damnation being shouted from the guy with the mic.  I had never seen or heard anything like this, let alon … [Read more...]

No more loyal love, no more compassion

Have you ever cried so much that you run out of tears? The post I offered previous to this was about the splendid promise of grief. And, still, we are flooded by a tide of violence that does not relent. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were executed without due process by police officers. Other incidents of terror and hate crisscross the globe, and people mourn and wonder what else they can do. Do you feel your shoulders inching toward your ears in a shrug? Do you find yourself less and … [Read more...]

At a Loss for Words

This will sound so cliche. But, I'm just at a loss for words.+France and another attack. Just no words left.That doesn't mean hopeless or despairing, just quiet and thoughtful. What is worth saying in the world we have lived through in the last few weeks? So many words have been poured out, and so few help.Through it all babies continue to be born. People get married. Young, hopeful, beautiful lovebirds commit to life together. Jobs are kept and loss. Migraines still manifest. Books … [Read more...]

The Healing Spirit

In the halls of my Alma Mater, Wesley Theological Seminary, is a fresco called The Healing Spirit. It stretches the length of a tunnel that connects two buildings. It is upsetting, or at least it has always upset me. I have never liked looking at it. I remember the first time that I walked past it. It confused me, and disoriented me. It starts in deep pain with an image that always reminds me of a gunshot. The colors get deeper as you travel through the tunnel. Then light starts to creep in. The … [Read more...]

Learning To Live A Better Story

In 1949, American scholar, Joseph Campbell, published a book called  The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which argued that the narrative arch of every drama, myth, and religious ritual known to humankind could  be broken down into three basic acts: 1) an initial set up (the protagonist is called to adventure); 2) a confrontation (the protagonist faces trials and setbacks); and, 3) a resolution (the tension is resolved and the character learns something new about themselves). Campbell called this un … [Read more...]