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...]

GRACE, a Name we can all Adopt

A store clerk looked at my credit card last week and asked, "What does your name mean, Anita? It is so beautiful". I responded that I once knew, but had forgotten… that I would google it.Apparently, my name means GRACE and I couldn't have been happier to learn or re-learn this little fact. I have always loved that word.While I was preparing for yoga with the ladies of the Phila. Federal Detention Center (FDC), I decided to research the meaning of many of their names:Donna- l … [Read more...]

3 reasons why I am going to the Wildgoose Festival- AGAIN!

Three Reasons Why I am going to the Wildgoose Festival this SummerIn 2005, my first year of bible college and theological education, I found myself reading thoughts I had never heard in my years as a fundamentalist. By 2011, I had developed a paranoia that I was one of the apostates, often times praying for hours each day that God would correct my theology and save me from any evil world views that my flesh must have desired.But, slowly, I was falling in love with the God who was bigger … [Read more...]

Die, Die, Die

Do you ever wake up so sad because the world is overrun with violence, grief + disbelief in the healing power of love? and your own pounding (occasionally violent) heart threatens to beat itself out of your chest...  I am led to pray over my friends and family. It's as if as I extend each blessing, I can already feel love  returning to me.  But then I have this feeling ARISE-- it is so unsettling, I am not me at all...I am other than myself. I do not fit in my old skin any … [Read more...]

Jesus Commanded I Tell You about Gluttony

Like a preacher in yoga pants I have come, a new Paul, to tell of your integrity in Christ, as a shared identity. But first you must put down your phone or laptop...Go ahead, trust me, she says with a mischievous grin.Back already? Great, now that I have your full attention!! Put it back down and put one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart. Close your eyes and fill up your belly like a big balloon, pause for a few seconds and then watch the belly descend as you slowly empty out … [Read more...]

How I Found God After Leaving Religion

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan WattsAfter having left religion, I found God. Let me be clear here as not to confuse the pop-culture appropriation of hipster spirituality so prevalent today; wherein, someone re-organizes their linguistic choices and creates new aphorisms like: I left religion but gained a relationship (and etc.). For me, leaving organized religion, in this case, Christianity, wasn't just leaving some of … [Read more...]

I am not you but I am not other than you, either

Taking my title one step further we read James Finley's words:"As this soaks into me, what are the implications of this in the way I act in the world, in relationships with other people?"Such is life.We travel across the ocean to see the eiffel tower's dazzling lights This very same afternoon as we strolled the belgian blocked, pedestrian-only streets, apple tarte tatin in hand we came upon a walking skeleton of a man. He didn't speak any English and put out his hand … [Read more...]

How we failed to plant a successful church

 How We failed at Successful Church Planting  I sat with middle aged white men in a room decorated by someone infatuated with browns and oranges. The paintings seemed vaguely reminiscent of French vineyards and Italian streets, yet I was closer to crop dust, cotton and Crepe Myrtles in Macon, Georgia. The inquiry began after a couple of jokes and a word of prayer. I crafted my vision of the Church of The Misfits, sharing with conviction about contextualizing Christ to … [Read more...]

Eye Gazing in Prison on Holy Saturday

I spent Holy Saturday at the Philadelphia FDC 3South floor with 12 incarcerated women attending a 2-day Heart to Heart retreat. I was there to share the gift of yoga and meditation. The women really appreciate our visits and openly express their desire to learn.Our last exercise was an eye-gazing and I was partnered with Smoke, an African American woman of about 35. Smoke smiled a lot and agreed that she was willing to try it but admitted it made her nervous to stare into a stranger’s eyes f … [Read more...]

(De)Constructing Hell [The End of Metaphysics Series]

Žižek, “See you in hell or in communism!”                                        According to Carl Gustav Jung, hell represents, among every culture, the disturbing aspect of the collective unconscious. Imagine if there was a place where all the evil people would go to get what they deserved? Imagine this place was filled with pain, torture, hatred and all the things these evil people stood for and imposed on the world. Imagine that there was this leader who embodied all of  the things we hate … [Read more...]


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