Making Friends with Silence

Most of my attempts to connect and relate to God – involve silence.And most frequently, not much more than that.I sometimes wonder if there’s really much difference between seeking to connect to God – and not seeking to. Similar experience and results.That said, while similar, they’re not exactly the same. They're very close, almost too close. So close that atheists (and agnostics, and struggling believers like myself) don’t tend to see meaningful difference. But, at times, I do feel … [Read more...]

We’re not “Just Passing Through.”

I recently overheard the following observation about various students at a certain liberal arts college: "What white feminists say: "I am a spiritual entity first and a human body second." (privilege)What women of color experience: "I cannot identify as a spiritual being first, no matter how badly I want to, because society puts limits on my identity based on my skin color and ethnicity." (oppression) I've seen these very insights named and called out several times over the years - in … [Read more...]

The I Love Donald Trump Spirituality Test

Another election year political season is upon us and it's unlike any other I've seen. It's over the top. It's reptilian. Actually, that's not very fair to lizards. The heated rhetoric spewing forth from many of the candidates is vitriolic, bass, crass, and ugly. Those debates have been slug fests of rivaling Lords of the Flies - and they've all but incited the masses to riot. But we can't put all of the blame on those candidates, they're simply saying what many of us think. They're taking the … [Read more...]

The Holy “Huh!”

I used to be more easily triggered by things, more reactive, and generally more anxious and frustrated. Things have been shifting for me though. I'm now more unflappable, more intentionally active on my own terms, and generally more calm and reasonably content.One of the practices that has helped is to name, own, and state my feelings.Another practice is centering prayer which has me setting aside time regularly to just "sit and be" with God in silence. It's quality time with the … [Read more...]

Why I’m Spiritual *and* Religious.

I'm Spiritual *and* Religious.I realize that saying this may be swimming against a current, but for me, they each inform and complement the other.Here's an analogy. I enjoy playing my trumpet by myself and practice it as I have time. This is like my spirituality. It's a personal way for me to express myself and to commune with God.And yet I also enjoy playing my trumpet with others in bands and orchestras. This is like religion (which comes from the Latin "religare" - "to bind … [Read more...]

Rock of Ages 2.0 – poetic injustice.

things weren’t right in ferguson. i mean israel!i said things weren’t right in israel! ...new york.instead of God’s chosen people blissfully basking in the warm sun of freedom,they couldn't breathe because the air was thick with the heavy jack-boots of imperial oppression.instead of the hebrews building projects of their own design,her craftsmen and laborers were laboring under the thumbs of Roman task-masters who had them constructing temples to their pantheon of gods and hou … [Read more...]