December 10, 2023

Mathew 5:9 – “Blessed are the peacemakers because they are the children of God.”   The first century Palestine during the time Jesus was here was a time of political strife and economic hardship. According to Riches (1990):  Palestine at the turn of the era was under Roman control. It was not, however, all controlled in the same manner. Herod the Great, a loyal and politically crafty client king, had just died (4 B.C.). His kingdom, after much deliberation by... Read more

December 9, 2023

  The Scary Lightning Strike  Anxiety is a condition that affects all of us from time to time. Anxiety is a healthy response to stress and has an evolutionary purpose to keep us aware of our surroundings. My wife and I had an interesting outdoor outing last weekend. We went out for what was supposed to be a simple bike ride. Then it rained. Then it thundered. Then a lightning strike occurred right on top of us.  I kind of... Read more

December 4, 2023

  Preparation is a theme during Advent and Christmastime The image above is of the field behind my house. I bought this field a couple of years ago after about eighteen months of legal discussions. I am slowly converting back to a wild space with native plants and trees. There is a lot of talk these days about the newfound importance of recreating natural and wild spaces. Seeing this field is a reminder of our need to rest, to prepare.... Read more

November 29, 2023

The world is an ugly place right now. Wars, politics, climate change, it is all bad, or so the illusion goes. Hope is the basic ingredient of optimism and hope is a spiritual energy.   In the beatitudes, Jesus casts the hope of God’s love over marginalized people. In a time where we celebrate the 1%’rs, a lot of us are struggling with a lot right now and we can gain comfort in Jesus’ optimism.  Big H Hope and Little... Read more

November 26, 2023

Spiritual Practice of You – The Practice of Lament   The Drunkard’s Lament ~ BrontëBlog by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND    Christians around the world, many will be spending the next four weeks in the Christian church celebrating the season of Advent, looking forward to annual celebration of the birth of Jesus. For many, this is a time of joy, hope and celebration of family and friends. For others, however, this is a time of sadness, despair,... Read more

November 24, 2023

      Rounding out this series on gratitude, I would like to finish with my roots, Christianity. Thanksgiving through Christmas are my favorite time to preach because of the time I could spend teaching about gratitude. I feel that our churches need to spend more time talking about the need to offer love and gratitude rather than the focus on giving gifts and consuming food and experiences. I am reminded of Thomas Merton’s 4th and Walnut mystical experience: (from Conjectures... Read more

November 17, 2023

              The following is a discussion I am leading on November 20th at Erie County Community College around the practice of Joy   Finding the Joy in the Every Day  A Presentation for EC3 Lunch and Learn  Rob Giannamore, MDiv, MS, LPC    The late Calypso poet Jimmy Buffett writes in his song “Barefoot Children” that “the wrinkles only go where the smiles have been”. Today, I want to talk about a topic that... Read more

November 12, 2023

In a previous series of blog posts, I tried writing weekly on healthy eating and living.  I want to pivot and return to this project, however looking at it through the spiritual practice of you.   Two quotes come to mind for me, “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, as long as you ever can”. This is by John Wesley, the father of Methodism.  The other quote is “Live in such a way as... Read more

November 12, 2023

This week, we continue our exploration into the many ways gratitude is seen in the Abrahamic religions. This week, I will be looking at the Islamic tradition and the practice of Shukr. An Outsider Looking In From an outsider looking in, one may ask, “why do Muslims bow so much when they pray?” Understanding shukr helps answer this question. Again, it is important that I am an outsider, born in the blood of Jesus Christian and in no way is... Read more

November 6, 2023

         When I was still preaching, my favorite season of preaching was the Thanksgiving through Christmas seasons. I feel it is important to meditate on gratitude and  providence during this season.  I would like to spend the next four weeks looking at four perspectives of gratitude from the Abrahamic and Dharmic traditions. This week, we will look at the Jewish perspective of gratitude.   Gratitude as a Spiritual Practice  As a practice, gratitude enhances our satisfaction, our contentment... Read more

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