October 11, 2019

In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:2). And there was. We learn in the epic poem of Genesis 1 about the power of speech, especially for those who have a voice. Speech, we are shown, contains creative, universe-building power. God says—and there it is. God in Genesis is a complex character: on the one hand, God is a king who speaks a command and whose wishes are fulfilled…. Read more

October 4, 2019

“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature was its name.” -Genesis 2:18-19 “But ask the animals and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will… Read more

September 27, 2019

I love the moniker “ordinary mystic.” It resonates with me. In contrast, the word “mystic,” standing alone, tends to generate the names of the great wisdom teachers – extraordinary, not ordinary, individuals. Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila, and Thomas Merton, for example. All of these teachers would embrace the conclusion that everyone is, or has the capability of being, a mystic, of having an experiential communion at some level with the Divine. So, “ordinary mystic” creates for me a grounding,… Read more

September 19, 2019

The universe is strange.  Here are a few paraphrased facts from an article I stumbled across: If you unraveled all of the DNA in your body, it would span 34 billion miles, reaching to Pluto and back (2.66 billion miles away)…six times. Almost all of ordinary matter is empty space. If you took out all of the space in our atoms, the entire human race (all 7 billion of us) would fit inside a sugar cube. Many of the atoms you’re made of,… Read more

September 11, 2019

I cannot imagine a better start to each day than a silent sit. When I practice centering prayer, I respond to God’s question, “Will you sit with me (Matthew 11:28)?” When we center like Jesus, we say, “Not what I want, but what you want” (Mark 14:35). I sit in silence to be loved and healed by God. Silence creates a space for us to heal. The space created by silence and stillness helps us find our equilibrium, our center… Read more

September 2, 2019

The recent book Bless this Mess, the fruit of a team-up between pastor Molly Baskette and developmental psychologist Ellen O’Donnell, is a gold mine of spiritual wisdom, digestible psychological insights and practical tips for progressive parenting. I cannot recommend it enough. It has stirred and gently poked family spirituality stuck-spots for me personally, and will do so for many. There’s been a glaring hole of accessible and spiritually wise books on parenting from a progressive Christian perspective. This book fills… Read more

August 29, 2019

I can’t remember the first time it happened in prayer. But I remember the first conversation I tried to have about it. “My prayer has been… I mean, it’s been wonderful.” My eyes sparkled, but I struggled to find the words. “It’s like… it’s spousal. It’s like my heart blooms open, to a place deeper than I knew existed—and God pours himself out there. Sometimes it leaves me breathless!” I shifted slightly in my chair and glanced at the floor…. Read more

August 21, 2019

Hildegard of Bingen is, to use one writer’s phrase (William Harmless), a mystical multimedia artist. She wrote, lived, preached and practiced natural healing, composed music, wrote a morality play, ran a convent, and most famously of all, experienced visions. Her main theological works form a trilogy in which she interprets her complex and colorful visions through the lens of Christian theology. Not only are Hildegard’s visions beautiful, and bizarre, they are actually illustrated, each vision piercing through the page with a… Read more

August 14, 2019

Christ is not Jesus’s last name, as Richard Rohr says so powerfully in his latest book The Universal Christ. Jesus’s last name would have likely been, following the custom, Jesus bar Joseph as in, Jesus “son of Joseph.” But if Christ is not Jesus’ last name, what does it mean to call Jesus, Christ? Christ comes from the Greek word Christos, which is a translation of a Hebrew word that means Messiah. Christ is the Messiah, we might say, except if… Read more

August 5, 2019

Marianne Williamson’s focus on love, and her new book “The Politics of Love,” make her the anti-Trump candidate in a showdown of love and fear. I am impressed by her presence in the debates—and yet I find her spiritual beliefs and background troubling. I’ll start with the good, and then do a deep dive into the complicated, less-than-good. Read more

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