August 29, 2014

My own stint with an e-textbook startup last year taught me about the complexity of the format. It’s not enough to be a digital copy of a paper book, with perhaps bookmarks and highlighting. There are already plenty of e-readers for that. You need to offer layers of utility and connectivity that could drive a user’s commitment to your platform. (Of course, the user might be a student with no choice, but then it’s the teacher or professor you’re convincing.)… Read more

August 13, 2014

Freed from the Catholic premise of praying to the Virgin Mary, and from all fixed aspects of the structure, “A Bead and a Prayer: A Beginner’s Guide to Protestant Prayer Beads” explains how you can use bead counting as an aid for any kind of prayer. It can prompt you to focus on a sequence of things, or on the same thing deeply and repeatedly, or on nothing at all. Read more

August 13, 2014

What The Giver says, emphatically, is that emotions are part of our humanness, and that we cannot suppress the bad without also suppressing the good, and that the result of that suppression — living while asleep, being dead while alive — is no life at all. The movie is enjoyable on every level — its message, acting, cinematography, action. The differences from the novel are reasonable, and the film version expands on and perhaps exceeds the original in places. Read more

June 25, 2014

Working side by side making a meal, breaking bread, eating and sharing conversation around the dinner table, then cleaning up together creates community in a very real way. You get to know about each other, but there’s something much more profound going on. Deeply connected to the Judeo-Christian tradition is the idea of the sacred meal: we show our bond as a faith community by sitting down to eat together, and we show hospitality to the stranger by cooking for… Read more

June 16, 2014

If you’re coming to the Wild Goose Festival in North Carolina June 26 – 29, or still considering whether to make the trip, just a heads-up that I will be offering a centering prayer-based presentation again this year; my topic is, “Freedom from Struggle: Meditation To Ground You While You Work for the Liberation of Others”; I’m scheduled to speak at the “Chapel” space, and it’s planned for Friday 6/27 at 3 p.m., but you should check the final schedule… Read more

May 8, 2014

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: As they traveled along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “Look, there is water! What is to prevent my being baptized?” Then he ordered the chariot to stop, and Philip and the eunuch both went down into the water, and he baptized him. — Acts 8:36-38 Here’s part of my reflection: Reading about the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch, I find myself… Read more

May 5, 2014

Today’s daily meditation in Living Faith is one of mine. The reading is: Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. — John 6:27 It’s the bit before “I am the bread of life.” Here’s part of my reflection: Jesus is cautioning that physical things are impermanent and don’t fulfill us. I still eat and subscribe to cable, but Jesus is asking: Where do… Read more

April 21, 2014

My science-loving atheist dad introduced me to the wonders of nature in our months-long summer camping vacations. I didn’t have the language then, and he didn’t use it, but he was showing me what awed him, what he saw as divine: canyons, redwoods, still mountain lakes. Several decades later, high in the Rockies at Estes Park, Colorado, amidst Birkenstock-wearing radical environmentalists, I connected creation and spirituality in a more concrete way. The late 80s and early 90s was an interesting… Read more

April 17, 2014

The guideline of only washing the feet of men was invented in 1955. 1955! Before that, washing the feet of women was not uncommon. It was traditionalists who changed and politicized things, to underscore their point about women being ineligible for the priesthood. Pope Francis, who embraces the servant leadership model to his core, is reminding us that this tradition is supposed to be about humility, not piety, and not patriarchy. Read more

March 31, 2014

Most books about the spiritual journey focus on the first steps — on awakening to an awareness that there’s more going on than your own limited perspective and tuning in to the divine in and around you. Sacred Fire assumes the reader has already made headway in these areas and looks instead at what Ronald Rolheiser considers the middle phase of spiritual maturity, which often takes up the bulk of life after that awakening and before retirement. Anyone in this… Read more

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