October 26, 2018

In the last few days the pre-midterm-election rhetoric and divisiveness have ramped up. I found it pretty depressing until I took some time to check in with what I truly believe. I hope this blog post will inspire you to do the same. Here are five reasons I believe hate will not win on November 6. There are more kind people than hateful ones in our nation. The hatemongers seem to get a lot of airtime, but overall, most Americans… Read more

October 12, 2018

We’re taught to “put our heads together,” to combine our collective wisdom, to solve problems in life. But sometimes it takes an experience of group discernment to really “get it.” I’d like to share one of mine. One day while attending San Francisco Theological Seminary, five of us were given a seminary van to take across the bay to the Lutheran seminary in Berkeley for a pastoral counseling class. On the drive home late that evening, the van developed a… Read more

October 3, 2018

It seems churches are churning out “choir boys” who don’t know how to treat women. In light of the contentious battle on Capital Hill around the Judge Kavanaugh nomination and a lot of misunderstanding around consent, I am revisiting this piece about appropriate attitudes toward women, especially in churches, as described by those in the #ChurchToo movement. Women are trying to get a point across on this subject and we are not being heard. Patriarchal religious institutions often treat women… Read more

September 17, 2018

If we are to love our enemies, as Jesus emphatically taught, we ought to keep them in our prayers. It’s the last thing many of us want to do these days. Who is my enemy? People who strive to be good don’t like to think we have enemies. Your enemy is someone who is working against you; someone who does not have your best interest at heart; perhaps someone who hurt you and shows no remorse. Part of being human… Read more

September 4, 2018

For some time now, the motto of my denomination, the United Church of Christ, has been “God is still speaking.” This leaves us to wonder: how do we listen? It’s such an important question. What is God’s voice like? Is it still and small? The sound of sheer silence? Is it an “aha” moment when we needed it? Since we’re all made so differently, it stands to reason that the voice or leading of the Spirit will be experienced in… Read more

August 17, 2018

People usually enter spiritual direction in order to experience spiritual growth. It’s a tough thing to gauge since spiritual experiences vary greatly. But now and then it’s important to look back and consider where and how spiritual growth has taken place. The longer you are in spiritual direction, the easier it is for both you and your director to evaluate this. I prefer the directee be the one who names what they have seen happening in them as a result… Read more

August 2, 2018

Spiritual direction may be exactly what you need, but if you are not sure what it even looks like, you may have hesitated to call or contact a spiritual director. So, here’s a snapshot: You and a spiritual director sitting in a quiet, private space perhaps with a lit candle on a table nearby, discussing whatever life experience you want to share. Because it is a form of spiritual guidance, the director will invite you to explore how your life… Read more

July 3, 2018

Although these days feel pretty extraordinary in their weirdness, Christians are actually deep into what is historically known as Ordinary Time. This period is the long season with no significant religious holidays until Advent, a time marked by the blessed lack of insistence that we focus on particular aspects of the Christian story and freedom to go (liturgically speaking) wherever we need to go! Being Ordinary I’ve always been more comfortable with Ordinary Time, and frankly, with being ordinary. When… Read more

June 15, 2018

When I was in training to become a spiritual director, the class was told not to even consider doing this work full time, as if it couldn’t be done. I took that as a challenge! Then I met people who were doing it full-time. Most of them were supported by their religious orders or an institution (a few churches hire full-time spiritual directors) but as years went by I began to meet people, like myself, who were making spiritual direction… Read more

May 22, 2018

Part of my task as a spiritual director these days is coming to terms with parts of myself that get in the way of inner growth. The part I find most disturbing is my Inner Donald Trump. As I work with my own spiritual director around archetypes (a pattern, model or type at play within our personality), I am aware of a part of myself that gets so angry at our President because it seems he can do whatever he… Read more

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