Wednesday, April 30, 2014

National Day of Prayer

Prayer is always active in the deepest recesses of our souls.
The prayer is not always voiced or brought to conscious attention, but it is very real and always present. If we were to put the prayer of our hearts into words, it would take the form of one of several phrases, such as, “let there be peace on earth” or
“let my hope be renewed” or
“comfort and strengthen my loved one” or
“may justice prevail” or
“grant us wisdom” or
“may something good come from this situation.”
But whatever the words would be if we were to choose words, the real prayer is simply the wordless longing to know that we are held forever safe in the embrace of unconditional, everlasting, divine Love.

And so it is that on this National Day of Prayer we turn within to recognize the prayer of our hearts, the holy desire to know that ultimately all is well, the silent affirmation that we are forever part of the universal Life that is the source and substance of every life.

Ocean of wisdom,
Light of hope,
Warmth of holy Fire,
Love that will not let us go,
Breath of life,
Field of unlimited possibilities,
Today may we be aware of our unity with all beings, with all worlds, with the universe and all that is beyond.
Today, may our willingness to trust that we are one with All That Is give us courage, peace, gratitude and joy.

And today, as the Hindu and the Humanist, the  Mormon and the Muslim, the Jew and the Jain, the Protestant and the Pagan, the Catholic and the Christian Scientist, the Buddhist and the Baha’i express hope, awe, wonder, gratitude, and goodwill, as each prays in her own way, as each reveres That which he calls Sacred, may we know that not only are we one human family, but we are sharing the universal experience that we call prayer; and in this remembering, in this  sharing of the power of prayer, may we love more and may our love motivate us to live in ways that will bless the whole world.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Nontheistic Understanding of Divinity & Prayer

Sunshine Cathedral Daily *Spirit & Truth Reflection

April 29
On this day in 1968 The musical "Hair" opened on Broadway.

dear god
Rev Dr Durrell Watkins

“…God has become for many progressives an ‘inner voice’, a ‘presence
within the human consciousness’ that underpins life and enables humans
to live well, justly and compassionately…Prayer is more like thinking
things through with God in mind…than addressing a God ‘out there’ with
needs, worries, fears, and hopes.” James Veitch

New Zealand theologian James Veitch gives a clear understanding of
how some of us understand words like “God” and “prayer.” Rather than a
cosmic judge, a Santa Claus for adults, or a puppet master pulling the
strings to make things happen in our lives, God is the word I use for
ultimate reality, beauty, mystery, infinite love, the energy of life, “a
presence within the human consciousness.” And when I am focused on
the many aspects I name with the single word “God”, I am praying and
such prayer often leads me to discover, create, attract, or move toward
amazing blessings in life.

As I ponder the meaning and mysteries of life, I am worshiping; I
am praying. And so it is.

*Spirit & Truth is Sunshine Cathedral's daily devotional magazine

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Three Things I Believe About the Resurrection

Earlier this morning i posted this on a conversation thread on Facebook started by a Church Historian...many moderate to liberal Christians chimed in. Here was my contribution...

If resurrection is a "fact" then was the virginal conception and gravity defying ascension also facts? Were the resurrections of widows' children raised by Elijah, Elisha, & Jesus historical? Was Lazarus' resurrection literal? The body that came back to life when it touched Elisha's bones? Tabitha? Eutychus? These are rhetorical questions (my strong doubts are implied).
The three things I believe about the resurrection of Jesus are:

1. Jesus spent his life giving people their dignity back; when his was taken his friends and admirers returned the favor by inventing a decent burial and ultimate escape from the horror he endured

2. To say someone killed by Rome didn't stay dead was a subversive, and powerful act of resistance against the empire.

3. The miracle isn't that god broke the laws of nature for one (or a few if all biblical resurrection narratives are thought to be historical) but that fearful, broken people found hope, courage, "new life" and became as a movement the resurrected and returned body of Christ. 

The resurrection for me can be true only if we are free to see it as something other than factual. 
True-yes; factual-no.
Historical-yes; literal-no. 
Miraculous-yes; supernatural-no.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Depression...It Happens

Depression is common among abuse survivors. People forget that depression can actually be a sign of survival. And, for those who struggle with it, there is help. Effexsor for 10 years kept me going, and when it stopped working, Aplenzin and Lexapro did the trick (for almost 4 years now). There's help. There's hope. And there's no reason to be ashamed. 

Healing Prayers for Depression

Reading Heaven

Reading, recently read, and stacked up waiting to read so many books right happy am I???

~How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (Bart D Ehrman)
~Seven Sayings of Jesus (Harry T Cook)
~Sermons of a Devoted Heretic (Harry T Cook)
~Beginnings of Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life (Kate Braestrup)
~The Church's Seven Deadly Secrets: Identity Theft from Within (Paul H Jones)
~Why Weren't We Told? (Rex A. E. Hunt)
~Embracing the Human Jesus: A Wisdom Path for Contemporary Christianity (David Galston)
~Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity (David Felton)
~Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer (Richard Rohr)
~The End of God-Talk: An African-American Humanist Theology (Anthony B Pinn)
~Writing God's Obituary: How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist (Anthony B Pinn)
~Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious (Christ Stedman)
~Amen: What Prayer Can Mean in a World Beyond Belief (Gretta Vosper)
~Eucharist & Globalizaiton: Redrawing the Borders of Eucharistic Hospitality (Claudio Carbe readvalhaes)
~Pilgrimage - The Sacred Art: Journey to the Center of the Heart (Sheryl A Kujawa-Holbrook)
~Religion without God (Ronald Dworkin)
~Our Unitarian Gospel (Minot J. Savage)
~Zen Prayer for Reparing Your Life (Tai Sheridan)
~Univeralism 101: An Introduction for Leaders of Unitarian Universalist Congregations (Richard Trudeau)

Life is good.
I'll be ready for another big batch by early June (i get them in huge waves, spend months working through them, and then start over with a new wave...its a sickness; may i never be cured!).

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Our Mass Shooting Problem

We have a mass shooting problem in this country. I'll let the sociologists and psychologists sort out why domestic terrorism is on the rise and has been for years...not people affiliated with political organizations, just individual, well armed, insanely angry people willing to open fire in schools and movie theatres and on the street and on military bases. I wish the so-called pro-life people would give this some thought. These assailants are young and middle aged, professionals and blue collar workers and unemployed, it is a diverse lot in some ways, but as Rachel Maddow pointed out tonight, what they all have in common is that they are MEN with GUNS. Anyway, my heart-felt wishes for healing go out to all who have once again been terrorized by needless gun violence.