Pastorbob's blog listings. Feed Zend_Feed_Writer 1.10.8 (http://framework.zend.com) http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob Spiritual practice: Your Weakness and Your Strength In one of Jesus’ parables,  wheat and weeds grow together.  At one stage they are indistinguishable.


Sometimes our strengths--skills we have counted on to help us protect ourselves and achieve our goals--are also our weaknesses which cause us hardship in relationships and burden us with expectations. Conversely, sometimes our weaknesses are really our strengths.


During this week make a list of your strengths.  Then ask of each one how is it also a weaknesses?  Do the same for your perceived weaknesses.  How are they also your strengths?


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Sun, 20 Jul 2014 12:35:44 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/07/20/spiritual_practice:_your_weakness_and_your_strength http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/07/20/spiritual_practice:_your_weakness_and_your_strength In one of Jesus’ parables,  wheat and weeds grow together.  At one stage they are indistinguishable.


Sometimes our strengths--skills we have counted on to help us protect ourselves and achieve our goals--are also our weaknesses which cause us hardship in relationships and burden us with expectations. Conversely, sometimes our weaknesses are really our strengths.


During this week make a list of your strengths.  Then ask of each one how is it also a weaknesses?  Do the same for your perceived weaknesses.  How are they also your strengths?


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Spiritual practice: Hear the Parables for the First Time The first people to hear Jesus’ parables heard them without any interpretation.  We think we know what the parable means because we have an interpretation, sometimes provided by the evangelists and sometimes provided through the centuries of Christian proclamation.


Try to hear the parables for the first time.  For this week use the parable of the Sower and the Seed, Matthew 13:1-9.  One way to do this is to put the parable in a different context.  You can hear this parable when you are sitting in a meeting, driving down the street, or shopping at the supermarket.  What is the message of the  parable for you in each of these contexts?  


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Sun, 13 Jul 2014 12:45:28 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/07/13/spiritual_practice:__hear_the_parables_for_the_first_time http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/07/13/spiritual_practice:__hear_the_parables_for_the_first_time The first people to hear Jesus’ parables heard them without any interpretation.  We think we know what the parable means because we have an interpretation, sometimes provided by the evangelists and sometimes provided through the centuries of Christian proclamation.


Try to hear the parables for the first time.  For this week use the parable of the Sower and the Seed, Matthew 13:1-9.  One way to do this is to put the parable in a different context.  You can hear this parable when you are sitting in a meeting, driving down the street, or shopping at the supermarket.  What is the message of the  parable for you in each of these contexts?  


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Spiritual Practice: Live like a child In today's gospel, Jesus was thankful that “these things” were revealed to children. This is a variation of another saying of Jesus, “Unless you become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom.” Children have a marvelous capacity to accept what is, to revel in it, and enjoy the moment.

In light of this lesson, I'm suggesting the following spiritual practice. For today, live like a child. If necessary make it an act. Exaggerate your ability to enjoy life. At the end of the day write in your journal about what happened that day. Would you like to live that way more often?

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Sun, 06 Jul 2014 12:51:45 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/07/06/spiritual_practice:_live_like_a_child http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/07/06/spiritual_practice:_live_like_a_child In today's gospel, Jesus was thankful that “these things” were revealed to children. This is a variation of another saying of Jesus, “Unless you become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom.” Children have a marvelous capacity to accept what is, to revel in it, and enjoy the moment.

In light of this lesson, I'm suggesting the following spiritual practice. For today, live like a child. If necessary make it an act. Exaggerate your ability to enjoy life. At the end of the day write in your journal about what happened that day. Would you like to live that way more often?

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No Separate Self Jesus said if someone receives you,

they receive me,

and if they receive me,

they receive the one who sent me.

This is Jesus’ way of reminding us that we are all connected.

It is not a matter of saying,

I am here,

you are there,

and God is outside of both of us.

Jesus reminds us that we are not separate.

 

During this week notice the places where you feel separated from another and notice the times when the distinctions blur and you feel that to serve another is really to serve yourself and to serve God.

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Sun, 29 Jun 2014 13:11:26 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/06/29/no_separate_self http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/06/29/no_separate_self Jesus said if someone receives you,

they receive me,

and if they receive me,

they receive the one who sent me.

This is Jesus’ way of reminding us that we are all connected.

It is not a matter of saying,

I am here,

you are there,

and God is outside of both of us.

Jesus reminds us that we are not separate.

 

During this week notice the places where you feel separated from another and notice the times when the distinctions blur and you feel that to serve another is really to serve yourself and to serve God.

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Spiritual practice: Discernment The gospel lesson for yesterday included Matthew's encouragement for disciples to persevere in their commitment. My reflections lead me to ask, when to persevere and when to change course. I've written a spiritual practice to consider that question.

Kenny Rogers sings about this spiritual practice: “You’ve got to know when to hold 'em; know when to fold ‘em.” All of us have made commitments or started a significant project only to come to a place where the going got rough. We had to decide whether to persevere or to cut loose and change course.

During this week, especially if you are at one of those decision points, reflect the decision (either past or present) to stay the course or to turn away.

Then pray a modified form of the serenity prayer: 

Give me the wisdom to know whether to stay or turn
And the courage to take action.

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Mon, 23 Jun 2014 12:29:15 -0500 http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/06/23/spiritual_practice:_discernment http://community.beliefnet.com/pastorbob/blog/2014/06/23/spiritual_practice:_discernment The gospel lesson for yesterday included Matthew's encouragement for disciples to persevere in their commitment. My reflections lead me to ask, when to persevere and when to change course. I've written a spiritual practice to consider that question.

Kenny Rogers sings about this spiritual practice: “You’ve got to know when to hold 'em; know when to fold ‘em.” All of us have made commitments or started a significant project only to come to a place where the going got rough. We had to decide whether to persevere or to cut loose and change course.

During this week, especially if you are at one of those decision points, reflect the decision (either past or present) to stay the course or to turn away.

Then pray a modified form of the serenity prayer: 

Give me the wisdom to know whether to stay or turn
And the courage to take action.

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