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    Spiritual practice: Just Do It

    Sunday, September 28, 2014, 6:32 PM [General]

    Do you have a project you’ve been putting off, a dream that hasn’t become reality, a goal you haven’t reached?  Take one little step to start this week.  


    When it seems that something can’t be done, start it, and see if the rest of it can be done. ~Robert Brault


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    A Spiritual practice : Non Attachment

    Sunday, September 21, 2014, 4:49 PM [General]

    Our world is driven by results and external rewards. Much of what we do is based on what we hope to receive for performing a given action.

    During this week experiment with letting go of results. See if you can immerse yourself in a task simply for the sake of the task. Pay attention to what happens to your level of satisfaction, to your energy level, and to your level of enjoyment of the present moment.

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    Spiritual Practice: Tapping for Forgiveness

    Sunday, September 14, 2014, 4:52 PM [General]

    Emotional Freedom Technique, sometimes simply called tapping, is a powerful way to change feelings.  That change can often lead to change in behavior.  The diagram indicates some key tapping points.

     

    Using a finger or two fingers tap several times on each point.  Start with the karate chop point on either hand, then below one or both eyes, then the collar bone and  finally with the tips of your four fingers on the breast bone.  This sequence makes up one round.  You can do several rounds.

     

    While you tap, you can say these phrases.

    I give myself permission to forgive [insert name]…When I forgive them I am not saying what they did is right…when I offer forgiveness it is all about me…it has nothing to do with them…it has nothing to do with condoning their actions…I am letting go of this so I am no longer imprisoned by the past…I am forgiving so I can move on…I give myself permission to be easy with myself as I go through the forgiveness process…I am doing this for me…

     

    Adapted from Gene Monterastelli, Tapping Q&A

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    Spiritual Practice: Describe your relationships in light of your values.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014, 4:53 PM [General]

    After a month of renewal leave, I'm glad to be back and to post this spiritual practice which I shared with my congegation this morning.

    Ask yourself these three questions.  For each write one word that immediately comes to you mind.  If you do this practice more than once, the words may or may not be the same each time.


    What is your deepest most innermost value?  

    What is your deepest relationship value?

    What is your deepest communication value?  


    Now bring to mind a person you perceive as conflictual.  In light of the three words you wrote above, describe that person.  What happens to your perception as you describe the person in the context of these three words?


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    Spiritual practice: Mindful Awareness

    Sunday, July 27, 2014, 1:02 PM [General]

    You have lived long enough to have experienced events, situations and relationships that have been distressing to you.  Recall one of those incidents.  You may be living one now.  


    Can you simply acknowledge it?  Let it be without fighting it, without judgment.  Simply let it be.


    Ask yourself, how might this be working for my good?  No matter how you answer, can you simply sit with your answer?  Acknowledge it.  Let your answer be without fighting it or challenging it.  Simply let it be.


    If you want to, you can repeat this process.  Notice any change from one repetition to the next.


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    Immigrant children are coming to Portland

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1:22 PM [General]

    For the past several weeks we have watched the news reports of children from Central America coming into the United States.  The focus has been on the border.   Now some of these children are finding their way to Portland.  While there are people who are unwelcoming to these children who have left their homes and parents to escape violence, their coming close to our home gives us an opportunity to show hospitality.  There may be opportunities for us to volunteer to welcome them and help them settle into temporary living places.

    In any case this is an opportunity for us to demonstrate the attitude of Jesus, who said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” 

    We lift these children up in our prayers, Loving God, as you guided the Holy Family to Egypt to deliver the infant Jesus from violence and the threat of death, so you see these children coming to our cities.  Relive their suffering; grant them peace of mind, and renewed faith in your protection and care.  Protect us all from the violence of others, and restore all your children to tranquility and peace.  We ask this in through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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    Spiritual practice: Your Weakness and Your Strength

    Sunday, July 20, 2014, 12:35 PM [General]

    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

    Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:45 PM [General]

    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

    Sunday, July 6, 2014, 12:51 PM [General]

    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

    Sunday, June 29, 2014, 1:11 PM [General]

    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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