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    Spiritual practice: Live your vision

    Sunday, January 25, 2015, 4:29 PM [General]

    The vision that calls us, like the call Jesus issued to his first disciples, inspires us, energizes us, mobilizes us. In meditation hold the vision and nurture it.

    In our practice we deepen our experience so we can share our vision with others. This is our contribution to changing the world.

    During this week, let the vision which brings you bliss inspire you. Meditate on it. Practice it. Share it.

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    Spiritual practice: Experience God’s Surprising Presence

    Sunday, January 18, 2015, 5:10 PM [General]

    An encounter between Philip and Nathanael is an exploration of the experience of God’s presence among them. During this week you can use these questions to engage in the same exploration.


    In what surprising ways have you experienced God’s presence in this week?

    Who has invited you to the experience of God?

    With whom have you shared your experience?

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    Spiritual Practice: Look for the Reign of God

    Sunday, January 11, 2015, 6:21 PM [General]

    The Evangelist Mark summarizes Jesus’ message:  “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near.”  This becomes the guiding principle for his presentation of the story of Jesus.


    Suppose the message is true for today:  the kingdom of God has come near.  Bring that thought into your experience during this week.  No matter what happens to you, around you, or within you, ask, “How is God’s reign near at hand?”

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    Prayers for Peace

    Friday, January 9, 2015, 6:23 PM [General]

    The events in Paris make me long for peace. Some years ago for Peace with Justice Sunday I wrote a collection of peace meditations--one meditation for each day for a month. I revised them in 2010. I'm making them available to my FB friends. You can download the document here:www.newbergfumc.org/…/uplo&hellip...

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    Spiritual practice: Reflecting on the past year

    Sunday, December 28, 2014, 7:50 PM [General]

    As 2014 draws to a close you can take a few minutes to reflect on the highlights and low points of the year.  I suggest you make a list of about five each, highlights and low points.  When you’ve finished your two lists, use these questions for reflection. 

    With regard to your low points, how have you moved beyond these and how might you use them for your growth in the year to come?

    Focusing on your highlight list, pick one thing to work on.  I suggest the one that draws your energy and attention.  You can repeat this exercise for each item on your list, if you wish.  Can you trace the trajectory of this item from someplace in the past?  Maybe it is a series of events you remember from another period of your life.  Maybe it is something you recall from your parents or other ancestors.  Maybe it is something you feel like you have experienced before (some people may even think these are events from a previous life).  Once you’ve drawn a line from the past, in your imagination, extend the line into the future.  What does this trajectory suggest for the coming year?  How do you want to be sensitive to its unfolding and evolving in the year to come?

    Happy New Year!
    Bob

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    Merry Christmas!

    Thursday, December 25, 2014, 11:17 AM [General]

    Today we celebrate incarnation.  “The Word became flesh.”  In so many ways we experience Emmanuel, God with us. 

    As a spiritual practice throughout the days of Christmas, look for symbols which suggest to you how the presence of God takes on flesh today.

    Can you find ways to honor these symbols?  Maybe take a picture, draw a picture, write a poem, or sing a carol.

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    Spiritual practice: Let it be

    Sunday, December 21, 2014, 3:58 PM [General]

    Often we struggle with what happens to us in our lives.

    Sometimes it is because something seems to be thrust upon us and we don’t want it.  Sometimes something happens that confuses us.  Sometimes we do things we wish we hadn’t done.  In short, we feel threatened, out of control or unacceptable to ourselves or someone else.

    In those moments, for that matter in any moment, can you simply say to yourself  “Let it be”?  During this week use this phrase as your mantra.  Notice what happens when you release your desires and accept what is.


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    Spiritual practice:  Be a Witness

    Sunday, December 14, 2014, 4:11 PM [General]

    Rather than being your thoughts and emotions, be the awareness behind them –Eckhart Tolle.


    Remember you are not your body;

    you are not your thoughts,

    you are not your feelings,

    you are not your ego.


    This week practice being “the awareness behind them.”  Like John the Baptist, be a witness.


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    Spiritual Practice:  Think a New Thought or Challenge an Old One.

    Sunday, December 7, 2014, 4:52 PM [General]

    According to the National Science Foundation, our brains produce as many as 50,000 thoughts per day.  Ninety-five percent of these thoughts are repeated daily and reflect the mindset or beliefs we hold that lead to those 50,000 thoughts.


    Each of us has a story we tell ourselves.  Paying attention to our story may help us become more aware of what is happening inside our head and also to understand how our thoughts are directly linked to how we create our reality.  What happens when you introduce a new thought or dispute a habitual one?  Try it this week as an Advent practice.


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    Spiritual practice: Transform the Present Moment

    Sunday, November 30, 2014, 3:44 PM [General]

    Thich Nhat Hanh encourages people to believe that whatever is happening in and around you, this can be the best moment of your life. You choose. Obviously, this is the only moment.

    He encourages everyone: “Open your eyes and enjoy the sunshine, the beautiful sky, and the wonderful children all around you. Breathing in and out consciously helps you become your best-calm, fresh, solid, clear, and free, able to enjoy the present moment as the best moment of your life.”

    Take some moments this week to transform the present moment into the best moment.

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