Spiritual practice: Live Jesus’ Values

    Sunday, October 19, 2014, 4:34 PM [General]

    At the beginning of the day, set your intention:  Today I intend to live Jesus’ values--peace, sharing, compassion, joy, love.  Other of Jesus’ values might come to mind.  

    Keep a list of your activities for the day or a part of the day.  Ideally, your list will include three to ten different activities. At the close of the day review your list.  Put a star by each of those activities that reflect Jesus’ values.

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    Spiritual Practice: Present Moment and Present Space

    Sunday, October 12, 2014, 5:05 PM [General]

    God offers us the wonderful Gift of life.

    Sometimes we experience life as a burden

    or busy ourselves with so many important things

    that we fail to live in the moment,

    the only moment,

    the moment of life.

    Enjoy the gift of life.


    Here’s a spiritual practice to help you come into the present moment.

    The Place you are right now

    God circled on a map for you.

    — Hafiz

    Try this meditation during the week.  You can say these words during your formal time of meditation.  You can also say them at any moment during the day, whether it is a light moment or a dark moment.


    Here I am.  

    This is the place for me.

    [Name your feeling:]  I am feeling ……

    In the present moment,

    the only moment.

    I am here in this present moment.  

    There is no other time or place for me.

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    Spiritual Practice:  A prayer for giving.

    Sunday, October 5, 2014, 4:36 PM [General]

    During this week be alert to the opportunities you have to give.  When you write a check, when you pay a bill, when you give a gift, when you give of your time and energy, say this simple prayer:

    Thank you, God.

    You gave.

    I give.

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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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