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    A spiritual practice for this week: See the Light and Shadow

    Sunday, March 15, 2015, 4:13 PM [General]

    Surprisingly, we cannot see light itself

    only reflected light.
    Even at that light and darkness,
    brightness and shadow,
    provide the necessary contrast
    that make it possible for us to see.
    God is only known in the reflection.
    You are the reflection!
    You are the reflection in all your brightness
    and shadow.

    I took an art class many years ago. I remember only one repeated line the instructor used: “drawing is made up of light and shadow.” That’s true of seeing too, light and shadow. Look around you. What do you see? Could you see it without light? Could you see it without shadows?

    Take a few minutes to write your answers to these questions. What does this exercise tell you about light and shadow in your life? Consider whether you can really appreciate one without the other?

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    Spiritual practice: Mid-Course Check on the Lenten Journey

    Sunday, March 8, 2015, 5:26 PM [General]

    At the beginning of Lent, we considered the call of Jesus.

    • Jesus invites us to a way of celebration, meeting and feasting with the humble and poor. Jesus beckons us to a way of risk, letting go of our security.

    • Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices of those who have nothing to lose.

    • Jesus points us to a way of self-giving, where power and status are overturned.

    • Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross, where despair is transformed by the promise of new life.

    Has one of these calls felt significant to you as you take this year’s Lenten journey?  How has the call affected you?

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    Spiritual Practice: Follow the Way of the Cross

    Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:22 PM [General]

    Jesus had a vision of a different world order. His central message was that he was bringing the new order into being. “The reign of God is at hand,” is Mark’s way of summarizing Jesus’ message.  The way of the cross is a symbol of Jesus’ commitment to his vision.


    Jesus invited his first followers-and by extension us-to share his vision and to bring about this new world order. He also invited individuals to transformation,

    to leave behind the security of this world, to place their trust for security and well being in the realm of God.  


    During this week spend some time each day with your journal and reflect on these questions:

    • How does Jesus’ alternate world view compare to your view of the world today?

    • In what ways has Jesus brought transformation in your life?  Has the transformation included putting your trust for security in the realm of God?

    • In what ways do you sense Jesus calling you to more fully embrace God’s realm?

    • How do your answers reflect “the way of the cross?”

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    Spiritual practice: Call of the Lenten Journey

    Sunday, February 22, 2015, 12:35 PM [General]

    Consider what Jesus calls you to at the beginning of this year’s Lenten journey.

    • Jesus invites us to a way of celebration, meeting and feasting with the humble and poor. Jesus beckons us to a way of risk, letting go of our security.
    • Jesus challenges us to listen to the voices of those who have nothing to lose.
    • Jesus points us to a way of self-giving, where power and status are overturned.
    • Jesus calls us to follow the way of the cross, where despair is transformed by the promise of new life.

    Which of these calls feels most significant to you on this first Sunday of Lent?

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    Healing is not an end to achieve, but a path to walk

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 7:20 PM [General]

    Prayers for healing have been part of the Christian tradition since the time of the New Testament. One Sunday each month I offer special prayers for healing as part of our worship. Even though I have done this for many years and it has been a meaningful act of worship, it seems as if in the past few months, I have gained insight in a new way with regard to healing. I would like to share some key insights here.

    A prayer from The United Methodist Book of Worship suggested for use at services of healing includes this line: “May the power of God’s indwelling presence heal you of all illness—of body, mind, spirit, and relationship.” This suggests to me that healing energy tenaciously moves toward health and wholeness.

    It appears to me that healing is often a matter of being restored to health and wholeness that you already possess. Sometimes it is a matter of removing obstacles or accumulated conditioning and then letting nature’s healing power move through you.

    Further, it appears to me that to acknowledge the life force within and to give thanks for its tenacity to bring health and wholeness in itself has healing power.

    I have found it surprising that something always happens. Sometimes the seeker is aware of changes immediately, sometimes after passage of some time, sometimes never. I encourage my congregation to receive the gift; be open to receive whatever comes.

    As I reflect on what happens, I can summarize under three headings the possibilities.
    One, things can remain the same or two, things can get worse. In either case, we can be aware of God’s presence to walk along side. Three, things can change for the better. Of course that’s what we would like to have happen.

    In this regard it is clear to me that prayers for healing are not magic, “magic” in the sense of its root meaning to bend the laws of nature to conform to our desires. In fact, we may need to change our expectations and accept what is.

    Healing and cure are different things. In the end, it appears that healing is not an end to achieve. It is a path to walk. And, this very body, with its aches and its pleasures is exactly what we need to be fully human, fully awake, and fully alive.

    This article was published 2/18/15 in the Newberg Graphic

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