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Posts tagged ‘religion’

Do not be afraid – Fr. Richard Rohr

Do Not Be Afraid – Fr. Richard Rohr

One could sum up the Bible as an interplay of fear and faith. In general, people are obsessed and overpowered by fears; we all fear whatever we cannot control. God is one of our primary fears because God is totally beyond us. The good news, the gospel, according to Luke, is that God has breached that fear and become one of us in Jesus. God says, in effect, “It’s okay. You don’t have to live in chattering fear of me.” God’s response to Mary’s quaver at the angel’s appearance is, “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30), and in fact, I am told it is the most common one-liner in the whole Bible, appearing maybe even 365 times!

In Luke’s infancy narrative, Mary is presented as prototypical and archetypal, because God comes into her life and announces the Divine Presence within her. Through the same Spirit, God comes into our lives and announces the Divine Presence within us. This annunciation event is a paradigm of every mystical experience. God offers the Godself to us even before we invite God to do so. There is no indication of previous holiness or heroics in Mary’s life. All we can do is be present and open. When Mary manifests this presence and openness, she becomes the Christ-bearer to the world. It is the same for us.

Adapted from The Good News According to Luke: Spiritual Reflections, p. 66

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Say Uncle – a Still speaking Devotional

Say “Uncle”

1 Kings 19:4-6
[Elijah] came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”

Dwight Lee Wolter

As the youngest child in my family, all three of my siblings could easily overpower me. I always put up a good fight, but the outcome was never in question. The struggles usually ended with me being pinned against the floor and my siblings demanding, “Say Uncle!” Only then would they let me go.

Today, many years later, I looked out the window of my soul and softly said, “Uncle.” This has been a difficult winter in many parts of the country, with environmental crises such as horrendous hurricanes, blinding blizzards and crippling drought. And there have been many excruciating crises of human origin such as the slaughter of innocent children and adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Enough already! On the count of three let’s all say, “Uncle!”

Many are quick to remind me that things could be much worse; that we should hold fast to an attitude of gratitude; and that God never gives you more than you can handle—but sometimes I wonder. While I am pleased and proud of what many have mobilized and accomplished in the aftermath of these and other tragedies, sometimes I allow myself to hunker down under the broom bush in my soul and surrender to the sweet agony of grief.

Eventually, when I have had enough, some angel comes along and tells me it is time to get up and eat. Nourished by bread and grief, I find strength to return to my quest of being a useful advocate once again.

God of many names including Mother, Father and Uncle—wherever we are on our spiritual journey, be with us as we avail ourselves of the heights and depths of your creation.

About the Author
Dwight Lee Wolter is the author of Forgiving Our Parents, Freedom Through Forgiving (a workbook), and Forgiving Our Grownup Children. He is pastor of the Congregational Church of Patchogue on Long Island, New York.


Live simply. Love generously.
Care deeply. Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

“The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; [the Lord] upholds the orphan and the widow.”
– Psalm 146:7-9


“I trace the rainbow through the rain and see the promise is not in vain.”

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God is still speaking

John Mark Ministries

Something to meditate on – a verse and a thought

Something to meditate on:

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
– James 1:27-27

Quote for the day:

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
– Elie Wiesel


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Why God never got His PhD – its too laugh

(If you don’t have a sense of humor, or are easily offended you should skip this “offering”)

Why God never got His PhD

1. He had only one major publication.
2. It was in Hebrew.
3. It had no references.
4. It wasn’t published in a refereed journal.
5. Some even doubt he wrote it by himself.
6. It may be true that he created the world, but what has he done since
7. His cooperative efforts have been quite limited.
8. The scientific community has had a hard time replicating his results.
9. He never applied to the ethics board for permission to use human
10. When one experiment went awry he tried to cover it by drowning his
11. When subjects didn’t behave as predicted, he deleted them from the
12. He rarely came to class, just told students to read the book.
13. Some say he had his son teach the class.
14. He expelled his first two students for learning.
15. Although there were only 10 requirements, most of his students failed
his tests.
16. His office hours were infrequent and usually held on a mountain top.
17. No record of working well with colleagues.

A Call to Technical Support – it’s to laugh

Moses Requests Technical Support (Humour)

“Excuse me, sir.”

“Is that you again, Moses?”

“I’m afraid it is, sir.”

“What is it this time, Moses. More computer problems?”

“How did you guess?”

“I don’t have to guess, Moses. Remember?”

“Oh, yeah. I forgot.”

“Tell me what you want, Moses.”

“But you already know. Remember?”


“Sorry, sir.”

“Well, go ahead, Moses. Spit it out!”

“Well, I have a question, Sir. You know those ten things you sent me?”

“You mean the Commandments, Moses?”

“That’s it. I was wondering if they were important.”

“What do you mean ‘were important, Moses? Of course, they are important. Otherwise I wouldn’t have sent them to you.”

“Well, sorry, but I lost them. I could say the dog at e them, but of course you would see right through that.”

“What do you mean ‘you lost them! Are you trying to tell me you didn’t save them, Moses?”

“No, sir. I forgot.”

“You should always save, Moses.”

“Yeah, I know. You told me that before. I was going to, but I forgot. I did send them to some people before I lost them though.”

“And did you hear back from any of them?”

“You already know I did.”

“What about the one guy who said he never uses ‘shalt not’. Can he change the words a little bit?”

“Yes, Moses. As long as he doesn’t change the meaning.”

“And what about the guy who thought your stance was a little harsh and recommended calling them the Ten Suggestions, or letting people pick one or two to try for a while?”

“Moses, I’ll act like I didn’t hear that.”

“I think tha t means, ‘no’. Well, what about the guy who said I was scamming him?”

“I think that is spamming, Moses.”

“Oh, yeah. I e-mailed him back and told him I don’t even eat that stuff, and I have no idea how you can send it to someone through a computer.”

“And what he did say?”

“You know what he said. He used Your name in vain. You don’t think he might have sent me one of those plagues, and that’s the reason I lost those ten things, do you?”

“They’re called viruses, Moses.”

“Whatever! This computer stuff is just too much for me. Can we just go back to those stone tablets? It was hard on my back taking them out and reading them each day, but I never lost them.”

“We’ll do it the new way, Moses.”

“I was afraid you would say that, sir.”

“Moses, what did I tell you to do if you messed up?”

“You told me to hold up this rat and stretch it out toward the computer.”

“It’s a mouse, Moses. Mouse! Mouse! And did you do that?”

“No, I decided to try the technical support first. After all, who knows more about this stuff than you, and I really like your hours. By the way, sir, did Noah have two of these mice on the ark?”

“No, Moses.”

“One other thing. Why didn’t you name them frogs instead of mice, because didn’t you tell me the thing they sit on is a pad?”

“I didn’t name them, Moses. Man did, and you can call yours a frog if you want to.”

“Oh, that explains it. Kind of like Adam, huh, sir? I bet some woman told him to call it a mouse. After all, wasn’t it a woman who named one of the computers Apple?”

“Say good night, Moses.”

“Wait a minute, sir. I am stretching out the mouse, and it seems to be working. Yes, a couple of the ten things have come back.”

“Which ones are they, Moses?”

“Let’s see. ‘Thou shalt not steal from any grave an image and ‘Thou shalt not uncover thy neighbor’s wife.’

“Turn the computer off, Moses. I’m sending you another set of stone tablets. How does ‘Same Day Air’ sound?”


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Nameless Heroes – a Stillspeaking Devotional

Nameless Heroes –

Acts 23: 12-17 (NIV)
The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul. More than forty men were involved in this plot. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul. . . .’ But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul. Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.” So he took him to the commander.

Reflection by Kenneth L. Samuel

The Apostle Paul played a leading role in the spreading of the gospel and in the establishment of the first-century church. Indeed most of the narrative of the book of Acts is a vivid chronicle of the life, witness and ministry of Paul. But behind every major character, there is always a host of supporting characters.

These are the foot soldiers who work inconspicuously and almost invisibly in the background. They are seldom noted, easily overlooked and almost never remembered. Their names are often forgotten or never mentioned. They are like the nameless young man of Acts 23. Barely noticed. Quite indistinct. Practically obscure. Yet this non-distinct, nameless young man is the agent God used to intercept a plot to murder Paul and to stifle the spread of the gospel among the Gentiles.

To how many nameless heroes and heroines do we owe our success? How many forgotten souls have sacrificed and selflessly intervened on our behalf to save us from pending doom? How many times has God used minor characters to deliver major victories for us? We could so easily forget them and believe that we have made it by our own abilities. But the truth is that without their pivotal contributions, we would not be. A full appreciation of Paul’s life and ministry must also include an appreciation for the life and ministry of the nameless one.

Dear Lord, for the countless, nameless persons whom you have used throughout my life to save my life, I give you thanks. Amen.

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A Trinitarian Prayer – Fr. Richard Rohr

A Trinitarian Prayer

In the name of the Holy Formless One,
In the name of the Son, who took Form,
In the name of the Spirit between these Two,
All things are made one.

God for us, we call You Father
God alongside us, we call You Jesus,
God within us, we call You Holy Spirit.
But these are only names.

You are the Eternal Mystery that enables
and holds and enlivens all things
—even us and even me.
Every name falls short of Your goodness and Your greatness.
We can only see who You are in what is.
In the beginning, now, and always. 


—A prayer accompanying The Divine Dance (CD, MP3) on God as Trinity

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