North Raleigh Community Churchdedicated to the pursuit of an authentic, free spirituality that both awakens our souls and betters the earth
Tag Archives: contemplation
When I was a kid, I got rewards for memorizing the ancient proverbs. Here’s one that is still stuck in my head… A hoary head is a crown of glory, if it is found on a man or woman who … Continue reading
As we conclude this part of our lesson on toxic hurry, we look again at how our American culture makes us vulnerable to the temptation Jesus warned us about in the parable we’re unpacking. We conclude by a bit of review of these six weeks, but some concluding remarks about the American predilection for avarice (though we’d never call it that), impatience, and a lack of chastity. Continue reading
These words describe spiritual illness. We know that. What we often don’t know is how our own history and society as Americans embeds these character flaws deep in our national psyche. We don’t see how they drive us to the toxic hurry Jesus warned us about. Continue reading
As we’re unpacking Jesus’ parable about people who missed Divine Life because they were in a hurry, we’re looking at several ways our own culture trips us into unexamined hurry.
There’s a powerful economic engine vested in making you want things, and making sure you don’t say “no” to them. Today we look at that engine, and the negative things we experience when we have no filter in place to determine our “yes’s” and “no’s.”
Again, forewarned is forearmed. Continue reading
Philosophical pragmatism was hammered out by a bunch of really smart guys in Cambridge, Mass. in the late 1800’s. It has become such a successful, American philosophy that it often bleeds out of the area in which it is so fruitful and effective, into other areas of our humanity in which it is decidedly not helpful – in fact, quite the opposite.
As Americans, if we would heed the warning in Jesus’ parable about not getting caught up in toxic hurry, we have to know what will derail us. Philosophical pragmatism will do it! Continue reading
Pragmatism: if it works, it must be good. Who would argue with that?
However, when we think about making it the central organizing value in our lives (as many Americans do), there are some pretty negative, unintended consequences. If we want to not miss the party Jesus invited us to last week, we do well to rethink how deeply we allow pragmatism to go in our value system. Continue reading
We begin a new lesson today that will take several weeks. We begin with Jesus’ parable about a man who invited a bunch of people to the party of their lives, only to have them miss this golden opportunity because of pragmatic concerns in their lives. Unexamined lives led them to hurried, harried lives that couldn’t see opportunity when it was handed to them.
So it is when we miss reading to our children, miss seeing the mystery and beauty in our jobs, our people, our city, and the rocks and tree that travel on this planet with us.
This lesson is about why we drive ourselves into the blinding toxicity of hurry, and what we can do to step back from the impulses that push us there. Continue reading
This is such an important practice. I hope you have a listen. When our view of God changes, our view of prayer changes. Many simply stop praying… stop having a devotional habit. But that’s just not good for our souls. Better is to go back through history and find ways of “prayer” that feed us in our newly-emerging way of thinking about God. Examen is one of those ancient ways. Continue reading
Today, we begin a short lesson together (only two weeks) in which we look at what comes to our minds when we use the word “God.” Usually, it’s a super-big-and-wonderful Person, a King, a Parent, a Bridegroom, a Righteous Judge. These are all metaphors for God found in the Bible that have found their way into the unconscious assumptions of many of us.
However, an interesting thing happens when we frame an image of God in our mind. We limit our experience of the Beyond-Our-Faculties-To-Comprehend, Divine to that which fits into our fixed mental image. Continue reading