Tag Archives: discernment
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
Today, we conclude this lesson on the ancient exercises we do together on Sundays. We look at the exercise that includes stilling our hearts, becoming attentive, interpreting, and discerning.
This may be one of the only times you’ll ever hear a minister tell you to argue with him or her. Continue reading
As we come to another New Year, we look again at how human beings best change. We all have areas of growth before us in the coming year, areas originating in the heart of God. Today’s lesson talks about discerning the purposes of the Divine, and partnering with them in our own transformation. Continue reading
Continuing our look at good and bad power, we turn to how one comes to be a user of the former. How do we become good-power people? Jesus had a lot to say about power, and critical to his teaching was an understanding that successful people, in-group people, tend to become so inwardly focused, they miss the big issues, and trip into the use of bad power. Continue reading
s we’ve been looking at the ancient pathways that tend the soul’s well-being, we’ve seen that many of those practices involve interacting with other people. Consequently, the issue of power comes into play. In these Advent lessons, we take a side excursion into thinking about good power and bad, and in this lesson in particular, we define what good and bad power are (in spiritual terms). Continue reading
The turning of the calendar invites us to look at our lives, our values, and the habits that accumulate over time. Are these habits serving us well? In this lesson we talk about how one goes about shifting from one way of being alive, to a new and improved one. Continue reading