Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Sermon Series: "Spiritual Practices"

Here are the seven spiritual practices that we will be exploring over the next seven weeks. Remember that there are twelve practices in all--so we will look at the other five some other time. But for now, here are the seven:

May 3-- Solitude

May 10-- Guidance

May 17--Meditation

May 24--Service

May 31--Celebration

June 7--Worship

June 14--Prayer

Check back here each week to find "special feature" material-- stuff you won't be able to get anywhere else! I'll post suggestions for each day of the following week of how you can practice what you have learned on Sunday morning all through the week.

I pray that this time of learning and reflection will be a benefit to everyone in our congregation, and all those who read this blog.

God Bless You,


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oscar the Grouch

Okay, so I looked at my last couple of posts, and I sound kinda grouchy.

I think I need a break--next week, I'll be in Nashville for a conference called "A River Deep and Wide: Spiritual Practices in the Twenty-first Century." It will be a whole week full of prayer, meditation, and learning about how to maintain a balance between body/mind/spirit. From what I've been reading of my own writing lately, I'm pretty sure I need it.

Thanks to Earl for owning up to your comments--I still don't agree with you, but that's fine. That's what makes this country great. We can disagree and we don't get out guns and kill each other over it.

I'll try to update the blog while I'm away.

Pace e Bene,



Comments on this pitiful excuse for a blog will be monitored from now on. If you can't be bothered to put your name to your comment, it won't be posted here. I don't read anonymous letters, and I sure don't want anonymous comments on my blog.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Of Tea Bags and Taxes.

O.k., this is the last time I'm going to comment on this, because frankly, I think these people don't need any more publicity than they have already gotten.

Today, people all around this great land of ours decided to slag off work and march around in protest of what they call "taxation without representation." Modeling themselves after the original Boston Tea Party (ala the Sons of Liberty--look it up in a history book), they dumped tea and/or tea products into various waterways to protest the government's stimuli of various parts of the economy using taxpayers' dollars.

I have two major problems with this:

1. It is a huge waste of tea, and you know how much of a sin I think that is!

2. It is a mockery of what this country is built on. Sure, the Framers might not recognize what we have today as the ideal of what they had in mind when they wrote the Constitution, but they also only had thirteen states to deal with, and were fighting a war. In a vast land like ours, we need government to keep everything from dropping off into the ocean sometimes, and yeah, we're going to have to pay for it. Like the better part of $7,000 that my family paid this year, and the millions and billions that others contributed. Some got refunds, but the government does "owe" everybody a refund--that's just what they say on the H&R Block commercials so that you'll come get your taxes done there. So, yes, I find it offensive that some would compare our current government and president (whom I actively campaigned for) to George III and his Parliament. It's not fair, it's not accurate, and it's just not nice.

Here's the deal, people--we're in this mess together. We may not agree on how we got here (although I do think it's unfair to saddle Mr. Obama--three months into office--with all the blame), but the one thing we should all agree on is that it's going to take all of us to get out of it. Not just "all of us" in the sense of a few of us who really care, but ALL of us, in the Great Depression, get-off-yer-butt-and-do-something kind of way. It's going to take machinists and artists and executives and congressional representatives and preachers and teachers and garbage collectors to help us get out of this. It's going to take sacrifice--a thing we're afraid to latch onto in this country because we're afraid that someone else might get ahead (meaning, what? That we're going to get behind? Why does it have to be one or the other?)

So, say it with me, "We the people of the United States. . ." we're in this for the long run, and we're in it for the promotion of the general welfare of all. That means you too, tea partiers! Get off your high horses and plow a field. Put down your signs and go feed a starving child in the inner city. Make a cup of tea and sit down with a Depression-era granny and get her story of what it's really like to suffer. Just don't throw your tea in the river, or you're gonna have to put up with me. And I don't deal with tea abuse very lightly.

Sitting down to a cup right now,