The next Faith & Film features I’m Not Rappaport 5:30 pm • March 9, 2014 The film based on a play by the same name, I’m Not Rappaport, focuses on two elderly gentleman who spend their days sitting on a bench in New York City’s Central Park. The story deals with several issues, including society’s…
The most important thing we do as Christians is worship of God. Also important is to shine God’s light in the world; being conduits of God’s blessings, which can take many forms. Does what we do at Shiloh UMC make a difference in the world? While I do not know specific outcomes of the lives…
Find your place in The God Story Wednesdays 6:30 pm • March 12 – April 16 An online study will be offered too I am a part of the God Story and you are too. Your life changes when you see the threads that run through the great story of God’s people found…
7:00 pm • Tuesday, March 25 at Shiloh UMC The next book to be reviewed, by our book club, will be Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin. Boyhood pals, one white, one black, step over the racial barrier to share a special bond. But then a tragedy strikes … read what happens 20 years…
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.
Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Jesus’ life didn’t go well. He didn’t reach his earning potential. He didn’t have the respect of his colleagues. His friends weren’t loyal. His life wasn’t long. He didn’t meet his soul mate. And he wasn’t understood by his mother. Yet I think I deserve all those things because I am spiritual.
Our artificiality is caused by our culture which works hard to instill a professionalism that prizes correctness over authenticity and originality.
An old belief is like an old shoe. We so value its comfort that we fail to notice the hole in it.
We are more interested in orthodoxy and being right than changing our minds in order to love, include and respect those who we think are believing and living wrong. When it comes down to it, I would rather include an unbelieving sinner, present tense, and be a heretic than to exclude him and be orthodox. This, I believe … is what gets me in trouble.
Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Without music, life would be a mistake. … I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.
Jesus insists that although we might pretend otherwise, we are not the gatekeepers of the community of God.
Hell is losing your job six months short of 30 years, with no parachute, no shiny new gold watch and not so much as a ‘thank you’ as you walk out the door. It’s payments you can’t make on a house you can’t sell, as your kids watch their parents split apart.
How do soldiers killing each other solve the world’s problems?
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ Then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.’
We cannot comprehend what comprehends us.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God … It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
Here’s to the crazy ones, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
There are seven billion people in this world. Why are you letting one ruin your day?
To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Humankind did not weave the web of life. We are but one strand within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves.
Following Jesus will mean surrendering the power that masquerades as security in order to love the neighbor and welcome the stranger. It will mean avoiding the safe path in order to pursue the good.
‘Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.’
People were created to be loved. Things were created to be used. The world is in chaos because things are loved and people are used.
Theologians will have to leave the library more often and mix with the rest of us. And the best of them will join hands and hearts with the poets, musicians, filmmakers, actors, architects, interior and landscape designers, dancers, sculptors, painters, novelists, photographers, web designers, and every other artistic brother and sister possible … not only to communicate a postmodern, Christian theology … but also to discern it, discover it.
Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.
Come back to the heartbeat, the pulse, the rhythm we all walk to, regardless of nation or color. Come back to the breath – inhale, take the world deep into your lungs; exhale, give yourself back fully. This is what the body says: release the peace that lives within your skin.
It is wonderful how much time good people spend fighting the devil. If they would only expend the same amount of energy loving their fellow men, the devil would die in his own tracks of ennui.
God’s hope for you is not about success, but about making choices that bring you closer to being the person God intends you to be.
God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.
It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices (pride) can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life.
I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people happy; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor.
Once social change begins it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
You can do something I can’t do. I can do something you can’t do. Together let us do something beautiful for God.
Never think that you need to protect God. Because anytime you think you need to protect God, you can be sure that you are worshipping an idol.
One of the things Jesus did was to step aside from the organized religion of his time because it had become corrupt and bogged down with rules. Rules became more important than feeding the hungry.
There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.
The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys the commonwealth—that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighborhood, and community – and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means.
In our chatty world, in which the word has lost its power to communicate, silence helps us to keep our mind and heart anchored in the future world and allows us to speak from there a creative and recreative word to the present world.
Above all, do not lose hope.
We are already one. We just think we are separate.
Words & music did for me what solid rigorous argument could not. It was the words & music together that introduced me to God.
Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.
You can safely assume that you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
When we are open to Divine Guidance, we will receive it. It will come to us as the hunch, the inkling, the itch. It will come to us as timely conversations with others. It will come to us in many ways – but it will come.
Peace is the fruit of love, a love that is also justice. But to grow in love requires work — hard work. And it can bring pain because it implies loss — loss of the certitudes, comforts, and hurts that shelter and define us.
Storytelling has always been at the heart of being human because it serves some of our most basic needs: passing along our traditions, confessing failings, healing wounds, engendering hope, strengthening our sense of community.
It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.
If we are careful to observe events, we can see just how the elements of the universe are transformed. It’s the same transformation that happens when someone changes the sounds that a harp makes by changing the key while continuing to play the same melody.
Compassion for the other comes out of our ability to accept ourselves. Until we realize both our own weaknesses and our own privileges, we can never tolerate lack of status and depth of weakness in the other.
The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you. There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it. Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.
It is easier to find guides, someone to tell you what to do, than someone to be with you in a discerning, prayerful companionship as you work it out yourself. This is what spiritual direction is.
The authority once given to Scripture is now ascribed to the appointment calendar and to-do list.
We can say ‘Peace on Earth.’ We can sing about it, preach about it, or pray about it, but if we have not internalized the mythology to make it happen inside us, then it will not be.
If, in spite of our inner contradictions, we set out again every morning towards Christ, it is not with any kind of normality in mind. It is with the ultimate goal in view, the goal beyond our hopes, that of becoming conformed to the very likeness of Jesus himself.
Most of us have half-a-dozen or so favorite anxieties, like bitter sweets we suck on endlessly. We would be frightened to be deprived of them. Jesus challenges us to go beyond the fear of letting go of anxiety, the fear we have of peace itself.
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.
The world is not to be put in order; the world is order, incarnate. It is for us to harmonize with this order.
The difference between you and God is that God doesn’t think he’s you.
Little by little we human beings are confronted with situations that give us more and more clues that we aren’t perfect.
The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.
According to Jesus, being church is about two things: love of God and love of neighbor. Everything else is just a footnote (Matthew 22:36-40).