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Showing posts from October, 2009

The Song of God?

I had an unusual dream. The dream lasted all night. I would wake up a couple of times, look at the clock, fall back asleep and the dream would continue. I am not claiming any divine revelation or anything like that, just a thought provoking dream.

In the dream I would hear a beautiful chorus singing the words "The Song of God" over and over. I had a feeling I should know what it was and know the words of it.

I also saw God bathed in light. What was interesting was that God was made up of millions of sparks, and these sparks were enlightened humanity. The were humans who, while not perfect, had awakened to love humanity and indeed all of nature and were transformed by the experience. These individual sparks then joined to become the light which was God. Was it that there was no God apart from them? They then were the loving parents of humanity, appearing as a father and mother to humanity...sometimes as the falling acorn, sometimes as the laugh of a child, others as …

Belief

I am finishing up one book: The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong and am halfway through another: In Search of Belief by Joan Chittister.
In Armstrong's book, she shares her journey through the convent, her loss of faith, and her transformation to a different type of "monastic" existence as she puts it as a "freelance monotheist." Her journey is fascinating. I have read several of her books and this one provides more insight into her journey as she was writing those books. I find that I can relate to her loss of faith and her transformation. I also found it fascinating that she lives a type of contemplative life now in the world. I can relate to that.

In the book, In Search of Belief, Chittister writes as a nun who left behind a faith that no longer made sense, allowing it to develop into something more thoughtful and powerful. This book is about the Apostles Creed, and her new eyes to read the creed in a new way. No longer able to sign on the dotted …

Being Green

I am slowly becoming more green. My consciousness has changed and is continuing to change. I am aware of the plastic I use and work to reduce using it. I recycle and have completely reshaped how things operate at my work to make it more green. I have become a vegetarian. I am seeking to replace the lights in my house with the energy efficient lights. I am using less water... I know I have a long ways to go, but I am taking steps to get there.

A Loss of Faith?

For years I have compared my spiritual life to a spiral...a spiral staircase perhaps. I would work through some beliefs or issues and move on only to come back again, though this time I am changed. I am different. My time as a teenage and college age fundamentalist. My time as a missionary and later a monk. My time of questioning, doubt, and being kicked out of my church for questioning. My relationship with Christianity has been an odd one. Even now I wonder if I am still shedding some of the last vestiges, or staying on the sinking ship of my faith. I do not know if I could call myself a Christian. There are parts I enjoy. I enjoy the liturgy and the ritual. I like Jesus as a champion for the underdog. Perhaps I am still grieving s loss of faith. Whatever is happening, it is not easy. I miss the community. I miss a sense of a personal God. I miss certainty. I wonder how many turns around this spiral staircase I need to make before I can step off, and if I step off-where will I be.

God as Lover 2

I have lived with God for many years now. I am 37 and was baptized at 16. God and I have fought and almost divorced. At the beginning of our relationship, we could not get enough of each other. God wooed me and the bliss and peace was like a drug. Over time our relationship matured and changed. Later still, others tried to step into our relationship and I became suspicious of God and we separated for a time. But even as I ran away from our relationship, God was always there, coming in many faces and forms-not just in the ones presented to me by the church. Eventually we reunited and over time we have grown very comfortable with each other. We are like an old couple at times..where we do not need the wooing but there is an abiding love. At times I am overwhelmed with love and am so appreciative of the relationship that is there.

Faith

My relationship with my faith is an interesting one. A priest friend said it sounded like I am in a place where I am not simply swallowing everything that is fed to me but am now chewing it...finally taking my faith seriously and personally. As an evangelical so long ago I believed and debated doctrines with vehemence. Now I am not totally sure what I believe about a lot of things...and it makes no difference to me. If Moses took people through the Red Sea, if Jesus was born of a virgin, if he literally physically rose....those things do not concern me. My faith means that I don't read the scriptures so much literally as seriously. How I live both personally and socially means so much more. Am I more caring, am I living authentically, how I can help those that need it seem so much more important. I want to help those that need it. I want to help the environment. I can feel God equally in church or in nature...or with friends. There is no sacred or secular...it is all sacred. Big t…

Laughing

I am laughing at myself. What impressed me about the Episcopal service was not the service (creeds, etc) but the community and the view of nature outside. Even in church nature is my religion.

Celebrating Three Weeks

This past Friday, I celebrated three weeks of being a vegetarian. In doing research on the effects of meat on obesity, the treatment of animals in most mass production farms, I no longer can in good conscience eat meat. There are many other excellent reasons to consider it as well. The greatest challenges has been learning to cook without meat. Oddly enough I seem to have a knack for it, and have cooked some very delicious meals. You Tube has some excellent recipes and of course the video Meet your Meat which looks into the mass production of meat for the nation.

God as Lover pt 1

I love this image. I felt it very strongly today at mass. I am a reader and can spend days pondering theological concepts. I tend to live in my mind. But it is at Eucharist that I almost fall into ecstacy. It is such a beautiful act. It is the union of the lover and the Beloved. God is that beautiful lover who enters me, filling me where there is no longer God and I, but rather Oneness. In Jewish tradition, having sex with your spouse on the Sabbath is considered a special holy thing. I think for those of us in Christian liturgical tradition we also experience this blessing in the Eucharist.

Church

I visited an Episcopal Church today. The church was beautiful, well lit by natural huge windows opening up to trees whose fall leaves were changing. It was easy to experience God in such a setting. The view of nature bordered on estatic for me. Leave it to me to have a pantheistic experience in church!

Taoism

I love reading about Taoism. Though I am sure I am only grasping the tiniest ember of its teachings, I am tremendously moved by what I am able to understand. The challenged to be flexible and not to grasp is a challenge but it makes so much sense to me. I may want things to go a certain way and to my work to help that to happen, but something comes along and BAM!, it all changes and goes another way. I can pout and throw a fit. I can cry, weep, and mourn. I can tell someone my woes. Or I can let go. I can observe the shift in the flow and reconsider my actions and work somehow with the new flow. I am only just touching the iceberg on this...but writing about it helps my try to make sense of it all. :)

God the Sibling

I have a very close relationship with my sister. Growing up we fought like cats and dogs, but as adults we are very close. We talk about issues, laugh at things, and are totally ourselves. Whereas in society we always have some shields and masks up, with a sibling, those masks are either non-existent or easily seen through-at least in my case. Can God be like that? I have to admit that my conception and relationship to God changes constantly. Sometimes God is like a Father or Mother-when I want to be held or protected. Sometimes God is not personal but is a presence. But often God is someone I talk to. I can just chat with...though at times I put on a religous face...God can easily see through it. This is something that I would like to explore further. At one time I spoke to God constantly as a close friend or brother...but I seem to have lost that.

God the Child

I must admit, I love the pictures of Mary holding Jesus. But I have never really contemplated what it might mean for God to be a child. God had needs. God in Christ needed food, love, friendship, affection and all the things all humanity needs to survive and thrive. What would it mean if God came to me as a child. In working with young people, I see their need to play, to laugh and to move. Does God enjoy these things too? I think so. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever-then he retains his humanity. I believe God can laugh with us. I believe God can be playful, just as we are sometimes. I see God active in the children...their innocence, their ability to love without strings. May I always be open and continue to open to God as a little child.

God as Father

There is a move within Christendom, that is exploring many faces of God, that have not been emphasized much within the church. I enjoy exploring these faces, as I feel it helps me know the beloved that much more. That said, I do not want to lose the traditional faces either. I do relate to God as Father. When I think of Father...I tend to think of various words-daddy, lawgiver, corrector, protector, comforter. One particular story that helps me know what God may be like is when I was a child. I had begged my parents to let me walk home from school for some time. Finally they relented with the warning, come straight home...do not go anywhere else and do not talk to strangers. So my first day to walk home came around. I walked past my aunt and uncles house and across the street were kids jumping on a trampoline. Well kids being kids-the next thing I knew I was jumping with them...for several hours. My parents were frantic-thankfully they called my aunt and she had seen me jum…

God in Nature

Of late I have been paying attention to the awe and wonder I feel in the presence of nature. Just "simple" things like the processes of leaves changing color, of the relationship between bugs ang birds and similar things. I am reminded of Paul's word that "in God, we live and move and have our being" and cannot help think that this world may be the womb of God. When Paul speaks of creation groaning for redemption...perhaps it is nature's birth pangs for us to see our place in nature..not as lords but as a part of it.

Organic Vegetarian Chili

It is a cool rainy day today. I love this fall weather. As I try to explore vegetarian cooking that is quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive I opted for organic chili. It was delicious. And better yet, it will last several days-so I can be lazy and not really have to cook. Mmmm...

Tent Life

I read about this guy in the Oklahoma Gazette. He is living in a tent for 6 months in an effort to recover simplicity of lifestyle. I admire his values...and it goes to show that a change is happening within Christiantiy, making sectors of it more earth friendly. Here is the link to Tentlife.