Tag Archives: God

A Time to Be Silent

I haven’t been able to write an essay for a while. I could call it an extended case of writer’s block, except that doesn’t explain very much. Who knows what blocks a writer? I could say I ran out of things to say, except that isn’t true. Just ask the classes I teach; they endure […]

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Prayer

For several years, I have said the opening and closing prayers at our college’s commencement ceremonies, a privilege I was granted soon after being hired. I probably appeared a natural choice, being a former pastor and the religion instructor. Or, perhaps more likely, nobody else wanted to do them. Most people don’t like standing in […]

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Believing Is Seeing

The world is not always as it seems.  We learn to believe particular things, and those beliefs then shape the world that we see and experience.  In ancient times, believing the earth was the center of the universe appeared perfectly reasonable.  If you studied the sky, you could watch the sun rise in the east […]

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Seeing Oneness

“Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own Self in all beings, loses all fear.”  – Isa Upanishad Ninety-six percent of our body consists of four elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen.  The other four percent is a smorgasbord of the periodic table, from sulfur to chlorine to zinc.  Even though we […]

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The Voice That Isn’t Yours

One of the best Christmas gifts I received as a kid was a crystal radio kit.  In 1958, when I was seven, this was an exciting piece of high technology.  A rectangle of hardboard held three small screws connected by wires.  After wrapping a small coil, making a few couplings with bent paper clips, and […]

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Blessed Are Those Who Do Not Mourn

A story is told about Chuang Tzu, the Taoist philosopher.  His wife had died, after forty years of marriage, and a friend named Huizi came to offer condolences.  Walking into the house, he found Chuang Tzu playing drums on a wooden bowl and singing.  “What are you doing?” Huizi exclaimed.  “People will think you don’t […]

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The Parable Of The Unscrupulous Judge

Faith can seem like the easiest thing.  All we have to do is believe.  There’s no physical exertion required.  Education is often seen as a hindrance.  It’s not something we have to spend much time thinking about.  In fact, the less thought we give to our beliefs the more it seems like faith. Appearances, of […]

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Aiming At Nothing And Hitting It

When I became a minister, my role as a pastoral counselor had special significance for me.  I regarded counseling as a professionally recognized practice.  Everything else about being a pastor—the ceremonies, the praying, the studying of religious books, the time spent with women who were home all day—seemed to be seen as more akin to […]

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Show Me Your Doubt And I’ll Show You Mine

When I was in seminary, I became friends with a young Coptic priest from Ethiopia.  His name was Marcus, and we both worked as chaplaincy trainees in a large urban hospital.  One day, as we relaxed in the chaplain’s office, he described his personal cave.  On graduation from priesthood training in Egypt, Marcus was given […]

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The Spirit Road- Knowing We’re Known

There aren’t many things I know for certain.  I know I’ll be tired after three days with my grandchildren.  I know I enjoy margaritas.  I know I like to fish with my buddy in Canada.  But knowing all that isn’t really knowing very much.  If you ask me questions on a larger scale, like do […]

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