Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

What You Need To Know

We arrive in this world knowing surprisingly little.  Many creatures are born with a basic set of knowledge that helps them survive, but that’s not true for people.  Humans lack instincts for even the most basic needs and are profoundly helpless for a prolonged period of time after birth.  We have to learn what to […]

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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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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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Finding God- 2

There are all kinds of ways to hide.  Some people stay out of sight; others hide in plain sight.  Some people conceal themselves behind anger and bravado, others behind helplessness.   Some people hide by lying to others and other people hide by lying to themselves.  Some use the truth to lie.  In their hands, truthfulness […]

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Finding God- 1

When I was in the ministry, I attended a dinner party given by a Jamaican couple who belonged to the church.  They were sophisticated people, with a wide variety of friends, and that night one of the guests had a problem with the idea of God.  I was holding a bacon-wrapped chestnut in one hand […]

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Dealing With Blindness

As an archer, an arrow.      –The Dhammapada Sometime towards the end of my first marriage, I tried to play the stock market and lost my shirt.  I didn’t know what I was doing.  It seemed like a way to augment my salary as a pastor.  I never took a vow of poverty, after all, but […]

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Trusting The Miracle

I’ve been wondering what to do with myself lately.  Perhaps it’s because I turned sixty a few months ago.  Perhaps it’s because I had a heart attack shortly afterwards.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve never held a job longer than seven years, and I’m approaching that now.  Perhaps it’s because I still don’t know what I […]

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Meeting God

The first time I experienced what I think of as God was as a bored teenager in church, feeling guilty about masturbating.  Masturbation was a regular activity, being a horny fifteen year-old, and the Sears catalog provided visual stimulation.  In my day, catalogs were the equivalent of internet porn.  Unfortunately, I also believed masturbation was […]

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