Sermon from 3-26-17, Can you see with new eyes!

The reading we worked with from the Lectionary are:

1 Samuel

NT Ephesians 5:8-14

Gospel John 9:1-41 AWESOME!!!!!!

 

My handout “Random Thoughts” for the day:

 

Matthew 13: MSG

1.Your ears are open but you don’t hear a thing.
Your eyes are awake but you don’t see a thing.
The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
so they won’t have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
so they won’t have to look,
so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face
and let me heal them.16-17 But you have God-blessed eyes—eyes that see! And God-blessed ears—ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets

Galatians 5 MSG

2.How do we know if we are living in God’s light?:

22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.23-24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.

 

3.“…..Knowledge puffs up , whereas love builds up…”p103 Rohr The Divine Dance”

4.I am a hole in the flute that the Christ’s breath moves through—- listen to this music. Hafiz, 14th century Sufi poet and mystic.

5.One woman in a group I was working with was almost instantly able to turn around a very difficult standoff with an ultraconservative bishop when she realized that his resistance was not the problem to be solved but a given to be worked with. With an almost visceral “Aha!” she relaxed her sense of polarization and was stunned to learn the next day that he had miraculously softened his stance. While it was not clear to her who had actually been the broker of third force here, it was clear to her that the two relaxations were not unrelated.

One can only imagine how greatly the political and religious culture wars of our era could be eased by this simple courtesy of the Law of Three: (1) the enemy is never the problem but the opportunity; (2) the problem will never be solved through eliminating or silencing the opposition but by learning to hold the tension of the opposites and launch them in a new direction. Imagine what a different world it would be if these two simple precepts were internalized and enacted. CAC 3-19-17

  1. And in everything that I saw, I could perceive nothing except the presence of the power of God, and in a manner totally indescribable. And my soul in an excess of wonder cried out: This world is pregnant with God! —Angela of Foligno (1248-1309) (Paulist Press: 1993), 169-170
  2. 10 “The thief(most of the time the thief is us) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. What are you doing in this life, does it feel abundant, at least some of the time. John 10:10
  3. Bill Hicks Life is a ride video has really engaged me in the last few months, he a Comedian, and I love this video. Google Bill Hicks life’s a ride or the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgzQuE1pR1w

 

 

Sermon for 3-19-17

The reading we worked with from the Lectionary are:

OT Exodus 17:1-7

NT Romans 5:1-11

Gospel John 4: 5-42

 

My hand out Random Thoughts:

The word of the day: SPIRIT

 

Developing Patience Romans 5:1-11 MSG

1-2 By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!6-8 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

9-11 Now that we are set right with God by means of this sacrificial death, the consummate blood sacrifice, there is no longer a question of being at odds with God in any way. If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we’re at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

1.“Facts” are simply habits of thought we’ve been thinking so long that they now seem normal. When we invest in them over and over again, we validate them. We create more of them. “Facts” fill in around those beliefs.

Quantum physics has proven it’s impossible to observe anything without affecting it. Sadly, we’ve been seeking (and therefore affecting) things that no longer serve us. We’ve been seeking “facts” that were perpetuated long before we evolved to the place where we realized we have the power to change them. And, yes, they’ve picked up quite a bit of momentum. Pam Grout Blog 3-16-17

  1. In the United States our politics have devolved into divisiveness and partisanship. Think about it: You feel passionate about your party and your issues. Your co-worker or neighbor backs the other political party with equal passion.

The way we live so much of our lives stops right there. Someone takes position A, and someone else opposes them in Position B; they exist in rivalry and antagonism, world without end. This is precisely the behavior we’d expect in a binary system—a place of “two-ness” in opposition. At best, when we’re finished yelling at each other, we might try to compromise and form some kind of “synthesis” position out of our dueling dualisms.

If the universe is created in the image of the Creator and the Creator is a Trinity, it begs the question: What if we don’t live in a binary universe, but instead in a ternary universe? CAC from Richard Rohr Blog 3-?-17

 

3.As we “tune our hearts” [1] to greater perception, we’ll begin to experience God almost like a force field, to borrow a metaphor from physics. We’re all already inside this force field, whether we know it or not, alongside Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and every race and nationality. God doesn’t stop or begin at the Mexico/U.S. border, the Israel/Palestine border, the border between North and South Korea, or any such line in the sand. The divine force field is all-encompassing. Rohr blog 3-10-17

4. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 ONE OF MY FAVORITE’S and ties in with today’s message.

 

Sermon 2-19-17

Scripture for the day:

1st reading: Leviticus 19:1-2,9-18

2nd reading:1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23

Gospel: Matthew 5 38-48

My handout for the week:

1.As Ken Wilber so brilliantly says, “Religion starts elitist, but ends egalitarian(s a trend of thought that favors equality for all people). Always!” Richard Rohr

2.Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached. Simone Weil

  1. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

 

  1. The word “prayer” has often been trivialized by making it merely into a way of asking for what you want or making announcements to God, as if God did not know (see Matthew 6:7-8). But I use “prayer” to mean any interior journey or practice that allows you to experience faith, hope, and love within yourself. It is not a technique for getting things, a pious exercise that somehow makes God happy, or a requirement for entry into heaven. Prayer is much more practicing heaven now. CAC Rohr 2-7-17

 

 

  1. “The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God.”
    Rob Bell, Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith

 

6.Every person has immense light and love inside them (no exceptions) and the only reason we cannot see it is because of the lens we laid over it. We covered it up with our beliefs and expectations, with facts that we just KNOW are true. We made a judgment and assume we know what that Republican is up to or that Democrat wants to do to destroy our freedom.

Nothing is as it appears. All we see with the limited five senses is a hologram of our beliefs and expectations. And it’s flawed and it’s getting us in trouble.

I heard about an amazing man yesterday who is doing his part to bridge the divide. His name is Daryl Davis. He’s a black musician whose early years were spent overseas in diverse classrooms. When his parents moved back to the United States, he, like most of the boys in his sixth grade class, joined Boy Scouts. One day, while marching with his troop, people started throwing rocks and sticks at him.

His first thought was, “They must not like Boy Scouts.”

At that point, his parents sat him down and had the race talk with him.

He was stunned.

“How could they not like me?” he thought. “They don’t even know me.”

Since that time, he has taken on the hobby of getting to know white supremacists and, instead of yelling at them, berating them, he sits down and asks questions. He genuinely wants to know what they think.

As he says about engaging his “enemies,” “When you are actively learning about someone else you are passively teaching them about yourself.”

In other words, he gets back to first generation reality. Some black activists call his methods crazy, but as he likes to say, “I’ve got dozens of retired hoods and robes in my closet. How many do you have?” from Pam Grout’s blog 2-14-17. How is that for a take on Matthew 5-44??????

  1. “Love is giving up control. It’s surrendering the desire to control the other person. The two—love and controlling power over the other person—are mutually exclusive. If we are serious about loving someone, we have to surrender all the desires within us to manipulate the relationship.” Rob Bell

 

Sermon 3-12-17

The scripture for today:

1st reading Genesis 12:1-4a

2nd reading Romans 4:1-5,13-17

Gospel John 3:1-17

My handout for the day:

1.Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not…Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now… Lent is a summons to live anew…Lent is the time to let life in again, to rebuild the worlds we’ve allowed to go sterile, to “fast and weep and mourn” for the goods we’ve foregone. If our own lives are not to die from lack of nourishment, we must sacrifice the pride or the sloth or the listlessness that blocks us from beginning again. Then, as Joel (2:12-18) promises, God will have pity on us and pour into our hearts the life we know down deep that we are lacking.~ Sister Joan Chittister

2.Translating Romans 4:1 is a bit tricky. The NRSV reads, “What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh?” The Greek, however, does not say “gained.” The word is “found.” We might think of Romans 4 answering the question, “What did Abraham find?” However, there is another option.

Both Richard B. Hays and N. T. Wright have argued that a better translation would be, “What then shall we say? Is Abraham found our ancestor according to the flesh?” To this the implied answer would be, “No.” He is not forefather according to the flesh (physical descent marked by the physical sign of circumcision). Instead, he is forefather because of his trust in God’s promise. This way of looking at Abraham’s paternity opens up the possibility that Gentiles(us) who entrust themselves to Israel’s God might look to Abraham as their ancestor just as much as Jews who are physically descended from him. From “The Working Preacher” for this week

 

 

3.At conference in 1998  the Roman Catholic Pope John Paul the Second wondered what needed to be done to reverse the prominent mis-understanding that heaven and hell are geographical places. Pope John Paul II insisted that both are states of consciousness – not places to be found somewhere in this great big cosmos. As told by Richard Rohr in the Hell No! MP3

 

4.“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

 

5.God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. The Serenity Prayer is the common name for a prayer authored by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr[1][2] (1892–1971), also adopted by AA

 

 

6.Who in their right mind would walk into a restaurant, take a look at the menu and order the dish they least desire?

Likewise, who would go shopping at Nordstrom’s and opt to carry the rack’s ugliest outfit up to the sales counter?

Yet, that’s what most of us do in our thinking, in our conversations. We focus on things we don’t want to happen. We focus on the fear, on the negative, on the lack.

And those decisions have a much bigger impact on your life than one ugly dress or a dish you can’t stand. You literally draw out from the universe(GOD) whatever you focus upon. Pam Grout Blog 3-2-17

 

 

 

Do you know what love is, I want you to know.

So I was talking to a friend of mine a week or so ago, and she startled me by asking me to help her LOVE more, to be honest, we were talking about GOD and spiritual things, so it might not be as random as it sounds. I thought for a minute, and said you need to forgive more to love more. You need to start with yourself, it always starts with you- all this spiritual work, always starts with you.
You need to forgive yourself, for being you, for the harm you have caused yourself and others, and then let it go!
I decided to preach about my thoughts on Love Sunday, so I was pondering it all week, I spoke to a friend of mine who is a therapist, his first thought was , tell her to get rid of the anger! So I said isn’t that the flip side of the forgiveness card?
So I started re-reading Anthony De Mello’s “The way to Love”, it’s a awesome little book that I would highly recommend to everyone, to help refresh myself on the differences between Love and Attachment. See many, if not all of us , at least some of the time confuse Love and Attachment, if it has a condition to it, its attachment. That can be a very difficult thing to separate, we are conditioned in our lives to think they are the same thing most of the time, they are not. She didn’t do the laundry the way I like, he didn’t cut the lawn the way I told him to(the secret is ladies, we screw up on purpose, so you don’t ask us to do it again) she knows I like the house cleaned “my way”,  that’s Attachment.
Love has no conditions, to truly forgive and love, especially those who you persecute you, that’s the key, its also the hardest past for many of us. That’s the only way to Truly be free, is to get rid of your attachment to any out come, what ever that is. Let others be free to do as they wish without judgement or thought to outcome on your part. Love them enough to set them free.

 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

 From 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 :Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I cant improve on that!
I also get into Revelation 21, where the author gets into the “New Heaven and a New Earth”, I love it, because like all scripture, you can understand it on many levels. Of course, I think he is talking about a new conscience, a new understand of God, of course God doesn’t change its our understanding of HIM\HER that changes. A great read on the subject is Eckart Tolle’s book, a New Earth, well worth the time to read .
Take a listen, let me know what you think.