The View From the Cross

“Here sighs and cries and wails coiled and recoiled on the starless air, spilling my soul to tears.” – Dante

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Look at this sea of faces: anger, accusation, judgment, grief, deception, misunderstanding, selfishness, abuse, faithlessness, powerlessness. There is suffering and darkness, endlessly shaping itself across the ages through disfigured family and social structures, through blighted politics, business, nationalities and religion. Corruption and malignancy and suffering abound – and all of it is directed straight at you.

Take that in for a moment. Experience the weight of it.

This is the View From the Cross of Christ.  Continue reading

A New Frontier

 

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One day ends and another begins. I have ended my formal ties with the denomination I was a part of and am no longer a ‘licensed’ Pastor. I’m just Jen again, (though Pastor Jen’s heart still beats within me), and working on how to navigate this new frontier.  Continue reading

Then The Pipe Burst

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There it is, the misty muddy swill and hiss of a rusted water main bested by the cold snap. That problem has come and I feel the damp of it pressing on the tiny ember of newborn hope recently kindled within me. I’m in that place in life where I’ve got to concede I’ve reached my limit. I’ve blown the balloon of my financial capacity just to the edge of bursting and I’ve got to find a way to release the pressure. I thought maybe, just maybe, the new plan that just arrived, carrying with it direction and hope, would be it. Then the pipe burst. Continue reading

A Friend on the Path

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“I have an amnesia.” she said. This after we had walked a couple hundred yards. I was a few steps ahead, acutely aware of the shared space with this strange woman who I had seen from time to time, but only in passing. We hadn’t come into even a tacit agreement to walk together. Yet, here we were, on separate walks in the same direction, and too close for too long not to acknowledge each had just become a part of the others experience.

“Oh?” was my only response. I’d never had anyone tell me they suffered from amnesia before. In the same moment, I felt the Holy Spirit, who had been quietly sneaking up, flare insistently within my heart. His gentle touch instructed me this was a moment to soften, to open, to be present. Continue reading

Gandhi, Gays and Christian Leadership

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I woke up a few weeks ago thinking about Mahatma Gandhi, one of the best and most loved leaders this world has known. During an outbreak of communal violence in 1943, Gandhi began and continued a 21 day fast until all of the violence was stopped. Even though the protesters/rioters were justified in their cause, their violent actions were untenable when applied to a higher law. Gandhi recognized that fact and opted to lead uncompromisingly toward peace.

Gandhi was a great and successful leader because of his ability to discern high wisdom. He commanded love and respect and extracted unity out of his own fearless dedication to the highest principles. I believe it’s time for Christian Leadership to begin a fast of it’s own. Continue reading

The Candidate Meeting – A Fable

I ran across this post this morning and it speaks acutely into a situation I’m facing since declaring that I stand for equality for homosexual people in the church. The fable is representative of many of my own feelings.

To be fair, my Pastor has scheduled a meeting with me to discuss possibilities for going forward within disagreement and works very hard to meet me where I am. He is a great Pastor and a really good person – making this situation all the more difficult and sad. I don’t know yet how my own personal situation will resolve, but have faith that God will guide us. I’ll write another post soon dedicated to this subject, but enjoy this fable for now.

The Postmodern Mystic

Good Sam Glass Once upon a a Sunday morning…

“I’d like to thank you all for coming,” the friendly Pastor entoned. “Last Sunday, Mr. Josephson asked to join our church, and we’ve discussed this among our church leadership and Membership Committee this week. I’d like to ask Mr. Michaels to present their findings and recommendations now.”

“Thank you, Pastor,” Jerry Michaels began, as he addressed the half dozen or so church leaders gathered around the small conference table drinking coffee during the Sunday School hour before Worship. “As you know, here at First Godly Church in the Community, we try to take a leadership role in presenting the Gospel and godly civic and family values for and to our town.

“We did some ‘due diligence’ research, Mr. Josephson, regarding your membership here. You have shown remarkable Biblical knowledge, and have volunteered to teach Bible Study for the church. You’ve already impressed a number…

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Our Father

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I’ve been praying the Lord’s prayer lately.  I feel peace and connection to God in praying the words whilst contemplating their meaning. Jesus, in his brilliance, gave us a prayer that is perfect, simple and deeply meaningful.  For the last few weeks, I find myself ruminating on just the first two words. Continue reading