Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Bridge to the Sacred: A Collection of Interfaith Prayers

Lisa has this to say about prayer: “Prayer provides a venue that gives voice to our concerns and sufferings . . . can reassure us, clear our minds, and reconnect us to a higher power. What a surprise it can be to sometimes find the words of prayer spoken in another faith might perfectly address our own longing or anguish.”

The Beautiful Not Yet: Poems, Essays and Lyrics

Her essays in this volume are thought provoking, the golden prize being her commencement address this past June at her alma mater. She offered three lessons for life: “be kind, be true, and pay attention.” In her essay “Miracle, Light and Considerable Magic” (p. 70), she refers to “the mysterious nature of the Sacred,” the Light that appears in daily moments. She finds the holy in the ordinary, like dishwater, frying eggs, a busy street, or familiar room; wherever she may find herself. In her essay, “Another Kind of Flying,” she locates her perspectives and priorities in the realm of gravity and morality, affirming that “our lives are created of suspended moments of glorious flight” (p. 79).

Returning to Yourself

Returning to ourselves is not some huge, life changing decision or action. It’s not a one-off, or something that happens to you after some kind of crisis, though there’s nothing like a good crisis to shake us out of our complacency. Returning to ourselves is something that must happen over and over again. If we are brave enough, we make it a practice.

I (Still) Believe: Leading Bible Scholars Share Their Stories of Faith...

Because some of these scholars began as fundamentalists, their growth beyond the inerrancy view of Scripture comes up repeatedly in these essays. '[W]ords like "inerrancy" are inadequate descriptions of what is going on in the Bible,' writes Scot McKnight.

The Embodiment of God (Fast of Embodied Solidarity)

We keep getting stuck. We keep getting stuck in the concept and tradition of God as we learned it. And in doing so, we miss the chance to experience the living God, that deep inspiration that can transform us, body and soul.

Embracing the Other: The Transformative Spirit of Love

"Kim deftly weaves together Asian American theology, feminist theologies, postcolonial theory, biblical interpretation, and pneumatology to speak prophetically of the transformative and connecting power of the Spirit-Chi, energizing faith communities toward justice and care."

Joan Chittister: Her Journey from Certainty to Faith

This book serves as a useful introduction to an important spiritual figure. It also works to deepen her readers’ perspectives on her life, and to whet the appetite for seeing how the octogenarian feminist religious leader and her cohort continue to shape the monastic tradition in postmodern relief.

God, Jesus, and Thoughts about Incarnation

The few stories of Jesus that remain, portray his ability to bridge the spaces between himself and others. They show a person confidently reaching into and knowing the other. They show an awareness of more than what human senses can perceive. They show a man who is not a man. They show a man who is God. And I’m not sure I buy it.

Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution

"So what is this revolution that’s happening before our eyes? It’s a movement away from top-down, pre-packaged religion toward a spirituality centered in an awareness of God’s presence as encountered in daily life—often in places and people where traditionally we have failed to recognize that holy presence."

True Colors: Celebrating the Truth and Beauty of the Real You

Susan's theology is overwhelmingly inclusive and accepting. She trusts deeply in the love of God for all people, and it shows in every word. This loving, large, expansive God is contrasted with the "in a box" God as seen in many churches and leaders and theology.

Birth, Breath, & Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as...

Glenn also articulates well the universality of birth. She sees it as participating in life’s creative energy, whether the endeavor is physical, intellectual, spiritual, or emotional. All bring us to the depths. She then suggests that the techniques that help birthing women are applicable in other labors, too; specifically, the practices of rhythm, ritual, and rest.

The Inscrutable Sacred Thread

“Everyone Is Welcome,” announces a small sign over the door of the gothic brick edifice. It was first placed there to make sure people of color knew it was safe to enter in the sixties; later it served as an indication that people with AIDS were welcome too. Now it whispers carefully to me each time I enter. If the sign were any larger I’d be spooked.

Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual...

Stevens is particularly adept at making profound connections between the natural world, scriptural images, and real-life experience. In an essay called “Grow Tree Roots,” [the] accompanying verse refers to the tiny mustard seed that grows into the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree...

There’s a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard...

As a young woman hovering in the liminality between graduation and ordination, it was as though I had persons present with me in this wild and strange call that is ministry. With each word, I felt more embraced by an amazing community of women as they shared their responses to God’s call. Eventually, I grew to understand them as colleagues.

The Lost Sutras of Jesus: Unlocking the Ancient Wisdom of the...

A fascinating glimpse of this far Eastern Christianity... divided into three sections: the historical story of the recovery of the Jesus Sutras, excerpts from the Sutras themselves, and, finally, reflections on the Jesus Sutras for today.

Scarcity vs. Abundance: Moving Beyond Dualism to “Enough”

"Author and speaker Brené Brown emphasizes that scarcity and abundance are actually two sides of the same coin. They are not opposites. She says that the opposite of scarcity is, in fact, 'enough.' Scarcity and abundance work together as a positive feedback loop..."

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church

Searching for Sunday describes Rachel’s struggles as a millennial (coming of age about 2000) to find a satisfactory community in the church. She organizes this churchly memoir around the seven sacraments: Baptism, Confession, Holy Orders, Communion, Confirmation, Anointing of the Sick, and Marriage.

The Invisible Man, Language, and Faith

Posted May 12, 2015 by Marg Herder It’s the 12th, and that’s the day I post on the Emerging Voices blog on Patheos.  Today I'm writing about all the...

Just the Rhythm of My Blood and Breath

My partner, my friend in recovery, and my therapist all tell me that anger doesn’t have to look like yelling and shaming and ruining things. That there’s no chance mine ever would. But the anger I’ve seen wrecks things and people, and explodes into so many sharp little pieces that you can never hope to clean all of them up from inside you.

Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting...

We confront the “self-hiding God” or at least hints of that fullness but never a final face-to-face experience during this life. Winner states, “The self-hiding God seems to be the God who wills Her own disclosure”(p. 236).

The Jesus I Need — An Easter Reflection

They say it’s all one thing, the suffering, shaming, crucifixion, resurrection, and later appearances. You can’t lose the end parts without changing the meaning of the whole thing.

Joan Chittister—Light and Wisdom

To live as a prophet is what we are called to be, and to do so, this is our handbook. This collection of Sister Joan’s writings is an absolute must to keep on hand as a reminder of what it means to be a follower of Christ and a faithful and honest part of the church in our criticisms and our supports.

The Real Emergence

I became aware how scared, how cruel, how utterly detached from Spirit’s compassion human beings can be. I became aware that shades of genocide play out every single day in much less sweeping terms, as well. A woman stoned, a trans* person beaten to death, a black man shot down in the streets.

Biblical Feminists, Meet Anthrosophia!

For Gabriel, Sophia is a threefold Goddess who rules the past, present, and future. As the sevenfold Goddess, she rules time and the planets in the solar system as well as the seven organs in the human body. And as the twelvefold Goddess, She is the collective consciousness of humanity...

On Healing and Recovery – #RecoveryMonth

Several weeks ago I attended a charismatic worship service. As the musicians played, expertly modulating the spiritual energy in the room, as the liturgical dancers danced with flags and ribbons, as the crowd, arms up, singing and swaying, pressed forward seeking healing from their Source, the ministers of the Word moved among them, praying and touching, before gently lowering the shaking bodies of the healed to the ground.

Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God’s Delivering Presence in the Old...

With this insightful book, Claassens has articulated a female trinity for our times, ... [presenting] a God who weeps at suffering, cares for the hurting and needy, and works with us to bring about positive change.

Embodying the Sacred: A Spiritual Preparation for Birth

In the end, "Embodying the Sacred" allowed me to dream of a time when we go a step further yet and see gathered believers together embracing Conway’s wise insights into pregnancy and laboring, letting God speak through flesh and blood women and their partners who are experiencing it rather than talking about it abstractly and poetically every once in a while.

Eternity’s Sunrise: William Blake’s Vision of Christ

Skillfully Dr. Welling describes the mutual enlightenment that stems from studying Blake's drawings in conjunction with his words. And Welling explains why certain misunderstandings of Blake have arisen, such as the charge of misogyny, showing that a deeper grasp of Blake's symbols reveals his belief in the equality of women with men.

Why Doesn’t Church Work Anymore?

I do not reject the digital church. In digital church I see healing happening. I see a flattening of hierarchies that were made up in the first place and have been profoundly destructive. I see people telling the truth. And I see other people listening.

Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women

Iif you spend time looking at what Sarah is doing with all of her personal expression, not just in her book, you'll find that she is managing to not only portray the kindness, compassion, and love of her Jesus in the world, but also create a virtual community of people united around that concept.

Electrical Christianity: A Revolutionary Guide to Jesus’ Teachings and Spiritual Enlightenment

Gardner may even be right that 'in a moral, or ‘integral’ society,' the State would still exist, but its function would be 'limited to providing national security and protecting and preserving individual rights' (p. 148). However, society is not there yet, and in the meantime, people living in poverty still need opportunity, food, housing, clothing, health care, and human respect, while rich capitalists still need to be regulated in order to help level the playing field.

Wild Goose – Jared Byas and Levi Weaver Present “Re-membering the...

The creative act is often felt as dangerous to those who rely on, who find comfort in, well-defined systems of knowledge. Creators often illuminate not just the sturdy looking façade of knowledge, but also shine a light on the rather shaky foundations, the dangers and flaws one can only see when a system is approached from a different angle.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Beth Whitney

“I had a dream some years back where I saw a sea of people turning into a violent war. I knew something needed to be done so I climbed up on a stage, took a deep breath, and sang with all my might. When my voice hit the crowd, they changed instantly from a blaze of mad hornets into a still and unified people. Who wouldn't want to do that?”

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Troubadours of Divine Bliss

I'm excited to tell you about these women. Because when they sing, I can hear Spirit singing through them. When they talk or write, I can feel the current of Her Love, Grace, and Peace winding through their words. And the most delightful thing of all for me is that I can just see Her moving through this world disguised as these two Troubadours of Divine Bliss.

Wild Goose Festival 2013 – Jared Byas Interview

My whole life has been about trying to “change the world” but now I understand Jesus to be calling us to obscurity, to changing not the world but our world, by the way we pay attention to those around us.

How It Begins

I cry because my heart swells open and the love spills out and flows all over my body and makes the top of my head pound before finally pushing the tears from my eyes. That's how I know Her. And using this like a compass, I sometimes manage to keep up with Her for a few moments before I (time and again) lose track and get wrapped up in the mundane ego business of being me.

Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine

Interviews with forty women from a variety of religious traditions—Taosim, Judaism, Zen Buddhism, Islamic Sufism, Indigenous, Hindu, Religious Science, and Christianity, including several women who are part of Ebenezer Lutheran Church, more commonly known as “herchurch.”

A Resource for Women’s Gatherings

Theologically and spiritually, the message of the Gospel is that the “spirit of fear” or “spirit of timidity” is not God’s intention for whole human beings; rather, the divine gifts already in our grasp are “power, love, and a sound mind [self-control].”

Existential Reasons for Belief in God: A Defense of Desires and...

Faith, says Clifford Williams, is an emotion , but emotions are often misunderstood as detached from reason. Williams’s mission in this clear and well-argued book is to explain how faith is motivated and existentially justified by need, emotion and reason.

Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve

What would Christianity look like if every Christian interpreted the Bible through the lens provided by the actions and teachings of Jesus? The answer is: very different from how it looks today! And our guide in making some very rich discoveries along this line is the Reverend Paul R. Smith, who for almost fifty years has been leading Kansas City’s Broadway Church from a traditional Southern Baptist congregation toward a model of integral Christianity.

Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith

Leaving Church is a memoir of finding, losing, and keeping—although with none of the preachiness that sometimes accompanies such narratives and with an ever-present consciousness of doubt and uncertainty. Taylor’s honesty on these points pervades the narrative and makes it one not to miss.

Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith

Lamott is not pious at all. And yet, she has a deep, abiding faith and strong sense of God's presence in all the parts of her life. She leans on God. She talks to God all the time and asks God for what she needs.

Jesus Through Jewish Eyes: Rabbis and Scholars Engage an Ancient...

Jesus was clearly intensely alive in his time, intoxicated by God and by what he saw as the highest message of Torah, the mythic, historical, mystical and spiritual yet ultimately practical teachings of his (and our) ancestors. Despite the painful anti-Jewishness of some of the Gospel stories, many Jews find Jesus of Nazareth a highly attractive figure.

Christ For All Peoples: Celebrating a World of Christian Art

Ron O'Grady has done the world a beautiful service in this collection of art and commentary. The arrangement of the book by the periods in Jesus' life make it a valuable resource for preaching and teaching--and as a book for use in meditation.

A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists

This is the kind of book I would want to read if I were a skeptic or atheist. The book would not persuade me that Christianity is true, since that is not its aim, but it might prompt me to look more closely at Christianity.

Ruth, A Portrait: The Story of Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth’s Chinese childhood springs vividly to life in Cornwell’s retelling, as does the family’s harrowing hardships during the political and military turmoil of Nationalist uprising and Japanese invasion.

The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud Debate God,...

[The book] recurrently focuses on Lewis's changed life after conversion (which Lewis wrote about at length) and on Freud's continued hopelessness and misery. He persistently lets his protagonists present a low-key case for the psychological benefits of believing in God. Read this if you want your faith stimulated or renewed.

Growing Old in Christ

I did read this book in its entirety. It was a bit heavy in places, like life. It was filled with the issues I face daily as a physician for older people and as one who is herself aging. If you are reading this, you may well be an aging Christian yourself. You need this book to help you think about how its insights apply to you.

Woman Spirit Awakening in Nature: Growing into the Fullness of Who...

The child-like wonder and delight in nature is recaptured, and the healing power of the Divine in nature comes through clearly in their words. Chickerneo refers to these times as finding those “metaphors-in-waiting,” and reflecting on them for self-discovery and understanding.

In the Land of the Living: Prayers Personal and Public

I have just retired from college teaching, but I wish I had had this book earlier to read prayers to my Bible classes. Each professor, teacher, worship leader, and preacher who cares about justice and contemporizing our scriptures could enrich their own tasks by using this book of prayers.

The Call to the Soul: Six Stages of Spiritual Development

Soulwork is an engaging concept at the present time, attracting numerous authors and popularizing the field of spiritual direction across denominations. This book is an invaluable contribution to the discussion.

Two Tributes to the Strength of Women’s Friendships

Author Geraldine Brooks is a person of faith who, through Anna, raises all of the theological and existential questions that mysterious disease and death raise. --- While Caldwell is not a religious person, she ponders the suddenness of Caroline's death and then the miraculous escape and recovery of Clementine after being attacked by two pit bulls.

Two New Books by Women in Church Leadership Positions

As I write this review, television and radio pundits, not to mention bloggers, tweeters, and others quick to voice opinions through the Internet have been scurrying to their respective posts this week to offer analysis and opinions about the horrendous violence in Tucson, Arizona. Even in the midst of this tragedy, the political gulf separating the country is as wide as ever.

Love Wins

As soon as I finished Love Wins I went out and bought a hard copy to give to my neighbor down the street. It's the kind of book you want to share. I'll give Love Wins to my friends who are dissatisfied with the Common Christian message, but who are not dissatisfied with Jesus.

An Altar in the World

Taylor has an extraordinary gift of sharing with readers ways of encountering the Divine in the most ordinary events of our daily life—a walk in the park, recycling our clutter, getting lost by turning off the GPS and taking a different route home, having a short chat with the cashier at the grocery, really observing a dog, a cat, a butterfly.

Eve’s Revenge: Women and a Spirituality of the Body

Moreover, Barger labels androgyny as an "obscuring [of] the true nature of oneself" (140) which is an "assault on the female body" (25); drag as the "mocking of gender" (141); and same-sex relationships as contributing to the "frayed edges" of community (73).

After the Locusts: Letters from a Landscape of Faith

"What is life worth living for in troubled times? When the locusts come and eat away at everything we hold dear, when the fires tear through our hearts, what makes it worth going on? What I liked best about After the Locusts was the author's honesty.

If Grace is True & If God is Love

The discussion of the will of God, human free will, questions of salvation, atonement, and redemption are presented in light of the experiences of the writers and their personal spiritual journeys.

Semisweetness and Light

I think Semisweetness and Light will delight and move every reader. Its small size makes it easy to carry around, and you will find yourself having a conversation with Cartledgehayes sooner or later.

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