Spirituality

Simplicity: Seeking the One Thing

I was outside my natural habitat, standing before an art design class, but the professor, Martha Mason, builds her classes on a spiritual foundation and a belief that art is important to everyone, not just artists. My limited experience in artistic design focused on redecorating my house, a task I approached with pure mortal terror. I had decorated it once, so doing it again should be no sweat. The house was over 30 years old and I had built it myself when I first moved to Walla Walla.

April

Then April, gloom and shine,
Sad, merry, wilful, meek,
With a crocus in her tresses
And with tears upon her cheek.

Excerpt from “The Masque of Months” by Edgar Fawcett

 

 

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

“April Rain Song” by Langston Hughes

 

No Answers? Jesus Blesses You.

Some days Easter is hard to take.

Easter has passed. For a few days my Facebook and Twitter feeds were a cascade of happy, enthusiastic pictures. Choirs with arms raised high. Pastors declaring the end of death and offer of salvation. I saw just about all the stock pictures of tombs with the stone rolled away that there are.

Spirituality and Religion: Crossroads or Intersection?

“I’m spiritual but not religious.” You’ve heard it a hundred times, and so have I. To put my cards on the table, I’m not a fan of that statement. Separating out spirituality from religion seems ridiculous to me. As if being “spiritual” is a conscious pursuit that one can so easily divorce from a “religious” context. As if the human exercise of spirituality could have survived through the ages without its cultivation in religion contexts.

March

 

 

 

 

 

Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and the Third Way

When a Christian studies world religions, it becomes obvious that one can learn lessons to apply on the path to maturity. Even as Gandhi gave credit to the gospels as part of his journey, Martin Luther King, Jr. acknowledged Gandhi as formative in his own understanding. In this month, when the United States pauses to contemplate Black History, this essay will reflect on Gandhi’s ideals which were influential to Martin Luther King, Jr. in the hope to provide reflective guidance in responding to evil today.

Sat/Truth

Tie Your Shoes!

Have you ever been in a situation where you were trying to teach someone and he or she was having a difficult time understanding the concept or stumbling in the performance of the task? Maybe you were on the phone with a friend describing a computer program with multiple clicks and pull-down menus. Maybe your aged parent was maneuvering the mouse pointer on-screen agonizingly slowly and you wanted to grab the mouse and just do it yourself. Maybe your own child just could not seem to get his or her shoes tied fast enough.

A Love Poem by the Queen of Hawaii

In the tradition of the Song of Songs, this beautiful poem resonates with the longing for one’s beloved. Entitled Nani Nâ Pua, it was written in 1860 by Lydia Kamaka`eha Päkï, the last Queen of Hawaii – Queen Liliuokalani. She wrote over 160 songs during her lifetime.

February

The February, a form
Pale-vestured, wildly fair –
One of the North Wind’s daughters,
With icicles in her hair.

Excerpt from “The Masque of Months” by Edgar Fawcett

 

 

Blessed be Thou for all the joy
My soul has felt today!
O let its memory stay with me
And never pass away!

I was alone, for those I loved
Were far away from me,
The sun shone on the withered grass,
The wind blew fresh and free.

On the Cusp of a Second Reformation

Most of us would agree that using current events to predict the future is a good way to be wrong. Yet as we are one year short of the quincentennial anniversary of the Reformation, the seismic shifts in our culture – particularly the rapidity of information dissemination and the resulting ability to tear down venerable authorities – should compel us to examine how we might be able to engage people in Western culture.

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