Archive for October, 2016

big sissy

October 25, 2016 10 comments

I cry a lot these days. Not for any of the usual reasons we cry. Like you, I know pain and loss. I’ve had my share of betrayal and disappointment, and I’m pretty sure there are those who have known me who have also felt betrayed by me at one time or another. I have frustrations and limitations with many things that are beyond my control. I’ve got plenty of reasons to cry. But these recent tears come from a different place—for a different reason.


I recently read a line in one of Rohr’s writings that stopped me in my tracks. I literally had to think about it for a day before writing it in my journal. The context aligned with what I consider to be my life message: descent is the true path to significance. It’s a message I care about. I believe it and I’ve done my best to embrace it, but it’s not a fan favorite in our present-day culture.

Rohr writes,

The word “human” comes from the Latin “humus,” which means earth. Being human means acknowledging that we’re made from the earth and will return to the earth. For a few years we dance around on the stage of life and have the chance to reflect a little bit of God’s glory.

That’s enough to fill up our journals with rivers of thought and prophetic expansion. Who does this not pertain to? As unique and gifted as we all are, we come from the same source. Or am I missing something here? How can we harbor such indifference and self-inflicted blindness towards those who, at the core, reflect our own nuclear commonness? And then we dehumanize and stiff-arm based on our opinions and differences. Our affection for tribal exclusivity and exceptionalism has done nothing to nurture our embrace of basic global commonness.

Rohr finishes his thought:

We are earth that has come to consciousness. If we discover this power in ourselves and know that we are God’s creatures, that we come from God and return to God, that’s enough. As a human, I’m just a tiny moment of consciousness, a small part of creation, a particle that reflects only a fragment of God’s glory. And yet that’s enough.


So, about the tears… here comes a confession. Ms. Patti has got me hooked into some of her stupid T.V. shows. I only watch because of DVR. We can binge AND skip the commercials. I had to put my foot down about Dancing with the Stars, but I did the last season of American Idol and an entire season of The Voice. She also got me hooked into America’s Got Talent. Currently, we’re in another season of The Voice. I laugh a lot at the antics of Adam and Blake, but I might cry more than laugh. Yeah I know, WTH?

Honestly, the whole image and performance thing wears me out with these shows. I know they’re feeding the beastly appetites of young and immature vanity, and I get it. There is a sad shallowness in our addictions to this kind of glamour. But, it’s so grafted into the code of it all, I just don’t know how that course could ever be corrected. Maybe, just get old? Yeah, that will fix you. Get old.

The tears come once I’m able to push past all the facades of projected image for effect. When the beautiful and heart-altering sounds that formulate voice and song come out of another person, it produces tears of wonder and amazement that God shows himself through simple humus and dirt. It blows my mind. I simply can’t contain the tears.

There were a couple of children that blew the competition away in this last edition of America’s Got Talent. They had miraculous singing voices. OMG! I cried like the big sissy that I am. Those voices in children? Incredible.

I think what I’m getting at here has to do with our continually defaulting to a consistent truth that people are pretty dang amazing. I must say that right now, you can turn on the TV, listen for a few minutes to the talking heads as they analyze our world, and wonder, “Where is the goodness?” I get it. But there is goodness, and it is all around us. God is sifting through all kinds of humus and dirt right now… everyday… everywhere! Miraculous gifts of beauty and creativity are exploding all over the planet. Everyone from poets to chemists is doing his or her thing to contribute and enlighten us all.  Don’t only be guided by hopelessness or lack of vision. God shows himself all the time.

There is more to the dirt than dirt. Look, listen, touch, taste, and see. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes. I speak from experience.

Live every day inside this magnificent truth: GOD LOVES US ALL!


Prepare yourself to hear a child CRUSH IT!  OMG!

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October 11, 2016 4 comments

My brothers, my sisters, God has called me to walk in the way of humility, and showed me the way of simplicity. . . . The Lord has shown me that he wants me to be a new kind of fool in the world, and God does not want to lead us by any other knowledge than that.  —Francis of Assisi

Franciscan prophecy is at its core “soft prophecy”—which is often the hardest of all! Rather than criticize and shame the evils of his time, St. Francis simply lived differently and let his lifestyle be his sermon. This way of life is counter to the ways of the world, a kind of “holy foolishness” that doesn’t make logical sense to our consumer, quid-pro-quo economy

When you agree to live simply, you put yourself outside of others’ ability to buy you off, reward you falsely, or control you by money, status, salary, punishment, and loss or gain. This is the most radical level of freedom, but, of course, it is not easy to come by. Francis and Clare had little to lose, no desire for gain, no loans or debts to pay off, and no luxuries that they needed or wanted. Most of us can only envy them.

 When you agree to live simply, you do not consider the immigrant, the refugee, the homeless person, or the foreigner as a threat to you or as competition with you. You have chosen their marginal state for yourself—freely and consciously becoming “visitors and pilgrims” in this world, as Francis puts it (quoting 1 Peter 2:11). A simple lifestyle is quite simply an act of solidarity with the way most people have lived since the beginnings of humanity. It is thus restorative justice instead of the very limited notion of retributive justice.

 When you voluntarily agree to live simply, you do not need to get into the frenzy of work for the sake of salary or the ability to buy non-essentials or raise your social standing. You enjoy the freedom of not climbing. You might climb for others, but not only for yourself. —Richard Rohr O.F.M.



Buy things for their usefulness rather than their status or prestige.

Learn the difference between a real need and an addiction. Then find support and accountability to regain “sobriety,” freedom from addiction.

Develop a habit of giving things away.

Avoid unnecessary and short-lived technological gadgets that promise to “save time.”

Enjoy things without owning them. For example, take advantage of public libraries and parks.

Nurture awe and appreciation for nature. Spend more time outdoors!

Get out—and stay out—of debt.

Use plain, honest speech. Say what you mean and keep your commitments.

Reject anything that oppresses others. For example, buy Fair Trade products

Seek God’s kingdom of love and justice foremost. If anything distracts you from that purpose, let it go.

—Richard J. Foster,“The Discipline of Simplicity,” The Celebration of Discipline (Harper & Row: 1978), 78-83


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cosmic dance

October 4, 2016 4 comments



Love is just like prayer; it is not so much an action that we do, but a dialogue that already flows through us. We don’t decide to “be loving”; rather, to love is to allow our deepest and truest nature to show itself. The “Father” doesn’t decide to love the “Son.” Fatherhood is the flow from Father to Son, one hundred percent. The Son does not choose now and then to release some love to the Father, or to the Spirit. Love is the full modus operandi between all three of them! (Remember these classic names are just placeholders. You can replace them with any form of endearment that works for you, but make sure something works!)

The love in you—which is the Spirit in you—always somehow says yes (2 Corinthians 1:19-20). Love is not something you do; love is Someone you are. It is your True Self. Love is where you came from and love is where you’re going. It’s not something you can attain. It’s not something you can work up to, as much as something you allow yourself to fall into! It is the living presence of God within you, often called the Holy Spirit, or what some theologians name uncreated grace.

You can’t manufacture this by any right conduct. You can’t make God love you one ounce more than God already loves you right now. You can go to church every day for the rest of your life, but God isn’t going to love you any more than God already loves you right now.

You cannot make God love you any less, either—not an ounce less. You could do the most terrible thing and God wouldn’t love you any less. (You would probably love yourself much less, however.)

You cannot change the Divine mind about you! The flow is constant and total toward your life. God is for you!

You can’t diminish God’s love for you. What you can do, however, is learn how to believe it, receive it, trust it, allow it, and celebrate it, accepting Trinity’s whirling invitation to join in the cosmic dance.  —Richard Rohr O.F.M.

The evidence that these truths have touched us deeply has more to do with how we treat people (regardless of our circumstances) rather than our genre of religious branding.

“We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

That’s our center.  That is what helps people connect the dots concerning who we really are.  Anything less brings only confusion, wounding, and a stiff arm. Consider His love. Ultimately, that is what defines us.

Live every day inside this magnificent truth: GOD LOVES US ALL!


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