Archive for February, 2017


February 24, 2017 8 comments

Last month Patti and I went to a spiritual conference. I’m pretty sure it’s been almost 20 years since we’ve gone to an event like that. Without exaggerating, I’m guessing I attended close to 50 conferences in the ‘90s. When you get your fill of something, it usually quenches your appetite for that kind of fare for quite a while.

Anyway, I recently fulfilled a desire on my bucket list: I met Richard Rohr. With as many books of his that I have read, and all of the hours I have spent listening to his CDs and podcast, he was just as I imagined (maybe a little shorter in stature, but otherwise spot on). I did get in a few private words and a couple of pictures with him, but there were about 500 people at this conference. The man was spread thin.

I took lots of notes, but one small phrase has continued to lap in my mind-pool:

Our image of God creates us.

It’s messed with me because I’ve never really had that thought before. I’ve always taught that our image of and experience with our parents directly affects our views of God, but this thought by Father Richard is something else. It removes us from being judge and jury in regards to how we think about God. We stop treating God like he’s the critical spectator, and we take it to another level. How we think about God has everything to do with what kind of people we are, and that’s a whole different conversation altogether.

I don’t know if you realize it or not, but we’re prone to keep these kinds of probes into our God consciousness at manageable distances. It’s much easier for us to render a judgment on God’s character based upon our circumstances than to come to terms with a benevolent God regardless. We seem to do it all the time. Many of us believe that God is good only because he gives us what we want… when we want it… how we want it, etc. Yes, this is part of our dualistic upbringing, but it has us all over the board in regards to coping with a “moody” God.

img_6460If Jesus was God with skin (and I definitely believe he was), there seems to be a huge discrepancy with how all the various writers compiled in our sacred text describe God’s mood and disposition. Us deciding God’s overall mood and character based upon a negative experience in our lives or a caustic theological paradigm hanging on a single biblical nail is a horrible tactic. There are a lot of factors involved, but surely we understand that all the stuff in our heads (theology, tradition, religion, trauma, happiness, life and death) trickles down into how we live, how we are, and how we view ourselves and others.

Let me wrap up with this final observation: there should be some semblance between our image of God and how we see ourselves. I can only speak for myself, but my God image is beyond positive. I don’t have an adequate vernacular to fully describe how I feel about His grace, love, and acceptance for me. With that being said, I’m challenged to really evaluate my “way” with those I encounter. If Rohr is right (I am totally convinced he is) there should be proof in the pudding. So, I’m asking myself the following things:

Subconsciously and practically, when people encounter me, do they encounter grace? Charity? Hope? Love? Forgiveness? Acceptance? Creativity? Truth? Kindness? Tolerance? Peace? Joy? Humility? Goodness? Gentleness?

Do they get what is real, and not religious pretense or some bible quote that supposedly fixes everything? Can people smell His embrace from near or far wafting off of my life? Do people sense their own value because the air is charged with my preference for them?

Awkward questions to ask here, but definitely necessary.

If you tracked with these questions, I just revealed the core of my God image. Supposedly… hopefully… it is creating me. The passion for these things is there. Maintaining the right image of Him can only help me do the work. I desperately need the right template for healthy development.

What image do you hold of God? Remember, whatever it is, it’s creating you.

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


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February 7, 2017 4 comments

These thoughts…




Everything that has unfolded in space and time was present in utero in the universe’s beginnings, so interrelated are we and all things with that initial flaring forth of light.

Teachers in the Celtic world have been saying something similar for a long time. In the ninth century, John Scotus Eriugena said that all things in the universe were made “together and at once.” He did not mean that we and all things became visible at the same time. He meant that we and all things have been hidden in the “secret folds of nature,” as he put it, waiting for the time of our manifestation. We have been latent in the matter of the universe since its inception. Now is the time of our emergence.

Bohm describes reality as “undivided wholeness in flowing movement.” The universe is like a mighty river in flow. From that single stream, smaller streams emerge. These are to be celebrated and cherished, each one absolutely unique, never to be repeated again—that blade of grass, that autumn leaf, the countenance of that child, your life, my life. Then we dissolve, merging back into the flow, our constituent parts to emerge again in new formations further down the river. The universe wastes nothing in its endless unfolding.

Within that flow everything is interrelated. There is a propensity within all things to move in relations, even though we may choose to deny the predisposition or be untrue to it. The law of gravitation expresses it. At some level every atom in the universe seeks to remain in relationship with every other atom. Science observes this propensity without claiming to understand it.John Phillip Newell, The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle For New Beginnings, (Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths, 2014), 7.

 … should draw us closer towards inclusivity!

How else are we to think about it?  The great unfolding of creation, that is still very much happening, originated from a divine singularity. He said, “it is good” and blessed the handiwork. Who has been born among us that didn’t require the hand of God to be involved?  Who chose for themselves to add spirit and soul to our flesh? Who among us was not wonderfully and mysteriously made?

It doesn’t make me feel superior or “special.”  In fact, it challenges me to settle the issues of unrestrained ego and pride.  Family usually doesn’t do ego with each other, and if what Newell is saying is true, maybe the family is much larger than our parental genetics or social parities.  Maybe love and value for God’s creation might be more expansive than just trying to be nice to people because the Bible says so. Wouldn’t it be advantageous to see Him in everything he created?

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


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