Faith and Spiritual Life

Seeing the story

Written by on November 6, 2010 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

My life is full of rich inputs and possibilities. I have so much to learn. Some days, passing through the streets of Phnom Penh, everything seems so beautiful and wide open.  I’m happy to be here. I want to dive in and explore the depths, but sometimes I get stuck on the surface.

I’m like the the fish in this story:

“Excuse me,” said an ocean fish. “You are older than I, so can you tell me where to find this thing they call the ocean?”

“The ocean,” said the older fish, “is the thing you are in now.”

“Oh, this? But this is water. What I’m seeking is the ocean,” said the disappointed fish as he swam away to search elsewhere.

Some things in life can’t be “solved” by thinking about them; they must be seen.

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Love, winning games, and living big

Written by on July 4, 2010 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

Seth Godin keeps writing things that challenge me to live to the fullest, not settle for life in a small story.  He writes:

…a never-ending cycle of optimization can become a crutch, a place to hide when you really should be confronting the endless unknown, not the banal stair step of incremental optimization. While Yahoo was optimizing their home page in 2001, the guys at Google were inventing something totally new.

There are so many ways we settle for less. Another is competition. “Winning” is supposed to have value. Demagogues are people willing to “wreck the system” to win. Demagoguery seems to be on the rise. What is the bigger story? Godin writes:

What happens when you define a win as getting closer to someone who wants the same thing? Or when you define it as improvement over time? Or in creating trust?

He’s talking about love, at least in part. Winning is nothing if the story ends there. Movies that end with the cheers of the crowd at the end of the game conceal that point. Victories in the big and small games we play recede with time into nothingness, and so do we if we attach …

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Living loved and loving others

Written by on May 2, 2010 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

Wayne Jacobsen on his blog today:

Until you know you are loved you will be sucked into every religious activity and performance treadmill that exists, hoping against hope that you can do the right thing to merit that deep affection from the heart of the Father. But you already have his affection! The great lie of the universe is that you are not loved by the Creator of all. The question is only do you realize how loved you are?

If you’re interested in hearing more about living loved and loving others, Wayne has a wonderful series of audio teachings called Transitions on his website in the audio library section, or from iTunes, or I’ve uploaded them all in one zip file that you can download here.

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For doubters and liars who hunger for something true

Written by on April 21, 2010 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

If you or I agreed with everything Peter Rollins says, then probably we hadn’t been listening long or closely enough. Yet he’s a man who often says things that resonate, they may actually shatter glass in some quarters. I love this short interview and wouldn’t mind having a transcript to underline and reference.

Normally, I would quote a teaser or two. I just don’t know where to begin. There’s the story about Hitler serving milk and  cookies (okay, something like that), or the part about how he would be a liar if he claimed to believe in Jesus Christ.  His message is disturbing for anyone inside the box of traditional Christianity, but it’s a breath of fresh air for those who are ditching the box or at least thinking about it.

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I’m one of the irrational ones

Written by on April 3, 2010 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

I skim quite a few blogs using Google Reader, but I can count on one hand those that I read carefully. Seth Godin’s blog is on my shortlist (and I know I’m not alone). He consistently has insights that cut through my senses and call me to attention. Today he struck twice.

First, in typical Godin style, he reminds me to dare. One large “success” outweighs dozens of failures. I use quote marks, because we all have different ideas of success. Still, the principle holds. As Godin writes,

If you spend your days avoiding failure by doing not much worth criticizing, you’ll never have a shot at success. Avoiding the thing that’s easy to survive keeps you from encountering the very thing you’re after.

Simple, right? Well, I need reminders like this almost every day. That’s about how often I find myself tempted toward doing things I can’t fail at.

But it gets better. His next post speaks directly to something I’ve long believed. The best choices in life are not always the rational ones. Love, faith, art…such things don’t require rational explanations. In fact, something vital is lost when forcing such realities into rationality. We can celebrate the …

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Passion, journey and calling outside the box of religion

Written by on February 24, 2010 in Faith and Spiritual Life, Notes By The Way with 0 Comments

godinSeth Godin writes about a pastor who “runs a congregation” who admits it’s “just a job” on many days. Godin turns to his readers and admonishes them to do whatever they do with passion, whether doctors, lawyers, salesmen, etc. (it strikes me his audience is a bit highbrow). He says they each have callings that are important, potentially.

Or fake it, whatever.

Godin may be shocked by the pastor (I’m not). What gets me is that people in the secular world are increasingly free to talk about spirituality, passion, and calling. This is a very good thing. It’s great that Godin is bothered, and I’m glad he doesn’t leave spirituality to the professional religionist. We aren’t living in two worlds: secular and spiritual. There is just one real world that we’re often too distracted or simply afraid to see. Anyone who wants to live with genuine passion and calling will begin a journey that leads to truth. It’s difficult but worth taking. I don’t have to argue with you about where it leads, because if you pursue it honestly you’ll find out. I’m happy to share thoughts and experiences as one fellow traveler to another though. Meanwhile, people living by …

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