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Showing posts from June, 2016

Preparation for Spiritual Leadership

I suspect most of us who claim to be spiritual don’t think about ourselves as spiritual leaders.We leave that to priests, pastors and other functionaries.Even if we are leaders in other areas of life, we tend not to think about ourselves in that way within the spiritual realm.I began thinking about that when I realized today is the feast day for St. Ambrose.I don’t know whether Roman Catholics know about Ambrose.I am fairly confident in thinking most non-Catholics have little clue who Ambrose was.
I have the advantage here because of my studies.When I did a Ph.D, I did much work in the early Christian period.I had never heard of Ambrose, but I learned.He became most famous in his time when he became the Christian bishop of the major Italian city, Milan.The story of Ambrose is an interesting one and I will share some of it. Ambrose was born into a very well to do family in what is now southern Germany.His father was fairly high up in the government service.Ambrose received the best ed…

New Binding Religion

By now folks know I appreciate the insights and articulation of essay writer, David Books.  He has a recent piece entitled, “Revolt of the Masses.”  It is a good examination of our times.  We live in a time where terrorists might attack airports, nightclub or churches.  Unfortunately, sometimes the perpetrator is Muslim, so an entire faith tradition is lambasted.  If the doer of a heinous crime is Christian, he or she is just a wacko.  And so the situation often worsens.

As I reflect on our contemporary society, I have concerns.  Economically, there is a widening gap between the folks making significant money and the larger group of people who are holding their own or worse.  And it is difficult to see this changing as we go further.  In fact, I suspect the gap between the rich and poor is only going to get worse.  There are many people in the so-called service industries who have little hope to make a better life.  We only have to think about the huge number of people working for min…

A Moment of Poignancy

Most of our lives are lived in the middle of routine.  That is certainly not bad.  In fact, my routine life is very good.  I cannot claim it is an emotional high---exciting day after exciting day.  I enjoy my life.  I have been given much more than I ever will give.  I have learned the meaning and lessons of grace.  Grace is a gift.  I have learned to recognize small gifts, which come from people and from nature---things I see as gifts that others might not consider anything special.

Apparently in our day, the word “blessing” is not seen as a useful, preferred word.  I am not sure why.  I still find the word useful.  It seems to me there is no other way to describe what happens to me when I am gifted except to say I have been blessed.  I suppose I could bless myself, but essentially I see a blessing as something that comes from without.  God has blessed me; friends and strangers have blessed me; and nature certainly has been a blessing.

And so it was in the midst of routine that I rec…

Ark in Kentucky

I could not help it when I saw the headline, “”A Noah’s Ark in Kentucky, Dinosaurs Included.”  When I began reading Laurie Goodstein’s article, I was not sure what to expect.  But I figured it would be entertaining.  I assumed it was about the Noah’s ark story in Genesis and I was right.  I recently spent some time in Kentucky and saw signs to a Creation Museum in northern Kentucky and wondered whether it would somehow be about that.

It turns out to be related.  Creationism is a particular kind of Christian fundamentalism about which I know a little.  It believes in the literal truth of the Bible.  With respect to God’s creation, narrated in the earliest chapters of Genesis, the creationist believes that God literally created our world in six 24-hour days.  And our world is literally about 6,000 years old.  Of course, evolution is wrong.  This is a way of seeing our universe that does not square with my own theology.  I understand it, but don’t agree with it.

Ken Ham, originally from …

The Spirit of Innovation

Recently I was at a conference on innovation.In fact I had a hand in the conference even happening.I have not been using the language of innovation and certainly not the language of entrepreneurship until the last few years of my life.I would have guessed they were not relevant to what I was doing in my own career.But to my surprise, when I began to think about it, I realized I have been fairly innovative in my time.I just never called it that.
I have never started my own business and truly would not have thought about myself as entrepreneurial.But I now know I could start my own business if I wanted to do so.Likely, I never will, but I know I could.And so I have this newfound interest in innovation that is really an old interest in new language.I am intrigued by people who are creative and can figure out new things or figure out how to do old things in fresh, new ways.I am sure we live in a time where more people need to be innovative.I may not have too many more years to do this my…