The prayer of action

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Pastor

If you don’t care to read the article above, it says the most important thing you can do for your pastor is to pray for him (or her). While this sounds spiritual (at least in the tradition I grew up in), it’s nonsense.  Why do people pray? People usually pray because they need to have something done. But why pray for God to do something we are perfectly capable of doing on our own? Partnering with God means doing what we can, and then praying that God will take our small efforts and bring about far more than our effort could have yielded on its own.

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I Believe…

i believe

I believe in love. Not the squishy, touchy-feely kind, but the kind that takes guts and practice and a lot of failure before we start to get it right.

I believe in freedom and pluralism, grateful that I live in a country where I am free to believe in God but where no one has to.

I believe in God, and that the vast majority of people who do not believe in God, or who believe in a different god than I do, are fine people with a lot to teach me. I am not at war with them, and I am not on the side of any so-called Christian who is.

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Introverts, your life is calling

This post is for that 30-40% of the U.S. population who are introverts. [Not sure if you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Take this online assessment to find out.] Yep, I’m writing to YOU. It’s an extroverted world in many ways, isn’t it? That’s why you feel so uncomfortable so much of the time. But your life is calling.

I was standing in the “express” lane at Walmart the other day, and the longer line that I had just left in favor of a shorter line was making a lot of progress while my line — wasn’t. And then it happened. The woman ahead of me turned around and commented about the line being slow. Now on nearly every other day except this one, I would have nodded and said either, “Yeah,” or else nothing at all, and then looked down at the floor, indicating I had nothing to say. That is how introverts often handle small talk with strangers — awkwardly, and probably often leaving the other person feeling snubbed. I’m pretty sure things like that are the reason why so many extroverts think we introverts are rude or arrogant. But introverts, we know the truth: we’re just scared to death.

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What does the world really need?

I heard a good, well-meaning person recently say that prayer is the only thing keeping things in the world from being worse than they are. I disagree with this. Whether or not such people are praying or not, God works through human beings, and it is only as each human being works from a place of peace and gentleness (aka, “God”), combined with education about the complex realities around us, that we can be the channels of God’s healing that are needed in the world.

Shouting, blaming, continual conflict and confrontation, put-downs, hostility, fear-mongering — these methods used as techniques in our political process, in large part, ARE the problem. They come out of human fear, out of anxiety, out of a sense that if the world isn’t as I want it to be, I can’t be okay.

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Lessons in love from Dexter and Breaking Bad, prt. 2

You are more like Dexter Morgan than you think.

In fact you are very, very much like Dexter, and like Walter White. They both have family that they care about, just like you. They both are struggling with who they are, just like you. They both are hiding something, just like you. They both fear that people will find out who they really are, just like you.

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