Sunday, November 23, 2014

“Imagine that the world is a circle, that God is the center, and that the radii are the different ways human beings live. When those who wish to come closer to God walk towards the center of the circle, they come closer to one another at the same time as to God. The closer they come to God, the closer they come to one another. And the closer they come to one another, the closer they come to God.”

-- Dorotheus of Gaza, 6th century monk, (Instructions VI)

Friday, November 21, 2014

"You must descend from your head to your heart.  At present your thoughts of God are in your head.  And God Himself is as it were, outside you, and so your prayer and other spiritual exercises remain exterior.  Whilst you are still in your head, thoughts will not easily be subdued but will always be whirling about, like snow in winter or clouds of mosquitoes in the summer." 

-- St. Theophan

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hundreds of transgender people are murdered each year for being themselves. Countless more suffer harrassment, violence and ostracism.

More info:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"In Jesus’ parable of The Good Samaritan, we are asked this question: 'Who is my neighbor?' While this parable has challenged many types of prejudices based on race, ethnicity, gender, interfaith, and even sexual orientation, I want us to lift up another community that needs to be seen and understood as neighbor: the transgender community. ... This parable speaks particularly about compassion toward those that the most religiously self-righteous deplore and harm."

-- Rev. David Weekley, A Christian Calling For Transgender Day Of Remembrance

"Evangelicals are interesting in a lot of ways. One of the ways they’re interesting is that they claim such an unparalleled authority for the Bible but tend to be resistant to recognizing the forces that affect how the Bible is read, including personal loyalties and life experiences and emotional commitments, convictions and feelings. On the other side, there’s often a refusal to recognize that we don’t just have scriptural texts, we have traditions of interpreting those texts. We have even the selection of which texts will be important and which texts will drop to the periphery."

-- David Gushee, Nobody Is Innocent: Sexual Ethics, Suffering, and Full Inclusion for LGBT Christians

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"The sleep of the farmer in Jesus’ parable particularly fascinates me.  He has sown the seed for his crop, and he rises daily to tend it. The crop could never come to fruition without him, but his labors do not bring about the essential mystery of life. 'The seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.'  He cannot cause or control the transformation of seed to stalk to head to full grain. 'The earth produces of itself,' and the progress of the harvest is furthered as much by his sleep as by his rising."

--Steven Bonsey, The Activist as Contemplative: Resting for Social Change

“I slept for many years on a prison floor, and the nights I got a mattress, I was happy. I survived with barely nothing. So I started giving great importance to the small things in life and to the limits of things. If I dedicate myself to having a lot of things, I will have to spend a great part of my life taking care of them. And I won’t have time left to spend it on the things I like – in my case, politics. So living light is no sacrifice for me – it’s an affirmation of freedom, of having the greatest amount of time available for what motivates me. It’s the price of my individual freedom. I’m richer this way.”

--José "Pepe" Mujica, current President of Uruguay

"My mind, through the power of truth, was in a good degree weaned from the desire of outward greatness, and I was learning to be content with real conveniences, that were not costly, so that a way of life free from much entanglement appeared best for me, though the income might be small. I had several offers of business that appeared profitable, but I did not see my way clear to accept of them, believing they would be attended with more outward care and cumber than was required of me to engage in. I saw that an humble man, with the blessing of the Lord, might live on a little, and that, where the heart was set on greatness, success in business did not satisfy the craving; but that commonly, with an increase of wealth, the desire of wealth increased. There was a care on my mind so to pass my time, that nothing might hinder me from the most steady attention to the voice of the true Shepherd."

--John Woolman, 18th century American Quaker

Monday, November 17, 2014

"We are all theologians. By that, I believe we all construct understandings of God. Even if you do not believe there is a God, you are engaging in 'God-thinking.'  Our theology ponders the heavens, but is also touches the earth in serious ways.  Theological constructs rooted in biblical interpretations that condemn homosexuality result in real-life disastrous consequences that I do not believe the loving God I see condones.  Not only is homosexuality not a sin in the eyes of God, those that claim that it is are hurting and literally killing people."

--Crescent Hill Baptist Church

Sunday, November 16, 2014

This is some of the best exposition I've ever come across on the practical application of Trinitarian theology.

Excerpt: "I’ve been a pastor long enough to know that when it comes to the Trinity, our belief that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, most of you think it’s a hustle. You think it’s some philosophical shell game that couldn’t have less to do with your everyday life. But pay attention- That’s not how Paul speaks of the Trinity here. Paul’s not interested in philosophy or abstraction. Paul’s concerned with your mindset. With your attitude. With your love."