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It is 7:00 p.m. still Canadian time. We are sitting in the departure lounge at the Vancouver International Airport. Our flight leaves in forty-five minutes.

It seems already like it has been a long day. The morning went by in a bit of a haze – celebrating at three Eucharists, sharing so many quick farewells and then being driven out to the airport for our short flight over to Vancouver.
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I have taken a crash course in the frailty of human flesh this past week.

I have been for most of the last five days unable to stand up or sit up, unable to eat, stay awake, keep anything in my stomach, carry on a sensible conversation, contribute in any worthwhile way to the well-being of my family, fulfill the obligations of my work, or in the most basic manner look after myself. I have been unable to think clearly, walk any distance, drive the car, take myself to the hospital, talk on the telephone, answer all the kind emails filling my inbox. I have been utterly dependent.
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The Monday morning of the day on which I was catapulted into my first experience of kidney stones, I had been pondering a blog post on irritation and another on discernment.
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The trouble with spiritual teaching is that sometimes we get the opportunity to practice the thing we have been trying to teach. It is generally a lot easier to write or speak eloquently about the virtues of being a spiritual person, than it is to embody the principles one is attempting to encourage others to adopt.
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Most of us will do almost anything to avoid being taken advantage of. We specialize in boundaries. We know the limits of what should be expected of us and are careful to make sure those limits are respected. Read the rest of this entry »

We live in a culture which insists we need something more. However much we have, it is never enough. If only we had a little more something, we would be content.

Someone sent me an email this morning that included the provocative challenge:

Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.

The spiritual tradition of the desert teaches that, if we cannot be content with what we have, we will never be content with anything we might gain. Our addiction to more, better, bigger, faster, is an insatiable monster consuming everything in its path and always returning hungry.
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Last night we had our fifth Spirituality Cafe gathering. The group was predominantly unfamiliar to me. Less than half seemed to have any formal church connection.

Our topic last night was “How do religious institutions inhibit or contribute to my spirituality?”
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Last night in the third of our series on “Thinking About The Holocaust” Dr. Kristin Semmens said that she is most frequently asked two questions about her area of academic study. The first question she is asked is “Why do you study this material?” The second most frequently asked question is “Did the Germans know?”
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I once visited the Crystal Cathedral in Orange County, California; it was a side-trip on our family pilgrimage to “the happiest place on earth.” Somehow it seemed appropriate that the extraordinary glass edifice built by the Gospel of Jesus Christ filtered through the power of positive thinking should be located a few blocks from Disneyland.
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Solitude for some people has a romantic appeal. It seems to hold out the promise of a life of ease and peace. Life would run so much more smoothly if there were not so many difficult people to always have to deal with.
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You have set my feet in a spacious place ~ Psalm 31:8

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