049: Planting God Oct12

049: Planting God

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/49-Planting-God-with-Derek-Schoenhoff.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 52:02 — 47.6MB)Derek Schoenhoff talks about his just-released book, Planting God, an attempt to make God more accessible to everyone. Dedicated to rethinking stereotypical concepts of God, many of which are inconsistent with the bible and nature, Derek loves to talk about the nature and character of God, reconciliation, and the future of the church. His fun and simple approach to difficult issues make him relevant for all generations. Check out the website PlantingGod.com for more information about the book. The book is available at in various formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other...

048: Brave Dames & Wimpettes Sep12

048: Brave Dames & Wimpettes...

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/48-Brve-Dames-Wimpettes-with-JB-91216-4.21-PM.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 27:37 — 25.3MB)A conversation with Jeannette Slater about how men and women communicate and are perceived differently. The episode touches on cultural expectations, social constructs of what is means to be a man & woman, understanding the sexes and being who you are. A timely episode as the U.S. struggles to understand and like its first female presidential candidate. Resources mentioned: Powell, John. (1995). Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am? Insights into Personal Growth Isaacs, Susan. (1999). Brave Dames and Wimpettes: What Women Are Really Doing on Page and Screen Landa Cope on The Unveiled Image of God: Privilege Walk (What is...

047: Gratitude Aug21

047: Gratitude

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/47-Gratitude-with-Jeannette-.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 25:38 — 23.5MB)Jeannette Slater & Dr. Deb discuss a cure to many ills and stresses: gratitude! The episode is full of reminders and perspective that we often lose as we experience everyday life. Jeannette read Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life by Arrien Angeles, internalized it and added her own reflections and experiences to discuss this important topic.   Check out Angeles books and try using the table above for a self-reflective exercise. Angeles Arrien. (2013). Living in Gratitude: A Journey That Will Change Your Life Angeles Arrien. (2013). Living in Gratitude: Mastering the Art of Giving Thanks Every Day, A Month-by-Month Guide Angeles Arrien. (2006). The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of...

046: Muslims where you live Aug01

046: Muslims where you live...

https://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/medeor.co/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/46-Muslims-with-Ibrahim.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 38:20 — 35.1MB)In this episode, Dr. Deb has a candid conversation about Muslims with Egyptian, Ibrahim. Are they all terrorists? How can we inform our perspective and deal with our fears about Middle Eastern immigrants? What is Islam really like? What is a typical Muslim like? How might we be more welcoming and more Christ-like in how we treat our Muslim immigrant...

045: Jesus was a Middle Eastern Refugee & other uncomfortable truths Jul19

045: Jesus was a Middle Eastern Refugee & other uncomfortable truths...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/45-Jesus_was_a_Middle_Eastern_Refugee_other_uncomfortable_truths.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:21 — 41.5MB)In a time when Islam and refugees are in the news every day, it’s helpful to get another perspective from someone on the inside. Vicki Witte works with refugees, helping them learn English and adjust to life in the U.S. She is a wonderful example of the power of volunteerism and how even small efforts can make huge differences in the lives of our new neighbors. She describes the history of migration in biblical times and the new opportunities we have to welcome the strangers in our towns. Be sure to visit Vicki’s blog by clicking here. Click here to make a donation in support of the...

Toothpaste

I like to think I’m a fairly responsible person. I’m a firstborn, and we are the responsible folks of the world. (OK, so much for the stereotype.) When I see something that needs to be done, I do it. Or I procrastinate! Do you identify? I recently did a deep clean of my bathroom and found not one, but FOUR tubes of toothpaste with a little product left in each one. I think I’ve maybe had two before, but FOUR! When I’m getting ready to go somewhere or to bed at night, I just want to brush my teeth. I don’t want to mess with little bits of toothpaste (that I perceive to take too much of my energy.) There is little counter space in my bathroom, so getting that last little bit out adds a few annoying seconds to my busy lifestyle. This all sounds rather terrible; surely there are bigger fish in life to fry! And certainly, there are MUCH bigger problems in the world to solve! But we all have little things in our lives that bug us until we take care of them. Maybe it’s the flowers that need to be deadheaded so they can bloom again, or that phone call you’ve been meaning to make, or that closet that desperately needs cleaning out. Research shows that simply writing something down—getting it out of your head—can reduce mental and emotional fatigue. Not only do TO-DO lists help you prioritize and plan, but they also help reduce what you are burdened to carry around in your head. Many self-development gurus, like Seth Godin and Rob Bell talk about the importance of saying “yes” to the things we really want and then committing to STEP 1. Saying yes means you commit to...

044: Independence Jul04

044: Independence

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/44-Independence_Dependence.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 37:25 — 34.3MB)As The United States of America celebrates its birthday, Jack Woloshun & Dr. Deb thought it a good time to discuss various types of dependence and independence we have in relationships. Related articles: Independence (companion article) Crap Do You Need A Life Coach? Mentioned by Jack: Book by Dr. Caroline Leaf: Think and Eat Yourself Smart: A Neuroscientific Approach to a Sharper Mind and Healthier...

Independence

As The United States celebrates its Independence Day, I thought it fitting to consider various forms of dependency. Dependence is defined as the state of needing something or someone else. Like it or not, we are dependent on each other for all kinds of things. We need acceptance, love and affection from others because we are social beings. A newborn child left alone without touch will die. We are dependent on each other to follow socially accepted behavior like stopping at red lights and contributing to common things like roads and schools. In relationships, we are dependent on each other to be there to share the workload, make a meaningful contribution and live up to our commitments. Healthy dependence is a really, really positive thing. Independence is freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others. When the 13 American colonies were no longer satisfied with British rule (and taxation without representation), they sought a divorce. It’s not unlike the recent decision by Britain to pull out of the European Union to preserve its sovereignty. It’s not unlike states in human development. Two that come to mind are the terrible twos. I think the twos are called terrible because children seek independence from their parents and other caretakers because they are coming into their own. They are clumsy and awkward, but they are determined to get around! Unfortunately, they don’t yet recognize the limits of social and character boundaries, so tend to severely test those around them. The other significant stage of finding independence IS, of course, during the teenage years. Children are transitioning to adulthood with changing bodies, increased responsibilities and fewer apron strings. Yet their raging hormones and lack of fully developed prefrontal cortexes (decision-making that fully grasps consequences)...

Mid-year Checkup

As we begin the second half of the year, it’s a good time to do a quick self-assessment. Perhaps you wrote down some desires or goals, or wrote thought thoughts and aspirations in a journal. I actually poked around my computer notes and realized it was exactly four years ago now that I started life coach training. Part of this included being coached myself. Kicking off the process was writing down some desires and expectations I was to work on, with 4 guiding questions: What are the one or two things that are on God’s agenda for my life right now? If I could change one thing in my life right now what would it be? What are the obstacles that are holding me back from reaching my potential in this season of life? When I think ahead to 3 years from now, how do I want my life to be different? I can’t tell you how encouraged I was to go back and see that I have either realized what  I expressed or have made significant progress on each item. The things that seemed quite fuzzy four years ago are no longer fuzzy, and I have made significant life changes to live a healthier life. How are you doing on the goals you set for yourself this year? If you’ve made progress on any, congratulate yourself and tell someone! If you still have work to do, remember that you still have half of the year left! Renew your commitment. Which goals are still in process? Are you making progress on them? Which goals need to be adjusted? Perhaps your goals weren’t SMART enough. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Success is not just about accomplishing all your goals, but also seeing where you need to adjust,...

Lessons From A Pup

I got a puppy. I’ve had dogs before, but they were older rescue dogs, so this is my first adventure into being a puppy mom. Izzy, as she was to be called a few days after we met, was only 6-weeks old and 4.2 pounds (1.9 kilos). In only ten days, she has gained 1.8 pounds and learned so much! I also try to learn from life’s experiences, so learning from the new pup is no exception. Everything is new. Like human babies, puppies come into the world knowing not much. Therefore, everything is a learning opportunity! Izzy has been challenging me to look at life through new eyes. What do I notice that I’ve been blind to before or haven’t “seen” in awhile? How can I see things from a new perspective? What might I do in order to see with fresh eyes? What can I learn today? Life is an adventure. It’s amazing how much entertainment, exercise and learning can come out of the smallest thing like a toilet roll! A simple piece of round cardboard functions as a teething ring, exercise equipment, toy and something to be conquered! What new adventure might I try? Doing the same things put you in a rut. Literally, doing the same thing over and over creates ruts in the brain. Puppies lick up love (literally). They are not afraid of affection, praise or compliments. In fact, they thrive on them. Anyone who has successfully trained a puppy or raised a child knows that love and affirmation are key in teaching discipline. Nothing says, “Don’t pee in the house,” like a reward of affection outside in the grass. Are people loving and affirming me in ways I’m ignoring? What keeps me from accepting compliments? Puppies give...

043: Find Your Day 2 Jun12

043: Find Your Day 2

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/43-Finding_Your_Day_2.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 59:09 — 54.2MB)Mark Twain said, “The two most important days in your life are when you’re born and the day you find out why.” In struggling to work through her own pain and purpose, Victoria Jeffs spent 10 years researching how to live a healthy life and designed a course to help others. Jeff’s passion for individuals to discover their purpose & impact their communities has led to the CrossRoads course tp be taught to High School students, Alternative Schools, Habitat for Humanity clients, Prison Re-entry, Workforce, Veterans, Social Services, Refugee Programs, Educators, Family development, Parenting, victims of PTSD, Business Start-ups, Faith organizations, and Corporate Leadership & Management. Listen as Jeffs shares key principles to living a healthy and fruitful life. All Get Control podcasts are also available on iTunes and via the Stitcher App for Android & Windows phones and tablets. Click to access the Find Your Day 2 website Related articles: Legacy Examining Relationships Valuing...

Crap

Crap has really been on my mind this week. First of all, toilet water backed up into my bathtub. When I saw the brown water, I knew I had a problem and I suspected it was time to get my sewer line cleaned out. Because I have an old house with underground clay tiles for disposing of wastewater, tree roots grow into the pipe looking for moisture. Then every year or two, the roots become too much and I have to have the pipes rooted (cleaned) out. But this time was different. This time the rooter technician found a blockage and recommended I get a camera inspection. So the next day, a tiny camera on the end of a cable descended into the pipe and revealed the problems. Tiles had caved in and created blockages requiring a whole new sewer line. The problems became more evident when excavation began. Crews dug down to the pipes, even descending some 8 feet (more than 2 meters) below street level. They found that some pipes were not where they thought they were. They could only devise an appropriate solution after they dug down and uncovered the mess. Like buried pipes, we have a lot of stuff deep in our personalities that is not evident until we dig down. And when we do, we often find things are not as we thought they were. On the surface, we feel the results of buried problems, but don’t have the full perspective of the location or causes. It’s only when we dig do we get an accurate perspective. When my toilet backed up, all I knew is that I had a problem. I could see the murky water. I could smell that all was not well. I could have ignored...

042: Mauricio in Cuba May29

042: Mauricio in Cuba...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/42-Mauricio_in_Cuba.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 35:49 — 12.3MB)During a recent trip to Cuba, I recorded this interview with Mauricio, a young man who wants to be a positive influence in the future of his nation. As a graphic designer, Mauricio and other volunteers produce a small magazine for young people. He also helps develop young people in other ways by introducing them to critical thinking and resources that help them connect to ideas and healthy ways of living. Be inspired by Mauricio’s life and hear some fascinating inside knowledge of life inside Cuba during this historic time. Thank you for your patience as the audio quality on this one is not up to our standards. Like everyone who lives in Cuba, we had to be creative and make due with what we...

Examining Relationships...

With whom do I have the closest relationships? What connections are those relationships based on? How can I re-evaluate the depth of particular relationships to know where to put my energies? These are some of the questions I asked myself while sitting in on a course called, Your CrossRoads. Working with a non-profit for much of my career, I had considered literally hundreds of people to be friends. A belief is that the mission is held together by relationships and shared ethos. Consequently, I had almost no mental map to differentiate various relationships. However, when I left the group, it became more obvious who were my friends and who were relationships of convenience. True friends follow you in life; friendships of convenience or circumstance fade away. Now a couple of years out, I find myself thinking about my relationships and considering the differences between friends, acquaintances and colleagues. There are differences. In her CrossRoads course, creator Victoria Jeffs challenges participants to identify the foundations important to healthy relationships. The model helped me identify how I relate to various people in my life. The foundational pillars are touch points we have in common with others. Upon examination, I found that my closest friendships are with those people I share several touch points. They are: Intellect Emotion Social Spiritual Financial Physical Cultural Some people are in our lives due to circumstances. These include family members, work colleagues, and others we know through various groups in which we participate. The close relationships in our lives are those we have invited in. Like me, you can use the seven pillars to examine your closest relationships. This simple exercise can help you identify what aspects of those relationships are healthy and also what are unhealthy. Healthy relationships are life-giving....

Legacy

What will you leave behind? That was the focus of a discussion led by my good friend Jack Woloshun. We were there to talk about the many crossroads in life and the people with whom we share the journey. Have you thought about what you would like to leave behind? What will remain once your flesh and bones no longer walk this earth? How will you be remembered? To demonstrate what’s possible, Jack pulled out a book his daughter assembled for his 60th birthday. She had contacted the many family and friends from Jack’s life and invited them to express their sentiments. The words were anything but shallow, very unlike canned drugstore greeting cards. Rather they were lengthy letters of affection, memories and hope for the future. Jack only read 3 or 4 letters from the book, but what he shared demonstrated what it means to leave a legacy. Jack has spent his life giving to others; he has chosen to be a giver instead of a taker. The letters reflect a lifetime of memories, influence and impact. I think that is what it’s all about. Legacy is something you may or may not have thought of; I think the answer is likely dependent on your age and to what extent you consider your life in the grand scheme of humankind. Legacy is not about leaving a hospital or street with your name stamped on. It’s not about things you did that elevated your ego. It’s not about how many toys you collected. It’s not even about how much money you left to charities or your kids. Legacy is fundamentally about who you are. Your legacy is a replica of how you live your life every day. What would happen if people were asked...

Make a Difference

Do you long to make a difference but find it harder than it seems? Here’s a lovely guest article by Amy Roemer that may convince you it’s easier than you think: On a recent cross-country trip, my family stopped in the tiny village of Folsom in northern New Mexico. The ranching community only has 55 inhabitants and almost no businesses, a shadow of what it used to be. Once it had the largest stockyards north of Fort Worth, Texas, but the town never recovered after a devastating catastrophe. It’s such a small place that when we arrived, we had to call a number to get the museum unlocked. The docent came and was so proud of the museum’s legacy that she eagerly shared local stories. We expected the museum to be about the primitive Folsom people, one of the earliest people groups in North America, but we were in for a surprise! We saw many antiques—from milk jugs and saddles to a dynamite detonator—from the founding and pioneer days in the late 1800s. Many of these were tagged with information—whose house it came from, and which family member had donated it. The sense of community was strong. But what struck us was learning about Sally Rooke—who was the local telephone switchboard operator—and how she made a difference during the Dry Cimarron River flood of 1908. Miss Sally received a call that a massive wall of water was heading down the canyon toward Folsom. She started calling friends and neighbors, warning them to head for higher ground. Eventually, the flood hit and wiped out the town. Sally was washed away from her post at the switchboard; her body was found some 12 miles down river along with livestock and only 16 others. Her phone calls...

All That Jazz

April is jazz appreciation month, which the Smithsonian (a U.S. National Museum) calls both a historic and living American art form. Since jazz is the most free and flexible of all musical genres, this seems like a good time to examine those characteristics in our lives. Acclaimed trumpet musician, Herbie Hancock said, “The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness.” I think that’s what many people find so fascinating about the musical form. It is by nature, open. It’s open to ideas, changes, improvisation, expression, collaboration, and creativity. I find it interesting that in playing jazz, a musician can be both part of something, yet unique at the same time. There is the whole, but there is the distinctiveness of individuals. But some people don’t like freethinking, creative expression, or new ideas. No wonder jazz was outlawed in various times and places like Nazi Germany. The Soviets didn’t outlaw it, but they openly criticized it. Even in the U.S., at least 60 communities banned jazz from being played in public dance halls in the 1920s. One has to ask what people were afraid of! Which begs the question, what you YOU afraid of? Like much great art, jazz came out of tremendous suffering. It is the product of slavery, oppression, and struggle. Sounds like the great themes of life, doesn’t it? Sometimes we are tempted to let the hard knocks of life close us down and make us hard. But if we let tough times change us, we can actually become more open, honest and trusting, and graduate to a new level of personal maturity. If musicians had been satisfied to maintain the status quo, we would never have experienced jazz. Rather, many transformed their pain and struggle into life, beauty, and openness; they continue...

041: Changing Your Mindset Apr15

041: Changing Your Mindset...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/41-Changing_Your_Mindset.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 32:19 — 29.6MB)A lovely chat about relationships, theology, the universe, kids, mistakes, regrets, struggles, personal worth, turning a life around, finding positivity and purpose.  Laura Thompson is a wife, mother, and owner of small businesses. Mostly she’s a happy, peaceful, articulate, fun and normal person who thinks about what is real and good and is trying to live life to the best she can. Laura’s essential oils website: http://www.iomaioilers.com A short video on Denmark, named the happiest place on earth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_jo69ZTwbE  ...

Tea & Consent

Leave it to the Brits to come up with a clever message about sexual consent. Here is a little video used by British police to explain safe sexual boundaries using a most British staple,...

Know Thyself

How well do you know yourself? We tend to have a view of ourselves we think is accurate and complete. However, it’s just not true.

Fear or Love?

Every now and then you stumble upon a life-defining truth that is simple yet profound. I found such a concept in Neale Donald Walsch’s book, Conversations with God. I hope you too find it helpful in sorting out your motivations and actions. “Every action taken by human beings is based in love or fear, not simply those dealing with relationships. Decisions affecting business, industry, politics, religion, the education of your young, the social agenda of your nations, the economic goals of your society, choices involving war, peace, attack, defense, aggression, submission; determinations to covet or give away, to save or to share, to unite or to divide—every single free choice you ever undertake arises out of one of the only two possible thoughts there are: a thought of love or a thought of fear. Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing, love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have, love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. Every human thought, word, deed is based in one emotion or the other. You have no choice about this, because there is nothing else from which to choose. But you have free choice about which of these to select.” So I ask along with the great wisdom of the universe. Will you think and act from a place of fear or love? Walsch, N.D. (1995). Conversations with God: an uncommon dialogue. New York:...

Do It Anyway

Today I share from the wisdom of Mother Theresa: “People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway. In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” – Mother Teresa   Royalty-free image by Amy Burton; retrieved from...

How are you doing?

2016 is now officially ¼ over. That’s right; we just passed the 3-month milestone. So I figure it’s a good time to think about the goals I set for myself this year. I set four. Looking at my list, I can measure my progress. I realize I made progress on two and didn’t do so well on two. What is my response? Well beating myself up won’t do any good. Do I need to adjust some actual goals or do I need to alter my approach? I challenge to you ask yourself: Which goals have you achieved? Tell somebody of your accomplishments! Pat yourself on the back. Which goals are still in process? Are you making progress on them? Which goals need to be adjusted? Perhaps your goals weren’t SMART enough. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Is it possible you’re not focusing on the right areas for now? (Click on Rate Your Life to see if you’re putting energy into the parts of your life that need the most attention now.) Success is not just about accomplishing all your goals, but also seeing where you need to adjust, setting new goals, or tweaking your approach.  Don’t beat yourself up for your failures. Rather focus on your accomplishments and make adjustments to continue moving forward. It’s not too late. After all, you still have ¾ of the year...

What is Easter, really?

According to The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy (Hirsch, Kett & Trefil, 1988), Easter is a holiday that every American needs to know about. Easter is a social construct, too.  That’s right; it is a made-up holiday celebrated differently by diverse people around the world. It’s considered a most holy day, along with Christmas, for Christ-followers, but people make up how they choose to celebrate it. When I first read Berger and Luckmann’s landmark social science book, The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge, I had a hard time accepting that much of our reality is socially constructed. I am a huge proponent of free will. But as time went on, I realized the theory holds much truth. How we live life—largely what we believe and why we believe it—is passed on to us culturally. That’s right, we make stuff up! We make up our culture, values, customs, ways of life, language, and to a large extent, our thought patterns. For the most part, we accept what we grew up with. We live life through social constructs I contend that the social construction of reality is not a bad thing, and does not make the reality behind a celebration or practice any less true. Easter is not just a holy day, it is a holy season. Coinciding with spring in the northern hemisphere, (where most of our Easter traditions came from), it follows a 40-day period called Lent, which since ancient times has been set aside as a season of penance and reflection, where believers are encouraged to make sacrifices and engage in acts of goodness. In this way, Christians are prepared to remember the sacrificial death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ who was both God and man in one being. Lent culminates in Holy Week, which starts with Palm Sunday (remembering Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem), then continues with Maundy Thursday (remembering the Passover supper Jesus had with his disciples and his washing of their feet), and Good Friday (remembering when Christ was executed), and finally celebrating Easter, when Christ rose from the dead. Lenten and Easter practices seem to be very ancient. In his “History of Lent” (2002), Fr. Saunders cited a letter to the Pope written in A.D. 203 commenting on the differences between how Easter was celebrated in the East and West: “The dispute is not only about the day, but also about the actual character of the fast. Some think that they ought to fast for one day, some for two, others for still more; some make their ‘day’ last 40 hours on end. Such variation in the observance did not originate in our own day, but very much earlier, in the time of our forefathers.” Many Christian customs were either borrowed from other religions or simply made up. The use of incense, visual depictions (crosses, crucifixes, icons, painting, sculptures), church architecture and many other things were used to help people connect to God. As someone pointed out, the use of “bells” and “smells” helped illiterate congregants throughout history connect with a God who isn’t tangible. Like the rest of the church calendar, dates were set aside to remind Christ-followers of many of the important aspects of the New Testament, which chronicles the life of Jesus and the beginnings of the early church. Other “holy days,” which we have come to call “holidays,” include Advent and Christmas (leading up to and celebrating the birth of Christ), Epiphany (celebrating the incarnation of Christ and the visit by the Magi), and Pentecost (remembering the outpouring of God’s spirit on early believers shortly after Christ’s return to God the Father). A basic tenant of Christianity is that God is made up of three distinct persons, designated Father, Jesus the Christ, and the Holy Spirit. These three do not exist or operate in an authoritarian structure, but by relationship and communication. Unlike Christmas,...

What Does It Mean?

These few days are undoubtedly the most important in the Christian calendar; they are centerpieces of the faith. But there is no one-way to view the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. That said, I think it’s important to think about. I contend that how you view Jesus’ death and resurrection reflects on your view of God and how you related to the Divine. In his book, Across the Spectrum: Understanding issues in Evangelical Theology, Greg Boyd and Paul Eddy devote an entire chapter on “The Atonement Debate.” There they outline the three main perspectives: The Christus Victor View (Christ destroyed Satan and his works) The Penal Substitution View (Christ dies in our place) The Moral Government View (Christ displayed God’s wrath against sin) Here, in a nutshell, is an overview of these perspectives. Then I will make a case for something more simplistic that may work even better for you. According to Boyd and Eddy, the Christus Victor view was the most popular until the Middle Ages. It was based on the idea that, “Jesus’ death and resurrection defeated Satan and thus set humankind free from his oppressive rule” (Boyd & Eddy, p. 114). Later John Calvin and Martin Luther developed the Penal Substitution view, that Jesus took on the punishment that humankind deserved. One must understand, however, that Calvin was an attorney, so he saw everything in legal terms. For him, there was a debt to be paid, and Jesus paid it. The problem I have with this view is that it turns our relationship with God into a transaction. A transaction is that I put down money at the store and I get to take the milk home. However, everything about scripture tells me that God is interested in transformation,...

The Invitation of Grace...

The follow is a devotional from Monday, March 21, 2016 written by Richard Rohr, founder and director of Center for Action and Contemplation. His writings are always good, and some just have to be shared. “As I shared earlier this year, the Bible is “a text in travail.” Sometimes the biblical writers catch a glimpse of God’s true character–love, mercy, and justice–and sometimes they lose sight of it. Old Testament scholar and theologian Walter Brueggemann traces the evolution of human consciousness through three sections of Hebrew Scriptures: the Torah (the five books of the Pentateuch), the Prophets, and the Wisdom literature (including Job, the Psalms, Song of Songs, and Ecclesiastes). Just as children must begin with structure and rules, religion starts with setting boundaries, rituals, and rules about who is in and who is out. It’s all about protecting the status quo, our tribal and egoic identity. But eventually we have to develop the capacity for self-criticism, as the prophets did, which is the necessary second stage. If we do both of these stages well, we will normally be catapulted toward wisdom and holiness. Another way to look at this is a series of Order > Disorder > Reorder. Most conservatives get trapped in the first step and most liberals get stuck in the second. Healthy religion is all about getting you to the third, Reorder. There is no nonstop flight. You must learn the wisdom of both the first and second stages before moving on. Much of the chaos and instability of our time stems from many young and sophisticated people now beginning life in the second stage of Disorder and criticism, without first learning deeply from Order. It appears to be a disaster. The three stages must be in proper sequence for...

Mama Knows Best

“Some people come into your life for a lifetime and some come for a season; you have to know which is which. And you always gonna mess up when you mix up those seasonal people with lifetime expectations.” So says Tyler Perry’s mama character, Medea, in this clip from one of his stage plays. Staying in character for this entire 5-minute clip, mama Media gives some of the most sound advice on relationships you will hear...

Who Was St. Patrick?

Who was Saint Patrick, the patron saint of the Irish whose name represents all things green? Because of the holiday—St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated every March 17th—you might think this historical figure was an Irishman who drank green beer. In fact, neither is true. Saint Patrick was actually born in Scotland or Wales to parents who were Romans living as colonial bureaucrats in Britain! Born around 385, Patrick is surely to have drunk beer, or ale as it was called then. People drank a lot of beer back then because it was cleaner than water (that could give you nasty parasites and diseases). But as everybody knows, ale is more of a meal in a glass, and generally much darker than the standard pilsners and lagers from my Germanic ancestors and other Europeans. I don’t think they had green food coloring then; making beer (and rivers) green is an Irish-American invention meant to celebrate ethnicity. Patrick would have grown up with some privilege, as his parents worked for Roman occupiers. However, in his teens, a raiding party (that’s what they did back then) invaded and kidnapped Patrick off to Ireland, where he was made to heard sheep. It was as a slave in Ireland that he encountered God. There is nothing like captivity or other unpleasant circumstances to get you on your knees. He later wrote, “The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was roused, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same…I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.” After about six years...

040: Pushing Through Pain Mar14

040: Pushing Through Pain...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/40-Pushing_Through_Pain.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 42:02 — 38.5MB)What do you do when you’re hurting? Do you self medicate? Try to ignore it? Talk to someone? Fall apart? We all experience all kinds of pain througout our lives. In this episode, personal developer Jack Woloshun sits down again with Dr. Deb to discuss strategies for responding to pain and practical steps to ensure that we not only recover, but grow through the process. Quotes mentioned: “Five years from now, you’re the same person except for the people you’ve met and the books you’ve read.” – Basketball coach, John Wooden. “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell How you do anything is how you do everything.” – Franciscan Richard Rohr...

How do you start your day?...

“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”  So said author, pastor and leadership guru, John C. Maxwell. We all have a morning routine. Of course it includes things like brushing your teeth, getting dressed and enjoying your favorite beverage. For some it also includes getting the kids ready, making lunches and ensuring everyone has what they need for the day. No matter who you are or what roles you rill, you need time to quiet your soul. And how you start your day can determine not only how your day goes, but how your life goes too. I used to get up and turn on the television to hear the morning news. But what I found over time that it was a terrible way to start my day. The chatter and stress of world events set me up to carry noise in my head throughout the day. What I discovered was key to changing my behavior. I realized that how I start my day influences the rest of the day…and my life. We all have to find our own path—our own routine and practices that work for us. I want to share what has worked well for me. Reflect. Read. Resolve. Reflect – A mark of our fast-paced “always on” lives is that we forget to take time to be silent and reflect. My morning routine involves making a lovely espresso drink and sitting in my favorite chair. I reflect on recent events, issues I’m dealing with, and the status of my relationships and goals. It means being silent and giving myself space to just be, think, process and feel. I give myself permission to just reflect. Read...

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