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...

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...

Countdown to 2015…4...

Are you happy with your spiritual life? If so, what do you want to keep doing to nurture it in 2015? If not, what is your plan to improve it? I have to have a plan and a system for things I want to accomplish. My spiritual life is no different. I’ve found that I must sett aside a devotional time each day; it is scheduled. When I was younger, it was a discipline that was somewhat challenging. Now it is a daily joy that I treasure. I rise in the morning, prepare my coffee, and sit in my comfortable chair with my tablet. On the tablet I access a devotional that comes everyday; it’s by Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation who emails them out on a regular basis. I find I look forward to them! Whatever your faith, I encourage you to seek God and Truth; you will find both. And combat the negativity around you by focusing on goodness, love and life. I am a Christ-follower, so I invest time in Christian disciplines. Below I offer suggestions from my own practice and resources available. READ THE BIBLE: I read the Bible, using some sort of devotional plan. Some years I read the entire Bible in chronological order. Other years I focus on the New Testament or some other plan. Sometimes I read; sometimes I listen to an audio version. I also play around with different versions, because each one highlights different aspects. These are especially easy to access using a tablet or smartphone. But of course you can use an old-fashioned print Bible. Consider using it this year along with a reading plan you get from the Internet. Here are some great Bible phone and tablet apps: YouVersion, Bible Gateway,...

Feed Your Soul

How do you feed your soul? What gives you life instead of sucking life out of you? Just like you need food and sleep to be healthy, so you need to feed your soul! I enjoy quite Sunday mornings, time with friends, audio books, time in nature, and of course, music. I especially like to play my, “soul food” play list on Sundays and other times when I need to block out the world, quiet my soul, and focus spiritually. It’s a collection of music that touches my soul and encourages me. I love to take my dogs for hikes in the mountains, (though that doesn’t happen enough). I enjoy a cold beverage or two with close friends. I read books that are deep and shake me out of my little boxes. I take time each morning to nurture a devotional life. I sit, drink coffee, read and pray. It’s an awesome way to begin the day. What gives you life? What feeds your soul? Sometimes we are so focused on meeting others’ expectations, living up to obligations, and caring for others, that we fail to feed and care for ourselves. It is only by being healthy and well fed that you can truly give yourself to others. Think about what gives you life. Then schedule some time to it this week. Don’t give in to the, “I don’t have time,” argument. You can’t afford not to.   Photo by Solenberg; retrieved from...

Top 10-#6 The World is Complex...

Icebergs are beautiful. They can also be deadly (think Titanic). The thing about icebergs is that you only see a very small portion of the whole thing. Things happen and we try to understand. It’s human nature to try to fit life into our mental schemata; it’s how our brains are wired. We categorize things based on our personality and previous experiences. When things don’t fit, we assign explanations. We often assign false reasons because the world is too complex for us to grasp. There is no way we can understand everything. We say things like, “what a coincidence,” “the devil made me do it,” “it’s their fault,” and “God is punishing me.” I once heard an analogy that not only do we not see the tip of the iceberg, but we don’t even see the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Of course that is a metaphor for the complexity of life. There is a theory that to understand why any two cars pass on a road at any one time, you would have to understand the entire history of the universe. Why were they there? Why at that exact time? Why were they going where they were going? What kind of car were they driving? Who designed it? What kind of engineering limitations did it have? What was the condition of the road and why? Where did the weather come from? Why were those people even living in that place? Etc., etc., etc. You get the point. In my post, “Think Flexible,” I made an argument for viewing the world as flexible or open, as opposed to fixed. There is a world full of possibilities and complexities. For example, many people of faith pray. Then they assume the only influence on...