According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals
and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power
is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. - anon

Friday, June 6, 2014

R.E. Slater - Kindred Fellowships (a poem)



Filming Heaven





Serenity, Lake Louise, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada



Kindred Fellowships

Have you ever watched the morning sun rise
while stalking knee-high clovered fields wet in dew?

Or felt the deep rumble of dark storm cloud's approaching
shrouded within stilled airs soaked in fresh ozone?

Or witnessed a cold fog envelop a murky beach
against a restless sea moving in endless rhythm?

Or listened the wandering night sky's starry silence
upon a far hillside from setting dusk to waking dawn?

In all these things God's handiwork abounds,
written across the laden heavens,
across this good earth we live and breathe,
filling our hearts with wondrous mysteries.

Whose very lives are held so dear,
so adorned by redeeming love,
so cherished by grace and mercy,
so lost in a world so complex and feared.

We, who are the living temples of God's Word,
who tred upon the mounts of His holy creation,
who delve into the Holy's inmost sanctuaries,
impassioned by all that inspires and devotes.

We, who keep the night watches and morning suns,
who inhale the early mists of evening's lingering whispers,
who are blessed and wouldst give blessing,
who seek, and grasp, and fall, and fail.

Let us praise our heavenly Sovereign for His wisdom,
our mighty Creator for all that is good and strong.

Let us sing our Savior's wonders and mercies,
met new everyday upon the souls of men.

Let us seek harmony's peace amid grand fellowships,
giving thanksgiving for heaven's abiding love and devotion.

And for this good earth on whose fellowship we tread,
scribing a poet's inspiration to a Redeemer's heart filled with tears.


- R.E. Slater
June 6, 2014
revised June 7-8, 2014




Calla Lilies along the Big Sur, Garrapata State Park, California







Huff Post - How to Prepare for Parenthood in 11 Easy Steps



How to Prepare for Parenthood in 11 Easy Steps
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/how-to-prepare-for-parenthood-in-11-easy-steps_b_5411134.html


by Bunmi Laditan, Author, The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Life
June 2, 2014



Congratulations, you've decided to reproduce. For a person used to living life on his or her own terms, parenthood can be quite the shock. As with any life change, dutiful preparation can make all the difference in the world. Here are 11 easy steps you can take to prepare:

Step 1

Hire an actor to shadow you throughout your day. This person should remain no more than three inches away from you at all times. Pay them extra to sit in your lap should you attempt to get off of your feet. Bonus points if they trip you with their body when you're walking around your home. From 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., let them jump on your body.

"Can I close the bathroom door?" No. Hire someone you feel comfortable with, because they will be supervising your waste elimination process.

Every 15 minutes, make this person a snack.

Step 2

Call all of your friends without children. Tell them it's been lovely knowing them, but you're going away. Let them know you'll see them on Facebook.

Step 3

It's important that you get used to completing simple tasks while being a parent. Obtain a pair of handcuffs or a zip tie. Affix one hand behind your back. Go about your day.

Step 4

If you plan on driving while being a parent, borrow three orangutans (ask for strong-willed ones) from your local zoo. Put them in rear-facing car seats. Keep your eyes on the road.

Step 5

Cooking is a big part of raising a family. Buy a copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Visit your neighborhood specialty market and acquire the ingredients necessary for her famous beef bourguignon. Spend the next eight hours cooking. When the meal is done, quickly bring it room temperature. Throw the entire pot against a wall. Clean it up.

Step 6

Parenting may slightly affect your sleep patterns. To prepare yourself for this, find the most annoying ringtone on your phone. Ask a stranger on the street to set up 2-3 surprise alarms between midnight and 5 a.m. Live like this for months. If you think you'll be tempted to complain to someone, let them know ahead of time that their only response to you should be, "This is somehow your fault."

Step 7

A huge part of parenting is constant worry. Smart parents-to-be will get themselves used to living life with moderate to severe anxiety. Hire a skywriter to spell out your full name, social security number, home address and blood type over the nearest maximum security prison yard.

Step 8

Start watching children's television programming. You might hear a popping, crackling noise in your head. Don't be alarmed -- that's just the sound of your brain melting.

Step 9

You may be gifted a child who wants to sleep with you. Joy! Practice co-sleeping by having a carpenter craft a special bed for you. Tell him you want it one third of the width of a standard twin bed. Don't use a pillow or sheets. If this is too costly, you can also just sleep curled up in your bathtub.

Step 10

Turning your car into a parent-mobile is easier than you think. All you need are:
18 individual non-matching socks
6 clean diapers in three sizes
2 balled-up pee pee diapers (you can find these in your community dumpster)
6 cups of random crumbs
1/2 cup of strawberry jam or any sticky substance
18 broken toys
2 handfuls of confetti
2 empty juice boxes
changes of clothes for 10 children

Mix these items together on your lawn, being careful to get the jam on everything, then throw it all inside your car and mix thoroughly. Drive around in shame.

Step 11

Visit your local thrift store and buy 10 large garbage bags of clothes. Dump them in your living room. Bring in the orangutans and start folding. Enjoy.

You're now ready. Good luck.

*Bunmi is the author of The Honest Toddler: A Child's Guide to Parenting. This is a humor book, please calm down.


The Parent Rap by Bluefish TV





Relevant Magazine - Top 10 Relationship Killers




The biggest threats to watch out for in your marriage.


Top 10 Relationship Killers
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/relationships/top-10-relationship-killers

by Debra K. Fileta
June 5, 2014

Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013). Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more!



“We’re getting a divorce,” she explained, with a look of disappointment on her face.


Her tone of voice changed as she tried to look on the bright side. “But it’s for the best. Things haven’t been working out for the past few years. We’re just too different.”
Her words echoed in my mind for hours after our conversation ended. I thought about the list of differences my husband and I possess. We are so different in so many ways. Could it really be possible that a couple can be “too different” to have a thriving marriage? The thought didn’t sit well with me.
As a Professional Counselor, every day I see couples who come into therapy with their marriage on life-support. But their struggles often have nothing to do with the trauma of affairs, addictions or abuse. Instead, they are dying a rather slow and painful death.
Phrases like, “We’re too different” or “We’ve grown apart” or “Life has just gotten the best of us” sound so innocent, yet are extremely lethal.
There are so many factors that can get in the way of a good marriage, but often, they are the small, unnoticed things that make their way in. In order to make sure our marriages survive and thrive, here are some relationship killers every couple should be on the lookout for:

1. Family Priorities

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS LIVING IN NEUTRAL, BECAUSE DRIFTING HAPPENS THE MOMENT WE STOP MOVING FORWARD.
The top relationship stress for most couples has little to do with their relationship and much to do with the relationships they are surrounded by. The role of your parents, in-laws, siblings and friends all shift the moment you say “I do,” because when you join together as one, you’ve chosen to put your spouse above all others. Too many marriages are struggling simply due to a lack of priorities—finding themselves pulled by everyone else in every which way, except toward each other. Healthy marriages learn to choose one another above all others.

2. Lack of Communication

It’s true that the average couple invests in quality conversation only a few minutes a day. It’s easy to let life get busy and stop connecting with the one you love. But there’s no such thing as living in neutral, because drifting happens the moment we stop moving forward. Take the time to connect and communicate with your spouse often.

3. Stress

It’s so easy to take our stress out on our spouse. We can get into the habit of holding things in until we’re in the safety and comfort of our home, and then we explode. From financial problems, to illness, job-loss and grief, healthy couples allow their stress to pull them together, by relying on each other, sharing it with one another and carrying the load together.

4. Technology

I read a blog post recently about a guy getting a divorce ... except this guy chose to divorce his phone. But it makes sense, because so many of us carry this dangerous relationship killer right in our back pocket. In the world of technology crazed, iPhone carrying, Facebook posting mania, it’s no joke that we find our time slipping away into the inanimate instead of investing it into the intimate. Unplug, disconnect, shut down—and invest in your spouse.

5. Selfishness

Marriage is one huge, ongoing, life lesson in “unselfishness.” And we’ll either allow the experience to make us better—or we’ll grow bitter. Putting someone first is an incredibly hard task because our flesh is wired to choose self.
Each time we say yes to ourselves, we’re saying no to our marriage, because marriage is not about Him vs. Her, it’s about We vs. Me.

6. Unforgiveness

Forgiving and forgetting are not one in the same. When we fail to realize that, we will hold on to our hurts for a very long time. And eventually those hurts begin wreaking havoc on our lives from the inside out. But forgiveness is not about excusing the other person, it’s about freeing ourselves to receive healing from the God who forgives us time and time and time again.

7. Loose Boundaries

We tend to think about offensive play in marriage, forgetting that defensive strategy is just as important. We can be doing all the right things, while still failing to keep out the things that are harmful. Draw a circle around your marriage, and protect it by guarding your emotions, your interactions, and the way you spend your time.

8. The Past

The most paralyzing thing we can do for our relationship is to define our spouse by their past, rather than by who they are in the present. The past may impact our lives, but it will only control our present if we allow it to. It’s important to be real with one another about our pasts, but more important, to respect one other’s pasts by seeing what God is doing in the life of our spouse here and now. Forget what is behind so that you can move toward what is ahead.

9. Dishonesty

THE MOST PARALYZING THING WE CAN DO FOR OUR RELATIONSHIP IS TO DEFINE OUR SPOUSE BY THEIR PAST, RATHER THAN BY WHO THEY ARE IN THE PRESENT.
Why is a small lie just as dangerous as a big lie? Because they both have the same impact on intimacy. Honesty in marriage is like the chain that holds you together. Removing one link or 10 links does the same thing: it causes separation. If you’ve made mistakes in your relationship or have been hiding things from your spouse, now is the time to seek truth and confession; because a relationship riddled with dishonesty is no relationship at all.

10. Pride

“I am my biggest marriage problem” is the theme of Paul Tripp’s work in the field of relationships. To be able to look in, then, is the greatest step toward nourishing a relationship—to be aware enough to recognize and restore your flaws and shortcomings before fixating on those of your spouse. But the sting of pride can make that really hard to do. It’s so much easier to point the finger and to shift the blame. But the moment you let go of your responsibility, you’ve let go of your relationship—because no matter what the issue at hand: it always takes two.
It’s time to consider where you’ve let your guard down before these sly intruders make their way in. May God continue to give you the wisdom to recognize these patterns and to lookout for the “small stuff” by protecting, nourishing and prioritizing your marriage.
This article was originally posted at truelovedates.com.