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A God I Can Live With
God, the Puzzle Maker
While some rise before the sun to do their daily prayers, I head off to Starbuck's and the New York Times crossword puzzle, seven days a week. So, in the best tradition of seeing God in our own image, my God is the Great Puzzle Maker, and my work lies in trying to solve some piece of the Grand Puzzle, to contribute to the unraveling of the whole. I have good company in this quest; Albert Einstein spoke of trying to understand the mind of God; he spoke of great scientists as people who stand in "rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural law." This harmony is not always beautiful; quite often, its consequences are ugly. I have, for example, written about the Terrible Dance Of Power in which one group has a vision of a better world (through fascism, communism, manifest destiny, Christianity, Islam, a new world order, or some other such inspiration) only to find some THEM who stand in the way of this vision, and then a predictable story unfolds, like a dance, of oppression, death, and destruction. There is a terrible beauty to this story as different factions arise and interplay with one another - moderates and radicals, gradualists and extremists, liberals and conservatives - escalating from disagreement to debate to confrontation to minor skirmishes to colossal destruction. Makes for great drama.
Here is how I make sense of the awesome beauty and the equally incredible ugliness and unfairness of the world, and how this worldview informs my spirituality. As I see it, God, in whatever manner inconceivable to me, gave us a powerful gift, the possibility of awareness and choice, but just the possibility; and then God stepped back from the world and has not been heard from since. Whatever else has transpired is the result of how we have handled or botched that gift.
Organizational life, where I do most of my work, may seem to some like a relatively barren locale for spiritual growth; it is however rich with opportunity. So much can go wrong. "Stuff" happens: unwanted complications come your way; the service you've been waiting for is long delayed and when it does comes it is unsatisfactory; your working conditions are poor and "they" are not fixing them; try as you might you don't seem able to satisfy anyone; this one is angry at you, that one is disappointed, and the other one is not paying you the attention you feel you deserve. So many opportunities. When these conditions hit, it is as if we are standing before two doors: Door A and Door B. Right away there is a problem: We don't see any doors. Door A is all there is, and when it is all there is, there is no awareness and there is no choice. We go blindly through Door A, sucking up responsibility to ourselves and away from others, whining and complaining, making up stories in which we are either the hero or the victim, taking revenge, doing less than our best, comforting ourselves in righteousness, diminishing ourselves, diminishing the quality of our relationships with others, diminishing our contributions to our organization and to the world.
The beginning of spirituality, and the solution to the puzzle, comes with the awareness of Door A, when we see it not as the way things are but as a choice. And then there is Door B. Stepping through that door we abandon all victimhood and righteousness; we accept responsibility for our condition and for the condition of our systems; we accept our place as co-creators of these conditions. When we go through Door B - how can I say it? - we become better persons in and of ourselves, in our relationships with others, and in our contributions to our organization and the world.
Door A is predictable, but it is not inevitable. Door B is not predictable, but it is a human possibility. Every day organizational life gives us countless opportunities for spirituality: to be aware, and to choose. So that has been my puzzle. Why are we built this way: with both reflexive blindness along with its negative consequences and the possibility of awareness and choice? And who or what built us this way? The great Puzzle Maker?
Barry Oshry Chief Theoretical Officer Power + Systems, Inc. http://www.powerandsystems.com
Development of Liberal Theology: An Overview (Part 3)
As senior pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of New York, Fosdick preached a sermon one Sunday in 1922 that aroused the righteous indignation of fundamentalists and he suddenly found himself at the center of a heated theological controversy. In order to understand the tension that existed between fundamentalism and modernism, it is necessary that I briefly delineate the fundamentalist position at that time.
What Is The Most Important Righteous Requirement Of Gods Law?
To live "under the law" is to live under the expectation of fulfilling God's moral standards through one's own human ability. However, rather than experiencing the joy of a clean conscience, we sometimes feel enslaved to legalism and guilt.
If you say that Christianity is a peaceful religion according to scripture then it can be said that Islam, according to scripture is peaceful. In reality, both the Koran and the Bible present a dichotomy, promoting peace and violence.
The Unbelievable Becomes Believable
The Path Is Winding:Ever wonder why things that happen in our lives seem so cruel and undeserved? Why do these things happen to me? Why am I being punished like this? What am I doing wrong? All of us have sought answers to these questions dozens of times. Have you found the answer yet?We all have some sort of dubious answers as to why they happen.
It is interesting that everyone is so hung-up on the debate regarding who has official rights to The Land known historically as "The Land of Canaan."If we go back far enough, we discover the near Middle East was settled by descendants of Canaan, thus the region was referred to as "The Land of Canaan.
Do We Really Need God?
The human being is endowed with ability. We have the capacity to do things.
Doctrine of the Nicolaitanes
When the Lord was showing John on Patmos what the seven churches would be like, He commended the church at Ephesus because they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which the Lord also detested. In Pergamos, the third church, these deeds had become accepted doctrine, which the Lord also hated.
Truth, Justice and the American Way to Boil a Frog
Using a good tool over and over doesn't make it any less valuable it only proves its usefulness. That said; let's review the old boiling frog story one more time.
The Rapture, A coming Event; Part 2
The Rapture. Part 2.
The United States of Europe is a Joke!
French & Dutch Reject EU Constitution & British Table It-We Await Chirac's Resignation!The anticipated rejection by the French of the much vaunted United States of Europe, and its Constitution (the vote in France was 45% for and 55% against), conclusively demonstrates, once again, European political and economic ineptitude compared to that of the United States of America-Notwithstanding, the toilet (a French word) was invented by a Brit by the name of Thomas Crapper not by a Frenchman. The Dutch followed, and the Britished tabled the matter.
Christian Unity according to Internet
Following are 30 questions that relate to Christian Unity that I would like you to reflect upon for your edification. In fact,, these questions could be used in your Bible class as you discuss Christian Unity, which is so much needed today.
Most of know how Jesus was crucified. Do we ever ask ourselves about the crucifying of our flesh? What it means and how do we accomplish it.
7 Year Tribulation
As you will see in the Scripture verses listed below, the Great Tribulation will last 7 years. At the midpoint of the Tribulation, the Antichrist will seat himself in the Temple of God that will have to rebuilt by the Jewish people.
The Tsunami: A Wake-up Call
In looking back on the year that has just ended-a year filled with the horrors of war and of natural disasters such as last fall's hurricanes-one would have to be callous not to mention the earthquake and tsunamis. The devastation seems to get worse every hour as new reports, images, and statistics come in.
Knowing Hinduism or Hindu Religion
Hindus are concentrated in India, Nepal and Sri Lanka and these places have been the hot spot of this culture since time immemorial. Unlike other religions, Hinduism does not recognize a single prophet and has multitude of gods and goddesses, mythologically numbering at around 30 millions! Such a figure is given in mythology by people of wisdom who have included all such perceptible forms as things of worship, so that man can see god in them and respect the existence of such all forms (plant, animal, stone, sky, stars, soil, water, rain, fellow human being, etc.
The Freemasonic Order of the Golden Centurion
I think most people who will read this will not accept what I am saying here without doing a lot of checking into the facts.'I tried sending through an attachment from a fellow researcher who is working on the Kaballah as derivative from Qaballa which is an ancient Verbal Tradition such as kept by the Bairds or bards and the Bardic Tradition for over 25,000 years.
Teamwork in Ministry: Pauls Sense of Partnership in the Gospel
In the pursuit of his Christian ministry, the Apostle Paul had a keen sense of teamwork, teamwork with God and with his brothers and sisters. This awareness he expresses by using compound Greek words that begin with the prepositional prefix, sun-.
What about the 4400?
Murders are so frequent in our country that a single homicide seldom grabs national attention unless the perpetrator or the victim is already a celebrity. Even a double murder is not national news.
White Sun - Tao of Heaven; What is Wisdom?
To be awakened to the realization of one's True Self is wisdom. A person becomes awakened when he realizes that his True Nature is that of God.
Gods Favorite Religion
What does your church teach regarding the subject of Widows and Orphans? If we were all being honest, most of us rarely give the matter a second thought. If your ministry, company, or even your civic group is struggling, or you're lacking contentment in your own spiritual life, here's a tip that's guaranteed to send any lackluster routine into hyperspace.
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