Friday Foto: Gross Spider

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New Header Foto

You may have noticed the new header photo (unless you only read this in email or a reader). I finally changed it.

The old one was a tiny lighthouse in the middle of the frozen Hudson River.  It was from my spiritual retreat in February, but also represented how I felt around that time.

The new photo (cropped) is the Parthenon at Centennial Park in downtown Nashville and represents 3 things that are important to me.

Nashville:  my new hometown.  It’s a great town.  I wish I had time and money to go to some concerts.  But lots of great history (music, church, civil war) and lots of fun things to see and do.

Ancient Greece:  it’s a replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.  I saw the real one once.  I love history, especially Greco-Roman.  I won’t have time to read any but it’s a nice visual reminder.

Wisdom:  The original structure was named for and a temple for Athena Parthenos (Athena the Virgin), the Greek goddess of Wisdom. I am going back to school and learning about the human psyche.  Of course, I seek Wisdom from the Lord-His written Word and Holy Spirit, but also believe that psychology can teach us some things about the human condition just as physical doctors can teach us about our digestive system or blood.

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Breathing Under Water, Chapter 6, by Richard Rohr

“Were entirely ready to have God remove all of these defects of character.”  Step 6 of the Twelve Steps

This chapter is a brief but helpful reminder about the tension between what God does and what we do:

But which should come first, grace or responsibility? The answer is both come first.

Almost all spirituality has a paradoxical character to it, which is why the totally rational or dualistic mind invariably misses the point, and just calls things it does not understand wrong, heresy, or stupid. G.K. Chesterton said that paradox is simply truth standing on its head to get our attention!

Christians must ever thank Martin Luther for his courage and persistence in recovering Paul and the Gospel for the Western “can-do” world.

Faith itself became a “good work” that I could perform, and the ego was back in charge.

It seems we must both surrender and take responsibility.

By personal temperament you will start on one side or the other, but finally you must build the bridge between the two–and let it built built for you–both at the same tiime

We must pray as if it all depends on us, and work as if it all depends on God. (reverse of what you usually hear)