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This past Sunday (November 22, 2015) in my Episcopal tradition is usually referred to as “Christ the King” Sunday. The Gospel lesson is the conversation between Jesus and Pilate in which Pilate asks Jesus if he is “the King of the Jews”. In my way of thinking, every Gospel reading should raise a question which each of us must answer for ourselves and then work out the implications of the answer we conclude.
In this case, the question is “Do I accept Jesus as my King?” By answering “Yes!” I must then wrestle with the implications – i.e. what does it mean for me in practical terms to confess that Jesus is my King?

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Spiritual Journaling

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Journaling is an often misunderstood practice; Spiritual Journaling is probably even less understood.

Journaling in general is used in many contexts – for some, journaling is just making a list of the day’s activities; for others it is a form of self-examination.  It is used in therapy groups, recovery groups, school groups (especially for ADD students), and others.

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“Be Ye Transformed…”

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One of Paul’s many profound declarations comes at the beginning of Romans 12 – “Do not be conformed [to become like] to this world, but be transformed [in Greek, metamorphosis= to be changed in both form and substance] by the renewing [in Greek, anakainosis]of your mind. The Greek word anakainosis is more clearly translated “renovation”.

Like some of you, I imagine, I have worked in the building trade as a home remodeler or “renovator”. I’ve learned three things about “renovation”:

  1. In a renovation project, change happens slowly over a period of time;
  2. In a renovation project, there are usually numerous set- backs and starting(s) over;
  3. A renovation is a total change, so much so that the renovated space is often unrecognizable when compared with its original shape or form.

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Let’s Talk About Hell

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Greg Garrison writes for The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama. In his article on Friday, August 7, 2009, titled “Heaven? Sure. Hell? Not So Much,” Garrison highlights discussion at a recent annual Beeson Pastors School at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School. He quoted Kurt Selles, director of the School’s Global Center, who led two workshops on the subject “Whatever happened to hell?” Selles asked how many of the pastors had ever preached a sermon on hell. Nobody had, he said.”

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In the Gospel of John, chapter 14, Jesus is preparing his disciples for his approaching death, resurrection and ascension. He explains that it is necessary for him to leave so that he can send the Holy Spirit to them to be a companion, a support, an encourager [“paraclete”, from the Greek para, along side of, and kaleo, called]. In verse 17 Jesus says of the Holy Spirit “he will dwell with you and shall be in you”.

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Mission

“To be a resource for people who want to experience greater closeness to God”