Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sunday School program at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church
Mounds View, Minnesota
December 21, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

St. Lucia pageant

St. Lucia pageant at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church
Mounds View, Minnesota
December 14, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011


What does this question mean today? Read one discussion here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Mystical moments are experiences of enlargement and connectedness or union. Suddenly you’re bigger. You don’t feel a need to condemn, exclude, divide or separate. Unfortunately, most of us were sent on private paths of perfection which none of us could achieve. 
The path of union is different than the path of perfection. Perfection gives the impression that by effort or more knowing I can achieve wholeness separate from God, from anyone else, or from connection to the whole. It appeals to our individualism and our ego. It’s amazing how much of Christian history sent us on a self-defeating course toward private perfection.
As a result, many people just give up—even many clergy and religious—when they see it isn’t working. They end up practical agnostics or practical atheists. They keep up the form, keep up the words, continue going to church, but there is no longer the inner desire and expectation that is possible with the path of union. It’s not mysticism that defeats the soul; it’s moralism that does.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Choose Life

All religions in their own way talk about “dying before you die”!  They are all indeed saying that something has to die. We all know this, but often religions have chosen the wrong thing to kill, which has given us a very negative image. In almost all of history it was always the “other,” the heretic, the sinner, the foreigner that had to die. 
In most ancient cultures it was the virgin daughters and eldest sons that had to be “sacrificed”; in Biblical times it was an animal, as we see in the Jewish temple. By the Christian Middle Ages, it was our desires, our intellect, our bodies, and our will that had to die; which made many people think that God had created something wrong in us. Religion then became purity/separation codes instead of transformational systems.
Jesus did say very clearly that we had to “lose our self to find our self” in several different settings. For much of Christian history this was interpreted as the body self that had to die, and for some miraculous reason this was supposed to make the spiritual self arise! It did not work, and it allowed us to avoid the real problem. What really has to die is our false self created by our own mind, ego, and culture. It is a pretense, a bogus identity, a passing fad, a psychological construct that gets in the way of who we are and always were—in God. This is the objective and metaphysical True Self.
It seems we all live with a tragic case of mistaken identity. Christianity’s most important job is to tell you that you indeed and already have a True Self, “hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3-4).
~ Fr. Richard Rohr 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

green leaves

Those who trust in their riches will wither,
but the righteous will flourish like green leaves.
Proverbs 11:28

Friday, September 23, 2011

fall upward

How to survive & grow spiritually.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Are we worshiping or following Jesus?

It seems to me that it is a minority that gets the true and full gospel. We just keep worshiping Jesus and arguing over the right way to do it. The amazing thing is that Jesus never once says “worship me!” He says, “follow me” (e.g., Matthew 4:19).
Christianity is a lifestyle—a way of being in the world that is simple, non-violent, shared, and loving. However, we made it into a clever “religion,” in order to avoid the lifestyle itself. One could be warlike, greedy, racist, selfish, and vain, and still believe that Jesus is their “personal Lord and Savior.” The world has no time for such silliness anymore. The suffering on Earth is too great.
~ Fr. Richard Rohr

Friday, August 26, 2011

Steve Jobs

The resignation of Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple has drawn a lot of publicity. Some of his quotes are very relevant to those of us interested in photography and spirituality. Below are some of my favorites.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people.
“Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have. [Wired, February 1996]"
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” [Stanford commencement speech, June 2005]

Sunday, July 03, 2011


Secular freedom is having to do what you want to do. 
Religious freedom is wanting to do what you have to do.
Fr. Richard Rohr

Friday, July 01, 2011


In the very near future I hope to return to Blue Cloud Abbey for a personal retreat. One of the reasons for my retreat is to reestablish silence in my life. The Abbey's Abbot discusses the importance of silence in his monthly message here. To check out life at the Abbey, take a look at these photos.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pentecost Sunday

Cross of Glory Lutheran Church
Mounds View,  MN

Monday, June 06, 2011

path to wisdom

Remember that you are nothing, and remember that you are everything — bought as precious by Christ. And if you’re everything, so are others; you are to love them, embrace them. You will find yourself in them, and you will find them in you. Love is the path to wisdom. When you are nothing, you have nothing and need nothing and you are free to live in love.
Father Zeno, St. Macarius Monastery via Chris Erdman

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

God alone is enough

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mother's Day service at St. Anthony Park Lutheran, St. Paul, MN

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop.
~ Usman B. Asif
Thanks @LightStalking

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

The following is the excellent message given by Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” So said St Catherine of Siena whose festival day it is today. Marriage is intended to be a way in which man and woman help each other to become what God meant each one to be, their deepest and truest selves.
Many are full of fear for the future of the prospects of our world but the message of the celebrations in this country and far beyond its shores is the right one – this is a joyful day! It is good that people in every continent are able to share in these celebrations because this is, as every wedding day should be, a day of hope.  
In a sense every wedding is a royal wedding with the bride and the groom as king and queen of creation, making a new life together so that life can flow through them into the future.
William and Catherine, you have chosen to be married in the sight of a generous God who so loved the world that he gave himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
And in the Spirit of this generous God, husband and wife are to give themselves to each another.
A spiritual life grows as love finds its centre beyond ourselves. Faithful and committed relationships offer a door into the mystery of spiritual life in which we discover this; the more we give of self, the richer we become in soul; the more we go beyond ourselves in love, the more we become our true selves and our spiritual beauty is more fully revealed. In marriage we are seeking to bring one another into fuller life.
It is of course very hard to wean ourselves away from self-centredness. And people can dream of doing such a thing but the hope should be fulfilled it is necessary a solemn decision that, whatever the difficulties, we are committed to the way of generous love.
You have both made your decision today – “I will” – and by making this new relationship, you have aligned yourselves with what we believe is the way in which life is spiritually evolving, and which will lead to a creative future for the human race.
We stand looking forward to a century which is full of promise and full of peril. Human beings are confronting the question of how to use wisely a power that has been given to us through the discoveries of the last century. We shall not be converted to the promise of the future by more knowledge, but rather by an increase of loving wisdom and reverence, for life, for the earth and for one another.
Marriage should transform, as husband and wife make one another their work of art. It is possible to transform as long as we do not harbour ambitions to reform our partner. There must be no coercion if the Spirit is to flow; each must give the other space and freedom. Chaucer, the London poet, sums it up in a pithy phrase:
“Whan maistrie [mastery] comth, the God of Love anon, Beteth his wynges, and farewell, he is gon.”
As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.
As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practise and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.
I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life. And I pray that God will bless you in the way of life that you have chosen, that way which is expressed in the prayer that you have composed together in preparation for this day:
God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.
In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.
Strengthened by our union help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bethel Lutheran Church, Hudson, Wisconsin

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Christ is risen!

For I do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand. For I believe this: unless I believe, I will not understand.  ~ Anselm of Canterbury

Friday, April 08, 2011

Christ Church (Episcopal), Lead, SD

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

one way to organize your day

This is how Benjamin Franklin did it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

guide for living

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. 
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Who you gonna serve?

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody.
~  Bob Dylan

Thursday, February 24, 2011

our purpose

And is our purpose not the same on this earth, 
To love and follow His direction?
~ Bob Dylan

Friday, December 24, 2010

Blessed and Holy Christmas Joy

What better way to experience Christmas than at a Sunday School Christmas program? These are children from Cross of Glory Lutheran Church in Mounds View, Minnesota






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