NOTE: The text below was written twenty years ago, yet it is as valid as it was when it was first published, not just for Russia, but for the entire Central & Eastern Europe..
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The church of Russia, as the churches in other post-Marxist countries, needs help from the global church–meaningful help! Let me briefly spell out some basic requests from a Russian Christian to a Western church wanting to support the mission of the church in post-perestroika Russia.
- Incarnational Rather Than Organizational
In this respect I want to identify basic attitudes which, I believe, a good missionary to my country would need: become one of us and we will listen to you. Live as we live, but without sin, and we will copy you. The answer is not to talk about solutions, but to live them out. The answer is not the Christ of the Text, but Christ incarnate.Read More »
The great poet and singer Leonard Cohen turned 82 yesterday. Here is one of his most troubling songs, unfortunately, just in audio. Thanks to LigiaC for the link.
And here are the lyrics:Read More »
How the church has transformed a cup of joe into a universal display of hospitality.
Source: Coffee: The Beverage That Fuels the Church | The Local Church
Here is an interesting article about church hospitality and coffee.
As an avid coffee drinker, and one who believes, dogmatically, that ‘life is too short to drink bad coffee’ (and wine, for that matter, I have to confess that I have great doubts about thee spiritual health and maturity of those churches that serve cheap, poor quality coffee.
Bad coffee (and wine) is the beginning of the slippery slope that may lead to spiritual complacency and, eventually, to heresy. It all starts with poor coffee drank for a paper cup at the end of a church service.
I would gladly create a coalition for banning bad coffee in church as a matter of doctrinal purity.🙂
Source: Faith and Belief | Dr David G Benner
This is the third of a 4-part interview of Dr. David G Benner by Dr. Jackie Stinton – a psychologist and spiritual director who lives in Calgary
Contemplative knowing intuits things in their wholeness, with all levels of connection and meaning, and perhaps how they fit in the full scheme of things. Thus, the contemplative response to the moment is always appreciation and inherent re-spect (“to look at a second time”) because I am now a part of what I am trying to see. Our first practical and partial observation of most things lacks this respect. It is not yet contemplative knowing. Frankly, when you see things contemplatively, everything in the universe is a mirror.
The originating mystery of Trinity both names and begins the mirroring process, allowing us to know all that we need to know by the same endless process of mirroring and reflecting. We know things in their depth and beauty only by this second gaze of love. “Ever since the creation of the world, God’s invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what God has made” (Romans 1:20).
A true mirror first receives an image and then reflects it back truthfully—but now so that I can see myself, too. The all-important thing is that you find the right mirror that mirrors you honestly and at depth. All personhood is created in this process, and our job is always to stay inside this mirroring. Our task is to trustfully receive and then reflect back the inner image transmitted to us until, as the apostle Paul expressed, “All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
This is the whole spiritual journey in one sentence! All love, goodness, and holiness is a reflected gift. You take all things into yourself by gazing at them with reverence, and this completes the circuit of love—because this is how creation is looking out at you. The inner life of the Trinity has become the outer life of all creation. The divine mirroring will never stop; mirroring is how the whole transformation process is personally initiated and finally achieved.
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Am primit cu placere invitatia prietenilor mei din Timisoara de a participa la conferinta anuntata mai sus, cu o prelegere intitulata ‘Intre iubrea aproapelui si primirea strainului’, o reluare, de data aceasta in limba romana, a temei prezentate in iulie in Tabara Koinonia.
Iata atasat mai jos programul conferintei.
The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation
Take Your Place at the Table
In Genesis we see the divine dance in an early enigmatic story (18:1-8). “The Lord” appears to Abraham as “three men.” Abraham and Sarah seem to see the Holy One in the presence of these three, and they bow before them and call them “my lord” (18:2-3 Jerusalem Bible). Their first instinct is one of invitation and hospitality—to create a space of food and drink for their guests. Here we have humanity feeding God; it will take a long time to turn that around in the human imagination. “Surely, we ourselves are not invited to this divine table,” the hosts presume.
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Acest superb negro spiritual a fost cintat de Corul Strajerul la inmormintarea mamei mele, in decembrie 2011. Il public acum aici, in memoria matusei mele, Cornelia Serediuc, pe care am condus-o astazi pe ultimul ei drum de aceasta parte a eternitatii. Odihneasca-se in pace!
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We all entertain all sorts of beliefs about people, depending on our natural inclinations or of our life experiences. It often takes a hard experience to test these convictions and prove their validity.
Here are a few harsh truths about life which, when accepted, will save you lots of disappointments.
1. Nobody is actually too busy to respond to you
2. Everyone puts their own interests first
3. It’s impossible to keep everyone happy
You may also find HERE and HERE little articles on the same topic.
Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, said Cyprian of Carthage: “Outside of the Church, there is no salvation.” Even more provocatively: “he cannot have God as Father who doesn’t have the Church as Mother.” Emphatic stuff.
Source: Can We Be Saved Without the Church? | Blog | Think Theology
A Patristic quote that is most often misunderstood by evangelicals.
I’d like to offer you a form of contemplation—a practice of accepting paradox and holding the tension of contradictions—called The Welcoming Prayer.
First, identify a hurt or an offense in your life. Remember the feelings you first experienced with this hurt and feel them the way you first felt them. Notice how this shows up in your body. Paying attention to your body’s sensations keeps you from jumping into the mind and its dualistic games of good-guy/bad-guy, win/lose, either/or.
After you can identify the hurt and feel it in your body, welcome it. Stop fighting it. Stop splitting and blaming. Welcome the grief. Welcome the anger. It’s hard to do, but for some reason, when we name it, feel it, and welcome it, transformation can begin.Read More »
Cea de a doua carte a Alinei Ilioi ar trebui să devină lectură bibliografică obligatorie la manualul acela gros, de zece mii de pagini, intitulat Ce este femeia? Lectura cărții, desigur, nu garantează unui gentleman că acesta va înțelege misterul încă nedezlegat al feminității, dar ea îl poate plasa în poll position în competiția nemiloasă numită jocul vieții și al iubirii.
Mai întâi dați-mi voie să vă spun câteva cuvinte despre autoare. În prefața primei sale cărți, intitulată Așa vei ști că l-ai întâlnit pe EL. afirmam că, moldoveancă fiind, autoarea „spune povești. Despre iubire, despre trădare, despre suferință, despre dezamăgire, despre revenirea speranței, dar toate aceste sentimente, trăite atât de intens la vârsta ei…, nu sunt altceva decât ipostaze ale căutării de sine. Read More »
Source: Recommended Reading for Spiritual Accompaniment – Carl McColman
Here is, also , a list of essential reading for those interested in giving spiritual direction.
Source: Books for Beginning the Spiritual Journey – Carl McColmanHere is a great list of essential reading for those interested in Christian spirituality.
Check it out!