Trench Warfare 11-25-2017

The most destructive trenches and foxholes are not necessarily in the war torn regions of the world. At least those foxholes are visible. The most destructive trenches and foxholes are the invisible ones we silently dig in our own hearts and minds.

This is where the trench warfare begins that tears apart relationships, families, churches, communities, and the world. Here we dig defensive lines against science or religion, against conservatives or liberals, against feminists or patriarchs, as the case may be. Here we dig defensive lines against people who bring up our father or mother wound or our other baggage, which we refuse to acknowledge within ourselves and so project outside ourselves. And the list goes on and on.

One of the primary functions of the Gospel is to fill in these trenches and call a cease fire. Jesus’ parables most often address our mental and emotional state—our underlying value system, biases, and prejudices. But, the trenches in our hearts and minds are dug so deep and they have such a long history in our family of origin and culture that sometimes the Gospel isn’t enough to fill in the trenches or to call a permanent cease fire. When trenches have been dug in early childhood and reinforced by cultural scripting over and over for decades, dismantling them requires varied means.

Contemplative arts such as centering prayer and the study of nondual theology gives us the interior resources and tenacity to hold up Gospel values no matter the cost.

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Contemplative Light Course – The Divine Transformation:  Essentials of Christian Mysticism – Welcome to an introductory course on both practice and perspectives of timeless teachings from the Christian Mystical and Contemplative traditions! Whether you are a long-time practitioner looking to solidify your understanding and framework for practice or a beginner interested in immersing yourself in this teaching, this course can serve as a rich resource.

This course is a short course based on Prof. N.T. Wright’s latest book, Simply Good News. Tom Wright will guide you through the chapters of his book through videos that suggest what some of the main points are. You will instantly get into the heart of the idea of ‘good news’ as it was understood by the 1st Century writers of the New Testament. You will be brought into their world in order to make more sense of what ‘good news’ means in our world. Enjoy a short post by Rich based upon this book.

In this course Simply Jesus, students will be immersed in the 1st Century A.D. context of the life, work, teachings, and actions of Jesus of Nazareth. The goal of the course is to look at the story of Jesus from the perspective of a historian. It is based upon N. T. Wright’s book, Simply JesusEnjoy a short post by Rich on one of the topics in this course.

David Frenette’s book The Path of Centering Prayer reenergized the Centering Prayer tradition with its fresh insights and teachings.  Centering Prayer Meditations: Effortless Contemplation to Deepen Your Experience of God is a wonderful companion audio program  created to be equally rewarding as a stand-alone guide – gives listeners an immersive resource to learn contemplative prayer, step by step and in the moment. With clarity and compassionate presence, Frenette explains the essential principles of this contemplative practice for both new and seasoned practitioners, and then guides us experientially through core prayers and meditations.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

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