Showing posts from January, 2009

Spiritality and Psychotherapy--What are your ideas?

Strange week. Monday, yes, normal. But Tuesday and Wednesday were full of ice and freezing rain; David and I both stayed home and worked from here. Today we all awoke to freezing fog. Weird. By mid-day it was gone and it became a truly lovely day. Tomorrow I'm up super early...seeing someone for spiritual direction in City to the East at 8:00 a.m. Leading the HeartPaths group--we're praying according to different functions of the Meyers-Briggs this month. Last week was "Feeling," tomorrow is "Thinking." Then another spiritual direction session, a doctor's appointment, and a couple of counseling clients. The doctor's appointment is a "pre-op" appointment. I'm having surgery on my left wrist Monday to alievate this pain from carpal tunnel. It's just gotten way too painful, waking me up at night, etc. Ugh. All of a sudden, I feel like I'm up against a wall with everything I have to do. I found out that this class I'

For My Mentor, "A"

A former professor of mine, someone I now consider a friend, has received a diagnosis of cancer and is recovering now from surgery. He faces chemo and radiation in the near future. This man means the world to me. I was never one of his clients, obviously, but his encouragement, honesty, sense of humor, and care for me while I was in seminary (10 years) healed me in some profound ways. I have been in constant prayer for him and his sweet wife since I heard this news. This blessing from John O'Donohue goes out to both of them. For Light Light cannot see inside things. That is what the dark is for: Minding the interior, Nurturing the draw of growth Through places where death In its own way turns into life. In the glare of neon times, Let our eyes not be worn By surfaces that shine With hunger made attractive. That our thoughts may be true light, Finding their way into words Which have the weight of shadow To hold the layers of truth. That we never place our trust In minds claimed by

Asked to Teach

Freezing rain. Icy roads. YIPPEE! A FREE DAY! Time today to do some work on my United Church of Christ History paper--I need to get that into the Committee on Ministry so that the UCC can make my ordination one of theirs (so to speak). Time today also (I hope) to do some initial planning on the class I've been asked to teach at the university seminary from which I graduated. Guess you'll be able to call me an "Adjunct Professor" in the Fall. I'm pretty excited about being asked to do that. They want me to teach "Spirituality and Psychotherapy" for the Fall, and either the "Intro to Pastoral Care" class or an elective class next Spring. I'm looking forward to the experience of teaching as an extension of my ministry. I'm even looking forward to preparing the classes--I'll learn a lot, I'm sure! It's not a sure-thing yet. I suppose that if we can't work out a time in which the class will meet that fits my schedule, the who

Dr. Watkins' Sermon

Sharon Watkins is the President and General Minister of the Christian Church (Disciples o f Christ), the denomination in which I am ordained. Here is her sermon, preached at the National Prayer Service attended by President Obama and Vice President Biden on January 21, 2009. Sermon: Harmonies of Liberty Isaiah 58:6-12, Mt 22:6-40 Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins National Prayer Service; January 21, 2009 Mr. President and Mrs. Obama, Mr. Vice President and Dr. Biden, and your families, what an inaugural celebration you have hosted! Train ride, opening concert, service to neighbor, dancing till dawn... And yesterday... With your inauguration, Mr. President, the flame of America's promise burns just a little brighter for every child of this land! There is still a lot of work to do, and today the nation turns its full attention to that work. As we do, it is good that we pause to take a deep spiritual breath. It is good that we center for a moment. What you are entering now, Mr. Presid

The Possible Gift of this Economic Downturn

I heard a podcast recently of Krista Tippett interviewing Parker Palmer. Palmer suffered terrible depression in his 40's. His therapist finally said something like, "Parker, is it possible for you to view this as a gift, something that will push you down, down, down, so far down that you finally hit the ground that supports you?" In the interview and in Tippett's subsequent comments, this is likened to American's current economic downturn. America, could it be that these tough times could be the gift that pushes us down to the very Ground that supports us?

What a Day!


Oh Wow. It's really happening...,

Oh Wow. I mean, WOW ! I just realized that I can finally take down that gadget about the Bush Administration: "Countdown to the End of the Worst Administration I've Known" Felt like this day would never come.

A beautiful prayer

Isn't this a beautiful prayer? O secret Christ, Lord of the rose of dawn, hide me within thy silent peace, that, through the turmoil of the day, I may abide within the quiet of the daybreak. (From a compilation by Angela Ashwin. Used in the chapel at Laude Abbey. Source unknown.)

Social construction, epistemology, narrative theory: FREEDOM

When I was 8 or 9 years old, one of my little neighborhood friends was Charla. I remember one day at Charla's house, she and I were sitting on the floor by her bed. I don't remember exactly what we were doing -- maybe we were playing with dolls or some kind of game or something. I remember suddenly thinking something like: " Wait a minute. How do I know that what I mean by this doll is what Charla means? I'm seeing this doll and it's real to me, but how do I know whether the same thing is really real to Charla? I'm locked inside my body, and I can't look out and see the world from her eyes. " I didn't think about that experience again for 30 years--not until I took a philosophy class in seminary, and we read about epistemology. Whew! Suddenly that memory hit me like a ton of bricks! How do we know things? How do we know any thing? Modernist thinking would say that we can know what really exists -- the table is real. Scientifically I can tell you wh

Kathy's New Blog

Awwwright! I have nagged Kathy enough. She's posting her beautiful artwork, lovely poems etc. again, but under a new name: Back Home With Me She's amazing.

Blogging Friends!

It's so funny (and wonderful) that I've been given a Blogging Friend Award by Jan and by Mompriest and by Jennifer at the very moment that my blog has been the vehicle to reconnecting me with an old and dear friend, KC, who (somehow) found MeaningAndAuthenticity and emailed me! KC and are met at the oil company that I worked at for 14 years. She was the IT person assigned to support my department, and we just became fast friends. I can't remember how long she stayed with this company. She met GC and they married, and then moved to Austin where she worked for Dell. He had a great job, too and they were able to retire early and have now built a fabulous home in the Texas hill country. Wow. I remember going to visit them once in Austin. We went to see a movie, Dead Poets Society-- a movie which is always at the top of my list when the talk turns to favorite movies. That visit was so much fun; I remember talking politics and religion and music and movies--KC is one of those pe

A Little Giddy at Happy News

We've had some absolutely WONDERFUL news this weekend: Young Man with Integrity is getting married!! He's marrying J, the Inherently Irrational Rationalist (title of her blog), whose little two-year-old is Little M. David and I have called ourselves grandparents of Little M for a while now, but I guess we can look forward to a "more official" grandparenthood. !!!!!!!!!!!!! YIPPEE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The wedding will be later this year sometime, and they have asked me and David to officiate. David just wants to do a blessing at the end, so I'm more than delighted to be able to perform this role for my wonderful stepson and his soon-to-be wife. They are a good match. Readers of this blog know that Young Man with Integrity is brilliant, sensitive, uniquely his own person, kind and caring, hardworking, and one whom I fully expect will one day contribute powerfully to making this world a better place. He majored in political science and plans on law school. Girlfriend and

Discernment: Learning to Love

Many times I've heard people say something like this regardig discerning their calling to ministry: Oh, I didn't want to do it, but God kept at me. God was pulling me along, but I didn’t want to go, I really didn’t, but God just kept bugging me and wouldn't let me alone. I think we need to be very careful about this kind of thinking. God is found in our resistence, too. Yes, we must learn to trust God, but we must learn to trust ourselves, too. Discernment is not really about making a decision or solving a problem. Discernment is living a life that moves toward authenticity. It's all about learning to love ourselves~the true self, that is. It's a process of developing self awareness such that we can finally see how our deepest desire is also God's desire for us. God's will for us does not differ from our own deepest desire. And I believe that our deepest desires always come down to Love. Most every advance in discernment carries with it a cost, the cross of