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The process of making wine seems like a good metaphor for life…and the hereafter. 

Cheers.

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"Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day."

— E.B. White

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Spring light.

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I first heard of Nadia Bolz-Weber after seeing a picture of her tattoos. I’m not usually a tattoo person, but hers? She just looks super cool. And she’s a Lutheran pastor. Not your average woman! Anyway, I enjoy following her writings occasionally. This was a particularly good sermon. The following two paragraphs especially stood out to me. Think about it, and enjoy.

I understand [Nicodemus’] desire for this all to make sense. I do. But instead of a religion revealed through philosophical constructs – easily reasoned out and understood, instead we get a God inconveniently revealed in people, and food and wine and water and bodies and pies and oil and beer. When God chose to come and take on human flesh and walk the earth and break bread with friends it was as though God was baptizing the material.  As though to say “stop looking for me in the heavens when you aren’t even close to understanding the majesty of a loaf of bread” or as Jesus puts it, if you can’t understand earthly things you’ll never understand heavenly things.

And understanding the heavenly within the earthly, the transcendent within the mundane, is not an intellectual logical, reason-based experience. You can’t make the gospel make sense by using your head.  You have to use your hands.  And eyes, and mouth, and ears and nose. Because the kingdom of heaven, as Jesus says, is At HAND, reach out and touch it, see it, eat it, feel it. In other words, take in the glory of God in the common, unexpected and totally crazy ways in which our Lord Jesus Christ still seems to be redeeming us.

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"A disciple is not determined by how much he or she believes , but only by how much he or she is willing to admit what is true — that we are all dying, that the monster is loose, that there are four-year-olds in cancer wards, and little boys living without their fathers, that suffering and pain is real. But the disciple must admit more…that God is nevertheless present here. God in Jesus Christ is here in the middle of death, working for life."

— by Andrew Root (The Promise of Despair) 


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Begin Again. This looks like it might be a good movie to see this summer.

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A paper microscope…so, so cool! Click on the picture to view the video.

Imagine if clinics in developing countries were equipped with an inexpensive yet durable tool that could help medical personnel identify and diagnose a variety of deadly diseases like Malaria, Chagas disease, or Leishmaniosis? For millions of people around the world waiting to be diagnosed and treated, such a tool could be a life-saver. Manu Prakash, […]

A paper microscope…so, so cool! Click on the picture to view the video.

Imagine if clinics in developing countries were equipped with an inexpensive yet durable tool that could help medical personnel identify and diagnose a variety of deadly diseases like Malaria, Chagas disease, or Leishmaniosis? For millions of people around the world waiting to be diagnosed and treated, such a tool could be a life-saver. Manu Prakash, […]

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“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

“Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything - anger, anxiety, or possessions - we cannot be free.”

“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”

“My actions are my only true belongings.”

“Our own life has to be our message.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

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I’m coming out of this experience with damage. I guess you’d call it suspicion. I know how evil humans can be, and I’m watchful.
But I know something else, too: bad people are rare. Good people are everywhere.