Reclaiming #mysticism, #prophets & #christianity in Grounded

You probably haven’t noticed this, but prophets are often outside the fold of the norm in scripture.

Whether its Elisha, Elijah or Jesus himself it is difficult for those who stand outside of religion and claim a relationship with God to fit.

This is, no doubt, because humans long for “normatives” we long for a checklist by which to live our lives, some way to say this is the right (and only) way to be in relationship with God and each other.

Of course if we were created to be that way we wouldn’t be the multi-faceted, every learning, gender-fluid beings we are. Our spirituality and sexuality would not exist in complex relationship to each other, and our experience of the world would be all the same.

Its amazing that Christianity has plateaued into a “normative” state for so long.

In Diana Butler Bass’s book she reclaims the ordinary-earth, water, fire and air. She claims them as ways to experience God in mystical and tactile & experiential ways.

Because these days, when people of all ages have been burned by institutions (whether they be courts or government, schools or churches, scouts or libraries) and are highly suspicious of institutional wisdom.

Experience, instead, informs.

Diana Butler Bass talks about our experiences in the following ways…”Adam and Eve are made from hums, placed in Go’ds garden, and directed to care for the soil from which they came….” Land “is the source, the material basis, of the food supply (no dirt, no food, no us); or it may be viewed through the eyes of spiritual awareness, as part of a divine ecosystem….disregarding the ground is sinful and evil” p. 43

Humans are made of dirt ”

And Diana Butler Bass puts poetic narrative to her experience, allowing life to be mystical and mysterious in its particularity and beautiful & beloved in its multiplicity and shared interactions.

She dignifies the spiritual awareness that so many has, with a well reasoned personal narrative, grounded in scripture touching on the ideas of God as home, neighborhood as a state of being and the hospitality of creating a commons to dwell in.

“Spirituality is about personal experience–the deep erealization that dirt is good, water is holy, the sky holds wonder; that we are part of a great web of life, our home is in God, and our moral life is entwined with that of our neighbor.”

None of that tells us a checklist to be healthy, wealthy and wise, “it is about tracing the threads of the interconnected universe.” 238

Diana Butler Bass explores the spiritual revolution as it is unfolding today. I highly recommend reading with an open mind, to understand God, and just how accessible Xi is.

Personally as a pastor, I love to learn about how people understand God to be in their lives, and to me church is/should be the place where we share our differences to enrich our own faith. I hope that mystics are heard especially when they are not understood and help us to change into whatever church is being born today….

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#Christmas #joy= BOOKS

books

Uprooted, Naomi Novik, Winter, Marissa Meyer, Court of Fives, Kate Elliot, Rook, Kirk Cameron, The Wicked Will Rise, Manners & Mutiny, Gail Carriger, Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman, Ever, Gail Carson Levine, Jane and the Unpleasantness of Scargrave Manor, Stephanie Barron

More Christmas Books

hogfather_covHogfather by Terry Pratchett Susan is totally practical, but since she’s Death’s daughter, she must help to save Christmas (tongue and cheek)

Merry Christmas Curious George: Cheering up sick Children!

Little Drummer Boy: yep, just like the song

threetreesThe Tale of Three Trees: Three trees tell the full story of Christmas

Little House on the Prairie Stories: Read the Christmas Chapters

Miracle on 39th St

miracleMiracle on 1oth St Madeline L’engle Poems and Christmas tales

Letters from Father Christmas J. R. R. Tolkien Stories about Santa and what he does on adventures

The Friendly Beasts: An old Carol, did you know in England on Christmas animals talk

Banned Book Week

In Honor of Banned Book Week: A question I often ask people. The WHY is fascinating

I asked my husband it years ago…here is the conversation (back when the obvious choices were 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and Handmaiden Tale)
Which Dystopic society scares you the most?
Me: Fahrenheit 451….There are NO BOOKS!!!
Anthony: Handmaiden Tale…its the most realistic…
Me: that’s sad, and scary with the patriarchy stuff….but….still…..no books…nope still Fahrenheit 451

#fantasy #ebook I reccommend

Hey all,

   Patricia C. Wrede’s “The Raven Ring” is on sale today for $1.99. http://amzn.to/1oGiT5y

 

A fantasy story with several nods to high fantasy, this about a girl in search of herself. Especially good are the portrayal of clash of cultures, the mythical landscape and the presence of several strong females include the heroine. A few more books happen in this same land which might also be fun to check out. A great way to start into Patricia C. Wrede’s tales, then look at her witty Enchanted Forest Series and her Young Adult Thirteenth Child series.

 

I am not receiving anything for this promotion, its just me recommending 😉

Book Review: Sassy Steampunk–A Study in Silks, A Study in Darkness, A Study in Ashes

Baskerville Affair by Emma Jane Holloway

Evie Cooper is a not quite fashionable young girl living in London in the midst of the Steam Barons Rule.

Part Steampunk, Part Revolution, Part Mystery this book follows the adventures of Evie Cooper and her closest friends during a tumulteous Time.

“You have to decide that for yourself” Variations of this line are put forward by characters of all stripes indicating, strongly, that who you are depends highly on who  you decide to be and no one can really tell you how that is going to work out for you….this could be the theme song of the entire book–making me a very happy Katy.

Things I liked about this book

1. Character development (everyone develops, everyone)

2. Fleshed out characters (good and evil more often turn to gray, and love is highly valued)

3. Love Triangles…but they are relevant to the plot

4. London: Victorian Age

5. Steam Punk

6. If you’ve read Holmes (YAY) you get Lotsa extra plot points!

7. Class Revolution: This book takes on income differences and revolution in an interesting way (causing some fun 99% thoughts), down with the Steam Barons….

Things to note: The main character is a little annoying at times (she is definitely a teenager when compared to characters such as Mary Russell) and the plot is not strong on the mystery and be warned there is a love triangle, however the strong characters of which there are many who we get to know and see develop and the play with family dynamics are awesome. And the fact that no one is condemned to be evil if they choose not to be is great (I’m a sucker for redemption) Of course I always love Victorian era women, because if they are awesome by today’s standards they are even more awesome for stepping out in a restrictive age…I love me a rebellious woman

And I hope there is another trilogy exploring this underworld with WAY more Holmes in it….

Study in Silks

Book Review: The Godmother by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

I believe in playgrounds...

This is an oldie but goodie for me. In this story a selfless young woman meets a Fairy Godmother and wishers for (you’ll never guess it) a Godmother for the entire city of Seattle.
As you might guess, this is a big job for one fairy godmother!
 
Reasons why I like this Book
1. Character driven novel that is also a fairy tale √
2. Character Development √
3. Quirky Characters √
4. Metanarrative tying fairy tales together √
 
Things that make this book unusual
1. its modern, but predates the city fair tales (Charlie De Lint & Neil Gaiman) have made into what is now called urban fantasy, so its a little different in flavor
2. Its scary, let me clarify its not give you nightmares scary, its what “Old” fairy tales were supposed to be, scary is such a way as to make you aware of…

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Christmas Books: Classics, Children’s, Adult’s, Books you didn’t know were about Christmas

Every year I look for a great Christmas book to read during Advent. Here are some that I enjoy over and over again!

 

 

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: Ever actually read the book? Its a good read out loud Tale.

 

 

 

 

 

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis: There’s nothing quite reading about a land where its “Almost winter and never Christmas” when Christmas is on its way…

Miracle and Other Christmas Stories* by Connie Willis: A great collection of fiction stories that is about the true meaning of Christmas by the amazing author of “To Say Nothing of the Dog.” This is more fiction than sci-fi, but is SO amazing!

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham: Similar to the movie (Christmas with the Kranks), this very quick read talks about the ridiculousness and wonder of the Christmas hoopla

 

 

 

Mrs. Miracle by Debbie MacComber: Total popcorn, the first and best in this series. I do love a good Mary Poppins

type story is awesome, and the angels are awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

The Worst/Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson: A story of transformation from the worst things of Christmas…to the best…in fact I might say Skipping Christmas is an adult version of this same story.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess: My advice: do the voices

The Gift of the Magi by O Henry: a tearjerker

The Little Matchgirl by Hans Christian Anderson: ditto

The Night Before Christmas preferably right after you hang stockings and right before bed. Get 8 different copies and let everyone choose one to looks at, that’s the Hedges-Goettl way 🙂

The Nutcracker: If you can’t go to the ballet, read it. Or buy the advent calendar and read a little of the story all the way til Christmas

Velveteen Rabbit by Margary Williams: Starts at Christmas, ends with resurrection, best translation of the Gospel ever!

Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburgh: Beautiful, poignant, perhaps not a kids story (that’s all I’m sayin)

 

 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Starts at Christmas, ends at Christmas, life happens in-between Christmas…

 

 

 

 

 

*top recommendation