19 August 2012

Compassionate Christianity: I Am the Bread of Life

Source: Microsoft Clipart

Being there authentically. Present in the moment. That is who you are. That is what you call us to do as the Body of Christ. Compassion is what we display when we have become one with you. Compassion is the road to living fully, eternally. Compassion is the way by which we too will be raised.

23 June 2012

Managing Not to Laugh

From my Crowd-Sourcing post Turnip Ghost asks the question:
How do you manage not to burst out laughing at the things you have to say and the people you have to meet?
I admit that I think this question was meant to be unkind, but let's take the question seriously and break it down into two parts:
Question:  How do I manage not to burst out laughing at the people I have to meet?

Answer:  I'm a Chaplain in a hospital. Most of the people I meet are sick. Either a little bit sick or extremely sick. I don't know about you, but I'm not tempted to burst out laughing when someone tells me they've had a knee replacement or they have cancer.

However, there are times when it seems appropriate to tell a joke so that the person can laugh. I wouldn't make fun of their illness, but I'd try to appeal to their sense of humor. People who laugh and smile get well faster than people who are scared and depressed.
Question: How do I manage not to burst out laughing at the things I say?
Answer: Well, when I tell a joke, I usually know the punch-line already so I don't have to burst out laughing. When I talk about serious matters, I speak about things that I know to be true from my own experience. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not or to have had experiences that I haven't had.

I speak the truths that I have learned from my own life and I present them as such. And I remember that other people experience life differently than I do and that they might not think the same way I do.

I remember that I'm there to help the person in front of me find their own meaning, not to try to convince them to accept my meaning as their own.

No one "has to" believe as you believe or as I believe. Everyone can say no and disagree. A person can tell me that they don't want to speak to me. A person can walk out of a church and not listen to the pastor - and there are some churches that folk should definitely walk out of.

No one needs to feel put down if other people believe differently. Two people can have opposite experiences of the same situation and neither one of them has to be stupid or worthy of being mocked or laughed at. Just be yourself, speak your own truth with kindness and patience.

That's my answer.

19 May 2012

Compassionate Christianity: Chaplaincy, Aging and the Elephant in the Room

It's probably no exaggeration whatsoever to say that every day, I go into a hospital room of an older person who tells me that they don't want to live if living means having no quality of life and no dignity.

The main purpose of this Hub is simply to put that message forward. And to let you know that, if you feel that way, you are not alone. (link)

02 May 2012

Ornery Christianity - How I read the bible

A new post: on how I read the bible. Go to link to take the poll.

Is everything in the bible true?
One of my favorite teachers puts it this way: "Everything in the bible is true. Some of it really happened."

24 April 2012

Ornery Christianity - Take Up Your Cross

Take Up Your Cross

I can't think of anywhere that Jesus preaches anything along the lines of "If you follow me wholeheartedly, you will build a large and successful denomination that millions will flock to" or "If you follow me faithfully, you will build a large and successful charity that will wipe out hunger in your lifetime."

20 April 2012

Blatant Crowd-Sourcing

Blatant crowd-sourcing.

What questions would you ask a Christian minister if you could ask anything? Leave questions in the comments section and I'll do my best.

10 April 2012

Compassionate Christianity: Love Your Neighbor. Love your self. Some thoughts on a compassionate and balanced approach to the Great Commandment.

Marta's Story

On Good Friday, I had an amazing encounter with a 100 year old woman of faith who had spent the day testifying to her family about the message she had been given of God's love while she was dying. I hope you find the story as inspiring as I did. Read Marta's Story.

05 April 2012

24 March 2012

Hospital Chaplains - what do they do?

Source: Microsoft Clipart
A new post on the subject of the job of a hospital chaplain.

20 March 2012

Compassionate Christianity

Please see my new writing venture over at Compassionate Christianity

19 February 2012