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This Made Me Laugh

Here’s a College Humor video on a spiritual church. Seems the creed is “whatever.”

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From C.S. Lewis

Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.

– C.S. Lewis

Trailer: The Jewish Cardinal

Here’s the trailer for The Jewish Cardinal so you get more of a sense of the film.

Walking Around the Muslim District

South Mosque, Jinan, China

South Mosque, Jinan, China

South Mosque, entrance

South Mosque, entrance

Yesterday my friend Dianne and I had a nice walk through the Muslim District in downtown Jinan, She’d never been there. We had a lovely talk, mainly in pigeon Chinese with lots of gesturing, with two women at the women’s mosque.

Travel Theme: Orange

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Bangkok, Thailand

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Bangkok, Thailand

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Kaifeng, China

This week Ailsa of Where’s My Backpack? challenges bloggers to post photos emphasizing orange, that bright, bold, happy color. Here’s what you do:

  1. Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Orange
  2. Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  3. Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  4. Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes.

Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS!

New Mexico

DSC_0109 Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

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Here’s how it works:

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Wishing you peace and joy all through 2014!

Other joyful photos:

“Living with the Lord always before them”

“Living with the Lord always before them”: considerations of spiritual guidance offered by Ignatius of Loyola and Dallas Willard

A Facebook posting lead me on a search of essays about how the Jesuits saw Desolation and Consolation. Now I’m reading the

PRELIMINARY REFLECTIONS

Nestled in Chapter Six of his inspiring book, Renovation of the Heart, Dallas Willard emphasizes the importance of identifying and emulating the wisdom of true spiritual practitioners (e.g., Billy Graham, Teresa of Calcutta, William Law, Martin Luther, Ignatius of Loyola, as he names a few) who have “walked the walk” of following Christ as Willard asks the provocative question: “How did they come to be able to live with ‘the Lord always before them?'” (1) Willard goes on to assert in his response: “We learn from them how to do that by making them our close companions on the way.” (2) Inspired by Willard’s inclusion of Ignatius of Loyola, in particular, in his list of spiritual practitioners, the work of this essay seeks to explore the spiritual guidance offered by Dallas Willard in the company of Ignatius of Loyola with the assertion they both can serve as viable and relevant companions for contemporary spiritual seekers who desire to engage in the process of spiritual formation and transformation into Christ-likeness. (3)

As guides who are skilled in the art of spiritual formation, both Ignatius of Loyola and Dallas Willard, although centuries apart, can invite us to ponder how God offers grace in abundance, not only as God did for each of them, but as God desires to do for each one of us. Furthermore, since Ignatius of Loyola and Dallas Willard can effectively model for us a significant depth of personal authenticity, we can relate to them as real persons–especially since their writings give evidence that they have pondered life’s challenges in light of their evolving relationship with Christ. For “at the heart of Christianity, the Christian believer confidently expects to find religious experience: an existential encounter in faith with his [or her] God … Moreover, religious experience is not an esoteric event but a dimension of his [or her] ordinary living.” (4)

Since the writers in the Christian tradition generally offer their spiritual guidance primarily through the legacy of their classic spiritual texts, the work of this essay revolves around the textual settings offered by The Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola and Renovation of the Heart by Dallas Willard as a way for us to tap into the rich legacies of both of these spiritual guides. The motivating questions of interest in working with excerpts from their selected texts in the context of spiritual formation can be formulated as follows: First, what is their main message regarding the essence of spiritual formation in each of their texts? Second, how might they offer guidance to contemporary spiritual seekers who desire spiritual formation in Christ? Third, what might be the experience of contemporary spiritual seekers who may look to Ignatius of Loyola and Dallas Willard as spiritual guides through accessing their spiritual texts, The Spiritual Exercises and Renovation of the Heart, respectively? Each of their texts reveals a working document, not simply a text to be read and put aside, particularly since The Spiritual Exercises and Renovation of the Heart are both written in such a way as to invite the reader into a clear response filled with discernment flowing from a desire to embody the teachings of Christ. In particular, their texts have the potential for offering a significant blueprint for guiding spiritual seekers toward fuller and more explicit expression of their spiritual longings. Thus, it may be accurately asserted that Ignatius of Loyola and Dallas Willard have the capacity to be relevant, applicable, inspirational, and devotional as they function as spiritual guides via their classic texts that are intended to be, as Willard effectively asserts, “intensely practical.” (5)

 

For more click here. More

White Horse Temple, Luoyang

In Luyoang we went to the White Horse Temple, the place from which Buddhism spread in China. There are several legends relating to this beginning. I’m not sure why since by 266 A.D. when the first Buddhists came to China, they had a habit of writing down history. The legend that both Wikipedia and my Lonely Planet offer is that some Emperor Ming had a dream about Buddhism and sent some men to find out about it. In Afghanistan, the emperor’s emissaries met two Indian Buddhist monks, whom they persuaded to come to China to help establish Buddhism there. At this point, historians think that’s a legend.

Still the temple is big and well established and draws a lot of visitors. Like most temples, there are several buildings landscaped with tall trees giving the compound a tranquil feeling. We went early so it wasn’t too crowded.

This temple seems quite active internationally. Along one side they’re constructing a group of Thai style wats donated by Thais and an Indian temple area donated and designed by Indians. According to CCTV English, they’ll also start adding a Burmese temple area.

Spirit Houses, Thailand

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