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I'm up early drinking coffee and getting my message ready to teach at our church. I'm teaching from Psalm 142. As Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee." That touches on the theme this morning. Here's a painting I did recently, which is available in my EBAY STORE. This is the kind of art I'm doing right now. My art is about space, room, unclutteredness, distance, perspective, and freedom. I'm beginning to realize that this one word, "freedom", is THE operative word for me and rather central to everything I do. Even my music has been...

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One of my mottos, (I believe I invented it?), is authenticity with accountability . This is something that I try to practice in my life, and especially in how I pastor a church. I love authenticity in people, and I believe my most intense passion is to see people set free to be authentically who they are. I love watching people liberated, especially from the oppressive bonds of religion and the religious spirit. In fact, I think this is the most important part of my job description. Jesus came, he himself believed and proclaimed, first to the house of Israel....

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One of the pitfalls of ministry, even life in general, is worrying about what other people think. Especially worrying about what other people think of you the pastor, priest, minister, rabbi, or person that you are! I know several people oppressed by the expectations of others. I am sometimes among them. Do we have the courage, everyone, to break free of the expectations of others and live as fully liberated human beings? I like this passage: The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather, he may be in his moral life...

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David Richo has a BOOK out: The Five Things We Cannot Change: And The Happiness We Find By Embracing Them (Shambala, 2005). He claims that there are certain facts of life that we cannot change, unavoidable givens . They are: 1) Everything changes and ends, 2) Things do not always go according to plan, 3) Life is not always fair, 4) Pain is part of life, 5) People are not loving and loyal all the time. I so appreciate these points. They are a sobering tonic in the face of all the syrupy platitudes that seem to abound today, especially...

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I am a pastor of a church, but I struggle with it. Man, do I struggle with it! When I think about the mechanics of running an organization, the delicacies of maintaining tenuous relationships, the banality of nurturing a bureaucracy, or the boredom of keeping an institution going, I just go NUTS! I hate it. At that point, my wife Lisa usually says, David, just remember: it s about the people and about God! Then I can feel my heart rate restore itself, my blood-pressure level off, and my brain cease its convulsions. Like right now. It s hot out,...

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