So the most recent staublog was a year old.
And this week I turn 68 years old.
Why have I not been posting new content?
To be honest, as an aging man I have finally reached a new stage of wisdom,
which is another way of saying, why should I assume anybody is interested in what I have to say?
I’m on Facebook, but seldom post anything there either.
IN 2007 I moved to Orcas Island, in part because I concluded that what really matters is local.
So, I don’t know what place national or international has in my life at this point.
Thought I’d at least give an update.
Come Lord Jesus, please come to me and into the souls of my fellow Kindlings. Light of the world illuminate my dimmed path, little flame warm me as I go out into the cold, drummer please play loud enough so I can find the beat, Lord of the dance, show me those unorthodox moves.
Calling all my friends to Orcas Island! To come to Your Senses! Register Now!
Fabulous speakers: Dr. Malcolm Guite, Bobette Buster, Graham Kerr, Bruce Herman, Dr. Walter Hansen and Dr. Jerry Root.
Fabulous artists: An on site installation from artist Roger Feldman, tenor Ross Hauck, guitarist Phil Madeira, Poet Scott Cairns, Actor Nigel Goodwin, dancer Karin Stevens.
Three Fabulous Sundance Films: Sterlin Harjo’s This May Be The Last Time, The Overnighters (Winner: Special Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival 2014) and Sepidah.
Fabulous Orcas Island.
Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it. Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be what and who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. A.W. Tozer. Read More
Living on Orcas Island as I do, I spend a lot of time in conversation with seekers and finders who were raised Christian but found it unsatisfying. Many gravitated to the Eastern Religions where they found something meaningful in meditation practices as a way of concentrating on the transcendent. What they sometimes refer to as the metaphysical, I generally refer to as the mystical.
Thomas Merton, not long before his death in Thailand, wrote one of his friends and said he had traveled to the east only to discover that what he sought was available in his own Christian tradition. He was not dissing the eastern traditions, for they in fact, had led him to the depth of his own tradition.
I remember something Karen Armstrong once said to me. “Get a Christian, Jewish and Muslim mystic in a room and they’ll have more in common then they disagree over.” This statement is jarring, but I could hear it because as an adult, and re-energized Christian, I was introduced to the mystical traditions within the Christian faith.
A.W. Tozer was a contemporary Christian mystic of sorts. He was “safe, aka firmly orthodox (kosher!) in his beliefs,” and he seldom talked about his mysticism in “how to terms,” but I discovered this tidbit on spiritual concentration in his book, “Of God and Men.” I find it helpful.
Tozer on Spiritual Concentration and the inner life. “Retire from the world each day to some private spot, even if it be only the bedroom (for a while I retreated to the furnace room for want of a better place). Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God’s presence envelopes you. Deliberately tune out the unpleasant sounds and come out of your closet determined not to hear them. Listen for the inward Voice till you learn to recognize it. Stop trying to compete with others. Give yourself to God and then be what and who you are without regard to what others think. Reduce your interests to a few. Learn to pray inwardly every moment. After a while you can do this even while you work. Practice candor, childlike honesty, humility. Pray for a single eye. Read less, but read more of what is important to your inner life. Never let your mind remain scattered for very long. Call home your roving thoughts. Gaze on Christ with the eyes of your soul. Practice spiritual concentration. “
Amen and peace be with you my dear fellow sojourners.
In days of old, God used a burning bush to get Moses’ attention. Today’s prophets are often the truth-telling artists, singers, songwriters and filmmakers whose modern version of “Thus sayeth the Lord” bursts forth in a stunning, sensual explosion of sight, sound and touch.
Jan 30, 2014 PARK CITY, Utah (For RNS) In days of old, God used a burning bush to get Moses’ attention. Today’s prophets are often the truth-telling artists, singers, songwriters and filmmakers whose modern version of “Thus sayeth the Lord” bursts forth in a stunning, sensual explosion of sight, sound and touch.
They get our attention, and their prophetic word is visceral. It often goes beneath the rational radar and it can disturb more than it comforts. The annual Sundance Film Festival is like a tribe huddled around a campfire listening to the stories. These stories function like burning bushes, as prophetic calls to action. These films are meant not just to be watched, but to change us and, through us, to change the world.
Here are some of the messages I heard at Sundance 2014.
Value the worthy traditions of your youth. As most young adults jettison their religious trappings, Native American filmmaker Sterlin Harjo is drawn into the hymns from his upbringing in the church. In “This May Be the Last Time,” he discovers the ancient roots of these hymns that connect the spirituals of the South, the whole-note singing of Appalachia and the very heart of his own existence.
There is something very real beyond the physical. In “I Origins,” a scientist sets out to prove Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution and to destroy arguments for intelligent design. Unwittingly, he is drawn into an exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s quip that “the eye is the window to the soul.” Reality, it turns out, is more than meets the eye.
The blind can see. In “Blind,” a stunning piece of storytelling, Norwegian filmmaker Eskil Vogt explores the inner world of a beautiful young woman who loses her sight but finds her fertile imagination can nonetheless take her to places she would never have gone had she seen only through her eyes.
Love your neighbor. In “The Overnighters,” a small church and its pastor encounter legions of men who are flocking to North Dakota for a chance to cash in on the energy boom. The community’s family values don’t include welcoming the thousands of down-on-their-luck, blue-collar workers flooding into the community. Who will love these strangers who are now neighbors?
See injustice. Work for what is right. “Watchers of the Sky” examines the life of Rafael Lemkin, a heroic human rights activist who almost single-handedly created global awareness about the criminal liability of genocide. A blend of artistic animation, literary journaling enable us to look at and into a subject we often want to look away from.
“The Internet’s Own Boy” traces the life of Aaron Swartz, who urged our nation to “come to its senses” about the legality of accessing and distributing publicly funded and available information, even as the Justice Department charged him with acts of terrorism and ruthlessly pursued the case until he eventually took his own life. “Ivory Tower” looks at America’s overpriced, underperforming system of higher education, just as “Waiting for Superman” did for elementary education.
Parents! Love your children, no matter how messed up you might be. “Low Down” is the heartbreaking true story of Joe Albany, a brilliant bebop pianist, as told through the eyes of daughter Amy Jo Albany. Joe’s addictions are stronger than his ability to provide for, protect and nurture her as a young child and teen. In “Infinitely Polar Bear,” another true story, Mark Ruffalo plays a bipolar father who is as loving and unpredictable as he is unconventional. With the help of his wife, he finds a way to be a responsible, loving, father while realistically facing the limitations imposed by his illness.
Love requires understanding, understanding requires knowing, and knowing requires seeing and listening. Film allows us to vicariously enter into the world of another person facing their unique challenges in their unique way. For instance, in “Fishing Without Nets”: What would possess a nonviolent, kind, family man to become a Somali pirate? “Obvious Child” asks how anybody could see abortion as the subject for a poignant romantic comedy. In “God’s Pocket,” we’re asked how our lives would be different if we had been raised in a tight-knit, insulated, uneducated, violent and gritty blue-collar neighborhood.
Overcome obstacles and follow your dreams. In “Sepideh,” we follow the true story zof an amazing and precocious teenage girl in Iran who, against all odds, pursues her passion for astronomy and personal independence while operating within a system designed to keep her as a woman from achieving her dreams.
In “Whiplash,” the Sundance Grand Jury Award winner of the dramatic competition, a young jazz drummer enters the top music school in the nation determined to be the best drummer ever. His obsessive internal drive explodes when it meets an emotionally abusive band director, and the outcome is unforgettable.
(Dick Staub is author of “About You: Fully Human and Fully Alive” and the host of The Kindlings Muse (www.thekindlings.com). His blog can be read at www.dickstaub.com.) Listen to his podcasts at www.TheKindlings.com
All this was a long time ago, I remember, And I would do it again, but set down, This set down THIS: WERE WE LED ALL THAT WAY FOR BIRTH OR DEATH? TS Eliot.