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Pages tagged "Fear"

Be Not Afraid Dear Friends: When an angel, according to biblical records, encounters a living human being, the first thing the angel says is. “Fear not!” or “Be not afraid!” or words to that effect.

On Beginning (March 2016)

Leap into Wings The way of love is not a subtle argument,

On Consumption (May 2013)

Money, that Tainted Thing As Friends and as a people of faith, we walk a narrow tightrope between using wealth as a means to bring light and life into the world and allowing it to become a snare. The snare can draw us into a prison of world and wealth centeredness, or can trap us into such self-imposed poverty that we rely on the wealth of others to live. Friends at the beginning of the 21st century would do well to examine how we maintain a healthy relationship with wealth. Almost all of our national and international Quaker organizations are reducing their staffs due to lack of funds and, consequently, limiting their effectiveness. Many of our meetings are deferring maintenance of meetinghouses and finding it difficult to give financial support to members in need.

On Money (November 2015)

On Beginning “This isn’t working. We need to start over.” Virtually nobody ever wants to hear that. Our natural tendency is to protect our accomplishments and hang onto what we’ve got, even if that might not be good for us. Our brains are not designed to assess risk accurately. We underrate the risks of the mundane (cars, bathrooms) and overrate the risks of the dramatic (airplanes, tornadoes). The Known typically appears safer than The Unknown.

On Beginning (March 2016)

On Music Nothing is more intimate to life than rhythm. Even “dead” matter, gliding on entropy, throbs to the beat of E=MC2. The mystery of particles and waves as different aspects of the same reality, the mystery of being and doing as equivalent expressions of the same existence – these mysteries point to the great Mystery, which requires us to stand before it in awe, to love it with all our hearts and all our souls and all our strengths and all our minds.

On Music (March 2018)

On Temptation Dear Friends: “We come now to examine the state and condition of man as he stands in the fall: what his capacity and power [are] and how far he is able, as of himself, to advance in relation to the things of God.” (Robert Barclay, 1678). In an era when God is Dead, when the percentage of Americans with no religious affiliation continues to rise (currently approaching 20%), Quakers continue to assert along with Barclay that “. . . whatsoever real good any man doth, it proceedeth not from his nature as he is man or the son of Adam, but from the seed of God in him, as a new visitation of life, in order to bring him out of this natural condition: so that it be in him, yet it is not of him . . .”

On Temptation (November 2014)

The Struggle for Truth Dear Friends: 9/11 does not go away. It is with us on a daily basis, and it has changed our character as a nation. It has been the rationale for unending war, the sacrifice of civil liberties, the creation of a surveillance state, and a litany of radical changes in US behavior at home and abroad.

On Knowing (March 2015)

The Wrong Kind of Silence We simply can’t always speak out. But there are critical times within Friends’ communities when failing to speak truth can cause great damage. Trying not to offend, trying to maintain a surface calm, can cause a disastrous loss of trust and can betray our commitment to answering the Light in everyone. Often it enables cruel behavior to continue. When problems remain unnamed, it can threaten our ability to address them. This kind of silence can undermine integrity, cause profound personal hurt, and splinter community. Much is lost when we fail to say what we think and when we fail to help each other speak up when serious interpersonal issues develop. Therefore I want to name self-silencing of truth as a significant threat to the ability of Friends to live our testimonies and a threat to the Religious Society of Friends.

On Deception (November 2013)