April 27, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
4 Comments

Longing.

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Longing begins like a small seed inside your soul. It is dormant for weeks. Maybe years. And then the right amount of rain and sunlight begins to awaken it. (That’s a metaphor. I’m talking about life circumstances, events or feelings.) It germinates quietly. No one notices it. You don’t even notice it yourself. Until one day you feel a slender vine growing up inside your heart, tickling your lungs, and up through your throat, and soon it reaches out through your ears and nose and mouth. You think: “What is happening to me? What’s wrong with me? Why is this growing inside me?” But nothing is wrong. It is longing. Once it begins growing there’s no stopping it. You either acknowledge it or you don’t. It’s inconvenient, to be sure, and utterly annoying. Some days it is painful. (That’s the price of longing.) Longing is about coming to life. The Buddha teaches that we suffer because we long too much. And thats true, but only to a point. Because to live without longing means we live without intensity or beauty or passion. Some days we make a choice: No longing and no pain or longing and the possibility of pain. That’s a choice worth Taking a Breath over.

April 21, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
4 Comments

Prince.

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Too many thoughts tonight upon hearing of the death of Prince . . .

He was a musical genius. He forged a style all his own. A true original. I think of the music he left the world. That one thing that abides. That continues.

And his style wasn’t just music. He had a sartorial style that was unparalleled.

And the way he could move!

Oh, it takes courage to be yourself in this world. To find your own way.

Of course we all leave behind something. A kind of legacy. His passing makes me think about what I’m leaving today / living today. How I’m leaving this world for others.

He brought so much joy to people. Real joy. He was not merely a great musician; he was a great performer. His concerts were experiences. Events that stayed with people for a lifetime.

I think of him as too young to leave this world. We’ve lost too many great musicians and artists lately. I grieve them all.

The brevity of life is not cause for morbidity. It’s motivation to live. Really live and love, recognizing that every single day is a gift.

I believe that when people are in the presence of great artists, they are in the presence of God. That’s the nature of art. It transcends the ordinary. It infuses life with meaning and insight.

Like a lot of you tonight, I’m Taking a Breath. I’m saying a prayer of thanksgiving for Prince. Maybe you’ll say one too.

April 21, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
4 Comments

Great. Reversal.

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There’s a theme that runs throughout the teachings of Jesus, namely, that God’s kingdom / presence / influence is about reversal. Jesus said, “The first shall be last the the last shall be first.” Reversal. Or again, “The meek will inherit the earth.” Reversal.

It’s hard to believe in reversal, isn’t it? It might make for a good sermon on Sunday, but the real world kicks in on Monday. In the real world the rich get richer. The poor have less. And those of us caught in the purgatory in between are perennially stuck.

Yet, low and behold, drum roll please, pull the curtains back and let’s celebrate: We have seen a great reversal in America. Andrew Jackson has been kicked off the twenty dollar bill and in his place a courageous, African American abolitionist, who fought for the freedom and dignity of her people, Harriet Tubman, will replace him.

Not only does this represent a better picture of the America we were; it represents the America we want to become. And on to top of that other women, such as Sojourner Truth and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, will be on the back the the ten dollar bill.

History / Herstory unfolds. Perspective changes. Values morph. Ethics evolve. And this is a good thing. It’s a sign that God is still working with us. From my perspective, seeing Harriet Tubman on a twenty dollar bill will not only be a good thing . . . Take a Breath . . . I would call it a God thing. I take it as a sign that God’s reversal is alive and kicking . . . even in the 21st century.

 

 

April 6, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
2 Comments

Step. Back.

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Grace comes to us in so many different ways. Sometimes things fall into place and we’re pleased and happy and grateful. But sometimes that does not happen. Life becomes complicated. We become confused inside our minds and the way forward is not obvious. It’s not a matter of right or wrong. Oh that it were so easy! It’s often a matter of this might be good, but that might be good too. This could work. That might work. We don’t know. And so we struggle. Sometimes we agonize and struggle. Sometimes we make things worse.

I offer a simple suggestion of wisdom today — Take a step back. Maybe you can’t step off. Maybe you can’t get it fixed. Maybe you can’t find definitive direction. But step back. Take a breath. Let things settle. Pause and find a moment of peace. Consider the larger picture. Give yourself the gift of perspective. Say a prayer. Sit quietly for a few minutes. Sometimes the miracle is not found in the fixing of the problem; it’s found in discovering a new perspective on it. Perspective is everything.

Take a Breath today. It’s more than a title of my blog. It’s a way of life. And it works. I promise you. It works.

 

 

April 2, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
2 Comments

Thoughts. That. Matter. (to me) 3.

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Everyone likes Anne Lamott. She’s a wonderful writer. Candid. Funny. Poignant. Most of all, when you she writes about the spiritual life you cannot help but feel that she is telling the truth to you. Not someone else but to you. Over the course of a lifetime we accumulate many losses. We don’t get over losses. Instead, they have a way of getting inside us. And as Lamott suggests, that is a good thing. Enjoy.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without,and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”

April 1, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
2 Comments

Thoughts. That. Matter. (to me) 2.

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It’s one of my favorite quotes by Teilhard de Chardin. Priest. Intellectual. Scientist. Philosopher. He writes of the potential of humankind. The possibility that lives within each of us. The possibility that resides in the human family. I love this quote. It hints at the power of science and technology, as well as the limitation intrinsic to these important disciplines. There’s a place for science. There’s a place for the exploration and potential of the human spirit. A place for God.

“The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.”

March 31, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
2 Comments

Thoughts. That. Matter. (to me) 1.

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I recently read a memoir by the poet Mary Karr. This quote provides insight, hope and faith in a world that chews us up on a daily basis. I share it with you today. For those of you who need it, I know you’ll love it. And if you don’t need it today, share it with a friend. After Brussels. After San Bernardino. After. After. After. It’s only a thought. But sometimes a simple thought makes all the difference.

“The world breeds monsters. But kindness grows just as wild.” 

March 27, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
7 Comments

A. Different. Easter.

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It is Easter morning. I am sitting in my office at 10.00 am, thinking about the service. It begins in an hour. I’m thinking about the week, too.

On Saturday night last week I was struck by a kidney stone attack. (Yes, another one.) I woke on Palm Sunday and it was painful. I don’t need to explain. It was painful. But I was not going to miss Palm Sunday. I took what pain meds I had and off I went to church. I made it through the morning.

I thought I would be better by Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Wound up in the hospital briefly. Back home. And now it’s Easter morning. We will celebrate the stone rolling away 2000 years ago; But I am still waiting to celebrate the passing of my stone.

I missed everything this past week. Services. Gatherings. Meetings. Appointments. It’s as if Holy Week never happened. Now it is Easter morning. I’m fully medicated, and I know I should not operate heavy machinery, but I will at least try to preach a sermon.

We all have holidays that are different, don’t we? We thought we would be somewhere else, but life got in the way. Thought we would be with a certain person, but life got in the way. Thought we would be feeling better, but life got in the way.

Life got in the way of that first Easter Sunday, too. Most were ready to mourn the death of Jesus. Instead, something new, something creative, something beautiful, broke through the gloom of grief. Death was real. Love was even more real.

I’m sitting in my office and I now have 47 minutes before the trumpets sound and our Easter Service begins. It’s been a different Holy Week for me. And it’s a different Easter. I’m aware that life gets in the way. And on Easter Sunday, I thank God it does.

Easter Blessings!

 

March 18, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
12 Comments

One. Sentence. Will. Do.

Two experiences. Bookend experiences. The first happened last Friday morning. Someone knocked on the door. I answered. He asked if I was Mr. Colglazier. I said yes. He said I’ve come to bring Lily home. He handed me a small decorative box. Inside the box was a container. Inside the container were Lily’s ashes. Lily was our yellow Labrador Retriever we lost a few weeks ago. We’re still heartbroken. We had her cremated. I was surprised at how emotional it all felt to receive her ashes at the door. Our sweet sweet Lily had come home.

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On Monday I opened a piece of mail. It was from a child in our congregation. His name is Bennett. He wrote one sentence and drew a picture of a heart ice cream cone. He said, “I’m sorry Dr. Colglazier that your dog died.” That’s it. One sentence. And that’s how it is supposed to work, this enterprise of trying to be Christian, trying to be human and loving toward one another. Maybe it’s because I’m in the mood and looking forward to it, but that letter, that heart ice cream cone, that child in my church, that one sentence, well, it feels a little bit like Easter.

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February 29, 2016
by Dr. R. Scott
3 Comments

Dear. Lily.

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I lost my dear Lily today. A yellow Labrador Retriever. Full of energy. Outrageously independent. And also a sweet, sweet soul. I had her five years, and she had me too, but health issues became too much for her. A caring doctor helped her at the end move peacefully from this world to the next; she crossed that mythical rainbow bridge. What I’m about to say I cannot prove, but I am going to speak from my heart tonight — I am convinced that some kind of after-life, after-this-world, a reality beyond-all-reality awaits us. My house feels empty tonight. Yet I still feel her presence. I feel as if she is still running somewhere. Happy somewhere. She wore happiness like a diamond necklace. She loved running on the beach in Carmel, our home away from home, and she would practically jump out of her skin as we drove down Carmel Hill toward the beach. As for fetching her tennis ball, she was intrepid and would swim as far as I could throw it into the ocean. She was fearless. Oh how she loved the water. I feel that I will see her again. We shall be reunited. And not only her, I believe I will be reunited with all those I have loved and those who loved me, and perhaps, in ways I cannot begin to explain, I will continue a journey of growth and consciousness into the age to come. How can this be? I don’t know. But what I do know is this — at the heart of my faith is resurrection — not resuscitation — but resurrection, and that means God is forever making all things new. Yes, I’m a little emotional tonight, I’ll admit that, and I’m sad over the loss of my little angel, but I’m alive to gratitude, gratitude for the way a little dog touched my life, and I’m aware that nothing, not even death, can put an end to love. Oh my dear sweet Lily — I loved you and you loved me — what more could I ask for? Will I see you again some day? Honestly, I don’t know. But wishing it to be so, well, that is enough for tonight.

(please forgive any typos tonight / I’m not seeing so clearly)