Too many Christians do Christmas wrong

This post is a timely reminder. My family laugh that I wait till Christmas eve to put up my decorations, and leave them up until 6th of January – or even beyond (my youngest s birthday is on the 7th so I used to keep them up until the 8th.)
Whatever happened to Advent as a time of preparation and fasting? People have their parties before Christmas, and come Boxing Day are bored.

Faith on the Fringe

Christmas express

If you’re a Christian who thinks the Christmas season ended on Dec. 25, then you’re already a casualty of the ‘war on Christmas,’ and you don’t even know it.

In the United States, the annual commercial assault on Christmas begins on Thanksgiving, when some Christians line up in the middle of the night for special sales that force others to work on a national holiday.

In the bigger picture, the modern attack on Christmas, and Christianity, has been ongoing in one form or another for more than 100 years.

As too many Christians have grown ignorant of Christian history, they’ve surrendered the faith to the mainstream cultures in which they find themselves. From closing churches across Europe to Americans ignorant of the liturgical calendar, the Christian tradition has slowly given way to Christmas trees, theologically flawed nativity scenes and the drawings of Thomas Nast.

The fact is, for the…

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Meaning and Mercy

Beloved of the Broken Heart

The first time I saw this picture, I found it repulsive and bleak.  The colors are dark; the figures a bit depressing.  This painting is the work of Sieger Köder, a German priest and artist and World War II survivor.  I was given a card with this painting on it, and upon receiving it shoved it in the bottom of a box.   As time went on however, I felt called to return to the picture, and found God had unlocked some of its meaning for me, and was calling me to live and minister to others through the truth that this artwork expresses.  I taught an Apologetics class to Seniors this past year and had the students compare this artwork with Edward Munch’s “The Scream.”  It was a powerful reflection on MEANING.  At the end I revealed to them the inspirational text for the picture.  It is included here:

As…

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Mindfulness – as used on a busy acute mental health ward

It’s been brought to my attention that my link to the University site no longer exists, so I’ve inserted a link to my pdf file of the presentation.
As there has been some recent interest, I’m reblogging this post.

MMM... Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet

This is a presentation I made at a Mindfulness Conference in spring 2011 – it has links to some useful resources:

Delamares MINDFULNESS PRESENTATION SOUTHAMPTON 2011

In the audience were my consultant psychiatrist and some of the psychologists who had taught me mindfulness – no pressure then!

This is from a powerpoint presentation – fairly self-explanatory but if anything is not clear, please ask. It includes a diagram of how mindfulness can help cope with unwanted or distressing thoughts, memories or voices.

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one minute meditation of fish in pond #mindfulness

This includes a link to a video of a fish pond – so if you’re unable to get out into nature…

Shaun Lambert

I am at Hayes Conference Centre for the @RetreatsUK retreat. The centre has a beautiful pond where you can watch little fish swimming, being still, moving, suddenly startled…

I’ve recorded one minute of this on video. If you are stuck indoors somewhere it is good for your soul just to be able to step back into nature and your senses even for a minute. Watch the fish and notice their movements and their stillness, hear the sound of the birds and perhaps the indistinct sound of people’s voices occasionally in the background. Notice how the light changes and there are ripples on the water from the breeze. Sometimes we see the fish more clearly, sometimes they are more fuzzy and out of awareness.

If you think of the pond as your mind, a pool of awareness, and the fish as thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations that come into your mind. The…

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#Christianity and #mindfulness #meditation

More thoughts on Christian mindfulness.

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Mindfulness short: myth – in mindfulness meditation we are trying to empty our mind

Shaun Lambert

One of the biggest myths about mindfulness is that in mindfulness meditation you are trying to empty your mind. Ruby Wax who is good at answering questions people are asking answers the question this way in her book Sane New World, ‘With mindfulness the rumour is wrong that the point is to empty your mind; you need your mind to analyse, memorize, create and most importantly exist. It can never be empty while you’re alive, even in a coma your mind is still chattering away.’[1]

Why can she say this so categorically? It is all to do with what we think the mind is and how we define it. Interpersonal neurobiologist Daniel J. Siegel points out there is a lack of awareness and understanding of the mind. He defines the mind to be ‘a process that regulates the flow of energy and information.’[2] The mind is always receiving…

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Photos for Meditation #3

This photo was taken in the Venetian lagoon in February of this year. We had just visited the Armenian monastery on one of the islands and as we came out this was the view. The sea was like liquid gold.

DSC_0506

For me, this is not only a stunning photo, but it reminds me of a lovely friend of mine.
The very next morning I learned that she had lost her fight with cancer almost to the minute that I had taken the photo. She was a truly golden lady, and is greatly missed.

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