About Me

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I am a pastor and a clinical psychotherapist. My life's passion is defining healthiness from a human perspective and paralleling it to the holiness of God, divine perspective. Shifting perspectives creates a paradigm that is alongside of rather than over and against. The parakalein of God and the paradoxes of humanity are redefined. Humanity is all about winning and yet we are losing ground everywhere. Divinity is all about letting go of the desire to win and the fear of loss. The Divine embraces the world with loving care regardless of anything.

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Top of the game

Posted by Don Paine

Recently I felt I was not at the top of my game as a therapist and pastor.  I had some critical and judgmental parts attacking me.

I recalled feeling the compassion for someone who had in a community setting declared that he was not at the top of his game.  I commented to him and the community at the time, several months ago, that to be able to be humble and admit that you are not always at the top of your game is maybe being in the game if not truly at the "top of your game".

The interesting thing is that I did not recall this for me, wish I had.  I recalled this for a client who was feeling equally badly and she helped me to recall it for me.

Jesus taught that as we are serving we are served.


Spiritual Outrage: A Call to true spiritual action (A Call to ending violence of all kinds on the anniversary of 9/11)

Posted by Don Paine

It has been a while since I posted for many reasons that are not important.

I choose to post today as I learned of a sadly all too typical religious war that is a spiritual outrage.
I heard this second hand so the information may not be accurate but the outrage and call to action is the heart of the matter.

It seems that owners of a Bakery in Oregon was asked to do a wedding cake for a same sex couple.  They refused as they could not in good conscience contribute to their life of sin or their desecrating the sacred moment of marriage.  They declared war!

The same sex community declared war back. Boycotts are successful in winning a war but not in settling a dispute.  The bakery went out of business.  A pastor on the other side of the country used this story to say, "they are coming for us".  War is not the way to peace, to proving who is right, or to settle any outrage.

As I listened to this story I had a different reaction.  Instead of outrage promoting more of the same, what if we took notice of Jesus and how he responded to the woman at the well or how Ghandhi responded to people, or how in our day the Dalai Lama and many others promote hearts of peace and acts of love and kindness.

We would do two things simultaneously:  
1) We would get some funding to reopen the bakery and set the owners back into their livelihood for the sake of their family and life not because they were right but because it is right to do acts of kindness from a peace core.

2) We would also offer one free cake for every same sex couple who were offended by the prejudice of the bakery's owner and operator, and a free wedding cake to the next same sex couple who requests it.  We would not be stating what is right or wrong but we would be doing what is right:  to act with loving kindness from a peace core!

I wonder what would happen to these two parts of the community if both parts supported both actions.

This may be true "Affirming Action".  Taking two wrongs and making them into something right does not make either right or wrong.  It is, however, right and a sacred responsibility of those who want to know and live out the God of love and peace!

The Communion Table

Posted by Don Paine

Peace be with you!

Gets, in many settings, a "and also with you" response.

I served communion in a church service recently.  I began with those words and then they came back.  Automatic and genuine feelings filled the space.  Sacred space is like that.  A place for love and peace.  Then I asked then why is is that there is so little peace in the church worldwide and why so much disagreement on the celebration of communion.   I commented that while this is a table of love and peace that calls us to humility, honor, and unity it has been used to divide, demolish, destroy or at least devastate the message of love, grace and peace that is at the heart of the gospel.

The heat of religious arguments about when, how often, why, and what is done in the communion service and who is allowed to participate have created gate keepers, custodians, and managers. The heat has taken over the heart out of the table.  The one, who began this observance and encouraged us to remember him when we do this, lived a life of humility, honor towards all people.  In the heat of the moment Jesus heart was the most open and loving.  We are to be mirror representatives of the essence of the table not the custodians or guardians of the table.

The part of us that wants to be right and make others wrong or at least not as good as us, is at the core of the problem.  It is not about who is right on any particular religious ideology or venue.  It is about being right in our hearts toward all.  Jesus invited the betrayer, the denier, the timid, the poor, the rich and all to the table regardless of anything.

The communion table is to be a mirror into which we see ourselves and a window by which we look at the world.

"Do this remembering Me"  Live in love and peace toward all regardless of anything.