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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What changes, Everything

Posted by Don Paine

I had stopped blogging for over a year.

In some ways the well, in me, seemed to have dried up.  The hope and dreams of better days and better ways for the church and the world had grown hopeless and helpless in my mind.

I began doing less and enjoying less of life.

I discovered something old and fresh:

It is time to start new and fresh.   That is what I have decided.  That God has something and somewhere for  me to serve them.  Lots have changed but one thing remains true:

I believe in God.  The God I believe in is bigger than all the limited and limitless ways we speak of them.  They are one and many at the same time.  We limit God when we say this is true and that is not, this is good and that is bad, you are wrong and I am right!

I was at an unusual conference entitled "Pastor's Epic Failure Conference" in Pennsylvania a few years ago.   One of the speakers put on the screen a question of where is God on issues of morality, sexuality, faith statements. Debates sprang up in the room about different theologies, dogmas, decrees, etc. As he attempted to bring the discussion to an end he asked where is God in all of this.  Is God here? there?
My mind flashed to scripture in Matthew 24 that says when people say here is Christ or there is Christ don't believe it for no one know the time and place of his coming.

I suggested that he needed to draw a circle around the whole mess and say, God is there embracing it all loving us all into "One".  God's arms I am convinced are wrapped around the whole world wanting the whole world to come to peace in the way of love by wrapping arms of love around us all regardless of anything.

What if out of respect to ourselves we all said our statements of faith/belief regardless of religious identities but then added one last phrase, like:

Lastly, I believe that nothing I believe should separate me, make me feel superior to, or have me striving against anything you believe as we embrace the theology of love and peace, the anthropology of the forces of good and evil,  the discipline of integrity and honor, the characteristics of compassion and kindness, the qualities of courage and respect, and the practice of mutual respect, humility, and love.

Religion has so often been part of the cruelty and hostility in the world, I desire to sow seeds for a new age of spirituality leading us to a new kind of faith that is non-sectarian, a new kind of hope that is universal, and a new kind of love that is "willing to sacrifice as the prelude to true freedom".  Freedom is not when I have nothing left to lose but when I have everything to lose and everything to gain if I am willing to sacrifice!!

I desire to gift to my grandchildren and their children and their children not a "Christian World" but a world that embraces the Christian teaching of, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Jesus" who being in very nature God, was willingly sacrificed by the God who is one with him, on the cross not because it was just or right but because it leads us to the way to justice and righteousness.  God honors all who learn the road of willingness to sacrifice and serve as the royal road to peace in the world.

A Thoughtful Reminder to me and you from Ghandhi

Posted by Don Paine

The seven deadly social sins for Ghandhi are 

Politics without principle
Wealth without work
Commerce without morality 
Pleasure without conscience
Education without character 
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice

I am thinking this is a good reminder for all of us in these days

Climate Stewardship

Posted by Don Paine

This morning I met with a group of men who were discussing the issues of climate change and responsible stewardship on the part of people and organizations.

Then I saw this post on Sojourners blog

President Obama just took the most significant step to address climate change that we’ve ever seen out of the White House: he introduced the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan, which will cut our carbon pollution from power plants 30 percent by 2030. And while no plan is perfect, this is something to celebrate. The real work still lies ahead — first, as the plan is open for public comment this summer, and then as each state creates its own implementation plan.

The rule is flexible, and the targets could be stricter, but this is the first time our nation has treated carbon as a serious pollutant.

Here at Sojourners, our Creation Care campaign offers you a way to make your voice heard at the EPA. And we’re not alone in caring about this as people of faith. Here are what some of our fellow Christians, including Rev. Jim Wallis, have to say about the EPA’s new action:

“In our effort to ensure justice for all of God’s people and serve as stewards of God’s creation, we must do all that we can to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. The proposed carbon rule will be an important piece of our collective efforts to live out this call.”

Tyler Edgar, Creation Justice Ministries (affiliated with National Council of Churches)

"The earth is the Lord’s, and in Genesis, God entrusts us with caring for Creation. The earth that we leave to future generations is already being changed by climate change, and so far, our nation has done little to stop climate pollution. The Clean Power Plan is a great step forward for our country in taking climate change seriously. It’s clear that President Obama cares about the legacy he leaves to today and into future generations. While there is a lot more that can and should be done by this Administration and by Congress, President Obama deserves our appreciation for embracing the common good and taking such a big step to preserve the earth for our grandchildren’s grandchildren."

Rev. Jim Wallis, President, Sojourners

I am challenged to do what small things I can do to replenish the earth.  I am convinced the more people take small steps the more those footprints will be seen by future generations.  


Posted by Don Paine

John Lennon wrote,

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Imagine there is no heaven, no hell below us,  above us only sky,  You may say I am a dreamer could the world one day be as one????
John was judged by many as being anti religion and spirituality but I think not.  He was embracing the secular mind and connecting it to the spiritual mind.

Jesus had the same imagination.
 Jesus taught that we are one if we only try, we are one already but are not living like it.

What will help us to live as one????????
I wonder

An Atheist in Me

Posted by Don Paine

I recalled sitting with an atheist in a coffee shop who announced to me, "you know I am an atheist".

Her religious orientation and ethnicity was Jewish but she had become an atheist.  She expected a response of judgment form me.  I had been working with polarized parts of me.  I had begun to understand that the part of me that is a believer is not the only part in me.   There is a skeptic or doubting part in me as well.  There are multiple parts in me.  They help me to connect to others. All those parts are loved.

I said to her, "I get it as I have an atheist part inside of me that thinks all this religious and spiritual stuff is bull___."  She looked at me in amazement.  What followed was a delightful conversation about atheists parts in both of us.  Connection is the context for communication..

Skeptics are not born they are made.  I do believe that we, all, are made in the image of God.  In us all is a desire to know and a self that is of goodness, kindness, peace and harmony.  The way to speak to the skeptic is to embrace the skeptic.

The Beloved embracing the Beloved.  A world of peace and community.