Listening to Your Life; Frederick Buechner [SSL 241]

American writer, novelist, poet, autobiographer, essayist, preacher, and theologian Frederich Buechner died at age 96 on August 15, 2022. He was an ordained Presbyterian minister and authored thirty-nine books. His work encompassed various genres, including fiction, autobiography, essays and sermons, in a career spanned more than six decades.

Today we remember him.

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Drum Circles with Gene Anderson

The Gene Anderson joins us today. Gene is a supportive friend, pastor, poet, and percussionist who blogs as he wanders along the Way at Rucksack Revolution and today is enjoying his 49 birthday at the beach with friends. Happy Birthday, Gene.


 What if churches were more like drum circles?


What if churches were more like drum circles? What if the Spirit of Liturgy came from within the common heartbeat of those present, what if dancing and community became the norm, what if diversity became the rule and not the exception, what if there were a…

If churches were more like drum circles, an organic ritual of worship, a natural liturgy would arise from the hearts of those participating, rather than imposing a liturgy on those present.

One love, a common beat composed of individual rhythms, a truly organic worship of unity in diversity would rule the day and rock the house with the Holy Spirit dancing to the sound of heartbeats musically expressed.

Together, individual breath and pulse become common, coming together with the vibration of God’s good creation, culminating in koinonia, communitas, and the sacred meal of God’s encircling love.

What if churches were more like drum circles?

What if, because the spirit of liturgy and action came from within the hearts and souls of those gathered, actualizing community became present? Imagine a church where worship became dance, a dance of the body, mind, and spirit, a circle dance like the mystical Trinity of Three-in-One and One-in-Three.

Consider “as above, so below”.

Contemplate the holy sound and actions of deep bass and strong rimshot combining into wholeness, atonement, shalom, and God’s mission to the world through the healing hands of God and the caring human disciples of The Way.

Creation of rhythm as motion and motion as community, community in motion, ordinary radicals, resident aliens of the Kingdom-Life seeking a “better country”.

What if churches were more like drum circles?

Imagine a place where diversity is the norm and not the exception.

Conceive community and not corruption.

Give birth to a world of movement through the hands and feet of all people.

Realize the moment of worship and service to God and others.

Heartbeats together in Holy Rhythm.

Play your drum.

– Gene Anderson

“You teach best what you most need to learn.” – Richard Bach

In Tribute to MLK

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my favorite Christian figures of the 20th Century.

7:37 min of the Knock at Midnight sermon:
“He promised NEVER to leave me alone.”

Each year I try to post on something about his work and mission.
I refer you to my  previous tribute posts here and here.

These posts include his thoughts, quotes, a famous prayer, and an extended quote on “loving ones enemies”. All quite inspiring, so please enjoy them, as you remember this Christian brother who lived out his core Christian convictions on social justice, and maintained the highest level of ethical devotion.

To fix your mind on what is good, and right is counter-cultural. It’s much easier to get a laugh at someone else’s expense, to find something smug or snide to say, to look for the negative in circumstances or other people, and to grow cynical. But doing that changes us. It spiritually forms us into a malformation. Then our aim, and our work in this world is badly compromised and less effectual. MLK is a model for us to live out such ideals–even to die for them.

Today, co-opt with these thoughts. Thoughts close to this pastor and leader in the American Civil Rights movement–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr..
Ingest them and emulate them. Thank you for reading.

Philippians 4:8
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (NLT)

Also-American King James Version
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

MLK: Love Your Enemies


Pastor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.




The following is an excerpt of the last portion of Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech entitled,

Loving Your Enemies
November 17 1957

…And our civilization must discover that. Individuals must discover that as they deal with other individuals. There is a little tree planted on a little hill and on that tree hangs the most influential character that ever came in this world. But never feel that that tree is a meaningless drama that took place on the stages of history. Oh no, it is a telescope through which we look out into the long vista of eternity, and see the love of God breaking forth into time. It is an eternal reminder to a power-drunk generation that love is the only way. It is an eternal reminder to a generation depending on nuclear and atomic energy, a generation depending on physical violence, that love is the only creative, redemptive, transforming power in the universe.

So this morning, as I look into your eyes, and into the eyes of all of my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you, “I love you. I would rather die than hate you.” And I’m foolish enough to believe that through the power of this love somewhere, men of the most recalcitrant bent will be transformed. And then we will be in God’s kingdom. We will be able to matriculate into the university
of eternal life because we had the power to love our enemies, to bless those persons that cursed us, to even decide to be good to those persons who hated us, and we even prayed for those persons who despitefully used us.

Oh God, help us in our lives and in all of our attitudes, to work out this controlling force of love, this controlling power that can solve every problem that we confront in all areas. Oh, we talk about politics; we talk about the problems facing our atomic civilization. Grant that all men will come together and discover that as we solve the crisis and solve these problems—the international problems, the problems of atomic energy, the problems of nuclear energy, and yes, even the race problem—let us join together in a great fellowship of love and bow down at the feet of Jesus. Give us this strong determination. In the name and spirit of this Christ, we pray. Amen.

[full speech here.]

Please leave your comments. Thank you.