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This site updated November 23, 2015
The Syrian refugee crisis is garnering much attention most of it ill-informed, misguided and fear based. In the Monday, November 23 edition of the Houston Chronicle St. Paul's senior minister, has an op-ed piece that is well worth your attention and passing on. You will find a link to it on this week's podcast post. Please do read it and let it inform your conversations about this crucial matter.
We reached an agreement with Sister Dr. Ilia Delio to come to Houston to lecture in November of 2016. Details are yet to be worked out but they will be posted here as soon as we have this. This is, to me, not only exciting but a major event.
A talk recently offered in Ordinary Life, "The Naked Now," explains the competing world-views that exist today. Though we cannot help be shaped and influenced by the culture in which we live, if we are not careful we will allow the culture to give us our identity rather than developing the courage to live in ways that contribute to the common good. Check it out.
Just as it has taken me twenty years, at least, to come up with my definition of what exactly is a "spiritual practice," so also has it taken me as long to come up with what I think are the two essential "faith questions" we need to be mindful of. You will find them at the conclusion of the talk - Don't Worry. Be Happy. You can find the talk, the funny presentation slides and the audio version on the Podcast page.
The talk I offered recently in Ordinary Life, Being Bound for Freedom and Love, illustrates the contradictory and paradoxical nature of the spiritual journey. In order for us truly to be free, some things must be bound up, tied. Also, we must be bound, or committed, to some things as a musician is committed to the mastery of his or her instrument. And, further, something things must be "cut loose." I hope you find it valuable.
I've updated the spiritual resources page with a blog that contains a link to the video that opened the conference we attended recently in New Mexico. It is a powerful video. Very brief but very "to-the-heart-of-the-matter." I encourage you to watch it. Also, there is a link to a homily I gave recently at St. Paul's about how our identity is not something we gain or lose but in inherent in our being held in the heart of Sacred Mystery.
Ordinary Life is now officially affiliated with the Reconciling Ministries Network. If you would like to know more about this orgaization, click here.
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Ordinary Life creates a crucible in which people can
deepen an awareness of who they are,
develop relationships with others,
grow in spiritual intelligence,
make a difference in the world.
Ordinary Life meets at 9:45 Sunday mornings on the campus of St. Paul's Methodist Church, 5501 South Main Street, Houston, Texas. All are welcome.
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These are exciting times! I sense that we are being called into a future that requires a wider consciousness and deeper exploration into wisdom and understanding. The vision and mission of St. Paul's, the church that makes Ordinary Life a possibility, is all about being more inclusive, inter-faith and deepening spiritual understanding and awareness. Ordinary Life is going to be a part of this vision and mission. Stay tuned.
You will notice that an archives link has been added to this site. This will enable those who so desire to seek specific presentations made in Ordinary Life and view either the text or listen to the audio.
If we are to be open to wise and useful teachings that lead us to grow in wisdom and compassion, we have to move beyond the world of words and ideas, though they are useful, into a world that cannot be contained or constrained by words and ideas. I know that sounds paradoxical and contradictory. That is precisely the point. Dualism is useful, indeed vital, but only up to a certain point. We can use dualistic thinking to take us to the edge of wisdom and understanding but then something else is needed. That is one of the reasons I have started teaching more about mysticism.
About Seeking To Embody the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic
At the beginning of my undertaking to offer spiritual teachings, my goal was to combine insights from the field of psychology (understanding how the mind works) and spirituality. I will continue to do this.
After 9/11, however, my teaching took a turn in the direction of wanting to point out the dangers and errors of fundamentalism. Tribalism and tribal understandings of religion is the major cause of the divisions and divisiveness in the world today. Consequently I spent considerable time trying to contribute to religious and spiritual literacy by talking about the “Jesus of history.” What did he really say and do. I will continue to do this.
Now, however, I am undertaking to teach more about “mystical Christianity” and mysticism in general. I am using the relatively recently discovered Gospel of Thomas as a guide for my talks. There are many excellent books on the Gospel of Thomas. One that I recommend is “The Gospel of Thomas: Wisdom of the Twin” as translated and with notes by Lynn Bauman (second edition.)
This emphasis in my teaching seeks, among other things to move us from levels of information to arenas of wisdom, from knowing to experiencing, from dualism to non-dual ways of seeing ourselves, each other and the world.
Since one of the things the new series is going to be able has to do with psychological and spiritual development, you might want to check out some models for ego and self development. You will find them on the Extraordinary Matters page. Also be sure to check our Rohr's concept of "the Cosmic Egg," go to
A new blog page has been added to this site. It will be devoted to teachings about having a "daily spiritual practice."
The Ordinary Life class has generously supported many endeavors over the years. One of these is the Global Aids Interfaith Alliance. Recently we received a full report of what your contributions do. See the recent post under Extraordinary Matters
New to this site, under "extraordinary matters" you can now find a version of the "announcement slides" used at the beginning of Ordinary Life. Some people requested access to the cartoons.
Also, Paul Jones, our Endowment speaker from last year has had an article published on the importance of "fact checking" to gain higher truth. I encourage you to read it.
Everyone is welcome at Ordinary Life. I hope you'll join the journey.
Dr. Bill Kerley
I like to think of myself as someone who knows the principles and practices that people can use to enhance and enlarge every aspect of their lives.
What is "Ordinary Life" all about?
Every dissatisfaction we have with our lives is a result of a conflict between what is actually true and what we believe to be true. When we learn to give up beliefs about how life "ought to be", we are given brand new possibilities for living life as it is - right then and there!
This "letting go" process is not easy because we have spent a lifetime coming to believe that the life we want/deserve is "out there" somewhere. Or, we have come to believe that because of certain events and experiences in our past, our lives are destined to "be" a certain way.
Among other things, the Ordinary Life class will focus on:
• What it means to be alive and aware.
• More on the gospel of Jesus than the Jesus of the gospels.
• More on being the way than the way to be.
• And on the principles and practices we can put in place in our lives to experience these things and not just know about them.
This is not a class for the faint of heart but for those who are willing to be involved in the journey to wholeness by living life as it is, for those who are willing to have the courage to be themselves. If you are interested in these benefits, this could be the class for you.
We meet at 9:45 a.m. on Sundays at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Fondren Hall, second floor of the Jones Building.
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