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Mark J. Janssen's Blog

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Apr.12.2014
Each day the most difficult and challenging thing we face is change.  Most treacherous of all is when something happens and we are asked to change our minds.  Change my mind?  About a situation of which I am utterly certain?  Change my mind about someone when I know precisely...
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Apr.04.2014
There is an ancient Christian concept which discusses people who give up all of their worldly possessions being fools of Christ.  This remains in Eastern Christianity especially Eastern Europe.  There holy fools are men and women who live in the streets and pretend to be mad.  This...
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Mar.28.2014
Who am I?  This is one of the most basic questions of our lives.  It ranks right up there with whether to have corned beef or pastrami on our reuben sandwiches.  Along with the quests for air, water, food and companionship, we sentient beings spend much of our lives searching for the...
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Mar.22.2014
Sometimes in life we think we need a seven layer cake when a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be just as good.  We are trained to desire the light and fluffy while ignoring substance.  A boy would rather grow up to be a rich and famous major league player than a short order cook in...
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Mar.14.2014
Welcome to Spring and Lent.  This is a time of year with constant surprises.  We know summer will be hot and winter will be cold, but Spring is changeable.  Lent, much to my surprise, comes from a word which means Spring.  It has nothing at all to do with Christianity or...
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Mar.07.2014
There’s a crisis in Africa.  No, the other side of Africa.  The North, South, East, West—or is it in the center?  No, that’s Latin America, Anglo America.  Someplace in Europe the currency is failing and a government is falling.  Meanwhile, over in Asia—somewhere in Asia—...
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Feb.28.2014
One of these days the celestial Mack truck will hit me or I will stop writing.  The truck did not hit today and if you’re reading this, I’m still writing.  However, there does come a time when it is necessary to give a summation.  No one will ever be able to summarize spirituality...
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Feb.21.2014
A week ago I was driving through one of the back neighborhoods of Charleston.  Driving past one of the seemingly endless hole-in-the-wall Baptist/AME/fundamentalist/Pentecostal churches that sprout up in the South, I saw a sign in the yard.  The top line had the words “Breaking Through.”...
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Feb.12.2014
In the mystery of lives and the mastery of spirit we are born and reborn each moment of our lives.  We are incubated, born and grow.  We nourish our loves and hatreds, our fears and desires.  We are capable of being the most glorious of beings or the most depraved.  And in the...
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Feb.08.2014
In the months before he died of cancer twenty years ago, my friend Dan was able to talk about his fears.  He was terribly sad to leave his wife and young son behind.  It pained him to leave his ex-wife and their daughters.  There were so many things he wanted to do in life.  He...
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Feb.01.2014
Ice
They say that once in a generation the South gets an ice storm.  Rain turns to ice pellets.  It might become snow. Lucky me.  I get to be in the South for that once. People stock up on food and firewood.  They hunker down in their homes.  The slightest discussion of snow or...
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Jan.24.2014
Even being on retreat for a few days did not make the world go away.  The world kept going on its path while I moseyed along mine.  That is very, very good. It’s good because some of the things that the rest of you did while I was hunkering down in silence and reading had nothing to do...
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Jan.17.2014
A few years after I moved to Boston I met a guy named Joe. Joe was a librarian at the majestic Boston Public Library, the building where the Boston Marathon ends. He worked in the old library, an ornate building with many fascinating cubby holes and rarely entered rooms. Joe had had a tragic life...
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Jan.11.2014
The world turns upside down every January. Diviners—prophets, astronomers, seers, mystics and oracles—are celebrated. Twelve days after Christmas we arrive at the Feast of the Epiphany. The Magi, the Three Wise Men from the East, after at least two years of travel came to Jerusalem in search of a...
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Jan.01.2014
This 2014A.D. is already a busy year. There was work to do before dinner could be started this morning. Happily it was ordinary mortal work. I felt alarms in the middle of the night that I was not all in one place. I knew that I was off working somewhere in creation. Angels took me to places...
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