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jtburklo@yahoo.com
the globe
Questing for universals in the observation of particulars, in Ojai Valley and its surrounding mountains...
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These chants are ones I’ve been using for many years in progressive Christian worship, interfaith/spiritual life on campus, and many other settings in my career. A bunch of them come from the wonderful Taize community in France, which focuses worship on chants. I take the liberty of switching some words... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Souljourning
These chants are ones I’ve been using for many years in progressive Christian worship, interfaith/spiritual life on campus, and many other settings in my career. A bunch of them come from the wonderful Taize community in France, which focuses worship... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Musings
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You just can't make this stuff up. Reality is indeed weirder than fiction. A few days ago, I read a piece on Religion News Service by Christian Pinkston. He decried the "cannibalism" going on among his fellow evangelical Christians who,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Musings
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On the TV coverage of the upcoming Super Bowl on 2/12, there will be a major ad for the "He Gets Us" campaign, which is also showing up on billboards, etc, all over the country. It is a hundred-million-dollar ad... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2023 at Musings
What would it mean for you and me to “end systemic racism” in America? I’ve been pondering deeply the fact that the five police officers accused of the recent pointless, needless killing of a man in Memphis, Tyre Nichols, were... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2023 at Musings
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“There is no more urgent question for American Christians than this: What’s wrong with the American church and how can its life and ministry be renewed? Virtually everyone agrees something is radically wrong with the church… We must find a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2023 at Musings
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Twixt twelve and thirty years, who was Jesus, we ask? The Bible says nothing worth taking to task. A square or a rounder? - we’re all left to wonder How hearty he partied, how much did he blunder? ‘Twas the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2023 at Musings
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(This one's from the "vault" - I wrote it in 2012, after a hike up the mountain behind the University of California, Riverside, where I graduated in 1975. It was a nostalgic ascent, bringing to mind and heart the many... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2023 at Musings
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Dear "musings" readers: For almost 2 decades, I've been writing this (usually) weekly blog - "musings".... and I plan to keep it going for a long time. I'm starting a new blog, alongside it, which I'm calling SOULJOURNING.... it's about nurturing the natural spirituality of young people. If you'd like... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2023 at Souljourning
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For Lent 2023 at my church, UCC Simi Valley, I'm inviting folks to engage with 14 of the questions that Jesus asked his followers during his ministry. From Ash Wednesday, 2/22, through Easter, they will be on display in 14... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2023 at Musings
San Antonio Creek, Ojai, 1-10-2023 The old gospel hymn said it would be fire next time, but it appears there’s been a change of plan. Clouds boiled shades and tones of grey over Nordhoff Ridge above Ojai. Then came the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2023 at Musings
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For a week every year, in the early fall, a city of 70,000 people is built in the Nevada desert and then dismantled and dispersed. Burning Man is a gigantic festival of communal art and expression, drawing people from all... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2023 at Musings
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Years ago, my dear wife, Roberta Maran, came up with an idea at Christmas that enchanted me. “In addition to other presents, let’s give people Christmas boxes that have nothing inside of them – except messages that are deep and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2022 at Musings
Dreams are portals into our souls! Taking them seriously can lead us to the wisdom that lives within us. Each element of our dreams can have many different meanings. Likewise, the Christian religion as a whole is 'dreamlike' - full... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2022 at Musings
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Stair Into the Air Ambition piled in rotting heaps The ego ate its fill The future was so magnetized The past could not sit still The limousines of vanity And truckloads of desire Careened into the gulch of greed And... Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2022 at Musings
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At a seemingly random hour of the night, a chorus of yips, yaps, and howls suddenly commences, echoing across the canyon. With crescendos and diminuendos it continues, raising the follicles on our backs in primal wonderment, until, as if at the wave of a conductor's baton, it just as abruptly... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2022 at The Sespe Howl
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Votivator – November 8, 2022 Dear friends: We must be partisan for the Democrats, for a nonpartisan reason: saving democracy. Every other issue pales in comparison. None of the great questions of our time can be addressed meaningfully if democracy... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2022 at Musings
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As election campaign season nears, it's good for progressives to be aware of some basics when it comes to the use of religious/spiritual rhetoric. A lot of conservative candidates use phrases that they either assume are from the Bible, or... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2022 at Musings
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Despite the remarkable religious and spiritual diversity of America, and the concurrent decline in religious affiliation and participation, the people of the US are still deeply attuned to rhetoric that springs from the Jewish and Christian traditions. Creatively employ Judeo-Christian... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2022 at Musings
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"Code" terms and phrases inspire certain audiences while remaining “off the radar” for others. Theologically progressive Christians, and many other religious people, primarily situate themselves in the “mainstream” culture. They use jargon specific to their faiths, but mostly only in... Continue reading
Posted Sep 20, 2022 at Musings
For some time, I've been "on a mission" to help churches and campus ministries express their progressive identity as simply and straightforwardly as possible. I care about this for two reasons. 1) If we belong to progressive churches or ministries,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2022 at Musings
“For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This knowledge... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2022 at Musings
My friend Daphne, who graduated a few years ago from USC, wrote me a birthday card last week that warmed my soul. In it she wrote these wise words: "I love who I am becoming." I love who she is... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2022 at Musings
In a rush he came unannounced into my office, asking that I close the door behind him. (The word on the quad is that I’m generally available for such spontaneous visitations.) Sitting on the sofa, my student friend poured out... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2022 at Musings
For know, dear ones, that every one of us is undoubtedly responsible for all men — and everything on earth, not merely through the general sinfulness of creation, but each one personally for all mankind and every individual man. This... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2022 at Musings