2017 … Precious, Divine, Beloved, Holy …


A week or so ago a friend of mine delivered her first child. A miracle baby hoped in love, conceived in love, nourished in love and now held in love. I thought today how words like sanctified and holy meant set apart for divine purpose … and how the very act of sanctifying something or making it holy doesn’t just make it more significant but,

the very nature of it is believed to be changed.

Then I thought about love … how this little precious infant has been changed by love and will continue to be changed by love. Though she will do common baby things like poop, pee and cry … she will be loved and her common ways will be sanctified. They are not any child’s common ways, to these parents, these common ways are extraordinary. And they will continue to be as long as they stay close to their overwhelming gratefulness.

Every day we are called to sanctify, to see as holy, set apart, those we love and that which we are called to do.

And every day much of what we confront is common, ordinary, usual. How do we respond to the discipline of sanctification – the discipline of holiness … or do we? What difference does it make when I am treated by my beloved as precious, divine, loved beyond measure, holy? What difference do I make when I love my family, serve my friends and clients with intentional love? Do I participate in shaping their very nature? Do I usher them closer to the image of God within? When I see the divinity in the common, usual, do I bring into view the gifts all around me? Do I see more clearly all that I am grateful for?

What difference might it make this year if I were to see each day of 2017 as sanctified – set apart – holy?  So much of our world is set on destruction, greed, and consumption.  What difference might I make if I were to be intentional to manifest love – to seeing the beauty and miracles around me – loving hard the people in my life? What if I took more opportunities to encourage others, to stand up for those who are marginalized, to offer more help where help is needed? What if, with intention, I consumed less and gave more?

I would say that herein lies a kernel of great wisdom.

If I could discipline myself to love with fierce intention the divinity in my children, my beloved, my friends, colleagues and clients, then the ordinary becomes transformed. When I listen with fierce intention – the experience of being heard is transformed. When I hug with fierce intention – the experience of being held is transformed. The ordinary becomes extraordinary. And when I make love with my beloved – the very nature of sex, of our touch, is transformed into something beyond our senses – beyond words – in the realm of the divine … and we are changed.

I invite you to join me in 2017, in transforming the ordinary around us … to bring love where love is needed, hope where hope is needed, less where less is needed, and more where more is needed.

I invite us all to bring a new kind of intention to each day so we might all  unleash the potential of transformational love into our desperately hurting world.

It is time for the truth in love to set us free.



Sex, God & the Conservative Church – Erasing Shame from Sexual Intimacy

Synopsis: This book is the first of its kind written to help people of faith who have experienced religious sexual shame. This shame and trauma comes as an inadvertent byproduct of the sex-negative sexual ethic of conservative religion.  Based on ten years of research, it explains what happened in the formation of the Christian church and how American culture can compound the problem. It goes on to reveal a sex-positive ancient Hebrew story that was buried in Christian history and the sex-positive gospel ethic that was never developed. Finally it offers a four step model for healing religious sexual shame, and actual touch and non-touch exercises to bring healing and intimacy into a person’s life.  The book is appropriate for clients, patients, therapists, clergy, physicians, and those who train sociology students, therapists, sex therapists, clergy or primary care physicians.  It also is a text that would function well in a book group or study group and for those who want to explore the impact of religious sexual shame and those who want to heal or help someone else to heal.  It is sensitive to those who grew up in conservative church environments, while simultaneously providing adequate information for the provider that may not be familiar with that culture.


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