What Spirithome.com is:
- Spirithome.com is an information resource for your spiritual walk. You're free to take from it what you want and come back for more as you need it. You won't agree with everything, but you'll come away with something each time you come.
- It's a resource on Christian spirituality. There's lots of common ground with other religions, especially Judaism, and you'll see some of that in Spirithome. But let others tell you about their faith; they know it better than I do. I'm a Christian, and that's the realm I know and want you to know.
- You may not think so by its reputation, but Christianity is the broadest major religion in the world. There are so many different Christian believers with so many different practices and theologies that it boggles the mind. There's not 'a' Christian spirituality, but a full spectrum of spiritualities, all joined together at Jesus, his cross, and his empty tomb. Spirithome.com has its own point of view, and shares it openly and sometimes assertively. But it also brings in other views in a way that helps you understand their common roots.
- Spirithome.com talks a lot about the Holy Spirit. Yet the core of any Christian spirituality is Jesus Christ. I write quite a lot about Him, too. But so does everyone else. So I take a somewhat different angle. We do not experience the living, risen Christ if the Holy Spirit is not working within us. It is the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ sent to be with us, now that He is not physically here anymore. It is the Holy Spirit that changes us and leads us to be more like Christ. Thus, Spirithome.com is written with more of an emphasis on the Holy Spirit than most other sources have, while not losing sight of Jesus at the center.
- I hope to bring you knowledge, but also to help you find understanding. There's a lot of flat-out bull out there on the Web. The site's not written to tell you what is and is not bull (well... not usually....), but to give you some descriptions and information to help you sort it out for yourself.
- Spirithome.com reflects my commitment to the idea that there is no secret knowledge of God - or at least, none that matters. God wants you to know. That's why God gave us the Bible. That's why He came to walk among us -- Immanu'el: God-with-us. If I were not freely sharing it, I'd be defying the Spirit and the way the Spirit chooses to work. Any talk of 'secret spiritual knowledge' by today's new spiritualists is a way of lying about God. Yes, there are many mysteries of Christian spirituality, but they're mysteries even to the wisest of sages. The more we know, the more there is yet to discover. God likes us to explore them, and every once in a while we learn something more about them. But God would rather have us live in the mysteries than figure them out.
- Another core idea of the Spirithome.com site is that you are a part of the story of God's work on earth. Not by any means the main part, but an important part. When you live in a way that follows Christ, you're in the story. Now. As you are. No matter what anyone else says.
- Spirituality is crippled when it has no feet; the talk must be matched by the walk. So Spirithome.com is geared to get you to live out your spirituality, with stuff you can use. Once in a while, you'll run across a Spirithome Dare. When you do, try it yourself!
What Spirithome.com is not :
- It's not a set of evangelistic tracts. I hope you come to believe in Christ, if you don't already. That hope stands behind everything I write. But Spirithome.com carries out this hope by simply sharing the knowledge and the understanding. The rest is left to the Spirit.
- It's not apologetic material. It was not written for the purpose of exposing twisted or false beliefs. If, as Spirithome.com shares the knowledge and understanding, lies and liars become exposed, so much the better. The hope is that you learn how to discover for yourself, in your situation, who's fooling whom.
- It's not a church or ministry organization. I take no donations from users, I have no staff, no officers, no affiliates, no tax exemption, no organization. Spirithome.com holds no worship services, seminars, fund raisers, or tent rallies. I am held accountable by a small core of people, on an informal basis.
- It does not represent the official views of any church. I am an ELCA Lutheran, and it shows in my writings. But I didn't write this for Lutherans. I wrote it for anyone who is not familiar with the Christian faith, even those that see themselves as 'Christian' but would like to know more about it, maybe getting past some prejudices or misinformation while they're at it. I sometimes choose to say things in a way that doesn't sound Lutheran but draws from the root beliefs that most Christians (including Lutherans) hold in common.
- It's not a store. So don't ask for Spirithome.com tote bags, videos, CDs, and sweatshirts. I also do not offer reprints of the Web pages. Just print out the pages you need on a printer; it's quicker, cheaper, and always up-to-date.
- It's not point/counterpoint. Spirithome.com isn't here to make points about the hot-button issues of religion, the Web, politics, or society at large. It's not here for debates.
- It's not a place to find out who's 'in', 'hip', or 'with-it' in the world of religion. The Spirit is rarely in with the in crowd. However, we are paying attention to what today's writers are writing, what lay leaders are doing, what seminars, conferences, and universities are putting forth. Follow those links where you see them; if you listen, too, you will learn a lot.
- You will find no love here for powderpuff spirituality. This is Christian spirituality, which is very down-to-earth even when it's in the spirit-realm. It is made of doorways and windows and passageways, not mirrors.
- This is for those of you who are pastors or homilists: Spirithome's not a sermon cheat sheet. So if you use it like Cliff's Notes, you're cheating your parishioners and yourself. Instead, show them how the day's Gospel reading is impacting you and those you've been watching and living around, perhaps grabbing an idea or two from here. If you work at it honestly, it'll have far more impact than a sermon that rips this site off.
How you can use this site :
- The subject reference index, listed alphabetically. (Scan through it; you may want to check out something you hadn't thought of.)
- The keyword search, powered by Google. Put the word or phrase that interests you into the form below, and up pops a list of all the places that word appears on the Spirithome site.
The category lists :
- the meanings of spiritual words;
- the meanings of the terms special to the Christian churches;
- words often used about the Bible
- spiritual gifts;
- spiritual fruits;
- an eye on the paranormal;
- spiritual disciplines and practices.
- I try to email back most of those who email me, though that's become very hard to do at the current email volume. I've posted some of my replies, on various pages, stripped of anything that might identify the person or people involved, to explain some things not otherwise covered on the site.
- Please feel free to use these materials in your church's education program, no charge. You don't have to ask permission for congregational or home/cell educational use; just remember to give the proper credits, and please tell me about how you used it.
- And, you can suggest changes or added subjects yourself, via e-mail. I'm always looking for the ways that the Holy Spirit has worked or is working in your life, and other sorts of thoughtful feedback.
On me :
- I was given Christian baptism as an infant in the Episcopal (US branch of Anglican) Church, studied at various churches' Vacation Bible Schools and youth classes, with a lot of my own studying, eventually moving toward Lutheran beliefs.
- I am a confirmed, communing, and contributing lay member of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America), the mainline-ish branch of US Lutheranism. I recently retired from a job in municipal planning. I have graduate degrees in that line of work, and am looking for clients for a consultancy in that field. I have no official standing, ordination, or seminary training of any kind. (Nothing against seminaries. I love being a student; there's always something new to learn. I've just never studied at a seminary, and never needed to.)
- Spirithome speaks a lot about matters of concern to all sorts of Christians, including Pentecostalists and Charismatics. I'm not a charismatic; there are doctrinal differences, and concerns about many of their practices. Yet, all Christians can learn a lot from them about living the faith-life today. And, this site's deliberate emphasis on the under-emphasized Holy Spirit fits with their faith concerns. So, Spirithome's in dialogue with the pentecostalist tradition, just as with other traditions old and new, as a source for better understanding the way of Christ and true equals in the fellowship of the one Body.
- I'm also a 30-year veteran of non-commercial radio, at WUSB 90.1 FM in Stony Brook NY USA. I'm heard on alternating Sundays, 12:30-2:30pm Eastern (New York City) time, at 90.1 FM on Long Island and coastal Connecticut, on wusb.fm live Webcast, and on the TuneIn app on your phone.
- I'm no spirituality expert in any way. My prayer life is vigorous but spotty. I sometimes leave the site alone for weeks so I can deal with my own problems. I struggle against pretending to be a know-it-all, and against turning my works for the faith into an ego thing. I am just a writer and a Christian, leaning mostly on the wisdom of others for what I write here. Please keep me, the site, and the site's users in prayer.