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Subtitles and Footnotes on the Life of Christopher L Heuertz

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Here’s 's talk “Spirituality for Our Time” from her recent trip to

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The 16th Annual 2013-14 Tom Osborne Memorial College Football Poll

1.   Florida State (4)    100

2.   Auburn                    94

2.   Michigan State        94

4.   Oklahoma                85

5.   Missouri                   79

6.   Clemson                  77

7.   Alabama                  74

7.   Oregon                    74

9.   South Carolina         71

10. UCF                         62

11. Stanford                   58

12. Baylor                      57

13. the Ohio State         52

14. LSU                         51

15. UCLA                       42

16. Oklahoma State       39

17. Louisville                  33

18. Notre Dame             27

19. USC                         26

20. Nebraska                 22

21. Duke                        17

22. Texas A&M              14

23. Arizona State            11

24. North Dakota State   10

24. Vanderbilt                 10

24. Wisconsin                 10

 Others Receiving Votes: Washington 6, Fresno State 4, Georgia 1.

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6th Annual Oompa Loompa Love Songs Playlist :: The Best Songs of 2013

Before we forget 2013 and live hard into 2014, here goes my annual list of the year’s best songs.

Unlike previous years (the 3rd annual list and the 4th annual list and even the 5th annual list),  I kept this year’s list at a slim 30 tunes.

Again, I’ll note that there were a few artists who are more-than-deserving for MULTIPLE entries on this list (Sleeping at Last, Disclosure…), but I tried to keep this year’s list to only one song per artist (Daft Punk is the sole exception because I LOVED that album).

Soooooo, here ya go… Let the hate, debate and list of what was missed begin:

  1) “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (feat. Mary Lambert) from The Heist

  2) "Safe and Sound" by Capital Cities from In a Tidal Wave of Mystery (their original video was SO MUCH BETTER…)

  3) "Closer" by Tegan and Sara from Heartthrob 

  4) “Youth” by Foxes

  5) “Saturn” by Sleeping at Last from Atlas: Space 2

  6) “The World Awaits Us All” by Roman Candle on Debris

  7) “Thread” Now, Now

  8) “Doin’ It Right” by Daft Punk (feat. Panda Bear) from Random Access Memories

  9) “Kick Ass” by MIKA vs RedOne 

  10) “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk (feat. Parrell Williams) from Random Access Memories

  11) “1977” by Ana Tijoux

  12) “A Song for the Weary” by David Hodges (feat. Ryan O’Neal of Sleeping At Last” from The December Sessions, Vol. 2

  13) “Pink Rabbits” by the National from Trouble Will Find Me

 14) “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake (feat. Majid Jordan) from Nothing Was the Same

15) “IJSW” by Anberlin from Devotion

16) “Drunk In Love” by Beyonce (feat. Jay Z)  

   17) “So Good To Me” by Chris Malinchak

  18) “Falling” by HAIM

  19) “Song for Zula” by Phosphorescent from Muchacho

  20) “When a Fire Starts to Burn” by Disclosure from Settle

  21) “Lying Beast” by Run River North

  22) “Rescue” by Yuna from Nocturnal

  23) “Hey Ya” by Vampire Weekend from Modern Vampires of the City

  24) “Make It Out This Town” by Eve (feat. Gabe Saporta)

  25) “Pompeii” by Bastille from Bad Blood

  26) “Summertime Sadness” by Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais

  27) “Supreme” by Postiljonen from Skyler

  28) “You’re Not the One” by Sky Ferreira from Night Time, My Time

  29) “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake from The 20/20 Experience

  30) “Treasure” by Bruno Mars from Unorthodox Jukebox

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Rabia of Basra :: Sufi Saint, Poet, Survivor of Human Trafficking, & Contemplative Mystic

It was in my copy of Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, that I first came across Rabia of Basra (or Rabi’a al-Adawiyya al-Qaysiyy).

Rabia’s tale is one of the most heart-breaking and compelling stories I’ve heard in a long, long time.

Rabia lived during the 8th century in ancient Iraq. She was the youngest of 4 daughters in a very poor, but respectable family. As a young girl her father died, and eventually Rabia was not only separated from her parents but her sisters as well.

She was left wandering and vulnerable.

Known to possess captivating beauty, some biographers tell that Rabia was captured and sold at a considerably high price as a sex slave to one of the most famous brothels of her day. There she was imprisoned until she was nearly 50 years old. 

Reflecting on the torment of her trafficking and sexual slavery she wrote,

 “What a place for trials and transformation did my Lover put me, but never once did He look upon me as if I were impure. Dear sisters, all we do in this world, whatever happens, is bringing us closer to God.”

Her poems are simple, her prayers moving, her life recognized as a saint in the Sufi tradition. Rabia spent her life suffering as a contemplative mystic, faithful to her faith through the exploitation of her sexuality.

In the introduction to her section of poems in the book, the translator Daniel Ladinsky concludes with this quote from her writings, 

“Show me where it hurts, God said, and every cell in my body burst into tears before His tender eyes. He has repaid me though for all my suffering in a way I never wanted: The sun is now in homage to my face, because it knows I have seen God. But that was not His payment. The soul cannot describe His gift. I just spoke about the sun like that because I like beautiful words, and because it’s true: Creation is in homage to us.”

May Rabia’s courage, faith, and resilience challenge us in this new year; through her example may we throw ourselves at the audacity of hope in the face of adversity; and in the spirit of Rabia let us find hints of the Divine in even the most difficult of situations.

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Here ya go, the official 12th annual Star Wars Nativity Set (see below to links for archived Star Wars Nativity Sets).


*Adi Gallia = the Virgin Mary
*Mace Windu = Joseph
*Dagobah Yoda = Baby Jesus
*C3PO = Original Christmas Star
*Rancor Keeper = Inn Keeper
*Aunt Beru = Inn Keeper’s Partner
*Tatooine Anakin Skywalker= Little Drummer Boy
*Bib Fortuna = Magi
*Orn Free Taa = Magi
*Nute Gunray = Magi
*Sly Moore Coruscant Senator = Magi
*Graxol Kelvyn = Magi
*Han Solo in Carbonite = gift from Magi
*Bucket of Light Sabers = gift from Magi
*Box of Hats = gift from Magi
*Princess Leia Organa Jabab’a Prisoner = Arch Angel Gabriella
*Jawa 1 = Shepard Fairey
*Jawa 2 = Shepard
*Jawa 3 = Shepard
*Jawa 4 = Shepard
*Jawa 5 = Shepard
*Romba (Ewok) = Shepard
*Graak (Ewok) = Shepard
*Wicket W. Warwick (Ewok) = Shepard
*Teebo (Ewok) = Shepard
*Zartan = Shepard Intern
*Labria = the Devil (the real devil doesn’t have horns, those are a metaphor for fear)
*Spirit of Anakin = God the Father (keeping it Trinitarian)
*Spirit of Obi Wan = the Holy Spirit (keeping it Trinitarian)
*Spirit of Yoda = God the Son (keeping it Trinitarian)
*Miniature Darth Sideous Hologram 1 = Raptured Enoch
*Miniature Darth Sideous Hologram 2 = Raptured Elijah


Archived photo albums for previous Star Wars nativity scenes can be found here:

11th Annual Heuertz Star Wars Nativity

10th Annual Heuertz Star Wars Nativity and Here

9th Annual Heuertz Star Wars Nativity and Here

7th Annual Heuertz Star Wars Nativity

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Why bother? Why cultivate contemplative spirituality in a demanding world with insatiable needs?

To sustain, not just to sustain, but to thrive in difficult vocations of hope we found that we need to nurture a deep spirituality.

We’re all interested in making the world a better place. But it’s not easy. Learning to develop contemplative practices that make room for silence, solitude, and stillness allows our inner life to impact the external world for good.

The world is in desperate need of healing. And we found that to the degree that we are healed, the world will be healed.

We need both. The contemplative and the active have to go hand in hand.

Film produced by The Work of the People with music from Sleeping at Last

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Darkwood Byte: @phileena Heuertz on the discipline of contemplative practice.

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"The Ordinary" :: a film by The Work of the People @twotp

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