What I want to do today is get into winter. Really get into it. Last week we talked about our dying time and how we might see it as one of the most important things in our life we can undertake. I received a question, “How do you help?” Tied with it is another question, …
Nathan Bettger | Oshkosh, WI
Located in Bend
Last update: December 17th, 2016 at 07:24 pm
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Spiritual Direction and reflections on Spirituality
This is a general summary of a talk I did at First Congregational Church in Oshkosh, WI on November 27th, 2016. It is part of a three part series on End of Life, Dying, and living into the seasons of Life. We are going to be talking about dying and end of life. Please sit …
it is not all the internal emotional and psychological energy devoted to reading, posting, reposting, and rebuking each other in the news or on Facebook all day that is going to make a difference in the world. The things that are lasting are the ancient ways of the earth: connecting to the life around us (both human and mor
My eyes need softening, my gaze the balm of what they were made to behold. We were not made to stare into that blue light of our screens. The computer, the television, the phone. None of these are part of our natural way of being. It is truest for us to see in the light …
Writing about what we do or don’t deserve is a tough one as there is this pretty intense paradox around this concept. What we deserve, though, makes sense within the context of spiritual growth and maturity. On one hand, in the world of self help, self care, and self honoring, I hear often, “Do this …
If we can just begin to see how much death is a part of life. It is part of what happens to all healthy, mature, and connected to the earth beings. We don't just go from living do dead... but it seems many people want this to be their experience.
My wife asked me the other day, “How does a person process grief?” You’d think that as a chaplain, walking beside and with those who are grieving, I would have had an answer in that moment. Maybe because it was the last, lingering thought before sleeping and I was further along than she, or maybe …
It means something to be where you are from. And not just your family, not just your culture, or your religion or your country… It means something unequivically significant to be an occupier of the land you live upon. I am quite certain that most do not have this sensibility, at least not consciously but …
Ideally, our heart, mind, and body would be in sync when it comes to our dying time. How do we as those who may or may not be dying get to this place? If we are paying attention and unafraid, we will know. It's never too early to begin thinking about how we want our dying time to be.
The title should perhaps read, Death (Re)defines Me and Us. As a chaplain, and perhaps more specifically, as a human with my particular “Soulcraft,” I think about death daily. It happens to be my road in life to walk alongside those who are dying, wonder with them what death asks of them and of us, …
Kat asked me last night what I think is the most important thing that people need as far as spiritual, emotional, and health support. This is something we think about a lot in our soul crafts of spiritual support (me), yoga teaching (her), and resilient community building (both). I thought long and hard about what …
I think Easter is supposed to be the cornerstone holiday of Christianity, at least that’s what I grew up thinking in my Evangelical upbringing. After all, Jesus died to pay the price for all our sins and then he rose again, finalizing it and making it clear that God approved of the sacrifice. It’s a great oppo
Nature requires chaos and disorder for resiliency... is it any different for human communities seeking resiliency and health? We must change up our rhythms, who is present, what we eat, and the places we gather in order to grow and be strong. Diversity, disorder, even chaos should be woven into to each aspect of our lives.
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Had some thoughts after church today, coming from worship and also from many experiences as a chaplain. As one who gravitates towards psychoanalysis (especially Kohut’s theory of Self Psychology) and spiritual direction (especially the tradition of the Christian mystic), there are some things that stand out to me dif
Having moved to Oshkosh now, some six weeks ago, I have set some intentions that I hope will move towards change. I don’t like to tell people of the things that I hope to change ahead of time, because I have, so many times before, passed from one thing to the next before any real …
Remember when you got the wind knocked out of you? Nothing previously can prepare you for this moment, and there is no assurance that the next breath will come. This is the unknown.
“Yet a part of you still believes you can fight and survive no matter what your mind knows. It's not so strange. Where there's still life, there's still hope. What happens is up to God.”
Now that I have begun my residency for hospital chaplaincy, I have had plenty of opportunity to reflect on my view and process of suffering. There is something missing if I don’t experience suffering on a soul level. It moves from being an explanation to a conviction.
So we moved! Wow… after some crazy amounts of driving, a very packed schedule sleeping in many different places, we have landed in Portland, OR. I think the best way to write about this time is to quote my brain… yes, a few of the things that have been tumbling around during this last week. […]
One the eve of my 33rd birthday, I can really only think of gratitude and humor at the year I am moving beyond. While it hasn’t been an easy year, it has been better than some, and though full of insane life transitions, I would say I have been gifted with some good Bettger resilience, […]
The use and creation of tools is a trait that marks species apart from others as intelligent more further evolved. If there is a problem that needs fixing, we just need to find the right tool to do the job. But, if our human evolution stops at the limit of tool creating, we are lost.
In an email conversation recently with a dear friend, we addressed the dilemma of pharmaceuticals and the epidemic of depression that so many are getting diagnosed with. What causes depression anyway and how revealing it is that many doctors are now saying their knowledge of these so quickly medicated “disorders”
I’m a lot calmer now. There are so many times I wish I could be more in control of my environment. If I could only keep the dog from eating Brendan’s spaghetti that I feel so good about making for him (it even had meat in it…). If I could only stop my two year […]
…Try it. This is how Bruce Feiler ends his brilliant book, The Secrets of Happy Families. I just finished it tonight and have loved it so much, I have to write up a quick review. It’s not just another book on how to raise your kids better, how to be a more loving couple, or […]