Saturday, October 23, 2010

WHEN I PRAY Chapel Service Video

Hi all...here's the video from my latest chapel service WHEN I PRAY. Thanks to all who made this possible: Jen, Joy, Terry, Jennifer, Rachel, Jenny, Richard, Janice, Evan, Jim, all the prayer chaplains and ushers, video and audio teams. The stunning artwork is courtesy of Jenny Hahn at jenspaintings.com [please visit her site and support this spiritual artist].

WHEN I PRAY from Ogun Holder on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Church of the Open Road

This morning I worshipped at the Church of the Open Road. Congregation of 3: Me, Myself and I. Found God as I coasted downhill. Found myself on the way back up. Wherever I rode... there I was.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another talk for your listening enjoyment.

Download audio of the latest talk I gave at Unity Center of Peace in Chapel Hill on June 27. I speak about embracing and befriending our death as a guide to how we choose to live. No worries...it's not nearly as depressing as it sounds.

Click HERE to download.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Today I returned to one of my spiritual homes, Unity Church of Manhattan (KS) to be their guest speaker. I spoke on the power of Understanding, one of the 12 Powers. Listen to the talk below [allow a few moments for audio to start]:

If the player doesn't work you can download the file here: UNDERSTANDING

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Skinny bathrooms and such.

There are many things I assume that everyone in this country have experienced. For example...FLIGHT. I assumed that every adult had taken at least one flight on some kind of plane. I didn't know I had made this assumption until a recent flight when I sat across the aisle from a man in his late thirties or early forties who seemed to be having trouble fastening his seat belt.

I thought, "Oh great. It's a full flight and his belt is broken which means we'll have to deplane and I'll probably miss my connecting flight..." The litany of internal complaining continued until he took out the comically colorful pictogram instruction sheet [you know, the one we fan ourselves with before the air comes on] and followed each step successfully. Then it hit me: This is the FIRST TIME this guy is flying. I nudged the obviously veteran-flying thirty-something couple beside me and we proceeded to witness the greatest in-flight entertainment in 30 years since the movie AIRPLANE!

It was obvious as the plane took off that this guy was a redneck good ol' boy from the trailer park a rural lifestyle. He gripped the seat handles tightly and with a "Oh boy...Wohoo!" we were off. After fifteen minutes looking out the window and then quickly leafing through everything he could read in the seat pocket he quickly realized what we all know: unless we bring our own distractions, commercial flying is boring as hell. He eventually fidgeted himself to sleep after a trip to the bathroom, which he announced was the skinniest he'd ever been in.

But by far the most priceless moment was on landing. As the plane descended we could see both his excitement and anxiety levels rise. With about two minutes to touchdown he asked, "Are we fittin' to land?" Upon hearing that we were, he pulled out his cell phone, called a friend, and narrated the entire landing! "Ok, we're gonna land... here we go... OH HOLY SHIT!... pardon my language [to mom and little girl seated next to him]... Hoooweee that hurt... I'll call you back."

We were cracking up across the aisle. I maintain we weren't laughing at him but sharing the childlike joy and excitement of first-time travel he was experiencing. Ok... we were laughing at him, but it was a sight to behold.

First time for everything.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Are We Ready For Love?

Here's my chapel service talk. A H U G E Thank-you to everyone who helped me put this together, and those who supported me with prayers and positive affirmations. I wouldn't be here without you...and that's no exaggeration.

Are We Ready For Love? from Ogun Holder on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


No, I haven't taken another hiatus.

I've been sidetracked by another blogging project. It's actually a class assignment. Our ever-creative theology professor Rev. Dr. Thomas Shepherd gave us the option to blog rather than write a final paper. God bless the man!

 The class is called The Theology of Eric Butterworth and we have been commissioned to read and make a theological examination of one of Unity's most revered ministers and prolific authors. So head over to my blog BETTER WITH BUTTER[WORTH] to read my theological musings.

I'll be posting here again before too long.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

while on my walk...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Survived Lent

Easter Sunday not only marked the end of Holy Week but the end of Lent as well. Lent is roughly the forty days between two of the happiest days on Earth: Mardi Gras and Easter Sunday. Happy for two entirely different reasons for sure, but two days known for celebration.

The idea of Lent is spiritual preparation for Holy Week through various means, like prayer and fasting and sacrifice. No-one's killing anything these days, so we sacrifice a bad habit or vice. Why forty days? It's a symbolic number meaning the right amount of time. Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years [apparently maps and directions were hard to come by]. Jesus reportedly fasted in the desert for forty days before starting his ministry that upended everything.

Luckily, we aren't required to go to any deserts, although a trip to Burning Man would certainly qualify as a spiritual experience [yes it's on my bucket list]. So instead we give up something as a reminder to focus even more on our spirituality. If nothing else, some folks start praying for the forty days to go faster because no-one should go that long without chocolate. Not really how it works, but baby-steps right? In Unity the focus is not simply giving something up, but in the tradition of denials and affirmations, we also embrace a practice to lift our consciousness. It may be more prayer or meditation, extra acts of kindness, you get the idea.

My sacrifice was related to social media. I chose to give up ranting and complaining and posting mundane things, instead only posting the affirming and the uplifting. It took about two weeks for the twitter withdrawal to subside. I sorely missed my Foursquare check-in's. I also realized I was tweeting less...a whole lot less. Sometimes days would go by without updating. It dawned upon me that I needed to spend more time looking for good and uplifting things to tweet about. It was more a matter of focus than just drifting.

They say it takes 21 days to change a habit, so at the end of 40 I shouldn't have a desire to return to my former routine, right? Hardly. I admit it: I checked in on Foursquare yesterday with a huge sigh of relief. But it's also true that the increased mindfulness I obtained is still there and I get to practice that as well.

So if you also observed and survived Lent, a big w00t! to you. Don't forget too soon why you did it though. Make it count.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hey Sanna Hosanna!

Welcome to Holy Week.

It was a busy week for Jesus. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, this was the week that he rode into Jerusalem to great fanfare on Palm Sunday like the new sheriff in town and stirred up all kinds of trouble. It was the the week he finally showed some real human emotion and angrily kicked the merchants out of the temple. It was the week he celebrated Passover with his disciples by sharing the meal that would forever be known as The Last Supper. It was the week he was betrayed by one of his band of twelve and tried as a criminal. It was the week he was killed by one of the Romans' most brutal and humiliating forms of execution: Crucifixion. It was the week that culminated in Easter Morning, the day of Jesus' Resurrection, the event that arguably gave birth to the Christian movement.

Or so the story goes. There are scholars, philosophers, and theologians who would argue on the events of that week. Some debate rather the Jesus we have come to believe was the one that actually lived, if he lived at all [click here, here, and here for more on those hot potatoes]. Yet whether or not the events [or Jesus himself] actually happened, no-one can deny the impact this story has had and continues to have on the world.

So as a Unity ministerial student, what do I think about Holy Week? I see this as a story of Hope. It reminds me that after a dark night of the soul there will be a new day dawning. It assures me that yes, even though there might be some times of excruciating pain and doubt and loneliness, they won't last forever. This is the miracle of Easter: Hope. Not the pray-for-a-miracle type of hoping, but the certainty that there will be new life after the storm.

Hey Sanna Hosanna!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Wakey Wakey!!

Out of the grey doldrums of winter I arise from the Hibernation of the Unmotivated. What's he waxing poetic about now you might ask. Simply this: it was a long hard winter; snowfall records were shattered across the country, and I was unmotivated to put fingers to keyboard with any sense of regularity. Two posts and three months ago I mentioned a new found sense of inner peace, and that peace lulled me into a state of blogging inactivity. Besides class assignments, all my reserve strength was devoted to staying warm. I was fortunate enough to be in Raleigh during the most brutal of the winter months but it was still cold and snowy, even beyond North Carolina expectations.

But like always, spring has returned with a vengeance. The sunny 60's and 70's has knocked my Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD] down for the 8-count and I'm smiling again. A funny thing happens when I break out of SAD: visions of grandeur. I start thinking I can do it all...even the stuff I've been "getting around to" for the last five years. Like writing this book I've been trying to write for the past five years. I got a bit of a boost in December because of a class assignment that required a book idea, a table of contents, a first chapter. But I haven't touched it since.

Until now. There really are no coincidences. I bumped into an editor. Well she bumped into me but that's another story for another time, but there she was. We talked, and I realized that editors can be expensive. We talked some more. Turns out I have a skill she can take advantage of: music. Turns out she'd been lounging on the other side of the find-someone-to-push-me department. And now we found each other. The preliminary trade terms have been penned. Hands have been shaken. Who needs money? I guess you could make the case that we all do. But more importantly, some of us need someone to nudge [or perhaps shove violently] us into our greatness. And in some special cases, we connect with someone we can help as well.

So this is the year I write my book. I have declared it...so let it be. I have an editor who has an attitude that will keep me accountable. And I trust you my readers will also. I won't divulge any details about what I'm writing yet...what fun would that be? But trust me, I will have fun with this. The writer in me demands to be heard.

And there was much rejoicing...YAAAY!