17 12, 2018

Baking Christmas Cookies…a post by Joy

By |2018-12-17T15:01:52-04:00December 17th, 2018|Advent, Community, Emmanuel, Fear, Future, Grace, Living in the now, Matthew 19:13-14, Now, Waiting|2 Comments

Baking and decorating cookies is a Christmas tradition that I have done with my children, my grandson, my great nieces here for Thanksgiving, and with other children throughout the years. Connecting with my own “inner child” while making cookies with the children brings a lot of delight to me. It’s wonderful that God created us with the ability to be child-like at times. It’s a way that we  can  “step into” exemplifying that part of Christ. Amazingly, God chose to send His son into the world as an infant to live and experience the life of being a child before growing

29 05, 2018

God is with me in the shifting…a post by Joy

By |2018-05-29T17:04:44-04:00May 29th, 2018|Character, Clarity, Decisions, Fear, Future, Hebrews 13:5, Human, Humility, Listening, Prayer, Presence, Stillness, Surrender, Trust and Faith|0 Comments

In the journey of Christian Spiritual Formation, when everything is shifting on the inside of our souls, like shifting sands of the sea, there is typically shifting in our external world as well. It can either paralyze us or inspire us to move forward one step at a time. Choosing to sit still to “Be with God” is not a posture of paralysis. It is a position of honoring God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit who live within us. Yet, when we are working, serving, or playing, these are also positions of honoring His

28 02, 2018

Shed Weight…a post by Joy

By |2018-02-28T02:30:03-04:00February 28th, 2018|Body, Decisions, Emotions, Fear, Lent, Responsibility|1 Comment

Two weeks before Lent, I began thinking and praying about what I was to “give up” for this holy season of preparation for Easter. Chocolate and other favorite foods (full of calories) came to mind! I’ve done without these delicious delicacies during other Lent seasons, I felt like it didn’t really seem to fit for this year. I typically don’t talk about what Christ has invited me to “give up” during this time, but it’s a fascinating time to talk to the children who have been in my care through the years. Chocolate, TV time, electronic games, completing chores

7 02, 2018

Say anything…a post by Tom

By |2018-02-07T16:02:18-04:00February 7th, 2018|Burnout, Dark Night, Death, Despair, Emotions, Fear, Grace, Suffering, Trust and Faith|1 Comment

Job spoke, saying: Is not man's life on earth a drudgery? Are not his days those of hirelings? He is a slave who longs for the shade, a hireling who waits for his wages. So I have been assigned months of misery, and troubled nights have been allotted to me. If in bed I say, "When shall I arise?" then the night drags on; I am filled with restlessness until the dawn. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle; they come to an end without hope. Remember that my life is like the wind; I shall not see

23 01, 2018

Death Be Not Proud…a post by Jim

By |2018-01-23T16:22:25-04:00January 23rd, 2018|Death, Despair, Disease, Emotions, Fear, Resurrection, Suffering|1 Comment

Maybe it is because I feel my own mortality more clearly. Maybe it is because I am more sensitive to the life that God intended us to have. Maybe it is because I’m simply scared. Maybe it is a combination of the above and other things of which I am unaware. But whatever the reason, I am having a hard time when someone mentions that a parent died. It happened again last week. Someone told me that their dad had recently died. Their words slammed my soul. I knew him. He was a good man. Somehow he got himself

23 08, 2017

A Response to Charlotteville… a post by Jim

By |2017-08-23T20:19:29-04:00August 23rd, 2017|Community, Emotions, Fear, Forgiveness, Good Samaritan, Humility, Racism, Relational Design, Repentance, Responsibility, Sin, Suffering|0 Comments

In recent days events in Charlottesville, VA were given great prominence in the news. At least that is what is seems. My wife and I happened to be out of the country at the time with no T.V. and little social media. When we returned, after seeing headlines from things a week earlier, i did my best to catch up. Sincerely wish that I was not confronted with what I read. Very sad. And sinful. The responses have died down because there are other issues now (e.g. statues). But I felt the desire to give my response even if

31 07, 2017

“Shoulds” That hold us hostage…a post by Joy

By |2017-07-31T22:48:18-04:00July 31st, 2017|Clarity, Decisions, Discernment, Fear, Forgiveness, Grace, Living in the now, Now, Regret, Stillness, Trust|2 Comments

I should go to bed earlier; I should lose weight; I should exercise more; I should have made a different decision than what I did.  “Shoulds” that hold us hostage and weigh us down are one of the elements of life that keep us from living with the freedom of “what is”. The reality of “now” and being present to it as a way of life keeps me from wandering in the past and the imaginations of the future. Don’t get me wrong. I love history and reminiscing about good memories that have already been lived. I enjoy planning

27 06, 2017

Who knew?…a post by Tom

By |2017-06-27T10:28:44-04:00June 27th, 2017|Burnout, Dark Night, Easter, Fear, Loneliness, Questions, Suffering, Surrender, Trust, Trust and Faith, Waiting|1 Comment

The spiritual life is not easy. Our false self does not go down without a fight, and one to the death. This is a really inconvenient battle to wage when it is challenging enough to just live life.  Who really knew what we were signing up for in following Jesus and taking this journey seriously? Who really knew that the path would evolve and feel more like death and descent? The One Who guides us knows. Others who have gone before know. Be encouraged by the following quote from Joseph Benner an American Protestant mystic who seems to know.

14 06, 2017

Be Still And Know That I Am God…a post by Joy

By |2017-06-14T18:15:47-04:00June 14th, 2017|Clarity, Discernment, Emotions, Fear, Listening, Prayer, Solitude and Silence, Spiritual Disciplines, Stillness, Trust and Faith|0 Comments

“Being Still” can be one of the most challenging things we do in the journey of Christian spiritual formation. In our culture, there are so many distractions. Some of them are good distractions, such as our jobs and tending to our families and friends. Others are distractions of guilt, shame, or fear that keep us from even considering “being still” much less actually “doing” it. Scripture doesn’t say to us, “Be still and be perfect” or “Be still and God will love you forever,” or “ Be still and God will protect you.” Psalm 46:10 says, “BE STILL and KNOW

3 04, 2017

Invitation to Trust…a post by Rich

By |2017-04-03T20:21:25-04:00April 3rd, 2017|Clarity, Emotions, Faith, Fear, Future, Humility, John 14:1, Listening, Living in the now, Prayer, Questions, Quotes, Trust|3 Comments

Brennan Manning in his book "Ruthless Trust" tells the following story. "When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at “the house of the dying” in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: “Pray

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