A good friend of mine, Pastor Dan Braga sent along to me Andrew Sullivan's article entitled, "I Used to be A Human Being." Sullivan writes, "The Judeo-Christian tradition recognized a critical distinction — and tension — between noise and silence, between getting through the day and getting a grip on one’s whole life. The Sabbath — the Jewish institution co-opted by Christianity — was a collective imposition of relative silence, a moment of calm to reflect on our lives under the light of eternity. It helped define much of Western public life once a week for centuries —
DO YOU HAVE COMPASSION FATIGUE? You may have had someone ask you, “What are you noticing?” What ARE you noticing? Many of you have reported loneliness, irritability, despair, fatigue, sadness, frustration, confusion, anger, criticism from others, a feeling of not doing enough and fear. Others may admit they do not mind staying home more, not getting dressed to go out, less scheduled activities, more family time, having extra time to work on projects, catching up on reading and a lot of cooking! The topic of balance is discussed frequently in managing our lives and finding happiness.
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
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
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot What are you looking for? A better sense of self? A better home and garden? More knowledge about the Divine or your divinely inspired pursuits? An idealized Christianity or church to validate a privatized salvation project? To figure out your dysfunctional family system? Untie some knotty existential shoelaces tightened by primal repression so that you no longer trip over fear, guilt, and shame? A well balanced portfolio?
PSALM 121: 1-2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121 has always been one of my favorites. My father had all 4 of us children memorize the entire Psalm when we were young. It’s amazing that these verses have come to my heart and mind at different times in my life, even after having not read the Psalm for a very long time. Today, as I look at the mountains in front of me and all
“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
Christian Spiritual Formation is a journey that is one of posturing ourselves to be awakened to the process of coming back to the true self of who God created us to be. The posturing is sometimes difficult. It can require us to be still or it can require us to step into something new because we have been still long enough. Being still requires us to let go of distractions of work, family life, or being busy for the sake of busyness. Stepping into something new requires that we let go of what feels safe and familiar. Which ever
So time launches us ready or not into a new year as we continue on in our journey of faith. I suspect many or at least some of us have made resolutions as we seek to make 2017 profitable for our continued maturation in Christ. The good news of course is that God's Spirit has us on a journey toward becoming our truest self in Christ,(II Cor. 3:18) and he promises to continue to be faithfully present with us here and now in the new year ahead. (Mt. 28:20) Over the holiday season I found myself re-reading various authors
Having driven yesterday to the site of the Ohio River at Leavenworth, Indiana, we stopped for a few moments to gaze upon its beauty. While the sun glistened on the water, the view became even more restful and inviting to just “be in the moment.” It was life-giving to watch it move gently down the way. Interestingly enough, the Scripture reading for this morning was on the passage of the River of Healing in Ezekiel 47: 1-12. Verse 9 states that “everything that touches the water of this river will live.” Then....”Wherever this water flows, everything will live. “ The