7 03, 2018

How to win…a post by Tom

By |2018-03-07T16:29:01-04:00March 7th, 2018|Community, Dark Night, Emotions, Lent, Sin, Suffering|1 Comment

“God is with us in our horror, our terror, our violence, and our suffering. God refuses to add to the evil and violence, but instead responds with vulnerable, compassionate love. That’s how God wins.” –Marcus Borg “How to win” seems to dominate our attention be it sports, business, war, politics, an argument, or just in general the game of life. We all want to be happy, successful, secure, significant, competent, in control, and affirmed. These are not bad in and of themselves but when “winning” these becomes our emotional program for happiness, we are headed for trouble. The cross

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

9 01, 2018

Accept the anxiety of 2018…a post by Tom

By |2018-01-09T17:34:43-04:00January 9th, 2018|Attachment, Attachment Patterns, Clarity, Emotions, Grace, Letting Go, Suffering, Trust|0 Comments

Happy New Year! I hope it is a slow, unstable, gradual, and anxious one for you.   Could you imagine getting a card with this in it?  Well, the following words from Teilhard shed light on what this spiritual formation process feels like. The ending part on "accepting the anxiety" has ministered to me greatly.   I thought them worthy of reflection for 2018. “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being

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

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.

5 06, 2017

When the Dew Dries …a post by Jim

By |2017-06-05T15:05:39-04:00June 5th, 2017|Character, Clarity, Decisions, Future, Responsibility, Spiritual Disciplines, Suffering, Time|1 Comment

When going for a morning walk last week I notice an unusual sight on the sidewalk. There were hundreds of dead worms. Strange. I’ve seen a few on the sidewalk before but nothing like this. I wondered what caused them to die there. After a couple miles I seem to stumble on what I thought was a reasonable answer. Worms need moisture. And we haven’t had rain in a week. Instead of doing the hard work of digging their way into the sod of the lawns they seemed to be seduced by the heavy dew that was on the

3 10, 2016

Home is where the heart is…a post by Jim

By |2016-10-03T20:40:24-04:00October 3rd, 2016|Attachment, Attachment Patterns, Community, Emotions, family systems, Relational Design, Self-Clarity, Suffering, The Relational Soul|0 Comments

Home is where the heart is. Sounds encouraging. And it should be. Home should be the place where our souls are safe, encouraged, and loved. Home should be the best place to be. But there is another way to think of the phrase, “Home is where the heart is.” And it isn’t necessarily good news. Because the state of our home, especially our family of origin when we are young, has a huge impact on where the heart is emotionally. And if the home system is not healthy or holy we will struggle when it comes to how close

23 08, 2016

Perfectly imperfekt…a post by Tom

By |2016-08-23T20:56:31-04:00August 23rd, 2016|Burnout, Creation, Discernment, Emotions, Fear, Human, Humility, Love, Presumption, Self-Clarity, Suffering|0 Comments

Why can’t anything or anyone be perfect? Why can’t this thing go the way it is supposed to? The long answer involves all the flaws, shortcomings, mistakes, sins, errors, and imperfections in every given person and situation. The short answer is because that every person or thing is not God. Seems like God put Himself in a bind by creating anything because anything created would always fall short of the Creator. After all only God is good. Even without sin entering the picture everything still falls short of the full glory of God! It is refreshing to know that

27 06, 2016

Dark Night…a post by Tom

By |2016-07-14T21:34:05-04:00June 27th, 2016|Burnout, Dark Night, Desire, Emotions, Faith, Fear, Loneliness, Questions, Self-Clarity, Suffering, Trust|0 Comments

Jeremiah 20:7 (ESV)                 7         O Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived;                         you are stronger than I, and you have prevailed.                         I have become a laughingstock all the day; everyone mocks me.   This is not what the prophet Jeremiah signed up for. He was doing everything he thought he was supposed to be doing. He was following God. He was getting pounded in the process. I love Jeremiah’s unabashedly bold and emotional words of honesty. It is one thing to feel that Satan has deceived you but God? Wow. This is

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