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

15 05, 2018

What are you exploring?…a post by Tom

By |2018-05-15T14:19:28-04:00May 15th, 2018|Beauty, Burnout, Clarity, Decisions, Discernment, Gift, Grace, Humility, Presence, Rest, Self-Clarity, Stillness, Surrender|1 Comment

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?

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

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

13 11, 2017

Trusting God’s Faithfulness…a post by Joy

By |2017-11-13T15:15:28-04:00November 13th, 2017|Despair, Emotions, Faith, Letting Go, Surrender, Trust, Trust and Faith|2 Comments

As Christ transforms us daily to be more like Him, sometimes He allows delight and sometimes He allows pain to do the transformational work in us. Sometimes being present and vulnerable with the painful challenges in our lives is what creates the most beauty in the long run. Our lives are not about living without pain and struggles. It’s more about how we respond to what happens to us along the way.  Psalm 37:4--”Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”  If our greatest desire is to know God and to

9 10, 2017

Go fish…a post by Tom

By |2017-10-09T20:36:02-04:00October 9th, 2017|Burnout, Decisions, Desire, Discipleship, Listening|1 Comment

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”  –Vincent Van Gogh “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Jesus As Christians (little Christs) we know that life is a spiritual battleground and the opposition to God’s love can seem tremendous. However, we too like fishermen, have never found these dangers good reason to stay on the sidelines. We are drawn and compelled to enter into our spheres of influence and fish for what is true, noble, and good about

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

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