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Switching the Focus
By |   October 20, 2014 |   in Blog, Living Well & Flourishing |   BE THE FIRST TO COMMENT

Because the Renovare´ Book Club and Goodreads is studying my book Madame Guyon Her Autobiography, I’ve been re-reading it. I’ve been particularly impressed by Jeanne Guyon’s peace and tranquility in the face of so much persecution. She was lied about, so much so that her older son and many others were turned against her. Certain people, mostly religious leaders, schemed to get her inheritance and to gain custody of her children for their own gain. One group tried to get her 12 year old daughter to marry a . . .well, “dirty old man,” shall we say? . . . so that it would profit them. Such injustice, especially by Christians, really upsets me. How can they do that???

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The Good Life – Lessons from Brendan the Navigator
By |   October 6, 2014 |   in Blog, Living Well & Flourishing |   2 Comments

“Shall I abandon the comforts and benefits of my home…

Shall I take leave of my friends and my beautiful native land…

King of the mysteries, will You set watch over me?

Christ of the mysteries, can I trust You on the sea?

 

Christ of the heavens,

and Christ of the ravenous ocean wave,

I will hold fast to my course

through the dangers I must brave…

 

O Lord, I pray that in You,

I’ll break ground both fresh and new.

As a student let me stand.

Break the hardness of the land

with Your forgiving Father-hand…

 

Have I the faith to leave old ways

and break fresh ground with God?”*

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Becoming Fire
By |   October 3, 2014 |   in Blog, Living Well & Flourishing

All of creation, it seems, has been obedient to its destiny, “each mortal thing does one thing and the same . . . myself it speaks and spells, crying ‘What I do is me, for that I came’” (Gerard Manley Hopkins, “As Kingfishers Catch Fire”). Wouldn’t it be our last and greatest humiliation, if one day we realized that all other creatures have obeyed their destiny with a kind of humility and with trustful surrender? All, except us.     Fr. Richard Rohr

To live well is to be fully who I was created to be by God. Period.

Living well is a quality that is not dependent on demographics or other external circumstances. Living well does not necessarily mean being continuously upwardly mobile or a house in the suburbs with two cars in the garage. It does not necessarily include health or money or higher education. Those things might enhance the call of God in my life but they may also become distractions from that call. Living well means that I am growing into the shoes God put me on earth to fill. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire,” says St. Catherine of Siena.

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Reprocessing Anger into Grace
By |   September 29, 2014 |   in Ancient/Modern, Blog |   BE THE FIRST TO COMMENT

I’m quite fascinated by the carpenter Joseph in the Nativity story and what it must have been like to have a son who was a messiah. Family life is puzzling enough without divine intervention from the get-go! So let’s focus in on a memorable moment for Joseph.

Joseph has been nicknamed “Joseph the Just” because he is described as a “righteous man” (Matt 1:19). This phrase usually refers to a person who obeys the law carefully. Such rule followers don’t bend the rules for favorites. Maybe you’re a little like this, thinking, Why can’t everybody just follow directions? It would be so easy .

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I Remembered
By |   September 25, 2014 |   in Ancient/Modern, Blog

A silence, insistent but not stiff, welcomed us into the dimly lit room. An organ played quietly while pastor King (his real name) prayed the Prayer for Illumination and Opening Sentences. The ornate, bronzed mahogany that framed a candle-lit chancel breathed its own reminiscence of prayers prayed, babies baptized, wedding songs and funeral tears, and hands held in hope over many years of congregational worship.

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The Ancient Form
By |   September 16, 2014 |   in Ancient/Modern, Blog

Many are mourning the death of Robin Williams. The “Mork and Mindy” house is here in Boulder, Colorado where I live. In the last week, it has become a shrine. Hundreds of people have come, some from long distances, to hang a sign on the fence, leave a candle or flowers, take pictures, or simply stand in grieving silence. Not knowing what else to do, they have created sacred space on the sidewalk where they can mourn in community and reflect on life and death.

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Ora et Labora (Prayer and Work)
By |   September 11, 2014 |   in Ancient/Modern, Blog

Once or twice a year, I steal away for a 2-night soul rest. I have been going on these personal retreats since my early 20’s when I was single. As my seasons of life changed—from single to married, from married to parenting—it has become increasingly tricky to take these retreats. Now I must coordinate calendars to accommodate my family and pastoral duties.

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Four Ways Being a Father Has Impacted My Spiritual Quest: Part 2
By |   September 8, 2014 |   in Blog, Parenting & Formation

In my previous article, I shared with you two ways that being a dad has impacted my spiritual quest: stewarding and serving. In this article, I share with you two more plus a bonus fifth way.

 

3. Saving

On Christmas Eve two years ago, my daughter, Abby, became my eternal sister when she accepted Jesus Christ’s free gift of salvation. My wife, Kim, video recorded the conversation and the prayer that Abby prayed as she received Christ as her Lord and Savior. The moment was super special and memorable, but it did not come as a surprise to us.

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What’s The *Real* Story?
By |   September 5, 2014 |   in Blog

In his monumental work “After Virtue,” Alasdair MacIntyre wrote;

I can only answer the question “What am I to do?” if I can answer the prior question “Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?[1]

As followers of Jesus we situate ourselves within the beautiful story of Father, Son and Spirit making and remaking the world. Spiritual formation takes place when we inhabit the story of God, expressed in the life of Jesus. Empowered by the Holy Spirit we are changed inwardly making the world a better place to the glory of God.

In the letter to the Ephesians the apostle Paul wrote, “But that is not the way you learned Christ!”(4:20)

This verse makes me wonder, how do we learn Christ? MacIntyre’s emphases on story gives me a clue because learning Christ has much more to do with inhabiting a specific kind of story than just reciting some prepositions.

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Four Ways Being a Father Has Impacted My Spiritual Quest: Part 1
By |   September 4, 2014 |   in Blog, Parenting & Formation

Being a dad is one of the best parts of my life. It can be equally frustrating—stomach bugs, late nights, messy house—and exhilarating—first steps, learning to read, surprise love notes in my sock drawer.

The Bible has a lot to say about both parenting and being parented, and it is clear that God has ordained the parent-child relationship to be a redemptive one. The following are four ways that God has used my role as “dad” to impact my spiritual quest. I share the first two in this post, and share the second two (plus a bonus!) in the next post.

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