Mar 15, 2013
From my reading the notes in my Renovare bible to Nehemiah 8:10-12: Although the hearing of scripture can be a disturbing event, the ultimate result for obedient and careful listeners is joy. Joy is not to be equated with momentary happiness; rather, biblical joy is a deep sense of peace that all is well with one's soul. The psalmist knew this deep peace when he wrote, "May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy." (Ps 126:5)
From my reading about Philip the Evangelist in Acts in my Renovare Bible this morning comes this nugget. Philip's life reminds us of what it really means to proclaim Christ. We come in the love of the Holy Spirit to those who honestly seek God, trusting that the Spirit began the work before we did and will carry it on after us. We can all, at some level, live as Philip did speaking Jesus to those who seek God, trusting that ine ven the simplest offering of Jesus the Spirit can draw souls to salvation. For more on how to recognize these people, take a look at my post on People of Peace.
Nov 6, 2012
Oct 16, 2012
As she sits at our mother's deathbed, my sister recieved this piece from her dear friend, Pastor Cheryl Gosa
From Pat Robson's "A Celtic Liturgy" (HarperCollins, London, 2000)
I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says "There she goes."
But she is just as large in mast and hull and spar as when she left my side and she is able to bear her load of living freight to her destined port. Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at that moment when someone says "There she goes" there are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout - "Here she comes!"
And that is dying.
by Henry Van Dyke
Aug 12, 2012
I have community with others and I shall continue to have it only through Jesus Christ. The more genuine and the deeper our community becomes, the more will everything else between us recede, the more clearly and purely will Jesus Christ and his work become the one and only thing that is vital between us. We have one another only through Christ, but through Christ we do have one another, wholly, and for all eternity.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from Life Together. See my recent post, Christians are Formed in Community.
May 23, 2012
My favorite memory from our trip. Morten Langoy and Marit Berling were hosting us at their cabin in Aadnaram (Sirdal) Norway. We had driven up from their home in Stavanger to stay the weekend at their hytte, as they call it. We drove about fifteen minutes up a road into the mountains, and stopped to ski.
Morten packed in makings of a hot lunch, and brought the fly rod. Here, you can see we've stopped for lunch by a partially melted out creek. You can see our skis standing in the snow as Morten casts into the stream hoping to move a trout. No luck fishing, but it is one of the most beautiful spots I've seen in my whole life. And, its the kind of place Morten and Marit ski with friends every weekend in winter. They say, "If the snow will still hold a man by the middle of June, it's going to be a late spring."
As the Norwegians would say, "We didn't suffer."
Here is the hytte:
May 20, 2012
Spent last weekend doing a leadership retreat for City Church at the Cabin in Colorado, then took off for a couple of days in Amsterdam. Now we are in Norway visiting our friends in Stavanger. Just back from a weekend at their cabin in the mountains. Pictures and stories to follow.
Apr 13, 2012
Got a chuckle when I saw this painting over the door to the kitchen at Homegrown, a locavore hangout on Memorial in East Atlanta where I was having breakfast with a friend. Sister Louisa is a local artist who operates Sister Louisa's Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, whose tagline is Come On In, Precious. You can find Sister Louisa's art for sale there. We have all sorts of characters on the East Side.
Feb 24, 2012
Feb 8, 2012
Jan 26, 2012
Movin' to Montana soon,
Gonna be a Dental Floss Tycoon,
Things will be a bit quiet on the blog for a few days. We leave for Gardiner, Montana this morning. We are going to Yellowstone National Park. We have a guide to take us wolf watching on Saturday, plan to ski, snowshoe and maybe even go snowmobiling. Look for pix and stories when we return.
Jan 12, 2012
Jan 9, 2012
Launched the blog in November 2010, as I started anew. In 2011, we had 6590 Visits from 4037 People in 85 Countries and 15,798 Pageviews. Thanks for showing up, and returning. Blessings for 2012.
3DM: A Taste of Discipleship: an overview of discipleship taster with Mike Breen
Successful Visioning in Church: what's needed to create a healthy vision
The Iceberg Model: a look at where the leverage is for change
Discover Who You Are with Life Keys: discovering gifts, values and passions
Learn your Conflict Resolution Style: measuring your conflict/negotiation style
How will you Deal with Betrayal? how Jesus modeled this important work
Core Theory of Success: success & the quality of your relationships
Gallup Strengthsfinder: Gallup's process of uncovering your strengths
Reveal Spiritual Life Survey: an instrument to measure spiritual maturity
Eyes to See; Ears to Hear: we each are gifted to see and hear differently
Jan 1, 2012
I have done a lot of striving in my life, trying to prove myself. In the structural consulting I'm doing, I see tremendous striving amongst the 20 & 30 somethings I'm encountering. Perfectionism, fear of failure, not good enough are deeply embedded images I find driving behavior from an unhealthy place, one of fear, not grace.
I was doing my morning Scripture reading in Galatians on this first day of the New Year. This passage speaks to all the striving I'm seeing in my young Christian friends. Galatians 3: 2-3, 5 says:
I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?
We place our identities in so many things other than Christ: our career, our accomplishments, the approval of others, our retirement accounts. Whenever we place our identity and our trust in anything other than Jesus, we choose a path of limited spiritual growth and unlimited striving. See my post: Does your identity limit Spiritual Growth. Then, join me in my New Years Resolution.
Dec 11, 2011
Oct 8, 2011
"No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It's life's change agent; it clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you. But someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it's quite true. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become."
Oct 3, 2011
I'm facilitating Life Keys again at City Church Eastside this fall. Started last night and will run six sessions. Had 13 people join me for the course. I'm offering the course every spring and fall as part of my new staff role there. If you have any interest in scheduling Life Keys for your group, go here and contact me.
Sep 27, 2011
Well, it's always hard to get back in gear for the fall after having a fun summer. So, since Labor Day, I've done a celebration of summer fun. Haven't done a post of substance except to finish and post Chapter 9. We drove back to Atlanta, and got back last night. Already moving into the rythym here, with several coaching appointments already lined up. Looking forward to finishing the last quarter of the book, as we wind down the last quarter of the year. So, look for more posts with the illusion of substance as fall unfolds.
Sep 24, 2011
We have seen a mama black bear with two sx-month-old cubs around our cabin a couple of times this summer. Everywhere we hike, we see rocks turned over, where she is teaching them about looking for bugs under rocks. I was off running errands yesterday when Genie took Smokey for a walk. Smokey is our 40 pound Keeshond. They were walking back up the road from our lower meadow. Smokey was running around in the woods and barking. All of a sudden, Genie heard crashing through the woods, and a bear cub came running across the road with Smokey in hot pursuit. Since we knew there was a mama and another cub somewhere, Genie was quite excited. We hike with bear spray, and she had hers in her hand with the trigger ready, waiting for mama to show up. Smokey returned when she called, and they hurried back up the hill. Here's a picture of the cub in our meadow a couple of weeks ago.
Sep 3, 2011
Just off our property is an old miner's log cabin. The US Forest Service logged it in their database of historic structures, and told us it is one of the best preserved they had seen. They guessed it was built in the 1890's. Gold was found in in 1859 in the creeks flowing out of the Front Range. Prospectors traced it to the source, and gold was found throughout these hills. Our property has dozens of mine pits scattered around. A family of miners named Fye built this cabin. We met young man whose grandmother used to stay in another cabin close by every summer. When we asked him whether the family hit gold, he pointed to a beater of a Toyota and said, "Does it look like it?" His grandmother told him the menfolk mostly just came up to the cabin to drink and tell stories.
Sep 2, 2011
We have bears visit the cabin several years each year. On our first day out here this summer, We saw mama bear come across the yard with two cubs. They are all black as night. Around dusk last night, we were sitting out on the deck with company, when Genie saw the mama again. She was in our lower meadow. She seemed to look right up at us on the deck. At first we did not see the cubs, and wondered if something had happened to them. By the time I got out with the camera, she had moved on, but I saw both cubs dash across the open meadow to catch up to mom. I managed to get one decent picture of the cub.
Aug 25, 2011
I'm reading Alan & Debra Hirsch's book of this name. I've seen Alan speak a couple of times at Exponential. Here's a quote from the early part of the book:
Peter Vardy, a British philosopher who has studied the writings of that wild disciple Soren Kerkegaard, says,
All too often the domains of society and conformity, the social expectations that come from raising children, setting up home and the like, become a substitute for individuality in the God relationship. This (Kierkegarrd) sees as a travesty of the Christian demand. He blames this on priests and the general wish for mediocrity. There is a demand by "the crowd," the mass of people, to live an ordinary, unexamined and passionless life in which God is essentially irrelevant, and yet they want this life to be regarded as Christian.
Aug 23, 2011
Dan Whitaker and Mark Jones have spent July and August hiking and climbing a 600 miles path from Durango, CO to the Rocky Mountain National Park outside of Denver. We met them as they entered the Indian Peaks Wilderness at the Hessie Trailhead around lunchtime today. I had just spent two hours fly fishing Boulder Creek, while Genie hiked with Smokey up to Lost Lake. Glad we met up.
We visited with them while we ate lunch. Great stories of adventure at high altitude. Dan and Mark have posted periodic updates on progress and pictures are posted at Hike across Colorado where you can see some of their journey. They have traversed some incredible country. They have one more segment, and hope to finish their trek by climbing Longs Peak on August 30. To see a map of their adventure, look here. Good look and Godspeed.
Aug 22, 2011
Aug 21, 2011
So, the conundrum: More than ever, an urban nation plagued by obesity, sloth and a surfeit of digital entertainment should encourage people to experience the wild — but does that mean nature has to be tame and lawyer-vetted?
My experience, purely anecdotal, is that the more rangers try to bring the nanny state to public lands, the more careless, and dependent, people become. There will always be steep cliffs, deep water, and ornery and unpredictable animals in that messy part of the national habitat not crossed by climate-controlled malls and processed-food emporiums. If people expect a grizzly bear to be benign, or think a glacier is just another variant of a theme park slide, it’s not the fault of the government when something goes fatally wrong.
I've visited Yosemite twice this summer, so the news about 16 people who have died there in 2011 really grabbed me. I think Egan is onto something. When in Norway visiting friends a few years ago, we hiked to a place called Preikestolen (the Pulpit). On the hike in, we found places with chains attached to rock walls to give a handhold where there was a steep dropoff. When we got to Preikestolen, you could walk right up to the edge, sit down and dangle your legs over a 1500 ft cliff.
In the good old USA, a person gets hurt in a park and they want to sue, like it's someone else's fault. Here, you'd encounter fences and warning signs, and still people find ways to get injured and killed. Do we really want to live a life with guardrails everywhere we go?
One final quote from the article:
Yosemite’s most lyrical advocate, the naturalist John Muir, anticipated the urban hordes as the population moved away from field and farm. At the dawn of the 20th century, he saw the parks as places to escape “the stupefying effects of the vice of over-industry and the deadly apathy of luxury.” But Muir also expected people to have some basic understanding of the outdoors.
Aug 17, 2011
Aug 15, 2011
Aug 14, 2011
Love this quote from Henri Nouwen's Out of Solitude:
When we start being too impressed by the results of our work, we slowly come to the erroneous conviction that life is one large scoreboard where someone is listing the points to measure our worth. And before we are fully aware of it, we have sold our soul to the many grade-givers. That means we are not only in the world, but also of the world.Then we become what the world makes us. We are intelligent because someone gives us a high grade. We are helpful because someone says thanks. We are likable because someone likes us. And we are important because someone considers us indespensable. In shore, we are worthwhile because we have successes. And the more we allow our accomlishments, the results of our actions, to become the criteria of our self-esteem, the more we are going to walk on our mental and spiritual toes, never sure if we will be able to live up to the expectations which we created by our last successes.
Aug 12, 2011