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Nine Kinds of Generous

“Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each,” writes Paul Goodman in the Nine Kinds of Silence. “There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy ... Read More »

Out of the Dust There is Life

When my girls were small, they thought I had magical healing powers. I could kiss a scrape or bandage a cut and presto! It would be “all better.” They would smile and go back to playing. Today, these girls are young women, and I no longer have that power. They spend their days working hard in places far from home, and when they hurt they’re on their own. They’re old enough to know that kisses do not work long distance, only in person. I’m grateful that my girls know that ... Read More »

Pursuing Silence: Confessions of a Phone Addict

I am alone the majority of my time and yet I struggle to find silence. Or perhaps it would be more accurate if I said I struggle to allow silence. When I say silence, I am not referring to the complete absence of sound. My house is quiet most of the day, often eerily so. I am defining silence in this case as a refuge from the onslaught of words, images, input from the outside world. I am constantly connected, a slave to the next ping or vibration indicating someone, somewhere has ... Read More »

Sit Still – Really

I think prayer may the the most difficult thing for me to practice – not the kind of prayer that thanks God for my blessings, acknowledges the beauty of creation, requests healing or help for others or even prayers of confession but the quiet, silent, listening prayer. As an extrovert meditation and contemplative prayer don’t come naturally, I’ve had to work at it.  It’s a little like beginning an exercise program. I knew I needed to develop a practice of weight bearing exercises. I knew that it was critical to ... Read More »

Sabbath

“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day. If you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find joy in the Lord…” Isaiah 53:13-14a This scripture has been pervasively showing up over the last few months. My regular reminder that if we focus on God we will be given what we ... Read More »

How to Restore the Lost Art of Sunday Supper

I never knew that Mexican food could become a part of my spiritual practice, but growing up I began to equate chicken soft tacos with church. In a small town, there aren’t many restaurant options. However, during middle school we were finally blessed with a restaurant named “Little Mexico.” I’m not really sure when it happened, but at some point it became understood that Little Mexico would be the central meeting place for most people in town following Sunday church services. My sister and I would (occasionally) grumble under our ... Read More »

Faith Day 2017

I had the opportunity to take my family to the Nationals Park for Faith Day on Saturday afternoon. We were really excited to go for many reasons, and the day could not have been better. Although we had been to many minor league games over the years, this was the first MLB game that we had attended. The weather was just perfect. Not too hot, low humidity and a nice breeze — the best weather we could have expected for a late-August afternoon watching baseball. When we arrived, we saw Natasha ... Read More »

Be a Blessing

“Every morning, I ask God to make me a blessing to someone today.” says my friend, Dave. Over the ten years I have known him, I have seen ample evidence of God answering his prayer in the affirmative. Make me a blessing. A simple prayer. A curious prayer. Even a bold, adventurous or risky prayer. Blessing is defined as “the act or words of one who blesses” or “a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.” Another definition of blessing says it is “something good that one feels grateful” or “lucky ... Read More »

The Shack: Is Seeing Believing?

Did you see the movie, The Shack? The book just blew me away. Reading it a few years back, I marveled at the creative expression its author, William Young, used to tease out the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and their unique rolls in ministering to one of their beloved when tragedy strikes. The thing is, for me, reading is rarely believing. It may inspire me, but that doesn’t last long. But if you engage my other senses with sights, sounds, camera and action, things get real-er. That’s what ... Read More »

Preparing

Sometimes we have a clear understanding of what Jesus wants us to do. When the disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?” Jesus was very specific, head into town, find a man carrying water and follow him. Then say to the owner of the house he enters, “The Teacher asks: where is my the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples.” Jesus said the owner will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. The ... Read More »

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