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Tag Archives: God’s presence

Midday Prayer: Christ in the Storm

Silence, Stillness and Centering (2 min) Scripture Reading -Mark 4:35-39 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. Devotional When life becomes chaotic, we often begin to doubt God’s presence with us. Look carefully at Rembrandt’s painting below. (You may want to enlarge it or search find the painting on the internet to print off). Jesus is on. Read more.

Australia (Pilgrimage Reflection #7)

Geri and I finished our one month tour with a full week in Australia, speaking in Perth, Melbourne, and Brisbane to over 550 pastors/leaders. Each consisted of an all-day Emotionally Healthy Leadership seminar and an Emotionally Healthy Marriage seminar in the evening. How did God come to me/us? We found Australians warm, winsome, hospitable, direct (like good New Yorkers), and immediately responsive to us. We were deeply appreciative and humbled by the great privilege of speaking to so many pastors here. We also found that Emotionally Healthy Spirituality meets a profound felt need for deep, beneath the surface spiritual formation here.  A great sense of God’s presence permeated the meetings, even when we found ourselves tired from the travel. A number of denominations (e.g. The Salvation Army) and churches were already deeply engaged with EHS before we arrived. A number had done the EHS Church-Wide Initiative. The Emotionally Healthy Woman book and DVD course along. Read more.

Sacramental Living

“To materialists this world is opaque like a curtain; nothing can be seen through it. A mountain is just a mountain, a sunset just a sunset; but to poets, artists, and saints, the world is transparent like a window pane––it tells of something beyond…a mountain tells of the Power of God, the sunset of His Beauty, and the snowflake of His Purity.” Bishop Sheen. My journey towards “sacramental living” has been slow yet, in some respects, I feel that I am finally getting it. Sacramental living understands that all matter is meant to lead us into God’s heavenly presence, to bring about communion with Him and a participation in His life. In fact, the entire universe is meant to serve as a “sacrament” — i.e., a material gift from God in and through which we enter into the joy of His heavenly presence. I have been helped by the great poet, Gerald Manley Hopkins,. Read more.

Books that Have Formed Me Spiritually: Part 3

Here are my final 3 books that have shaped my walk with Christ: Fill These Hearts, Christopher West All of us are here because of sexuality. God has built it not only into our bodies but into the core of the universe. To read Christopher West is to ignite one’s heart about all the ways God has given us to know Him and satisfy our deepest hungers. The study of God (theology) is built right into our bodies. Dance of Anger, Harriet Lerner I have found that anger is a very complex, misunderstood emotion and causes a lot of pain by being ignored and/or abused. We’re not any holier for stuffing it and worse off if we explode. Christians need to learn how to acknowledge and process anger. Lerner practically unpacks the emotion of anger. Opening to God: Lectio Divina and Life as Prayer, David Benner David’s book brought me to heaven each time I opened it reminding. Read more.

Books that Have Formed Me Spiritually: Part 2

This blogs flows out of a question a friend recently asked Pete and I around books that have most shaped our journey with Christ. I noticed a couple things: I follow authors more than books so each author is a person whom I respect and resonate with. I love books that, for me, are profound but nuanced in very practical ways. I read them more than once. I read them slowly and prayerfully. The Attentive Life, Leighton Ford I know Leighton personally. Every time I’m in his presence I cry. That’s because every time I’m in his presence I’m given presence – attention, value, time stands still. In this book Leighton leads us to experience God’s presence the way I do when I’m with Leighton.  New Seeds of Contemplation, Thomas Merton This book led me into a conversion of heart that slowed me down to enjoy God and receive His love in deeper ways. Again, doing for. Read more.

Emotionally Healthy Goal Setting

Four critical factors form the foundation of personal and organizational goal setting. When ignored, we will find ourselves, eventually, anxious and rushing, with too much to do in too little time. These include: 1. God’s First Goal for You. My first goal is to be a contemplative who dwells in God’s presence (See Ps. 27:4 for David’s modeling of this). Establishing these daily, weekly, annual rhythms to be with God comes first. 2. The Interior Movements of the Heart. I listen for the consolations and desolations of the Holy Spirit inside me. Does this initiative give me life or death as I imagine myself going this direction? 3. The Gift of Limits. Rebellion against God is tightly tied to making good plans for God that are not His. (See The Emotionally Healthy Church, chapter 8). For example, since I am called to lead out of a great marriage, every initiative is filtered through its impact on my. Read more.