I preached a sermon last Sunday called: Relaxing In The Deep Center at New Life Fellowship. It brought together weeks of wrestling with the the key to unlocking how Jesus lived and breathed out of a deep centeredness of loving union with the Father. He stated simply: “My Father is at work to this very day and I too am working” (John 5:17). What can we do, in our 21st century world, to also mature into deeply anchored people who relax in loving union with the Father? The following are the 3 spiritual practices that, I believe, are indispensable: 1. Silence and Solitude. These are the two most countercultural, challenging disciplines today. As Nouwen has said, “Without solitude it is almost impossible to have a spiritual life.” How much do you have now? How much do you need? 2. Self-Care Sabbaths – God built this intentionally into ancient Israel’s life. We too are to pause weekly, monthly,. Read more.
A key to good leadership, and good preaching, is reading broadly. I continue to read a few of these books very slowly over time (e.g. The Interior Castle and The Writing Life). Others I have read in a couple of days (e.g. Making Friends Among the Taliban). Enjoy! Interior Castle – St. Teresa of Avila Making Friends Among the Taliban – Jonathan P. Larson The Little Way of Ruthie Leming – Rod Dreher Fill These Hearts – Christopher West Resilient Ministry: What Pastors Tell Us About Surviving and Thriving – Bob Burns 24/6 – Matthew Sleeth The Writing Life – Annie Dilliard Dead Man Walking – Sister Helen Prejean Delighting in the Trinity – Michael Reeves I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t)…” – Brene Brown Grieving a Suicide – Al Hsu
Augustine once said that God is always trying to give good things to us but our hands are too full to receive them. Roslyn H. Wright, a Director of Field Education at Whitley College in Australia, visited me in NYC recently. The following are reflections out of her work with seminary students around “Incarnational goal setting”: 1. God’s calls us to courageously lead out of our ‘true self.’ “The problem of sanctity and salvation is in fact the problem of finding out who I am and of discovering my true self” (Thomas Merton). God gives to each of us a “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” with a unique working out of that gift in the Body and the world. The forces, internal and external, that move us away from that place of leading from within are enormous. 2. Prayer, particularly the Examen, along with a trusted community, is the foundation for. Read more.