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Tag Archives: listening to God

Your Body is a Major, not Minor Prophet

Geri and I like often to remind people: “Remember, the body is a major, not a minor prophet.” For this reason, one of the most significant indicators that all is well with our souls, that we are in loving union with Jesus, is that every cell in our body is relaxed. Why? Our bodies often know before our minds the state of our souls. When our lives are out of control, our stomach gets knotted, our neck tight, a tightness fills our shoulders, our fingers close up into a fist, our body posture closes up. For this reason, it is number one on our list of top signs below. (Geri reminded me of a 13th sign that I had omitted in Tuesday’s blog. Please note that below). Top 13 signs of not being loving union with Jesus 1. I feel anxiety in the tenseness and tightness in my body. 2. I am not present. Read more.

Top 12 Signs of Being in "Loving Union"

Jesus’ leadership flowed from a deep centeredness of loving union with his Father. His activity flowed from a total dependence and unceasing communion with him. He invites us to a similar relationship with him: “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John15:5). I call this loving union. Love captures the way we remain. Union speaks to the depth of the connection. Top 12 signs I am in loving union with Jesus 1. I am relaxed and unhurried. 2. I am deeply aware of God’s great love. 3. I appreciate and love one person at a time. 4. I am content amidst suffering and setbacks. 5. I praise and promote others easily and joyfully. 6. I am generous with my time, money, and gifts. 7. I listen for God’s voice and will throughout the day. 8. I forgive and let go. Read more.

Our Pilgrimage to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore

Geri and I left, last night, for a one-month global partnership trip to New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. We are going both to give and to receive as we embark on a pilgrimage to be encountered by God. For most of Christian history, going on pilgrimage was understood as a spiritual discipline for devout believers. The first Christians learned about pilgrimage from the Jews who made the journey to Jerusalem each year for the three major feasts. It was only natural for the early Christians to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. After the excesses and abuses connected with pilgrimage during the Reformation, Protestants dismissed the entire concept as unnecessary. This changed in the 20th century as Protestants, along with Roman Catholics and Orthodox believers, been returning to Israel in significant numbers. It is common to meet believers making pilgrimages today to Jerusalem, Rome, Ephesus in Turkey, monasteries, and Santiago de Compostela in Spain. A. Read more.

The Hidden, Invisible Presence of Jesus

Yesterday, at our NLF staff Christmas party, I led a devotional around Bruegel the Elder’s Census at Bethlehem painting from the 16th century. Using Juliet Benner’s guide in Contemplative Vision: A Guide to Christian Art and Prayer, I shared out of the overflow of how God met me in this portrayal of Luke 2:4-5. As Mary and Joseph approach the village to register for the census (See her on a donkey on the center right), we see a crowd of people seeking to get into the inn. We also observe many others carrying heavy loads burdened by the harshness of their lives. Each is so engrossed and absorbed in their own affairs and activities that Mary, Joseph and Jesus are invisible to them. Would I have turned to Mary or Joseph and asked about their story if I were there? Probably not. I suspect I would have been too busy. God is so close. Read more.

Desert Rhythms: Part 2

I have just completed a month reflecting on Mark 1 and the rhythms of Jesus. The following is a nice visual of His being with God (contemplation) and His doing (activity). So the question is what might it look like for us to withdraw to a desert in our daily lives, to engage in the rhythms of Jesus of “Being with the Father” and “Doing/Activity.” The following are a few suggestions, many of which come from David Benner’s excellent new book Opening to God. •    Pause for Sabbath for 24 hr. each week (Stop, rest, delight, contemplate). •    Pause for Daily Office two to three times a day. •    Sunday worship/Small group– to worship/sit under the Word. •    Read a passage of Scripture and listening for God’s personal word to you. •    Light a candle in your home. •    Allow music to draw your spirit to God’s Spirit. •    Review your day and noticing. Read more.

Emotionally Healthy Leadership: 8 Unique Challenges

I spent most of my adult life reading great leadership books. EHS led me on a journey, however, to recognize there were unique issues to church leadership that were rarely discussed. I have identified eight unique leadership challenges, each of which is powerful and far reaching in their implications. Each is worthy of a chapter or a book itself.  I have crafted them in the form of tensions that we hold as leaders. 1.     Dual Relationships- Supervision and Being Friends We are a church family and we often hire our friends who then become our employees. The result is I become both your pastor/spiritual leader/supervisor and friend. Which is it? We hire people we mentor and then they become our employees with a contractual agreement and money is exchanged. We are naïve to admit that all things are equal. They are not when we have the power to fire or increase/decrease someone’s pay. The. Read more.