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Tag Archives: reflection

Vacation in Italy: Feast and Famine

Geri is my guest blogger today as we just returned from our 2 weeks in Italy. The following are her reflections from her blog: I loved our vacation in Italy. It was my third time and hopefully will not be my last. It’s a kind of magical place with so much beauty, culture and incredible food at your fingertips. It’s a place I want to return to to introduce others to its magic – pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets, hikes over mountains through vineyards and olive groves high above the sea, stops at ancient villages to rest and sip cappuccino, rolling Tuscan hills dotted with terra cotta villas and cypress trees, a place where wine costs as much as water, where thousands of years of history can be experienced, where our villa apartment has been family-owned for nine hundred years, where fantastic bread and cheese is always a few steps away, and the gelato is indescribable. But. Read more.

Reflections on Italy…Feast and Famine

I loved our vacation in Italy. It was my third time and hopefully will not be my last. It’s a kind of magical place with so much beauty, culture and incredible food at your fingertips. It’s a place I want to return to to introduce others to its magic – pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets, hikes over mountains through vineyards and olive groves high above the sea, stops at ancient villages to rest and sip cappuccino, rolling Tuscan hills dotted with terra cotta villas and cypress trees, where wine costs as much as water, where thousands of years of history can be experienced, where our villa apt. Is family owned for nine hundred years, where fantastic bread and cheese is always a few steps away. And the gelato… But Italy seems to have a double personality. Although rich in history, rich in natural resources, rich in culture it seems sadly lacking in other very important ways.. 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.

New Zealand (Pilgrimage Reflection #4)

How is our trip going? It is a bit complex to give an easy answer, but the following are a few ponderings. 1.     We have deep rhythms of silence and solitude that we need to acknowledge. See my previous blog for more on this.  What does an “emotionally healthy, global partnership tour” look like? What are the unique factors that have to be built in – at least for us?  How does the gift of limits apply to Geri and I as we step into this new arena? 2.     We cannot develop and release a movement of EHS abroad  – it must be God’s doing, not ours. There is great expectation for the movement of EHS as it continues to spread. We will continue to offer our few loaves and fishes, (Ps. 127) as a mustard seed and let Him take care of the rest.  It is a wonder that a number of churches and denominations were. Read more.

God's Splendor as Sorrow – Final Reflection, Newtown, CT

Watching the funerals of the teachers and children this past week has been heart-wrenching for the nation. “Where is/was God?” we ask.  I close our week with words that serve me in these days. This excerpt is quoted from the Daily Office: Begin the Journey (WCA). Nicholas Wolterstorff, former theological professor at Yale, lost his twenty-five year old son to a mountain-climbing accident. He didn’t have any answers as to why God allowed such a tragedy. Who does? At one point, however, he came upon a great insight: “Through the prism of my tears I have seen a suffering God. It is said of God that on one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one can see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps this meant that no one can see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is his splendor.”

Hiddenness, Obscurity, Contemplation and the Active Life

The following are a few of my recent questions, puzzles, and reflections around the working out of my active life as a Christian leader with a commitment to serve out of a foundation of a deep, interior, contemplative life. Much like Dag Hammarskjold’s Markings, some of this is disjointed as it comes out of my journal reflections, my puzzles in prayer with god, along with my readings over the past couple of months (This includes: Bernard of Clairvaux’s sermons on the Song of Songs, the Desert Fathers, Merton on St. Bernard, and Alicia Britt Chole’s little book Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years and Yours.) 90% percent of Jesus’ ministry, 29 years, was spent in obscurity, hiddenness, and the unseen. This was as important as his 3 active years. They provided the character foundation for Him to walk through the temptations of the wilderness and the pressures from the people around him.  These years also empowered Him to live an eternally fruitful. Read more.