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.
We (Geri and Pete) recently watched a movie that we have talked about for days – Temple Grandin. The movie describes her life as an autistic young girl who courageously overcomes the limitations and severe challenges of life with autism in the 1960’s when so little was understood about it. She goes on to high school and college, and today is a professor at Colorado State University. Through the telling of her life with autism, Temple gives to the world numerous gifts. Two of those gifts, in particular, resonated deeply with two of our foundational spiritual practices. 1.We Each Need a “Squeeze Machine.” Temple created this “hug box” or “squeeze machine” to help calm her down as a hypersensitive, autistic person when overwhelmed. We too know what it is like to have our nervous system overloaded by the crisis of life. Every one of us needs a means to calm us down and to. Read more.
Last Sunday was a historic moment at New Life as had our first ever “Silent Sermon.” The following is a sheet I handed out to our congregation to provide guidelines for them to practice silence as a spiritual discipline. To see the video, click here When God appeared to Elijah after his suicidal depression and flight from Jezebel, He told him to stand and wait for the presence of the Lord to pass by. But God did not appear in ways he had in the past. He was not in the wind (as with Job), an earthquake (as in Mount Sinai and the Ten Commandments), or fire (as in the burning bush with Moses). As we read in 1 Kings 19:12, God finally revealed Himself to Elijah in “a sound of sheer silence.” The English translation of God coming “in a still, small voice” does not capture the original Hebrew intent, but what could. Read more.
It is ironic that Christmas is often the time we as pastors find ourselves least centered on Jesus. With the emergence of social media and new technologies, this problem has reached proportions. The following is an adaption of my top 10 lessons for leadership applied to this Advent season. 1. Be yourself. You and I are uniquely crafted by God to lead. That means we cannot do what others can. You may be able to do more or less. The great challenge of leadership is to calmly differentiate your “true self” from the demands and voices around you. Discern the desires, vision, pace, and mission the Father has given as you lead. Take off Saul’s armor. How much activity can you sustain without losing your soul? And remember, “to live unfaithfully to yourself is to cause others great damage” (Rumi). 2. Your first work is to be contemplative before God (to be with him). Our. Read more.