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Tag Archives: stillness

The Core Question of Emotionally Healthy Preaching Rich Villodas (with Pete Scazzero)

Rich Villodas, who is now Lead Pastor of New Life Fellowship, led one of the workshops at our recent Emotionally Healthy Leadership Conference on “Emotionally Healthy Preaching.” Once again, it made a large impact on all who attended. One of Rich’s greatest gifts to the larger body of Christ is, I believe, in the art of preaching. The following is the core of what he shared: Preaching is foremost not about preaching. It’s about a life with God; a life of integrity, out of which we speak. This is the core of emotionally healthy preaching. Like many pastors and preachers, I love the art and science of preaching. I work hard for stories and illustrations that make biblical content accessible to our congregation. I work hard to understand the text exegetically. I think critically about how a passage of Scripture applies in our NYC context. All of these things are important. In addition to. Read more.

Good Friday: A Time to Embrace Our Endings

On Good Friday we remember that at the cross Jesus wipes away our sins, becoming a global magnet that draws the whole world to Himself. Good Friday also reminds me that embracing endings (deaths) and new beginnings (resurrections) is the pattern of life for every Christian. Nothing new takes place without an ending. A real ending—a final death—often feels like disintegration, falling apart, a coming undone. It feels that way because that is what death is. It is an ending that requires walking through a completely dark tunnel, not knowing when or if any light will come again. If we embrace these losses for the severe mercies they are, God does a profound work in us and through us in ways that are similar to what the apostle Paul describes as “death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Cor. 4:12). As a person who tends to resist. Read more.

Why Transformation Takes So Long!

Last week at our two-day EHS Consultant Training, Wendy Seidman shared Bloom’s taxonomy of how people learn to help us understand why it takes so long for individuals and church/ministry cultures to “get” EHS. The following is her adaptation of Bloom’s classic work on the process people need to move through to really “get” something like EHS: 1- Aware. People hear about EHS for the first time (e.g. Sabbath, slowing down, past’s impact on the present, grieving, learning to feel). 2- Ponder. People think about it, trying to understand or sort through issues as they gather more information. At this point they don’t have a clear inclination for or against it. (e.g. They continue reading, listen to messages, go through the EHS Course, learn a few EHS Skills, talk about Sabbath with others). 3- Value. People think it’s important, find value in it, and commit to it, saying, “I really believe in this EHS. Read more.

Midday Prayer: The Gift of Pilgrimage

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Psalm 84 1 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty!2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca (i.e. trouble) they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Devotional Both the king and his prophet certainly have. Read more.

Midday Prayer: The Gift of Pilgrimage

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Psalm 84 1 How lovely is your dwelling place,    O LORD Almighty! 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. 3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young— a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God. 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca (i.e. trouble) they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. 7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion. Devotional Both the king. Read more.

Rebuked by the Buddhists

The front page of Time magazine last week focused on the international interest in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Based on Buddhist practices, it has proven to help people reduce stress in our frenetic world. I attended a seminar on this years ago and was saddened how few people associated Christians and churches with contentment, joy, and “centeredness” in life. The tradition of “centering” is rich in our biblical, Christian tradition. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness in God’s presence. Elijah was a prophet of the desert who learned to hear God in silence. John the Baptist’s ministry flowed from the quietness of the desert. Jesus had rhythms of activity and aloneness. John Cassian wrote extensively on meditating on Scripture in “mindfulness” before the Lord in his Conferences. The desert fathers and monastics, through history, have continued this tradition. The ministry of Contemplative Outreach, founded by Trappist monks in the 1960′s, was an effort. Read more.