extreme sports, shamanism, and the danger of boredom

I'm rereading a favorite old book of mine called, "Bone Games" right now, about extreme sports and shamanism.  The author had one of those supernatural experiences that climbers sometimes get when their life is hanging by a thread.  He was able, after a fall, to down climb a stretch of ice covered rock flakes in Colorado, something most expert climbers wouldn't be able to do in a state of even perfect health.  As he writes regarding his perfect presence during the ordeal, "I was the very best ve … [Read more...]

Of Goalies and Sermons: the mystery and challenge of presence…

This weekend was filled with events that have left me pondering that "being fully present" is actually a lot harder than it appears. I've heard it said that "showing up" is 80% of the battle with any endeavor, but soccer, hockey, and preaching, have all shown me that showing up requires more than just showing up.Our local Sounders played soccer on Saturday, but "played" would be too polite of a term.  They were physically present, but their performance was stunk the stadium up so bad that the … [Read more...]

Of Goalies and Sermons: the mystery and challenge of presence…

This weekend was filled with events that have left me pondering that "being fully present" is actually a lot harder than it appears. I've heard it said that "showing up" is 80% of the battle with any endeavor, but soccer, hockey, and preaching, have all shown me that showing up requires more than just showing up.Our local Sounders played soccer on Saturday, but "played" would be too polite of a term.  They were physically present, but their performance was stunk the stadium up so bad that the … [Read more...]

Being a church in a consumer culture…

I'm reading "The Divine Commodity" right now, a book about how our consumer culture in the western world has affected church life.  It's an important topic for me right now because we're in the midst of assessing the health of the church I lead as we digest the results of an internal survey we recently completed.I'll begin by suggesting that consumerism is a two-edged sword, rather than wholly evil, and spend the rest of this post looking at both edges of the sword.  The most obvious edge is th … [Read more...]

The Shalom of Creation

Yesterday my wife and I drove up the Mt. Baker highway to its very end.  She wearing snow shoes, and I backcountry skis, we made our way higher and higher in the silence of a spring snowfall blanketing the upper reaches of the Cascades.  Light and shadow, wind and stillness, moments of clear visibility suddenly shrouded in cloud, silence:  this is the sensual feast of the mountains in springtime.  These elements do something to me that can only be described as "shalom", a deep sense that this mom … [Read more...]


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