Summits, Self-Denial, Discipleship – a symboiotic trinity

the vision of summit is the fuel for self-denial

One climbs, one sees.  One descends, one sees no longer.  But one has seen.  There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up – Rene DumalI’m on the plane, having left a week of wonderful teaching and fellowship in Southern California as I return, refreshed and sun drenched, to the wonderful work I’ve the privilege of doing in Seattle.  The work, as most of you know, is the work of shepherding the flock – and as I finish my sermon on th … [Read more...]

Colossians: An antidote to cynicism and despair

I've been living in the book of Colossians a fair bit recently, diving in some mornings after coffee with God, and at other odd times during the week.  Over and over again, I've found myself saying, 'this is the truth that we need right now - at this anxious, polarized time in history, when it appears that so much all around us is either collapsing (think Egypt, Syria, Greece, the Eurozone), or built on untruths (think every campaign ad about to baptize your sensibilities).  From the moment we w … [Read more...]

What’s in Your Hands today? The Joy of Letting Go

rock

I'm always intrigued by the stories of mountains in the Bible because so much that's transformative happens among them, or at their summits.  Encounters with God in the mountains are nearly always time of transition:  From this....to that.  We're between two mountains when Moses says that each one represents a choice that is yet ahead: life or death.  Then he shouts "choose life" to the whole nation before dying.  We're on a mountain, with Jesus, when we see him transformed into the essence of gl … [Read more...]

All New “Life Chapters” require these 5 perspectives:

Summers are always times of great transition for some subset of the population.  On the young end of the scale, people are graduating, moving, getting married.  On the older end, children are leaving home, or it's a time of career change, or retirement.  Life is fluid enough that it seems new chapters come along with astonishing regularity, so that the only thing that remains constant in our lives is the reality that they're changing.Since that's just the way it is, I was pondering whether th … [Read more...]

Yes… it takes a village.

I like to think of myself as individualist for a host of reasons, but this past weekend any notion that I, or any of us, are self made, was vaporized in the string of events and moments that was "graduation and attendant parties, and family reunion", a five day festival that taught me the power of relationships, over and over again.My youngest daughter completed college which, itself would be a milestone even as a stand alone event.  But my wife was graduating too.  She'd taken a brief 30+ y … [Read more...]

Light, Shadows, Snow… and faith

When I say that we all need to learn how to read from the book of creation, sometimes people wrinkle their noses and wonder what I'm talking about.  This morning's journal entry might offer a helpful example, written after a morning walk with the neighbors up at the writing cabin.Good morning God...My heart is full this morning, grateful for the walking friends up here and the refreshing conversations when we do our mile together.  This morning though, most of my gratitude stems from t … [Read more...]

“The Demise of Guys” – a book review that’s going places”

Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan have written a marvelous little book called "The Demise of Guys".  In reality it's little more than an expanded version of this TED talk, and is far more diagnostic than prescriptive.  Still, the first step in fixing anything is determining the extent to which it's broken, and what some of the causes of that brokenness might be.  If exposing dysfunction and it's underlying causes is important, these two shine bright, relentless sunshine on the state of men, and w … [Read more...]


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