Cultivation – Freeing ourselves from “the latest and greatest”

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I normally teach in Germany at the end of November, when the harvest has just come in and the farmers are taking a break.  This year, though, I'm privileged to be in this agrarian region of southern Germany (wine, apples, honey, plus much more) at the end of winter and the farms are anything but sleepy.  The vines are being trimmed.  The soil is being tilled, as I encounter numerous tractors on my morning run.  Folks are in their yard gardens, prepping, planting, trimming, cleaning, turning the s … [Read more...]

Solitude – Antidote to loneliness

learning solitude means never being alone

As we enter the Lenten season, I'm happy to offer some practical advice on the various disciplines which will enable us to grow in our intimacy with Jesus, as we follow in his footsteps, learning to subject our will to the will of Another, for our own good and the good of the world.  I'll start with solitude.Years ago I had a conversation with someone about trust.  It was quickly apparent that we'd both fallen off the trust wagon, but in different directions.  She'd felt that God had let her … [Read more...]

Ready, Set, Lent. Why it matters – more than ever.

"And early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there." Mark 1:35I'm ready for Lent.Because Lent is a time of "retreating into the wilderness with Jesus", I say bring it on.I'm embarrassed by what Christianity is becoming in the west:Individualism is touted, at the expense of deeply committed community, through rap and poetry about love for Jesus, but hatred for religion, failing to mention that … [Read more...]

Be Still: Reflect Glory

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It’s been the theme of the summer as I’ve been privileged to travel and teach:  “Turn and Behold”, derived from a favorite passage from II Corinthians 3:16-18, where we’re promised that transformation isn’t our responsibility, but rather a byproduct of our falling in love with Jesus, of learning to continually turn and behold the glory of the Lord.  He’ll be changing us, we’re told, “from glory to glory”.    This realization that God will be changing me simply because I’m in relationship with Him … [Read more...]

Be Still: Reflect Glory

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It’s been the theme of the summer as I’ve been privileged to travel and teach:  “Turn and Behold”, derived from a favorite passage from II Corinthians 3:16-18, where we’re promised that transformation isn’t our responsibility, but rather a byproduct of our falling in love with Jesus, of learning to continually turn and behold the glory of the Lord.  He’ll be changing us, we’re told, “from glory to glory”.    This realization that God will be changing me simply because I’m in relationship with Him … [Read more...]

Cultivating enjoyment…

As we enter September, and schedules change, I offer a few words about being intentional in our cultivation of that which will nourish.  Enjoy. It happened between graduating from high school and starting college.  I was working at a camp and the staff went out one night for pizza.  It was one of the those places that hide all the ingredients under the cheese.  When the pizza came, I took a big, unexamined bite."Wow!  That's tremendous!  What's on this pizza?""Pepperoni, Sausage, and mushro … [Read more...]

Storms, foundations, rebuilding….

The Wise man Built His House upon the Rock... It’s the end of a bad day and I’m driving to the writing cabin.  Stresses, demands, uncertainties, broken appointments, and hurtful words followed by icy withdrawal – all of these were wrapped up in a single sunny day.  A word that might describe my reaction to these trials:  pathetic.  I withdrew into self-pity, and wallowed in my pain.Ironically, it was the day that I studying about how those who have a strong foundation in Christ can weather st … [Read more...]

You are what you eat…so choose wisely

I was reminded last night, at Georges Seafood and BBQ, that I become irrational when I'm too hungry.  I order something that will bring immediate pleasure, and certain delayed pain.  Last night is was the Seafood Threesome: scallops, haddock, and shrimp, all fried, and served up with a tiny green salad, and some beans and rice.  I won't mention that, in need of even more immediate gratification, I'd also ordered a fried calamari appetizer.  It was all good while going down - satisfying, ple … [Read more...]


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