The Best Version of Myself… What’s the recipe?

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With vacation, a planned hike to the summit of St. Helen's, and a climbing project brewing that I'm excited about sharing later, I recently reread a book called "Bone Games: Extreme Sports, Shaminism, Zen, and the Search for Transcendence".  Rob opens with the story of his most desperate moment.  He's fallen, is seriously injured and stranded on a small ledge with hundreds of vertical feet below waiting to devour him when he tries to down climb - with his injury - in the dark - in the snow.  Not … [Read more...]

The Piano – and the painful goodness of letting go

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I didn't know on Saturday night that they'd be the last notes I'd play on it.  I sat down a few minutes before a woman came in response to our Craig's list ad and touched the keys with a tune I made up on the fly.  It's what I do best with pianos.  Those pesky notes from Bach or Mozart have always felt too confining for me.  So I simply sit and play, letting the music well up from my soul and pour out over the keys.  I've done that multiple hundreds of times on this piano.  It's been a friend.  L … [Read more...]

The Path… why we desparately need silence, solitude, and paying attention

a simple overnight can teach life changing lessons

My daughter and I are going up into the high country, but we'll be taking the road less traveled.Instead of parking at a trailhead and following a line on a map, we'll be walking up, behind the chalet we purchased nearly one year ago with a vision of offering hospitality, space to hear God's voice, and a sharing of life in a mountain setting with guests.  This way of getting to our destination offers no line on a map - just word of mouth, unused and overgrown roads and subtle paths which, if … [Read more...]

What are you wearing today?

Warning:  No chicken sandwiches were eaten, or boycotted, in the production of this blog post.  I love this little bit in Colossians 3, which reads: "put on (or 'drape yourself with') a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."  The author goes on to declare that a community clothed in these will be quick to forgive and also won't be inclined to pick at each other over every little thing (which is the meaning of 'bearing with one another').  It's a wonderful word picture … [Read more...]

Imagine: The Importance of Envisioning a Different World….

The authors of "Colossians Remixed" write:  If with Christ you died in your baptism to the principles of autonomous consumerism that still hold the world captive, then why do you live in a way that suggests that you are still in the iron grip of its ideological vision?  Why do you submit yourself to its regulations to consume as if there were no tomorrow, to live as if community were an impediment to personal fulfillment, to live as if everything were disposable, including relationships, the u … [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...]

Advent – It’s about the Gap, and paying attention

For we who follow Christ, the season of Advent is about looking squarely into the thick of our lives and our world, paying attention, and seeing what's really there.  Like good artists, we need to pay attention to the details, because its in the details that we see the distance between what's actually there, and what we know, deep in our hearts, could be there if all was well. In our image saturated world, we don't pay enough attention.  Our eye catches an image of this or that, but because it f … [Read more...]


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