Spiritual Direction for the Deeply Troubled

An elderly minister I visit regularly in my job as visitation pastor for my church told me today that “spiritual direction will be greatly needed in the days ahead.” He was one of many people I know deeply troubled by the reports of hate crimes and hate speech directed at people of color, the LGBTQ [Read More…]

5 Spiritual Discernment Questions for the Undecided Voter

With only a few days left before the 2016 Presidential election there are still those who have not yet decided whether to vote for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, third party candidates or a write-in candidate. So it’s time for an outline of 5 basic spiritual discernment questions—culled from the writings and teachings of Ignatius of [Read More…]

5 Ways to Detox Your Spirit from this Presidential Election

Feeling addicted to political news and commentary? If so you’re not alone.  You may need a spiritual detox from the ridiculous amount of information coming at you daily. You may need some help weaning yourself off watching your smartphone for breaking news. You probably need a break from clearing your email inbox of frantic requests [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and Election Anxiety

For highly sensitive people like me, news in the fall of a presidential election year feels like a sharp and constant hammer to the head. The harsh rhetoric, the reality of the deep division between those on the left and those on the right, the way every single emotion-evoking event is turned into a partisan [Read More…]

5 Ways Spiritual Direction Promotes Freedom

  Spiritual direction takes freedom very seriously. We want to feel free to be the person we were created to be–with as few internal fetters as possible, barriers such as negative self-talk, low self-esteem or dependencies. A spiritual director is trained to notice where you may not be as free as you want or need [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and the Clergy Person

We need healthy religious and spiritual leaders in our faith communities–bright, energetic ministers who embody joy and compassion and know when and how to draw appropriate boundaries. A new book due out this fall, Sacred Habits: The Rise of the Creative Clergy by Chad R. Abbott addresses a number of ways clergy can lead more balanced [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and Young Adults

Young adulthood is full of adventure and options. So much so that many young adults become adrift in a sea of possibilities. If you say “yes” to one option, you are saying “no” to others, and that can be difficult. Spiritual direction, especially when it’s focused on vocational discernment for young adults, can be a [Read More…]

Holding our Pain: A look at “The Gift of Hard Things” by Mark Yaconelli

This post is part of a roundtable discussion about the new book The Gift of Hard Things by Mark Yaconelli, now featured at the Patheos Book Club. It’s easy to be spiritually focused when life goes well for us. Not so easy when grief, suffering, pain and frustration fill our days. Spiritual director and storyteller [Read More…]

Don’t Give Up!

The division and violence of the last few weeks compels me to promote the spiritual practice of perseverance. I can feel a collective exasperation on social media, in conversation, even in worship with every violent disturbance we hear about. Persevere in any way that feeds your faith. Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, a Baptist minister and [Read More…]

Spiritual Direction and the Homebound Person

  For most spiritual directors, the directee comes to the director’s office, home or other pre-arranged location. But how do those people who are not mobile or confined to their home receive spiritual direction? The director must either visit them at a distance (phone or Skype) or come to them. For the past six months [Read More…]