A Letter to your Twenty-Something Self

Mark Scandrette has written a letter to himself twenty years ago:

Twenty something self, I speak the truth from kindness. So far life has been easy for you.. You’ve gotten by on natural talents and charm, but in the future you will have to work harder and smarter.   You have good dreams and ideals, but it will take time to turn your bravado into tangible actions that others can see and affirm. The people around you are a mirror, giving you feedback on what you put out there. Sometimes you are impatient and proud and not that self-aware. Listen to your frustrations. Reflect on where you find energy  and keep moving toward what makes you feel alive.

Read the Rest: Mark Scandrette » Dear Twenty-Something Self.

What would you say to yourself twenty years ago?

On Uniting Heart and Mind

This sponsored post is part of the Patheos Book Club on Richard Foster’s new book, Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer.  This edition of the book club also includes some video responses from the author.

One of my dearest friends, Mark Scandrette, was in town earlier this week.  Mark is, dare I say it, the Richard Foster of my generation and tribe of Christianity.  He’s a guru of spiritual formation, as seen in his new book — though, I must say, Mark’s got a much more urban edge than the spiritual formation gurus of the past generation.

Anyway, Mark and I spent most of Monday catching up, talking about our lives and our careers.  By the end of the day, Mark challenged me to start writing more personally, about what has gone on in my life lately, about how I’ve gotten through it.

The last few years have been, in short, rife with struggle.  Divorce, foreclosure, custody battles, financial troubles have all confronted me.  There’s also been new love, new friendships, and new opportunities.  I won’t be writing about the details of these things, but Mark thinks I should write about what has happened to my soul during these times.

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Practicing the Way of Jesus

Mark Scandrette's alter-ego, Preacher A.L. Withee

I just finished reading Practicing the Way of Jesus: Life Together in the Kingdom of Love by Mark Scandrette. It’s an eminently practical book about real, lived spiritual formation in Mark’s ever-changing ReIMAGINE community in San Francisco.  For years, Mark has invited people to join him on days- or weeks-long experiments, many of which fall under his concept of the Jesus Dojo (described by Mark in the video below).

What I’m most interested in when reading a book — especially one, like this, written by a friend of mine — is what I can decipher about the underlying theology.  I happen to know a lot about Mark’s theology, having spent the better part of the summer of 2008 on an RV with him.  And here’s what I’d say:

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The Wild Goose Festival: Gratitudes

This week, I’m going to be posting on different aspects of the Wild Goose Festival, which was, from my perpective, an overwhelmingly successful gathering.  Truly, I cannot imagine that it could have gone much better than it did, and I’m proud to have been a volunteer at the first Goose.

I’ve got lots to say, so I’ll address different aspects of the festival, like the music, the talks, sexuality, and even some of my friendly suggestions to make the festival better next year.

But to begin, I want to post my thanksgivings:

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