Reading Deuteronomy I can feel the tension of this last stop on the journey to the promised land. The journey has been long and arduous a whole generation has passed away. The path has been circuitous and fraught with mistakes. God though has been ever present beckoning and leading forward. Not on a journey to some physical spot on a map, but towards holiness. An ever developing journey.
Feeling this tension of Deuteronomy I made aware of my own spiritual journey. There are many things I have great anticipation towards and if I am not careful it quickly turns into anxiousness. Instead, though in these pages I am reminded that in the tension of anticipation God refines us into more and more holy creatures. May we all find ourselves on the threshold of anticipation waiting for God to reveal the next step.
My prayer this morning is for a group of friends beginning a month long pilgrimage. I pray they are able to rest in God and the anticipation of his action as they launch into their journey.
In a brief two and a half years a lot can happen:
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Photo credit freedigitalphotos.net and tigger11th
Years and years ago I like many of you was born into a world that overwhelmed my senses. Yet over time I learned to make sense of the various stimuli and how to respond to each one. Fast forward to childhood I grew up in a household dedicated to their relationship with Jesus. I heard stories of my great-grandfather’s days as a preacher. I helped my mom’s parents prepare the Lord Supper for their church and saw their dedication to their congregation. I remember singing alongside my dad’s parents at church, in depth conversations about faith with his father, and his mother’s dedication to serving international families new to their community. My mom’s well-worn Bible was always a visible sight and my father was instrumental in helping develop my early devotional life. All these experiences taught me about faith and formed me. I am sure as we flip through our memory banks we can come up with volumes of experiences we can point to as being critical in developing who we are as people and specifically our spiritual formation.
Now in college this common sense understanding that development comes through experiences collided with a real genuine educational model. I served at a Christian camp formed around this model of creating intentional experiences that challenged participants and then facilitated conversations around those experiences. I was studying education and recreation at school and soon I learned the academics behind what is called experiential education. Now if you have been around camps or a ropes course you may have heard the term, experiential education, I want to expand on this term. Experiential education is much more than just labeling the natural process of discovery leading to new knowledge. In fact there is a huge academic field dedicated to it. I have found that understanding this model and some of the academics around it quite helpful. Especially, as I think about spiritual formation and all aspects of the Christian life. So I want to make some of my research and understanding more accessible. So my goal is to write about experiential education each month and hopefully you will find as much benefit in it as I do. But, for today if it has been a while since you have thought back on how past experiences have formed you this might be a good starting place to understanding experiential education.
Last night I came to the startling realization that it is the middle of January and 2014 is now well underway. The crazy thing is I have no idea what will happen this year. I am trying to think back and I can’t come up with a time when life felt this fluid.
As I contemplated this I began to feel comfort in Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (NLT).
When I look back I can clearly see all the ways God has moved to bring things to this point, because of this I should be confident God is already at work in this blank slate before me. However, when I stare out into nothingness all too often I fear and falter. All I can pray is prayer of the desperate father “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief” (Mark 9:24)!
Incomplete then is going to be my personal theme for this year. What does it mean to live in the tension of being a work in progress? How do I partner with God as he works within me? And many more questions I am sure will rise out of this theme.
Along with the internal spiritual direction of taking a yearlong look at Incomplete it stirs other parts of my person. What have I left undone? Why do I leave things undone? When I leave things undone is this a symptom of something greater? If I am completely honest, I think my own unfinished projects have a deep spiritual and psychological impact.
Tile is in and soon to be grouted. But the project is not done. This means Seminary won!
Life lesson: Remodeling and Graduate school don’t mix.
Tags: bathroom remodel
If I were to spin around in my office chair there is no way to describe the randomness you would see. Game supplies, library, crafts supplies, old towels, nails, lumber, on and on. Of course the youth room is just as full of fun things.
After a little tidying at the end of a long semester I found students’ random questions for me. I had asked them a while a go to write any questions they had.
Clearly i meant spiritual questions. I got a few: “How is it decided who goes to heaven or hell?”, “When is God coming down to earth to see us?”, “What is your favorite Bible story?”, “Is it good to drink and smoke at a young age?”, “What do you do when people are being very rude?”
But not everyone was on the same page:
What is the diameter of mother earth?
What is your middle name?
How extensive is your extensive knowledge, oh wise one?
What is the most dangerous thing you have ever have done beside jumping off the bridge? (To my knowledge I have never jumped off a bridge or said i have)
Are you nervous and sweaty?
Have you ever killed a…….cat! (on accident)?
Where should I go to college?
Have you ever kissed a gorilla on the lips?
Oh teenagers never a dull moment!
The semester is going to end with a huge bang. Two papers and Two finals to prepare for this month. Then one more semester to go by the end of the summer it will be over (fingers crossed).
Looky here y’all a white Christmas! The white stuff makes my heart race. Durango enjoyed his first taste of the
white stuff ill put up a picture later. Oh btw if you would like a different way to read the Christmas story try a medley Isaiah 40:3-8, John 1:1-5, 1:14-18. I am reminded this season that Jesus came because of love of all creation. Merry Christmas!!
I have learned a lot about saturation this last year. I have never lived on a steep hill until now. when the rain comes on a hill you think about it forcefully flowing down off the hill. Apparently when there is a lot of rain it happens under the ground as well and ends up in your garage or makes little fountains along the driveway.
All this to say this semester in school has made me hit my saturation point. At first I was drowning in the flood of classwork, church, bathroom renovation, camp, and life in general. Now a couple of months in saturation has become the new wholenessof my life. Somethings still must remain undone for lack of time. Yet at the center I am discovering a peace in Christ. I really like what I am finding.
Christ is the ultimate pressure release.
Renovation Interrupted. I began demolition in August last year. Now here we are finally red. Special thanks to my dad and brother. Now on to rebuilding it.