"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Friday, February 5, 2016

Innovation Doesn't Ask Your Permission

"Innovation doesn’t ask for approval.
It just happens—much to the annoyance of existing power structures, which tend to be about preserving what has been."

(Carey Nieuwhof)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Almost None Kind Of Faith

"As much as you are able, rest in what trust you have in me, no matter how small, okay?
Mack had lowered his head and was looking at the floor. “She knows,” he thought. Small? His “little” must be barely to the right of none."

(William P. Young. The Shack)

I Don't Understand God! Good!

“To begin with, that you can’t grasp the wonder of my nature is rather a good thing. Who wants to worship a God who can be fully comprehended, eh? Not much mystery in that.”

( William P. Young. The Shack)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yours Signs Don't Guide Others

"Many masters have made the mistake of using their signs in order to guide their disciples.
What happens is that when people begin the spiritual search, they enter unknown waters, and feel insecure. So they try grabbing hold of the first thing held out to them - and in doing this, they abandon the aspect of adventure, only to become slaves to the hand guiding them."

(Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light Vol 2 )

Pain Clips Wings.

"Mack, pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly.” She waited a moment, allowing her words to settle. “And if left unresolved for very long, you can almost forget that you were ever created to fly in the first place.” ~God to Mack

(William P. Young. The Shack)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

When My Goals Make You Expendable

When the vision, the goal, the dream.... is the problem.

"On May 16, 2006, David Sharp lay with his life in danger at twenty-nine thousand feet in the infamous “Zone of Death”on Mount Everest. It isn’t clear what ailed Sharp. Some say he had used all his oxygen, while others say he was suffering from standard altitude sickness. As Sharp lay fighting for his life it is said that no less than forty-two people passed by him. Many of those forty-two passed by twice—on the way up and down. What was their response? In most cases they did nothing. One of those who passed by Sharp was Mark Inglis, a forty-sevenyear-old New Zealander. Inglis had already lost both legs to frostbite on Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest peak. Now he was gaining national attention for his attempt to summit Mount Everest with two prostheses. Interviewed about the episode, Inglis said, “We talked for quite a while and it was a very hard decision.”They radioed down to their expedition leader who said the situation sounded hopeless. With that, they did what everybody else did. They left Sharp to die. This incident stirred an international debate about outdoor and mountaineering ethics. Edmund Hilary, the legendary New Zealander who was the first person ever to summit Mount Everest was outraged. “The people just want to get to the top,”Hilary fumed. “They don’t give a damn about anybody else. I think it was the responsibility of every human on that mountain to try to save his life, even if that means they don’t get to the top of the mountain.”

( Skywalker : Close Encounters On The Appalachian Trail. Bill Walker)

Boring Speed

"But the great irony is that speed has made travel not more interesting, but more boring. Just compare the palpably buoyant mood of someone who has completed a long day’s hike with the nauseous mood of a jet-lagged traveler."

(Skywalker: Close Encounters On The Appalachian Trail. Bill Walker)

Not Permitted To Question

"When you begin to question two thousand years of [church] tradition, you can expect others to be threatened and try to discourage you. They will misinterpret your frustration as bitterness and accuse you of being selfish. They will discount your hungers by saying that we can’t expect the church to be perfect when it is filled with broken humanity."

- Wayne Jacobsen

Squinty Faced Religion

"Merton once told me to quit trying so hard in prayer. He said: "How does an apple ripen? It just sits in the Sun."
A small green apple cannot ripen in one night by typing all its muscles, squinting its eyes and tightening its jaw in order to find itself the next morning miraculously the large, red, ripe, and juicy decided small green counterparts. Like the birth of a baby or the opening of a rose, the birth of the true self takes place in God's time. We must wait for God, we must be awake; we must trust in his hidden action within us."

(Merson's Palace of Nowhere.  by James Finley)

Stop Spiritually Monitoring Yourself.

Cease striving and know that I am God (PS. 46:10 NASB)
After reading Brodie, I’ve decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would not only climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets; I wouldn’t only jettison my hot water bottle, raincoat, umbrella, parachute, and raft; I would not only go barefoot earlier in the spring and stay out later in the fall; but I would devote not one more minute to monitoring my spiritual growth.
No, not one."

( Brennan Manning. The Furious Longing Of God )

God is Not Into Reinforcing Our Stereotypes

“Mackenzie, I am neither male nor female, even though both genders are derived from my nature. If I choose to appear to you as a man or a woman, it’s because I love you. For me to appear to you as a woman and suggest that you call me Papa is simply to mix metaphors, to help you keep from falling so easily back into your religious conditioning.”She leaned forward as if to share a secret. “To reveal myself to you as a very large, white grandfather figure with flowing beard, like Gandalf, would simply reinforce your religious stereotypes, and this weekend is not about reinforcing your religious stereotypes.”

( William P. Young. The Shack )

God’s Not Afraid of Piss and Vinegar

"You don’t have to be lookin’ out for me. I listen to everything—and not just to the music itself, but the hearts behind it. Don’t you remember your seminary classes? These kids ain’t saying anything I haven’t heard before; they’re just full of vinegar and fizz. Lots of anger and, I must say, with some good reason too. They’re just some of my kids, showin’ and spoutin’ off. I am especially fond of those boys, you know. Yup, I’ll be keeping my eye on ’em.”

(William P. Young. The Shack )

Friday, January 29, 2016

Using People Helps

"We are taught to grab all the gusto you can get, and have a vision for your life, and we don't  realise how much we use people in that whole philosophy of life."

Wayne Jacobsen. The God Journey. Podcast #516, Jan 22, 2016)

I'm Drawn To Your Obnoxiousness

"I remember saying to people,

'Why do you think that increasing levels of obnoxiousness will endear someone to your point of view.?'"

(Wayne Jacobsen. Podcast #516, Jan 22, 2016)

Hope and Fear

"Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter unknown and fearful territory."
(The Wounded Healer. Henri Nouwen)

Safe Places

"... 'leaving the safe place' night turn out to be a very difficult act of leadership."

(The Wounded Healer. Henri Nouwen)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Surrounded by "Not Like Me"

A subtle but substantial difference that changed how I moved forward.

"Instead of looking for like minded  people, look for people to love."
~ Wayne Jacobsen

Monday, January 25, 2016

I Was No Coward

Heaven, at that moment, is to be able to say: "I made some mistakes, but I was not a coward: I lived my life, and did what I had to do."
( Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light vol 2)

We Love Routines

"Deep down, people complain, but they love routines - I said. - Of course, and the reason is very simple: routines give them the false sensation of being safe. Thus, today will be exactly like yesterday, and tomorrow will bring no surprises. When night falls, part of the soul complains that nothing different was experienced, but another part is content - paradoxically, it is for the same reason. "Evidently this safety is completely false; no one can control anything, and a change always appears at the moment one least expects it, taking us surprise and with no chance to react or fight."

(Paulo Coelho: Warrior Of The Light - Vol 2)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Lazy Shepherds

"Shepherd Billy is in a peck of trouble about the sheep; he declares that they are possessed with more of the evil one than any other flock from the beginning of the invention of mutton and wool to the last batch of it. No matter how many are missing, he will not, he says, go a step to seek them, because, as he reasons, while getting back one wanderer he would probably lose ten. Therefore runaway hunting must be Carlo's and mine."

( John Muir. My First Summer In The Sierras )

Hospitality The Cure To Sectarianism

"Hospitality is the virtue which allows us to break through the narrowness of our own fears and open our houses to the stranger, with the intuition that salvation comes to us in the form of a tired traveler. Hospitality makes anxious disciples into powerful witnesses, makes suspicious owners into generous givers, and makes close-minded sectarians into interested recipients of new ideas and insights.

(The wounded Healer. Henry Nouwen)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Do You Even Hear Or Heed His Voice.

"Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not, ask yourself whether you have this day done one thing because he said, do it, or once abstained because he said, do not do it.

It is simply absurd to say you believe, or even want to believe in him, if you do not anything he tells you. If you can think of nothing he ever said as having had an atom of influence on your doing or not doing, you have too good ground to consider yourself no disciple of his."

(George MacDonald Creation to Christ)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Healing Waters .... Tears.

"He had already been perched precariously on the precipice of emotion, and now the flooding scent and attendant memories staggered him. He could feel the warmth of tears beginning to gather behind his eyes, as if they were knocking on the door of his heart. It seemed that she saw them too. “It’s okay honey, you can let it all out. . . . I know you’ve been hurt, and I know you’re angry and confused. So, go ahead and let it out. It does a soul good to let the waters run once in a while—the healing waters.”

( William P. Young. The Shack)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Afraid Of Freedom.

"Having escaped restraint, they were, like some people we know of, afraid of their freedom, did not know what to do with it, and seemed glad to get back into the old familiar bondage."

(John Muir. My First Summer In The Sierras)

When I Die.....

"When I die, please tell stories, wild ones, crazy ones, stories that embarrass me to death about my shortcomings.
Please, do not talk about what you think I've accomplished. Ponder what might have moved me, gave me hope, and then maybe, if you can, miss me."

(Andy Rayner )

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Good Enough

Often we want to be somewhere other than where we are, or even to be someone other than who we are. We tend to compare ourselves constantly with others and wonder why we are not as rich, as intelligent, as simple, as generous, or as saintly as they are. Such comparisons make us feel guilty, ashamed, or jealous. It is very important to realize that our vocation is hidden in where we are and who we are. We are unique human beings, each with a call to realize in life what nobody else can, and to realize it in the concrete context of the here and now.

We will never find our vocations by trying to figure out whether we are better or worse than others. We are good enough to do what we are called to do. Be yourself!

-- Henri Nouwen

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Love Increased

"Here I could stay tethered forever with just bread and water, nor would I be lonely; loved friends and neighbors, as love for everything increased, would seem all the nearer however many the miles and  between us."

(John Muir. My First Summer In The Sierras)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Rarely Understood

"Rarely do we realize that we are in the midst of the extraordinary."

(Paulo Coelho: By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept)

Gods Mother Tongue

"And he promptly asked God’s forgiveness for failing to recognize that He speaks all languages."

(Paulo Coelho: By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

There He Is....Kissing Children....

"Brothers, have you found our king? There he is, kissing little children..... There he is at table with the head of a fisherman lying on his bosom....."

(George MacDonald. Creation in Chris)

Girls

"I never wanted a boy. l only wanted you from the first day. Don't ever change. I love my little girl. I'm so proud of my little girl.”- Matthew Cuthbert

(Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne Of Green Gables)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

You Only Bury Bones

"And oh, there is no power on Earth or below
That could ever break our hearts or shake our souls
And when you lay me down, you'll only bury bones
'cause oh, my heart and soul are going home"

-The Oh Hellos... a band

The Bible Is The Frontier Of The Spirit

"The Bible is the frontier of the spirit where we must move and live in order to discover and to explore."

(Abraham Joshua Heschel. God in Search Of Man)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Fake Emotion

"But he was so carried away by his simulated emotion, that he was for one moment almost believing it himself. He was so touched he was almost weeping."

(Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov. About Fyodor Pavlovitch)

Unity or Division?

"The Church exists not to divide those who come together, but to bring together those who are divided; that is what 'assembly' means." 


St. John Chrysostom (349-407), in his homily on 1 Corinthians, #27

God Isn't Here Let's Go Find Him?

"Why is it that I think I must get somewhere, assume some position, be gathered together, or separated apart in the quiet of my study to pray?
Why is it that I feel that I have to go somewhere to do some particular act to find you, reach you, and talk to you?
Your presence is here....."

( Robert Wood. A Third-Day Experiment in Prayer)

In No Way The Right Man For The Place.

"I judged, however, that I was in no way the right man for the place, and freely explained my shortcomings, confessing that I was wholly unacquainted with the topography of the upper mountains, the streams that would have to be crossed, and the wild sheep-eating animals..."

(John Muir. My First Summer In The Sierras.)

God is Forever Aware.

"But God is present in the reality no matter what unreality our practices and our ponderings imply. He is forever trying to establish communication;  forever aware of the wrong directions we are taking and wishing to warn us; forever standing at the door of our loneliness, eager to bring us such comradeship as the most intelligent living mortal could not supply; forever clinging to our indifferences in the hope that someday our needs; or at least our tragedies will waken us to respond to his advances."

(Albert Edward Day. The Captivating Presence)

Our Foolish Talk....

"But God is present in reality no matter what unreality our practices and our ponderings imply." 

(Albert Edward Day. Captivating Presence)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Don't Show Me What You Managed In His Name.

I want to find God

The man arrived at the monastery exhausted:
- I have been looking for God for so long - he said. - Perhaps you can teach me the right way of finding Him.
- Enter and see our convent - said the priest, taking him by the hand and leading him to the chapel. - Here are some fine works of art of the 16th century, which portray the life of the Lord, and His glory among men.
The man waited, while the priest explained each one of the beautiful paintings and sculptures which adorned the chapel. Afterwards, he repeated the question:
- Everything you showed me is very beautiful. But I’d like to learn the best way to find God.
- God! - replied the priest. - You said exactly that: God!
And he took the man to the refectory, where supper was being prepared for the monks.
- Look around: soon supper will be served, and your are invited to dine with us. You will be able to listen to the Scriptures, while you satisfy your hunger.
- I am not hungry, and I have already read the entire Scriptures - insisted the man.
- I wish to learn. I have come here to find God.

Again the priest took the stranger by the hand and they began walking around the cloisters which encircled a lovely garden.
- I ask my monks to always keep the grass cut, and to remove the dry leaves from the fountain you see over there in the middle. I think this must be the best kept monastery in the whole region.

The stranger walked with the priest a short way, then excused himself, saying he must be leaving.
- Won’t you stay for supper? asked the priest.
As he mounted his horse, the stranger spoke:
- Congratulations on your fine church, your welcoming refectory and the perfectly clean courtyard. But I have journeyed many leagues just in order to learn to find God, and not to marvel at efficiency, comfort and discipline.

A flash of lightening struck, the horse reared up and the earth shook. Suddenly, the strange man removed his disguise, and the priest saw that it was Jesus. -

God is wherever He is invited in - said Jesus. - But you have closed the doors of this monastery to Him, with rules, pride, wealth, ostentation. The next time a stranger comes asking to find God, do not show him what you have managed in His name: listen to the question, and try to answer with love, charity and simplicity. And so saying, He disappeared."

(Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light. Vol 1)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Your Bones are the Same.

There was a king of Spain who was very proud of his ancestors, and who was known for his cruelty to the weak. One time, he was walking with his advisers across a field in Aragon, where - years before - he had lost his father during a battle, when he found a holy man searching a large pile of bones. - What are you doing there? - asked the king. - Honored greetings, Your Majesty - said the holy man. - When I heard that the king of Spain was coming this way, I resolved to recover the bones of your late father and present them to you. But however hard I search, I cannot find them: they are exactly the same as the bones of country folk, the poor, beggars and slaves."

(Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light - Vol 1 )

You Followed A Calf.

"In issue nr. 106 of Jornalinho, (Portugal), I find a story which teaches us much about that which we choose without thinking: One day, a calf needed to cross a virgin forest in order to return to its pasture. Being an irrational animal, it forged out a tortuous path full of bends, up and down hills. The next day, a dog came by and used the same path to cross the forest. Next it was a sheep’s turn, the head of a flock which, upon finding the opening, led its companions through it. Later, men began using the path: they entered and left, turned to the right, to the left, bent down, deviating obstacles, complaining and cursing - and quite rightly so. But they did nothing to create a different alternative. After so much use, in the end, the path became a trail along which poor animals toiled under heavy loads, being forced to go three hours to cover a distance which would normally take thirty minutes, had no one chosen to follow the route opened up by the calf. Many years passed and the trail became the main road of a village, and later the main avenue of a town. Everyone complained about the traffic, because the route it took was the worst possible one. Meanwhile, the old and wise forest laughed, at seeing how men tend to blindly follow the way already open, without ever asking whether it really is the best choice."

Why So Much Work For Nothing?

"The feasts in Valência, Spain, have a curious ritual whose origins lie in the ancient community of carpenters

During the entire year, craftsmen and artists construct giant sculptures in wood. On the week of the feast, they take these sculptures to the main square. People pass, comment, marvel and are moved by such creativity. Then, on St. Joseph’s day all these works of art - except one - are burned on a giant bonfire, watched by thousands of onlookers.
- Why so much work for nothing?
- asked an Englishwoman beside me, as flames licked the sky. - You too will come to an end one day - replied a Spanish woman.
- Can you imagine if, at that moment, an angel asked God: “why so much work for nothing?”

(Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light - Vol 1 )

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

God's Soul Delight

".... the soul of the righteous person is nothing but a paradise, in which, as God tells us, he takes his delight.....  I can find nothing with which to compare the great beauty of a soul and its great capacity." 
(Teresa of Avila; Interior Castle)

A Temple Set Apart

"Fling wide the portals of your heart;
Make it a temple, set apart
From earthly use for heaven's employ,
Adorned with prayer and love and joy."
George Weissel Hymn

Hike Your Own Hike.

When I set out to walk 300km i was introduced to the concept of "Hike your own hike." I think it applies to life also. This story captivated me.

About the rhythm and the Road -

"There was something missing in your lecture about the Road to Santiago - a pilgrim told me as soon as we left the House of Galicia in Madrid, where I had just attended conference. There was much missing, since my intention had merely been to share some of my experiences. Nevertheless, I invited her for a coffee, curious to learn what she considered an important omission. And Begoña - that was her name - told me: - I have noticed that the majority of pilgrims, whether on the Road to Santiago, or on the paths of life, always try to follow the rhythms of others. “At the beginning of my pilgrimage, I tried to stay with my group. It was tiring and demanded of my body more than I could give, I was always tense, and in the end had trouble with a tendon in my left foot. Unable to walk for two days, I understood that I would only reach Santiago if I obeyed my own personal rhythm. “I took longer than the others, and had to walk alone for long stretches, but it was only by respecting my own rhythm that I managed to complete the journey. Since then I have applied this to everything I must do in life: to respect my own tempo.”

( Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light vol 1)

Questions That Grow

"A certain Rabbi was adored by the community; everyone was enchanted by what he said.

Except for Isaac, who never missed an opportunity to contradict the Rabbi’s interpretations and point out faults in his teachings. The others were annoyed by Isaac, but could do nothing about it.

One day, Isaac died. During the funeral, the community noticed that the Rabbi was deeply upset. - Why are you so sad? - someone commented.
- He was always criticizing everything you said!
- I am not upset for my friend who is now in heaven - replied the Rabbi - I am upset for my own self. While everyone revered me, he challenged me, and I was obliged to improve. Now he has gone, I am afraid I shall stop growing."

(Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light vol 1)

Fighting For Lies

Looking back, most things were not worth it, but others really were.

"More than once, he wasted his time fighting for a lie."

(Paulo Coelho: Warrior Of The Light)

Enthusiastic Conquests

"Know that one must not renounce the enthusiasm of the conquests; they are part of life, ..."

( Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light vol 1)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Charity Instead Of Love & Care?

We are all responsible

"A group of men came along the street; heavily armed soldiers leading a condemned man to the gallows. “That man is no good”, said a disciple to Nasrudin. “I once gave him a silver coin in order to help him start his life afresh, and he did nothing important.” “He may be no good, but perhaps he is now on his way to the gallows because of you,” argued the master. “Perhaps he used the alms in order to buy a dagger, which he then used in committing his crime - because instead of helping him with love and care, you chose to give him alms in order to release yourself from your obligation."

( Paulo Coelho : Warrior Of The Light vol 1)