"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).

Monday, January 23, 2017

A World Of Wounds...

As Aldo Leopold famously lamented, "One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds."

The more we learn, the more we see how much is wrong and destructive, and too often it feels like others neither know nor care to know.

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way Is Made By Walking)

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Church as Institution or Community?

From Turkey.... community....

"Persecution changes how you view our faith. For example here in turkey we live our faith as a minority, and this defines the way we live the faith. In the way that we understand ourselves and the relation we have with God, and in the way we understand the church h as institution or as spiritual reality. When you are a minority and you are a minority which was, up to very recent years, was persecuted, literally.
You see things different.
You do not feel an institution, but as a living community.

(Fr. Albrto Ambroise An eastern Orthodox in Turkey.
Interview with Krista Tippet On Being, podcast. August 2, 2012)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

How Can One Reorient A Lifetime Of Customs?

"How can we, in a few sentences, bring context to a confused conversation someone has been having in his or her own consciousness for twenty-five years?How can each of us, as one person, help our friends reorient after a lifetime of tradition, doctrine, customs, and beliefs picked up from the overwhelming majority around them?"

(Hugh Halter. Flesh)

Scarred From Repulsive Religion

"But you know that the proclamation of truth seldom penetrates the rocky soil of a heart that’s been scarred by repulsive religion and the agony of a hard life."

(Hugh Halter. FLESH)

Benevolent Atheist Because of Murder

"Roscoe is an atheist. A really benevolent one. Thirty-seven years ago, at the age of five, Rosco found himself hiding under a table in his family’s small Northern Ireland cottage, desperately trying to keep his dog quiet by distracting him with a bowl of milk. He was hiding under the table because his mother, in fear of losing more family members, had scattered the children just seconds before a band of IRA henchmen came in, holding his father at gunpoint. In that moment, Rosco prayed that God would save his father. The answer? The sound of a pistol discharging, followed by a deadening thud as his father hit the kitchen floor right next to the table. The fading memories of the day God didn’t answer, combined with seeing his father’s murderer singing hymns and taking Communion in Mass the next week, left Roscoe with no faith in God at all and only the lingering memory of the smell of his dog and the milk. How do I know Rosco? I just performed a marriage between him and his fiancée, Tanya. I heard this amazing story over coffee at Starbucks before Rosco flew in to Denver."
(Hugh Halter. FLESH)

Friday, January 20, 2017

Jesus Did Not Pray For Activity. BUT oneness.

"........ the most astounding lines comes in verse 21: “I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one” (NLT). Notice that Jesus didn’t pray that they would grow churches or make converts, start nonprofits, or stop sinning. He didn’t pray that they would do a ton of miracles, get people’s attention, go on speaking tours, start Bible studies, or lead successful evangelism efforts. He prayed that they would be linked into the family of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He prayed that every person rippling out from this handful of men would become grafted into the fellowship of the family. The incarnational way of life is not about conversion. It’s about adoption."
(Hugh Halter. FLESH )

He Did Not Come So You Could Go To Church.

"He didn’t come and take on flesh so that you would someday pray a salvation prayer, go to church, and settle for a semireligious life. He has bigger hopes and dreams for you than that. He came so that His divine life could actually take root in you and so that you could relate to Him like humans used to before sin messed everything up."

(Hugh Halter. FLESH)

Hey Church- God Wants His Family Back

"Christians often make it sound like Jesus came only to die for sin and then make converts, grow a religion called Christianity, and make more converts. But God never wanted converts, church attenders, prisoners, or parishioners. He wanted His family back."

(Hugh Halter. FLESH)

When Church Can't See People.

"For two days they talked about how to build their churches, how to multiply their congregations and develop leaders. I know they didn’t mean to, but little mention was given to real people. It was like we were looking out the tiny passenger window from a 747 jet and seeing a plane fly by in the other direction; I felt that somehow we were missing Jesus and human beings amid all this church stuff."
(Hugh Halter,. Flesh)

How Would Jeaus Live Your Life?

Dallas Willard

“Jesus teaches you to live your life as He would live your life.”

How Would Jeaus Live Your Life?

Dallas Willard

“Jesus teaches you to live your life as He would live your life.”

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

In Life You Run Into Theology

"I suppose when you boil all of life’s wins and losses down to the real issues, you’ll run into theology. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. Life is about God. Everything is about God. It can be said that the most important thing about each and every one of us is what we believe about God—and more specifically, what we are convinced about regarding Jesus."

(Hugh Halter. FLESH)

Outside The House.

"One Thanksgiving, our family hosted Fred, a Masai  man from Kenya, who was studying at the Seminary where I teach. He spoke about how his nomadic fellow tribes people are not vulnerable to political disruption because they can easily move into the bush whenever the need arises. He told us, "All your wealth and possessions are in this house, but ours are outside." Their Investments, he meant, we're in the cattle that Masai own. He pointedly reminded us that we North Americans see homes as our own private domain.......
And our sense of Independence means we are often concerned only for what goes on in our home but not do not worry about the astonishing waste and
poisons put out on the curb, flush down their toilets or let run down our sinks."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way Is Made By Walking)

Deal With Our Own Shirt In Our Own Backyards

"My sheltered life too often disconnects me from hard reality. Many of my cloths, possessions and appliances are produced by underpaid laborers abroad and overtaxing the earth. And their disposal is often destructive too. Our alienated way of life is one of the most important spiritual and ecological challenges today.
While I enjoy indoor plumbing and miss it ehen it's not an option, I also know that it's convenience - and the fact that I do not have to deal with what goes down the sink, toilet or drain - makes it easy to be responsible. Perhaps outhouses should be brought back. Maybe we ought to deal with our own garbage in our own backyards."

(Arthur Paul Boers. The Way Is Made By Walking)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Theological Pornography

"Bad theology is like pornography—the imagination of a real relationship without the risk of one. It tends to be transactional and propositional rather than relational and mysterious. You don’t have to trust Person, or care for Person. It becomes an exercise in self-gratification that ultimately dehumanizes the self and the community of humanity in order to avoid the painful processes of humbling and trusting. Bad theology is not a victimless crime. It dehumanizes God and turns the wonder and the messy mystery of intimate relationship into a centerfold to be used and discarded."

William P. Young. Forward to Divine Dance

How Could People Love Your God?

"We have to have a positive image of God.If our God image is lethal, shaming, negative, accusatory, there is no spiritual journey. Why would you go on a journey with some you don't like,or someone you don't trust, or someone you can't entrust yourself to,"


Richard Rohr. Podcast interview. Snarky Faith Radio. Sept 21, 2016)

Monday, January 16, 2017

God Does Not See So Low

"God, You have never had a low view of Humanity.
May our eyes be healed, especially those of us “born blind,” that we might see what You do."

William P. Young. Forward to Divine Dance

Called Forward

....... calling us forward and inviting us to actively change what we let into our hearts, calling us to consciously participate in this divine dance of loving and being loved."

William P. Young. Forward to Divine Dance

Saturday, January 14, 2017

GIVE UP ON RELIGION- Please

In Jesus, God has put up a “Gone Fishing” sign on the religion shop. He has done the whole job in Jesus once and for all and simply invited us to believe it—to trust the bizarre, unprovable proposition that in him, every last person on earth is already home free without a single religious exertion: no fasting till your knees fold, no prayers you have to get right or else, no standing on your head with your right thumb in your left ear and reciting the correct creed—no nothing.… The entire show has been set to rights in the Mystery of Christ—even though nobody can see a single improvement. Yes, it’s crazy. And yes, it’s wild, and outrageous, and vulgar. And any God who would do such a thing is a God who has no taste. And worst of all, it doesn’t sell worth beans. But it is Good News—the only permanently good news there is—and therefore I find it absolutely captivating.
-- Robert Farrar Capon
* Quoted in "All is Grace" by Brennan Manning

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Church You Don't Know Me.

  "Many whom God has the church does not have, and many whom the church has God does not have."
Augustine

Common Camino

"A prominent paradox of my sojourn—and the one that surprised and taught me the most—is the fact that so few fellow pilgrims I met counted themselves as Christians. How curious that many immersed themselves in a taxing route associated with church traditions for over a millennium but did not necessarily profess Christian faith. And these folks ended up teaching me more than I realized I needed to know. (Stories and examples in this book are based on real people and events, but some names and details were altered to protect the privacy of individuals involved.)

While this Camino was an expression of my Christian faith, what I did was not especially noteworthy or sacrificial. I encountered hundreds of people along the way. Tens of thousands now walk it every year. Many—perhaps even a majority—go without an explicit religious agenda. I met extraordinary Christians on those paths, but also remarkable, gracious and hospitable people of no declared faith. Do we Christians think too highly of ourselves? Are we perhaps on the same journey as everyone else? Often people who most challenged me
with their exemplary way of living, both on this path and elsewhere in my life. were folks who did not call themselves believers."

- Arthur Paul Boers. The Way Is Made By Walking

Walked 500 Miles To Church.

Writing about his 500 mike walk on the Camino De Santiago....

"I once walked 500 miles to attend church. It took 31 days, but was no month of Sundays."

~Arthur Paul Boers. The Way Is Made By Walking.

Looking For God Too High

"An old Rabbi was once asked why so few people were finding God. He wisely replied that people were not willing to look that low. Jesus was born in a stable, and God is especially concerned for the poorest, the lowest, the lost, and the neglected."

(Harry and Louis Seaford. Liberation of Life)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Things Christians Don't Know!

" I knew that pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Rome and Canterbury had long been a part of our Christian tradition. And I knew that visiting holy sites by airplane, train and bus were still a popular tourist activity. But walking 500 miles?
I had no idea until I read Arthur Boers that millions of men and women all over the world are still doing it, deliberately paying attention to what takes place in and around them as they walk to their chosen destinations.

~ Eugene Peterson

Frenzied Pilgrims

"In a postmodern world in which time and space seem compressed and lives of leisure are driven by frenetic consumption, we should not be surprised that many have turned to the medieval practice of pilgrimage as a vital spiritual antidote."
Richard Gaillardetz

Pocketing The Holy Spirit

" We never have the Holy Spirit in our pockets, completely domesticated and supporting everything we are doing. Any such sanctifying of present imperfections is an obstacle to further growth. Instead of clutching fiercely to my foibles and fallacies, I had better cultivate the ability to change my mind........
~ Lois Seifert. Libération of Life

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mouthy Leadership.....

"They discover that it's difficult, they hey don't know how to relate. They don't know how to listen. They know how to tell people what to do. They are trained in "telling" people. But they've not got the idea of listening, and bringing people to birth." Jean Vanier

"We discovered that religion can become a prison and not a fountain" Jean Vanier


Telling Too Much

"They discover that it's difficult, they hey don't know how to relate. They don't know how to listen.
They know how to tell people what to do. They are trained in "telling" people. But they've not got the idea of listening, and bringing people to birth."
Jean Vanier

"We discovered that religion can become a prison and not a fountain"


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Death Penalty Still Exists Because of Christians

"A Lot of times evangelicals Christians will defend the death penalty based on "Biblical" reasons. And, in fact, the death penalty is most alive in the bible belt where there are high concentrations of evangelicals..... (Shane Blackshere)  

"....And this is one of the things that, as I dug deeper, became one of the deeply troubling parts of this. That the death penalty has survived in America, not in spite of Christians,  but becuse of Christians. And the truth is that the Death penalty wouldn't stand a chance of its continual survival if it weren't for Christians....
it is deeply troubling to me that 85% of the executions are happening in the bible belt. As my brother says, "he bible belt has become the death belt. (Shane Claiborne)

 Podcast Interview  (Seminary Dropout_#148)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Burn Your Cloths And Move On

"In the days of the Celts, Druids came all the way from Ireland and Charlemagne’s court in Aachen to be baptized at sunset at Finisterre. There they died with the sun, like Jesus, sinking into the waters of death, only to be born again when they emerged. They took on new robes, new names. That is why pilgrims burn their clothes at Finisterre. Their old self must die before the new can rise from the ashes . . .”

(Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

He Shut My Mouth

"When, through my tears, I began to tell him something of the years during which I betrayed him, he lovingly placed his hand over my mouth in order to silence me. His one concern was that I should muster courage enough to pick myself up again...."

Carlo Careetto

It Wasn’t About The Pilgrims

"There are many statues of pilgrims along the Camino, realistic and abstract, humorous and heroic, moving and maudlin. A few depict pilgrims of today, with nylon packs and running shoes, but most are like this one, a figure of long ago decked out in the classic pilgrim ensemble. León’s pilgrim is a weary figure. He has taken off his sandals and leans back against the cross as if to sleep. Before him is the Parador of San Marcos, a luxury hotel where he could never dream of staying. I sit down to keep him company for a while. It’s funny that in the old days, when pilgrims actually looked like this, there weren’t any statues of pilgrims. The statues then were of Jesus Christ, Mary, James and the other saints. They were the heroes of the Camino. But the old heroes have retreated to the churches and the heavens. The hero of the Camino today—or so these statues suggest—is the pilgrim himself, the pilgrim of old, pictured always as humble, stoic, pure of heart, trusting, possessed of an unclouded faith that today’s pilgrim can never hope to equal."
( Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims)

Pick A Stone Each Day

"She spoke at a Little Pilgrims meeting one Saturday about a discovery she had made on the Camino. Each day, as a kind of walking prayer, she would pick up a stone and fill it with her sorrow. At the end of the day, she would leave the stone by the wayside and walk away a little lighter."

(Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims)

Kiss The Son

Was reading an interesting verse in Psalm 2 today. The words jumped off the page at me. I swear, i never noticed them before. Psalm 2:11-12
Serve the Lord ...... Kiss his son, or he will be angry......
With the high honor of the Son enmeshed as the central point? Is there any more basic a call to the Father than this?

Serve God, Kiss his Son.....

This is an amazing call to worship, especially considering the Greek words God gave us to translate into our English word “worship”, have literal meanings such as, "to bend the knee", or "to kiss towards".
Anyway, been a long week here alone. I don't envy old people who live alone. That is very difficult. I find it a struggle. Lynn and I are lovers, but we are partners too. Partners is something larger than we are.
I am reminded today that there is a reason unreached people remain unreached. They are usually not near cities, there aren't any mission schools for missionaries children, there are no ready made teams to join, most require learning at least two languages, often geographically isolated, and to begin, you are often alone.
  • "Long before this winter snow I ran from pain, looking high and low For some fast way to get around Its hurt and cold. I'd have found, If I had looked at what was there, That things don't follow fast or fair. That life goes on, and times do change, And grass does grow despite life's pains."
  • ~ Mary and Bernard. Selection taken from, "Resurrection"
Yet, Jesus understands alone......
“That Jesus had voluntarily lost himself in an obscure Middle Eastern village; annihilated himself in the daily monotony of thirty years’ rough, miserable work; separated himself form society that :counts”; and died in total anonymity.” Carlo Carretto
He lived most of his life as worker, a wage earner, a bread for the table labourer. I am humbled to be reminded of this today. This is how I live my life too. Most of the year a wage earner, then kingdom work.... for a time. Will you pray for people to come and live, to immerse themselves, here, for unreached peoples? We don’t need visitors, we need people willing to be alone, in some very challenging places, where no one else goes. Realizing Jesus is enough for us, and them too.
Come and, “Serve God...... Kiss is Son.....”, here.
Henri Nouwen asks a good question in my readings today.
"Why do I keep relaying to you as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded? Why do I keep looking for popularity, respect from others, success, acclaim, and sensual pleasure?Why, Lord, is it so hard for me to make you the only one?"
Forget about the big career of money, your degree you earned to secure a financial future, the fancy church ministry where people pat you on the back for your creative preaching, awesome growth, dynamic music, or amazing vision. Where we could be, and will be replaced tomorrow, if need be. Most, it seems, will Kiss the Son there, or in Kenya.
Come to a place where most will never see anything you do on a daily bases. Where you will be missunderstood. Come to a life that causes people to grow weary of your incessant stories. To a life where eyes will roll, as you go where most feet won’t go. Where ministry looks nothing like what we do at home. Come to the obscure place..... where even most “missionaries” don’t go.
Come Kiss the Son. Kiss the Son.......
“Pucker up, and help others to pucker up!” This is my new mission statement.
The world still needs courageous men and women....... Son Kissers.
Andy

Sunday, November 27, 2016

One Yard From Hell Missions

Some want to live within the sound
Of church or chapel bell;
I want to run a rescue shop,
Within a yard of hell.

C.T. Studd

Doing Something Worthwhile?

In our personal lives, waiting in not a very popular pastime. Waiting is not something we anticipate or experience with great joy and gladness! In fact, most of us consider waiting a waste of time. Perhaps this is because the culture in which we live is basically saying, "Get going! Do something! Show you are able to make a difference! Don't just sit there and wait!" So, for us and many people, waiting is a dry desert between were we are and where we want to be. We do not enjoy such a place. We want to move out of it and so something worthwhile.
-- Henri Nouwen

Around Life Pains We Go.....

"Long before this winter snow
I ran from pain, looking high and low
For some fast way to get around
Its hurt and cold. I'd have found,
If I had looked at what was there,
That things don't follow fast or fair.
That life goes on, and times do change, And grass does grow despite life's pains."

~ Mary and Bernard. Selection taken from. "Resurrection"

Say Not Many Prayers

"To walk in the presence of the Lord means to move forward in life in such a way that all our desires, thoughts, and actions are constantly guided by him. When we walk in the Lord's presence, everything we see, here, touch, or taste reminds us of him. This is what is meant by a prayerful life. It is not a life in which we say many prayers, but a life in which nothing, absolutely nothing, is done, said, or understand independently of him who is the origin and purpose of our existence."
(Henri Nouwen. The Living Reminder)

A Chitty Chat About God

"Today, many persons who seek or study God do just that. They study him in books, make him an object of speculation, approach him from intellectual curiosity. With what result? The more we study, the more our ideas become confused; the more we get caught up in discussions, the further we go from him...
Study is no longer the light of spirituality, and curiosity has taken the place of humility."
(Carlo Careetto. The God Who Comes)

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Physical Pilgrim

“This must be a very spiritual experience for you.” My response came so fast, it surprised even me. “No,” I said, “it’s a very physical experience.” She looked disappointed, but what could I say? It wasn’t my spirit that was doing the walking, it was my feet. And my feet hurt.
Not to say that the Camino was all pain, but it was all, or mostly, sensation. Heat, weariness, pain, thirst—not to extremes, but well beyond what my body was used to. And then relief. The rest in the shade, the cold drink, the breeze that sprang up from nowhere, the sting in the mouth of sheep cheese, the gasp as I plunged my face into a cold fountain. If there had been anything spiritual about my Camino to that point, it had come through the senses: the cessation of discomfort, and with it the unfocused reflex of gratefulness, that impulse to give thanks even when it was not clear to whom. Maybe that’s where spirituality begins."

~Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims

Pilgrimage of Malnourished Spirits

"The afflictions pilgrims bring with them to the Camino today are mostly of the spirit: doubt, alienation, boredom, stress, estrangement from family, disenchantment with work, lack of faith, and that all-pervading sense of something missing. In contrast to their ailing spirits, their bodies are usually well nourished and fit. This is a far cry from the old days, when the Camino was a walking infirmary, an endless procession of pilgrims seeking cures at the shrines of healing saints."

~ Robert Ward. All Good Pilgrims.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Leaky Love Tank

"Every close relationship has gone down the crapper at some point. I’ve known for a long time that I have a serious crack in my “love-tank”. Whatever goes in, leaks out – eventually. And I have become so accustomed to searching for love that I’m not sure I know how to live WITH love."

Drew Marshall, Camino Confessions.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

When Your Feet Betray You

"I had always seen myself as a walker, so I was not prepared for pain. If I had expected the Camino to be a test in any way, it was emotionally: would I be able to stick with it? As things turned out, that was the least of my problems. From my first step, my commitment to finishing was never in doubt. Instead, it was my body that threatened to “betray” me."

(Robert Ward. All Good Pilgrims)

No Predicting Who Has Problems

"Francisco told us the other night in Tosantos that by this point of the Camino we were past our initial aches and pains. Looking around here, I see little to support that view. Nowhere have I observed so many pilgrims looking quite so medieval, hobbling about on chafed and bleeding feet, their blisters pierced and threaded, their knees and ankles trussed. Walking is a mystery. There’s no predicting who will have problems. We have all met, on the one hand, that perky seventy-year-old who covers thirty kilometres a day with ease and, on the other, that strapping young athlete whose feet were a disaster from day one. Some pilgrims, when they run into troubles, rest or adjust. Others drive themselves, determined to overcome the pain, or convinced that pain is an integral part of pilgrimage, or trying to keep up with their walking companions or their itinerary."

(Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims)

Monday, November 7, 2016

Moving Past The Physical to The Spiritual Pilgrimage

"...Francisco speaks. He has much to say and often the Spanish eludes me, but the kernel is this: “On the first part of the Camino, the landscape is always changing. There are forests, mountains, rivers. There are beautiful towns and bridges. There is always something to catch your eye and take you out of yourself. The novelty of the experience distracts you, as do all the new people you are meeting, the human relations you are forging. Pain distracts you too. The pain of your feet, your legs, your shoulders. At the end of every day your body is tired from this unaccustomed effort. Your mind is tired too, from trying to process so many new things. With all these distractions and weariness, it is hard to focus on the things of the spirit. “But now, most of you have been walking for a couple of weeks. Your body has made adjustments. It no longer requires all your attention. Your mind too has passed through the initial stages of wonder and commotion and settled into the rhythm of the pilgrimage. This means it is free to think other thoughts. “In a few days you will come to the meseta, a broad, flat land that stretches to the distance in every direction. A place where there are no longer visual distractions, where there is nothing to look at but the sky above and the far horizon. There, you will begin to look into yourself. That is where the first part of the Camino—the physical part—ends, and where the spiritual Camino begins.”

~Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims

Don't Read About It - Live It

"...after supper, he saw me looking at a book about the Camino. He got really indignant. ‘Don’t read about the Camino,’ he said. ‘Live it!’ ”

~ Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims

Sunday, October 23, 2016

To Fast To Walk

"For ages, we humans have done everything in our power to go faster, striving to be where we want to be without all the time and bother of getting there. And there I was, the thankless inheritor, gazing out the windows of speeding vehicles and dreaming of walking."

(Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims)

Good And Bad Pilgrims

“A todos los buenos peregrinos. Y a los malos también.”
"To all the good pilgrims – and the bad ones as well."
– A PILGRIM’S INSCRIPTION IN THE GUEST BOOK OF ESTELLA

(Robert Ward. All The Good Pilgrims)

Friday, October 21, 2016

We Forget That Our Cross Cultural Preaching is More Dynamite Than Sugar For Locals

"We sometimes forget that we are heralds of a new and very shocking idea. The gospel is not just personal, spiritual good news which can be received by individuals, change their private lives, save them from destruction, but leave the society untouched. Our hearers will understand better than we do that our tidy sermons of God’s love are more dynamite than sugar; that our “good news” will have far ranging effects on their culture and lifestyle."


- Larry Vanderaa

We Forget That Our Cross Cultural Preaching is More Dynamite Than Sugar For Locals

"We sometimes forget that we are heralds of a new and very shocking idea. The gospel is not just personal, spiritual good news which can be received by individuals, change their private lives, save them from destruction, but leave the society untouched. Our hearers will understand better than we do that our tidy sermons of God’s love are more dynamite than sugar; that our “good news” will have far ranging effects on their culture and lifestyle."


- Larry Vanderaa