Monday, September 15, 2014

Mind/Body/Spirit… Father/Redeemer/Breath

It’s amazing how the Trinity fits into our human nature so well.

I was driving yesterday and the idea came to me that truly, we have a God who fits each area of ourselves intimately.

First, we have a Father who is the creator of the universe, he created science and match and physics and all the other genius and complicated ideas in today’s world, which we at times struggle to comprehend as a culture, world, or individual.
God is smarter than me.

Second, we have a Redeemer, who saved us from our sins, desires, human nature to kill, steal, destroy, or other. We have a God who can erase our selfishness and continues to teach us how to be more like him.
God is in control.

Third, we have a connection to the Breath of Life, to the reverberations and pulse of God is in his Breath and Spirit, which hovers over the Earth and in our heart and soul. This is the part of God I long to connect with daily, and especially in times of spiritual development. I believe it’s the voice that speaks longing and desire for purpose and growth and change.
God is like my conscious.

Friday, November 8, 2013



Christianity is the only faith system that brings true hope to a dying humanity. 

Sadly, most Christians do not teach or live this... let alone show this to the world.

Other religions teach you to forget this world, all world is suffering, escape from it… but we are called to make a difference in the world and love it!

Christianity does not deny the world.

It tells us to love God and love the world.

So, embrace it. Breathe it in. Be present in this moment. Every moment.

Monday, October 21, 2013

What is Spiritual Formation?

If you’re wondering what the heck Spiritual Direction or Formation was/is and what I’m doing in Seminary, this is for you…

My introduction to seminary has had a great impression on my view and embrace of spiritual direction. I view spiritual formation as a way of life because I believe everything is spiritual.
Spiritual formation is to mindfully and intentionally develop our spiritual lives through surrendering and opening our hearts to meet God as we are; wherever we may be. This may be through silence and meditation, or through living out our calling, or something completely different. No matter the action or time, it will be in a space where we seek to open up our mind, body, and spirit for raw truth and honesty when meeting with God. Keeping this in mind, spiritual direction is then walking with someone through their spiritual formation journey and viewing their practices and beliefs for the purpose of respectfully expanding their “God box.”

I use the term “God box” meaning the space and beliefs we have placed around God. It is through relationship with Him that we learn how He personally interacts and meets with us. It is through relationship and time with Him that we get to know Him and ourselves better. In these quiet times, it allows us the opportunity to ask the tough questions and work through difficult thoughts and situations. It also allows Him to minister to us and give us peace, bringing us to a deeper level of understanding in Him, the world, and our purpose. It grants Him an opportunity to prune us and help us grow, showing us our weaknesses and whispering to our hearts.

In explaining spiritual direction to others, I explain first what spiritual formation could be for them, using the terms I expressed above. It may be through prayer and active listening, writing in a journal, practicing solitude, etc. I explain that for me, it is sometimes different every day. This is because God always meets me where I am and when we are growing, we are in a different place every day: spiritually, mentally, and sometimes emotionally.

Someone providing spiritual direction will spend time getting to know your season of life and your yearning for growth. They will pray for you, help you see new perspectives, and provide discernment as needed. Most importantly a director is someone who will walk with you and encourage you through the newness and difficulties of your formation, assuring your feelings are normal and natural and helping you to accept or work through them. A director is also someone who is living as an example and actively engaging in spiritual formation themselves. The director will actively listen to you explain your spiritual journey and development, and then ask questions about how God/Christ/Holy Spirit is connecting with you and provide suggestions for different ways to seek Him. They will also ensure you are on track and affirm and encourage you or gently steer you back as needed, even giving tough-love if required. A spiritual director will encourage you to surrender your time and space to God and let him expand the box where you have placed Him.

My overall perspective and impression on this process is that it is of great use for individual personal development. I believe the church has distanced itself from the calling of Christ because we are distracted by the ways of the world. Personal spiritual formation and direction is an excellent way to expand the roots and dig into your relationship with God on a deeper level. It creates a free space to request whatever we may need in this time and place, asking God to meet us where we are. In seeking Him this way, the creator of the universe meets us and speaks into our lives, intimately connecting with us as father, lover, and friend.

It is beautiful.

Worship in Portland

My first trip to Portland for seminary was…
worshipful, heart-wrenching, beautiful, tiresome, full of laughter, a constant community, & full of surrender….

A fellow student said it was like going up to Sinai for a week. I agree. I have not been spiritually fed this much in over 10 years.
What a rush of living water.

We went to Imago Dei on Sunday while I was there, and I loved learning new things from them. They had this beautiful practice of a call to worship. Here is the link for the one I heard while I was there: Call to Worship.
All of my classes, fellow students, services, & surroundings called my heart into a constant state of evaluation, thanks, and worship.
When you come down from a mountain, you strive to keep the feeling you had at the top… I know it fades, but even if I could keep 20%, it would be a great hydration from the desert I was living in.  This is what I strive to keep. I will hold onto as much as I can… until we reunite again in February.
And in the meantime, I will strive to be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove.
Blessings to you.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Faith or Works?

believe work

Faith or works?
Age old question, right?
Are you ready?
Was that so hard?
If you believe God will bring you milk for tomorrow but you sit on your porch all day and never offer a service or trade anything for that milk, someone is going to have to feel really generous to walk all the way to your house and offer you milk for no reason.

I don’t know about you, but my faith in people isn’t that strong. Faith in God yes. Faith in the world…. ehhhh… not so much.

So, what about works?

You can toil all day long and never be fruitful. You could work in the front yard and scowl at all the people walking by and the guy in a fancy car and focus only on what everyone else has and how happy they are… and would you be in a better place? Would you have connected with someone and brightened their day, or blessed them with words and brightened theirs?
So lets connect the two…
Let’s be Christ -like.

Let’s work and believe God will bring bread for tomorrow. Lets be fruitful and love and bless each other. Let’s put Him first, working for Him, knowing he will provide. If He’s your boss, you’ll do as He says and smile at the lady walking her dog when you’re working in the yard, so she feels safe. You’ll offer to help the kid who fell on his bike, embarrassed in front of you. You’ll reassure and encourage him with “I’ve done that before too. Don’t worry about it, no one saw.” and a wink.

You’ll bless through the little things, because actions speak louder than words and the little things matter.

Think on this today.

In what areas of your life are you working but have little faith? In what areas do you have much faith, but you’re not working to make it happen?

God says “Go” and “I will show you”, not “sit there and I’ll bring the world to your doorstep”….

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Sometimes, I let God pick my music in the morning. I put my iphone on shuffle and let Him choose for me. It’s kind of fun to let your BFF pick your playlist every once in a while… especially when He can choose to speak to your heart at the right times and tune your ears to listen to specific things.

This morning, He gave me a very enlightening sound track on my drive to work…

Click here to listen to this mix on 8tracks
1. Ready Now (Desperation Band)
2. Skies Interlude (David Crowder Band)
3. Beautiful Feet (Lecrae)
4. *Fin (Anberlin)
5. Hairbrush Song (Veggie Tales)
6. Silver & Gold (City & Color)

Since entering #GFES2013, listening to Ready Now is a typical occurrence to encourage my surrender, but the irony of this as the beginning to my soundtrack didn’t hit me until He showed me the full story…
1. Crying out for help and desire
2. Joy, a break or interlude from the seriousness of life
3. “Go” with a mission, people are praying I will “go”
4. The sorrow, depth of my heart, and reaching the lost causes
5. The searching and hunting or hoping for something I don’t need…
6. The end result, everything I love and fear disappearing.

This may not be beautiful to you. He may show you something completely different. But, it was a beautiful story this morning. It gave me hope for the future and a knowing that He is in control of my life.

I’m building the ark, and no one can see the rain yet, not even myself. But I have faith it will come. It will pour down like never before…