About Joel

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So far Joel has created 196 blog entries.

Still Growing Up To Be a Child

2021-03-12T06:40:55+00:00By |Memoirs, Videos|

A theme in my life that I thought until now was kind of a seasonal thing, was the idea that I would often call: “growing up to be a child.” In Matthew chapter 18 we read a story about the disciples coming to Jesus with the question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” It says that Jesus called a child over into the middle of the conversation and He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” [...]

Don’t Let Me Forget: The song on the radio in a room called “Remember”

2021-01-02T04:12:55+00:00By |Audio, Memoirs, memories, nomad chronicles|

This week I've been pondering, as many have, the end of this year. The spiritual practice of "Remembering" has become a helpful and comfortable place for me over the years. Like broken in jeans, or shoes, or that piece of furniture that has become contoured to your shape over time. I've recently been thinking of a Frederick Buechner book entitled, "A Room Called Remember." The book is introduced and themed around a dream that Buechner had. He had a dream where he was staying in an incredibly euphoric hotel room but when he left it he found that he couldn’t find it again. He went to a front desk to explain his predicament, and the room, [...]

Praying a Prayer of Peace for Today

2020-10-15T05:19:09+00:00By |discipleship, francis of assisi, Kingdom of God, Prayers and Blessings, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation, trust|

I remember when I first learned of Francis of Assisi. I was a student at a Lutheran university when the choir that I was in sang a piece that was an arrangement of the words from the Franciscan attributed "Prayer of Peace." Eventually through research I found that there is no evidence that Francis himself wrote the prayer, nevertheless I was captivated by the story of Francis (he did, after all, personify that prayer). It radically impacted my heart. Having been to a third world country out of high school, I returned to the U.S. unsatisfied by what the U.S. culture offered in empty promises and visions of material dreams. And it was not whether it [...]

Learning to Be Still in Chaos

2020-10-06T04:54:03+00:00By |Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation, Stillness|

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10 It's safe to say that there is plenty of chaos right now. “Be still and know that I am God.” It sounds great, doesn’t it? But this is more than bumper sticker theology. Something resonates in our hearts when we hear it, but when the reality of life rushes in, there can be a ‘yeah, right?’ response that is like a knee jerk reaction in our heads. “But doesn’t God know what’s going on in my life?!?” “How on earth am I supposed to ‘Be Still’??” “My whole world is falling apart!” Yes. That’s the point right there. In this Psalm, it [...]

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