About Joel

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So far Joel has created 185 blog entries.

Living with Joyful Endurance [Audio]

By |2019-05-17T00:51:51+00:00April 22nd, 2019|Audio, discipleship, Jesus Christ, Jesus Shaped Community, Kingdom of God, Missional Living, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation|

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 (The Message) This year, as our church prepared for Holy week, I had an opportunity to share something that the Lord has been working in my heart and experience. The end of 2018 and early 2019 was a difficult time for our family, but in it the Lord taught me much about joy and endurance. As [...]

Living a Life in Community [Audio]

By |2019-05-17T04:15:23+00:00March 26th, 2019|Audio, Jesus Shaped Community, Kingdom of God, Missional Living, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation|

Christian community is something that I love (or at least, I'm growing in my love for it). I think that I can now say that because I've let go of a lot of the idealism that I've held in the past. Growing up in the 90's there was a bit of the Friends (TV show) utopian ideal, with the sitting in coffeeshops, talking about life, and having those who would personify The Rembrandts' lyric of "I'll be there for yooou." But I eventually came to the realization that I didn't love Christian community then. I loved the idea of it - the dream of it. Don't get me wrong, I longed for it - the real [...]

Prayer Drawing

By |2019-05-17T00:37:17+00:00March 22nd, 2019|prayer, Prayers and Blessings, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation|

Recently, I've been doing a meaningful practice with my family that I've been calling "Prayer Drawing." It originally came from a conversation that I had with Steve Macchia (the author of Crafting a Rule of Life) at a conference. The first time we tried it we did it to the song "Good Shepherd" by Fernando Ortega, and our girls loved it. Lately, we've had the opportunity to experiment with this on a regular basis. In a sense, what we do is kind of Lectio Divina-esque. Lectio Divina (from the Latin: divine reading) is a prayer practice where you are reading Scripture for the purpose of transformation (as opposed to information), and from the place of prayer you are [...]

Living Deeply

By |2019-05-17T00:30:19+00:00December 31st, 2018|Missional Living, Prayers and Blessings, Simplicity, Spiritual Formation|

"My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn or deserve it." Brennan Manning It is once again the end of a year, and as we get ready for the next, there always seems to be the inherent introspection. There may be anticipation, maybe regret, anxiety, or hopefully, gratitude, as many are looking back, as well as forward. At best, there is a sense of hope. One thing I do every November/December is listen for what the Lord might be saying to me as I enter into the New Year. While it is often just a whisper, and often unclear, it's a starting point [...]