Thoughts & Stories2018-01-23T05:34:38+00:00

What A Friend: a song for community

Over the years, I've heard songwriters and/or musicians say things to the effect of, "I wish I wrote that song." And actually, I'm sure I've said that at some point - but this one, I'm glad was penned by my friend Bruce. I remember when I first heard it. It was shortly after my wife and I walked through a tragic time in our lives. It was one of those times where it felt as if the world was crashing down, and nothing felt safe. Bruce and his wife Lois were trusted friends who walked through that time with us. We were [...]

By |June 13th, 2019|Categories: Christian Music, Christianity, Jesus Shaped Community, Music, Worship, Worship Leading|0 Comments

Learning to know yourself: the Enneagram

I've hesitated to write anything about the Enneagram till now. I've benefited from it, as a Spiritual Director it comes up a lot, and now it seems to be a fixture in our culture. ...And that's the problem. In a land of in-depth behavior profiles the likes of Myers Briggs, Strengthsfinder, DiSC, and others - as well as stupid little personality quizzes found on social media, there is a narcissistic element to our society. Another thing is that these personality profiles are usually about 'measuring' behavior, which leads to behavior forecasting as well as copping out: i.e. "You're such an ENFP...Oh, I'm [...]

By |June 7th, 2019|Categories: Spiritual Formation|0 Comments

The Practice of Secrecy: Experiencing Joyful Hiddenness

Author Corrie Ten Boom, who experienced fame for her testimony of faith after World War II (which can be read about in her book The Hiding Place), was once asked how she remained humble through all the attention and fame. Her answer was, “When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday on the back of a donkey, and everyone was waving palm branches and throwing garments onto the road, and singing praises, do you think that for one moment it ever entered the head of that donkey that any of that was for him?” She continued, “If I can be the donkey [...]

By |April 25th, 2019|Categories: Simplicity, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation|0 Comments

Living with Joyful Endurance [Audio]

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 [...]

Living a Life in Community [Audio]

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 [...]

Prayer Drawing

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 [...]

By |March 22nd, 2019|Categories: prayer, Prayers and Blessings, Spiritual Disciplines, Spiritual Formation|0 Comments