Where are you? Conversations

Genesis 3. Adam and Eve have just eaten of the tree from which God had forbid them to eat. The story goes on to say that their “eyes were opened” and they became “ashamed of their nakedness.” Then Adam and Eve hear God walking in the Garden and immediately they hide among the trees, “away from the presence of the Lord God.” God responds by calling out to Adam, “Where are you?” Philosopher Martin Buber tells a Jewish story in which an imprisoned rabbi is asked by a guard the meaning of this question. The guard asks, “How are we to understand that God, the all-knowing, said to Adam: ‘Where are you?’” The rabbi says to the guard,
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Henri Nouwen’s “Being the Beloved”

“So what’s defining you nowadays?” Each fall Emerging Journey groups come upon a discussion of this question in Session 5: Paying Attention to Character. We each answer this question not so much by filling-in-the-blank on a piece of paper, but by living it out with our lives. For it is amidst the demands of the everyday that we reflect a working definition of who we are. Much, if not most, of the time we are not conscious of our working definition. It operates below the surface of our thoughts and intentions, our priorities and relationships.  Spiritual writer Henri Nouwen insightfully points out that we typically live out an answer to this question in one of three ways (1) I am what I do (2) I am what others say about me, or (3) I am what I have. In a series of talks given in the early 1990’s Nouwen unpacked the way in which God is inviting us to understand and claim a truer identity as loved children of God. Allow Nouwen’s words on these series of video clips to stimulate both thought and prayer around how you are currently defining yourself…and how God’s Spirit may be inviting you to embrace your true identity as a loved child of God (Ephesians 1:3-6). Blessings…

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Growth without Depth?

We thought we would begin to more regularly capture some of the thoughts, concerns, and activities of our life together as the VantagePoint3 community. May our blog conversation serve to be a deepening and igniting influence among an extended community of people who seek a more relational approach to life and ministry today… It has been over ten years ago now that Randy and I traveled to Eastbourne, England for the International Consultation on Discipleship. We continue to be gripped by our recollection of John Stott’s keynote words that Fall 1999 on the state of the Church. Stott remarked,

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