Conversation Pieces

At midlife Augustine (354-430 AD), reflecting upon his own growth and upon the struggles of pastoring his congregation in North Africa, concluded that the central image used by most of his contemporaries for describing the spiritual life—that of “a vertical ascent” or a ladder—was inadequate.  Instead, he increasingly characterized the Christian life as “a long […]

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 Many people are startled and saddened by the degree of aloneness they experience in adulthood. From the outside it seems like family and work and church would provide a vital sense of being known. For many, though, the reality of their hectic and competitive lives keeps them skimming across the surface of their relationships with spouse […]

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20 years ago I read an excellent book that I still reread every two or three years – Leap Over a Wall: Earthy Spirituality for Everyday Christians by Eugene Peterson. At the tail end of a chapter on the friendship between David and Jonathan Peterson writes:   It’s not unusual for any of us to […]

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January 3, 2017

A poem for 2017

This morning we began the new year as a VP3 team by returning to a poem we discussed during a meeting last January. Much has occurred since we last visited with these words. And perhaps these words are more timely now then they were 12 months ago.   Our sights for 2017 remain set upon […]

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When a group of folks gathered to remember Randy and pray the afternoon before his Celebration of Life service on August 19th, Matthew Burch—a close friend of Randy and VP3—prefaced his thoughts by reading a short excerpt from Eugene Peterson’s Run with the Horses. Peterson’s observations of a life of faith, shared in the light […]

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Most recently I have found myself gravitating toward the theme of brokenness. What do wise people have to say about those uncomfortable and disorienting times when we come face to face with our frailty, our fallenness, and our limits? Frederick Buechner’s insight in The Sacred Journey: A Memoir of Early Days has grabbed me this week.  Buechner writes,    […]

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A phrase interrupted the tasks and interactions of my morning, and I think invited me to a bit of a focusing thought for this Holy Week–the surprise of brokenness.   Near the tail end of Greg Paul’s wonderful little book God in the Alley: Being and Seeing Jesus in a Broken World (Shaw, 2004), Paul […]

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As I was thinking and praying this afternoon about the many different folks spread throughout North America, walking through The Journey process, being invited to seriously, honestly and courageously seek God’s gracious presence in the story of their lives, I was mindful of writer Madeleine L’Engle’s profound insights drawn from the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-50). L’Engle […]

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“People who wait have received a promise that allows them to wait. We can only really wait if what we are waiting for has already begun for us.” “A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ means the willingness to stay where we are and live it out to the fullest in the […]

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I have a friend who recently completed The Journey. She grew up in church and has a strong legacy of faith. Yet in the midst of The Journey, something happened – she began to see things from a new vantage point . . . Reclaimed! Just this week I grabbed a swanky paintbrush along with […]

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This is an excerpt from session one of A Way of Life. It bears repeating for me, and maybe for you, too.   There is a story of a five-year-old boy and his mother, who every night put him to bed. She came into his room to talk to him, and to tuck him in, […]

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One of my roles with VantagePoint3 is to support the more than 100 facilitators leading a VP3 adult process in their local church. It is a role I deeply enjoy.   Whether you are one of those facilitators or not, my hunch is that if you are reading this blog, you are leading a group […]

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