Conversation Pieces

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I have found myself recently pondering Alan Hirsch’s comments that “you cannot build a church on consumerism.” Hirsch is from South Africa and is a leading voice in the whole missional movement within the church. His words have drawn my attention back to the way our culture “mentors” or “disciples” us into certain ways of […]

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I was reading this morning in Richard Foster’s excellent book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (HarperCollins, 1992) and came across this comparison from Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153). Bernard writes, “If then you are wise, you will show yourself rather as a reservoir than as a canal. For a canal spreads abroad water as it […]

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I was doing some reading yesterday afternoon and came across a prayer from Walter Brueggemann. I thought I would share it with you all. I couldn’t help but think of Sam Gamgee’s question to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings — “What sort of tale have we fallen into?” The prayer/poem is entitled “Swept […]

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One of the central surprises within the biblical testimony is the way Jesus’ life expresses God’s power and authority. In many ways, Jesus turns all 1st century understandings of authority on their head. The “but not so with you” (Luke 22:26) of his teaching and his life offended many and shocked everyone. Most who were […]

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I was doing some reading this afternoon and I came across a story that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. So I thought I would share it with you and let it do some stirring in your mind and heart. There once was an old monk, wise and holy, who lived in a […]

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This morning I was reminded again of Soren Kierkegaard’s phrase “to need God is man’s highest perfection.” First time I heard these words I was sitting in a summer class up at Regent College in Vancouver, B.C.  Somewhere midway through a morning lecture, Dr. James Houston got off his notes and began to reflect more personally […]

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On the walls and columns of a grey stoned sanctuary hung twelve to fifteen prints of Rembrandt’s painting Return of the Prodigal Son.  The audience was a mix of parents and grandparents and nuns and pastors and students.  We were all gathered in a Beverly Hills’ Anglican church to hear writer/speaker Henri Nouwen speak on […]

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As the New Year begins I find myself returning to certain thoughts that have lingered with me over the past year. Jesus’ personal way with others has dominated much of my wonderings. His way of life always offers an alternative to our culture’s dominant ways of relating. Jesus lived out his mission by forming and […]

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I came across a question today from a few weeks back: “Where is there breathing space in your life?” And my mind ended up thinking about Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s little book Gift from the Sea. Amidst the seemingly endless distractions of our lives, she asks, how do we remain attentive to that which matters most? […]

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We can live so unreflectively nowadays, always hoping to “get by” with what we already know. Yet if life experience teaches us anything along the way, it is that we still have so much more to learn if we are to flourish as people. We will not be able to “get by” without a good […]

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The Spiritual Formation Retreats of the past two weekends, one in Olympia, WA and the other in Crestline, CA afforded me an opportunity to reflect and converse with a number of Emerging Journey participants around this simple poem, “Fire.”  It is often very simple images that can cause us to think or re-think where we […]

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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 […]

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