Spiritual Formation

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Sometimes we encounter experts who have fancy credentials, smacky degrees, and weighty job descriptions.  They can give us advice because they have noticed how certain things, processes or situations can be different–hopefully better.  This past weekend at our Banff Enriching retreat I encountered 18 experts…not because they had the credentials, degrees or job descriptions to […]

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I didn’t know what words like “solitude” meant, but it seemed like a good thing to take some time off from the routine of work in order to get away and spend some time alone with God.  I was about twenty at the time and a relatively new follower of Jesus. My work at the […]

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Many groups are starting out this month in some part of the VP3 process. One of the central challenges of Stage 1 is building trust.  As we often discuss in the Facilitator Training Retreats, an atmosphere of trust needs to be fostered for the groups to flourish. Without trust, honest and prayerful discovery will become […]

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“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.” Archibald Macleish We can live so unreflectively nowadays, always hoping to survive or  “get by” with what we already know. We hope what we know will work for the journey ahead. So we shy away from the questions […]

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I got forwarded this video invitation to VP3’s The Emerging Journey last week. It comes from Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna, B.C. They have done a great job with this! At Trinity they refer to this process as simply The Journey. [youtube]http://youtu.be/OoYxVoQHt-s[/youtube]

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“People are longing to rediscover true community. We have had enough of loneliness, independence, and competition.” Jean Vanier  For so many of us today accomplishment, praise, and power are failing to address the deepest longings of our heart. Others admire and even envy our performance, nearly flawless, but inside there is deep and echoing hollowness […]

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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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One of the joys of June is hosting the facilitator training retreats in various parts of the continent. A unique collection of pastors, church staff, and lay people gather in a peer learning environment in order to be prepared to facilitate an Emerging Journey or an Equipping Experience group in their local church context. In […]

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A unique group of people gathered last month to celebrate Dr. J. Robert Clinton’s legacy and influence in their lives. During this occasion, Clinton addressed the group with a talk entitled “Finishing Well or Testing My Legacy.” He returned to some themes and observations very familiar to the group. Leadership is difficult. Very few leaders […]

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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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We face tremendous pressure in our lives today to be simply spectators of thisJesus.  But faithful living has never been a spectator sport.  Over 150 years ago Danish Christian thinker Søren Kierkegaard emphasized this by drawing a contrast between being an admirer and being an imitator. He wrote: What, then, is the difference between an […]

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On a recent trip to Cincinnati I was enjoying a good cup of coffee and a good conversation with Vic Gordon, a good friend who pastors Kenwood Baptist Church.  We were discussing how hard it is at times to gain trust, and how rewarding a relationship can become on the other side of the things […]

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