The Wilderness & the Gift of Slowing Down

sunset_in_the_negev_desert_near_yeruham_israel

Today I saw a link to an article by Ed Cyzewksi. The title is “Why We Need the Wilderness.” It struck me because the wilderness is where I’m at and where God has been drawing me for some time now. I was taken up with a few specific words in the article: Continue reading

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Richard Rohr on Evil & Violence

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I’ve been working my way through Richard Rohr’s, Things Hidden. It’s been my first interaction with his writings and, for me, it has become like a cool glass of water on hot summer’s day.

In his chapter on “Evil’s Lies,” he shares some interesting thoughts about the reality of violence. Continue reading

That R-Word

journey

There are many words that probably don’t roll off our lips with ease. One of those words is the R-word: repentance. Perhaps we put up a good front, chant it regularly, but despise it on the inside. That’s been me, at times.

Many might imagine the word repentance as a simple sorry. That’s not what it means.

Many might imagine the word involves self-flagellation. That’s not what it means either.

But it’s a real word. A necessary word. And, yes, even a hard word. Continue reading

Moving Beyond Ideas to the Heart

PrintOver the past few years, I’ve really come to appreciate the work of Jamie Smith. One book in particular that’s caught my attention is Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation.

In particular, Smith looks at how our formation (or he uses the word education at times) is not ultimately about disseminating ideas, but rather shaping hearts and desires. It’s profound to consider this, really. Not just at the Christian university level, but also for the local church setting. In our teaching and preaching, are we primarily just communicating ideas or are we shaping deep desires. As he remarks, education (or formation) is really happening at all times. So how are we forming those in our care?

To give an example, Smith considers the role of the mall within our western culture. Consider how this institution shapes and forms not just the minds of people, but it’s hearts, desires, and even bodies. It is a full five-sensory formational experience, if we allow it to be.

What if Christians recalled that the five senses are good gifts from God and are available to help form us at our core?

For Christian leaders and educators, this is a book worth picking up. I’ve put some quotes below that come from the book. Hopefully you’ll see how Smith begins to flesh this out a bit more. Pretty intriguing stuff! Continue reading