Archive for 2010

Christmastide: From Waiting to Wonder

Lectionary for Christmas Eve: Isaiah 9:2-7; Psalm 96; Titus 2:11-14; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) Lectionary for Christmas Day: Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4 (5-12); John 1:1-14 Tonight marks the end of Advent and the official beginning of the Christmas season.  Throughout this evening, in various candlelight services and intimate family gatherings around the world, we…

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The Example of Jesus Christ: Solitude and Silence

To celebrate the launch of the expanded edition of Invitation to Solitude and Silence we’ve posted a series of video clips from an interview done at Mountain Christian Church. In this expanded edition of the award-winning book, Invitation to Solitude and Silence, spiritual director Ruth Haley Barton guides individuals on a step-by-step journey into solitude and silence and NOW also…

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Advent 4: Joseph and the Walk of Faith

Lectionary readings for December 19, 2010:  Isaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7; 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25 Ruth Haley Barton “Sooner or later, if we follow Christ we have to risk everything in order to gain everything.  We have to gamble on the invisible and risk all that we see and taste and feel.  But we know…

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Advent 3: Gifts in the Wilderness

For December 12, 2010 Ruth Haley Barton “The desert of which I speak is a desert of the spirit: a place of revelation, conversion, and transformation.  A true revelation is a very disturbing event because it demands a response; and to respond means some kind of inner revolution.  It involves being ‘made over,’ being made…

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Advent 2: Necessary Preparations

For December 12, 2010 Ruth Haley Barton “Our spiritual life depends on His perpetual coming to us, far more than our going to him.  Every time a channel is made for Him He comes; every time our hearts are open to him He enters, bringing a fresh gift of His very life, and on that…

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Advent 1: The Importance of Staying Awake

“You will find the living God in the pages of the Bible.  You will find him also just exactly where you are.” Mother Frances Dominica Guidance for your Lectionary reading, November 28, 2010 Print off the following Scriptures so that you can move away from your desk and settle into a place that is conducive…

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Beginning Again… With Advent

Rev. David Hughes When we submit our lives to what we read in Scripture, we find that we are not being led to see God in our stories but our stories in God’s.  God is the larger context and plot in which our stories find themselves.” – Eugene Peterson I can still remember the first…

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Spiritual Formation and the Merchants of Cool

Spiritual Formation and the Merchants of Cool Rev. Mark Werner A short time ago I was invited to join other pastors and ministry leaders at a local church addressing the concept of spiritual formation within the church.  A well known national speaker was brought in to share his understanding of spiritual formation and what he is observing…

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Christian Busyness and Solitude and Silence

To celebrate the launch of the expanded edition of Invitation to Solitude and Silence we are going to post a series of video clips from an interview done at Mountain Christian Church. In this expanded edition of the award-winning book Invitation to Solitude and Silence, spiritual director Ruth Haley Barton guides individuals on a step by step journey into solitude and…

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What is solitude and silence?

To celebrate the launch of the expanded edition of Invitation to Solitude and Silence we are going to post a series of video clips from an interview done at Mountain Christian Church. We will start by defining what solitude and silence is. Enjoy. A special thanks goes out to Kelly Kastens for inviting Ruth to do this interview…

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Strengthening the Souls of Youth Pastors

Ruth Haley Barton is a general session speaker at the Simply Youth Conference presented by Group and Doug Fields on March 4-7 2011 in Chicago, IL . The conference created by youth workers for youth workers is about helping youth workers learn, connect, and recharge. Along with a general session, Ruth will be leading a pre-conference retreat…

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Solitude, Community and Leadership

“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community.  He will only do harm to himself and to the community…But the reverse is also true: Let him who is not in community beware of being alone.  Only in the fellowship do we learn to be rightly alone and only in aloneness do we learn to…

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A Blessing For One Who is Exhausted

The Transforming Center exists to guide pastors and Christian leaders into life rhythms that will help them be healthy and vibrant for long haul of ministry. If you recognize that you are coming into the fall season still exhausted, we offer this blessings and encourage you to take O’Donohue’s wisdom to heart. It will be…

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Praying with a Back-Up Plan

“Cowardice keeps us ‘double minded’—hesitating between the world and God. In this hesitation, there is no true faith—faith remains an opinion. We are never certain, because we never quite give in to the authority of an invisible God. This hesitation is the death of hope. We never let go of those visible supports which, we…

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Let Me Live Grace-fully

For many pastors and Christian leaders, the beginning of summer signals a change of pace (hopefully a slower one!) and time for rest and replenishment. On this, the first day of summer, we bless you and encourage you to receive every good gift of God that summer brings. Thank you, Lord, for this season of…

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Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation

I remember the first time I noticed that some people arrange their lives to see sunsets.  It was summertime in the Gulf of Florida when the days were hot and the nights were balmy.  During the day, crowds of people were lying in the sun and playing noisily on the beach, but in the early…

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A Powerful Model for Leadership Transformation: A Two-Year Experience of Spiritual Formation for Leaders

Wheaton, IL–First there were 12. Then 25, then 38—and now 70. Those numbers testify to the quiet-but-steady growth of a spiritual transformation movement specifically designed for those who serve in demanding roles as pastors, spiritual leaders, and business leaders. The initial group of 12—the first Transforming Community TM—was formed in 2002. They gathered for eight…

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Practicing Lent: Preparing for Holy Week

Editor’s note: In this article, guest author Peter Giersch reflects on some of the oldest traditions of the Church for celebrating Holy Week. As he describes the various ways that the Church gathers during these holy days, we are reminded that Easter is not just a day. It is a season of remembering and entering…

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Practicing Lent: Rain at Winter’s End

?Look, a little cloud no bigger than a person’s hand is rising out of the sea!?? ~I Kings 18:44 I love the way the rain comes at winter’s end to hose down the sooty earth, and wash away the dirt that comes from who-knows-where. Oh God, I need a cleansing rain in my life, dirty…

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Practicing Lent: Receiving Forgiveness

“While the truth that we cannot escape God’s all-seeing eye may weigh us down at times, it is finally the only remedy for our uneasiness…Only under God’s steady gaze of love are we able to find the healing and restoration we so desperately need.” Marjorie Thompson, Soulfeast Confession is good for the soul because it…

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Practicing Lent: True Confessions

“The things we cannot accept in ourselves we project upon others. If I do not admit my shadow side, I will unconsciously find another who will carry my shadow for me. Once this projection is made, then I need not be upset with myself. My problems are now outside and I can fight them “out…

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Practicing Lent: Cleaning Our Messy House

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” Psalm 51: 10 In her book Amazing Grace, Kathleen Norris tells the story of working as an artist-in- residence at a parochial school, teaching children how to write poetry using the psalms as a model. One little boy…

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