Posts Tagged ‘Sacred Rhythms’

Observing Lent: Seeing What We’re Missing

Lent-2017

Lectionary readings for Fourth Sunday of Lent Cycle A: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41 Guidance on using the lectionary. “Spiritual masters often refer to a kind of “dread,” the nagging sense that we have missed something important and have been somehow untrue—to ourselves, to others, to God. Lent is a good…

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Solitude: In God for the World

“Wherever there is something in our life that is not conformed to the image of Christ, there is a place where we are incapable of being all God wants us to be with others … a place where our life with others is hindered and limited and restricted in its effectiveness and in its fullness…

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Sabbath in Late Fall

Sabbath in the fall

For everything there is a season… Sometimes on the Sabbath all you can do is settle into the soft body of yourself and listen to what it says. Listen to the exhaustion that is deeper than tiredness the hunger that is for more than food the thirst that is for more than drink the longing…

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Interview with Ruth Haley Barton Regarding Sacred Rhythms

Sacred Rhythms

“Many of us have more clearly developed plans for finances, further education, home improvements and physical fitness than we do for our spiritual lives.” —Ruth Haley Barton An Interview with Ruth Haley Barton What is the significance of the phrase “sacred rhythms”? Ruth Haley Barton: The phrase “spiritual rhythms” is a way of talking about the…

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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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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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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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Available to God on Behalf of Others

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.” Psalm 138:3 This week I went to a funeral with my daughter, Haley. It was the funeral for one of her friends who died in a complicated way from causes that were not entirely clear. An Eagle Scout, a disciplined athlete,…

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Holy Week: An Invitation to Walk with Christ

“Stay together, friends, don’t scatter and sleep. Our friendship is made of being awake.” Rumi In her book Cloister Walk, Kathleen Norris comments that in a monastery, Holy Week is “a total surrender to worship.” This surrender allows for a greater focus on the events leading up to and moving us through Resurrection Sunday—Jesus’ gathering…

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Practicing Repentance

“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 I remember an experience with a church elder…

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Lent: An Invitation to Return to God

“Yet even now, says the Lord, repent and return to me with all your heart.” Joel 2:13 Today is Ash Wednesday—the beginning of the Church’s observance of the Lenten season. It is a space in time in which we are called to stop whatever we are doing, no matter how important it might be, and…

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Make a Joyful Silence

“On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.” Psalm 138:3 Long ago, a wise spiritual director said to me, “Ruth, you are like a jar of river water all shaken up. What you need is to sit still long enough so that the sediment can settle and the water…

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Discernment: Finding God in All Things

“Discernment in its fullness takes a practiced heart, fine-tuned to hear the word of God and the single-mindedness to follow that word in love. It is truly a gift from God, but not one dropped from the skies fully formed. It is a gift cultivated by a prayerful life and the search for self-knowledge.” –Ernest…

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The Conundrum of Calling

“Calls are essentially questions. They aren’t questions you necessarily need to answer outright; they are questions to which you need to respond, expose yourself, and kneel before. You don’t want an answer you can put in a box and set on a shelf. You want a question that will become a chariot to carry you…

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Epiphany: A Time for Seeking and Finding

“When the wise men saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage.” –Matthew 2:10, 11 Today is the day when Christians celebrate Epiphany—the journey of the wise men to find the Christ…

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An Invitation to Prayer during Holy Week

Then Jesus came to his disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray…” Matthew 26:40, 41 It is a custom of the Christian church to keep vigil with Christ at different times and in different ways throughout Holy Week.…

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Crossing the Threshold into Lent

Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something more than interesting or entertaining or thoughtful. Oh God, let something essential happen to me, something awesome, something real. Speak to my condition, Lord and change me somewhere inside where it matters. Let something happen which is my real self, Oh God. —Ted Loder Growing up…

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Advent 4: Saying Yes to God

“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb… And blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her…

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Advent 3: A Community of Waiting and Expectation

“As the people were filled with expectation and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, ‘One who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals…’” Third Sunday of Advent Luke 3:7-18…

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Advent 2: Preparing the Way

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee…during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah in the wilderness…He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of…

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Advent: Light of Our Darkness

“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among the nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the wave. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Then we will…

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Spiritual Rhythms in the Life of the Leader

“We are blessed with inner rhythms that tell us where we are, and where we are going. No matter, then, our fifty and sixty hour work weeks, the refusing to stop for lunch, the bypassing sleep and working deep into the darkness. If we stop, if we return to rest, our natural state reasserts itself.…

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Solitude: A Place for Your Soul to Come Out

“The soul is like a wild animal—tough, resilient, resourceful, savvy, self-sufficient. It knows how to survive in hard places. But it is also shy. Just like a wild animal, it seeks safety in the dense underbrush. If we want to see a wild animal, we know that the last thing we should do is go…

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