Desperation: A Pathway to Aliveness

Desperation: A Pathway to Aliveness

Do you ever feel embarrassed about your desperation and longing for more? It's interesting that almost everyone who had a significant encounter with Jesus was desperate - it is like they forgot their manners. Our desperation, when we acknowledge it, leads us to truth. And truth always (eventually) sets us free. Take a listen as Paula leads through a little exercise on listening to the aliveness of your own soul. 

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A season of newness

A season of newness

Happy Easter! I love that Easter is not just a day - but it is a whole season! It is a season to move from experiencing our powerlessness and humanity in Lent, to a new season of interacting with and walking into a new way of living with a risen Jesus. As a bulb turns into a blossom, a caterpillar to a butterfly, as Blind Bartemaues has to learn how to live as a sighted person and the Hemorrhaging woman needs to learn how to re-engage with her family after 12 years of separation...how do we walk in this newness of life? 

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If we didn't know tomorrow was coming...

If we didn't know tomorrow was coming...

I have a pet peeve...people who say, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming." Sorry if you're one of those people...I just feel like rushing to the end of the story robs us of a deeper healing that occurs when we sit in the sad, fearful, despair of this "in between day." What if we, like the disciples, were unaware the resurrection was coming? This space is a part of the journey. Though written years ago, I offer it again this year... peace to you on this Holy Saturday. Don't rush to tomorrow...

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The fickle nature of Holy Week

The fickle nature of Holy Week

As we enter into Holy week, the "confused" and seemingly fickle spring weather echoes the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. It echoes the crowds cheering Hosanna! to welcome Jesus then 2 days later yelling, "Crucify, crucify!" It echoes the ardent devotion of Peter, "I'll never betray you" and yet...It echoes love bestowed on the disciples as Jesus bends to wash their feet...hours later, they desert him and flee.
Holy week, Spring, transitions, death and resurrection - confusion, muck, pondering...
May you experience, fully, this Holy Week, the fullness of your fickleness...another reminder of your being made from "dust"/ash. His love is greater than your fickle, confusions...

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I greet everyone with peace

I greet everyone with peace

Think back over the past 24 hours of your life...the people you've interacted with, known and unknown. Some are close to you - intimates, family, friends. Others are work or school mates or housemates...and others familiar acquaintances - like the clerk at the store or bus driver for your school kids. Some, have even been strangers...like...the one who pretended to not notice that you were grabbing for the last chocolate bar on the shelf and took it right out from under you. Yea. That.

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I Walk in faith, with hope

I Walk in faith, with hope

Do you ever feel like you are walking from the known into the unknown? It's so tough - but every journey has moments of light, and of dark. We have moments of rest and moments of wrestling. How might you be able to walk by faith with hope in the midst of the circumstances of your current life?

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I am not in control

I am not in control
  • Do I desire to grant everyone’s wishes?
  • Do I believe that “if something is going to be done right I will have to do it myself?”
  • Do I expect myself to always have the answers to questions (about God, life, work, etc.)?

If you said yes to any of the above, consider taking 5 minutes to read and reflect on how you might let God be God this day.

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Pilgrim vs tourist

An excerpt from unhurryUp! into Easter: A Lenten Pilgrimage by Paula Gamble-Grant

"Throughout the centuries, people have taken pilgrimages. Though they do so for various reasons, a deep inner compelling – a longing – for something bigger than themselves, drives them to take a step out of their normal routine and setting, to attain the nebulous “more” which beckons their souls. Historically, a pilgrimage has often been a very deliberate journey toward a venerated spiritual site. The point is not so much to arrive at the destination, as it is to be mindful of what the moments along the way reveal to you about God, yourself and your life's purposes. Though a destination is in mind, it matters not if you make it. The purpose of such a journey is more about discovering, recovering and deepening the things of which hold great value in life. This happens as a pilgrim surrenders to what each day will bring.

Most tourists, on the other hand, will actually calculate every stop of the trip. Whole industries exist to help them map out the best routes, the best places to stay, to eat, to kiss and to find the cheapest ways of seeing it all etc. A tourist's goals are to see the important places, perhaps join a tour to learn some interesting new tidbits, and to chronicle the trip with photos. Lots and lots of photos. Some tourists actually miss experiencing the trip by trying to capture it for a great memory.

When being a tourist, quite often the joy comes in accomplishing the agenda - seeing all the sites and saying, “Been there, done that.” Unfortunately, with such a mindset, any deviations from the plan (due to weather, illness, lost luggage, bad directions, or a hotel that doesn't look nearly as good as the pictures in the brochure, etc) are cause for great disappointment – perhaps even declaring the trip a “failure.” Sometimes this attitude of accomplishment leads to an aggressiveness and pushiness – probably the distinguishing factor between a tourist and a pilgrim.

A pilgrim, on the other hand, has no agenda but openness. Though they walk, with intentionality, toward a destination, they do not necessarily know what the day will bring. They merely believe that whatever is given (bad weather, lost luggage, stubbed toes, a glorious sunset, meeting intriguing strangers) is worth receiving. Theirs is a journey of discovery, of trust, of opening up to something new, something more – not just externally, but within. A pilgrimage promotes a willingness to live with mystery in movement toward a destination – a willingness to believe that any re-routing is actually by a providential design. What will happen in the heart cannot be mapped, but a pilgrim trusts that what is given is exactly what is needful."

NOTICE TODAY - as you read the description about a pilgrim - do any words or phrases evoke a longing in you? Sit with that longing for a moment today and ask the Lord to grant you the grace to lean into that longing in practical ways in your ordinary life. (E.g Lord, grant me the grace to open to the new OR Lord, grant me the grace to trust your re-routing today.)