Swan Song…for now.

This has been a place of practice, a landing spot for beginning with blogging; an honest attempt to articulate some learnings and leanings. As with life, we envision a thing and once in a while it turns out as we think. Most often, though,https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/52/Mute.swan.touchdown.arp.jpg there are twists and turns that lead elsewhere. I’m wondering if such is the way of this online space.

I have danced with formats and played with ideas here. Experiments in finding my voice have occasionally resulted in something resembling an awkward adolescent male squeak, but mostly I’m okay with what has made it to the page.

Still, from much I haven’t written about in the last few years has emerged a richer, fuller life that is not captured in what I have trotted out here. So I’m laying this down for a bit. What’s here won’t go away, but no new posts are planned. Perhaps I will pick it up again one day, but if not a swan’s song it is, at the least, a looong intermission. (I’ve learned to never say never.)

You can find me other places doing other things, most notably as Director of Formation with CFDM Northwest, starting in June of 2018. I’ll be posting to the FB page so we can stay in touch. You know we love those “follows!” I’m continuing to offer a ministry of spiritual direction–a fancy name for paying attention to God, playing for worship and learning to take myself less seriously.

Thanks for playing along–I’ve enjoyed your company. I trust it’s mutual.

Blessings, G

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Hello Friday: Streams of Living Water

Today’s post is a quick hello, hoping to inspire you to notice from whence your own streams flow.

In preparation for Fall startup of CFDM’s Formation 2 program, I’m studying for a presentation on what Richard Foster has termed “streams,” the six major traditions of the Christian faith beginning with the resurrection of Christ, and reading his (Foster’s) book, Streams of Living Water. The only ‘D’ I earned as a student was in History so the irony that I’m not only fascinated by, but deign to teach on, this particular history is not lost on me! As with many of Richard’s writings, his most compelling words are in his explaining why he writes on the topic at hand, or why he recommends the work of another. Such is the case here–he had me at “Introduction.”

I’ve spent a lot of time focused on the state of my physical body this past week. Marta Taylor,  Erin Knight, Corey Schuler have done a fabulous job with the Chronic Headache and Migraine Summit, putting together a panel of speakers to teach on various aspects of cause, management and in some cases, extinction. It has been life-giving.

I had lunch with a friend I’ve not spent time with in years. Honestly, she took the initiative, not me. We sat together at my humble, DIY bar over a simple chicken salad and kombucha where we shared hearts and got reacquainted. How easily we isolate ourselves, limiting the possibility of transformation taking place in others just as it is for us–if we remain open to discovery. Hidden gifts might be waiting that are otherwise missed.

Family has been especially meaningful this week, as our nephew has undergone a second heart transplant. It’s a complex tension, as we hold both his recovery and the donor’s loved ones in prayer. At 17, parents and siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends have rallied to support in so many ways:

People in hospital waiting room

  • Prayer, prayer and more prayer
  • Interrupting vacation plans to get to the hospital in time for the procedure
  • Several people traveling hours to be with family in the waiting room
  • Extended stays nearby to be available
  • Stocking and transporting the camp trailer for family to stay in during the weeks of recovery
  • Posting on social media
  • Artists and friends contributing gifts of prayer and beauty
  • Donating vacation time to supervise siblings and run errands

And in the midst of it, I treasure the overnighter with my ten-year-old granddaughter and an afternoon spent at the library, lunch and shopping with the thirteen-ager; the impromptu drive with another to the pet store (30 minutes away to return the ill chameleon he gave her for their first anniversary–he loves her THAT much); good conversation over dinner with Mr. S; yoga twice this week to stretch and tone and tame an over-active mind.

All of these have been streams of living water to me this week, reminding me that:

  • Life is a gift
  • We are invited to step in fully
  • Difficult times are inevitable
  • We are not alone

As this week of summer days winds to a close, may you be mindful of the Source of Life from which streams of living water flow to you, the moments and experiences that have nourished you these past few days. (If you’re in a dark time–I have been–you may have to work at it…!) May that lead you toward peace, shalom, which is to say in Hebrew, wholeness.

 

Best Practices-Words to reframe ancient spiritual disciplines

What are words, anyway? Just symbols we use to communicate with one another. Trouble is, their meanings inevitably change over time, even as purists lament and populists cheer from opposite sides of the field on which these dynamics are played out.

Therefore, if we want to share something we deem valuable–be that products, services, inspiration, ideas or instruction, it makes sense to examine and occasionally alter the words we use to communicate. At least that’s the approach many successful businesses, individuals and endeavors have adopted.

Therefore, it occurs to me that to communicate the true intent of spiritual disciplines, we might consider “best practices,” a current(ish) Continue reading