“Change but no change” is a phrase familiar to those in the therapy world. A client wants help with their pain, but is reluctant to change their patterns of behavior, relationships, or other aspects of their life. As a therapist, I know change occurs when the client begins to look at themselves and what they need to do differently. That is when ...READ MORE »
A friend of mine shared that as a child she was quite grumpy when she would wake up. Her mother would require that she say five positive things before she could eat her breakfast. So, through gritted teeth, she would say, “your hair looks nice,” “my oatmeal looks delicious,” “it’s a beautiful day, “ etc. until they were both laughing ...READ MORE »
I show a documentary on Mother Teresa to my spiritual formation classes. There are a few groans when I first tell the class of this topic, but any hesitance is quickly changed to awe as the story of her life unfolds. You can hear a pin drop during the video. The film catches the essence of the ministry of this ...READ MORE »
The word “love” has been worn-out in our culture. It is used for everything from ice cream to deep intimacy. It causes at best confusion and at worst a disillusionment with each other in an intimate relationship. Social psychology has identified two stages of love in intimate relationships. The first is referred to as “passionate love,” and the second is “companionate ...READ MORE »
The word “confession” is part of our nomenclature in Churches of Christ. It’s one of the big five–hear, believe, repent, confess, and be baptized. James tells us “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Do we as followers of Christ believe ...READ MORE »
An oft-said statement in our present culture is “I am spiritual, but not religious.” The value is placed on one’s personal emotional experience with the Divine. There is, of course, merit in personal revelation. God communicates with us in many ways—experience being one of them. It is a source of encouragement to look back over my life and see how ...READ MORE »
[In hopes of extending the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. I want to share a reflection. It was written in December, 2018, following a RULS – Racial Unity Leadership Summit, an offering of the Carl Spain Center https://carlspaincenter.org/. The summits are gatherings of primarily black and white church leaders (both men and women) and other parties interested in racial unity. ...READ MORE »
The scene is a familiar one. People spread out over the grounds of a retreat center carrying out the prayer assignment I have given–write a letter to God and then have God respond. To be specific, the instructions are as follows: Write in a free flow manner for ten minutes. Allow your heart to flow out on the paper. Write ...READ MORE »
Ah, the new year. It is laid out before me—clean and inviting. How do I begin this new chapter with the intention of letting God write through me? First, I recognize the tools at my disposal. I begin with the confidence of knowing that the God of the universe is with me each moment. God created me a unique individual made ...READ MORE »
Life can be challenging. At times I am mistreated. I wrestle to make ends meet. I watch those I love struggle with pain and illness. I wonder at the discrepancies in the world as some have an easy life and others go hungry. How am I to respond? Where is God in this?
Last week I read an article spotlighting ...READ MORE »
I recently heard a story of a man by the name of John who made a living as a photographer. He traveled around the world for his craft and was exposed to varying cultures and individuals—many with dire need. He expressed some discomfort with the multitude of people begging on the streets and wondered how best to deal with ...READ MORE »
There is no end to what God can teach us if we have eyes to see. The world is our classroom; life is our teacher. It is a matter of awareness and intent and a measure of humility. Am I willing to be coachable? In essence, I must recognize that God is God and I am not! My wisdom ...READ MORE »
Henri Nouwen wrote a wonderful piece entitled “Moving from Solitude to Community to Ministry.” In this piece, he uses Luke 6 to demonstrate the pattern in the life of Jesus.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and ...READ MORE »
The young woman sat in my office and expressed her frustration with God. “I was so certain that God wanted me to take this job. The doors seemed to fly open. I know it was God’s will. But it has been terrible. I have never been so unhappy. Why would God do this to me?”
The topic of discernment is ...READ MORE »
I found out about Selah’s Spiritual Direction program in July, 2017, just one week and 5 days before the Pre-Residency retreat began. For 14 years, my soul I had been searching for something “more”. Finding Selah was a true gift. And, this journey of Spiritual Direction has been “more”, so much more than I can express in this writing.
I ...READ MORE »
I like to think of the seasons in terms of the story they represent. Each season is a chapter in the story of the year. Winter is one of my favorite seasons. There is something peaceful about this chapter. It’s about living with established routines and settling into life. It’s a season of work, but even more, it’s a ...READ MORE »
One of the heroes of my faith is Henri Nouwen. He is a source of encouragement to many because he understood the Christian walk with its trials and blessings. He was able to articulate it in a way that challenges me to persevere in my desire to be God’s instrument. The greatest attraction for me to Nouwen, however, is ...READ MORE »
The other night my husband and I went on a date. We are able to do this frequently in this season of life. We enjoy each other’s company—we’re comfortable with each other. It wasn’t until we were walking from the car to the restaurant that I noticed I was wearing my slippers. Ha! I guess after 36 years of ...READ MORE »
Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power,
And the glory forever.
Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)
Our early ...READ MORE »
Flora and Fauna
My grandmother was a naturalist. Her life was spent in Saskatchewan. She was well acquainted with those prairies—the flora and fauna. We, her family, found binder upon binder full of pressed flowers and leaves after she was gone. If she was with you in the car, she would occasionally ask you to stop so she could determine a flower on ...READ MORE »
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