Friday, September 26, 2014

Keeping Company with Jesus

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly" -Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I believe the desire for a different sort of life doesn't appear out of thin air. The longing for something more, no matter how weak or crackling with heat, is evidence that God is already at work in your life. 

You wouldn't want more of God if the Holy Spirit wasn't first seeking you. It is the Trinity's action within that fans the small flame of desire motivating us to "keep company" with Jesus. 

In fact, the very desire or desperation you feel can be God's way of readying you to walk and work with Jesus. Take heart, transformation happens as you keep company with Jesus. -Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

Friday, September 19, 2014

I need a new plan.

So I'm taking a theology class for ordination on spiritual formation. 

For those of you who know me well, you can understand how excited I am about this. :) A class about spiritual disciplines, and practice, and church history, and who we say we are? Sign me up!!

If only it wasn't happening during a very busy semester of teaching, tutoring, and college/young adult ministry.

Except maybe that's the whole point. an exercise in honesty (and accountability), some of my Week 2 homework is included below for your perusal, edification, and/or amusement.

Describe one of the familiar disciplines in the weekly reading and why it has been meaningful or helpful to your spiritual life:

Journaling: I love journaling as a prayer practice...doesn’t really do much for me otherwise, but there you are. It keeps me mindful and present in my prayer time, because it forces to slow down and think (at least) to the speed of my handwriting. And it’s (sometimes) a pretty cool record of how God has been active in our lives over the weeks/months/years. :) Other times it’s so painful you have to burn the thing and start over!

Describe one of the new or unfamiliar discipline in the weekly reading and why you might try to implement it in your life and ministry in the future:

Practicing the Presence: I’ll be honest...I’ve never even heard of this before (at least not articulated in this way). But I like the idea of maintaining “an ongoing conversation with God no matter what [I’m] doing!” :) I love the idea of looking for God in the seemingly apparently trial conversations and the beauty of nature and little, daily blessings. I suspect it would change a lot about my “default setting,” too. :)

Describe one of the disciplines from the weekly reading that you would have trouble practicing and describe why this would be:

Rest: I suck at resting. I’m terrible at it. Simply awful. I know it’s a good idea, but I continue to put it off for what sound a lot like good things (but maybe not the best thing?)...for the endless piles of stuff that I also feel called to, and whose call I sometimes heed out of all proportion to their long-term importance. I keep telling myself “next semester will be better” or “things will finally start to settle when___” and it just. doesn’t. work.

I need a new plan.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Human terms.

Somewhere along the way,
I stopped referring to God
as "he" and "him"
in limited, human terms.

I'm not sure I could tell you
precisely where or when.
But it feels bigger,
loving, and sure.