Daily Practices – Week 1 – Day 2

Week One, Day Two

THEME: The resurrection is more than an event, it’s a way of life.

GRACE: Lord, help me experience Your power in my daily life.


Settling in:

  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
  • Complete the following sentence in your journal: *Today, I feel ________________.
  • Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):

Open for me the gates of the righteous;

    I will enter and give thanks to the Lord. 

This is the gate of the Lord

    through which the righteous may enter.

I will give you thanks, for you answered me;

    you have become my salvation. (Psalm 118:19-21, NIV)

  • Pause for a few moments of silence.

Practice:

  • Choose one of the following practices.

Option 1: Reflection [5-10 minutes]

Take a few moments to prayerfully reflect on your last 24 -hours. Start with the beginning of…

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Bright Tuesday | Little Sacraments

kidsLast night, my wife and a friend stayed late at the gym and climbed and talked and just enjoyed some time away from the craziness of child rearing for a few hours.  More often since Katie has started working some evenings, I have had all four of my kiddos alone and do dinner and bedtimes for them.  A year ago, I would’ve felt completely overwhelmed.

You see, over the last nine months, I realized that I was not finding joy in being a father. I was allowing stress, anxiety, and perfectionism ruin my vocation of marriage and fatherhood.  I had built an idol of ministry which was supposedly for the service of others but only served to build my inner ego that I hid with self hatred and false humility.

I couldn’t “dad” well.  I felt so inadequate as a father that I just gave up.  But then something woke me from my slumber.

At the beginning of my sabbatical, I realized how unhealthy I was– mentally, physically, emotionally, & spiritually– and how unhealthy my most important relationships had become– those with my wife & my children.  So my goal, was less vocational discernment for the Priesthood, and more– how can I unlearn what I think about myself and build it up again through Christ’s grace.

A major part of my change was how I viewed my children.  Instead of little beings to control and make sure they are doing the “right” things, I have learned to see them as Sacraments of Christ that are wonderfully and uniquely created and happen to give me grace to be a father (for them) through Christ.  They are a picture of God’s love in so many ways– quick to forgive, quick to love, and their presence alone can relax every muscle in my body.

So this morning, I slept a little later than my normal 5:30 wake-up, and had the smallest sacrament asleep beside me and the largest waking me up to go and spend some time on the front porch with him, drinking my coffee, and watching the dog play in the front yard.

For me, this is grace.  and if I fail in some way towards them, I see Christ in them saying: What does it matter?  All is Grace.

Daily Practices – Week 1 – Day 1

I am excited that my little church is going through these spiritual exercises together and how Christ may speak to us through them.

THEME: The resurrection is more than an event, it’s a way of life.

GRACE*: Lord, help me experience Your power in my daily life.


Settling in:

  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
  • Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
  • Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” (Psalm 118:1-2, NIV)

  • Pause for a few moments of silence.

Practice:

  • Choose one of the following practices.

Option 1: Study [5-30 minutes]

Read through Matthew 28:1-10. Take a few moments to answer some of the following questions in your journal:

  1. Notice the reactions of the guards in verse 4, compared with the women’s reaction in verse 8. What do you think caused such different reactions to…

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Bright Monday| For All of Us

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This morning I am groggy after 4 straight mornings of 5:15 wake-ups by our wonderful puppy Luna.  I am thankful, however, for these wakes from slumber because I am experiencing the stillness of the moonlight on the grass as the dawn prepares to wake the soil crunching beneath my feet.

These walks in the untouched grass have been thin places– where I feel heaven touching earth– in very real ways.  I am walking again with my Creator in the Garden, in my original blessing, as he speaks grace through the birds, the wind, and the quiet.

These times of solitude are broken up by an enthusiastic 40 pound Labradoodle puppy jumping up onto me as we tramp through our front and back yards, her sniffing away at the ground, and me making sure we aren’t going to step on snakes or fall in one of the many holes that my kids have dug through the yard.

Life cannot just be contemplation and solitude even if that is what I want.  My life is not just my own.  I live my life for my wife and my children.   I live my life for my neighbors and family. I live my life for the stranger and the orphan.  If I don’t live my life within the streams of grace and mercy of God, participating with Him in the renewal & reconciliation of all things, I will have lived my life bringing more hell than heaven to the world.  Love compels me to live my life as a resurrection way of life, to walk the paths to death, to laugh in the face of death, to dance on death’s grave, and to know that the grace of Christ is sufficient to be my strength in weakness.

That grace, that power, that freedom, that rescue is for all.  Not just a chosen few.  But the whole world.  And it never, ever gives up.  On you.  On Me.  On all of us.

Resurrection

Resurrection Moon

Absolute stillness. Darkness engulfs the pines. But a speck of light is shining.

Who are you looking for? We came for the Body of our Lord? He is not here.

Today is the Eighth Day. Today is the first day of new creation. Today we are ransomed from death. Today all the broken places are being put back together.

We may not see it immediately, but this is resurrection.

Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday Luna
All of creations song is of pregnant waiting. Inside her bosom, the Creator is defeating the curse brought from our first parents.
Blessings instead of curses. Life instead of death. Love instead of Hell.
Hell is cowering as the Body it thought it defeated is destroying it gates and rescuing.
And our Hells we have created are being defeated by Love Incarnate.
Today, rest and wait. For resurrection awaits.

Good Friday | Forsaken by Violence

my god my god

Today we see God in Flesh die in that flesh.

God died today.

Mourn.  Weep.

God took upon Himself the sin of us all.

He took within Himself the violence of man.

Man tried God, found Him guilty, and executed Him.

They tried God for all the heartache, pain, and destruction.

They scapegoated God, the placed on Him the blame of it all.

Typhoons, tsunamis, miscarriages, famine, war, and violence.

And Christ, being fully God and fully man, took that upon Himself voluntarily

and laid down His life to bring all violence and pain and woundedness and war and famine and disease and heartache into Himself to redeem it and destroy it.

In Christ, ALL are saved, ALL are brought into Divinity, and ALL are to be transformed by His love, here or later.

For it is through his incarnation, life, wounding, execution, and yes, resurrection, we are brought us into His Kingdom that is happening now in this present moment and will happen in fullness some day.