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Solitude is a Place

"Silence and solitude [is] the medicine for curing, among other things, deep distraction." - Chris Hall Lately, I've been rethinking and praying about what solitude looks like for me. As an introvert, I love (and thrive in) quiet. It re-energizes me. It fills the tank. However, I've found over the years (especially now) that it must be more and more intentional, and I believe that rings true regardless of temperament. Factors that change the landscape of our ability to find solitude range from where we live (i.e. living in the city, in a dorm, etc.) to having kids, as well as having networks of relationships, and yes, even technology effects [...]

Be Filled with the Helper

Much of what I aim to cultivate in this space is focused on the inward journey, however, really, the heart behind Simply on Mission is the outward journey: sharing the love and grace of God in a way that overflows from a place of true identity. In other words, it looks like compassion, mercy, forgiveness, and grace in our relationships and how we engage the world (i.e. being close to the brokenhearted, remembering the poor, standing with the oppressed and downtrodden, etc.). The thing is: we are used to doing. Especially in our western culture, we measure our worth by our literal or metaphorical resumés, and when we do that, we often [...]

By |2018-05-14T06:54:52+00:00May 12th, 2018|Missional Living|0 Comments

A House That Points to Home

This month our family relocated to a new house. The previous rental where we had been at is being sold, and while we like that place, we had to begin searching for a new locale to lay our heads. We began praying, and we began looking, and something just right opened up in a way that we knew it wasn't us or luck. One of the great joys of praying and listening for the Lord's voice, is that the Lord speaks. Sometimes it's through circumstances in such a way that you sense a wink and a smile coming from the One whom you've been speaking to. This transition has brought [...]

By |2018-04-22T22:45:25+00:00April 22nd, 2018|Missional Living|0 Comments

Still, Like a Tree

"...in an age of acceleration, nothing can be more exhilarating than going slow. And in an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still." (Pico Iyer) As I've been pursuing the practice of stillness, I have read a book called The Art of Stillness by Pico Iyer, a travel writer. Throughout the book he makes keen observations about stillness, and in a wonderful Ted Talk that he presented, he said, "The trip, in other words, gave me some amazing sights, but it's only sitting still that allows me to turn those into lasting insights" Here, [...]

Stillness

"Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson A rhythm of grace (a life-giving spiritual practice) for me has been the practice of stillness: being still; stopping; resting. It's interesting how counter-intuitive it seems to our culture right now, doesn't it? Being someone who grew up in a generation that spanned a progression from analog to digital, I remember when life moved 25-45 mph, telephones were attached to the wall, photos were shared by waiting for the film [...]

By |2018-01-15T18:13:57+00:00December 30th, 2017|Practices, Solitude, Silence, & Stillness, Terms|1 Comment

Active Prayer: a powerful little practice

A practice that I was introduced to years ago, that I have been revisiting lately, has been a prayer practice called "Active Prayer," or another way that I've heard it referred to has been called "Breath Prayer." It’s pretty simple: an active or breath prayer is a 6-12 word prayer that you pray throughout the day (usually inside yourself), and is short enough that you can pray it in the length of a breath. The active prayer is a way that many throughout history have put the following scriptures into practice: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall always be in my mouth." - Psalm 34:1 [...]

By |2018-01-15T18:14:06+00:00November 9th, 2017|Practices, Prayers & Blessings|0 Comments

Following the Relaxed Rabbi: simplifying the heart

Bill Gaultiere, founder of Soul Shepherding, Inc. and mentee of Dallas Willard, shared a story on his website of an interaction that he had with Dallas. In Dallas' office at USC, Dallas asked him the question, "If you had one word to describe Jesus, what would it be?" There of course are so many words that come to mind to describe Jesus, and after a good length of silence in which Bill was able to contemplate, he asked Dallas what his one word would be. Dallas' answer: "relaxed." Relaxed. It has been a powerful paradigm shift for me as I've been grasping the picture of Jesus as the most relaxed person [...]

By |2018-01-15T18:14:15+00:00September 12th, 2017|Missional Living, Simplicity|0 Comments

Learning to Sing and Dance: a ragamuffin blessing

My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it. - Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel A blessing that I categorize as a 'dangerous blessing,' is one that Larry Hine, Brennan Manning's spiritual director, gave to Manning at his ordination. I kiddingly call them 'dangerous blessings,' because, as I mentioned in my post "A Beautifully Uncomfortable Blessing," it's not that they do harm, but they courageously embrace what we would normally consider desolation for the purpose of the greatest consolation: experiencing the Love of Christ more deeply. The thing that resonates with me regarding these 'dangerous [...]

By |2018-01-15T18:14:23+00:00July 18th, 2017|Prayers & Blessings|0 Comments

Cultivating Silence

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. Psalm 62:5 Something that has been impactful to me in my walk with the Lord has been integrating quiet/silence into my life. It hasn't been easy. Life get's busy, and it's an odd thing: I've found that when you intentionally seek to create more quiet and silence in your life, you discover how much noise is continually crowding in, and sometimes (oftentimes), it is from within us that the noise comes. Silence is something that we need to cultivate. In Psalm 62:5 we see a word in Hebrew for the kind of silencing of oneself that [...]