What are you waiting for? [Advent]

Advent - blog

Advent means arrival.  The arrival of Immanuel.

Advent is a deliberate set aside time to develop the power of waiting.  Waiting for new life to break through.  For us to anticipate new creation enters into our lives.  We develop an imagination for how the divine and the human interact within one being.  When Jesus enters into our world we are invited into a new way of life with the dance of the sacred and the mundane.

What are you hoping for, waiting for?
Where do you desire new life to enter in your life, your world, your relationships?


MDB (6.1.15) [Mon] – What are you seeking today? Life in the Father’s land (kingdom) or His inheritance?

At the encouragement of my wife I am sharing my “daily” prayer with my blogging family.  Thank you Honey.  This one is from Monday.

Father, I turn my heart towards your heart.  May my attention and affection for you shape my heart.  Reform me.
Interactive Gratitude
Father, I am thankful for this day off.  Glad that Sungshim and I can sit down on the couch and catch up with the things on our hearts.  School, church, friendships, etc.  Glue our hearts together as we seek you and life in your kingdom of love.
John, it is in these simple moments that often don’t take too long that glue your hearts together.  Stay in the conversation, share the good you see in each other, seek to do good for Sungshim today.  Bless her and you’ll experience my blessings in the process.
Holy Spirit, thank you for reminding me of the gospel text you brought back to my mind from the mornings readings (yesterday).  “I will be with you John on every occasion.”  + “…he made an appointment with them.”  I sensed you saying that whatever moment you are in is the appointed time to meet with me.  I appreciate that reminder.
I am always with you and will remind you and guide you into my truth.  Stay alert and awake to my presence.
Living Word – God speaks – Mark 12:1-12Common English Bible (CEB) – Parable of the tenant farmers
12 Jesus spoke to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the winepress, and built a tower. Then he rented it to tenant farmers and took a trip. When it was time, he sent a servant to collect from the tenants his share of the fruit of the vineyard. But they grabbed the servant, beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. Again the landowner sent another servant to them, but they struck him on the head and treated him disgracefully. He sent another one; that one they killed. The landlord sent many other servants, but the tenants beat some and killed others. Now the landowner had one son whom he loved dearly. He sent him last, thinking, They will respect my son. But those tenant farmers said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ They grabbed him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.


“So what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others. 10  Haven’t you read this scripture, The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. 11 The Lord has done this, and it’s amazing in our eyes?”


12 They wanted to arrest Jesus because they knew that he had told the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd, so they left him and went away.
Living Conversation (Stood out to me + Response)
“Lets kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.”
Jesus, I’m am noticing, must be your Spirit’s work within me, the attitude and desires of the tenant farmers.  I see that they are after what the owner had.  They wanted the “good stuff,” aka, his inheritance.  And, they were willing to use force (violence) to get what they wanted.  They were willing to disregard the owner’s son with his own dignity and even who the son was related to.  They were seeking the inheritance, not the life of love in relationship.
I’m struck, when do I seek the “inheritance” and disregard the Son?
When do I use my force, my power to get what I want, rather than pausing to see what the Father wants.
Father, reveal my heart to me.  Reveal to me the ways that I seek to use my power (force) to get what I want above seeking to be in an interactive relationship with you and seeking what you want.
My son, John, I love that you come to me with this desire to look inside your precious heart which is full of beauty and it can be obscured by this attitude and action of placing your desires above our friendship and union.  There is this thread within your heart John, that desires comfort and “peace” above staying close to me and remaining diligent in the things we are doing together.
Together.  I am the diligent one.  I am diligent in love.  Remain with me and you’ll see the way I do diligence.  It is the way of love, to bring good to people.  Yes, at times it is not immediate, but it takes time to plant the seeds, tend to the plant, water, etc.  Stay the course and my life of diligent love will take root and grow beautiful fruit within your life and surroundings.
Jesus, thank you for this parable and helping me to recognize what is true in my heart.  I can see how I deny the beauty of your life in me when I seek my way above remaining with you.  As my friend, mentor, teacher, and coach, will you show me the way today, in this moment?  Help me to reflect during the day and at the end of the day.
*** Read it aloud to God and 1 or more kind people. (Vital transforming step)
This humble attempt to hear what God might be saying to me helps me to stay in an interactive relationship with Jesus.  It should always resonate with the character of God as revealed in all of scripture and in Jesus Christ.  If it doesn’t I need to be corrected and guided back to who God says God is.  Please help me stay on the narrow path if you ever see me doing or saying something that does not resonate with the Mind of Christ.
I share this with you because interacting with Jesus like this helps me to do the Father’s will even when its tough.

Imagine the next generation growing up assuming interacting with Jesus is the norm

I dream of my children and their friends knowing that God is present in love with them and for them. I desire to model, with Sungshim, this as the natural order of life. This is readily available because they see mom and dad and mom and dad’s friends living this way.

Will you join me?

Can you imagine these kids, your kids, all kids, knowing they are loved and empowered by the Spirit of the living God to love and be loved?
Kids at the Falls

This is a very real possibility.  How?  By us, the parents, the adults, the aunts and uncles living from our True Self in Christ.

Lets do this.

Is there a better way?

Living in the love of God can become the normal way of life.

42 is the answer, what is the question?

Today I turn 42 and share this clip as a way of introducing the value of questions.

“Only when you know the question will you know what the answer means.”

I have not read nor seen the entire movie, but I am familiar with the sci-fi movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and the #42.  I love this clip because it gets at the importance of what we are seeking.  This past year I’ve become aware of how important our desires are in terms of becoming the kind of people who can live the abundant life.  The questions we are living reveal our deepest desires. Lining up our desires with the best vision for our life gives us great freedom.

I encourage you to pause, step back and consider the questions that you are asking yourself.  Often we are living with questions that unaware of and I think when we become aware we can change in the direction of Love, if that is something you desire.

There are 4 Questions that Dallas Willard talks about as the 4 great questions of life.  I love these questions.  At first glance they might seem very simple, but I think if you take them to heart they can help you reflect on what is truly important to you.  I believe that if you took 3 or more minutes and honestly reflected on these questions and shared with a friend your reflections you would begin to see some amazing changes take place.  What are the questions you are living with?

Jesus’ Answers to the Four Great Questions of Life

1. What is reality? God and his kingdom.
2. Who is blessed? (Who has the good life?)  Anyone who is alive in God’s kingdom.
3. Who is a really good person? Those who are pervaded with agape love.
4. How do you become a really good person? Apprentice yourself to Jesus.

I begin this year asking Jesus what area he desires me to focus on this year.  Instead of New Year’s resolutions I wanted to ask Jesus where I should focus my energy.  Here are a few areas.

Walking in the Spirit

How about you?

Some random thoughts and thanks.

When I think of 42 I am reminded of Cameron Lee’s photo blog.

It is interesting to me that the Spirit was leading my friend Benjamin Robinson in similar way as myself ~ growing in being Spirit-led.  Thank you for your modeling and inspiration my friend.

And, thank you always to my friend and mentor, Edward Santana-Grace, for continually conversing with me about how the Mind of Christ can be developed within myself and community.  Thank you!  It is awesome to see how a growing community of people are practicing My Daily Bread as a spiritual discipline.  I’ve seen and tasted the great fruit.  I hope to see others experience the great freedom.  (Notes on God’s Will)

Audio Lectio Divina is coming to YNCC read by yours truly.  🙂

Lectio Divina – John 1:35-39

Lectio Divina is one of my favorite ways to interact with the loving presence of God.  Lectio Divina means Sacred Reading.  I first came across Lectio Divina while in Graduate school.  It is a formational reading and meditating on scripture.  We come to the living word of God with an open heart to hear the Spirit of God speak to our spirit.

There are 4 movements in Lectio Divina.  Read, Meditate, Pray, & Contemplate with moments of silence and listening and being with the presence of God.  In a future post I shall share more about Lectio Divina.  Lets jump in and hear my first recording of Lectio Divina.  I have lead many groups in this process.  This was and is my first reading and recording of Lectio Divina.  I welcome all feedback to make this process better and richer.

John 1 35 – 39 | 1st Lectio Divina

Path Forest

Creativity as the Fruit of Wholeness of Soul [Alan Fadling]

Creativity as the Fruit of Wholeness of Soul.

Thank you Alan for sharing this.  My soul resonates with what you share here.  I can see that in my life and in my marriage.  Its funny to me, yesterday, I sensed the Spirit stirring within me that His Creativity will be born in this life of mine.  Your words spilled on the inter-web shine light.  Thank you.

I see the creativity sprouting within friendships, new and old.  The interesting experience for me to see this as evidence of God’s goodness and love arriving within me in a fresh way.  It is the gift of the Spirit for the sake of others.  And, it is my honor to be able to participate in His Love for others.  Thank you Lord!

Where do you see creativity bursting forth in your life, your relationships, in your new freedom?


God is the Creator - Creativity is Divine


Help Me Jesus – The music that helps me

Tomorrow Sungshim and I teach and train couples in skills and knowledge on how to build up their marriage.  I wanted to prepare a little song set to play in the background.  The 1st 3 songs are a sort of “Help Me Jesus” songs.  I thought I would share here.


Lord, I Need You (feat. Audrey Assad) – Acoustic

  • Wow, Matt’s voice is soothing and piercing at the same time.
  • I found out about Matt because I really enjoy Audrey Assad’s music.


“Help Me Jesus” – The Staple Singers

  • I got my family into Mavis Staples.  She is such a wonderful singer and storyteller.
  • This song is from her earlier days.


You’re Not Alone by Mavis Staples Lyrics

  • I found this today.  A real gem.
  • This song is all about how Immanuel is with us and understands us.


Hand Model of the Brain [Dan Siegel]

Learning about the basics of the brain has propelled my relational wisdom and knowledge. Dan Siegel has been one of my main teachers via books, seminars, videos and articles.  He has some videos on YouTube that have proven tremendously helpful.  This short video describing some basic functions of the brain and how we “flip our lid” and can do something about it to calm ourselves down.  Watch this short video and share how you can imagine this being helpful to you in your relationships.  (FYI – Sungshim and I have taught this to our children when they were 4 years old.  If they can learn it so can you.  🙂



I encourage people to reflect on a few questions.

  • What stands out to you?
  • What do you think will be helpful in your relationships?
  • How can you imagine this would help you grow spiritually?

Shalom My Body

 I have taught people about the importance of slowing down and calming yourself down when you notice that you are upset.  I ask people to brainstorm ways that help them to calm their bodies down.  And, I think many people come up with good ideas.  Some come up with not-so-good ideas.  This process call Shalom My Body was something put together by Jim Wilder greatly influenced by Karl Lehman.  I have found this process truly helpful in creating a shift from some form of “upset” to a much more calm state in a fairly brief amount of time.  Much quicker than other options I’ve tried.

I have found that when people are willing to try something new transformation can more readily flow.  Especially if the “new thing” comes recommended by someone you trust and they report positive results.  Of course, I also believe that you should test these things for yourself.  Do not just take my word for it, try it out for a period of time and check the results.

Jim Wilder demonstrating “Shalom My Body”

I welcome your thoughts and actually I appreciate them.  You help me make this a better place and provide me valuable information through your sharing.


Feeling Appreciation Daily – Worksheet

z1 + z2 at fountain

Learning what is necessary for any person to place themselves in a state of mind (brain) to perceive others, including God, relationally is vital to experience peace and love (growth too).  This simple worksheet helps to prime our brains so that we can be in a state of mind to perceive God’s presence as well as other people as relational resources.

Download the worksheet here.

Feeling Appreciation Daily (Appreciation + Interactive seats) [Marriage Retreat 2014]


From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. (Phil 4:8)

We can train ourselves to focus our hearts and minds.  Would you like to learn how to pay attention in such a way that builds up your marriage, family and friends?