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?

People Have The Power – U2 with Patti Smith [What Songs Inspire You?]

I love the message of this song.  And, Patti Smith is great live.  I’ve watched her sing this song with my kids many times.  They like the song.  Its up lifting.  To see Patti on stage (via video) close that night in London is inspiring.

I can’t wait to show my kids.  They like both Patti Smith and U2.

Watch the video and share your favorite U2 clips in the comments.  Actually, share any songs that inspire you to reach father and dig deeper to make the world a better place.  This is one of mine.

 

I can’t wait to see them when they return with some new music.  Who wants to see them with me?

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.

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.

 

Ash Wednesday

Tonight I went to a church close by my home, Montrose Church, for their Ash Wednesday service.   My family and I attended a few Sundays there during my sabbatical this past summer (2013).  The really wonderful thing was that we already knew a few people that attend the church.  Love how God brings people together.  I thought the pastor did a great job of articulating the meaning and purpose of Ash Wednesday and helping us establish the fast.  Thank you Pastor Dave Roberts.

I came home to prepare a one page “guide” for myself to create or deepen a few practices to turn from my sin and towards Jesus during these 40 days of Lent (minus the Sundays) before the resurrection of Jesus.

I found this short and insightful (fun too) 2 min video on Ash Wednesday.

Even though I have known the basics about Ash Wednesday this short video was helpful.

Why was Jesus so direct? (Journal entry & listening prayer)

Each morning I write out a prayer, often in conversation with Jesus over his word. Generally, I record my conversation with Jesus and share with a few friends. In this spiritual community we call this sharing our – My Daily Bread (See link for more info on this process from my mentor).

Today I share my prayerful conversation with Jesus about his words to his disciples when he says, “Why are you afraid you people of weak faith?” I share and hope this is an encouragement and inspires you to get to know and trust Jesus. At the very least you can see my relationship with Jesus.

LIVING WORD

When Jesus got into a boat, his disciples followed him. A huge storm arose on the lake so that waves were sloshing over the boat. But Jesus was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, “Lord, rescue us! We’re going to drown!”

He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you people of weak faith?”
Then he got up and gave orders to the winds and the lake, and there was a great calm. (Matt 8:23-26)

PRAYER

Jesus, I know when you are speaking to the disciples you are not insulting them, nor demeaning them by saying they are people of weak faith, but rather you are describing the reality of what they trust and how robust their trust in you is – it is weak. In the midst of a very scary situation for them (the boat is being tossed and turned) again, it would have been reasonable for them to be very afraid. Yet, in this moment you don’t comfort them rather you describe the reality of where they put their trust. Then, you give orders to the sea and things become calm (which I am sure they are comforted by this situation). In the previous moment you tell the disciples – “Let the dead bury the dead.” You are speaking some pretty strong words here. Very clear and to the point. What is going on here? Why did you need to be so clear and direct?

John, I know such clear and direct, confrontational kind of talk is not the way you normally talk, nor lead. And, I speak in many different tones and strengths. In these moments I am gathering a small group of people together for my life to be planted within them. In a sense it is very compassionate because they would not be surprised (well, not completely surprised) by what the cost will be in following me. In the formation of this early team I needed to draw the line and describe reality about what it means to follow me. It is a narrow path. Yet, it truly leads to life. Abundant life. But, initially and throughout the journey of following me, being with me, having me formed within – requires a surrender that most people will not choose. John, don’t you find yourself with clear choices of either the narrow way of forgiving Sungshim for a comment or look? Sometimes you’d rather (and you do at times) send her back a like-minded jab? Everyone who follows me goes through this process over and over again. This was the beginning of a new way of living for these disciples. On a deep level I was kind to their ego alerting them that if they were going to follow me their ego would need to die and surrender to my life within them.

Wow, Jesus, I can see this in a whole new way. This isn’t completely new, as you and I have conversed about these moments when you are quite intense. I need to be reminded again and again. I wonder when I have prevented your life that is in this form from budding because I was afraid of upsetting people. I ask for your wisdom, grace and love when these moments arise in my life. Deepen my trust in you to surrender to your life flowing within so that I can be clear and direct when you lead me in that direction.

Jesus, help me to attend to the way your Spirit moves within me so that I can grow deeper in my trust in you. Help me to take the risk of honoring your voice within me and go with you. Surrender to the Spirit’s moves in my heart and mind. Amen.

Contemplative Breathing

IN – I breath in your heart of truth and love.
OUT – I breath out the freedom of surrendering to your life flowing through me.

 

* Thank you to my wife for encouraging me to share this.  Thank you honey!