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Category: Spiritual Pilgrimage

God Helps Us to do More than We Can Think or Imagine

God Helps Us to do More than We Can Think or Imagine

God wants you to do more and be more than you can think or imagine. How great is that? I know he wants this for us because in 1 Corinthians, Paul tells us that God is preparing for us things so good that they exceed our imagination; and in Philippians 4, Paul says that the Spirit gives us the power to do all things. An invocation from my prayer book recently summarized it this way: “Almighty God, through the power of your Holy Spirit, you enable us…

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Children Make Spirituality Hard

Children Make Spirituality Hard

I work from home, which means I work in an extremely chaotic workplace.  I frequently have to lock my office door and put on headphones.  Still I hear children banging on my door.  I hear children crying, and Mary yelling at some child who has just disobeyed her.  It can be crazy.  Just hearing the chaos can put me on edge.  This is especially true when I’m trying to meditate or pray.  It’s almost impossible. I often wish I had…

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Despair is the Extreme of Self-Love

Despair is the Extreme of Self-Love

From Merton’s New Seeds of contemplation (emphasis is from the author): Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love.  It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost. In every man there is hidden some root of despair because in every man there is pride that vegetates and springs weeds and rank flowers of self-pity as soon as our own resources…

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Are You Comfortable With Your Self?

Are You Comfortable With Your Self?

We are beginning a new series at New City this Sunday.  I’m excited for it.  It’s about identity, value and worth.  We will look at three central areas of our identity with the goal of answering the question, “Who Are You?” In preparing for this week’s sermon, I came across this powerful Merton quote on being and doing.  Enjoy. All men seek peace first of all with themselves.  That is necessary, because we do not naturally find rest even in…

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The Dark Side

The Dark Side

Ruth Haley Barton says there is a dark side to leadership.  A church planting coach I recently heard, says that the biggest issue church planters and young leaders have to face is their past emotional baggage.  When leadership seems oppressive, difficult and emotionally taxing, what dark habits will emerge in your life?  What old emotional baggage will resurface in your life without warning? I believe this happens.  I’ve seen it happen in my own life.  It’s a real problem, and…

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Are You in Control?

Are You in Control?

Race car drivers control their cars.  Pilots are in control of their airplanes.  Athletes control their bodies.  Control is synonymous with excellence.  The better you become at flying a plane, driving a car, or contorting your body as you fly through the air for a lay-up the more “in control” you are.  You are a master over something once you can control it.  We long to be in control of whatever we are doing because we believe it guarantees success….

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

Life’s hard isn’t it?  At some point we’ve all had to come to terms with the fact that we aren’t going to get what we want.  The thing that we won’t get can be as mundane as a new camera or as meaningful as a new job, a spouse, or a child.  Sometimes, even with the most important things, we have to face the reality that we can’t always get what we want. What I’ve found is that in these…

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I Kill Myself…With My Thoughts

I Kill Myself…With My Thoughts

As a child, I remember talking to myself.  I remember thinking through conversations with myself in my head and sometimes even mouthing them out with my lips.  I would replay conversations that I had earlier in the day, or I would try and act out and anticipate upcoming conversations that I knew I would be having in the future. At some point I remember noticing that it was a little weird that I would mouth out conversations and I stopped…

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In Search of a Self?

In Search of a Self?

Have you ever been annoyed when a spiritual guru has told you to do some self-exploration?  I think that’s fair.  There’s enough self-absorption in our country that when another Christian pastor or spiritual leader tells people to “look inward” or to “know thyself” that it sounds like New Age Narcissism.  Often times, Christians object to this sort of counsel with quotes from Jesus about dying to self, Paul’s exhortation to sacrificial service and the like.  But in a book on…

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Kierkegaard on Doubt (of the Ascension)

Kierkegaard on Doubt (of the Ascension)

“So some have doubted.  But then in turn there were some who sought to refute doubt with reasons.  As a matter of fact, the connection was actually this: first of all they tried to demonstrate the truth of Christianity with reasons or by advancing reasons in relations to Christianity.  And the reasons fostered doubt and doubt became the stronger.  The demonstration of Christianity really lies in imitation.  This was taken away.  Then the need for “reasons” was felt, but these…

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