reminders of God’s presence on the journey

Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability — and that it may take a very long time. And so I think it is with you; your ideas mature gradually — let them grow, let them shape themselves without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make of you tomorrow. Only God could say what this new spirit gradually forming within you will be. Give our Lord the benefit of believing that his hand is leading you. And accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete. – Pierre Teilhard De Chardin

Tonight I awoke to thoughts about the many conversations over the past few days about a new threshold – “a space that sits between two places…between two environments…between two experiences. They’re spaces that you pass through to move from where you’ve been to a new reality” (friend Rob Yackley). As our family finds ourselves in the midst of a new threshold, I am encouraged by the words of Teilhard and reminded that we are in a good and beautiful place.

Where are you experiencing movement from one place (environment, experience) to another?

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son #3

The picture to the left is one of the last ones of our family with two sons.

For the past four years it has been very natural for me to relate to Jesus’ story of “The Prodigal Father” and his two sons. It has been a story that has shaped my life from my growing up, my turning toward Jesus, my journey toward pastoral ministry and into marriage. I am an oldest son of two boys. Amy and I have two sons. My younger brother and his wife have two sons. As I reflect on the past 18 years since I responded to Jesus’ call to follow, I can clearly recognize moments where I have been the youngest son and the oldest son in relationship with God (and others) and how God has also invited me to be the Dad who is always longing for his sons to come home and join the party. To say the least, this has been a story that has been life shaping.

If all goes as planned, tomorrow morning between 7 and 8 am I will no longer be Dad of two and Amy will have brought our third son into the world. At this point, I don’t know what will life will be like on the other side of two sons. I have a sense, God wants to continue to shape me through the story of “The Prodigal Father” yet it may a bit more complicated as we keep our eyes and ears aware of 3 rather than 2. As I keep hearing from other dads, we move from “man-to-man” defense to “a box and 1” for a season.

Here’s to life in an unknown season where God continues to invite me into his party. May we all be open to new invitations, new seasons, and new relationships.

the story of a love for people and a place

As I think about the people of my neighborhood, the people of Encinitas, and the people who call North County San Diego home, I dream of being part of a story like this.

the meaning of being human

For the next 2 days I am spending time with a friend from my doctoral program in St. Peter, Minnesota at the Nobel Conference 47 (named after Alfred Nobel). The topic of presentation and conversation is The Brain and Being Human.

It is a cross-cultural experience for me as this is the first purely academic conference I have ever attended. For my own interests, I am looking at the communal nature of humanity and what this means for our formation as followers of Jesus. This morning my friend asked, what does it mean to be human?

So I ask you, what does it mean to be human? (Hopefully, I will discover how the brain adds a new dimension to the answer to this question.)

fruit with a bite out of it

A few weeks ago, I was communicating about the significance of images and used the logo of Apple, among others, to highlight the power of image and specifically the meaning of this image found in story of the forbidden fruit in the story of Genesis 3. Whether we recognize it or not there is meaning and thus power embedded in the images that we encounter in our lives.

This morning, a friend (thank you Brandon Rhodes) posted an article regarding the historian Henry Adams and his take on our life in the information and technology age.

While I disagree with the two options at the conclusion of the article, I wonder too how our human ingenuity and technology gets in the way of our connection and engagement with God and with one another. Take a moment and read the article; it is worth your time. What’s your take?

impact our engagement with God and relationship with others?

A friend posted this link today: A Day Made of Glass

This is one interesting video that points to the future of technology. How might this impact our engagement with God and relationship with others?

changing paradigms by Ken Robinson

Another talk about Ken Robinson pn Changing Paradigms. This time with a creative way to visualize it.

What implications might this have for Sunday school and spiritual formation?

creativity…rethinking intelligence

A friend sent me this TED talk by Dr. Ken Robinson today and it has me thinking about how we experience the world and the God who created the world.

If you want a more in depth perspective, take a look at The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist. Thick book but solid perspective of the brain in the Western world.

How do you understand intelligence and how do you cultivate creativity?

imaging God

Life has suddenly turned busy over the last few weeks as I continue to work, now have 2 kids in school and have started back to school myself in a doctoral program focused on discernment of images and activity in a shifting culture (depending on what you call it).

In one chat session with our cohort last week, we discussed the picture to the left that is Michaelangelo’s painting of God’s Creation of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In September 2004, I saw this painting from the floor of the Sistine Chapel but I had never considered the significance of the painting.

As you look at the painting some questions to consider: What is the focus of the painting? How is Adam portrayed in the painting? What is God doing? How are they interacting? What does the space between signify?

See what you come up with as you think through this painting. The image is powerful and certainly communicates more than a 1000 words.

how do you know?

“You keep telling yourself what you know. But what do you believe? What do you feel?” said Mal to her husband Cobb.

There are many layers to the movie Inception and on my second viewing with new friends from my new doctoral cohort, I was captivated by the questions surrounding how we know, believe, feel and experience reality.

As a part of an earlier conversation in the day, Len Sweet shared that we can recognize reality by it pushing back. This is the future story we will live with holograms and avatars. Inception poses the solution of knowing reality by the physical marker of a totem–a physical item with specific characteristics and weight unique to every person. This makes a great deal of sense to me when I think about the Reality of God.

What are your totems that bring you back to the Reality of God?