Thursday, December 25, 2008



Christmas Day in my favorite spot. I'm so fortunate to have a place like this, only moments from my home. I had to walk through knee deep snow to get here today. Accept for a few ducks and a couple of ravens that hang out in this area, the silence was palpable. Makes it very easy to worship and feel the connection. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winter In the Prayer Spot



Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, "It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”


Mary Oliver


My friend and neighbour Scott Whitehouse took this picture and posted it on Facebook. I ripped it off (with permission) and added the verse. See Soulstream.org for a larger version or double click on the picture. Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Preparation for the Messiah - By Richard Rohr

Question of the day:
How are you finding room for Jesus?


On retreat I once wrote in my journal, “How good of you, God, to make truth a relationship instead of an idea. Now there is room between you and me for growth, for conversation, for exception, for the infinite understandings created by intimacy, for the possibility to give back and to give something to You—as if I could give anything back to You. You offer the possibility to undo, to please, to apologize, to change, to surrender. There’s room for stages and for suffering, for mutual passion and mutual pity. There’s room for mutual everything.”

from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality p 67

Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent is all about waiting

"Advent is all about waiting.

"And as one wag said, "The trouble with waiting is that it takes so damn long!"

"Often, our own lives seem caught in the doldrums, with no sense of impetus and no safe harbour in sight. Who knows where Jesus will be born in our experience.

"The stable reassures us that, in our waiting, we can anticipate Jesus' presence to become manifest in our lives in the most unlikely of situations. Sometimes the waiting is about gradually having to let go of all expectations of where God will show up and be attentive to the oddest of places for the surprise of grace.

"Happy waiting!"

Jeff Imbach - www.soulstream.org

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Weekly Newsletters


Looking for something more? Check out the following:

Henry Nouwen: Daily and Weekly e-mail newsletters - Click Here

Richard Rohr: Daily and Weekly Newsletters, Audio Homilies - Click Here

His latest Homilie, December 7, 2008 "Not a reward but a Commitment" is absolutely wonderful!!! It's all about how God's love is a commitment to us, not a reward. A MUST LISTEN. Here's the link: Click Here

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

LOSER


In Junior High my friends and I would play tennis during the summer. Somehow there ended up being four of us, so we would play doubles on a regular basis. My friend Tom and I would play Greg and Brent, and although we would come close, Tom and I would NEVER win! Brent and Greg started calling us “loooosers.” Tom and I decided to go with it and went out and got ourselves t-shirts with “Loser 1” and “Loser 2” printed on them. I’ve sometimes wondered if this had some kind of lasting effect on me and now I am psychologically scared forever!

Stuff happens doesn’t it? Negative stuff. Stuff that makes us feel like a loser sometimes. As a result we pick up baggage along the way. Some of us have baggage that we have no idea where it came from; we just know we have it. Then we do all kinds things to deal with the baggage which creates more baggage, and a deep pit to try and climb out of. Dreams fade, relationships fail, we fail, and it can all begin to make a person feel like…a loser.

Now that you are thoroughly depressed let me tell you some good news. God has a solution for our feelings of failure, loss, and inadequacy. God desperately loves us. Let me say it again, God desperately loves us, and win or lose, He takes great pleasure in us. He looks right past all of our losses, weaknesses, failures, and sins because of Jesus and loves us more than we can imagine. Think of the New Testament examples, the Father longing for his son to return, the shepherd leaving all his sheep to go find the one that is lost, the owner of a coin turning her house upside down to find the lost coin (Luke 15). All of these stories have a tinge of desperation to them and they represent how God longs to be with us and save those who are lost.

...here is your reason to find your joy in me; see my love and find your joy in me, for more than anything this pleases me most." Julian of Norwich


I don’t think I can say it strongly enough – GOD LONGS TO BE WITH US, but we run, and we hide (Isaiah 30:15-18) Apparently, running from God’s love has been going on since the beginning of time. Adam and Eve hid from God. The Israelites rebelled and ran to other gods. In the New Testament some of the early disciples chose the law over a loving relationship with God, and modern day Christians and non-Christians? We do all of the above and more. Unfortunately, running doesn’t help. Running only multiplies our feelings of loss and pain, and further entrenches defeating patterns into our lives.

Sometimes feeling like a loser affects our openness to God. We somehow don’t think we are worthy of God’s love, or attention if we are not winning, successful, or “victorious” to use a Christian word. But if winning and victory were the conditions, or pre-requisites to receive God’s love, none of us would qualify. Besides, God took care of all that on the cross. He is our victory. We’re all winners in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did for us.

Aren’t you grateful for what God has done: that he loved us first, and keeps on loving us no matter what? That he saved us and forgave us? That He delights in all that He has done for us and is pleased with us. I don’t know about you, but I would be so lost and without hope if it wasn’t for the love and saving grace of God. This is good news for many of us who can’t quite seem to “get it together,” and probably never will.

Meditating on this - His unconditional love, His saving grace, His kindness, His desire to be with me, and the mind blowing mystery that He is pleased with me in spite of all the stupid things I have done - makes me want to run TO Him, not away from Him. He is my victory and He is yours too.

"Take your joy in your Savior and your salvation" Julian of Norwich


Learning to Pray: Repent (turn to God), rest, be quiet, trust