When God says “Psst.” -The follow up

Before I follow up (click here for part I), I want to say that I’ve learned that talking too much about a splendid spiritual experience is problematic:

1. There’s really no way language can encompass something mystical (an experience with the divine). It just won’t translate.

2. Sometimes the more you sort it out the more the sweet memory lifts in a puff and vaporizes. I just hate doing that to it. It’s like squeezing a kitten until you hear a pop. Bad idea.

(And the details work more like forensics too, like writing a research paper on your first kiss. By paragraph three you just regret starting to tackle the project at all. Not that I tried to do that, because that would be weird.)

I don’t pray the whole time when I go away for a prayer retreat. I have a Brother Lawrence life of faith, mostly. Integrated. That means Life is Prayer. Prayer is lived. Each breath is an exchange of that gift of life up into the atmosphere. That hope and petition… and God is everywhere, receiving it with a smile.

Sometimes when I tell people I go for a whole day to pray, I get weird looks. They think it must be work or simply beyond boring. Or worst of all…that it’s super spiritual and religious. It’s not whatsoever. It’s carnival of inner joy. I wish it for everyone.

A typical day away
So when I’m there, I turn off my phone, I walk the halls or the grounds, enjoy the paintings, sculptures, the plants, gardens, wildlife and scenery. I pray, worship, and intercede for others in the onsite chapel or in the little alcoves, prayer rooms, the library, or benches outdoors. When I get stiff I stretch and walk a bit more. I journal, write prayers, take notes and a few photos, and I read scripture or devotional books… just short bits. They have an art room, so sometimes I draw or paint. I enjoy snacks I brought and a good hearty lunch on the grounds. I make sure that nothing is done out of obligation or becomes drudgery. Sometimes I just sit there and be. Many times. I allow myself to truly relax and be myself. How life-giving it is. My heart fills up. It is truly sacred space. Somehow more fully the permission is given, the place is consecrated for pilgrims to come alive and enjoy it all, and feel loved ever deeply by our good Maker. Do you like picnics? It’s like that.

Sometimes I feel the shine of God and sometimes it seems God is thinking and being quiet next to me. We’re friends and friends can do that.

So, instead of going into everything I enjoyed and relished in the details, I’ll share a few field notes and let the rest be hidden to ponder in my heart.

• The Sacred will hush you and bring you home.

• As jars of clay filled with treasure (God within) we need rest and reconnection to be cleaned out and readied for God’s use in holy work.

• Life is short, bitter-sweet, and suffused with exquisite joy and ravaging sorrow–all that makes us more human but it takes divine healing through it to become whole. We are simply too fragile to do “being human” apart. Beside God, we need people who love God. People have God inside, and that helps.

• The birds aren’t frantic as I assumed for too long; they are alive with work. Excited to be themselves.

• Deep calls to Deep. In God’s whispers the deepest parts of ourselves are stirred yet we often mistake it for other things.

# # #

When was the last time you got away?

 If you’d like to go and you live near Reading/Lebanon, Pa, let me know. I’m always happy to go with a companion. I travel there with a friend or two, then we go off, each own our way to enjoy God or pray and then meet back up for lunch and sometimes discuss it a bit.

I also offer a guided experience there, and more info for that is here if you are interested.

Free for the taking…

YEP. Good news about free stuff!

Right after we feast like mad and express our gratitude and thankfulness we charge out to buy and shop! I’ve always thought this was the strangest thing…But, the sales do seem unbeatable, right?

Confession: I can’t handle the bustle. I grow weary so fast from shopping, let alone doing it amid crowds and while fighting chock-a-block traffic. What about you?

Perhaps Cyber Monday is a different kind of bustle?…nevertheless….

I have some things for you. It won’t cost anything. And you don’t have to get “malled” or drive anywhere.

Click  “Kindle Bookshelf”. (4 FREE books)

On Monday 11/26/2012 all four of my digital (Kindle) books are free for the taking. ONE Day only. (One of the four has not been offered for free until now, and it won’t happen again anytime soon.)

Here’s a secret! If you DON’T have a kindle or a kindle app, you can still click to buy, and Amazon houses them for you, for whenever you want them, on which ever device you choose. So, if you’re getting a kindle for Christmas, click to get them now, and enjoy them later.

I do hope you enjoy them.

If you would please leave an Amazon review, I would be most grateful! I have lots of people reading, but hardly anyone leaving reviews yet. So, I need your help!

Season’s Blessings!


P.S. Spread this good news with a Tweet or two, please?

(If you miss your chance, don’t fret. Each is only $3. Way less than a latte at Starbucks. Amazon lets you read sample pages. Try each one and see what you like!)

Lost in the Weeds

You know you’re lost in the weeds when frustration sets in.

The weeds.

That’s the place off the narrow path.

And what’s the common wisdom for those who are lost? Stay put.

You will be found.

And indeed, it’s not that God will look for you and find you.

Because he knows just where you are. And he knows you.

You will instead awaken to him, and finally

Notice that he’s beside you, and you are not lost at all.

The benefit of a solid theology

Is knowing that there is no place that God is not.

O, God, let me find you in the weeds.


Leadership Lens and Perspective

This is my son Nathan.
He’s 12.5 years old.

It’s been a rough few days with him. It’s a dicey combo mixing burgeoning adolescence and the Autistic experience.

His will is strong and he’s often unreasonable. He thinks he’s the rightful King of his world and ours; and I’ve felt discouraged about how poorly things have been going.

But…today, he built these glasses, and it got me to thinking about perspective.

And it gave me a new one.

What’s the bigger lesson here?

What if our windows of perspective are cloudy?

What if the shutters are closed?

How will an obstructed view hurt my ability to guide, lead, or learn?

Will I even be able to notice how poor my vision is?
And how can I get help seeing better?

It’s true that our perspective is limited.

The fact is easy to miss.
We flare with emotion in the dearth of comprehending how perspective works, or doesn’t work.

But, indeed, we can’t possibly see the full view, just the narrow vision our particular spectacles allow.

And with new lens our perspective changes.

Unwittingly, Nathan gave me the encouragement I needed.

This is actually an answer to my prayer for help.

Keep pushing on and Remember the lesson of the Lego Spectacles!

To you Leaders and Bloggers: Don’t forget to link-up with the SynchroBLOG on Leadership sponsored by Evangelical Seminary. Write something this week and contribute September 10-14. 

Are you a mature Leader? {Mary DeMuth on Being a ‘Deeper Leader’}

Are most leaders mature?

“whaa WHAH!”
(That’s the “nope” sound from Sesame Street in case you’re wondering.)

A deeper leader leads from a place of integrity and maturity.

I’m very happy to be partnering with Evangelical Seminary to bring greater awareness and dialogue to the topic of Leadership and Spiritual Formation. Their new (part distance/part in-person cohort learning method) under 2 year graduate studies program prioritizes spiritual maturity in leadership training, and in our culture, it’s sorely needed.

I’m looking into getting a second masters degree. That’s how good this program is.
Are spiritually mature leaders important to you?
If so, there is an excellent opportunity to associate with the leadership resources launching at ES, and participate in promoting and nurturing spiritually formed leaders through a new variety of approaches. First of all you can help spread the word by sharing the information and resources you find at ES, and through their social media outlets. Articles, events, forums, go-to resources, guest writers, and more is coming.
Also, a synchroblog is in the works for the 2nd September (soon!) on the topic. Learn more on the Evangelical Facebook page or their website this week and next. (I will also post updates here.)

You can join in and be a part of something BIG.

If you are a leader and have a tribe or a blog, you can submit articles for consideration for a featured guest post spot at the Deeper Leader blog sponsored by ES. (Use the contact form on the right to express your interest.) This will pair you with some amazing professions in the the field of leadership, spiritual formation (sometimes called discipleship), leadership studies at the graduate level, and help nurture a whole new generation of better equipped leaders.

The first featured guest writer in this new phase is unveiled today! It’s none other than prolific author, the “living uncaged” Mary DeMuth. Read her contribution on leadership here.

Mary DeMuth is Living Uncaged!