• Spiritual Practice

    When God’s Word Goes Haywire {Operator Error}

    You know how it is when you’re clicking around online and you visit a website link looking for information and up pops that 404 Error message? I was stuck in a rabbit hole kind of like that recently, stewing for weeks over an issue (always the battleground for me, the ol’ noggin) and could not seem to get past it. I had worried the situation to death, played scenarios over and over again about a particular Terrible Thing that I needed to pray against and it wouldn’t go away. I woke up with it on my mind and went to bed mumbling about it in my prayers. There was spiritual warfare…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Jigsaw Puzzles as a Prayer

    Every year at Christmas our kids get my husband and I a jigsaw puzzle. This year Santa pitched in and we actually ended up with three puzzles–birds, the beach and kites–our three favorite things. A great Friday night date for my husband and I is to build a fire, turn on the music and puzzle away….a simple, quiet joy for us. (You 30 somethings are wondering which planet we’re on, I’m sure…). The joke around here is if the puzzle goes on the card table on the day after Christmas, we can usually finish it by the first or so of June, when the ‘kids’ show up again for Father’s Day. Alas, we got a late start–one week…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Why I Stopped Having ‘Quiet Time’ {for all the right reasons}

    “…the resolving of the conflict between sacred and the secular (or, better said, the repairing of the damage done by divorcing them) has been billed as the major problem of modern theology.” -Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb, 1967 ///// The writer of those words penned his thoughts 50 years ago, and while the current world of practicing Christians may have different theological problems, I think Capon’s got a point. I have looked high and low in my Bible the last few years and I can’t find any mention where believers are encouraged to develop a daily “quiet time” or spend time having “devotions.” There is no mention…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Bob Goff, Keith Green & Gratitude

    Lower Yosemite Falls, 2015 jlc “We’ll know we’re living gratefully by seeing how our love multiplies itself in the lives of the people around us. People don’t follow vision; they follow availability.” -Bob Goff, founder of lovedoes.org Last week I rewarded myself for five days straight of computer-gnashing a.k.a. book writing, by getting a pedicure. I dropped into my usual place downtown, grateful they had an open chair. Deciding to switch up my summer electric blue, I reached for a new color before I sat down, something closer to candy apple red, in honor of fall. Instead of tapping on my tablet, playing Words with Friends (where my brother and…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Read & Pray in Your ‘Walking Around Life’

    I was going to subtitle this, “Will Jesus Still Love me if I Don’t Have ‘Quiet Time?” ‘cause I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately.  Don’t get me wrong—I’ve studied Psalm 119—I know God’s word is the compass for my life, that I can’t live without it. But sometimes life goes in a different direction. I remember the days when I was able to sit outside on my deck for an hour at a stretch, maybe three times a week, and just listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit speak. I wrote and wrote and wrote what I heard in those whispers on the wind to me. I…

  • Spiritual Practice

    On Prayer, Potatoes and Pulling Weeds

    I have two garden beds in my back yard—one a perennial bed of flowers, the other a 12×6 rectangle of mostly weeds. The flower bed is behaving as expected this time of year–peony shoots with their magenta spikes heading skyward, the clematis tendrils beginning to twirl up and around the bird gazebo. A ‘Sombrero’ Echinacea (bright orange) is just beginning to sneak back through the dirt and the columbine leaves are unfurling. The other space is a mostly weed bed formerly known as a vegetable garden. I have absolutely no illusions about actually planting a real garden this year, although I gave it a try. I recently impressed my friend…

  • Poetry,  Spiritual Practice

    Wait Training {a #poem}

    I want to fly these dumbbells up, down, up, down quick! The momentum of each lift rising at my side pushing past perhaps what’s safe or wise in the name of what? Speed or yes, the checklist-exercise- done! When I slow instead, face the window and raise these weighted arms slow, slow, slow-up; slow, slow, slow- down-the strain increases but the work muscle-wise is longer lasting. I feel the wait and wonder if speed is highly overrated. Aware of the answer, I rest into the process lifting again, lowering at my leisure. Repeat.Relax.Rest.Return. And find a lesson in these weights, an exercise written over taut skin, reaching to my soul.…

  • Spiritual Practice

    Summer is for Listening

    “My soul, wait silently for God alone; for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5 “How slow many are to learn that quietness is blessing, that quietness is strength, that quietness is the source of the highest activity–the secret of all true abiding in Christ! Let us try to learn it and watch out for whatever interferes with it.  The dangers that threaten the soul’s rest are many.”  Andrew Murray, “Abiding in Christ” I suppose it is a foolishness to think things are quieter in the Summer–school is out and children romp and play outside my window, noise floats in as games are won and lost in the streets below…