Relational Influence – being missional in Bend

This is something I put together for the church publication. Not the final edit… but it sums up what I am thinking about a lot of things.

My thoughts regarding my first writing for this publication center on the purpose I believe God has laid on my life for this time… and perhaps for the rest of my life even. It has been a process of letting go really… something that would not seem a logical progression as I spend an increasing amount of time in central Oregon. Shouldn’t we be growing and developing more structure and seeing more people and having more commitment and developing more leaders? This, to me, seems more like carrying more weight not less. So when I say I have been letting go, it feels like there is less structure, less people, and not the growth that I want much too desperately to have.

And yet, influence happens. Missional (the intentional “being out there… looking out there”) happens. And it is something that I have to let go of. I have to let go into the trusting, faithful, day-to-day reliance on God to use me in the face-to-face encounters of every day. This idea of influence is something that we as a Sunday night community have been praying about constantly and encouraging each other to see. Continue reading Relational Influence – being missional in Bend

Have Strength

eagle light
Do you not know, have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,

the creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He give strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary

and young men stumble and fall,

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings of eagles’

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.
Even to your old age and gray hairs,

I am he, I am he who will sustain you.

I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

Don’t need feet to dance

Once upon a time in a concentration camp there lived a prisoner who, even thought he was under sentence of execution, was fearless and free. One day he was seen in the middle of the prison square playing his guitar. A large crowd gathered to listen, for under the spell of the music, they became as fearless as he. When the prison authorities saw this, they forbade the man to play.

But the next day there he was again, singing and playing on his guitar with a larger crowd around him. The guards angrily dragged him away and hand his fingers chopped off.

Next day he was back, singing and making what music he could with his bleeding fingers. This time the crowds were cheering. The guards dragged him away again and smashed his guitar.

The following day he was singing with all his heart. What a song! So pure and uplifting! The crowd joined in, and while the singing lasted, their hearts became as pure as his and their spirits ans invincible. So angry were th guards this time that they had his tongue torn out. A hush descended on the camp, a something that was deathless.

To the astonishment of everyone, he was back at his place the next day swaying and dancing to a silent music that no one but he could hear. And soon everyone was holding hands and dancing around this bleeding, broken figure in the center while the guards stood rooted to the ground in wonder.

Sudha Chandran, a contemporary classical Indian dancer, was cut off in the prime of her dancing career – quite literally – when her right leg had to be amputated. After she had been fitted with an artificial leg, she went back to dancing and, incredibly, made it right back to the top again. When asked how she had managed it, she said quite simply, “You don’t need feet to dance.”

-Anthony de Mello, The Heart of the Enlightened

Grasping for trust

This Monday morning finds me frayed. I want so desperately to be on top of my game and able to say that I am doing something worthwhile, moving in the right direction, being a success… and all of this things are fleeting. I have no firm grasp on the “state of things” and “my place in this world.” All I have confidence in is that I am where God wants me to be and that it is my deepest desire to be true to living and leading like Jesus. This is all I have.
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And so I am grasping for trust. I want to trust that God will use me in a big way. No, not big in terms of numbers or size, but merely a significant way. I make some sort of difference… but I don’t know where to begin. All I know is to do what I can with what is placed in front of me. This is difficult for me now.

Fleeting… fleeting..

Spiritual Direction and reflections on Spirituality

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