Through the Thorns…

Unfit to Mother – by Mama Faith

I grew up in a home that was busy, and loud, and chaotic, and loud, and stressful…and did I mention that it was loud?  My father was a “yeller”.  You know the kind; he was the type of man who got frustrated easily, who struggled to make it up the corporate ladder, who overextended himself in his commitments, and who took out his frustrations from all of these things on his family.  Don’t get me wrong…I knew that he loved me.  I have amazing memories of my Daddy that include him taking me to mother-daughter girl scout camp when my Mom was too sick to go, throwing a softball around at the local park, and bike riding together on the weekends.  He wasn’t what I would call affectionate, but he loved me and I knew that.  But what I also knew is that he got angry easily and so I spent my childhood walking around on eggshells Read more…

“Blessed are those who Mourn”, A Poem by Eugene Peterson

Blessed are those who Mourn

Flash floods of tears, torrents of them,
Erode cruel canyons, exposing
Long forgotten strata of life
Laid down in the peaceful decades;
A badlands beauty. The same sun
That decorates each day with colors
From arroyos and mesas, also shows
Every old scar and cut of lament.
Weeping washes the wounds clean
And leaves them to heal, which always
Takes an age or two. No pain
Is ugly in past tense. Under
The mercy every hurt is a fossil
Link in the great chain of becoming.
Pick and shovel prayers often
Turn them up in valleys of death.

– Eugene Peterson, from The Contemplative Pastor

The Terrible Mirror – by Samuel

mirror

“The Distracted Pastor”; that’s me.  As I meander through life, I seem to be in a constant battle for dominance over my own mind.  Everywhere I go and everywhere I look, I am met with myriad distractions, all of them vying for my time and attention to the detriment of all else. Social media, television, the internet, my latest hobby obsession, a novel; all of these things have at one time or another been more important than family, ministry, myself, and even God. Read more…

In the Midst of Loss…

This is what it’s all about.  A must watch.

It is Good for Me that I was Afflicted – by Kevin

It is good for me that I was afflicted,
that I might learn your statutes.

Psalm 119:71 (ESV)

What is the meaning of this verse? A few years ago this verse would have completely confounded my thought process. In the last three years I have really struggled with these words of truth. How can it ever be good to be afflicted? Why would a loving God… a “Father God” allow His child to struggle in pain and suffering? How could a God who allows such a thing truly be good?

My name is Kevin. I am 26 years old, but at times I feel like I am going through the degenerative process of what the author of Ecclesiastes calls the ‘evil days’. Read more…

The Domino Effect of Affirmation

The Domino Effect of Affirmation.

On the Mountain – by Samuel

IMG_1030Setting sun behind an oak

Yesterday was a great day.  My wife and kids went down to my parents’ home in Dana Point to visit and to watch the Academy Awards, and they would be gone all day.  Seeing as how I am not a huge fan of the Hollywood scene, I took this as an opportunity to spend some time in solitude, a Christian discipline that has been sorely lacking in my busy and hectic life.  But, as I have found, solitude without silence is almost worthless.  Typically, I am just as distracted and busy as I normally am, just alone, as I sit in the house with the TV, video games, the internet, social media, hobbies, books, e-mail, and a myriad other things vying for my attention.  And herein lies my problem. Read more…

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