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THE WONDER OF THE PRESENT

Stillness and silence are rare in a world of clamoring noise and distraction. 

Enter in and be quiet. 

Be still.

Inhale. 

Exhale. 

Experience the wonder of the present. God is here.

AN EXAMEN OF 2012 | LOOKING TO 2013

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Christmas is drawing near and 2012 is coming to a close, bringing a new year and some new rhythms for 2013. What new rhythms does this bring to your personal Rule of Life? What rhythms will mark your life in 2013 as you look to a new year?

If you find it helpful, use this year end ‘Examen’ (click here for the PDF Year End Examen 2012) to remember and reflect upon what God has done in your life in 2012. And let that influence your desires, longings, and intentions for the coming year. Grab a journal, a hot cup of tea, and see what the Lord has in store for you as you ‘Examen’ your life.

Blessings to you and yours!

YOUR PERSONAL RULE OF LIFE

YOUR PERSONAL RULE OF LIFE

Your personal rule of life is just that….yours…and personal! God has beautifully and wonderfully made you as a unique person. And thus, you’re wired and fashioned like no other human being on the planet. How incredible is that?!

The above example not only represents a personal rule of life…it represents a unique expression of one’s rule. Everyone seems to have their own way of crafting and shaping their rule. And we most certainly celebrate and rejoice in that! When you begin crafting your own rule, however, we recommend the ‘grid.’ It’s extremely helpful to those who are just beginning their journey.

But once you’ve lived with a rule for many years (as our friend has done), you may find the freedom to express and display your rule in similar fashion. Bottom line–whatever works for you…go for it!

May you continue living fully in the life that God is inviting you into. And may you find great joy as you journey on the well-ordered way!

Blessings to you!

** Click here for more unique examples and templates to help you create your own Rule of Life.

ADVENT: GOD WITH US

A wonderful video by The Village Church to remind us of the beauty of Advent. Watch. Wait. Remember the First Advent. And may you long for the Second Advent of our Lord.

AN ADVENT RETREAT

With the beginning of Advent just a few days away, we invite you to consider an Advent-focused retreat to meditate on the coming of our Lord. To help, Leadership Transformations has created a retreat guide with this purpose in mind. You can check it out here. There are retreat guides for individual and group use…so feel free to invite others to join you in your retreat!

Blessings to you as you journey through this season of longing and hopeful anticipation!

 

A Quiet Place of Rest

 

A quiet place of rest.

A posture of listening and waiting.

A soul that has been stilled before the Lord.

Serenity. Peace.

Assurance.

Hope.

May you find sometime this week to find a quiet place where you can experience the very near presence of God. May it be part of your spiritual rhythm and life in the Triune God.

LIVING IN COMMUNITY

Do you live in community with others? Community seems to be a “buzz-word” over the past few years–often overused or misunderstood. But very honestly, would you ask yourself, “Am I truly living?” And then ask yourself, “Am I truly living in community?”

Truly living means that we fully become the person/people that God intends for us to become. We discern our false self from our true self. We walk in full assurance of our identity as a redeemed and beloved Child of God. We discover our gifts; we learn to listen and love; we confess and repent of our sinful deeds. This kind of life is best and most fully lived in the context of a Christian, spiritual community. So ask yourself, are you truly living? And, are you doing so in community?

Busyness. Fear of man. Fear or intimacy. Past wounds and pain. Prejudice. Arrogance. Each of these can keep us from authentically engaging in community.

But when we lay these aside, we are able to enter into intimacy with one another that “brings out the very best of what God desires to create, redeem, sustain or transform in our daily lives” (Crafting A Rule of Life, Macchia, 153). Indeed, we not meant to live in a “It’s just me and Jesus” mentality. No, we were meant to truly and fully live in community with one another. We come alive as we learn to live in community together.

As you create or re-evaluate your personal rule of life, would you consider how you are receiving God’s invitations to truly live in authentic community? Are you overcommitted and, therefore, unable to engage in community? Have you been hurt by a community before and find it too painful to re-enter? Are you prejudice towards those who are unlike you? Inquire of the Lord if there is anything that is keeping you from truly living in community with the people of God.

May we all be marked with humility as we seek to live together in the spiritual communities the Lord would have for us. May we learn to listen to and love one another well. And may we find ourselves truly living as we abide in community together. 

 

OPEN DOORS

We certainly know several purposes of a door–security, warmth, separation, privacy, etc. But a door may also represent a place of invitation. I’m sure you’ve said it before to someone else “I’m just praying for an open door.” And what most people are communicating in such a statement is this: “I’m looking for the right invitation that the Lord would have me to receive.”

The reality of our lives is certain: many doors are open to us and many invitations have our names on them. But discerning which door(s) to walk through and which invitation(s) to receive is much more difficult. It takes patience, quiet and prayerful reflection, deep discernment, and a true trust in the Sovereign God.

So, we encourage you to consider which doors the Lord may be asking you to open and walk through; which invitations are of and from the Lord? And which ones are for you (specifically) to receive?

Perhaps it’s a move to a new town…initiating a new friendship…taking better care of your physical body…engaging in a new rhythm of prayer…embracing the sabbath more fully.

As you look at this image, would you prayerfully consider which open doors the Lord would have you step through? Which invitations are of and from the Lord–that He would have you joyfully receive?

Blessings to you!

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MONDAY….AGAIN?

It’s Monday morning. 9:59 AM EST.

Have you had a frustrated and hurried morning? A disastrous circus of getting kids out the door to catch the bus? Is there a pile of emails awaiting you? A long to-do list that has likely spilled over from last week into this week?Maybe you have a dreadful work situation; unfriendly co-workers; a less-than-fulfilling occupation.

Monday morning can truly be a drag and dreaded occasion…we all know that. And especially if you expect it to be such. 

But instead, what if you saw it in this light:

A new day of life; a thing of beauty; a gift; a grace. A beautiful, gracious gift. Monday? Really?

May you receive this day as a beautiful, gracious gift from a loving and kind Heavenly Father. May you find renewed strength this Monday in remembering the promised presence of our God. He is WITH YOU! And He longs to strengthen your feeble knees and restore your weary soul. Trust in the Lord; Find rest in God alone; Receive His good gifts and live in the abundance of His goodness–giving thanks and celebrating a new day.

Blessings and a happy Monday!

 

 

 

A QUIET PLACE

When is the last time that you found a quiet place to commune with God?

Putting away the distractions of technology.

Creating both an internal and external silence.

Journaling.

Listening.

Inhaling.

Exhaling.

Watching.

Waiting.

Resting.

We encourage you to re-engage the practice of a soul care day if it has been some time since you have found a quiet place to deepen your intimacy with God. May some of these images serve as an invitation towards a spacious encounter with God.

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