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March 27, 2022

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Nathan DH

How well I know this experience. My family would come to colorado each summer to awe at "creation" and yet somehow had no relationship with creation herself--just the objectified and somehow also spiritualized idea of it. We loved it as an it.

One thing I don't really understand...I have a sense that those bible verses and hymns, when originally written, expressed something direct and holy, the kind of unfiltered rapture at beauty you were seeking to keep unmediated. But then those same expressions of the real somehow get taken up by a colonial culture and stripped of their raw truth until they become just another deadening tool of empire. I don't understand why or how that happens, but I think it's tragic. I think that's probably part of why centering prayer appeals to many of us exvangelicals though -- it gives us direct spiritual experience that shortcuts all the crap in our heads.

Anyways, this is really good.

Kimberley Lorden

It sounds like you were eating a meal and your mind went back to the menu. The menu is useful, it guides and hints and maybe records others' thoughts about the meal. But while you are savoring the meal, actually being nourished and fed and in fellowship with the feast-Maker, then a habitual hyper-focus on the menu can diminish the holiness of the gift of that moment.

I had to start in nature, and add poetry ("Diary of an Old Soul" by George MacDonald was helpful), classical music, and art. And then I prayed for life and Scripture to regain its mystery for me. Someone said, "To analyze something, you have to hunt it down and kill it and pin it to a board." I had done that with Scripture and Christianity until it felt dead to me.

I really think my brain had to heal. The part of my brain that could access God needed to be restored to life. I couldn't do it. Thank God, He did over time. He used Wellspring Church too -- sometimes we have to re-enter His presence through another door.

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Words make Worlds...

  • "It becomes so clear to me as I grow older that people who change, and keep changing, are the only people who grow up." -Richard Rohr
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." -John Wooden
  • "Receptivity without confrontation leads to a bland neutrality that serves nobody. Confrontation without receptivity leads to an oppressive aggression which hurts everybody." - Henri Nouwen
  • "Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of spirituality begins where we are now in the mess of our lives." -Mike Yaconelli
  • "But that doesn’t mean community is easy. For everything in this world tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together." -Shane Claiborne
  • "Nothing that we despise in the other man is entirely absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do, and more in light of what they suffer." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." Albert Einstein
  • "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
  • "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." -Dr. Martin Luther King
  • "Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful--- Christian community is the final apologetic." -Francis Schaefer
  • "It is not allowable to love the Creation according to the purposes one has for it, any more than it is allowable to love one’s neighbor in order to borrow his tools." Wendell Berry
  • "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers. Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than the particular country in which he was born." -Francois Fenelon
  • "Ministry cannot be about maintenance, but it is about gathering, about embrace, about welcoming home all sorts of and conditions of people; home is a place for mother tongue, of basic soul food, of old stories told and treasured, of being at ease, known by name, belonging without qualifying for membership." -Walter Brueggemann
  • "Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get round to being the particular poet or particular monk that they are intended to be by God." "In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be." -Thomas Merton
  • "God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and God's been speaking through them ever since. So, if God chooses to speak through you don't think to highly of yourself." -Rich Mullins
  • "We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us." Mother Teresa
  • "I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self." Henri Nouwen

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