Back in 2014 when I went with River Valley Church on Global Project Thailand, I remember being quite surprised by the process of reentry, returning from “field” work to home base. Since I’d been to both Thailand and to Minneapolis before (where I met my team and spent a month in Polar Vortex weather =| ) and had traveled widely, I didn’t really think much about reentry at the time. Unfortunately, I ended up quite overwhelmed by the adjustment process of returning from Thailand to my “temporary” home in Minneapolis and then to my “permanent” home in California. =\ It took me several weeks to fully recoup, reengage my community, and make heads or tails of my experience! Continue reading
“In Him was life, and His life was the Light of men… the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” –John 1:4, 9, 14
This Christmas season, my ministry travels have taken me to the land of the Midwest for visits, conversations, and times of encouraging the Body through the relationships God’s opened up for me in this region. While it’s strange to be away from home this year, God continues to reveal that home truly is wherever He is, and I know He’s with me here.
Last night, I got to visit a friend’s church to participate and support her as she led a “Christmas Quiet” time of Christian meditation for fellow members of her church community. We used the Ignatian spiritual exercise of meditating on a specific passage from the Scriptures (a key feature and distinctive in truly Christian meditation), this time holding in focus the account of Jesus’ birth from Luke 2 to see what God might want to say to and shape in each of us personally and collectively.
And what I found in this story I’ve read countless times over the years surprised me…
Over the past several days and weeks, I feel like our general (U.S.) American consciousness is being more and more awakened. We’ve witnessed recent world events that have really served to spotlight the issues of the years of unrest and injustice in Syria (and, if I may add, other places like it).
I just finished reading a thoughtful article about the missional component of the current Syrian situation (Thanks, Facebook friend!). As the author of the above article writes, by inviting more refugees from a geographical context that is, at best, less open to Christianity (or, at worst, outright hostile as reported by news outlets like WSJ and the Independent) to one where it is freely practiced, it’s true: we’re offering not just a safe place to live, but the opportunity to more readily learn of and choose to follow Jesus.
But when I consider the situation going on today in Syria and related parts of the world, I really think there are multiple layers to address, not just one. And so there are a host of questions weighing on my heart and mind. Continue reading
This early morning, my thoughts lead me to reflect on those times when our work, our efforts, no matter how well intentioned or focused, dedicated or talent filled, only result in nothing. You know? When you’ve been steadily hard at work but just spinning your wheels? After hours upon hours, months and months of diligent effort? Doing all you know how to do in your current situation and yet nothing comes of it? What then? Continue reading