Posts Tagged ‘Connection’

The Blessed Space

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Blessed space.  Much of the spiritual life is finding blessed space.  And one of those spaces is the space between Christianity and culture.

It is not a distance colored by anger or judgment or righteousness.  It is a quiet distance God-born of newer allegiances to higher angels, to larger purposes, to wider circles of community.

And what does this blessed space create?

[It] breaks through our self enclosed worlds creating a personality enriched by otherness – a rich personality because others are reflected in it in a particular way. (Volf)

A connectedness that is heaven.  A connectedness that circles us right back deeply into the world but not “of the world.”

A Hole That Might Just Not Get Filled

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Self Esteem is a hole that might just not get filled.  Ever.

We continue to dump more and more into it.  But the “bottom is out of the bucket” so to speak.  Lot of filling but no filling at the same time.

I think these words by Father Richard Rohr however offer a critical shift….

John of the Cross [author of "The Dark Night of the Soul] understood the true meaning of humility, which is not self-deprecation or low self-esteem, but a simple acknowledgment that I am very small, quickly passing, and insignificant as a separate self. That is just objective truth. Our dignity and sacredness precisely comes from our connection. With this deep and experienced and inherent connection, John was free to rest in a union that could not be taken from him.

So we find self esteem far differently than how we imagined.  We find it through connection.  Through connection with God and others, connections through which we find our true selves.  And a miracle – that kind of “finding” comes because we are not actually looking any more!  The self esteem question now asleep.  We are too busy joyously connecting to give the question time anymore.   And we know this: “The Lord is present with you the moment you start to love the neighbor.” (Secrets of Heaven 904)


Living in a Connection Economy

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Economic shifts paralyze many of us with fear.  So many appear ominous.  The “security” of older generation is long gone.  What replaced those comfortable “knowns” of previous decades  is often times uncertain and challenging.  And at the same time, promising.

We live now within a connection economy. How do we prosper in that world?  Seth Godin ….

Enrich your world by creating value for others.

Enrich your health by walking twenty minutes a day.

Enrich your community by contributing to someone, without keeping score.

Enrich your relationships by saying what needs to be said.

Enrich your standing by trusting someone else.

Enrich your organization by doing more than you’re asked.

Enrich your skills by learning something new, something scary.

Enrich your productivity by rejecting false shortcuts.

Enrich your peace of mind by being trusted.

The connection economy pays dividends in ways that the industrial one rarely did.

And here is the smile … it is a world uniquely tailored for churches … provided we ask how to better connect, not how to  better control.

This is not America

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Dr. Janis Orlowski, the chief operating officer of MedStar Washington Hospital Center, offered the following words in the wake of the shooting in Washington.

“There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate… There’s something wrong here when we have these multiple shootings, these multiple injuries. There is something wrong, and the only thing that I can say is we have to work together to get rid of it. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots…. [This is] a challenge to all of us…. This is not America.”

Many of us harbor that same vague disquiet.   I read of violence and mass causalities … this is not America.  I read of record economic inequality and pastor to middle age workers with diminishing hope of gainful employment … this is not America.  I read that “twerping” was the most googled terms several weeks ago … this is hopefully not America!

How do we then weave a platform for the future?  Connection.   That is the place to stand, the place to exercise our disciplined talents in its pursuit.  One author, Seth Godin, phrased it this way.  Connection … “the thoughtful, patient, mature, and modern approach wins out.  Because connection is built on trust and generosity, not on snark and short terms wins.” If as Swedenborg believed “Heaven is the only basis for our continued existence”, there is no shorter path to heaven than connection.

Churches play a huge role in that arena of self-less connection.  We not only invite all to the table, all to connect, but likewise carry an awareness of who is missing.