Posts Tagged ‘New Years’

Thought for 2019: Learning to Give in New Ways

Monday, December 31st, 2018

As 2018 draws to a close today, our thoughts inevitably turn to the year ahead.  And maybe we can hold, on this promising threshold, the beautifully disruptive challenge to learn to give in new ways in 2019.

For context: I struggle, as many people do, with the pressing question of “Am I doing enough?”  Most days, the answer is “no.”  We offer that answer of “no” and people tend to reply back with a loving but I believe ultimately misguided answer “Of course you are!”

That answer “Of course you are!”, though comforting and at times necessary, is not how the world gets better.  Not how we find or offer healing.  Not how we find each other again and again.

The answer of “No, I can do more” if held without guilt, or worry, but instead tenderly held with a smile around the knowing promise that we are presented in nearly every moment the blessed opportunity to choose love and connection, is actually a life giving answer,  focusing, opening us to the moment and away from the score card and the agenda of both misplaced and at times over emphasized self-care.

How do I give more in new ways IN THIS MOMENT?  Now there is a question!

That is not a frenetic, draining search.  It is, in a fascinating twist, a question of faith.  Can we have faith, in the year ahead, that God will place us in the worlds he intends us to heal?  When there, can we have the faith to live fully and completely, giving of ourselves?  Can we have faith in the gifts God will ALWAYS allow to flow, both directions?   Can we have faith, to learn new ways to give?

We can!  And every time we do, the light grows a bit brighter…



A New Year’s Wish

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

In a recent blog post Seth Godin noted how we respond most readily to “close and now.”  We ignore what is not.

And yet so many of the challenges we face are neither “close” or “now.”  Issues spanning from global warming to damaged relationships, we prefer, sadly to push off with shallow hope to some never arrived at future when we believe we will finally be able to say, “Now I have time.”

But “time” never arrives.  So “attention” never arrives.  So “healing” never arrives.  And we are left with spinning lives no more at peace for all the frantic efforts at distraction.

A simple New Year’s Wish… that we draw our lives, our true lives, our this-is-what-actually-matters-lives, into the “close and now.”  We don’t need to take all that movement in in one bite.  But we can find one small piece, a quiet piece, one “micro-resolution” as a dear friend calls it, and practice there.  Close and now.

Miracles I think … where there is nothing but stone and rock we find a soft pocket, soft soil.  A place where a seed can land.  A place where growth can happen.  Not all at once.  But given a space, it starts.

Blessings on 2015!



Ten Wishes for 2014

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Wishes for 2014 …

  1. Reminders that the Christian life settles on loving, caring, and doing
  2. Presence to both the unanticipated joys and unwanted sorrows that await 2014
  3. Wisdom to humbly discern the need to move away from “fixing” and “helping” and instead move towards “serving.”
  4. Interruptions that call us out of self and towards others
  5. Balance between work, family, and the quiet spaces
  6. Perspective to keep the storms that surround us in their right place, neither nothing nor everything
  7. Faith that centers on where we always know God to be … “a love that stretches towards the future”
  8. Discipline towards the hard work into those areas where self sacrifice, self discipline are needed
  9. Joy abounding around the gracious opportunities God has placed before us in the New Year
  10. Generosity, simplicity, connection, service

And of course another Super Bowl for the Steelers would be beautiful too!

Blessings my dear friends on 2014.


Predictions for 2012

Friday, December 30th, 2011

The role of a pastor is far more about walking with people in the present than about predicting the future! That being said, maybe there is some value in offering a few thoughts about 2012.

Economic Dislocation Will Continue
We are in a time of sea-change. Many of these shifts I believe are permanent and will create not only anxiety but dislocation. And the fact is that humanity does very well, usually, at the rock bottom. We figure it out. (Sounds crazy right!) I think that happens because we start looking for places other than our pocketbook for meaning. As Richard Rohr notes “in desperate and dark situations where the old god doesn’t work anymore, the old self and the old attitudes don’t work anymore. “Our gods much each die until we find the True God.” Each dying god is another darkness and another death.” Finding the True God is HOPE.

Expect To See Signs Of Hope
The hope will not come in ever expanding financial resources. It will come, I believe, in a “settling.” Love whispers. Fear screams. Love will whisper some powerful messages in 2012!

Live Into Solutions
And if you are reading this, you are part of the solution. Live into it. There is a lot of work ahead. NewChurch LIVE is just one part of a different sea-change, a different shift that will meet new economic realities through alternative offerings. We are in the end to be just that – an alternative – an alternative to fear, anxiety, hatred, and need.

We are ready for 2012! May God bless your journey. May God bless this congregation. May God bless this world.