Category: Story

Book Review: “The Art of Possiblity” by Ben and Rosamund Zander

Story

Book Review: “The Art of Possiblity” by Ben and Rosamund Zander

Paradigms.

They stick to us like that glue that comes with packaged toys that you pull off one finger just to find it stuck to another. The more you try to discard it, the more it seems to hang on for its life. That’s how paradigms work, they just don’t want to die or be replaced. Paradigms are necessary storage spaces for our beliefs and attitudes, but they can also blind us and take away promise and hope for something better. When I accept my paradigms as the only way of life, not only I suffer, but also those around me.

Paradigm Shifts.

They are uncomfortable, even painful at times. I hang on to my paradigms because they work for me. They are the canvas upon which I paint my life and I like their colors. I may have a clue that they are unhealthy and damaging, but I do not want to move from my comfort zone to the place of the unknown, so I just live in my paradigms. They are not necessarily world-views and they are not even Biblical. I have simply found a way to make them work for me. I get anxious when someone challenges them, but… Continue reading

The Other Side of Pain

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The Other Side of Pain

Hope Through Pain

Ahhhhhh!  I was running late again!  I tried to get there in time to watch my oldest girl cartwheel and roundoff at her tumbling class.  My meeting ran late, traffic was bad and I went to the wrong gym to catch the tail end of my boys basketball practice.  So I was a little winded when I climbed the stairs that led up to the room where I found my daughter’s best friend’s mom watching the activities from above.

I sat beside her and asked how she was?  We chit-chatted about the holidays and family in town and work and such.  Then I remembered that she had recently had a bout with Cancer and questions began to distract me from our casual conversation.  What must it be like to return for a third visit to the family doctor with that news?  Imagine yourself sitting across the table from the man who had written your family dozens of prescriptions for colds and flus, allergies and infections.  Such simple fixes.  Such easy answers.  And now he has no … Continue reading

True Sabbath and The Idolatry of “Doing”

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True Sabbath and The Idolatry of “Doing”

I found this in my journal, written on September 12, 2007. This was just less than 2 months before my life fell apart. In hindsight, is was God preparing me for what was to come. He is Faithful…

AND, I needed this journal entry today!

The soulish are second to none in the matter of works. They are most active, zealous and willing. But they do not labor because they have received God’s order, they labor instead because they have zeal and capacity so to do. They believe doing God’s work is good enough, unaware that only the labor of God’s appointment is truly commendable.
– Watchman Nee (The Spiritual Man, Vol. 1)

And so goes my struggles! The idolatry of “doing”.

Julie is driving and we’re being transported from hospitality to productivity (south to north) in a hunk of metal on wheels propelled by liquid that is extracted from below the surface of the Earth and injected into a plethora of parts designed to interdependently function as a vehicle to speed up time and allow us to pack more stuff into a life that is too short anyway. If you add up all the… Continue reading

True Adventure is in Reckless Abandon

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True Adventure is in Reckless Abandon

Spoiler Alert: This is the last chapter of the book! (Wink and Smile)

True Adventure is in Reckless Abandon

What if… Why not? (the book) is filled with stories of how I deeply found God over 7 trips to Alaska. But the book is not about Alaska, and although the stories are mine, it is not about me. The book is about reckless abandon to all that God has for you! This is the last chapter. I share it because most will never read the book, but the message is paramount! Dive headlong into your “What ifs…”.

Enjoy!

My first trip to Alaska was not the beginning of the stories; it was simply the gateway into the rest. I cannot even begin to explain how that first journey has affected every aspect of my life since we set out in the ARK02 with the three gypsies. I moved to Florida, finished Bible college, helped plant a church in Colorado, chose my wife, tweaked my life goals, developed a philosophy of … Continue reading

Faith Story

Lessons Learned from a Passing Friend

Every once in a while one person makes a difference.

Steve Dean was my friend. Not just the “see you around town and chat a bit” friend, but the “see you for who you are and care” friend. Steve was a pastor and two of his congregants worked for me at the little consignment shop. I noticed what a huge impact he had on these two guys and how they were living far above where they would have been without Steve. I asked them about their parents and found out that their parents had also been impacted by Steve. None of these folks had a very “churchy” air about them, but they knew God deeply. That made me very curious.

The first time I really got to know Steve was on a three-day spiritual retreat. Both of us had pastoral roles and we served together as spiritual directors at the Walk to Emmaus. I tend to be a much more reserved person in public, so I often observe what’s going on around me. I watched Steve pour himself completely out for the sake of every single man at that retreat. I watched him view each one as equal to all the others. I saw him bring himself down to earth with honesty about his struggles and hope for redemption of failure. Whenever I see someone do that well, I know they have spent some time in the pit. That kind of relating to folks only comes through personal brokenness.

And then we talked. Way into the night. About issues that you only share with a very few. It was one of those talks where he felt as impacted as I and vice-versa. Mutual care, mutual love, mutual hope.

Over the course of the next months, I connected with Steve regularly and we even collaborated on some mutual projects. He even worked in the little consignment shop for a while. We walked through life together. When he came into my… Continue reading

Navigating the Transitions of Life

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Navigating the Transitions of Life

I had never met her before.

Her son came into our consignment shop to talk to me about downsizing her estate so she could move into a 900 square foot assisted living apartment from her 3,000 square foot home of 42 years. He was a little impatient and bothered by the process, but he was so thankful to find help with the massive undertaking.

As I walked through her front door two days later, she reached out and pulled me into a huge bear hug as tears gently formed along her bottom eyelids. I hugged her back. Not with an emotional attachment, she was a complete stranger to me. But as one who understood the tearing apart of a person and the things that represented the sum of her life. Her attachment was not to the things themselves , but to the memories those things carried. … Continue reading

Thank God for the Fleas: The Power of Radical Gratitude

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Thank God for the Fleas: The Power of Radical Gratitude

gratitude

The Late Corrie Ten Boom

This guest post was written by Cynthia Beaudry who lives with her husband Brian and her dog Penny in Portland, Oregon.

I used to feel sorry for myself.

Like all of time, in fact. And when I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself I was trying to manipulate those around me to do the same.  Honestly, it was because it seemed that nothing ever came easy in my life.

And because of that I spent a lot of time in victim mode.

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Frederick Buechner on Marriage

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Frederick Buechner on Marriage

Frederick Buechner on Marriage

They say they will love, comfort, honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even—for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health—when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make at a marriage could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together in ways that are even more painful to unbind emotionally, humanly, than they are to unbind legally. The question is, what do they get in return?

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