Friday, May 22, 2015

Anam Cara - Everyone

Most of us will never be famous as authors or speakers.  People won't be seeking us out for our wisdom or spiritual direction.  However, everyone one of us not only needs our own personal anam cara (soul friend), but there is at least one other person out there who needs us too.

All the conferences, seminars, books, etc may have their collective worth, but none of it approaches the intimate, nurturing relationship of an anam cara.  The one-on-one place of sanctuary, of safety, is the heart of discipleship in Christ Jesus too.

To be blunt, we all need someone who will lovingly let us bleed and vomit all over them.  This is the way to inner healing of the heart and soul.  This is the intimacy the Lover of our souls intends for each of us, it transcends the world and things of the world, and takes us into the Kingdom of the heavens.  It is where and when we become Christ to one another.

May you find an anam cara, may you be anam cara to another.

�� }:-

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Community - Intimacy - Discipleship -

Lately, I have been experiencing a deeper "hearing" from God in both the quiet, but also in the midst of gut wrenching ministry.  I have tried to capture what He is teaching in these notes below:

Imitating Jesus in discipleship requires intentional hard work.  We cannot nor should not expect to make disciples the way Jesus did.  First of all because of His Divine nature He knew His disciples intimately, more so than we can ever hope to with those we disciple.  Secondly, and again due to His divinity, He could disciple several people intimately, yet at the same time.  So, what are we to do?!

Well to start with we need to recognize there is a cost in obedience that cannot be avoided in discipleship.  If we expect Christ to make disciples, to build His Church through us, we must count the cost, then be intentionally obedient in love and submission to Him.  Yes, there will be learning on our part to establish a knowledge base for "teaching them to obey all I have commanded".  We may participate in programs, systems, etc that help equip us, but there will be a deeper, more time (and heart) consuming cost that is actually the greater progenitor of any success we may hope for.

Do not be mistaken, there can be no true discipleship without intimacy.  And that intimacy for us mere humans is primarily found in one-on-one relationships where trust and safety are nurtured.  There may be moments of intimacy in small groups, but we all know that it is much easier to be vulnerable and authentic with one person in whom we trust and feel safe.  This is the all-important phase that I believe is the heart of true discipleship, but which is also missing from most books, systems, etc of western discipleship. The term my wife and I prefer for this intimacy in discipleship is "anam cara", the Celtic (Gaelic) for soul friends.  It implies a close personal relationship that sits under the headship and love of Christ.

So, where does this leave our churches and pastors?  Well clearly they are where and in whom the process, the journey of discipleship starts.  But recalling "the priesthood of all believers" there is also a clear call to each and every one of us to eventually enter into an "anam cara" relationship with at least one other person.  There may exist within anam cara a mentor/mentee relationship, but Christ is still our teacher and guide.  These relationships will see blessings and growth for both discipler and disciples.

If you are a pastor, you owe it to yourself and Christ to encourage every member of your congregation to seek out their anam cara.  Prayer for God's provision and guidance is of course essential here, and then our active "waiting upon the LORD".  No pastor is capable of being all things to the congregation, and every follower of Jesus must be personally obedient in love to His commands and commission.

This then is where and how Christ will make all things new through His Body, the Church.  This is where and how we personally participate in that divine ushering in of the "already, not yet" Kingdom of God.

}:-

#saveyourpastor #blessyourselfandothers

And this too:

Caregiving - "bear one another's burdens"

This is a difficult but JOYful book about a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, yet heavenly ministry.  Where suffering and love is a Cosmic collision, a divine fusion.  }:-

http://www.amazon.com/Spirituality-Caregiving-Henri-Nouwen/dp/0835810453/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1428421087&sr=1-1&keywords=spirituality+of+caregiving

We are all called, or will be, to the ministry of "wounded healer" during our lifetime to at least one other person.

It is indeed difficult and emotionally draining, this heavenly ministry.  No one person should endeavor to enter in without counting the cost, and also never to do so with too many people at once.  This is clearly why we all need each other, and why pastors and counselors burn out and crash.  This is why the Church, the Body of Christ is present in the world, and we must all do our part.

I am reminded of a beloved pastor and Brother who taught a lesson on "burden vs load".  We are taught by Jesus to carry one another's burdens, but there is a "way" to "balance" that burden so it does not become a load we cannot bear.

"My yoke is easy and my burden is light."  Remembering that a yoke is a walking instrument for following (walking with) Jesus.  In this way, our burden remains light as we live out our Lord's teachings from the Sermon on the Mount.

May God speak His Truth and encouragement to you in these reflections from a humble, broken but mending Brother.  }:- ��

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Short Term Missions


I know a lot of people who are not going to "like" this, but it is good sound advice and the truth besides.
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/reject-apathy/things-no-one-tells-you-about-going-short-term-mission-trips#VU29LC25TZkPmtCk.01
#shortermissionvacations

Friday, June 27, 2014

Am I an author or a writer?


http://www.storey-lines.com/2013/04/writer-vs-author-whats-the-difference/

Well, that didn't really help.  I have written for many different reasons, and I have even published along the way.  So, I guess I'm a writer and an author?  Of course most of the time I'm a storyteller, where does that leave me?

Two books are rather continuous works in progress.  The first and most lengthy is an autobiographical historical fiction project.  A collection of stories (originally improvised and spontaneous storytellings) that have emerged throughout my life from early childhood to today.  The title has changed numerous times, and probably will not eventually be any of those, which will instead be chapter titles.  Currently, the title is "Clan to Tribe" and involves a great deal of research and travel tracing Celtic and later Native American heritage.  Much of the earlier work came under the pen name "Anon E. Moose", or simply "anonemoose", and included short stories from an underground (literally) publication called The Monthly Magpie, published at the Magpie Diggins (Camp Kohler) by Richard Mahler.

The second work is in the spiritual formation genre, working title is "PnP On The Road - A Journey of Hope".  This project didn't start until I reached my thirties; married and raising kids.  It continues alongside the other "memoir" as a compatible complement.  Hmm, who knows, maybe they will eventually be blended into one publication?  However, that will remain someone else's (one of my kids?) responsibilities should they choose to do so?

As I always love to say when people ask me if I'm going to "write a book", "It's being written all the time on the pages of my life."

 };-) anonemoose aka da Moose

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Three In One, One In Three, Holy Trinity -


Isn't it interesting how new age & Unitarian types will tolerate, even embrace all other religions and gods, but really disdain Christianity and true followers of Jesus?
The "exclusive" faith that is all inclusive in its invitation is too demanding in its obedience to surrender and Lordship for most. Even those who claim to be Christians will craft their own "God" to satisfy their own wishes and desires, rather than submit themselves to the One True God's Truth and Duscipline.
The "Shema" itself is too demanding in submission and dependence on God for even the Jews.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
Exodus 20:1-6 "And God spoke all these words: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before me. ‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."
John 14:6 "Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"
Hopefully, your own "faith journey" will eventually lead you to the "Journey of Faith" that leads to the One True God and His Kingdom. The Lover and Creator of your soul seeks you, turn your eyes and heart toward Him and find Peace and contentment, your true identity and meaning for this life and the next.
Or, keep wandering in the desert of the "burning man" . . . you do have a choice, choose wisely, not foolishly.
};-) the Moose who wanders no more, but walks in His Father's garden . . .

Friday, May 30, 2014

Persecution

It's been promised by Christ, and it often comes from those within the "church".  The only recourse for those who desire to follow Jesus is to keep our eyes firmly focused on Him alone; immersed in God's Word and listening as best we can to His Spirit.  Always, always seeking to imitate Jesus in humility, love, grace, mercy and compassion . . . while still holding to our faith and speaking the Truth in that same love.  It is not an easy cross to bear, we do it only in His Strength.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.





on being "kicked out" of yet another church for disagreeing with some of their fine print and doctrine . . . yes indeed, Lord have mercy . . .

Saturday, March 29, 2014

PnP - we are not the thing


PnP - we are not the thing, but God often uses us to make the thing happen. };-)
Conduit: a pipe or tube through which something (such as water or wire) passes
: someone or something that is used as a way of sending something (such as information or money) from one place or person to another.
Connector (social): people with wide social circles. They are the "hubs" of the human social network and responsible for the small world phenomenon.
Linchpin: a person or thing that holds something together : the most important (but often unnoticed) part of a complex situation or system.
Hinge or hinge pin (social): person, point or circumstance on which subsequent events depend.
Hmmm, maybe there are spiritual gifts there? ��������
(Patti being more the latter two, Pat the first two?)