An Ascetics of Love

Few things are more awe-inspiring than witnessing human beings in full possession of their craft.  A classically trained pianist, fingers flying across the keys… a professional athlete, effortlessly combining strength, speed, power, and balance… a public speaker, drawing the audience into an idea, taking them to places mentally and emotionally…

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Words that Belong to Me

Not long ago I was preaching to a group of folks, and the experience was – well, less than what I would have hoped for. That always bugs me.  I feel like my main contribution to the world is words.  And when that’s not working quite right, it drives me up…

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A New Center

With some of the fasting I’ve done this Lent (and in the previous few months), one of the things I’ve noticed is that, as my appetites quiet, my heart becomes lively, joyful, and far more attentive and aware to what’s happening around me (as opposed to my more or less…

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Exposing the core… making possible sorrow and joy

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” – Psalm 51 A broken spirit.  That moment when you finally come to grips with the ugliest truths about yourself, and it causes unspeakable pain and remorse.  You have no more defense….

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Tips for Fasting, in Light of Lent

I’m doing a bit of fasting during Lent, along with several other Bloomers.  I am very much looking forward to what will occur in me (and us) through it. Now fasting went on the shelf for me for a good long while.  Was great at it in my teens and…

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Ashes to Ashes… Into the Life

Today is Ash Wednesday.  Around the world today, from every denominational and theological stripe, Christians will gather in churches to smear ashes on their heads, remember the primal turn away from God that blighted us with mortality, and begin to turn their hearts back to God, yet again.  Lent is a…

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Only in leisure

Hurry is a great enemy of the spiritual life. I know that I am approaching spiritual death when there are no non-purposive, non goal-oriented activities in my day.  When liesure is absent.  When I race through workouts, fail to really taste my food, am unmoved by the sight of a…

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