Ask for that goat.

What are some of the good things of God that you would like to experience? What do you hope for? Do you seek those loving gifts from our heavenly Father? Or do you assume that such blessings will be withheld?  Despite God making God’s way to you in the person of Jesus, and offering you the purest expression of love and grace imaginable, do you still assume that you must earn your keep?

Revisiting a simple faith

Here's the truth of the matter: our life with God is simple.  Simplicity, as defined by Richard Foster, is a “single hearted focus on God and God’s kingdom.”  What this means is that we reach out to Jesus as the very basis of our lives.  This is where we start. Yes, external frameworks can help us, yet they must be secondary to our primary task of simply reaching out to Jesus.

The Blessing of Empty Churches

As a priest, I have witnessed myriads of strangers randomly stop by and ask to sit in the church. It happens more than one would think. They sit in silence, and leave in silence, often with some tears in their eyes. And because I give them space, never hovering over them or forcing a conversation, I have always wondered about their story. What drove them to sanctuary?  I now have a better understanding. I get it. Like a child who desperately needs the presence of a parent, sometimes we just need to sit in God’s house.

Just say “No”

If you are like me, the mere suggestion that we might say no to a request, particularly in the church, raises all sorts of objections. “I can’t do that – people are counting on me”, we might say. Yet what if this is but a mask? What if our refusal to say no is keeping us from going deeper in our relationship with the Lord? Like Mary sitting at the Lord’s feet, what if Jesus wants us to say no to other demands? What if Jesus is calling people to count on him and not on us?

Hold Your Questions

The questions we ask amid our discouragements are incredibly important. They point us to the where Jesus calls us to a deeper experience of himself. This means that the place of your discouragement, along with the question connected to it, may be a place of dislodging, and a time where you can grow more deeply into the person that Jesus is calling us to be.

Forgiven (even when I don’t feel it)

Every week we put out the garbage. We take the orange peels, the plastic wraps, the used yogurt containers, and place them in the bin outside the house. We remove the refuse from our lives. It might not be an enjoyable process to go through it, but it’s necessary. I don’t know about you, but I have yet to bring the garbage from the outside bin back into the house. I have never wanted to be re-surrounded by my old garbage. It just doesn’t happen. Why then do we do this with our spiritual lives?