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Welcome!

Welcome to my blog site! I am thankful you are here and hopeful you will find the content engaging. 

That word life says it all. I realize it is broad but if we place the adjective real ahead of the noun life it really can change the conversation. 

So, let’s try to do just that and let’s invite others to join in the discussion with us. 

You and me, we can make a difference, real life awaits!

MC

WHAT ABOUT FAITH? (Part 5)

Greetings all. I’ve been a wee bit absent these past several weeks. Like the pretentious Priest, Father Guido Sarduci on Saturday Night Live used to say, “I blame-a myself.” The pen (keyboard) has been silent and difficult to approach. I attempted more than once, maybe twice, I don’t know, by now it doesn’t matter. My attempt to write the final blog in this series, numero cinco, in What About Faith, well, let me be honest here, it just wasn’t happening. 

Now having apologized, then making fun of that apology, and then adding in another excuse, I recalled the famous quote attributed to almost every writer:  “No one wants to write, everyone wants to have written.”

That was my problem these last several weeks. And I am looking forward to feeling much better once I finish this conclusion!

In the last blog which few will remember from 22 days ago, I suggested that Jesus, from what I can tell, invited people who were interested into Proximity and Participation. Proximity meaning to move in close in order to be present. Wherever you are, be all there! To be close is to be adjacent… to be near one another. This is a position that makes sense to people who are devoted.

That second word, Participation, is a fitting word for us to use in the conclusion of this series centered around a practical definition of living out a life of exceptional faith. Without participating in the faith that one admits to, one is left unwilling to pursue their faith. America is full of Christians whose participation is of little importance to them.

Religion is more an event we attend than a Faith we Follow. That has become an inconvenient truth for many who have been overcome by some kind of situational amnesia from church itself. Inside of these WAF posts, I have tried to present an anciently new way of pursuing one’s faith. It has been here all along. Ever since Jesus challenged us to have eyes to see and ears to hear. What would you call that? I call it Practical Theology.

We have people these days in the Church who love to talk about “the Word.” Seven times in Matthew 23, Jesus, who according to John’s Gospel was the Word, had this to say regarding people who believe they have the power and position to tell others what they have to believe: Woe to you…hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones…

Wow Jesus, why don’t you just tell us how you feel!  

I know a little about hypocrisy. It results in being a hypocrite, which I once was in order to elevate my importance in the eyes of others unschooled in theology. It was as they say a fool’s errand. So, back to Practical Theology if you will.

Participation, that second word I brought up is critical for those of us who are pursuing the life God has called us to. Proximity without Participation is useless to us as we seek to explore, discover and live a life of exceptional faith.

Participation, defined for this post means – embracing and engaging the life of faith. It’s a purposeful act one is compelled into because they want to center their life around their faith, trusting that once there they will find a deeper life driven by the Spirit of God residing inside us. 

What keeps most professing Christians from a deepening faith? It may be as simple as this: 

  1. They have yet to allow themselves to move into the Proximity of the God who longs to welcome them into a new and unending life.
  1. Without proximity they may be unable to define what it means to take the next step into the act of Participation with others in community. 
  1. And finally, without proximity and participation, Faith itself seems to have been mostly ignored.  As G.K. Chesterton noted in this quote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried.”

So, What About Faith?

In the end, when it comes to faith, no one can appeal to another as their proxy. While it is not private, it is nonetheless by definition, personal in so much as you and I have or have not come to a conclusion on faith’s significance for our own lives. 

So, What About Faith?

It’s between you and God and eventually it is between the both of you and the community of others who in spite of their frailty of faith, nonetheless do not give up hope.

So, What About Faith?

Hang on wherever you are with faith. And never forget, God is for you not against you. 

Thanks again for stopping by long enough to read this post. I pray this post has read you as well.

MC

WHAT ABOUT FAITH? (Part 4)

Hey you Blog Post people. I’m glad you’ve latched onto this 3rd post in the What About Faith series where we are pushing forward to unpack the importance of faith. We set out to write five posts which might help us consider the import and impact of faith in anyone’s life regardless of whether you are religious or not.

These posts are coming straight from talks and conversations I have been having with friends of mine @ Life Community here in Mt. Pleasant, SC as together we explore how one’s Faith can Transition us to a new step into what faith actually is about.

I have to give kudos to Brian McLaren and his writing in the book – A Search For What Makes Sense. He is an awesome writer whom I was introduced to by friends who thought I might find in McLaren a kindred spirit. And, I did! McLaren is a writer who has the credentials to help all of us work through this ever present pursuit of faith. 

So, let’s start with a point McLaren reveals; in a world where there are Good and Bad Choices, it’s quite likely that there must also be Good and Bad Faith “options” for my faith.

Jesus says in the Gospel accounts; Come and see or Come and follow. What I believe Jesus meant here is that Good Faith begins with Proximity and leads to Participation. The capital “P’s” assume significant importance which we’ll return to shortly.

Choosing a path to travel on as one explores, discovers, responds, and embraces an exceptional faith for one’s life is representative of someone who believes that faith itself is worth our time. And, in fact, isn’t it true, that time, the time we commit to a person, a project, a plan or a purpose is always a factor for a good or a bad outcome regardless of what one might be pursuing. By the way, go back to the top of this paragraph and read those four underlined words. Don’t each of those words sound inviting? They seem to me to be the scope and sequence for an individual whose intent is on giving faith its rightful place in their life.

Looking back over three decades in ministry, I recall having a sense that many people I’ve known who attend church, get baptized, pursue God, or “find religion” (whatever that means), spend little of their time exploring, discovering, responding, and embracing faith especially in these days of distraction. 

Time plays a huge part here and we have to be honest with ourselves as to the allocation of our time, because faith, as it turns out, requires a lot of one’s time. This is precisely why in the Gospels Jesus calls all of us first to the concept of Proximity. That word means to move close to in order to be present. When someone says to me; “Hey Mike, I’d like for you to come see something I have been working on. I’d love to hear what you think about it.” That’s an invitation to Proximity. And there is a bonus attached to Proximity. When one is near to others in faith, one becomes closer to exceptional faith… if that is what you are looking to find.

Immediately following the 4 Gospels in the New Testament we find The Book of Acts which is the beginning of the Church. Today, you, me, and others may see church as “our church.” It’s the church that I go to, the church I give to, the church that fits who I am, the church where I feel more at home in my faith. There are a lot of things you can identify as a reason for the church you choose and yes, the faith you are pursuing should be a major factor in where you are pursuing the Life that God has offered you.

Jesus’ church (if we can call it that) was actually a community, a fellowship of sojourners who because of their Proximity understood why Jesus was calling them to Participation. Without it (Proximity), there would be an even smaller number of people who are sharing their life with others (Participation), pursuing an exceptional faith. 

How do we Participate in the life of an exceptional faith? That’s where we’ll pick up inside of the 5th post in this series next week…

MC

WHAT ABOUT FAITH? (Part 3)

Welcome to my blog. If you are new, I am in a series of posts focused on the action of faith in our lives. This is the 3rd installment so check out the first two before you read this post… Oh, and we are glad to have you join us!

“Hello, is there anyone out there?” Does that sound like a question you have asked God when you can’t seem to locate where God might be… or if God even IS? 

I’ve asked it and I think many of us have asked it when we are wondering, where is God when we need God? Inside of that popular question put to God in a moment of despair or uncertainty or just plain anger, lies the initial problem humanity has been wrestling with when it comes to connecting with God.

Okay, well here’s a great place to begin part 3 of our What About Faith? blog post. I’m hoping we can move this conversation down the road by the end of this post. We’re not leaving WAF? behind, but these first three posts should put us in a position to move forward with some level of fluency in this matter of faith. 

I happen to believe that God has set us up. I know that statement (set us up) is often used in a negative way. But, what if there was a Creator God who created you with a purpose for your life? That is certainly the assumption which many confess to have, even though only a few live out their lives as if they actually believe it. 

Now, if you were born with a purpose and for a reason, how would you discover what those were? Most do it on their own and that of course is assumed to be the reasonable way to do this. You know, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and all that. Or, be a self made woman or man, (whatever that means) I’m not making fun here, I am simply stating that this is the way most of us, if not all of us, are inclined. 

Attempting to be our own arbiter as to our purpose and reason for living this life is, to me, a scary proposition especially when we can’t see or predict the future. This Pandemic has revealed that for us common folk. It may have been predicted, but even medical science is largely incapable of predicting mankind’s response to the virus. And as we have seen, mankind, at least in America, has proven it doesn’t want to pick itself up by the bootstraps now. We have shown we do not have the will to do what we do not want to do. We have shown that we value our independence well above an offer of interdependence.

So bear with me and let’s go back to this idea that if God has set us up, that could be a very positive thought. It doesn’t cut us out of discovery. It may give us an even better chance to discover who we were made to be. It may challenge us; in fact, it should challenge each of us because interdependence will require at the very least some level of faith. 

Couple of weeks ago in our series Faith Transitions I spoke on this topic of Faith In 25 Words Or Less. 

First 5 words – Faith is a dynamic state. 

Meaning faith is alive, fluid, innate. For faith to survive it must continually be upgrading and transitioning. 

Next 6 words – Faith is lived in relative certainty

Meaning faith is a gift given to imperfect people like you and me. Dr. Peter Enns in his book, The Sin of Certainty, writes, “Struggling with uncertainty transforms faith in ways nothing else can.” 

Next 7 words – Faith is about matters of ultimate importance

Meaning it is significant, meaningful, and substantial. It is about orienting oneself to what is universally true. It isn’t departing from reality, it is closing in on reality. Faith deals with how we conduct our lives, make our decisions, cope with suffering or pain, and establish our values.

Final 6 words – Faith is a catalyst for action. 

Meaning if my faith doesn’t result in action on my part then my faith is only an opinion. Anyone can recite a creed but to say that God exists without pursuing the life God offers… is not faith. It is merely an idea which I am not committed to. 

Faith matters. I remain convinced that every human being has faith in their lives. Whether it is active or dormant, dynamic or static… it is there. We are all at the very least responsible for considering and exploring faith’s possibilities.

Let me close with a couple of thoughts. First, I write this blog because I am deeply invested in being a part of the conversation that is shaping this culture. I honor who you are and where you are on faith right now.  At the same time, I share what I have come to believe about faith. Second, I do this because I have come to see faith as the leading edge of my life and in the lives of many others whom I have the privilege to journey with. As always, I am grateful that anyone would give me a listen, so thank you for reading. Now, how about responding? Your voice matters, make it known. 

We’ll have another post up by this weekend so please check back. And finally, I want to thank my awesome wife Lynda who is taking her time every day making contacts and building a following for this blog site. It’s great to have someone in your corner; it’s even greater for that someone to have known you for 50 years.

MC

WHAT ABOUT FAITH? (Part 2)

Greetings all. Thanks for finding this blog and hopefully reading the contents of this post as well as the posts which found their way in earlier this year and back to our initial posting on August 2, 2019. Wow, we’re almost a year old! 

In our initial post on What About Faith? I wrote this statement; I believe everyone has faith…We practice faith in our own way. Faith is needed to navigate our way through life and life will give us many opportunities to prove our faith to be; right or wrong, good or bad, helpful or harmful, etc., etc. All of us, without exception, know this to be true simply because all of us have experienced the dual outcomes which are in play whenever we choose to exercise faith. It is one thing to speak of faith as a noun. It is much different to speak of faith as a verb when we define itas being the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Complete, is a scary word to most of us and that alone can become a stumbling block for us attempting to move from faith as a noun to faith as a verb. 

Now, I need to be up front here. I realize there are people and there are causes. There are ideas and there are institutions. And there are churches and there are companies whom we have placed our faith in; you know like Pepsi or Coke, Hellmans or Dukes where it is not just about faith, it’s also about taste. Stay with me here.

Taste, as it turns out, can be applied in a broad sense within the English language. It is about more than just flavor. We use this word to speak of our discernment, our inclinations, our judgements and predilections. Ain’t the English language awesome! 

It’s interesting to note that the word taste was used in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. David, the young shepherd who bravely walked into a fight with a giant of a man named Goliath, won that battle and ultimately became the King of Israel. No doubt that earlier event in his young life was on his resume’ that led to being crowned a King. I bring in David because he wasn’t only a warrior and a king, he was also a poet who wrote a number of chapters in the Book of Psalms. 

In the 34th Psalm David writes: Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is he who takes refuge in him! David is by this time speaking out of his heart not just his mind. He is using poetry which we see throughout the Psalms. By the way, do you ever read the Psalms? Scroll through that Old Testament book and here are ten I recommend in just the first third of that book. 

(Psalm 8,9,16,18,23,27,30,34,46,47)

What’s the point here in this second post on What About Faith? When it comes to faith, to taste is to act. A lot of people will say that they believe in God. Belief has become a word for many people which equals faith. Belief is good, it’s a start, it gets us in the door. But faith, or more specifically a faith that has tasted (think tested) now that’s a faith that is headed somewhere, that’s a faith that is moving, influencing, and beginning to transition one’s life onto a larger platform for living. 

I’ll be back on Monday with a new post, but for now I am curious as to what you are reading in these posts that you may have a question or comment about. As always, would love to hear from you so send me your thoughts and let’s begin a conversation on FAITH!

MC

WHAT ABOUT FAITH? (Part 1)

Are you a person of faith? At Life Community we are having a conversation right now centered on what we are calling Faith Transitions. We’re committed to spending a minimum of four Sundays developing an understanding of what faith is and why faith matters. It’s a start as we consider what life can become when and if one’s faith begins to transition, to grow, to transform one’s life.

Are you a person of faith? My first thought would be of course you are! I believe everyone has faith, it’s part of a person’s worldview. Without it life would be an improbable if not impossible journey to undertake. We all practice faith in our own way. 

Merriam-Webster is of some help when it comes to a basic description of faith; Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. How does that fit with you? I like it as a baseline, a place to start. I hope that is okay with you as well. Stay with me, it’s going to get deeper.

Are you a person of faith who lives as if you have complete trust in someone you’d call “God”? At Life Community we have always begun our pursuit of God through a Conversation which leads to a Connection, which invites us into a Community. Those 3 steps are always being recycled in our lives because when it comes to FAITH, we all have a lot to experience. And for some reason, God has chosen to draw us together in community so that we can encourage one another as we wrestle with faith itself.

I have attended churches that have a list (sometimes a very long list) of things you have to DO in order to maintain your Christian faith. 

Jesus seems to have had a different perspective. He called people to follow him in order to experience 

Who he is, 

How he roles, 

Why he is focused (not on lists to DO) but on How God has created you to BE so that you can come fully alive to Who you are. 

When was the last time you felt this way about WHO YOU ARE?

Now, I’ve been following Jesus for over 50 years. During this journey here’s one thing I am certain of. Becoming who I was made to BE is the only way for me (or you) to ever DO what I (or you) need to be doing. When DOING overwhelms BEING in the Church (which it has in many churches) Christianity loses people who know better. I’ll get into WHY that makes sense in an upcoming blog, but for now I’ve got a conclusion to write.

Most of the people I hang out with are:

  1. Not Christians
  2. Christians who have left the Church because of Rules and Regs
  3. Christians following Jesus in order to discover life to the full
  4. Friends I have made who are interested in knowing more about why I am following Jesus.

After 30 years of ministry in the Church I have never felt so free to BE me. And having walked in this way with others @ Life Community Church, I am convinced beyond everything else that this is WHY LCC is still here in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Hopefully, you’ll give me some time to make this case. My goal is to post twice a week during this June /July series. Before I close, I’d like to invite you to join us on a Sunday morning during this current series on FAITH TRANSITIONS. We stream to Facebook live every Sunday at 10:15. Like our page Life Community Church for the service to show up in your feed. 

Don’t forget to leave a comment and/or share this blog site with a friend.

MC

HOPE!

Hey guys,

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted on my blog site. A number of you already know that my brother Donnie had a stroke in the early morning hours of Monday, June 1st and was rushed to a hospital in Charlotte. 

These past two weeks we have been back and forth to the Queen City in North Carolina to be with Donnie’s wife Pam and daughter Laura. It has been what you might expect – days that ebb and flow with hope followed by despair. Currently we are feeling the former – HOPE! While pushing back against despair that hijacks your minutes and hours as if you have no other choice. You do, we all do.

As a Pastor I decided a long time ago to share with my friends at Life Community this truth; there are times when despair seems to have my phone on speed dial. (Just made myself a note to spend two or three posts on why that can happen to a pastor or anyone else and why it makes perfect sense.)

This past weekend has been one of HOPE! I love hope. I crave hope. I am ME when hope comes knockin. Just as you are you when hope knocks at your door.

Permission to speak frankly? Thanks. Donnie’s stroke, which has about three medical science words attached to it, came as many of these matters of life do – UNEXPECTED. Living in the midst of a pandemic and a nation filled with hate following the killing of George Floyd already had me, and perhaps you too, unavailable for anything else being dropped into my LIFE.

Stuff happens. Things pile on. That’s life. Where do we find the ability to juggle multiple crises while maintaining some degree of sanity? The Psalmist gave an answer to this much asked question in his 121st chapter. The poet writes; I lift my eyes up to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Help can come from a variety of outlets. According to the writer, the psalmist insists that it comes from the Lord. The Hebrew counterpart being Jehovah, or for us, God. At times of hope or despair this is where help comes from, where help is brought into our lives. It’s where someone beyond us steps into our life in order to overcome the latest uninvited guest that has taken refuge in and around us.

I like the sound of that. Help being brought into my life. Over these past several years I hav learned the real value in trusting my stuff with the Lord. Recently our family was gifted a book entitled Guerrillas of Grace with this sub-title:  Prayers For The Battle. It was written by Ted Loder whom I believe to be one of the most imaginative writers in this genre that I have ever read.

This past Sunday at Life Community I read this poetic prayer in my opening comments. I recommend it to all who happen upon it, with hope that can pull you out of despair. Find it below.

Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.

MC

THE INTENTIONAL LIFE OF SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIPS

Thanks for your responses to the Monday post – What Is 46 Years Worth? Lynda and I are into our third day of celebrating our forty sixth year together.  We began doing this not too long ago for anniversaries and birthdays. Try it, seven days is a heck of a lot better than one day, plus you’re not under some outdated time restraint. Who needs those?

Today, as I write from my Study in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant, I am looking forward to this follow up post about Sustainable Relationships. First, let me report that Lynda and I are still together and grateful that we are, especially having been sheltered in place with each other for almost two months!

One of the most unexpected results of growing old with one another is that when you reach a certain age you realize there is nothing that can separate you short of death and of course death, as many know, lost its power when Jesus was resurrected. Now, if you’re not a follower or a fan of Jesus please do not leave this somewhat brief post as you might find inside of it something of value.

Look, couples should never forget that each tomorrow we live into will in someway be different from yesterday. I had brought up this word in Monday’s post which may have been missed and so I will rebuild it into our conversation here. That word is intention and it should command our attention. Hokey, right? Keep reading.

Intention has kept Lynda and I together for 16,792 days. And the word itself may seem pedestrian at first glance but we’d be wrong to define its impact so quickly.

Over the course of our journey it has been intention that has salvaged our marriage the day after a 10 round fight that left us both reeling and running to our respective corners. You probably know what that’s like, as anyone, who is truly in love, finds within themselves this counterintuitive thought that only love could inspire. That thought; to live is to love, and to love is to honor, and to honor is to REMAIN. It’s as simple as that. 

I heard this at a conference I had attended and have used it alongside Lynda in the FOCCUS program we have taught to couples for over twenty years. Some of you reading this will remember it because it is quiet simply hilarious. On the evening we talk about forgiveness when it comes my time to speak I stand in front of the audience and say to the them; “I’d like to share with you why Lynda and I are still married. Anytime we get into a fight, one of us says to the other, Lynda I’m sorry.”

It occurs to me that people who have bought into Jesus’ (there I go again) offer in John 10 to; give us life and describes that life to be abundant, are people who desire a life that is overflowing with life. Whenever we talk about  Sustainable Relationships @ Life Community we define it as: A Life that Gives Life. 

If we are not intentional about living A Life that Gives Life, then we should not be surprised at the other life we have chosen. We need only examine the investment we have made in our relationships, friendships, and marriages to get a true picture of where we are. All three will take up the majority of your life, but done well, they will also become a testimony for a life lived well. 

Lynda and I have spent countless hours building friendships and have come to find that it is this, this longing to converse, connect, and be in community with others that have made the life we chose, to be the life we are living still. It is not merely a piece of who we are, it is what we have given our lives to. The journey with others on this road to Life!

With no regrets (there could have been a few?) we continue. And for now, you are a part of this life we live. And for that, we are grateful to you all. With no regrets!

This weekend I will post another article about the book we are laboring through entitled – PARTICIPATION – An Invitation to Life. 

Let’s continue this conversation then.

God’s peace to you all,

MC

What Is 46 Years Worth ?

Greetings to all of you who will read this post. 

May 18, 2020 began around 19 hours ago. I was actually wide awake when 5/18/20 overtook 5/17/20. While I had hoped to be fast asleep, I was pleasantly running back in the recesses of my mind what this day 46 years ago meant to me. I will be the first to say I do not typically spend my evenings reminiscing about every 24 hour turn of the clock over the 66 years of my life. But this year, this day, this sleeplessness conspired to hold me back, to capture me, to remind me, of why all the tomorrows may well be the best days of life I have ever experienced.

Some of you my friends may be thinking; “Do tell?” And I long to accommodate your request. But first, allow me to establish the context of both when and what and why. Forty six years ago today was precisely May 18, 1974. But of more importance it was the day that Lynda and I said “YES” to a series of wedding vows which had somehow remained of value to a couple, a community, and a celebration of life itself.

Yesterday, at Life Community, we opened a new four week series on the concept of – Sustainable Relationships. While concepts run ahead of considerations, I do hope you will stay with this throughout this week as I build a case for why Sustainable Relationships are, without a doubt, our only hope to find the fullness of life we are searching for.

That Saturday evening of May 18, 1974, Lynda and I joined ourselves together for a life we could not have imagined. We, like many of you, set out on a journey without knowing what our lives together would be like.

Over the course of these 46 years we have discovered, as many of you have, that life isn’t what we thought it would be. There have been victories and defeats. There has been loss beyond compare and grace to lead us through those times. There has been YOU. You who have encouraged us and underwritten into our lives the way forward in spite of the circumstances we faced. I could go on but please, know that because of our investment in your lives and your investment in our lives (wherever you may be right now), God has used that interdependence to continue a life well lived.

Sustainable Relationships are about intention. When we have intention, we find that there is really nothing between us that cannot be settled. When we have intention we find that there is nothing that can separate us. When we have intention we find that we are secure.

What would you be willing to sacrifice in your life to find a life with another in which you both would know that your TOGETHERNESS could never be stolen from you?

For Lynda and me, admittedly TWO who somehow became ONE, there is that way forward regardless of what you may be facing. There is more to life than any of us have ever imagined. Don’t give in or give up. 

Tomorrow, Lynda and I will step into day 16,791 as husband and wife, as partners in life (Wow, that rhymed!) Tomorrow is the day that counts because tomorrow is the next step of life for us. How we do depends on how deep the root of our relationship has grown. We are both conscious that tomorrow is unknown until we awake and engage  what life has for us, what God has for us. 

I plan to post another blog by Wednesday. I hope you’ll come back to see where this is headed. In the meantime, please share this site with someone you know is searching for Sustainable Relationships.

Blessings,

MC. 

LONGING TO MOVE FORWARD – PART I

I don’t know what the statistics are, but all of us on this journey of life find ourselves at times, longing to move forward. I’ve been told that for many this begins as a tiny seed, and that, as Mary Poppins would say …  is a very good place to start.

A life well-lived is a life that is fluid. A life in motion. A life that matters. A life that is meaning filled. We all can find ourselves stuck from time to time and that can, in itself, serve as that tiny seed which is longing for what I will call the newness of life. Over the course of our living, we all break away (I hope) from the posture of static which is oftentimes a result of our own (so let’s own it) doing. Who wants to stand still while life is passing them by? Perhaps no one. But let’s be honest… the longing to move forward with life is subject to us breaking away from the distractions of life. And that ain’t easy for most folk.

Several years ago I did a sermon series (I prefer message series) which began with this title; Making A Move. That title, from my perspective, was and is a way to transition which of course is the first step to leave where you have been in order to go where you long for. Where we were may not have been a bad place, but it had ceased to be a place where we knew we were becoming. To become is a value all of us desire to accomplish because it reminds us we are not just alive, but that we are advancing in our aliveness!

The famous female painter Georgia O’Keeffe wrote that; Interest is the most important thing in life; happiness is temporary, but interest is continuous. What you and I are interested in should move us long enough to capture us and create in us the agency of becoming. It is in some way akin to Jesus’ point in John’s Gospel that he had come that we may have life and have it to the full. 

I stop, not always of my own accord, but often out of the sense that these words of 

Jesus clearly seem to announce a life which I have at times lost touch with. Indeed, we live in a world that competes for every second of our attention and Jesus can get lost for weeks out there.

Now, to be sure, there are some of you who are reading this post who are about to move to another screen. Please don’t. I want to ask all of us a question. What do you think it means to be offered a life that is full or a life that is abundant? You can answer this as a mental exercise right now. And in answering you might discover some things privately about your current journey, about who you are becoming.

When we seek to move forward in our lives, I am assuming we are focused on becoming more than we were. In other words, there is a point to our movement forward. What I am going to call “more ness.” I’ve read that given the opportunity to be different, most of us will choose to be like everyone else. Sociologist and Psychologist spend their careers expounding on why this is true. More on that in Part II.

Looking forward to the next installment and hoping you’ll be back. Here’s where we’ll pick up. Most people in your network aren’t interested in WHAT you DO, however, they are deeply interested in WHY you DO IT. Oh, and believe me, this will all pull together!

See you first of the week. 

MC

ANOTHER VOTE FOR SIMPLICITY !

From: Common Prayer

A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals

A couple of guys I like to follow and read are the authors of the above noted book. I happened to be reviewing it last week as I prepared for our new onlinePrayer Component (PC) which began this morning at Life Community. 

As some of you know, during these days of sheltering in place, I am focusing on letting go of stuff that really brings little if any real life into my life. Some of you are doing this as well, by saying goodbye to old habits that, quite frankly, you have outgrown. And hopefully, exploring new alternatives which fit you and the real life you have chosen to pursue.

One of the things you may be discovering is a symbiotic sense of your heart and mind getting on the same page. That congruency signals growth and maturity when we are serious about building a life that draws in the significant and meaningful matters of a real life. Strangely, you’ll know you are heading in that direction when the habits you have engaged replace the stuff you once thought would bring you all you could desire.

So, this morning we opened our Life Community Prayer Component and for those who participated there was this sense of, “Wow, I didn’t expect for this twenty minute PC to be so useful!” Actually, its usefulness is found in its focus on God and our friends and neighbors, in the midst of this pandemic. 

It’s amazing where our hearts and minds end up when we face unsettling times. Read below the short paragraph from Shane Claiborne and Johnathan Wilson-Hartgrove

Major Life Transition  Lord, help me now to unclutter my life to organize myself in the direction of simplicity. Lord, teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it. Lord, I give you these stirrings inside me. I give you my discontent. I give you my restlessness. I give you my doubt. I give you my despair, I give you all the longings I hold inside. Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth; help me to listen seriously and follow where they lead through the breathtaking empty space of an open door.

MC