I’m Going to Tell You the Story of a Church

In Contemplation, Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I’m Going to Tell You the Story of a Church

I am going to tell you a story.

It’s a story about a church.

This church is a collection of individuals representing the myriad walks of life from the varied and diverse religious landscape that America has become.  That’s important to note because we never set out to be a denomination or tribe with a particular affiliation.…
Read the rest

Imagine Yourself in the Presence of the King

In Change, Contemplation, Culture, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Fully Awake, Heaven, Imagination by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Imagine Yourself in the Presence of the King

Imagine yourself in the presence of the King of Creation.

Imagine the majestic environment – the rarefied air, trees bustling with beauty and dignity – an atmosphere encased in a feeling of delight and joy!

Imagine sinking your teeth into a delectable piece of fruit, soaked with the fullness of life and the freshness of His touch.

Just beyond the horizon, you spy a crowd of animals: healthy and vibrant, on glorious display – marching in rhythm – beneath the base of …
Read the rest

Does Eminem Get the Gospel?

In Contemplation, Culture, Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Habits, Purpose and Meaning, Resolution, Surrender by Bizgainey2 Comments

Does Eminem Get the Gospel?

Legend has it that The Times once sent an inquiry to famous authors, asking the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?”

To which G.K. Chesterton responded:

“Dear Sir,

I am.

Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”

Eminem’s 2013 smash hit, Monster, topped the charts in no fewer than twelve countries.

Featuring guest vocalist Rihanna, the heart-thumping rhythms and hard-driving vocals were greeted by worldwide applause and assault.

Many within the Entertainment industry applauded Monster, while many in the Christian community assaulted Monster.

Admittedly, his lyrics are often …
Read the rest

The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Journey Into Joy

In Blessing, Christmas, Consumption, Contemplation, Culture, Formation, Purpose and Meaning by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Ghost of Christmas Present: A Journey Into Joy

From the prison to the poor-house, Scrooge discovers what life requires of us who have been given so much.  He also learns what life exacts from others when we hoard our resources and live from a place of scarcity rather than abundance.

The opening scene of Stave Three introduces us to the Ghost of Christmas Present.  Dickens invites the reader to imagine a lavish feast at a King’s table. A table overflowing with bounty and abundance.

Upon entering the room, Scrooge …
Read the rest

The Bible is a Living, Breathing Document Designed to Bring Life!

In Contemplation, Formation, Prayer, Psalms, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Bible is a living, breathing document designed to bring life to the heart and soul of its reader!

The writer of Hebrews makes a most powerful proclamation in this regard when he says, in Hebrews 4:12 – 13,

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed…
Read the rest

Practicing the Ancient Art of Reading Well!

In Christian Leadership, Contemplation, Culture, Discipleship, Formation, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

We are not born readers.  If we were, then focusing on how we read would be unnecessary.

The art of reading well is one that has to be developed over time.  It’s not native, or instinctive, by a longshot.

Reading is a learned art or skill.

If you doubt what I am saying, then you’ve never raised a child.…
Read the rest

What is a Contemplative Bible Study? Pt. 4, Mediation that’s Uniquely Christian

In Contemplation, Formation, Fully Awake, Habits, Spiritual Formation, Surrender by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Meditation that’s Uniquely Christian

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Colossians 3:16

The subject of Colossians 3:16 is “the word of Christ.”

While that seems self-evident, it’s important to note a few implications of this fact.  First, the subject is not me or you.  The subject is always Christ.

This is why Paul invites us to surrender.

We often come to the Word …
Read the rest

Do You Remember When?

In Contemplation, Formation, Freedom, Fully Awake, Habits, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

I concluded last week’s blog with the following question:

Do you remember when you last felt the Word of Christ dwelling richly in you?

Now, before you read further, pause and identify that moment or those moments when you recall sensing the deep indwelling of the presence of Christ in your life.

We never seem to have enough money, time, sleep, coffee, joy, love, etc.

We all – at times – complain about our lack of resources.  We decry our lack of time and we sulk when we see others …
Read the rest

What is A Contemplative Bible Study? Pt. 2: Mountains, Metaphor, and Meditation

In Contemplation, Discipleship, Formation, Habits, Ministry, Spiritual Formation, Surrender by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

What is A Contemplative Bible Study? Pt. 2: Mountains, Metaphor, and Meditation

Last week I retreated with a group of fellow believers at a Franciscan Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  This retreat is the final in a series of retreats facilitated by the Apprentice Institute and James Bryan Smith†.  Though it was our final retreat together, it was my first visit to Colorado – ever.

Having heard much about Colorado’s beautiful landscape, I was anticipating some wonderful views filled with moments of majesty and awe.

 

And, though what I …
Read the rest

What is a “Contemplative” Bible Study?

In Christian Leadership, Contemplation, Culture, Discipleship, Formation, Fully Awake, Habits by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Our culture is, perhaps, the most distracted and disengaged culture in human history.

New York Times Journalist, Tony Schwartz, recently noticed how distracted he’s become when trying to read a book – something an award-winning Journalist and author ought to be able to do with ease.   Upon reflection, he realized that unread books were piling up in his home: mocking him, rebuking him, as they lay silently – untouched – on the bedside table.  In an insightful article, he writes:

“Instead of reading them, I was spending too many hours …
Read the rest