A New Year’s Prayer for a Soul-full, Sacred, and Satisfying Way of Life!

In Contemplation, Culture, Desire, Discipleship, Imagination, Prayer by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matthew 3:10

Sometimes a tree can be so unhealthy that the only hope for renewal is to chop it down.  John, in the Matthew passage above, is proclaiming just such a message! For, as he envisions God’s Kingdom yet to come, he imagines the King as one who comes with an ax.  Not for the purpose of destruction, but for the …
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July Prayer Journey: A Few Minutes A Day May Just Change Your Life!

In Contemplation, Formation, Habits, Prayer, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey1 Comment

Can a few minutes a day change your life?

The ancients thought  so! The Psalmist proclaims, in Psalm 119:164,

“I will praise you seven times a day     because all your regulations are just.”

How might seven full stops a day reorient my life?

How might seven meaningful moments of praise, prayer, and reflection empower me to live into the fullness of God’s love and the life He offers?

I hope that seven brief but potent Spirit-empowered daily pauses, practiced with intention and over time, will help me be more engaged, …
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One Reliable Way to Notice Our Knowable God!

In Contemplation, Culture, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

A God who is unnoticeable in the world is one who is unknowable to its people.  I fear we exist in a culture in which God is no longer noticeable.  If my fear is on target, the realities are life-shaking.

Perhaps I am wrong.

Maybe God is noticeable.

A question might help us both personalize and consider His notice-ability:

How often have you been aware of God’s presence within the last 24 hours?

Once?

Twice?

Can’t recall any moments?

If you can’t recall any moments, you are, in all likelihood, …
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A Well-Loved Soul is a Soul that Loves Well!

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

The outcome of a well-loved soul is a life well lived!

I long to be a well-loved soul. I know that when my soul is well loved, I will love others well. The book of Psalms is a river of refreshing waters, from which I drink when my soul thirsts for love.  I often find that, whether in lament or laughter, the psalmist’s words ooze blessings that both spring from and shape a well-loved soul.

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his …
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Desire Four: Look Up and LEAN IN!!

In Contemplation, Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Fully Awake, Spiritual Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Gary Turk – writer, filmmaker and award-winning producer – watched his cultural capital soar through the roof with the global success of Look Up. Look Up is a spoken word narrative, set to film, that exposes the shortcomings of a society addicted to technology. One of my favorite lyrics in the poem/song speaks to the longing for connection we desire and the lack of intimacy we experience; describing the outcome of generation raised in our techno-zombie age:

“We’re surrounded by children, who since they were born, watch us living like …
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Fully Aware and Actively Engaged (The Good Life, Pt. 4)

In Christian Leadership, Community, Contemplation, Culture, Formation, Fully Awake, Purpose and Meaning, Spiritual Formation, Surrender, Worship by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

You know when you have been in the company of someone who listens.  Simply being around them is a blessing of immense and vast depth.  It’s as if you’ve been refreshed. Washed by cool spring waters of nourishing clarity.   To hear and respond is both fundamentally relational and vitally human.  They are the signature affections of creation and the singular hope of humankind.

They are affections we would do well to nurture today!  Indeed, those who have gone before us found that nurturing an affection for hearing and responding developed …
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I “Just Wanna Be” A Big Rock Star!

In Community, Contemplation, Discipleship, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Fame, fortune, financial accomplishment.

The good life.

We all want it!  We all exhaust ourselves in pursuit of it! The good life and her accouterments entice us all.

Nickelback’s 2005 hit Rockstar – a song which embraces and encourages the pursuit of fame, fortune and financial accomplishment – may well provide the modern rhythm that has captured a generation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3iO5vMIAUQ).

We all want to be a Rockstar.  So it seems!

While it’s human nature to dream of the good life, many define the good life by using terms like conquering …
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Born For More! Created For Meaning! Designed For Eternity!

In Contemplation, Culture, Formation, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

More than twenty years ago Freddy Mercury hauntingly asked the world, “Who wants to live forever?” (here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L8-FTvSVxs).

According to the Fall Out Boys, we all do.

That is, at least, what their iconic hit Centuries envisions:

Some legends are told Some turn to dust or to gold But you will remember me Remember me for centuries

Centuries packs quite a punch (here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBr7kECsjcQ). A punch that is felt in a host of ways.  From the driving guitar riffs, which lie just beneath the surface of the song’s teeming waters …
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The Journey Of A Burning Heart

In Christian Leadership, Community, Contemplation, Culture, Spiritual Formation, Surrender, Uncategorized by Bizgainey2 Comments

Pillar Community Church has been interacting with Ruth Barton’s latest book, Life in Christ Together, for a few months. The book is gently nudging us toward a fresh experience of doing life together within the context of ministry and modern life.

Ruth’s text traces the Emmaus road story (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+24%3A13+-+33&version=CEB .).

In chapter eight, she frames the journey of discernment – an ongoing discovery of the presence of Christ – by proposing six intervals or intersections through which we all travel.

I sense that each intersection may serve as markers for …
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Wisdom For Your Week: Contemplation and Interior Strength

In Contemplation, Father Thomas Keating, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey5 Comments

Contemplation – Interior Strength The effectiveness of action depends on the source from which it springs.   If it is coming out of the false self with its shadow side, it is severely limited.  If it is coming out of a person who is immersed in God, it is extremely effective.   The contemplative state . . . brings Christ to the world. ~ Father Thomas Keating


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