Christmas: Being Present to Glory

In Advent, Christmas, Consumption, Culture, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Purpose and Meaning, Soul-Care, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey1 Comment

The lyrics of the sacred song fly through celestial air.  Like a volleyball in a winner-take-all championship match, they are launched to and fro.

Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. they go.

These are no lightweight lyrics.

No, these lyrics are stout – laden with a density befitting the Divine!…
Read the rest

Transforming Pastoral Ministry: When Resistance Isn’t Rejection

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Purpose and Meaning, Spiritual Formation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

One of my favorite holiday movies, that I often watch right smack in the middle of the Christmas season, is The Family Man.

I’m a big fan of the cast, which includes Nicholas Cage, Tea Leoni, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Piven, and Saul Rubinek.

But more than the cast, it’s the storyline that gets me.

Every.

Single.

Time.

A Glimpse of What’s Possible

Here is the gist: single, billionaire playboy (Cage) falls asleep one lonely Christmas Eve night in his upscale NYC apartment.  The next morning (Christmas Day) he wakes up …
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

God Bless Us, Every One!

In Christmas, Culture, Formation, Fully Awake, Loneliness, Purpose and Meaning by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

God Bless Us, Every One!

Just before the light of Christmas morning beams into Scrooge’s newly minted heart, the gloom of Christmas Yet-to-Come settles deep within the bowels of his soul.

Of all the apparitions, this is the one Scrooge fears most.

And, to the reader’s eye, this is certainly the most intimidating Spirit of them all!…
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

Would Dr. Seuss ‘Google’ in a Boat?

In Community, Culture, Parenting, Purpose and Meaning, Uncategorized by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

“I would not eat them here or there I would not eat them anywhere. I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them Sam I Am.”

Ah, yes. Dr. Seuss. Many of us have grown up reading and hearing his stories. Green Eggs and Ham no doubt chief among them all. Did you know that his stories were designed to teach vocabulary words?

Knowing this original intention, as a boy, would have ruined the whole experience for me.…
Read the rest

Happy Birthday, Pillar! I’m Going to Tell You A Story I’ve Never Told Before!

In Christian Leadership, Community, Formation, Ministry, Prayer, Purpose and Meaning, Spiritual Formation, Surrender by Bizgainey5 Comments

I am going to tell you a story I have never told before.

Storytelling is, invariably, a one-sided affair. The story being told is shaped by the one doing the telling. The light of story is refracted through the life lens of the storyteller. This story is no different. This story is a part of the Pillar story, but it is hopelessly bound to the storyteller who – in this case – is me, her founding pastor. And, though it’s only a partial story – as all stories are – …
Read the rest

With Desire So Demanding, Why is God So Distant?

In Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Freedom, Fully Awake, Purpose and Meaning, Spiritual Formation, Surrender by Bizgainey1 Comment

The first month of a new year is often a time of expectancy and hope. The onset of the new year typically provides a few weeks during which we celebrate the goodness of God, the faithful promise keeper! We carry with us new visions of satisfaction; replacing yesterday’s memories of despair and hunger. Indeed, we hope – at least in some measure – to discover satisfaction and fulfillment in the year ahead. That’s why I have spent the bulk of January reflecting on the nature and nurture of soul satisfying …
Read the rest

The Long Journey Home: 2016’s Desires, Part 2!

In Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Prayer, Purpose and Meaning by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

“But the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them.”

The above quote is the way C.S. Lewis begins the closing pages of his final book in the Chronicles of Narnia Series, The Last Battle.  The Last Battle is my favorite of the Narnia series!  Lewis goes on to say – in painting his picture of heaven,  “And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. …
Read the rest

The United States of Uncle Rico (A Repost)

In Brokenness, Culture, Football, Freedom, Purpose and Meaning, Uncategorized by Bizgainey3 Comments

**The following post is a ‘redraft’ of an earlier version that appears on  http://theshapeofdesire.blogspot.com/ where I currently feature poetry and the poetic form.   I hope to begin a mini series – with Melissa next week – on Porn, Power Narratives and the Promise of Lasting Change.  The series will contain the ways in which we have leaned upon the grace of God to live into His freedom and relied upon the love of each other in the good and the bad. Stay tuned !  Until then, enjoy this older post!**…
Read the rest