Advent 1: Look Up, Your Redemption is Drawing Near!**

In Advent, Christmas, Contemplation, Culture, Delight in God, Desire, Discipleship, Formation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity, suggests that we are a people of deep and unending desire.  He further states that our unending quest for satisfaction reveals a deeper and often confounding truth about what it means to be human!

“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant…
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Transforming Pastoral Ministry: Calling!

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Church Planting, Contemplation, Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

For decades I was confused about calling.

I believe most of us are.

Rightly so.

After all, our calling, vocation or mission in life is often tied tightly to doing something.

In fact, when you ask someone about calling or personal mission, they will likely list off a host of things they are doing.

Ruth Haley Barton notes our rampant confusion regarding calling when she says,

“We set young leaders up for a fall if we encourage them to envision what they can do before they consider the kind of
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The Story of A Church, Pt. 2: Discovering a Fairly “New” Thing!

In Brokenness, Cancer, Change, Formation, Prayer, Spiritual Formation, Transformation by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

The Story of a Church, Pt. 2: Discovering a Fairly “New” Thing!

When our Pillar family began this journey back in 2011, congregational resources related to spiritual formation and soul-care were scarce.  Further, communities attempting to practice a similar way of life were few and far between. 

We quite literally felt like an island unto ourselves.

I searched high and low for resources of all types – both people and places – that I could rely on or to whom I could turn for companionship.  Now and then someone or …
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Football, Formation, and Faith, Pt. 5: Vision Precedes Victory

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

Football, Formation, and Faith, Pt. 5: Vision Precedes Victory

The past few weeks, temps have swelled above 90 degrees with humidity over 70% and a heat index that often makes it feel well over 100 degrees down here in South Florida.

Yet, throughout the South Florida region, football teams are running two-hour+ practices to get ready for the upcoming season.

Why expend so much effort during the most unbearable part of the year?

Vision, that’s why.…
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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 …
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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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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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When Everybody Knows Your Name

In Community, Fully Awake, Habits, Loneliness, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized by Bizgainey4 Comments

“Where Everybody Knows Your Name” is the theme song from the 1980s television sitcom Cheers.  The song (here,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvRGh2NEjSU),written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo, pricked the soul of a nation and became an anthem of longing for a generation adrift; a generation in search of a place of welcome.  A place where “everybody knows your name”!

Cheers, which nearly tanked in season 1, went on to run for a precedent setting eleven seasons, becoming an American Television Classic.

The characters Sam, Coach, Woody, Diane, Norm and Cliff are iconic.  …
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