Transforming Pastoral Ministry, 6: Called to “Curate”

In Christian Leadership, Church Leadership, Discipleship, Formation, Transformation, Transforming Pastoral Leadership by Bizgainey2 Comments

I love lemons.

They are, by far, one of my favorite fruits!

I most enjoy lemons in the vast array of pies, tarts, cookies, and cakes Melissa takes the time to bake.

To enjoy lemons, in any form, dozens of things must happen first.

I won’t list all of those things (because I don’t know them), but I will note a handful that are helpful for our analogy of cultivating/curating.

A seed is planted. A tree must grow in soil that is conditioned and nurtured to encourage its growth. Bugs,…
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Devotion: A Sacred and Signature Affection!

In Desire, Discipleship, Formation, Habits by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Devotion: A Sacred and Signature Affection! “The material creation is not just some detour from our heavenly existence. It is the very good abode created by our heavenly Father. Creation is not some icky, regrettable mistake on God’s part. It is the product of his love.” James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love.

It sounds strange to claim that delight begins with devotion.  When we think of delight, or things we enjoy, we intuitively assume that devotion is the last thing required.  Who needs devotion to enjoy things like …
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The Ten Things I’ve Learned about Formation While Watching My Son’s High School Football Team

In Culture, Discipleship, Football, Formation, Habits, Spiritual Formation, Vero Beach Fighting Indians by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

Pt. 2: Formation (Development) takes time and is not easily measured in the short-run.  

Joe Erhmann, former NFL player and volunteer Defensive Coordinator for Gilman High in Baltimore, Maryland, has spent his life helping boys become men.

His story, beautifully captured by Jefferey Marx, in his bestselling, Season of Life: A Football Star, A Boy, A Journey to Manhood, reminds me that growth and development are best measured in years, rather than days – or even seasons.

In a particularly moving portion of the book, a mother asks the coach …
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You Are What You Love!

In Christian Leadership, Community, Discipleship, Fully Awake, Habits, Love by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

For many, discipleship is more about what you know than it is about what you love.  James K.A. Smith, in his excellent book, You Are What You Love, challenges the assumption that drives this cognition-as-belief model of discipleship.

Smith suggests that “Discipleship is a way to curate your heart, to be attentive to and intentional about what you love.”

He argues, quite persuasively, that discipleship is an issue of what we love more than it is one of what we know.…
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Sacred, Soul-Full, Satisfying!

In Christmas, Consumption, Culture, Desire, Formation, Thanksgiving by BizgaineyLeave a Comment

“For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things.” Psalm 107:9

The human heart beats to a rhythm known as longing. It is this rhythm that much of our society has learned to capitalize on and, in turn, make a profit. Indeed, the consumerist urge that drives the season of Christmas is simply another expression of longing and an example of our society’s ability to leverage that longing into a transaction that will leave us longing for more.

Every year, it seems, the Christmas …
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The Marvel of Mystery In the Majesty of God

In Uncategorized by Bizgainey1 Comment

My wife and I are fans of Masterpiece Theater’s  hit series, Downton Abbey. We used to be HUGE fans.  Since the untimely and unfortunate death of our favorite character, Matthew Crawley, we are now mere fans.  Fans who, of course, watch every episode of each season.

This past week’s show featured the invention and use of the wireless.  Otherwise known as the radio.  An astounding invention firmly resisted by both Robert and Violet, the shows resident guardians of all that is pure and true.  In other words, all that represents …
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In Full Bloom

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Desire is the soil in which the human heart nurtures the flowering of life. A plant rooted in rich, well tended soil is a wonder to behold.  Conversely, a plant rooted in nutrient deprived, poorly tended soil is a sickly sight.  One blooms beautifully.  Her petals are vast and multicolored!  The other fails to bloom. Rather, she tatters on the ends where the bloom longs to be.  Just as the blooms in the garden of spring burst forth to give and receive, desire abloom is designed to give and receive.  …
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aha ~ I Am An Ever Firing Furnace of Desire!

In Cancer, Freedom, Spiritual Formation by Bizgainey2 Comments

“In the torment of the insufficiency of everything attainable we eventually learn that here, in this life, all symphonies remain unfinished.”~Karl Rahner

In his wonderful book, Against An Infinite Horizon, Ron Rolheiser opens with this quote from Rahner. A failure to comprehend the truth behind this quote is to risk a life lost to reckless wandering: an unending and exhausting quest for the next person, place or possibility to satisfy the hunger in our soul. To understand this, however, is to be one who, at last, has come to realize …
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How Do I Find Joy?

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How do I find joy?

I love.

Deep joy is derived from and captivated by deep love: deep desires. Or, the aim of my desire shapes my joy. Emerson once penned, That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming.

Emerson sings a tune similar to a new favorite author of mine, James K.A. Smith. Smith has observed, We love, therefore, we are.¹ If Smith is …
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I Am the Problem

In Uncategorized by Bizgainey1 Comment

In the early 1900’s, the Times Newspaper asked the following question of their readership: What’s Wrong With the World. Purportedly, G.K.Chesterton answered the question in a letter of response which simply said:

“Dear Sir,

I am.

Yours, G.K. Chesterton.”

Wonderful insight! Wonderfully Chesterton (if he didn’t say this, it is certainly something he would have said). Disruptive: counter intuitive!! Rarely, do we/I indict the ‘self’ when assessing problems. Too bad. Such lack of ‘self-awareness’ enables us to perpetuate the problems identified.

I suspect Chesterton is correct: I am the problem. …
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