Fasting

July 11, 2018

John Chandler reflects on how the practice of fasting can actually integrate the soul and body instead of simply denying the body [Galatians 5:16-25].

 

Reflection

  1. What has been your understanding of the relationship between your spirit and your body?
  2. What might it look like for you to incorporate a regular practice of fasting?

 

Resources

    1. Book: Spiritual Disciplines Handbook (Adele Ahlberg Calhoun)

 

 

Spiritual Practice

  1. Fasting: Pre-select a specific amount of time.  Replace prep and eating time with prayer and reflection.  Use your hunger to focus on your heart and soul rather than your belly.
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Dealing With Pain

July 4, 2018

Matt Inman reflects on the ways and approaches that we use in dealing with pain in our lives  [Lamentation 3:22-33].

 

Reflection

Are you currently working through pain in your life? What does that process look like for you?

When you believe your pain or patterns are too much for God, what does that do to your sense of belonging?

 

Resources

Podcast: You Made it Weird (Mark Paul Gossilaar)

 

 

 

Spiritual Practice

Try curious listening this week. Listen with the intent to learn something new from others, scripture and your surroundings.

As we struggle, look for an activity that will either help you start the work or help you take a break in order to sustain your work.  Activities include solitude, silence, prayer, writing exercises, laughter, etc.

Spend some time with a friend or community that has shown you faithfulness, as you are. Then spend time afterward taking an inventory on your thoughts and feelings. Acknowledging that moment as an example or version of God’s loyal love.

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The Goodness of Being

June 27, 2018

Pamela Begeman reflects on the goodness of our being and what it means to consent to our basic goodness [Psalm 139].

 

Reflection

Do you know and feel that you are essentially and deeply good, before you do or say anything?

How are you being healed, transformed and awakened to the experience of your goodness and God's unconditional love for you?

 

Resources

Book: Open Mind, Open Heart (Thomas Keating)

 

Video: Homeboy Industries - Thought for the Day (Father Greg Boyle)

 

 

Spiritual Practice

Make a “quantum leap” and practice the First Consent - consenting to your basic goodness.  Try to see this core of goodness in others, beyond and beneath what they are saying or doing.

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How We See

June 19, 2018

Jason Minnix reflects on how parables provide a way to change the way we see God and ourselves [Mark 4:26-34].

Reflection

  1. How am I being invited to play with and in metaphor this week?
  2. Where can I plant scrappy seeds and let go of the outcomes to God?

Spiritual Practice

  1. Play with a metaphor this week.  Find a parable in scripture that invites you in.  Write a metaphor or parable about God from an experience you’ve had.
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Renew

June 14, 2018

Gideon Tsang reflects on what it would look like to find a way to live that’s renewing [2 Corinthians 4:16-18].

 

Reflection

  1. What can you subtract this week to free up space for the renewing of your inner being?
  2. What interruptions can we embrace this season?

 

Resources

    1. Film: I, Tonya

 

 

Spiritual Practice

  1. Try subtracting something from your life.  What do you sense is being freed up?
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Presence

June 5, 2018

Sarah Berson reflects on how being present helps us hear God [1 Samuel 3:1-10].

 

Reflection

How do you build space for presence with yourself? With God?

Who in your life can you depend on to help you hear God?

 

Spiritual Practice

Consider how you can create space for presence this week. Try to spend time in it every day.

Consider scheduling time with someone you depend on this week. Try to be fully present with that person.

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Invitation to Dance

May 30, 2018

As we celebrate Trinity Sunday, Gideon Tsang explores how we participate in the Trinity and not just how we understand the Trinity [John 3:1-8].

Reflection

What do you wonder about Trinity this morning?

How can you welcome God's movement for all things in your life this week?

Resources

MWG: Discussion Guide

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Pentecost

May 22, 2018

As we celebrate Pentecost, John Chandler reflects on how we might allow the Spirit to help us learn and grow in living the way of Jesus [Luke 5:1-11].

 

Reflection

In what ways have you recently seen the Holy Spirit at work in your life or community?

What practices have best helped you recognize the direction of the Holy Spirit in your life?

 

Resources

Websites: Udemy, MasterClass, League of Kitchens

MWG: Discussion Guide

 

 

 

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Happy Wisdom

May 15, 2018

Jason Minnix reflects on the wisdom we’re invited to consider as we meditate on scripture [Psalm 1].

 

Reflection

Where am I being invited to seek and live into wisdom?

How can I carry the protective parts of myself with compassion and curiosity this week?

 

Resources

Video: Peaceful Warrior Clip

MWG: Discussion Guide

 

 

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Abiding Love

May 8, 2018

Abiding Love

Gena Minnix explores what it means to abide in love, especially when we’re hurting [John 15:9-17].

 

Reflection

With whom am I currently practicing abiding in love?

What do I want to remember the next time I lose joy in that relationship?

 

Resources

Video: Turtle Flip

Podcast: Notes from a Public Typewritter

MWG: Discussion Guide

 

 

 

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The Tree and the Branches

May 1, 2018

Tim Brosnan explores what it means to be and remain in connection with God and others [John 15:1-5].

 

Reflection

  1. What specific courage can we take today in this union of the vine and branches expressed as the blood and body of communion?
  2. What specific pruning in your life might bring about a healthier branch and tree?

 

Resources

  1. Video: Vox Retreat at Laity
  2. Video: Narrative 4 - Guns and Empathy
  3. Song: The Greatest Gift (Sufjan Stevens)
  4. MWG: Discussion Guide

 

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God is My Shepherd

May 1, 2018

Jason Minnix explores what it means to return to God’s guidance in our life’s journey [Psalm 23].

 

Reflection

  1. What kinds of care am I being invited into this week?
  2. Where am I being invited to express and/or relax my agency?

 

Resources

  1. Film: Foxtrot
  2. Podcast: Truth and Cannonballs (Radiolab)
  3. MWG: Discussion Guide
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Embodiment

April 17, 2018

Weylin Lee reflects on what Jesus’ resurrection into a physical body means for how we live in and out of our body here and now [Luke 24:36-48].

 

Reflection

How are you invited to live from the vulnerability of your wounds?

In what ways can you live a holistic life that integrates body and soul?

 

Resources

Book: From Brokenness to Community (Jean Vanier)

Film: Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond

MWG: Discussion Guide

 

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Baptism

April 10, 2018

Gideon Tsang reflects on the meaning of baptism in our lives as we hear the stories of David Burrows, Meredith McNamee, and Errol Neider [Romans 6:1-11].

 

Reflection

In what ways are you growing into your baptism this season?

How are you still being transformed by your baptism?

 

Resources

Book: The Invisible Church (J. Pittman McGehee)

 

 

Tags: Spiritual Growth, Easter, Baptism, Faith

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New Life

April 3, 2018

On this Easter Sunday, Jason Minnix reflects on the new life that is already present in ways we might not recognize [Luke 24:13-35].

 

Reflection

What am I being invited to forgive about life?

Where is new life breaking open the ordinary meaning of my journey?

 

Resources

Podcast: On Being (Brene Brown)

MWG: Discussion Guide

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Triumph

March 28, 2018

As we continue in the season of Lent and celebrate Palm Sunday, Gideon Tsang reflects on celebrating what we don't yet understand about God and faith [John 12:12-19].

 

Reflection

What might it look like to offer your weakness to God and others in order to be healed?

How can you celebrate what you don't yet understand about God and faith?

 

Resources

Video: Making of Welcome Home (Spike Jonze)

Book: Divine Therapy & Addiction (Thomas Keating)

Poem: Every Riven Thing (Christian Wiman)

Poem: I Said to My Soul Be Loud (Christian Wiman)

MWG: Discussion Guide

 

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Being Made Alive

March 21, 2018

As we continue in the season of Lent, Weylin Lee invites us to consider different life-giving rhythms that can help us in our journey of being made alive [Ephesians 2:1-10].

Reflection
What liminal space do we need to enter in order to experience growth and transformation?
How can we grow in our own richness of mercy?

Resources
Podcast: This American Life - Gad Elmaleh
Podcast: NYT - The Vandal and the Mosque
Poem: The Winter of Listening (David Whyte)

MWG: Discussion Guide

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How to Apply Scripture

March 4, 2018

Gideon Tsang teaches through the texts that have traditionally been used to marginalize LGBTQ individuals and how they might still be applicable for us today. [Hebrews 4:12-13].

Reflection
What does it look like to receive from God rather than barter with God?
How can we use our power and privilege to include rather than exclude?

Resources
Vox’s LGBTQ Journey Description
Book: The Complete Stories (Flannery O’Connor)
Book: Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
Homily Slides

MWG: Discussion Guide

The post How to Apply Scripture appeared first on Vox Veniae.

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Too Deep for Words

February 18, 2018

As we begin the season of Lent, Jason Minnix reflects on navigating suffering and hope in meaningful ways [Romans 8:22-28].

Reflection
How can I make space to rest in God praying for me during this season of Lent?
What is my small part next to God’s small part in creating goodness from the shattered bits of life?

Resources
Video: Kids Playing Soccer
MWG: Discussion Guide

The post Too Deep for Words appeared first on Vox Veniae.

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Listening

February 11, 2018

Gena Minnix talks about what gets in the way of our listening and how we might practice listening to God together as a community [Mark 9:2-8].

Reflection
What small experiment around listening to God am I curious to try?
What might a community practice of listening to Love look like?

Resources
Video: NFL 2018 A Bad Lip Reading
Book: Sorry for Your Troubles (Padraig O Tuama)
Video: The Guy Who Finishes Your Sentences
MWG: Discussion Guide

The post Listening appeared first on Vox Veniae.

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