October 2, 2019
As we finish our fall vision series exploring Contemplation, Gena Minnix reflects on what our bodies need in order to enter into a contemplative space [Matthew 26:39-42].
- What do I need to know before I can consent to God's healing action and grace within?
- Where and when can I include contemplation as part of my daily routine?
- The Welcoming Prayer. Welcome, welcome welcome. I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it’s for my healing. I welcome all thoughts, emotions, feelings, persons, situations, and conditions. I let go of my desire for security. I let go of my desire for approval. I let go of my desire for control. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person, or myself. I open to the love and presence of God, and the healing action of grace within.
September 25, 2019
As we continue our fall vision series exploring Contemplation, Gideon Tsang reflects on why it might be helpful to notice our lives more deeply [Matthew 8:18-22].
- What does it look like to contemplate the ways we divide in life?
- How can we contemplate finding home within ourselves?
- Consider the sides we experience. What if contemplation helps the crowded other side, slowly depopulate? Perhaps overtime we’ll realize there are no other sides within us either. Then perhaps slowly, maybe one day, we’ll realize there aren’t sides.
- Consider our home. Where are you most at home? With whom are you most at home? Where are you least at home? With whom are you least at home?
- Centering Prayer. Sit for 10 minutes and use a sacred word, phrase or image to center and allow yourself to move into a posture of surrender and openness to God.
September 18, 2019
As we continue our fall vision series exploring Contemplation, Jason Minnix reflects on contemplative practices that show us how to see and bring healing to our sight [John 9:1-7].
- What am I holding tightly to that is filtering my enjoyment of life?
- Where do I sense an invitation to practice resting my mind?
- Practice Contemplation. Set aside 5-20 min a day, and/or perhaps an hour or two once a week. Choose something that gives you space to disengage from thoughts and emotions. Expect some disruption at the start.
- Contemplative Practice. Body Scan. Walk through each part of your body and the reflections that come to the surface.
- Seeing Our Filters. What filters serve me now? (filtering judgment, shame, social media, etc.) What are my filters that keep out life? (filtering love, grace, joy, peace, receiving)
September 11, 2019
As we start our fall vision series exploring contemplation, Weylin Lee reflects on how creating space for contemplation actually involves letting go of things in our lives [Matthew 16:24-26].
- What are the things we are hesitant to let go of because it’s how we protect ourselves and preserve our way of living?
- Where do our loyalties lie and how do we end up losing sight of God’s vision for our life when we’re so tied to our loyalties?
- What's the frantic and anxious work that we’ve been devoting our energy to and how can we create space for rest instead?
- Be Still Prayer. “Be still and know that I am God. Be still and know that I am. Be still and know. Be still. Be.” Sit in a posture of letting go. Pause and reflect after each phrase is read until you’re left with “Be”.
- Prayer of Examen. Review your day and recall moments you experienced God’s presence. Reflect on the loyalties in your life that you’re tied to. Consider how you can discern God in all aspects of your life.
September 4, 2019
Gideon Tsang explores what our faith provides for us and in what ways it might be freeing us [Luke 13:10-17].
- Is our faith making us less or more free?
- How can we engage the space between our acting and our being?
- What parched areas of our life might need watering this week?
- Notice the times where you’re acting vs. being. Give each of the characters a name. Thank these characters for being so helpful. Gently experiment with acting to being
- What part of your life needs watering? What does your soul love to do? How can you find space to water your soul this week?
August 25, 2019
Jason Minnix explores how prayer, justice, and rest work together and how they are all woven together [Isaiah 58:9-14].
- How can I invite God's presence into suffering today?
- Where do I sense small sips of rest?
- Invite God’s presence into our suffering and needs. Set aside 1 hour a week to make a list of your needs. Spend time making a plan to meet 2-3 of them. Anticipate set backs. Become curious about God’s support of you receiving what you need.
- Practice Sabbath. Does what I’m doing to rest free me up a little physically, emotionally and spiritually? Take small sips of rest daily. Take a long drink one day a week.
- What’s the one thing I’m being invited into today? To try a more meaningful form of prayer. To bring my needs and suffering into God’s presence and to engage them with care. To find rhythms of rest that free us.
August 21, 2019
For Kid’s Sunday, Gena Minnix reflects on how God invites us through difficult times in our lives [Hebrews 12:1-2].
- How does my small story connect with the larger story?
- How does 'looking where the artist looked', help me see God's trustworthiness?
August 14, 2019
Jennifer Cumberbatch reflects on the invitation to joy in the midst of suffering [Romans 5:1-5].
- Is it possible that suffering (loss, trials, temptations, tribulation) is a portal to the presence of the Holy One and thus a path to experiencing joy?
- Is there divine purpose in suffering?
- PLAN: P - Play (Creativity in God’s image), L - Listen for God’s emotions, A - Praise is Appreciation, N - Nurture a heavenly rhythm
August 7, 2019
Jason Minnix invites to reflect on what we are striving for and what Jesus invites us to consider regarding our attachments [Luke 12:13-21].
- How might I access the grace to see the nightmares I'm holding onto?
- What does it look like to experience the abundance I already possess?
- Where do I hear invitation to move into my interior work?
- What’s my Attachment? (IF-THEN Belief) “If” _______ - What am I striving for?
“Then” _____ - What do I imagine that will give me?
- Practice Releasing an Attachment. Reflect on my attachment, or false belief (IF-THEN Belief). Take some time to really see it as a nightmare when I look to it as a source of lasting fulfillment. Become aware of the possibility that I have everything I need to be content right now.
July 31, 2019
Weylin Lee explores what it means for us to grow in a meaningful way if the substance of our faith is Christ [Colossians 2:6-19].
- How can you allow gratitude to overflow in your life?
- In what ways can you engage the dying process in order to experience life?
- In what ways is our practice of freedom moving us towards Christ?
- Practice of Gratitude: Stop Look Go. Stop - slow down, stop trying so hard and be present. Look - open your eyes, ears, senses to soak in all that we’ve been given. Go - move into the world with gratitude that is overflowing.
- Imagine the Dying Process. Imagine the death of a loved one, a job or a dream. Sit in the emotions and feelings that surface from that imagined loss. Invite the disappearance of clinging that is tied to anxiety and insecurity and fear.
July 24, 2019
For Kid’s Sunday, Gideon Tsang reflects on the story of Mary and Martha and how we can be present here [Luke 10:38-42].
- How can you invite God into your mess this week?
- What does it look like to practice your preferred posture of presence?
- Welcome Your Mess. Invite someone into your home without cleaning it. Sit in the discomfort of being accepted in your mess.
- Learn to Idle. Sit for 10 minutes in a room with a friend. Do nothing. Share your observations.
July 18, 2019
Jason Minnix reflects on how we are when it comes to loving people [Luke 10:25-37].
- Where do I sense empty love in my attempts to care for others?
- How can I receive mercy in those places?
- Where am I waking up to love's invitation now?
- Empty Love. Where do I sense empty love in my attempts to care for others? What fuels it?
- Practice of Love. What empty ideas of love need to go? What is my body telling me about love?
July 9, 2019
Matt Inman reflects on how we can grow in our freedom and what freedom means in community [Galatians 6:1-4].
- Do you believe that God is for your freedom? If so, what does that freedom look like?
- How might freedom grow for us as a community at Vox?
- Journal. Where does criticism run wild in your mind? Who might you be able to join in a more loving way if you quieted that critical voice?
- Reflect. Explore what is “ours” and who is “we”? How have you narrowed that in at times and what might it look like to start widening it back out?
- Write a reminder to yourself. Base this reminder on your own personality, story and what your work requires of you.
July 3, 2019
Melanie Jones reflects on what it means for us today that the kingdom of God is here and now [Mark 1:14-15].
- How do we live in the wake of freedom?
- How do we #staywoke and avoid daydreaming in our current season of justice-seeking?
June 19, 2019
For Family Sunday, Gideon Tsang reflects on what we can learn about God and ourselves from creation [Psalm 8].
- How can your experience of being loved drown out the unlovable voices in your life
- What thunderstorms are you experiencing that might bring healing and new life?
June 12, 2019
For Pentecost Sunday, Weylin Lee explores why God’s spirit and presence is a meaningful gift for us [John 14:8-17].
- How can you practice becoming more aware of God’s presence in your life today?
- What does it mean for you to embody God’s Spirit and be a gift of presence to others?
- Prayer of Presence. 1. Start and end each day with consenting to God’s leadership for the day (just as you’re waking up and before falling sleeping). 2. Choose a prompt in your day (e.g. favorite color, alarm, daily chore) and pause to invite God’s presence into your actions, your words, your thoughts, your emotions. 3. Practice different time intervals. Start with a few minutes, then an hour, then a full day (inviting God’s presence in the smallest things like picking up groceries, typing, opening and closing doors).
- Welcoming Prayer. Welcome, welcome, welcome. I welcome everything that comes to me today because I know it's for my healing. I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions. I let go of my desire for power and control. I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure. I let go of my desire for survival and security. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person or myself. I open to the love and presence of God and God's action within. Amen.
June 5, 2019
Jason Minnix explores how we can attune to others in life-fostering ways [John 17:20-26].
- How am I being invited to resonate more with myself, other people, and/or God?
- What does it look like to relax this week into a deeper story?
- Practice Resonance. What’s it like to be me right now? What’s it like to be me becoming aware of this?
Share this with someone in one sentence, “Right now I’m aware of …” Imagine what that would be like and respond with an attempt to resonate. (non-verbal or verbal)
- Practice Resonating with God. What is God resonating with me around today. Reflect in silence.
May 29, 2019
Virginia Cumberbatch reflects on how God can use our anxiety to invite us into spaces of refuge, remembering and reconciliation [John 14:23-28].
- Remember a time you experienced God's comfort and care in the midst of anxiety?
- How might your anxiety serve as a path to spiritual formation this week?
- This week begin to record the times God’s word has met your obedience and your trust. And may I suggest the following reflection on all the times God has said and done: “I will help you.” “I will strengthen you.” “I will uphold you.” “I’ll give you what you need.” “I will protect you.” etc...
- Together let us eliminate one avoidance practice this week to make room for the Holy Spirit. How can we clear a pathway for the Spirit to be the loudest voice – even louder than our own?
- How can we step outside the noise of doom, of fear, of chaos this week to practice pursuing peace?
May 22, 2019
Gideon Tsang reflects on how God is inviting us to clean our profane view of the other [Acts 11:1-18].
- Who in your life is loving you into more expansive ways of seeing?
- Why do you think we are addicted to judging our distinctions?
- Commonality. Think of someone who you see as less worthy. What do you have in common with that person? Try engaging them this week with commonality rather than distinction.
May 16, 2019
Weylin Lee reflects on the areas of discomfort that we are being invited to explore in our movement towards experiencing restoration and rest [Psalm 23].
- How can we adopt more of a posture of willingness instead of willfulness to allow ourselves to let go of control?
- What patterns need to be disrupted in order for our soul to be restored?
- How can we allow ourselves to receive the goodness and mercy that is chasing after us?
- Posture of Willingness. Pick a situation, activity or relationship this week to adopt a posture of willingness. Pay attention to how letting go of control might move you into comfort and rest instead of isolation and exhaustion.
- Detox. Pick an area of your life to practice a detox this week (e.g. technology, social media, food, work, social activity). Pick an appropriate amount of time (e.g. week, day, portion of a day). In the spaces of discomfort, notice what parts of your true identity are needing to be restored.