Posts Tagged ‘ Divine connections ’

great TED talk on bridging

Here’s very helpful TED talk that takes the “networking” conversation in some very helpful directions.  The presenter is Ethan Zuckerman.  He studies how the world — the whole world — uses new media to share information and moods across cultures, languages and platforms. Zuckerman creatively points out that though web connects the globe, most of […]

pattern of prayer

My bus drops me off about 1.25 miles from my school, so I have a little bit of a walk.  I love this walk.  It affords me the opportunity to feel my city, I encounter some of its people, walk by some of the places where people work, I get my coffee from one of […]

disconnecting . . . a spiritual discipline

A lot of folks have talked about, and even more of us have felt the paradox of loneliness while simultaneously being so well connected. The combination of text messaging, IM’ing, blogs, cell phones, email, even the speed of our snail-mail is lightening fast when compared to any point in human history, let alone planes, trains and automobiles all of which render us the most connected people to ever walk this planet. We’re not even bound to electrical cords any longer, between battery packs and wifi we can go almost anywhere with no strings attached; nor are we bound by location, as we up and move with great frequency and distance.

Dietrich Bonheoffer wrote: “Only as we are within fellowship can we be alone, and only [the person] that is alone can live in the fellowship” (Bonheoffer, Life Together, 77).

Bonheoffer’s words got me wondering whether so many people feel alone precisely because they are so rarely alone. Maybe contemporary life is encouraging a sort of “connection addiction”. As many people within relational churches and intentional communities discover when community becomes a goal it quickly becomes an idol.

Relationality, community and connection are very important to me, as even just a cursory pan through my site will reveal, but the last year to eighteen months has been a season listening the cry of my life for space. Allowing space and connection to flow together is dance I am seeking to learn currently.

As I have been prayerfully reflecting on the morphing rhythm of life/rule that I live under I’ve been trying to discern what some of the dominant values of my life and my cultures are, and what practices I could submit to that would place those values in Kingdom perspective.

One such value is the Spiritual Discipline of unplugging or disconnecting. I try to unplug one day a week; no email, no cell phone, not IM’ing, etc. Although disconnecting is not exactly a radical, I find it very difficult.

Peace, dwight

meditation via pipes/cigars

First off let me say that I am well aware of the health risks associated with smoking. If you feel you must send me links to the Surgeon General’s smoking warnings you are welcome to do so, but please note, that I am in no way advocating that you or anyone pick up a two-pack a day habit.
Having said that . . . life is full; at times “busy” would an appropriate word, and slowing down has been more of a challenge for me lately.
For the last ten years or so I have consciously used breathing exercises, to aid my prayer life. Slowing down, listening to my breathing, focusing on my body’s rhythmic movement as my lungs fill and empty; focusing on my body so as to become aware of tensions and stresses I feel, etc. (as odd as this may sound I often listen to my body just long enough to become aware of the elastic in my socks or the weight of my earring).
I’ve come to see the meditative gift of pipe/cigar smoking. Few engagements commit a person to sitting still – often outdoors – for relatively long periods of time in such a way that awareness of one’s own breathing is central to the experience.
I find that when I smoke a pipe/cigar solo the time often becomes a type of centering prayer, meditative and contemplative. And when I smoke a pipe/cigar with another person our conversation inevitably drifts in the direction of holistic spirituality.
So, if you have a difficult time slowing, listening, or becoming self/body aware. I might recommend you pick-up a decent cigar; and submit to the spiritual disciple of smoking.

peace, dwight

(note: this post was edited today to correct a typo: “meditation” instead of “mediation”)

Christ the Lord is risen today . . .


Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tomb He has given life.

Spring Song

by Lucille Clifton


The green of Jesus

is breaking the ground and

the sweet smell of delicious Jesus

is opening the house and

the dance of Jesus music

has hold of the air and

the world is turning in the body of Jesus and

the future is possible

Grace and Peace, dwight

good friday – cross words


“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34



“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43



To His mother:  “Dear woman, Behold, your son!”  John 19:26

To His disciple: “Behold, your mother!”  John 19:27



“Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani ?” which means, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me ?” Matthew 27:46



 “I am thirsty.” John 19:28  



 “It is finished.” John 19:30  



 “Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit.” Luke 23:46  


Time reminded me that this year Good Friday falls on the Day of Annunciation (March 25th, which celebrates Mary’s learning from the Angel Gabriel that she would give birth to the Messiah).

Halisby on prayer

I was talking with my friend Kyle today and he introduced to Ole Halisby.  Halisby was Scandinavian mystic of sorts.  I liked this quote from his classic book, Prayer:


“Be not anxious because of your helplessness.  Above all do not let it prevent you from praying.  Helplessness is the real secret and the impelling power of prayer.  You should, therefore, rather try to thank God for the feeling of helplessness, which He has given to you.  It is one of the greatest gifts which God can impart to use, for it is only when we are helpless that we open our hearts to Christ and let Him help us in our distress, according to His grace and mercy.”


Peace, dwight

the day of ashes

Today millions of our sisters and brothers in Christ join together in an 1,100+ year-old tradition of commonly referred to as ‘ash wednesday’.  The ashes – which are from the burned palm branches from the previous year’s Palm Sunday service – are placed on the forehead in the shape of a cross to mark the beginning of the season of Lent. 

Below are one and one-half stanzas of T. S. Eliot’s poem: “Ash Wednesday

As I am forgotten
And would be forgotten, so I would forget
Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And God said
Prophesy to the wind, to the wind only for only
The wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping
With the burden of the grasshopper, saying

Lady of silences
Calm and distressed
Torn and most whole
Rose of memory
Rose of forgetfulness
Exhausted and life-giving
Worried reposeful
The single Rose
Is now the Garden
Where all loves end
Terminate torment
Of love unsatisfied
The greater torment
Of love satisfied
End of the endless
Journey to no end
Conclusion of all that
Is inconclusible
Speech without word and
Word of no speech
Grace to the Mother
For the Garden
Where all love ends.

advent online?

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for online advent calendars. I been using the one created by the Episcopal Diocese of Washington; I bet many artists and faith communities are making some interactive advent calendars.  If you have one you have created or been using, please post or email a link.

peace, dwight

i need God

I am weary in almost every way.  From disappointing myself, and others, from misrepresenting that which is so important to me; weary of not being enough husband for my wife, father for my son, pastor for my community, colleague for my faculty, teacher for my students, writer for my publisher, citizen for my city, me for me.  I am weary.

So I began my day reading Hans Urs von Balthasar’s classic book; Prayer.  Here’s a quote that caused pause.

“This looking to God is contemplation.  It is looking inward into the depths of the soul, and hence beyond the soul toward God.  The more contemplation finds God, the more it forgets itself and yet discovers itself in him.  This unwavering ‘beholding’, moreover, is also and always a ‘hearing’, because what is beheld is the free and infinite Person who, from the depths of freedom, can give himself in a way that is ever new, unsuspected and unpredictable.  Therefore the word of God is never something finished, to be surveyed like a particular landscape, but it is something new every moment, like water from a spring or rays of light.  ‘And so it is not enough to have received insight and to know the testimonies of God, if we do not continually receive and become inebriated by the fountain of eternal light.’  The lover already knows this; the beloved’s face and voice are every moment as new as if he had never seen them before.  But the being of God, which is revealed to us in his word, is not only for eyes of the lover” (von Balthasar, 1955, p. 24-5).

I love this and yet I find myself, in my weary condition, with a sense that revelation is past, that the babbling brook has become a mosquito breeding ground, and that any rays of light are so faint that one could nearly mistake them for darkness itself. 

Holy Spirit, I find myself in a place where I thirst and I long to see.  Lead me to peaceful streams, and renew my soul.  Open my eyes, again, to see the newness of the Creator, in my places of weariness.  I voice this in connection with my Lord Jesus Christ; my reconciling friend, who keeps inviting me to seek, and know; to taste and see.  O that I might.

peace, dwight