One Day Here

BirdToday’s Word: ‘One Day Here’ as in… a second stanza:

One day here in this place is what I imagine (if I may) what God imagines for everything … in this moment now. In moments of sheer wonder, God sits back and marvels and delights and revels in the ebb and flow of tides, in the waves’ rising and falling, in the waters of the Sound, the Straits, the sea, this sea. This Salish Sea, alive – fully alive with rhythms of thriving life: harbor seals, seagulls, eagles, herons and robins in holly bushes, everything moving together in the dance – the dance of ongoing creation, bringing joy and beauty and wonder.

#100days50words

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untitledToday’s Word: ‘One Day Here’ as in… a first stanza:

One day here in this place is what I imagine (if I can) what God imagined for the whole thing… back then. Moments of sheer beauty, when God sat back and just looked at the mist on the water and the hillsides of evergreen, alive – really alive with birds and scent and color and sound, and rhythm… rhythms – the rhythms of breeze and wind in those trees – the breeze and wind making the whole hillside come alive and dance.

#100days50words

Stepping Forward

IMG_0442Today’s Word: ‘STEPPING FORWARD’ as in… “Sometimes you have to go far in order to come near.”

For two months Henri Nouwen’s insight was constantly resonating in my heart. But on March 4th an alert I’d set reminded me: “It’s March 4th so get out there and March Forth, young man!” The March Forth Challenge is to make March 4th the day that we refuse to be deterred by the little voice that says, “We can’t, so we shouldn’t, so let’s not.” March is for Stepping Forward with “vim, vigor and vitality.” For some this is anything but easy. For others, though, there’s just not enough adrenaline to go around.

Queenstown is known as the adrenaline capital of the world. Seriously. Look it up. Adrenaline, Capital, World. Three words in one sentence. When I designed my sabbatical I wanted the final weeks to be challenging, inspiring, adventurous with adrenaline.

That’s why when we hiked to Devil’s Punchbowl Falls in Arthur’s Pass I raised my hands into the air and said “God, thank you for creating this, I’m stepping forward into it!”

That’s why when exploring the Punakaiki Pancake Rocks and hiking Robert’s Point Track to the Franz Joseph Glacier, and standing on Isthmus Peak, and kayaking into an impossibly beautiful fjord and drinking water running off the mountainside filtered through live moss, I raised my hands into the air and said “God, thank you for creating this! I’m stepping forward into it!”

And that’s why I made a point to let people in Christchurch, Wanaka, Te Anau and Queenstown know that others whom they’ll never meet, with names they’ll never know, and whose stories they’ll never hear are with them standing against all manner of violence, hate, fear and injustice, and who continue to step forward into love with them.

Stepping Forward is a robust image for what’s ahead as we seek thriving rhythms of life together! How do you hear that call in your life today? Sometimes you do have to go far in order to come near. But that doesn’t always involve mileage. Sometimes stepping forward begins right where you are. I’m so deeply grateful we get to do this together! Aren’t you? What’s your next step forward?

#100days50words

Stepping Back

Today’s Word: ‘Stepping Back’ as in… don’t just do something, sit there.

Orcas

Every day we have an invitation to reconsider the ancient wisdom from the Hebrew scriptures that reveals a remarkable “six-and-one” rhythm for thriving life: Six days on, one day off. This is so important that it’s been intricately woven into the fabric of our lives as human beings since The Beginning: six days of creating, making and doing things, one day of resting, partying and celebrating.

In February Nancy Lee and I traveled to the Pacific Northwest and made our home-away-from- home on Orcas Island in the middle of the Salish Sea. With the gift of unhindered time, renewal took place by stepping back into the rhythms of restoration and embracing the things I love to do but because of the mandates of ministry have had limited time to do them. Hiking and walking beaches, exploring hidden lakes and tidal waters in this beautiful setting without the persistence of schedules, deadlines and agendas breathed a new spirited oxygen into me. Along with daily reading, writing, journaling, and tending to a project known as #100days50words, restoration took place by simply reveling in this gift of extended and expanded time to focus on what it means to be a human being instead of a human doing. What I discovered was that this time was preparing me not simply to brace myself for a future but more importantly, this time was preparing me to more fully embrace the future I was meant to live into. Stepping back and embracing the rhythms of renewal, restoration, and reinvigoration is preparing me for a spirited reintegration with the community at and beyond Prince of Peace. With that kind of reinvention going on, I am better prepared and more equipped than ever to know how to step forward.

But enough about me already. Let me ask you this: What is it that you’re doing that makes you feel more like a human doing and less like a human being? How challenging would it be to welcome one day to unplug, to turn it off, to set it aside and do something different. How could you practice a healthier thriving rhythm of “six-and-one”? Let’s get there together! Let’s step back!

#100days50words

Stepping In

617A9060-C1C7-45A4-ADEC-4657BB03FE3BToday’s Word: ‘stepping in’ as in… every day we have a sacred invitation to continue stepping in to life, and more life.

By stepping in to life we enter other’s lives bearing witness to the grace that we’ve been given and shed more light on what it means to be human. A little more life and aliveness – we could all use some of that!

Nancy Lee and I spent January stepping in to the rhythms of life with our daughter Sarah, Travis and our three granddaughters. We continued to affirm the essential roles that family – especially grandparents – play in the lives of children. Deeper life and aliveness took place daily with countless trips to schools, libraries, grocery stores, restaurants, parks, pools, health clubs, bike trails, coffee shops, museums, historical sites, and yes, even a skating rink. That’s right: an old school, indoor, wood floor, roller skating rink. With loud music. And that musty aroma of sweat and popcorn. It’s earthy. And it’s lovely. Also, by stepping in to the thriving rhythms of their faith community, Nancy Lee and I had the rare opportunity to worship together, to sit together and sing and pray and read and think and laugh and cry, rinse and repeat, hand in hand all while stepping in to the lives of so many new friends and extended family. As we did that we gained fresh perspectives on worship, discipleship, faith formation and spirited growth – healthy rhythms of life, and more life! By stepping in to that kind of spaciousness and that kind of sabbath, I’m now better prepared and more equipped than ever to know when to step back and how to step forward.

But enough about me already. Let me ask you this: What is it that you’re stepping into that because of your willingness to do that enriches the lives of others? Get in there! Step in!

#100days50words

Reflection

Reflection Peter's PondToday’s Word: ‘REFLECTION’ as in… using the next handful of days to do some reflection on the sabbatical: the past 100 days of Stepping In to a more sustained encounter with our family, Stepping Back from external demands and responsibilities, and Stepping Forward into the adventure of reimagining the next vibrant season of life.

As the dust settles, I can only lean on Kent Nerburn’s poignant thoughts moments like this…

“This is why we need to travel. If we don’t offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Our eyes don’t lift to the horizon; our ears don’t hear the sounds around us. The edge is off our experience, and we pass our days in a routine that is both comfortable and limiting. We wake up one day and find that we have lost our dreams in order to protect our days.”

#100days50words