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Longing & Blessing

Longing is a powerful word. As I speak it in my mind I feel a stir in my heart. It’s akin to “I want” or “I desire” but in a much more wistful way. In some sense there is a longing for something lost as well as something hoped for and even something that is beyond reach. This creates the sensation and the tension.

I have found that longings and desires have a better chance of manifesting if I live into my longings from a position of trust, gratitude and blessing.

Living a life centered on blessing others and blessing the spaces you find yourself in is a gateway into a beautiful life where longing and desire don’t rule you, but are intimate friends along the journey. They know you by name and love you as you are.

This morning as I pull aside and was meditating, my focus was on the following ‘Blessing for Longing’ by John O’Donohue found in his book, “To bless the space between us.”
I love the last line “May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.”
So,

Pause…
Breathe…
Read…
Meditate…
Enter in…

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Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur nd the call of your soul.

May the one you long for long for you.

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.

May your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.

~John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Did God Break His Own Rules About Women In The Tanakh? (Old Testament)

“When a woman was the right person for the job, whether it was leading in worship, prophesying, exhorting, saving a nation from genocide, or leading soldiers into battle, God didn’t hesitate to use her. And the results were impressive.” ~Ruth Haley Barton

If God is against women in leadership (as some people think) then He has some “splainin'” to do! In this podcast episode, we discuss some of the women that God raised up to lead as read in the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible aka the Old Testament). Miriam, Deborah, Jael, a mystery woman, Esther and the prophet Huldah.

Even though the Bible is written within a patriarchal worldview, God was able to work within our less than perfect ideals and plant an idea for something better, and He is still doing that today!

God raised up and installed some amazing women to lead His people, both men, and women, which leaves us with a decision to make, Either He is breaking His own rules about women in leadership, or those are the rules of a patriarchal system and He is trying to lead us out of that to something better!

While there are many books and vast amounts of scholarship on this topic, one very readable and approachable book you might want to pick up is called “How I Changed My Mind About Women In Leadership” (Alan Johnson General Editor)

This is a compelling collection of stories from some prominent Evangelical leaders.

Also here is a link to an article written by @rachelheldevans (Rachel Held Evans) that is a good overview as well:

https://rachelheldevans.com/blog/mutuality-women-leaders

I hope you enjoy the journey, and remember to empower the women in your life!

Patriarchy Is Not God’s Dream

This episode is the first in a series of conversations about gender inequality. While this shows up globally, it reveals itself both blatantly and subtly here in the US. While not all churches and denominations teach a hierarchical view of men over women, many do, and therefore are a significant part of the problem continuing to widen the gender divide.

I interview my amazing friend Susan Chavez later in the teaching. Susan is the Executive Pastor at SVA and shares a fascinating journey finding her voice in a male predominated world.

In this episode we will look at Genesis 1-3 in order to get a renewed perspective that patriarchy wasn’t God’s dream, it was actually part of the curse which we have been freed from.

Only In Love…

“…then I can bury myself entirely in you, O mysterious God”

This morning my prayerful reflection was written by Karl Rahner SJ. It is a beautiful invitation into love, which is the presence and form of God.

God of My Life

Only in love can I find you,my God.
In love the gates of my soul spring open,
…..allowing me to breathe a new air of freedom.
…..and forget my own petty self.
In love my whole being streams forth
…..out of the rigid confines of narrowness and anxious self-assertion,
…..which makes me a prisoner of my own poverty and emptiness.
In love all the powers of my soul flow out toward you,
wanting never more to return,
but to lose themselves completely in you,
since by your love you are the inmost center of my heart,
closer to me than I am to myself.

But when I love you,
when I manage to break out of the narrow circle of self
and leave behind the restless agony of unanswered questions,
when my blinded eyes no longer look merely from afar
and from the outside upon your unapproachable brightness,
and much more when you yourself, O Incomprehensible One,
have become through love the inmost center of my life,
then I can bury myself entirely in you, O mysterious God,
and with myself all my questions.