Grace for the Demolition

The great mass of Jesus people who no longer feel like they have a fit anywhere cannot—by definition—be alone. We are, in fact, a community of travelers, making a way through the desert together, if we are willing to lean in and see each other and tell our stories.

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Lent is a Rebellion

For Lent, if we must give up gluten, let us give it up to discover the spiritual starvation it may be masking.  If we must go off Facebook, let us do it because every glance is a Siren’s call to avarice, envy, jealousy and self-aggrandizement.  Let us unplug to push all the demons of our own self-reliance to the surface.  Let’s prepare ourselves for the showdown between our wounded hearts, our weak knees, and the towering gods which have held us in their sway. 

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No Why in Pain

Too much religion and too much self-help have taught us to find a “why” in pain.  Like a hidden latch holding a door closed we believe that knowing some cause, some reason behind the suffering will bring us freedom.  It won’t.  Pain comes to us an all-too-regular unwelcome visitor, demanding our attention, drawing us into the simple now, with all its annoying sufferings. The invitation of pain is to widen the circle. To radically include all that we’ve wished to ignore.  To include the stories we’d dare not tell, the facts that scare us, the people whose rejections we shudder to feel. 

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Nick Richtsmeier Comments
Dear Church, Start Here:

Too many churches believe that as long as we’re having services, collecting a tithe, serving communion, hearing a sermon and singing some songs we’re at least still doing church.  It just simply isn’t so. The church’s sole reason for existence is to train us all up in the all-inclusive love revealed in Jesus.

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God, We Need a Silent Night

Jesus enters a world so much like our own, full of tumult and chaos, fear and distraction.  He enters it powerless, not with a silencing of His foes, but a silence within Himself. But in seeing my Christmas next to His, the one we noisily make and the one 2000 years ago made silent within the noise, I know which one I want.

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The Holy Hollow

But if hope is what we are after, then helpless is where we begin.  Not by contriving some false humility, but by paying attention to the hungering dark, the deep places for which that none of our holiday do-gooding is doing any good.

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There are Ghosts Watching

Any time we elevate our present circumstances to the point of timeless consequence, the joke is on us.  Any time we fail to see the cloud of unnamed witnesses around us, those faithful folks from centuries gone by and nations and cultures far from our own, we forget that our troubles and our successes are so local, so personal, so intimate, and so inherently now.

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5 Common Enneagram Errors

The Enneagram has become the bandwagon of all bandwagons.  This is not without merit.  The tool has insightful power at both the surface level and in the work of transformation.  Perhaps that is why its proliferation can be so irritating.  It’s usage in common forums can seem like a hyper-spiritualized personality test. Setting out to reawaken my own inner work, I began to see how I’d twisted the Enneagram to my own devices, dulling its scalpel-like ability to carve out the cancer in me.  Join me as we explore five ways I’ve misused the Enneagram and what I learned in the journey.

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Nick Richtsmeier Comment
There Is So Much Beauty Left

We long desperately to tap into some kind of do-something energy as a way of powering over these dark days.  The metaphor of renovation rings true because it means that with a little elbow grease, some money and a chipper attitude maybe we can make all this better.  It is difficult to recognize that we are in our own kind of Tower of Babel.

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