I am honored to know Callen Clarke and to count him among my closest friends. He is more talented than I can convey in a single post, but I hope this can be an introduction. One of his many talents, and one that continues to shape and encourage me, is his ability to convey beauty and story through music—whether it be through his symphonic pieces or worship songs written for individual instruments. Continue reading
Something wonderful has been happening to me: I’m beginning to fail where I used to find success.
One of the great things about being a teacher is getting it wrong.
While, as a believer, I certainly don’t agree with everything Carl Sagan said, I have long appreciated his work. As a ten year-old child, I remember getting up on Sunday mornings and watching the original run of his Cosmos series on PBS, and week by week I was simply captivated.
I came across this old post from 2008, and I enjoyed remembering it so much that I had to repost it. (Please note that my children are older, but the conversations haven’t necessarily changed that much.)
The following is from 2008:
So I walk into the living room and overhear the end of an apparently deep theological discussion among my daughters.
Hailey (9): “. . . God can do anything.”
Abby (5, thinks for a few seconds): “God can swim?”
Hailey: “Anything, Abby.”
Abby: “Even make cards?”
Hailey: “God can do anything.”
Thirteen years ago Amy and I made the decision to resign from paid ministry in the local church. During the previous decade, I had worked at three congregations (one for only a year, another for eight, and the last for a little over a year). One was a small family congregation, the second was a growing suburban congregation, and the last was a large “mega-church”.
The decision to leave professional ministry wasn’t easy. Since giving my life to Christ, I had always felt a “call to ministry”. I loved the relational work of sharing lives, learning together, and working out what it means to follow Jesus with other people. I, like most who feel strongly about such a call, assumed that following it meant paid ministry in a church, as a missionary, or in a para-church organization. However, I now felt for the first time that God was calling me out of professional ministry. I wasn’t sure what it meant, or what I would do, but I was certain that resigning was what I was supposed to do. So, in a huge leap of faith, without another job, and in major change in my previously assumed direction in life, I resigned.
You know that I have a difficult time inviting people to things that are of an “official” nature related to myself. Somewhere along the way I developed this knee-jerk, over-response to anything that might appear less than genuine. Sometimes, as a church worker, I’ve wondered if in the back of people’s heads there’s this idea of that somehow an invitation by a church worker comes across as “working” my relationships for the benefit of the institution or having a mixed agenda (the success of the program vs. really caring for people).
“Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.
Have you ever brought home a treadmill and let it gather dust in the attic? Ever quit a diet, a course of yoga, a meditation practice? Have you ever bailed out on a call to embark upon a spiritual practice, dedicate yourself to a humanitarian calling, commit your life to the service of others? Have you ever wanted to be a mother, a doctor, an advocate for the weak and helpless; to run for office, crusade for the planet, campaign for world peace, or to preserve the environment? Late at night have you experienced a vision of the person you might become, the work you could accomplish, the realized being you were meant to be? Are you a writer who doesn’t write, a painter who doesn’t paint, an entrepreneur who never starts a venture? Then you know what Resistance is.”
—Stephen Presfield, The War of Art