Monday, August 27, 2007

Imagination Restored

Simple pleasures are easily drowned in the tsunami of hyper-media and overactivity that seems to be the modus operandi for our collective life. So many jam-packed days, weeks, months and years have passed since I've sat on a park swing experiencing the joy of utter trust and freedom - I can barely remember the feeling of childlike obedience. Why don't I look at the sky anymore?...gazing in marvelous wonder at the immensity of the world, dreaming of the beyond...the otherness of that which is outside of the heavens, outside my experience...sensing the cool presence of the Mystery's imminent wind. It is as if something is out to steal our imaginations and his tactics, at least for me, have been quite successful.

Imagination is everything! We are reduced to mere machines without visions and dreams. Our connection to the Really Real is severed and our joy becomes an empty mirage. Life is flattened, faith is void, relationships are broken, creation is predictable and dead, and we are thrown back on ourselves as the ultimate source of is-ness. Some force is driving us in this direction. Internal or external I don't know where it comes from, I simply know it exists and twists our thinking leaving our vision skewed and myopic.

Praise the Word that lives and speaks calling us back home. Yet, we've been damaged, abused, and broken. How do we know that we can trust the Voice? The cost to seek the Truth is high - it is not in the Wal-mart bargain bin - and we don't know if we can accept something so unprocessed, so raw, real and pure. It might damage our delicate digestive system to eat flesh and drink blood - we're too civilized to participate in such a scandalous meal. Yet, we can't escape the Wind and with every breeze we are shaken to the core. We hide inside and turn on the AC - but we continue to see the trees move and hear the rustling leaves.

Can we face Reality or will we simply blow away like yesterday's news? In ourselves, we can't. It is only in the One who was and is and is to come that we can gaze at the sky again. In Him our imaginations are restored and our joy is made complete. Abide in Him, look to the heavens and swing in the park - that is true freedom that nothing can steal away. Until next time - Blessings in Christ ~ RLS

Friday, August 24, 2007


Click to view my Personality Profile page

What a personality I've got. Actually, I don't put too much weight in these tests, but they are kind of fun...and this one seems to be pretty accurate. Those of you who know me pretty well, if you have any comments about how close you think this is to my true personality...let me know. One of the best things is to look at the other famous people with my personality type. I'd also like to know what your Myers-Briggs type is.

This second test is about different types of intelligences - I'm not sure what to think about it. Kind of interesting.

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Maybe I should become a monk? Until next time - Blessings in Christ ~ RLS

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Another great video. I hope that this brings a smile to your face.

Left Behind (The Rapture Song)

I haven't posted a video before...but this one is pretty funny. If you have any good "left behind" stories I'd love to hear them.


"My heart and flesh cry out for You the Living God - Your Spirit's water for my soul. I've tasted and I've seen...come once again to me - I will draw near to You, I will draw near to You."1

The reality of our psychosomatic (psukhē = spirit, soul; soma = body) wholeness was made evident to me in a significant way recently. Experiencing brokenness and turmoil in our congregational life together has resulted in numerous physical manifestations of illness, hurt and restlessness. Similar to a therapist that I read about who endured a violent verbal assault from a client with serious anger management problems. This verbal assault was so intense and unexpected that it seemed to penetrate his body like a blast from a shotgun. Shaken to the core, he realized that he needed to bodily work out the effects of the attack. After an intense cardiovascular exercise, he began stretching out his body. One stretch required him to lie flat on his back, as he laid there in cruciform position he suddenly experienced a profound identification with the crucified Christ, who willingly received brokenness into His body and offered back forgiveness and healing. This spiritual experience came through the body, as all of our experiences of God do.2

"Separation of body from spirit has been a destructive habit of mind whose damage we are still in the process of calculating."3 The effects of a dualistic cast of mind are both deep and far reaching. We have been able to justify the ways that we've violated our own bodies, the bodies of others, the Body of Christ, and the physical world because of this nasty habit. This is the result of ascribing ultimate reality to the "spiritual", with a simplified definition of non-physical, and only limited reality to material. Such thinking is utterly un-Biblical.

Scripture instructs us that the temporality of the physical world is the result of brokenness and sin. It is certainly true that created things only have a contingent reality. The only ultimate reality is the Lord God, creator of heaven and earth, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End of all things - YHWH (I Am; I Will Be). It is this God who created us as whole beings who live within the context of a web of relationships. Thus, broken relationship with the source of life eventually leads to death - Scripture is quite clear on this. This brokenness is fleshed out in the whole web of relationships into which we were created and given our being. What others do, think, and say affects me and vise versa. It is apparent that this Biblical vision has not shaped our own perspective - it is evident through our body-life. We only have to open our eyes to witness the reality of our brokenness and the continued fragmented thinking that permeates everything.

"A healthy understanding of the body - our own physical bodies, the body politic, the earth as 'body,' and the Body of Christ - rests on several key ideas: interdependence; adaptation; growth and change; need for nourishment; need for cleansing (reformed and always reforming); need for redemption and transformation (hope in 'resurrection of the body'). These ideas come together in the Lord's Supper, where we are reminded in an intimate, physical way how God enters into our very physical lives - becomes flesh, again and again - to complete the work begun in us."4

Lord help us recover an authentic understanding of humanity through Christ...teach us genuine wholiness. Until next time - blessings in Christ ~ RLS

1. Better is One Day

2. John Mogabgab, "editor's introduction," Weavings: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life, Vol. XXII, No. 5, p. 3.

3. Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, "This One Body," Weavings, Vol. XXII, No. 5, p. 9.

4. Ibid, pp. 11-12.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lord Have Mercy

Lord, have mercy;
Christ, have mercy;
Lord, have mercy on us!

There are open wounds in the Body of Christ today. This isn't the time or place for me to go into much detail, other than to say, the Body is wounded. Of course, that statement may be evident to all who observe the global Body - from inside or outside it makes little difference the wounds are apparent. Yet, they were manifest in a more personal and local way yesterday.

We participated in the practice of re-membering the reality of Christ's passion for us...His broken body and poured out blood only to later reenact that brokenness in a more tangible way. The irony of our communal practice and life together was evident to anyone who would take a moment to reflect. May Christ have mercy on us as we seek to follow Him in these days. May the healing presence of the Spirit - the life-giving, resurrection Spirit be poured out on us that we may truly become the Body of Christ. May the presence of the Wounded Healer make us whole that we may bring His healing presence into a broken world.

I apologize that this blog entry is so cryptic - it simply wouldn't be helpful to be specific at this time. However, if you've experienced the brokenness of the Body in very tangible ways...I would appreciate hearing of your experience and how you responded. Until next time - Blessings in Christ ~ RLS

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wiped Out

This is what I feel like right now! Between a camping trip, being out of town, District Assembly, other activities, and trying to catch up on missed work - I'm wiped out. I can barely pull my thoughts together to do what I have to do, much less to try and blog. I promise that I'll continue to share my unimportant thoughts in the future - but for now I'm taking a break for a couple of days from the blog-o-sphere. Until next time - Blessings ~ RLS