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  • Conversations Journal – Stephen A. Macchia
    Read More Post a comment 0 Graced in Silence Gifts from a Monastic Community by Stephen A Macchia Volume 5 2 Fall 2007 Section Life Together Purchase Article PDF Format Purchase Print Volume Purchase PDF Volume Comments Off on Graced in Silence Gifts from a Monastic Community Is there anything more countercultural or counterintuitive than spending a day or a few days in a monastery And yet when I arrive and get settled in my spartan cell I come to realize how much I actually yearn to be here Why Because my culture and my intuition continually pull me in opposite directions toward priorities that are in conflict with what a monastery embodies Read More Comments Off on Graced in Silence Gifts from a Monastic Community Spiritual Formation and the Pastor A Vision for Shortening the Distance between the Pulpit and the Pew by Stephen A Macchia Volume 5 1 Spring 2007 Section Life Together Purchase Article PDF Format Purchase Print Volume Purchase PDF Volume Comments Off on Spiritual Formation and the Pastor A Vision for Shortening the Distance between the Pulpit and the Pew It was 8 p m on Friday after a long week of ministry when our phone rang Fran an 87 year old friend from church had called because she needed a listening ear some pastoral encouragement and prayer Fran is the mother of four grown children all of whom are facing traumatic health issues including spinal fusion surgery lupus breast cancer muscular dystrophy diabetes and cataracts Spending most of her days ministering to others she now took her turn to receive some support at a crucial time of need She admitted she was weary from her days spent cooking laundering visiting and caring for her extended family In the midst of our phone call she mentioned that one of the hardest parts of living alone was that no one was there to sing with After chatting about her favorite hymn Be Still My Soul I suggested we sing it together before we prayed The excitement was palpable through the phone lines as I heard the sound of her feet briskly walking to another room to grab her hymnal We sang all the verses with passion she leading the way and I following along Thankfully I didn t stumble too much on the words knowing that she had them in front of her We prayed and hung up the phone both fully satisfied that our souls had been refreshed and our weary bodies renewed by the Spirit s obvious presence and power On Retreat by Stephen A Macchia Comments Off on On Retreat I find myself frequently and joyfully on retreat these days facilitating them for leaders and teams guiding them for our own ministry teams planning them for others on Sabbatical and engaging in them for myself No matter what the context or the group the purpose of a soul care retreat is pretty straight forward deepening intimacy with Christ Read More Comments Off on

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/author/stephen_a_macchia/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – We Grow In Learning To Pray
    with God Like everything in the spiritual life this coming into the light of deeper attentiveness to the Lord takes time and patience it takes false starts and not a little humiliation at times With loving persistence in this holy conversation one can be encouraged slowly but surely with faith towards a deeper God awareness in love In coming before God this way one also receives a surer self awareness in his presence This is no self help undertaking but an expression of the longing to know Christ and to be known by him and to be drawn ever deeper into the love and rest he promised By discerning and yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit the director facilitates this experience permitting any and every part of one s life to be talked about in God s presence without jumping to conclusions or solutions Being in conversation with another person like this allows the directee to explore aspects of their lives and face realities about themselves before God in new ways that work grace truth and mercy in the heart It is important to remember that the point of seeking spiritual direction is not merely to get help from another person but to journey with a soul listening companion toward deeper intimacy with God Spiritual direction is a gift of fellowship in the Spirit with another believer It is occasioned by an intentional conversation that opens up breathing room in the heart and soul to see what is typically hidden from view to feel what is often suppressed and hear what is normally beyond earshot As such it is an act of faith that can draw the longing soul ever deeper into prayer Jeremy Stefano Dr Jeremy Stefano serves with Leadership Transformations in the role of minister of

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/2015/11/we-grow-in-learning-to-pray/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – Jeremy Stefano
    is not a static longing but one that deepens as the relationship matures While it may be commendable to start out saying one s prayers grace allows a time to come when the longing to relate to God makes what began as sincere prayer seem inadequate for the increasing desire to relate to God more deeply Read More Post a comment 0 Our Sponsors Welcome Home Who We Are Subscribe

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/author/jeremy_stefano/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – We Discover Deep Companionship For Our Soul
    depths of His love Parker Palmer in his book Let Your Life Speak shares The soul speaks its truth only under quiet inviting and trustworthy conditions The soul is like a wild animal tough resilient savvy self sufficient and yet exceedingly shy If we want to see a wild animal the last thing we should do is to go crashing through the woods shouting for the creature to come out But if we are willing to walk quietly into the woods and sit silently for an hour or two at the base of a tree the creature we are waiting for may well emerge and out of the corner of an eye we will catch a glimpse of the precious wildness we seek Self protection is a significant issue for our souls For most we learned early in our lives to protect and hide We all have our particular strategies but the depths of our soul tend toward suspicion can I really trust Can I really release and let go Can I open myself to all that God desires in our relationship Other kinds of spiritual companionship may center on giving advice or fixing a problem However directive advice or fixing frequently causes the soul to go back into hiding In a direction session we sit quietly and notice listening to God and the soul gently asking questions that give courage and allow resistances to fall The goal of this deep companionship is reflected well in a prayer of Soren Kierkegaard Father in heaven when the thought of you wakes in our hearts let it not wake like a frightened bird that flies about in dismay but like a child waking from its sleep with a heavenly smile Amen Ted Wueste Dr Ted Wueste serves as Executive Pastor of Spiritual

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/2015/11/we-discover-deep-companionship-for-our-soul/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – Ted Wueste
    In the Old Testament The Song of Songs speaks of the deep intimacy that we are able to experience in Christ In the Song we find a refrain which is repeated three times do not awaken love until it pleases Our love relationship with Jesus is compared to the does and gazelles of the field meaning that the deep things of our soul are timid and shy like a wild

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/author/ted_wueste/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – What Is Spiritual Direction?
    the Holy Spirit s presence and ways rather than the director telling the directee what to do It is about listening with together noticing senses of God s voice and direction rather than talking to It occurs in an atmosphere of loving trust trusting that God is for us not against us in love and that God s work over time is about transforming us into the image of Christ through the loving shaping of his Holy Spirit so that we might live life fully and to the Father s glory What Really Happens In Spiritual Direction When times of direction flow from God s Spirit the director begins to fade and the directee has a place to encounter the God who hears who sees who knows and who comes to us with his rescuing love Sally Breedlove Selah 2011 2013 Chapel Hill NC This shaping over time tends to occur in spiritual seasons or rhythms which God leads us into for the sake of a particular work he s doing in us the rhythm of releasing a pruning time when we re surrendering false self ways and false God images the rhythm of resting when we settle into the true God s healing embrace of love as he sings over us the rhythm of renewing when we experience stirrings of new life in our soul as we grow into our true self in intimacy with Christ and the rhythm of rejoicing when we find ourselves living in rich community and bearing fruit in areas of calling Spiritual direction helps us to identify the spiritual season that God has us in at any given time noticing his work in us and nurturing our trusting response Because it s about noticing God s presence and ways in us not only over time but in the present moment spiritual direction occurs in an atmosphere of prayerful listening It is a holy listening a holy companionship on the way companionship with the Spirit of the One who is the way and the truth and the life For more on what actually happens in spiritual direction we asked the Senior Faculty team of Selah to weigh in Their offerings follow And additionally we asked their graduates and current interns to give us glimpses of their experiences in spiritual direction You ll find their insights shared throughout these articles What Actually Happens in Spiritual Direction We Discover Deep Companionship for our Soul by Ted Wueste What Actually Happens in Spiritual Direction We Repair our Image of God for a True and Good Experience of Life with God by Angela D Wisdom What Actually Happens in Spiritual Direction We Grow in Learning to Pray by Jeremy Stefano What Actually Happens in Spiritual Direction We Experience Confession and Freedom by Stephen A Macchia Learn more about Selah Now enrolling for Selah East and Selah West 2016 2018 cohorts Susan Currie Dr Susan Currie is the Director of Selah Associate for Spiritual Formation In addition to directing Selah

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/2015/11/what-is-spiritual-direction/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – Susan Currie
    shared noticing of Jesus revealed in Scripture and the daily events of a walk and a meal attended to in feelings of disappointment and hope of joy and burning hearts Spiritual Direction conversations include the stuff of ordinary life vocation relationships circumstances health the life of worship and prayer and service joys and sorrows boredoms and adventures and seek to notice God s presence work and invitations in the midst

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/author/susan_currie/ (2016-04-28)
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  • Conversations Journal – Welcoming the Stranger
    also Matthew 18 5 and John 13 20 Who are our strangers People appear to us as strangers for different reasons but they usually fit into one of these categories Outcasts A person s past didn t disqualify him or her from being welcomed by Jesus While most rabbis threw stones at lepers Jesus welcomed them Matthew 8 1 4 He touched the untouchables Wrong doers The immoral past of the Samaritan woman did not disqualify her either In fact Jesus went out of his way to extend himself he had to go through Samaria John 4 4 He welcomed this person who was also a stranger ethnically and gender wise He should not have had a conversation with any woman in public but he not only did so but also invited her to enter into a deepened relationship with God Anyone who isn t like me When we see or meet people who differ from us politically ethnically or theologically a little ping may go off in our head that says Ooh Different Step back I wonder what Jesus disciple Simon the zealot thought when Jesus healed and then praised the faith of a Roman centurion Simon would have viewed the centurion as a prime candidate for assassination A stranger may just be someone of a different economic class In a church full of homeowners an apartment dweller often feels like a stranger A disabled person is a stranger in the midst of fitness buffs as is a non reader among well read folks Military kids or missionary kids parolees or drug rehab graduates may all qualify as strangers among those without that type of experience Anyone we re tempted to exclude and ignore Strangers are often people in power down positions children as opposed to adults women as opposed to men minority races as opposed to majority races the poor as opposed to middle class the middle class as opposed to rich lower paid workers as opposed to highly paid workers less educated as opposed to more educated blue collar workers as opposed to professionals The elderly are easily overlooked When my quiet 80 year old mother in law came to visit our other dinner guests never engaged her in conversation I wept later to think of the many times I had neglected to speak to an older person Or we may avoid pushy people people who talk too long about themselves those who scream and pout for what they feel they deserve know it alls or people who let their kids run wild In any us versus them situation them are the strangers The shocking thing about Jesus is that he did not merely tolerate such different people Jesus offered himself to them in self giving love I am able to do this only when I ask Jesus to reach out to others through me Excerpted from Invitation to the Jesus Life ch 5 Jan Johnson Join the Conversation Who are the strangers in your life What

    Original URL path: http://conversationsjournal.com/2015/09/welcoming-the-stranger-3/ (2016-04-28)
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