Archive for the ‘SIP’ Tag

Hurry up!   Leave a comment

Some years ago I was reading with a small group in John Ortberg’s “ The Life you have Always Wanted.” In the book, he recounts a conversation he had with his mentor, the late Dallas Willard. Ortberg asked a question about how he might use a sabbatical to become more of what God intended him to be. After a thoughtful pause, Willard replied, “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Subsequent to reading that segment I have read multiple accounts of the circumstances surrounding the conversation but the statement  “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life” remains unchanged. Much has been written around this idea as a Google search will reveal and recently Jon-Mark Comer, a pastor for Portland Oregon has taken the statement and used it as a title for a new book to which Ortberg writes the foreword.

The challenge to be “unhurried” is one that has nagged me ever since that session with our small group all these years ago. I have eagerly read Alan Fadling’s books The Unhurried life and An UnHurried Leader, both of which I highly recommend, and I have begun Comers book with great anticipation and so far it has not disappointed. However, my progress toward the objective has seemed disappointingly slow. 

The current SIP has brought so many changes to our daily routines. Most of us, I suspect, have spent at least some time wondering what sort of people we will be when the virus is a thing of the past. In the course of one of these flights of fancy, I was suddenly conscious that one of the most noticeable differences for me was that I was actually no longer hurrying anywhere and it feels so good!

Earlier this week a friend forwarded me this video (only four minutes) entitled “ The Great Realization.” I wonder if part of this realization could be that our susceptibility to “the hurry virus” is every bit as dangerous as any other virus and that finding a way to avoid getting reinfected with it was also of the highest importance.

Will we succeed? Well, of course, the jury is still out but I certainly hope that when the future bedtime stories are told the recognition that hurry kills and the steps taken to deal with that reality will be one of the most notable achievements seen in 2020 hindsight. 

Posted May 6, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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It’s happening!   4 comments

Its happening! We are about six weeks into the SIP regulations designed to keep us safe. In the early weeks there was a remarkable sense of being together in this and the need to do all we could to encourage and support each other. 

Most of us were well aware that we entered this unique season a nation as divided as we ever have been in our history but did we catch a glimpse of what it might be like if we weren’t? I am not sure because our ability to yell at each other seems to be raising its ugly head once again. I read an article yesterday where two people expressed opinions about what the authorities should be doing next. One pleading a case that all the restrictions had been an overreaction and unless we opened up immediately our economy would collapse.  The other equally passionately begging government to safeguard people’s lives by keeping the regulations in place. Of course, both are entitled to hold and express their perspectives and which is right I certainly don’t know.

What concerns me as we see the divisions in our nation re-emerge is not the existence of differences that is in many ways healthy. It is that, once again, they are being expressed in increasingly ugly and hostile protests along with threats at rebellion or resistance. Even more concerning is the fact that the church in various forms has chosen to enter the fray. Their rhetoric is also one of entitlement and rights and my uneasiness is that I don’t see that in the life of Jesus or the words of scripture.

I am not saying for one moment that I know the answers but I think that if we do not want to return to our behaviors before God allowed the pause button to be pushed we need to think carefully before we protest our rights and entitlements. Before we join the yelling across whatever divide let’s take the time we have been given to ask ourselves some questions. Do we really believe that God is totally and completely in control? Do we depend on Him alone to provide and protect us? Do we believe our every word and action should bring glory to our Heavenly Father? If the answer is yes how should we then speak and act? Has God given us a chance to do differently? What should that look like? 

Posted April 28, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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Gaslighting!   1 comment

It’s strange when somehow, over time, words take on totally new meanings. Who knew that being “sick” would become something to be desired and to be “lit” would be a compliment. This phenomenon struck again for me this week when a number of people posted an article on FaceBook entitled “Gaslighting. ” Much more significant, however, than the new meaning for the term, was the content of the article which I encourage you all to read.

Yesterday we heard the first reports of conversations between governors here on the West Coast about beginning to release the SIP restrictions. Of course, so much of me longs for the chance to kiss my grandchildren, hug the girls and be reunited face to face with our wonderful church family. I have missed their physical presence so much. 

However, no matter how hard I try, I cannot avoid a little voice inside that is screaming, “Not yet. I am not ready!” This has nothing to do with the the virus and I will rejoice with everyone as soon as the pain and bereavement of so many begins to subside. No, this is because I am already sensing the rumbling in the distance of a freight train that these circumstances have allowed us to step off. I am not sure if I have any idea how I can prevent myself getting back on that speeding train. 

My observation of the past few weeks has persuaded me that this freight train is, unbeknown to us all, hurtling towards oblivion. I believe we have been given an opportunity to step off the train, to see blue skies, experience our earth breathing and take some time to think about the things that really matter. There are reports that churches of all sizes are experiencing increased attendance, (“online” of course).  Could it be that our circumstances are causing people to wonder if we really control the universe as we thought?

I am praying with a greater degree of urgency than ever, that God will show us how to stop ourselves from getting back on the train. That He would give us the courage to resist the drive to re create a “normal”  that will only restore the frantic paced confusion of the past.

I recently had the privilege of hearing a message from Jill Briscoe a wonderful preacher, poet, disciple-maker and pastor’s wife. During the message she shares this poem about how God met her at a time when she needed Him most. I want to share it with you as I believe it holds some clues to where we each need to go as we search for these answers.  

I ran to the deep place where nobody goes and found Him waiting there.
“Where have you been?” He asked me.
“I’ve been in the shallow places where everyone lives,” I replied. 
I knew He knew. He just wanted me to admit I’d been too busy being busy. I’m running out…” I began.
“Of course,” He said. “I haven’t seen you in a while.”
He sat down on the steps of my soul in the Deep Place where nobody goes and smiled at me. Angels sang; a shaft of light chased away the shadows and brightened my daily day. I smiled back.        
 “I’m such a fool…”
“Shhh,” He said, putting His finger on my lips. 
He touched my hurried heart.
 Startled, it took a deep breath and skidded to a near stop. My spirit nestled in to nearness in the Deep Place where nobody goes. 
My soul spoke, then: He answered with words beyond music. Where on earth had I been while heaven waited? Such grace!

Posted April 14, 2020 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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