All Things Are There – Br. Keith Nelson

Luke 21:34-36

It’s no secret that we live in a culture driven by obsession with surfaces and exteriors. We are driven constantly to the surface of things, actively discouraged from remembering that we even have depths. Our energies are spread thin across the surface as our will, our imaginations, our sensations, are driven to fixate upon exterior objects.

We have perpetual need of the reminder in 1 Samuel: “The Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

God gazes upon your heart – the center of your inmost being – at this very moment. Many of you are here on retreat, a time in which you are invited to rest in God’s presence and let God love you.

When you are still and present to yourself and to this loving God, what does God see in your heart? Read More

Why Wait? – Br. Jim Woodrum

Br. Jim WoodrumLuke 21:34-36

One of the debates I see played out amongst my friends each year on social media is what I call the Christmas tree debate.  Just when is it acceptable to drag out your Christmas CDs, decorations, and set up your tree in front of the living room picture window?  We smile somewhat at this familiar conundrum but it seems each year the debate gets even more heated, perhaps one tier below our concerns about whether Russia interfered with our election process.  I read comments from friends who dread hearing ‘Sleigh Ride’ played ad nauseum in supermarkets and shopping malls beginning Thanksgiving Day.  And I don’t blame them.  When I was home to see my parents a few weeks ago, I shook my head in frustration when a local radio station advertised its seasonal format shift to Christmas music exactly one week prior to Thanksgiving!  Many of my friends had pictures of their trees on social media on Thanksgiving, one with the defiant comment:  “We put our tree up today!  Sorry, not sorry!” And who can blame them?  In a world that appears to be immersed in utter chaos, in a climate of hostility to those who think, believe, and act differently, who wouldn’t be parched and thirsting for some Christmas joy? Read More