Blessing, Perishing, Flourishing

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Paul and Peter and James and John and the others wrote letters to them, telling them how they should now live.

2018 - Days of Glory, Days of Flourishing, Days of Abounding, Part 2

They were to be very different from the culture around them, and sho should we. Fourth, we have to be separate from the world in our availability. If a friend or family member tries to get you to do something that goes against your better judgment or your conscience, you need to say no. You have to delight in it and meditate on what it says day and night. David wrote Psalm 1 after spending time thinking about Joshua This book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein.

For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success. As I say in my book, Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation , meditation is the powerful habit of pondering, personalizing and practicing Scripture.


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I love to begin quoting Scripture to myself when I awaken in the morning. Then I get up and brew a cup of coffee and sit down for my daily time of Bible study and prayer. I start reading where I left off the day before, and I try to study and ponder and think about every verse. I mark passages I like. I memorize verses I come to. Later in the shower I train my mind to mull them over.

Delighting and Flourishing in God's Word

All day I ponder them. At night, my work behind me, I open my Bible and read a comforting passage. Verse 3 says: They will be like trees planted by rivers of water that bear their fruit in season. My home in Roan Mountain, Tennessee sits alongside Doe River, which is formed by the melting snow and underground springs of Roan Mountain, one of the highest elevations in the Appalachians. But the trees along the riverside never fade or falter because they are planted by the river, which never runs dry.

In fact, I have an oil painting in my kitchen of a grove of trees leaning over Doe River not far from our home. The roots spread out through the soil and soak up the cold mountain water and are perpetually refreshed. That happens as we cultivate this habit of continual separation from the world and meditation on the Word. This is a recurring theme in the Bible.

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Jeremiah 17 says, Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like trees planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.

Flourish // Perish

It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. One morning at a retreat where I was speaking, I woke up thinking about this passage. I walked from my cabin to the dining hall to get some coffee. One of the staff came up to me, a year-old named Alec. He knew my wife, Katrina, suffered from multiple sclerosis. He told me when he was seven, he was hit by a convergence of three serious infections and almost died.

5 Powerful Prayers that Will Help Your Family Flourish - Flourishing Today

During his prolonged recovery he had to work hard to regain strength. His favorite biblical character is Job, he said, because Job had a lot of trouble in life but ended up twice as strong at the end of it than before. Then when I was fifteen I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The vision in my right eye comes and goes and I have other of the classic MS symptoms. Psalm 92 says, The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.

If we separate from the world and meditate on the Word, whatever we do will prosper—that is, we will joyfully fulfill the plan God has laid out for us. We will fulfill it successfully in His eyes, joyfully, and productively and by His grace. We will mature. We are not people who think in terms of failure. We may not always see all visible success, but the same God who knows how to turn curses into blessings also turns blessings into benefits that compound from here to eternity for His glory.

And speaking of eternity, the last three verses describe our destination: Not so the wicked. Childcare Complete this form by September 23, to request free childcare onsite throughout the duration of the event.

Present Day: Israel’s Restoration

Though their son Brave never took his first breath, his death and their exposed grief has echoed throughout a close-knit community. Many Christian women find themselves wondering what to do with all the anger inside, seeing it as an enemy to personal peace and spiritual flourishing. They grew up in a culture that labeled their early emotional responses to disappointment, fear, and harm as dangerous, irrational, and exaggerated. In their churches, girls may have overidentified with the suffering of Jesus as a holy example of how to encounter pain, and then started a habit of picking up cross after cross.

Until the moment they stopped playing by the rules. This presentation is about those moments and some questions and thoughts about whether the resulting anger and acts of subversion are acknowledged or sanctioned by the Christian tradition. Is feminine subversion part of the spiritual journey and even useful for the spiritual flourishing of women and those who are in relationship with them?

As our culture produces narrative after narrative about women snapping out of compliance and engaging in bold subversion, do we see any of those themes reflected in our spiritual texts and tradition? Or is that kind of rebellion only aberrant and a sign of despair? This presentation is both theological and personal, grounded in real-time questions the presenter is facing in her own life and spiritual journey.

Without blessing, generations wither, and the psychological and spiritual wounds send trauma careening through generations to come. In order to bless, then, fathers must first know the hearts of their children. It is not a one-off comment. It is not a wishful sentence. It is not even a scripturally based prophecy. It must be fully drawn from the long hours of experience, observation, and intentional space that has existed between father and child.

Flourishing After Suffering Our culture tends to view pain, failure, or burnout as hindrances to wellbeing or an irreparable break in the story of progress. Understood properly, these crucibles and the grief process that follows are the primary formative path to flourishing. Principles of design thinking, non-linear narrative arcs, and biological metaphors can help us understand our pain as invitations to growth, allow us to forgive the sources of pain, and bring us to greater flourishing and meaningful life. Part of the mission of Heroically is to work directly with folks in helping and healing professions by providing opportunities for play, creativity, and relationships for both professionals and their clients.

As collaborative storytelling and play, roleplaying games create safe space for exploration of identity, interdependence, and engaging difficulty.

In communal engagement of a shared narrative through voluntary participation, each person is invited to bring their unique skills and identity to the table. We believe that being embodied is at the core of anti-oppression work and is the starting point for making change in our world. Charles M. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient. We will address various aspects of cultural somatics starting with a trauma-informed lens in how we understand oppression and the origins of white-body supremacy and its impact on all people.

We will discuss the importance of clean versus dirty pain, the salience of reestablishing trust with your body and expanding your capacity to soothe it, and the need for cultivating a new social imagination for our collective healing and flourishing. To Hide and to Heal Trauma and heartbreak, loss and betrayal create fragmentation in our minds bodies and spirit.

We scatter and abandon the place s of greatest desire and heartache. In varying degrees of necessity, integrity, and gratitude, we seek asylum in a new world—either as refugees and exiles or as settlers and colonizers. We build homes and communities around our finds and her resources.

We make these loves our own until the brook dries up or a holy discomfort emerges on the horizon, singing the song of our First Love. The return to the First Love is not a movement back to God, but a movement towards God and ourselves with the pieces of our lives. Lesser loves teach us, equip us, and prepare us to more fully return home in a way that brings healing and restoration to ourselves and to our communities; these loves are not the destination, but North Stars along the way.

This presentation reframes the prodigal narrative as a sabbatical that allows for a more complete return—a Kerith Ravine for the layperson—son, daughter, and child. Internalized Racism and the Racial Empathy Gap At a time where the United States is the most diverse, we are also seemingly the most divided. Though equality amongst people is generally granted, the lived experience of people and the inequity in institutions and organizations says otherwise. Inequity is too often seen as simply a problem of disproportionate representation and little attention is paid to the underlying causes.

As people who are socialized in a racialized and biased culture, we must be willing to recognize the likelihood that we have all unwittingly internalized the messages, values, identities and ideologies of a system that continues to perpetuate inequity. Identities constructed in a biased and racialized culture too often fail to develop sufficient empathy across perceived social differences.

When we lack a capacity for critical self reflection we are prone to engage in relationships that are more about self. Over the past year, I have had the unique opportunity to work in a variety of organizational context and with people from all walks. Through story telling and reflection, this session will engage the impact of internalized racism and how it misguides even our most sincere attempts to relate across our human differences as equals.