All posts by gailjohnsen

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For Want of Rest

How many times a day do you hear (or say yourself), “I am so busy…”  It is the sigh of our day. We say this to one another with no small degree of pride, as if our exhaustion were a trophy, as if our ability to buck up under stress is a mark of real ...

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Prayer as Communion

Many of us cringe when prayer is mentioned, mostly because we are so inconsistent at it and feel guilty for not “measuring up.” (If we were honest, we’d admit how bored we are with it.) There’s so much more to prayer than we realize and perhaps starting at a new place can help us. It will take some ...

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God is in Control

I heard it again this week.  And it made me cringe.  If you’ve been a Christian for any amount of time you’ve probably heard it hundreds of times.  I think it’s a Christian cop out. In discussing the state of the economy this week with someone over coffee, we lamented our personal financial situation in ...

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Franciscian Prayer

As I drove to Seattle this week, driving across the snowy, congested Snoqualmie Pass...with slush on the roadway and giant semi-trucks on every side of me, I repeated this prayer...it seemed so fitting for a frightened heart.  Of course, it is a prayer fitting for every day: Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, ...

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Bonhoeffer on Discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer observed, "In the Synoptic Gospels the relationship between the disciples and their Lord is expressed almost entirely in terms of following him." This is in contrast to religion in America, which is largely a consumer enterprise. Americans who think of themselves as Christians often describe their search for a more exciting sermon, more ...

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Wisdom and Revelation

 “When I hear people talk about what is wrong with organized religion, or why their mainline churches are failing, I hear about bad music, inept clergy, mean congregations, and preoccupations with institutional maintenance. I almost never hear about the intellectualization of the faith, which strikes me as a far greater danger than anything else on ...

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A Love Affair of the Heart

For above all else, the Christian life is a love affair of the heart. It cannot be lived primarily as a set of principles or ethics. It cannot be managed with steps and programs. It cannot be lived exclusively as a moral code leading to righteousness. In response to a religious expert who asked him ...

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Experiential Discipleship

  I stood ourside in the forest-setting at our ladies rereat last year.  We had just concluded 3 days of women meeting together expressed in laughter, singing, teaching, walking, eating, praying and all that goes into shared community.  It was time to go home and as I stepped outside, the warmth of the sun, the beauty of the blue sky and ...

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Intentional Community

This Sunday we continue our series on Intentional…our Intentional Journey in discipleship. What we’ve come to realize is this journey into becoming more like Jesus is the invitation to be with Jesus himself…to walk with him, work with him, learn how he does things….  What we are discovering together is…we can’t bring about this transformation ...

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Sacredness of the Ordinary

“When the crucifixion of Jesus is dramatized in the Gospels, we have this very interesting image of the tearing of the temple veil from top to bottom. Now the word for temple is fanum. Everything outside the temple was pro fanum. (Hence we get our word “profane.”) There was “the holy” and it was distinguished ...