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Showing posts from August, 2014

The Year of Praying Continually -- four things I have learned through eight months

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In the beginning of 2014, I announced at Sanctuary and to my friends elsewhere that I was embarking on a journey to find a life of continual prayer. I had read extensively about prayer for 15 years and I was already praying pretty frequently. Still, I was frustrated, and I felt I needed to do something decisive. There's nothing like telling everyone you know that you are committing yourself to something. Vanity can be a great motivator.

Even with my vanity at stake, focus on prayer has ebbed and flowed over this year. But the other day someone asked me how the Year of Continual Prayer is going, and as I reflected on things, I was greatly encouraged. Eight months into the Year of Continual Prayer, I have learned four things.

First, I have to be patient with myself. Praying continually involves one’s whole being – attitude, attention, emotions, etc. One cannot simply flip a switch and be a different person. One has to learn slowly over time to live a different way. So it has been wi…

The price Americans pay for working more than anyone

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I am just coming back from taking time off from preaching and writing in parts of July and August. Ah, the wonders of vacation! People the world over take vacations. But we Americans push harder and vacation less than ever. Here’s the beginning of May 1 ABC News story by Dean Schabner:


Schabner writes,
Americans work more than anyone in the industrialized world.  More than the English, more than the French, way more than the Germans or Norwegians. Even, recently, more than the Japanese.  And Americans take less vacation, work longer days, and retire later too. Americans work harder and vacation less than we did decades ago. And it appears that the segment of the working population that is getting hit the hardest is white-collar workers whose hours aren’t tracked with a time clock.
Schabner writes, “Author Juliet Schor, who wrote the best-selling book The Overworked American in 1992, concluded that in 1990 Americans worked an average of nearly one month more per year than in 1970.” A …

Eagles, otters, and being open to see what our Father wants to show us

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My son Nathaniel and I stood on a rock outcropping overlooking a small lake in the Sierras, watching in awe as a bald eagle glided over the water no more than a hundred yards from us. All was quiet. This lake was our home for our five-day backpacking trip, and we were thankful to have it all to ourselves.

It was the golden light of evening, and we had just finished dinner. Moments before, I had been bent over our cooking rock, organizing our dishes to wash. Nathaniel had turned around to look at the lake. He suddenly exclaimed, "Dad! A bald eagle!" I wheeled around and breathed, "Oh my gosh. You're right." There's no mistaking a bald eagle for any other bird. Its size, grace, and coloring (sharp contrast between brown body and white head and tail) are unique. It is a truly regal bird.

We watched the eagle soar around the lake for a minute or so and then fly off out of sight to our right.
As I stood looking across the lake, I silently prayed, "Thank yo…