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“Self-care”

The idea of self-care has blown up in the behavioral health field, social media, blog posts, and heck it’s one of the best-selling genres of books. I’m a big advocate of self-care. But not just the bubble-bath-taking, self-pampering, fitness-body-building, travel-the-world type of self-care advocate. I mean the self-care you don’t post a photo of on social media. I mean the hard conversations you ...

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things too great and too marvelous for me

Today is Martin Luther King Day. I don’t claim to know Dr. King’s life well or be a civil rights historian. But what I do know is that Dr. King is one of the great Christians of the American tradition. He was also a man who was caught up in great things. I thought this little meditation would be appropriate.  — Sunday we talked about the Sandals of peace. Or the sandals that are “the readine...

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Last week’s sermon takeaway…

Pastors think a lot about sermon takeaways. We want people to get the primary thing we believe God has for them. As I listened to Eric’s sermon last Sunday on the belt of truth and appreciated his takeaways. But I also had another takeaway, one he didn’t necessarily intend. I loved his story about going up to Babad Do’ag (Frog Mountain) with Sue, Ashton, and Elliott and sitting together in the car...

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The songs I wrote in 2020

THE SONGS I WROTE IN 2020 A few things to start: This has been a hard year. This week as we look towards 2021 I’ve been thinking about the songs I wrote in 2020. I process my walk with God through music most of the time and I guess God and I had a lot to talk about this year. Pretty much all of this is connected in some way to life at the Village. I’ll try to do this in order but the middle of the...

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I don’t think I am a ‘Christian’ anymore

It’s 11:30 at night as I write this. Earlier this evening I happened upon a story about a pastor in Texas who was encouraging his congregants to continue gathering in public all through the pandemic. He made statements like faith over fear and God was on control. His parents were among his congregation and they were planning a huge gathering for their family at Thanksgiving. They had made st...

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As I was praying…

As I was praying this morning it dawned on me (again) what a beautiful gift adversity is. It allows us to suffer, opening our hearts to God and to each other. Identifying with Christ and following in his path means trials will come. They make us turn from our ability and power and lean on the One who overcomes death. As we suffer we become aware of the suffering of others. Our attention is diverte...

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I’m Shocked–Mortified, yet Ashamed…

How could anyone vandalize a building devoted to prayer and worship of a deity? A place that radiates righteous behavior and thought and subverts and contaminates with bigotry, narcissistic wrath against others? Humanity is basically evil in nature. We need to be guided by laws proves this. We don’t play well with others, nor with ourselves. We do try and sometimes have some success. Vandals recen...

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My Thoughts on Advent Amidst Health & Societal Angst

In the month of December 2020, reflection about advent. This is a time when I reflect on the birth and life of Christ Jesus. How this single event of the Messiah humbly being born as a human being. That he had to learn to breath, eat, speak, crawl, walk, all under the subjection and discipleship of human beings who were his enemy. Yes, I do believe that any and all human beings are by very nature ...

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On Fallow Month

Every year at The Village we observe fallow month in December. “Fallow” is a farming term which means to leave a field unplanted. This gives the field a chance to rest and replenish nutrients. We practice fallow month to give us space to rest. We try not to fill up the month with events, but rather we take time off from our pilgrim groups, monastic communities and other events. The intent is to gi...

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The call of the King

In 1997 I moved to Tucson to plant a church. I didn’t know what I was doing and felt very alone. Two years later I was an abject failure and looking to return to the world of business. Then God introduced me to Eric and the Seneca house. Slowly God began to gather people around us. Broken people. Hurting people. Stumbling people. People like me. Somehow God gathered people around us. Godly people....

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NOVEMBER 29 SERVICE CHANGE

Dear Villagers, The evening service on November 29th has been cancelled. The morning service will be held via livestream, but the building will not be open to additional attendants.  I was briefly exposed to COVID-19 recently and am awaiting test results. As such, my household is avoiding contact with the larger community for the time being. Further, Mark has come down with a bad head cold, and Ro...

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Sue Cepin’s Philosophy of Training Children Re-Print

Sue Cepin’s Philosophy of Training Children -We are transformed into great parents by the Holy Spirit as we embrace the gospel. Galatians 5:16-26 (NIV) 16So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, s...

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Tamale Day

Tamale Day (an Italian sonnet) I watch you standing near the steaming pot, perspiration’s glow dripping down your face. You splay the corn husks with an expert grace, spread masa just the way your mother taught. Black olives, not green, always hit the spot. There is history you will not erase, traditions from another time and place, tamales made with love just can’t be bought. Memories of kids sta...

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