February 2007

We have finally been able to post a number of talks from the Gathering online.  You can find them on our website www.thegatheringcommunity.orgunder the podcast section.  Or if you have itunes I recommend checking them out at http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=215942853

 We currently have four talks available. 

“Find Your Place” addresses the issue of meaning in our lives and how we find deeper meaning in our day to day existence.  What is spirituality really?  And can it enrich the ordinary moments of every day?

 “Who believes in you?” speaks to the issues of fear and doubt that we all face in our lives.  What do we lean back on, rely on, draw from, when all we can seem to hear are voices of fear in our heads?

“When Jesus stood up and shouted…”  I think we often have these caricatures of Jesus in our heads that are very far from the truth.  What was he really like?  And what could that possibly mean for us today?

“What is the Epiphany?”  Epiphany is an ancient Christian season celebrated between Christmas and Lent.  I gave this talk a couple years ago right after the tsunami hit.  Ultimately, does this season called Epiphany speak to a disaster such as the tsunami in any way at all?

Feel free to leave feedback on the talks here on our blog!


I’ve been thinking about rain. When it starts to rain, I have a couple old journals tucked away with quotes filling the back few pages; I crack open the journals and get all stirred up from the quotes and verses. Stuff like:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers [and sisters] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2

“To come to the pleasure you have not you must go by a way in which you enjoy not.” St. John of the Cross (I don’t know how you get the moniker “of the Cross” added to your name, but you he must’ve done something pretty good.)

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18

Stuff like that. The thing is, it’s not that often that really bad storms come. I would describe my life more as a general tossing of the sea…the boat’s often rocking a little more than I would choose, but it’s still intact. I’m not holding onto a piece of wood, adrift in the sea.

But I turn back to some of the quotes that have inspired me and realize that the huge tempests are not what break us. What breaks us, like a house built on the sand, is the gradual wearing away of our foundation. The loss of our dreams, inch by inch, the fear that stops us from risking, the slow drain of passion from our walk with God. And I look at these, to revive the passion, remember the dream, step toward the risk:

“He begins to die, that quits his desires.” George Herbert

“His love cannot be at peace in a soul that is content with a little.” Thomas Merton

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Jesus (italics mine)

This week may we not only hear God’s voice when the tempest roars, may we hear it when the soft patter of rain slowly eats away at our foundation, when the wind water slowly wear us down, when we are content with “just enough” rather than experiencing the depth and glory and richness of our God in this life.