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Archive for May, 2011

Hello my friends.

I’m excited to share with you that I have started a new blog! The intention is for Brendan and I to write together about our journey into the ideas of permaculture design, and to keep you posted on all the amazing projects going on at Koinonia Farm. The blog is titled Father God, Mother Earth. Creation care is central to our faith. The way Christianity’s creation story explains the birth of the first humans, God the father joined with Earth the mother, and we are the result.

This new project seeks to open up dialogue in the Christian community about topics like permaculture, holistic management, intentional community, and so much more. Also, we hope to delve into discussions about spirituality and faith with people from the sustainable farming movement who practice other religions, or who have no particular faith at all.

I just added our first post, so click on over and let us know what you think!

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Busy Signal

I tend to fluctuate pretty quickly in and out of a fight-or-flight mode. One minute I tell myself, “You can do it, hang in there! Just keep going and everything will turn out all right. It always does.” And moments later I’ve switched to, “Screw this. I’m outta here!”

Since making a life-long commitment to live here at Koinonia, I’ve had to dig deep to get beneath this fight-or-flight reflex. What I’ve discovered boils down to my lack of faith. When I abandon faith for “common sense” the small amount of patience in me is completely disabled. I suddenly cannot wait around until the miracle happens. I must make changes, any changes, before anything else goes wrong without my consent!

At least when I make the change, I’m in control. And that’s precisely the problem that God has with all my flight instincts. He’s been telling me this for a while.

Since I decided to take his name, to become known as one of his children, I have given up control. In essence, I’ve lost it. The world God wants me to live in is not yet comfortable to me. It’s full of awkward moments, of people who don’t understand me, nor I them. It’s often devoid of logic. For example, I’m expected to love and care for people on a daily basis even when I know that some of those people have been gossiping behind my back and getting in the way of the work I’ve been asked to do. Furthermore, I’m supposed to not gossip about them. I’m supposed to be kind and loving towards them even in private! Even in my thoughts! And especially in my prayer life.

God tells me that I must be willing to show grace to everyone. I must be willing to give. But more than that, I must also be open to receive what is freely given to me.

The giving aspect is a no-brainer for today’s Christian. Every church I’ve been to has worked in the line about how it’s “more blessed to give than to receive.” But I wonder if we got the translation wrong on that line. I wonder if it should say that it’s just as blessed (and necessary) to receive as it is to give.

Imagine that you are trying to call your friend on the phone. Not a cell phone with voicemail and caller ID, but a regular old land line. And imagine that the friend has mistakenly left that phone off the hook, so every time you call there is a busy signal. The first call is no problem. The second time is moderately annoying. But by the 10th time in two days that you’ve tried to reach your friend, and you just can’t get through, you’re ready to throw your own phone against the wall.

Now imagine that you are trying to reach all of your friends, and that no one is picking up the other line. Busy signals as far as the ear can hear! God’s showing me that this is his own lot in our lives. He picks up and listens every time anybody calls him. Billions of times each hour, he receives our requests and questions, our praises and our thanks. But most of the time when he dials our numbers, he’s greeted with a busy signal.

I need to learn how to put the rest of life on hold so I can start receiving more of what God wants to give me. Only when I’m filled up with the gifts of his Spirit can I truly give to others. Time to put the phone back in its receiver…

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