jpmurad

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Showing Up

In Eclipse on March 12, 2009 at 10:17 am

I decided that it was time to revisit my blog.  The discipline of writing has become…perfunctory.  So, I return to one of the places that I enjoy.  The front page of yesterday’s (OC) Register had a clip about new technology that greets patients in the hospital.  Rather than the doctor visiting the patients in person, a robot with a computer monitor toward the head can cart into the patient’s room.  Presumably, the physician can interact via the video monitor.

I relate to sending my ‘representative’ at times.  “Hi, meet Josh.  Sure he’s a bit ‘robotic’, but check out those graphics…”  It is more difficult to let other people see me.  To be in their presence, showing up.  Oh, but what a difference!  Though I hide from it…that is also what I long for.  Being present.

Division in the Depths

In Eclipse on March 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm

I know I have not written a blog in a while when my profile does not give me the option for a New Post.  Time to sign in again.  Signing in again has been a significant theme for me in the past few days.  That is, signing into relationships.  I am noticing how easy it is for me to take myself out of the conversation with people, out of the relationship.  Staying in the conversation requires that I lean in, when I would prefer to pull back.  It requires that I give more, when I would be tempted to withhold.  Contrary to my nature, for sure…

I have noticed lately, and I see no other forum in which to broach the subject, that I have a strict division in my heart and mind between the secular and the spiritual.  That is, I would prefer to have a secular conversation with a ‘secular audience’ (namely my blog).  I would maintain another profile for a ‘spiritual audience’.  This division attempts to control the conflict I feel.  Namely, I ask, “With whom can I have a deep, meaningful (even spiritual) conversation?”  Am I seeking to control my audience?  The mere fact that I pull back from the conversation tells me something.

So, what conversation have I withheld?  I have chosen not to be in dialogue with people in a vulnerable and honest way about faith.  I sooner assume an heir of spiritual pride and separate myself from the conversation.  Up until now, I have not listened well to the need.  I have not wrestled with similar complaints.

Going forward, I would like to reconciling this divide.  I am committed to re-engaging in conversations I have avoided with friends.  I hope to bring a more authentic self to the table.  Can you relate?

Knowing the Enemy

In Missional on March 2, 2009 at 11:28 am

“Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes.”  (from Psalm 27)

As I considered this verse today, I was forced to consider my enemy.  You know the enemy that I mean.  “The rulers and authorities in the unseen world” as Paul puts them in his letter to the Ephesians.  Peter tells us that our enemy (the devil) prowls around like a roaring like looking for someone to devour.  So, what does this foe want?  What is his desire for me?

The following are some ways that I think he tries to keep me preoccupied:

Being a pure consumer (out of scarcity) vs Being generous and giving (out of abundance)
Gluttony (lust of the stomach) vs Having a healthy longing
Hurry (living in it) vs Composed Confidence
Seeking entertainment vs Relating to others (investing in activities that promote conversations, etc.)
Having a master plan for life vs. Being ‘in the moment’ relational
(adhering to rules vs. Having a clear vision and commitment)
Static & Inflexible vs. Dynamic and Changing

These ones really hit home today for me.  What are ways your enemy keeps you preoccupied?