I Was Going to Say…

audio-mixer-mute.jpg This might look a bit like an early edition of my weekly links post, but that’s not what I was going to say. I’ve had many thoughts swirling lately, and have noticed some recurring themes in the blogosphere that I wanted to weigh in on, but I’ve just been busy with other matters. *sigh.* Anyway, I was going to offer thoughts of mustered profundity on many issues…. which have been touched on in several posts I”ve been keeping open in my browser thinking (naievely) that I would get to them. I’ve read some or most of these, but not all… and I’ve lost track of a few related posts on these recurring subjects.

Food, Table, Hospitality, & Leadership:
Mark Van Steenwyk on table fellowship: Around the Table (I)
Paul Fromont: Insights on Leadership (& Vision); and “How Wine, Whiskey and Great Food Saved my Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in the gathering of People around a Table”
Rick Meigs Pondering Leadership

A Brown Study: Writing for Catharsis, Understanding

Pensive Eyes It’s difficult to describe to a non-writer exactly why we write. Somerset Maugham said, “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.” This makes a lot of sense to me. In my inaugural post here, I said, “We write to know who we are.” Both, I believe, are true. I really never had any idea how deeply I felt the compulsion to write until I started giving in to it, slowly at first. Often I find it easier to write than to read. I mean, I love to read and most people would still consider me an avid reader… I just don’t read that quickly. I’m simply astounded that Julie Clawson could read all of Agatha Christie’s works in just three weeks! (Ah, but Julie, have you read Star Over Bethlehem?) I wish I could read like that. But to write, that’s different. Sometimes — as now — we write in hopes of catharsis. And sometimes — as now — we write in hopes of finding understanding of ourselves and our experiences.

Book Announcement & Advent Blogging: Line Up the Cast of Characters!

Nativity, with Christmas Trees Might as well make it official — my first book, That You Might Believe: Praying Advent with the Gospel of John will be out this week. I’ve a hurdle or two left, such as finishing the cover design and getting fonts to display nicely, but those should be done soon and we’ll be off to the races. I will publish at Lulu.com and will also offer it as a PDF download once I work out the functional details of doing the download after the payment processing with PayPal. I will work on getting a small batch into my own hands if anyone wishes to buy direct… pricing TBA once the Lulu details are sorted out.

Discovering the Daily Office

quietly-praying.jpg I’ve been writing a fair bit on themes around a missional order since Seabeck. Anyone new to this blog might think I write on little else, but this is simply a current theme… we’ll be onto other matters soon enough, though this one is quite unlikely to be left behind entirely. I
talked a little bit about the daily office and its relation to liturgy already, but the whole subject of the daily office is one that I’ve been encouraged to write about a little more.

For those who are less familiar with the whole subject, there’s a fairly long-ish Wikipedia entry for Canonical Hours, and quoting from its introduction:

Canonical hours are ancient divisions of time, developed by the Christian Church, serving as increments between the prescribed prayers of the daily round. A Book of Hours contains such a set of prayers.

Missional Order: The Role of The Rule

One of the subjects that came up at the Seabeck Missional Order Gathering on Tuesday (I think) was the question of language. In the formation of an order and the conversation around St. Benedict’s rule, some question was made about the language we use and how we express it. Before I left for the gathering, the question had been put to me by more than one person. After all, words like “rule” and “order” sound a little to the rigid or legalistic side. In the charismatic tradition, the verse that speaks of “a God of order, not disorder” is met with the challenge of what order might look like to God, and the fact that it might look very disorderly to us. In context, the conversation was essentially what we hope to achieve in the formation of an order… whether it’s done in an elitist exclusionary way, a legalistic fashion, or what. What does such an order or rule do for us, anyway?