It appeared in my in-box, a renewal notice. I was told that spiritstirrer.org was about to expire, if I did not attend to this soon there would be no more spiritstirrer.org. Did I want spiritstirrer.org to continue?
The last six months have been challenging in a variety of ways. Struggle is one of the most common “juanisms” attributed to me, and the word certainly describes the last six months. When such times happen in my life I tend to retreat to my own little world. My muse tends to leave me and I do much spiritual work in my personal journal and in conversations with those closest to me. All this to say that I have not felt like saying much in a blog or felt inspired to comment on the many comings and goings in the world, the church, and the life of faith.
In the last six months I have thought much about my commitment to this space. Why do I keep it? Who’s reading anyway? Should I “bow out” of the blogosphere? What contribution do I make?
At times of discernment I am thankful for the group of friends (who are really family) that remind me of why this space exists. They are the faithful readers of this space and also my faithful companions in my journey of faith. They help me grow in my discipleship and encourage me when things don’t go as I planned. They also keep me accountable to commitments made and to the practices (including writing here) that give me life!
I’m glad that I received a “renewal notice.” Sometimes I wish we could receive one from God. “Renew now,” God would say, “I’m ready to host you, use you, and provide a place for you for another year.” “Are you ready to utilize the space given to you?”
Yes I am Lord!
Here are some of the “stirrings” of the last 6 months that have not made it to the page but that I hope to develop in the following weeks/months/year:
- Friends that become family
- Pastoral Care is not the Mission of the Church
- Why I am Not a Biblical Literalist
- Why all the political fear mongering, polarizing speech, & exclusion in the church and the nation?
- The Dream Church Series
- On Guranteed Appointments
- Reflections on My First 5 Years of Ministry
- My Vocation as a Gatherer of People
- Why I Wear a White Alb for Worship & not a Robe
- Parenting as Spiritual Formation
- Dreams for My Children: Photographer/Activist/Poet
I am thankful to be given the opportunity to share my thoughts with all who stumble upon this space. Aware that not all have a voice I take seriously my task as story teller and spiritual companion. I look forward to this renewal and hope that those of you who read these stirrings find in them encouragement & challenge. Thank you for your patience, attention, & love!
I leave you with a quote from Pablo Neruda that has been a source of renewal for me:
And to keep me from falling, to help me plant my feet firmly on the ground, to continue fighting, bequeath to my heart the errant wine & the implacable bread of your sweetness. (from “Brother Bartolome De las Casas”)
Peace, Juan+ (a.k.a spirit stirrer)