Monday, March 26, 2007


I am back in O-Town after a refreshing weekend at the Convent for a mini-retreat. It certainly was all I could have hoped for. No agenda but to relax, focus on God and engage in some scintillating conversation with the crew down there. The place just oozes hospitality. I mean, what a phenomenal set-up. There can be no doubt that God is all over the situation there in Norwood.

Some realizations:

  • I hadn't realized how much I had "flipped" this past year in response to the loss of Chad and Palmer and watching my friends and colleagues stagger and grieve. I confronted my own mortality and misplaced my trust and looked for validity in other people when I should have sought sustenance from God. I had to repent of that.
  • "Shimmering" Verses: Psalm 51:17 "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." I don't even know sacrifice yet. My Christianity has been relatively "easy" and safe thus far.
  • God, the Sneak: Something's creeping in on me from behind....from the horizon....from around the bend.....the sneaky feeling that God delights in me, despite my being prone to great treachery as a Kingdom vagabond and often traitor. Fleeting moments emerge, promising the hope of transformation and stepping into something greater. I sensed this driving down in the fog, rain and dusk, and, although the surroundings were appropriate to where I've been the last bit in my life, that stab of joy seemed simultaneously mine and yet not mine.
  • Dave Nixon, the Omeletteer: When Dave says, "I'll get up and make everyone some omelletes..." one does well to fashion one's schedule around that.
  • Dave Nixon, the Squirrelinator: Beset with this rhodentious invader, I would learn of it when Jody came down after breakfast in a hustle, crying out: "I saw's running around." Heidi tells me the "it" is a hapless squirrell on its last legs that was trapped in the building for the last five days after having finally chewed its way through the wall. Well the beast would not extricate itself and Dave made haste to the third floor. Soon after, I made my way out the door and no sooner had I closed it when I hear a "THUD" and, turning, I beheld a deceased squirrell bouncing off the ground about 15 feet in front of me. I knew instantly. That had to have been one of the most awesome things I've witnessed in a while.
  • What I Need More Of: A deeper, more sustaining hunger and thirst for God. A truly Spirit-empowered life, inwardly and outwardly.
  • Pray without ceasing: Still as haunting as it is inviting.
  • I like the ways God just lets me know that he's glad I'm here.
  • I was greatly heartened by the time the Dave gave to me and Matt Saturday night at the Speckled Bird. He didn't have to, but he made time. And thanks to Jody for that time as well.
  • A few days is not enough for a real retreat. I was indeed just starting to unwind.

So now, the tests of routine, complacency and contemptuous familiarity come to try me. Thanks be to God, it "smells" a bit different this time.