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Monthly Support Options

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I can't thank all of you enough for the support and prayers that you've expressed to me! I know that the ministry and services I offer would not be possible without you! 
Some of you have asked if it's possible to make recurring monthly payments to DeepWardly in order to help build the retreat cottage. The answer is, "Yes!" On the home page of my website, you'll find a link at the bottom of the page that allows you to choose a monthly amount you would like to donate. If you have any questions about the link, just let me know. I'll keep all of you updated as to the status of the fundraiser and the plans for the retreat cottage!
Have a blessed and amazing week!

It's Not Just What We Do, But Who We Do It With

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The American work ethic is well-known. Our country was built upon a deep belief that through hard work everyone can pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Our willingness to work hard is a virtue, but we have to guard against letting it seep into our spiritual lives in a way that leaves us focused more on doing than on relationship.
A common topic that comes up in Spiritual Direction sessions is work, especially ministry and mission. Many of my directees desire to know what God wants them to be doing. They spend a lot of time discerning where they should put their time and energy in serving God. Such discernment is wonderful and will often lead us to acknowledging our heart's deepest desire, as well as find God's grace available for beautiful ministry and service opportunities. However, sometimes the desire to know what to do overshadows the most important part of our faith--our intimate relationship with God
One of the great gifts of the "Call of the King" m…

Recalculating

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I remember my first GPS. It was a TomTom. Yes, that's right, Tom had a TomTom (which meant there was a tri-tom in my car. That joke is for all of my fellow bandies out there). What I loved about my TomTom was that every time I ignored its guidance and turned the wrong way, it would say, "recalculating" and then it would come up with an alternate way to get me to my destination. I've come to realize that God does something very similar for us.
No one perfectly follows God's will. Even when we are sincere and prayerful, we will still miss the mark at times as we discern various decisions in our lives. That is okay. Our God is generous in recalculating based on our decisions. His ultimate goal is to direct us toward the unique, particular image of Christ that He created us to be. When we make decisions that take us away from that "destination," God recalculates so that we have innumerable new opportunities to accept and live our uniqueness as members the …

Do You Know What Makes Heaven Eternal?

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Most of us have been taught that heaven is eternal, but we've never taken the time to ask why. I think that heaven is eternal because love and relationships are eternal. One of the characteristics of a healthy relationship is that it doesn't end; there is always something new to learn about the other person and always something new to experience with him or her. That is not only true in our human relationships, but also in our relationship with God. For all eternity, you and I will have the opportunity to get to know God more and more intimately and to experience God in new and varied ways. 
A man recently shared with me his desire to get to know his wife better. Even though they have been married over 35 years, he believes that there are still things about her that he doesn't know yet and that he is interested in discovering. In fact, he actually seemed excited and energized by the idea that there was more to discover in his relationship with her. That is the same excite…

Happy Father's Day!

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Happy Father's Day to my dad and to all fathers! I hope you have a blessed and restful day filled with many expressions of gratitude for the sacrifices you make for your family!
Our celebration of Father's Day this weekend gave me the opportunity to spend time pondering what aspect of God the Father we, as men, should most emulate. While I'm sure each of us might have a different idea of what to emulate, the one that I have been thinking about the most is the gift of a father sharing his children's condition. This is what God the Father did when He chose to send His Word to become flesh in Jesus Christ. He shared in our condition to the fullest. He was human in all things, but sin. 
John Marshall from Kansas also chose to share in his son's condition. When he noticed that his son was self-conscious about the scar on his head after cancer surgery, John had a matching scar tattooed on his own head. He desired to share in his son's condition as an act of love and…

The Festival of Freedom

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There are four common names for the Jewish celebration of Passover. One of those titles is the "Festival of Freedom," because Passover is the celebration of the Israelites freedom from slavery in Egypt. During Passover, the Jews remember how God lovingly led them out of slavery and into the freedom of the Promised Land, caring for them along the way. 
One of my directees, Susan, recently shared with me that she likes to think of the Rosary as our Christian "festival of freedom." Just as the Passover gives the Jews an opportunity to reminisce about God's saving plan, the Rosary gives us the opportunity to reminisce about God's saving plan in Christ. 
The Rosary consists of twenty mysteries, or moments, from the life of Christ that are important to our Christian heritage. They tell the story of Christ's life, death, and Resurrection. They celebrate our salvation history. Using the repetition of beads and prayers as an ancient stopwatch, we take time to r…

A Time to... ?

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During a recent Spiritual Direction session, a directee shared with me what the important gift of time means to her. As she spoke about different expressions of time, I was reminded of the poetic verses in Ecclesiastes, chapter three, which begin, "There is an appointed time for everything." 
I thought that you might enjoy the prayer recommendation that I offered her regarding savoring the gift of time in our lives. So, here it is--
Write your own version of Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, making your poetic prayer specific to the gift of time in your life. As you spend days/weeks prayerfully journaling about the gift of time in your life and how you use it, be practical and specific. For example, you might write things like, "There's a time to cook and a time to eat. There's a time to work and a time to relax." 
Then, go back to every single moment of time that you listed in your prayer, and connect a specific quality of Christ to that moment. In other words, what qu…