I read this article about Gen-Xers in time entertainment with a youtube video about a book written by Jeff Gordinier called: “X saves the World”. I loved what he had to say about the Gen-X. Being a Gen-Xer myself there are a lot of things I don’t really understand or often don’t fit in. A question came up. Are we a minority group? The Baby boomers there were massive, came with force and are still holding on to power in this world. The generation after us the so called Millennial’s are also much a bigger force and seem to become or already are the dominant force today. In between is the kind of “forgotten”, “the lost” generation. Or the one that seems to have accomplished little. Gordinier says that we have a kind of middle child mentality because we are in “betweeners”. So we do things different. Watch the video. Very insightful. I want to get my hands on the book
Jesus says I am the truth. What a statement. I mean I can tell the truth, I can try and live in truth or be truthful. But to say I am the truth implicates a lot more then that. Thinking about it makes me wonder if being the truth simply means there is no false in him. Or perhaps when you get Jesus you get the real thing, not just some self appointed guru. There were no tricks or manipulation coming from him. He didn’t attempt to control the masses or the individuals to get them on his side. His story makes no sense when you think of the terms of building a church or organization. It is an invitation to follow and to journey through life with the truth… that is setting us free from our way of seeing things, peeling away the filters of our own perception and interpretation of truth.
Jesus was the revelation of truth. “you see me , you see the Father (God)”. False images of what we think the Father is peal away as we discover and walk with Jesus, or as Jesus is the way we are walking in…
The ultimate questions in life are: “where do I come from? Where do I go after this? What am I doing here? We all answer these questions different and most people in this world avoid them all together. All the religions try to answer it. Interesting Jesus didn’t invite us into a religion or a system of belief but called us to himself. He didn’t say this is the way to go, here is the truth you need to know and then you will have life if you follow it.
Over the years quite a number of people told me that Jesus was a great teacher and enlightened but not God (or they would then say we are all god). The thing is, Jesus made it very clear about who he is and also who and where we are. That he is God and that we are disconnected from the truth. This statement about being God also got him killed. If he was lying about that. Everything he said would be judged in the light of that and make him kind of a lunatic. So either it is true or it is a lie.
Being on the journey with Jesus is much more then just about learning truth and understanding. It is about coming to awareness of our own state and the lies we live and move on to be free. Jesus said the truth will set you free. What he ultimately means is that he himself will set us free. This freedom does not come because I am a better person or know more “secrets” of life etc. I believe that freedom comes by actually knowing who I am in God’s eyes (God sees my innermost being) and by seeing who God really is (a revelation that might never be complete) .
Walking with Jesus has the affect that he (the truth) rubs of off on us and is revealed as we are willing to reveal ourselves to him. Like in all relationships it works like in assimilation. We spend time with a person long enough and we become more and more like that person. That particular person has the ability to set us free…..
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
I was pondering this verse from John 14:6 for the last days, perhaps weeks now. Perhaps meditating would be a better word. There are verses that follow me throughout my life, that have deep meaning for my spiritual journey and bring me closer into knowing Jesus.
I always interpreted the verse in terms of doing or knowing or deciding the right thing. When Jesus says he is the way I would take it in a more literal sense like to follow him, to be his disciple, or to become like him etc. In my earlier day it would even mean to follow a certain codex or philosophy that then would be the right way. So I was thinking about the way and walking the way.
As I was “pondering” and meditating on my own journey it dawned on me that Jesus says “I am the way”. I saw it in connection with other verses asking us to follow him. I also learned in a way that through his death and resurrection on the cross. He opened the way to the father. And I still believe that those interpretations are right. (so Philipp what your saying is that a verse as more then one interpretation)? I guess it has, and I think as I grow older my understanding goes deeper. First I grasped the surface of what Jesus said. I do this looking back on 30 years of journeying. Jesus is the way. This is very intriguing for me. It is not only that he walks with me through life and also that he prepared the way for me. But it is also that he is the way. And there I get kind of lost in mystical thinking and symbolism. It seems to me like I don’t have the words to describe this.
He is the way in a sense that when we see him we see the father. As we know from the old Testament no one can see God and live.
As we walk on this way (that is him) we are on a journey to know him to be changed by him and in the process the Father is being revealed to us.
Perhaps the verse in Colossians 1:24 ” …. Christ in you the hope of glory” describes more what I mean by it is not the way we walk. It might be more the way (Jesus) that walks with us, in us, through us and in time reveals our true essence and this then would bring us back to the source, our Father in heaven.
With all this written, what I want to say it is not so much about how to walk the way. It is about recognizing Jesus is the way and also not limiting “the Way” but discovering it/him…. not learning by doing, but learning by walking….
Friday evening and Saturday morning I gave my first Introduction to the Enneagram Workshop to about 18 people. This is something I wanted to do for a long time. I have studied and used the enneagram for the least three to four years to understand myself, the way I do things a how a react. It gave me a great deal of self-awareness also for my spiritual journey. Even though I was introduced to it 20 years ago I never really got int it till I was about 40. I guess I was not ready yet. I got re-interested while I was doing work with the MBTI . So i read any book I could get my hands on in Chiang Mai and later found other people knowing the enneagram.
Finally I was able to share it to a wider audience and I believe this is just the beginning. Something I wanted to do for a long time. I see so many possibilities for it’s use and I am very much interested in spiritual development and also how the enneagram helps me on my journey with God and in becoming more like Jesus.
The next step will be the Enneagram Café in Chiang Mai next month for people who want to learn and explore more about the enneagram. This will be once or twice a month where I or someone else would facilitate the group with a short input about a particular aspect of the enneagram followed by group sharing, exercises or panels. I guess depending on how many people would attend.
…spiritual formation and being on a journey of discovering God has been the most difficult and the most wonderful experience for me. If I would have to single out what motivates me and keeps me going in this world; what brings meaning to my life, it would be getting to know the one who gave me life. There are certain things I consider of great importance. I will call them my rules of spiritual travel: This is a work in progress and I will just write the things that come to my mind and will later add or change as I see fit. (as there are my “rules”, they may be totally different for others.
have a little faith…. it truly goes a long way
don’t take yourself too seriously.
balance keeps you….well, balanced (journeying with God is a bit like crossing a canyon on a slack line)
when you think you figured it out. Think some more. But don’t over-think everything
simplify in any area of life it will free up space and energy…. or travel light
be open for the new turns in life; or change is a good thing
be a constant learner, open your eyes and ears
community with other journeyers is of utmost importance (“happiness only when shared” from the movie into the wild)
structure helps for a time, for the journey we need to stay flexible.
going the road less travelled may not feel right but needs to be taken when you know in your heart leads you on.
pain can work for you, even though suffering in life sucks big time. In some mysterious way God can use it for good.
there is some truth in everything, but only one said he is the truth.
…with this said, test everything and keep the good
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?” (Jeremiah 12:5)
“However fast a man travels, the soul travels at the speed of a camel.” (Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy)
if you loose faith on your journey, travel with hope. Faith is hope in action.
enjoy the little things in life (Rule number 32 from the movie zombieland
My kids had a long summer break and tomorrow it is back to school for two of them. My oldest daughter finished school and has plans for this year. Two weeks we spent at the beach in Au Nang Krabi. A place we like as a family. Highlights were rock climbing at Railey, scuba diving, slack lining at the beach, climbing and jumping from cliffs, kayaking and just relaxing at the beach.
I hope to do some more climbing this year. Unfortunately the rain in Chiang Mai is not letting up and so we couldn’t go as often as we wanted to . Yesterday I went bouldering at CMRCA with my youngest and we both enjoyed it a lot. My hands were pretty wounded and today I needed a long rest.
Thinking about living in this world three things come to my mind. Journey, connected, and balance. Of course there is a lot more, but those three I ponder at the moment
The word journey became more important to me over the last years because living life feels to me like a journey. It has a beginning and an end. There are so many surprises around the bends, so much to discover and to learn. I would say that I am definitely on a spiritual journey. I guess for me the spiritual is foundational even though in this world we emphasis the material, physical one (like age, achievements and accumulations) The spiritual dimension is far bigger then the material. Something even after so many years of studying and trying to understand I have only a small amount of experience and knowledge.
The word connected means to me more then have a facebook account. But then I guess connectedness has many levels. (I am connected to a lot of people through facebook Connections in life go from superficial to very deep and so forth. There are the connections through blood with the family. There can be no denial of the connection we have with parents and siblings as estranged they may be. Then there is of course for me the connection with my wife, a union. The strongest connection I have with another human being by choice. (no one can choose their birth families) But even stronger I see the spiritual connection to my creator. There is a deeper connection I often don’t really understand. The love of God that goes deeper and the understanding is an everlasting process. I was connected to God without knowing when I was growing up and only growing in understanding by being on this journey with Christ.
“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Eph. 3:17-19
Because we were made by God and will go back to Him I feel this spiritual connection is the strongest but the least understood. The deepest connections I believe are spiritual. Be that with God or to others. We have an eternal soul, I would say we are spiritual beings that will have a spiritual body when we pass on (1. Cor. 15) Life and connectedness is so much bigger then ourselves. Something eternal.
With balance I mean the balance in Body, Soul and Mind. The spiritual aspect is the center of it all and perhaps the part that is asleep most of the time. I think we go through life mostly unbalanced. Out of balance and therefore a bit shaky on the journey. We emphasize one more then the other two. Simply said if I detach my feelings from my thinking, or doing without feelings etc. I will be kind of stuck and never fully grow to fullness or to who we are meant to be.
Enough philosophizing. Just some thoughts on a beautiful Sunday. Enjoying the fact that God loves me.
I don’t mean space as in land. Even though there is alot of fighting in the world for this. Or perhaps it’s more for other reasons. This morning I wanted to do a software update for my Mac and I don’t have enough space on my drive. Only 480 MB of the 320 GB hard drive. Makes me think about my first computer we ever had with a mere 170MB hard drive.
So now what to do? I did I fill my computer up so quickly? I guess my two biggest offenders are itunes 70 GB and iphoto 80 GB. What in the world is in there? And I have to think of ways to reduce the size somehow…..
My only problem is that this takes so much times. I mean it is like cleaning my desk. I need to decide what I want to keep and what to throw away and what to archive.
With a computer you can just by another external hardrive and drop all the unnecessary stuff on it. Of course in iphoto you need to split the library in two folders (there is software to do this) itunes is more tricky. but I don’t want to end up with 10 external harddrives in ten years. It means to throw away the bad pics in iphoto it means not to keep all the music I ripped from CD’s and never listen to anyway. Simplify my life again. But not so much this week…. because I have a lot of work already
So my action step for today is…. itunes. delete the old video podcast I don’t need no more. that should give me some space. And all the kids music I still have in there.
May those days be days of peace, joy and of good fellowship!
I already went to Hui Kau Laam, the Lahu village where we work and had a great Christmas celebration with people coming from four villages to spend the day at our community center. Another one was planed for the 26th. But now I got sick with a stomach flu and I decided to let my co-workers do the honors. Now is family time and we are enjoying it fully
These were my favorite pair of shoes and I wore them for quite some years. They were extremely comfortable and just really fit my feet. But now they’re worn out and slowly disintegrate into the different parts soon to be thrown away.
When I think of this I remember the movie “Forrest Gump” and his shoe comment. My favorite shoes led me down many paths and through many adventures. The whole experience made my life richer building me up (the good and the bad). Of course it would have happened with other shoes just the same. I guess I just felt a spur of nostalgia looking at them knowing that I have to loose them. It reminded me that life is a succession of phases. New things come into our life’s constantly, we get attached to it and then loose it. After going through a period of grieve and perhaps needing a long time to understand the meaning of it. Later, looking back it will have enriched us, perhaps even given life to something new and deeper.