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Discovering Renewal and Graduation

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Hello, hello.

Well, here we are – the last week of school. I thought that I would be more excited than I am, but really I’m just glad it is over and I can finally read what I want! By the way, follow me on Goodreads if you haven’t already.

So, last week I went to Montreat, North Carolina to attend Discovering Renewal, a retreat I attended last year as well. I got to hang out with a lot of awesome people from all over the Christian spectrum. They are all up to interesting things, and the time I spent with them on the hiking trail, around the dinner table, and beside the campfire definitely ranks in one of the best weeks of the year, perhaps even the decade.

My man Aram Mitchell did a phenomenal job leading us on our intentional hiking, and he gave us another poetry packet that I’m sure will find its way into my language as last year’s did.

Brian McLaren gave three devotionals on depletion and renewal that I really appreciate. His talks came from Psalm 42 and Psalm 23. He pointed out that both psalms call us to go back to nature to reconnect with God like Jesus modeled throughout his ministry. He also explained that depletion is a natural and even necessary part of life. Margaret Wheatley, in her book I’m reading called Leadership and the New Science, says that “Chaos is necessary to new creative ordering.” That is, chaos and order are not enemies just as depletion and renewal are not enemies.

Embracing our depletion leads to a new appreciation for renewal. It is the body’s natural way of telling us to slow down, breathe, and embrace the rhythm of Sabbath that is inherent within this good creation.

On Wednesday evening, we sat around the campfire, and I heard an awesome song that I went straight home to transcribe. It’s called “Beyond Belief” and you can listen to it here:

Needless to say, I definitely want to go next year.

I picked up several books on my trip, but I’ll update you on those on Goodreads as I start to read them! But I can’t start those just yet because this is my last week of school. I’ve already finished two of my classes, Leadership Principles and Ethics and Life and Work of a Minister. For the last two classes, I have a paper due Wednesday and two finals due by Friday.

Then, I might try reading a novel. 🙂 Or… work on another book, but I need to breathe for a bit before that!

If you want to read stuff I’ve been working on, my sermons are the best way to do that. I’ve been writing manuscripts for them you can find here.

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