Episode 1: Resistance is Fuel

The first episode of my 3X3D Living Vlog is up. It is about facing resistance when we seek to move forward in living our Fully Dimensional Life by using our resistance as a guide and fuel through daily practices.

In using resistance we have three P’s:

Presence, Practice, and Passion.

Some references:

Episode 2 will say more about the Passion Principle.


A New Direction

My blogging is taking a new video-based direction. I invite you to visit the 3X3D Living Youtube Channel.

While I enjoy writing, I enjoy just talking more. That is reflected in my preaching and teaching. I never write a manuscript, but speak from notes and follow the moment in what to share. There are a number of Youtube channels that take a few minutes to share ideas and information in a more personal way.

This blog will now move into a support capacity. I will embed each video here and usually add background resources that can deepen the conversation.

So, subscribe to the 3x3d Living channel and I will provide my part of the conversation.


Lent: An Invitation to Presence

Usually, we enter Lent thinking we have to give up something we really like. After all, isn’t discipline about hardship? Making ourselves do something we don’t really want to do? We want to lose weight, so we diet: which usually becomes a battle of wills where we can’t eat the food we really enjoy. Or for Lent we think of something we enjoy and give it up.

We take what we want and now decide we can’t have it.

We begin with resistance. We approach discipline as deprivation.

We set ourselves up for rebellion and failure.

Maybe we are looking at Lent and discipline backwards.

What if we decided this Lent that we wanted to gain something good and develop something holy and righteous in our lives? What if we see discipleship as the invitation to live God’s abundant life and to ask where God wants us to grow?

This Lent I want to invite you to deeper Presence.

When we boil it down, isn’t that what we really want? A deeper and more vital relationship with God, the very source of Life itself?

Begin there. Where do you want to expand in your experience of the Presence of Essence? Where do you want to connect more intimately with the Source of Living Water that fills every thirst?

Then you can see what needs to be set aside and let go of.

If your windows are dirty, they need to be cleaned. Where there is a wall blocking our path, something needs to be torn down and rebuilt into steps for the journey. When an infection or poison is found in the body, it must be removed for healing to happen.

This Lent, choose to step along the path of Presence.

And that Presence will lead us and transform us.


Gratitude creates Community

We certainly need more authentic connections.

On Facebook and Twitter we can accumulate Likes and Followers by the thousands yet still feel separated and alone. In the midst of big crowds and mega-churches too many people walk in isolation even as they bump into one another.

Our Western Culture fosters asense of independence and autonomy. “I don’t need you.” “I am strong enough, don’t give me your pity or care.” We don’t trust others so we show the world a sanitized and approved version of our selves.

To fill that emptiness, we crowd the spaces of our lives and calendars with stuff and activities. At the end of the day we still feel neglected and abandoned. “No one knows my needs so no one cares for me.

Where do I belong?

I am a member of this organization. I work for this division of this company. I live in this neighborhood, but I don’t know any of my neighbors.

Where do I belong? I don’t know anymore.

“Know that the Lord is God—
He made us; we belong to him.
We are his people,
The sheep of his pasture.”  – Psalm 100:3 (CEB)

Gratitude creates community and intimacy.

What happens to strangers when you simply say a genuine “Thank you?” In the midst of hurried distractions, a moment of connection is created. We say that we are each human beings who have made a difference in each other’s world. You care for me, even if it is selling me groceries, and I honor you in your work and life.

“In the beginning, the Beloved loved Love into being.”

What a wonderful paraphrase of Genesis 1:1. The world is not random and accidental even when we can’t see the orderedness of every circumstance, Love is the source energy and wants to create love in us.

And if Love creates us with love, then we have a place where we belong: the heart and hearth of Goodness and Mercy and Compassion. As we awaken to this Belovedness of life then we can let go of our defenses and our drive to impose ourselves upon others.

In every place and moment of beauty, whether it is the song of the bird or our Mother, we are surrounded with love. In the explosion of autumn and spring colors, as well as the chaotic rainbow of a child’s refrigerator drawing, love splashes us with hues of light. And when we enjoy the richness of a meal with friends or even just a savored spoonful of soup alone, the Love of all Creation feeds us.

In gratitude we celebrate our belonging!

No longer abandoned and neglected, with thanksgiving we begin to see that life nurtures us. Compassion embraces us as we open our hearts to those who reach out to us.

Love creates us with love and for love.

We are most fully alive when we gratefully love others and open ourselves to be loved.


Gratitude is a Shout

Gratitude is the shout of joy that creates space in our lives and in our world for the light of the world to come and fill us.

Yet, there is so much noise in our world today.

Ever been with a group of people who all seem to be talking at the same time. The more people talk the louder everybody becomes just to be heard. No one plans to increase the noise level it just does.

We are inundated by people and groups turning up the volume to be heard. There are so many competing demands for our attention: buy this, listen to me, agree with me, see how bad all those other people are.

“Quiet!” we cry out.

“Silence!” we shout.

The world doesn’t need more noise, we say. We yearn for silence.

We want to escape the noise. And if the volume doesn’t turn down we stop listening. Our voice is left unheard. The whisper of our Beloved is lost.

Yet, when we consider gratitude and thanksgiving silence is not an option. Hope invites us to dance with exuberance to the melody of Joy.

Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with celebration!
Come before him with shouts of joy! — Psalm 100:1-2 CEB

There is something about the nature of gratitude and joy that creates a different kind of shout of celebration.

Unlike the shouts of those who stir up a mob so they can feel powerful (which usually ends in destruction), gratitude affirms the movement of life that reveals blessedness.

Gratitude is a shout of light in the darkness.

Come alive! Wake up to the Presence of God.

There is a wonderful spontaneity to those shouts of gratitude. Ever watch true sports fans? When their team wins, they can’t keep still.

Nor can they keep it to themselves.

Gratitude and celebration create community.

Thanksgiving is personal, but it is not private. Joy is meant to be shared. What better way to share it than with a shout and dance! Fans jump and dance and hug even complete strangers in contagious thanksgiving.

I have seen empty, sleepy people spark alive when a child comes along with the smile of innocent life. Even in the midst of profound grief, the presence of a baby breathes hope on all present. There might be death, but thank God there is still life.

“Join the Joy!” gratitude shouts.

Good news spreads through thanksgiving.

There is something wonderfully expansive about gratitude. When you experience joy you want others to share in it. When you experience a gratitude that frees you from your own inhibitions and self-consciousness, you reach out to others.

Gratitude energizes our evangelism.

Light by its very nature spreads out and touches all things in its circle. Everyone and everything that is near the light is affected. Thanksgiving and joy are that light of life in all of our relationships.

“I am the light of the world.” Jesus says in John 9:5. That light energy shows us how the Jesus community grew. There were no evangelistic campaigns or marketing strategies to spread the good news of new life in Christ. All they had and needed was joy, gratitude, and thanksgiving.

The world does not need more voices that add to the noise of “look at me” or the shadow of condemnation.

Yet, it needs the shouts, songs, and dances of your gratitude! Be a clarion call of joy. “You are the Light of the World!” (Matthew 5:14-16) Celebrate!