Thank you for visiting my home page. It exists for one purpose, to glorify God.
We are created to love God, and to love one another as we love ourselves. Sadly, we have become so busy that we often lose sight of our basic purpose in life.
I would like to invite you to slow down just enough to experience God’s presence more completely in your day-to-day life.
Experiencing God is the essence of what is sometimes called the contemplative stream of our Christian faith. Others use contemplation to describe imaginative prayer, often focusing on the gospels and placing oneself in the stories about Jesus and his ministry around the Sea of Galilee or near Jerusalem. Prayer in its many forms is essentially an on-going conversation with the Lord, one that I have found increasingly fruitful as I do more listening than speaking.
Regarding spiritual practices, I am entering a third decade of recognizing the true power of what might best be called “stillness”—that combination of solitude and silence that provides a wonderful atmosphere for meeting and knowing God (Ps 46:10). Along the way, I have experienced the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit and I recognize that as I have drawn near to God, he has drawn near to me (Jas 4:8).
There were many years when my life was completely broken. But even in my darkest hour—or perhaps I should say especially in my darkest hour—I experienced God’s love first hand. It was the love of God that helped me overcome the disordered attachments in my life and my own self-centered existence. It was the love of God that caused me to be transformed into the person he is creating me to be. Transformation is an on-going work of God’s Spirit.
Jesus is God’s ultimate expression of his love for us, a love that he wants to continue to share with us. Getting in touch with the God who loves you is what spiritual direction is all about. It is this compassion that compels my practice of spiritual direction. I am created to love God and his people, and to help others experience that love. My desire here is to help you draw nearer to God and experience his love more deeply.
Consolation is a word used to describe the realization of God’s drawing near. It often includes an increased sense of experiencing his love or an increased sense of one’s own faith in God or hope for the future, and that is quite encouraging. In fact, consolation and encouragement are in many ways synonymous.
Consolation and encouragement are good outcomes to look for in spiritual direction. That is not to say our goal is to finish every session in a state of great consolation. Sometimes, that simply will not be the case. And spiritual direction is not a coaching session, so our goal is not necessarily to finish every session encouraged or build skills in contemplative practices.
But our goal is to seek, together, the presence of God, which is the essence of consolation, and discern his activity in your life. God’s presence, his activity in our lives, and being guided by the Holy Spirit is the Pearl of Great Price (Mt 13:45-46). It is hard to imagine anything more encouraging than finding that.
Seeking God together with someone is an important step. Like the root system of a grove of trees, we supply each other more nourishment in the body of Christ than we realize. Spiritual growth is ultimately something that cannot be done alone. It requires that we interact with a community of believers.
We know that Moses, Jesus, Paul, and others spent time in the wilderness to get closer to God. There is a season for that level of solitude. But we forget that Moses walked with Aaron, Jesus called his disciples to journey with him, and the Lord sent Ananias to accompany Paul as a companion in those critical first days of his ministry. In fact, some tend to think that the better term for spiritual direction is spiritual companionship.
It is true that the director in a spiritual direction session is ultimately the Holy Spirit. The thought is that the “director” is simply a trained companion who helps another person listen for where God is active in their life. Others see the importance of a director sharing wise counsel at least occasionally. As a spiritual director, I see my role first and foremost as that of companion. I am here to accompany you and listen with you as you seek God. However, along the way I will also not hesitate to share any guidance that I am led to share by the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps the terms “spiritual companionship” and “spiritual friendship” are a bit misleading. Certainly, there is an element of companionship, and the relationship is both spiritual and friendly. But in most cases, it is limited to the realm of spiritual direction. There are always exceptions, but, in general, our relationship will be limited to the time we spend together in our sessions. We most likely won’t do spiritual direction one day and go bowling the next.
Again, this does not mean that a bond of friendship will not form. In fact, Jesus called us all his friends (Jn 15:15) and as such, we should be friends, too. Our time together will be spiritual companioning, and a spiritual friendship should form. But in the end, our activity together will largely be a conversation. We will pray together, too, and at times we might read Scripture or share a devotional practice together. But mostly, we will simply have a conversation.
Perhaps spiritual conversation is yet another way to describe the practice of spiritual direction. We will talk together in a sacred conversation between the three of us, you, me, and God. My prayer is that through that conversation we will hear clearly where God is active in your life and where his Spirit is guiding you. I look forward to our sacred conversations together.