Exploring the spiritual path of contemplative Christianity with a female voice
Branches in Love's vine
A reading and homily based on the following gospel from the Revised Common Lectionary:
Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Abba is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become[c] my disciples.
“As my Abba has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. And you will abide in my love if you keep my commandments, just as I abide in Abba God’s love and have kept God’s commandments. I tell you all this that my joy may be yours, and your joy may be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
"And you are my friends, if you do what I command you. I no longer speak of you as subordinates, because a subordinate doesn’t know a superior’s business. Instead I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learned from Abba God. It was not you who chose me; it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit. Your fruit must endure, so that whatever you ask of Abba God in my name God will give you. This command I give you: that you love one another. "
Healing from spiritual trauma with Ginny Barker
Ginny Barker is one of those people you can count on to keep it real, and because of that I have loved her from the moment I met her. She was a part of the church plant I helped start in Asheville, North Carolina. We went through a lot of church trauma together, and this conversation is about all of that. Spiritual trauma, dark night of the soul, narcissism in spiritual leadership, and so much more. If this topic touches you personally, I think you can brace yourself for some lightbulb moments, and stick around to the end, because we talk about how to heal as individuals, and whether a healthy church community is even a thing. As you hear Ginny’s story, may you find healing, hope, and maybe even a few giggles.
Ginny's blog: Cheetos for breakfast
Ginny's piece on Tears of Eden
She’s also an avid reader, so there’s an extensive book list of her recommendations that you’ll hear her cite throughout, and most of which are included here:
Ecaping the Maze of Spiritual Abuse by Dr. Lisa Oakley and Justin Humphreys
In the House of Friends by Kenneth J. Garrett
When Narcissism Comes to Church by Check DeGroat
Something's Not Right by Wade Mullen
Narcissism in the Church by David Orrison, PhD
The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse by David Johnson and Jeff Van Vonderen
Broken Trust by F. Remy Diederich
A Church Called Tov by Scot McNight
Redeeming Power by Diane Langberg
Soul Repair by Jeff Van Vonderent and Dale and Juanita Ryan
Healing Spiritual Wounds by Carol Howard Merritt
James Fowler's stages of spiritual development
Shedding false identities
A homily based on the following reading from the Book of Common Prayer daily office lectionary:
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth. They said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘Doctor, cure yourself!’ And you will say, ‘Do here also in your hometown the things that we have heard you did at Capernaum.’” And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.
Getting angry and cussing with The Rev. Hannah Wilder
Death, dying, racism, patriarchy, and what the hell we do with our feelings
Practice dying for eternal life
A homily based on the following lectionary readings for the second Sunday of Lent, year B:
[Jesus] began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations. I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you.”
God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.”
The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for
What's a child of God?
A homily based on the following reading from the daily office readings in the Book of Common Prayer:
Galatians 4:1-7 (NIV, audio is read from New English Bible)
"What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.So also, when we were underage, we were in slaveryunder the elemental spiritual forces of the world. But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son,born of a woman, born under the law, to redeemthose under the law, that we might receive adoptionto sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir."
Thoughts? Questions? Suggestions? Looking for spiritual guidance? Reach out to Heather at the Chickmonks website
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Wise and Full of Grace
This podcast touches my heart, makes me think, and encourages me in my own ministry. It is full of wisdom, insight, and grace. I’m always so excited to see a new episode!
A wise and thoughtful perspective. Love your work- thanks for sharing ❤️
Heathers voice is soothing, wise, and transformational.
Thank you Heather for extending your ministry online!