LIFE Nuggets

The purpose of this blog is Essentially to Chronicle our personal faith journey and that of a place that we call LIFE House West. Why Life Nuggets? Because Nuggets bring to mind a sense of fun and enjoyment, show me a child who is sad when they get to eat chicken nuggets..... Things like life, and following Jesus should be fun and we want to explore those things in a light hearted and fun way, so please, enjoy...

Location: Hagerstown, Maryland, United States

30 years old, married, Father of four children (2 boys, 2 girls) 2 cats and 3 dogs (black lab, english bulldog, and pug)

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Merton Files

In my last post I had mentioned that I was reading a book called "New seeds of Contemplation" by Thomas Merton. What a great read! In fact I have been reading it with a highlighter in hand as there is so much thought provoking material in this book. I thought that it would be fun to take some quotes and comment on them.

Here is the first one: "No man who ignores the rights and needs of others can hope to walk in the light of contemplation, because his way has turned aside from truth, from compassion and therefore from God."

We live in world that is choked off by need, drowning in suffering. Tragically we see those who follow Christ doing far too little to be the answer to someone's need. We are very good about debating what to do with need. We love to discuss what we would do about the need in front of us, but we never take the next step. I am not talking about global problems either. I am talking about the need and suffering that we see in front of us each day.

What are we doing to meet those challenges head on? How are we combating injustice and suffering right in front of us? Merton makes the point here that if we turn aside from being compassionate that we are turning aside from God. A very harsh charge to be sure, but one that I think we would do well to review.

How can you incorporate compassion back into our faith? Who can you bless that has nothing to give back? Showing compassion is showing the character of Jesus to a world that needs to see it.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Welcome to another LIFE Nugget. I cannot believe that it has been so long since I posted one. Man time flies! I guess it is all to easy to allow the craziness of life to become a distraction. In any event, I have been reading a book by Thomas Merton called "New Seeds of Contemplation." I have to admit that there is alot to digest in the pages that I have read, but it has me thinking.

Merton stresses that contemplation must be experienced, it cannot be analyzed. He does stress that the source for contemplation is connection with God. It is not just about looking inside yourself, it is about connecting with God. It is about finding Him in all situations both good and bad.

Finding God in all things is something that needs to happen in our lives. Far too often I think that reduce experiencing God to the well worn paths of what some call "The Christendom" model of church. While those things certainly have some role to play, they are not the sum total. We need to encounter him everywhere, to be aware of him all around us. It builds a depth to our relationship with Christ that we need today.

So why not take the time to look for God everywhere?