Author Archives: thereverentoutdoors

About thereverentoutdoors

I am a pastor in the Lutheran church who loves the outdoors and all that it provides; food, joy, peace, contentment

6 Ways that Studying God (Theology) Outdoors Leads us to God Himself

I came across this article written by Pastor Ashley Denton on his blog Outdoor Leadership with Ashley Denton. Check it out.

6 Ways that Studying God (Theology) Outdoors Leads us to God Himself

by  on SEPTEMBER 18, 2012

1. WIND & RAIN ARE METAPHORS OF A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW

I liken a biblical worldview to a fresh rain in the desert, or a warm Chinook wind in the dead of winter. Desert dwellers leap for joy when the monsoons finally arrive in August. And Coloradoans, like myself, sigh happily at the Chinook wind that blows down the east side of the Rocky Mountains at the end of winter.  They are both welcome and refreshing changes because they radically contrast the norm. In studying God’s Word consistently, we also discover that the Bible’s worldview radically contrasts the mainstream.

photo by Thomas Haines

2. A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW CONTRASTS THE NORM

Like the contrast between bright snow and gray granite peaks, as I spend time with Jesus in the darkness of the morning, I am continually reminded that the Living Word of the biblical text is a drastic contrast to the regular diet of external worldly voices and internal doubts that I entertain everyday. So unless I decide that it’s a biblical worldview that I want, there are plenty of other fast-food ideas out there to get me by. But empty, dry, and cold they are.

3. THEOLOGY IS ASKING QUESTIONS

Theology |θēˈäləjē| is simply studying people’s questions about God and then seeking the answers to our questions in the Bible. The origin of the word, theology comes from: Greektheos (‘god’) logia (‘word’) denoting a study or interest in God. When I’m outdoors and free to look deeply into what God has made, I begin to wonder and ask questions.  As I study what God has made it leads me to God himself. And as I take seek answers to my questions by studying God’s Word, the Bible, I am drawn by my Heavenly Father beyond the ink on the page into the very presence of my Father whose inspired Words are written in that very ink.  That is what true theological inquiry should lead to, God himself:

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. -Romans 1:20

4. THE BIGGEST QUESTIONS HAVE CONCRETE ANSWERS

Why would I want to seek answers to my deepest questions in the bible?  Because it is reliable, historically accurate, and scientifically verifiable through the created order itself. It is full of eyewitness accounts, it is brutally honest about both mankind’s sin and his potential for glorifying God through his son Jesus Christ.  It has more archaeological evidence to support its validity than any other religious or non-religious book in the history of the world.

It is consistent from start to finish, it is full of prophecies that have come true, it explains fully who Jesus is, why he was born, why he died for mankind’s sin, how a person might receive salvation through faith in Jesus, and it offers very clear guidance on how a person can experience life to the fullest.  The Bible is the Word of God, and it will transform your life beginning the moment you put your full trust in Jesus Christ and commit your life to him.  In this sense, the words of the Bible are tested and found true through faith.

RELATED POST: Most Under-Estimated Benefit of Outdoor Ministry | Time for Evangelism

5. TIME IN CREATION HELPS US UNDERSTAND GOD’S NATURE

All of Creation and even cultures themselves have evidence of the design of God. The list of lessons Creation teaches us about God is endless, but let’s take just one quality of Creation as an example. Think about the concept of beauty.

BEAUTY IN CREATION

How do you know that something is beautiful? This question is impossible to test in a laboratory, but somehow every person can recognize beauty. When we look at the wide-open spaces of a majestic mountain scene, or we meditate on the splendor of a sunset on the horizon of a rolling sea, we know we are looking at beauty. In a Christian worldview, we believe God created the heavens and the earth, and everything he created was good and pleasing to him. It is beautiful. And the existence of beauty itself points to the God who designed beauty. And just like hunger pains point to the existence of food to satisfy our hunger, so beauty’s existence points to One who is ultimately beautiful—God himself.

6. CLARITY THROUGH CONTRASTS IN CREATION

Just as the creation inspires awe, by contrast, the degradation of the earth causes repulsion. When I walk by polluted streams full of human waste and discarded trash in developing countries, I am saddened by the ugliness of the scene, but even more grieved by the plight of the poor who cannot enjoy a safe and refreshing drink of water, which was God’s intention for creation.

The logical conclusion that leads from the existence of ugliness in the world does not point away from God, rather it points directly to him—the Creator of all beauty. What God creates is beautiful, and what our sin causes is destruction of that very beauty he intended.

RELATED POST: Outdoor Leadership as Mission | Where Outdoor Ministry is Going Today?

EXERCISES

  • How do you see evidence of God’s design in the beautiful landscapes you visit when you head outdoors?
  • In what ways do you see evidence of mankind’s sin destroying that very beauty God intended for the human race? What does this say about God? What does this say about mankind?
  • How does being a follower of Jesus Christ make you a restorer of beauty in God’s world?
  • How can you take a snapshot of the awe-inspiring beauty you see in a magnificent natural setting and go back to your cities with a renewed vision to restore God’s intended beauty in our relationships, schools, churches, and city as a whole?”
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Journey 2013

I recently took a group of individuals from Advent Lutheran Church in Morgan Hill CA on a wilderness experience Journey. Here’s what their leader Casey Cross had to say…

“The Wilderness Journey ~ September Newsletter 2013

“The desert is a dangerous place. Nobody goes there unless they really have to…” These are  the words that begin countless Godly Play stories. These stories share the history of God’s people, where they came from, where they went, and most importantly how God met them wherever they were, guided them, protected them,and gave them a home. Surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, the wilderness played a critical role in these stories of lost, wandering, and lonely people. It was through the wilderness that God spoke; whether through a burning bush or by the words of an angel near a rushing river. It is in the wilderness that these people of God shed their past and entered into a new way of life, fully reliant on the one true God.

Most of us have, literally or metaphorically, had wilderness experiences in our lives. We have felt lost and lonely. We have felt the drive to go out, away from everything we know, to begin again with a new start, a new perspective. The gift of keeping these wilderness experiences metaphorical is that no matter the depth of emotion you may feel, the rest is relatively controllable. You can distract yourself with food, conversation, and the stuff of life. But when you step over that boundary by actually, physically putting yourself in the wilderness, you have chosen another layer of vulnerability. You no longer have the safety of distraction, comfort of your bed, or control over surroundings. You are lost, alone, and in even greater likelihood than before, physical danger. Wild animals roam. Weather is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Bugs are everywhere. Dirt is everywhere. It’s a different world than the one we usually construct for ourselves. Yet, we are created for, and even by, this very same wilderness.

This last July, I brought a small but courageous group of five on a wilderness excursion, rightly called: The Journey: Personal Transformation in the Wilderness. This rite  of passage was developed by Pastor Joel Martyn for anyone 14 years old through adulthood. This experience is a three-fold process. The first stage is Severance. In this stage, participants reflect on where they have come from,what has brought them to the experience, and what they will need to sever themselves from in order to fully immerse themselves in the wilderness. Using the story of Jesus being led out into the wilderness after his baptism, we discussed and reflected on what it was we had to leave behind and what we brought with us to the experience. We were given time to sit alone and write out a list of all of those things. These lists ushered us into the second stage, Threshold, as we threw them into a low fire – a sign of our readiness to let go. From this point, after watching our paper turn to ash, we were led one-by-one to areas where we would spend the next two days and two nights in solitude with only water, prayer, and the Bible to sustain us.

This period of time was so intensely personal; it has been hard for me to find words to fully express what happened. I can say that I experienced what I had only previously read, straight from mystics of our religious history – The Word of God kept me full. In this time, the word “faith” took on a new meaning to me. Through the wilderness, God nourished my faith. Through the ups and downs, the points where I thought I reached my emotional and physical limits, the Spirit pushed me through, refining me with a new inner strength. At the end of this Threshold stage, when I found myself reaching a new limit of exhaustion and loneliness, I finally heard the call to return to camp. I said goodbye to this new, sacred space I had inhabited for the past 48 + hours, and trudged back down to camp.

We assembled back where we began, around the fire. After some discussion, we were invited into the third stage of our experience, Incorporation. When we felt ready, we stepped one-by-one over a line of fire where we were blessed in the name of the Trinity, into our new life. And finally, we feasted together. Fresh food filled our bellies. The joy of fellowship filled our hearts. We were new people, grounded in a new personal and spiritual strength, with no rush to be anywhere except right where we were, with each other.

No matter how different the wilderness experience may be for each individual; whether you join the next group on The Journey, or not, I know with a clarity I did not have before that it is in the wilderness places that God will find you. You will not be alone. You will be changed. Without wilderness experiences we lose sight of ourselves, we lose connection to the earth and each other, we forget our Creator, or God, who pulls us from the ashes of our past and re-purposes us for a greater future.

When have you been called, or even forced, into a wilderness experience? How did God meet you there?

If you do not feel that you have experienced the wilderness, what is keeping you from taking the steps necessary to enter The Journey? From what do you need to sever yourself in order to immerse yourself in The Journey God is calling you to enter?

If you are feeling lost in the wilderness now, what are the limits you have reached? How has the Spirit pulled you through, even when you couldn’t yourself? What do you need in order to cross the fire into incorporation?”—Casey Cross

DSCN0276

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benjamin Bushman

So I’ve been playing with the idea of producing short video posts on different survival techniques that people can use if needed while either lost in the wilderness or just for fun. I have a friend who has developed a quite comical persona which we aptly named “Benjamin Bushman” of whom you may be seeing soon. The Benjamin Bushman persona is one that can only be explained by experiencing the wonders which he can open our eyes to. So, look forward to some Benjamin Bushman educational survival videos found only here at, The Journey! And remember, you can always pop on over to our prayer request page and fill out that little form so we can pray for you. Blessings!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Have a Prayer Request? We Are Here For You.

We recently added a new feature to this website, hoping that readers who have a prayer request would take the time to to fill out a little form and share with us your request so we can hold you up in prayer. We take prayer very seriously here at The Journey and trust that when Jesus tells us to pray, to ask, to seek, to commune with Him through prayer, great things can happen in our lives of faith and relationships. So, if you have a prayer concern or request no matter how small or large, we ask that you would click on the prayer request tab and let us pray for you. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone at anytime. Also, by filling out a prayer request you are actively requesting that the whole community of The Journey Face Book page pray as well. So a brief description of the request will be posted to facebook.com/thejourney1.0. If you would rather not have this happen just specify in the request. God bless.

20130225-090209.jpg

//

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Devotional’s to Help to Sustain The Journey

So after a few years of writing devotions for a group of people to receive everyday, I finally decided to gather those devotions together and put them into a book format called “Too Deep for Words: A Daily Devotion” which is available on Kindle and will be available in print very soon. (Within the next 2 weeks) If you are willing to support this new emerging ministry all of the proceeds go to The Journey. I also ask that if you are not willing to purchase the devotionals or are unable to that you would please keep this ministry in prayer. We will take any kind of support we can get. God bless.

Ebook Cover

TDFW 2 cover

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Going Out to Dinner

The trail I had been hiking down for the last 45 minutes was covered in roots, different types of vegetation, rocks and was criss-crossed with long spiky vines from the wild blackberry bushes that are so very prevalent in this area. I was nervous, and I was trying to hold my anxiety at bay. I wasn’t alone in this hike, but it was still 2 hours until sunrise.

We were hiking in the dark with no flashlight. Only the light of the sliver of moon guided our path. I don’t like the dark very much when I’m out in the woods. My imagination goes a bit crazy with thoughts of crazy people on the prowl, the hunter becoming the hunted. Thoughts of the mythical Bigfoot finding me in the dark and tearing me limb from limb haunt my imaginative pondering while roaming the woods in the dark. I was anxious.

“Crack!!” It was heard throughout the area. I had stepped on an old rotted oak tree branch that had fallen across the trail. “Shhhh”, my mentor scolded. “We’re entering into the area that we are going to hunt. Keep quiet.” We proceeded on, my mentor Chris, leading the way into the tangled woods, off the trail, to places only he knows about. “I call this the rats nest, because you can’t get through it, but the deer can. The stand I set up for you is right down there. Just follow the path I laid out for you and when you come to a stick blocking the path turn left. Walk three hundred yards and look up. You should see the stand.” Seriously? I should be able to see it? There’s no other markers than just a stick? I have to do this in the dark? By myself? The thoughts and questions were racing through my anxious mind. “Where are you going to be?” I asked him. “Over there to the east of here about 1 mile down the ridge line.” He said with his woodsman confidence that just seems to always shine through.

Chris is a quiet man. He is a confident man who has taken many deer and turkeys from the woods to feed his family with. He is an expert outdoorsman. Confident and skilled in the ways of tracking, knowing where the game will be and when it will be there. He knows about plants, which ones are good to eat and which ones you should avoid. He’s an excellent marksman, both with the shotgun as well as the rifle and bow. He’s tall with short blond hair, has a strong physique and tan skin from being out in the woods so much. He often looked at me in a manor that spoke of a quiet wisdom. Like he knew something about me that I didn’t. I respected this man right away and knew him to be honorable.

Chris is the person who taught me how to hunt. He taught me everything that was necessary to enter into the woods and come out with game. He welcomed my wife and I into his home and made us a part of his family. He is married to a wonderful woman named Mary Jo and they have two wonderful children Cory and Eric. He showed me the ways of the woods, the ebb and flow of nature surrounding us. He taught me, and showed me that every part of the natural world has a pattern of living and dying. In order to sustain itself it must be controlled. And that control process is through the food chain. Killing, gathering, eating of plant and animals. All things will die. This is the man who left me alone in the big oak woods at night. Did he know that I was afraid to be by myself in the woods in the dark? Probably. I never informed him of that personal flaw in character, but he probably knew the same he knows that deer have entered the back bean field when that bean field is acres away from his house. I’m sure he was making me find the stand in the dark by myself, either to help me get over my fear, or just for a good laugh to himself. He’s entertained by such things.

“A mile away. Okay sounds good. Which way’s east?” I thought to myself. I was looking in the direction of my stand and I turned to ask him, but he had simply and silently slipped off into the night, disappearing into the dark oak woods which were almost home to him. I suddenly felt very alone. Almost helpless and frozen in time and space. “Get it together man and let’s find that stand before Bigfoot finds you.” I said to myself. And off I went. Down in the direction he showed me. There were a hundred if not thousands of sticks crossing the path but I happened to see an impression in the ground next one stick in particular. A track! A test! Did Chris make this impression to test me on my tracking ability? Who knows? I turned left and walked three hundred yards. It took me all of 30 minutes from that point to find my stand. It was silhouetted to the sky about 20 feet up a tree. I climbed up, attached my harness to the tree, pulled up my compound bow, settled in and waited for the sun to rise.

There are many things that goes through a person’s head as they sit in a tree in the big woods for eight hours straight. All my senses become heightened. I can hear more sounds than normal. The chirp of a pissed off squirrel. The calls of nearby cattle. The grunt of a mature buck looking for a mate. The wind moving through the trees. I start to pick out different colors. What colors belong? Which ones don’t? The concentration it takes to listen, spot, and feel to find game is enormous. It’s enormously taxing and it’s enormously relaxing as well.

There are many ways in which a person can hunt deer. This is what we were obviously doing. Hunting deer. There is the spot and stalk method, where you spot the game with your binoculars before they see or smell you then stalk in to where the game is located to try and get a shot. There is the road hunting method, which I don’t particularly like. There is the ground blind method, where one sits in a camouflaged tent or fort on the edge of a field and waits for the deer to walk by. And then there is the tree stand method, where you choose very carefully the tree in which you want your stand to be situated. In this style of hunting you want to take into consideration wind direction, deer trail location relative to the tree, tree rubs, scrape locations, bedding areas, feeding areas, and how you are going to get into and out of the area without being noticed by the resident deer. A lot of thought and planning and strategy went into Chris’s placement of this stand, and I admired that. I trusted his knowledge and experience.

The light from the sun was starting reveal my surroundings to me. I was on an oak ridge situated on a rather large bench where two ridges joined together, and there was deer sign everywhere. My breath quickened and my senses started to become alert. I heard what sounded like a squirrel moving through the oak leaves covering the ground. A little flick, a twitch of deer ear amidst the bracken of the “Rats Nest” clued me in to the fact that it was a deer and not a squirrel moving those leaves. My heart started racing and my breath quickened. I grabbed my bow, knocked an arrow, and waited for the deer to reveal itself fully. “Please be a buck, please be a buck.” I prayed hoping that it would be a deer that I could shoot and bring home to my family. The tag I had from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources was for an antlered deer only. The deer that stepped out from the entangled slope of madness was a doe. An antler-less deer. A deer that I could not legally shoot. I relaxed, as deer after deer after deer came out from the entanglement and walked pass my stand. All does. I didn’t get a shot at any bucks that day, nor for the rest of the time I was hunting, but I did get to experience and admire God’s work and creative hand in those beautiful animals.

“Mmmhmmm.” Chris cleared his throat at the base of my tree. How he got there without me knowing was beyond me, but spoke volumes of his mastery of the outdoors. “Let’s go get some supper. Did you see anything?” he asked, “Ya,” I replied “A whole lot of does.”

Hunting for me isn’t just about killing an animal for food and nourishment for my family. It’s about the experience. It’s about the memories and friendships that are built. It’s about connecting to a deeper part of myself that needs to be able to provide good, wholesome food sources of protein and vegetables for my family. Humanity has lost some of its natural ability to hunt and gather food. It doesn’t really surprise me at all when all you have to do is go to your local market and buy all the meat, veggies and processed foods that you want when you want it. I see a huge disconnect between people and the food they eat. Most folks don’t know where it comes from. They would rather someone else do the killing than to have to do it themselves. Yet many people argue about how unethical hunting and killing animals is. Our society is used to having things just given to us. They don’t want to know where their beef comes from. They don’t want to know that the steak they’re eating was frolicking around a pasture content with life a few days earlier. My hope is that we can bridge that disconnect by educating and by practicing good hunting ethics.

Categories: hunting | Leave a comment

Providing

It wasn’t until I was 24 years old, and an intern pastor in Osseo Wisconsin that I began to truly understand what it means to harvest your own food, to provide for your family, friends and to have a healthy reverence for nature and the outdoors. I learned quickly the benefits and emotional struggle that comes from being a hunter/gatherer in this day and age where all one has to do to get protein is to go to the grocery store and buy a rump roast.

There is a surreal sense of limbo for me when I am out in the field. I experience a unique transformation from husband, dad, pastor, friend, to provider. It’s a strange and amazing transformation of role. To go from spiritual caregiver to provider at first had it’s emotional struggles, but I realized that providing food in the form of unadulterated protein and organic flora for my family and friends to share not only saved me some money, but it also gave me a great sense of accomplishment. The role of provider is one that I now wear proudly.

Osseo is a very small town in Wisconsin, to become accepted into the community and culture is no easy feat. I was the new guy in town, everyone knew it, and to make things worse, in their eyes, I was from California. The land of movies, make believe, and in their words, “hippy surfers.” I did in fact surf, but I gently explained to them that I was not a hippy (whatever that means). I could see that I was going to have a hard time proving my worthiness. I felt like an explorer, facing a tribes rite of passage to gain acceptance. This is indeed what I had to experience before they would acknowledge me as one of their own. As in most rural areas, hunting is a culture, a way of life. The contrast between my upbringing in a city of plenty and this outdoor journey into manhood would awaken my soul.

If you have had any exposure to the Midwest, you know that to become a man, a boy has to kill a deer. The process that these 12 year old boys had to go through with their fathers looking over their shoulders, was nothing short of miraculous! Five weeks of hunter’s safety class where we were grilled constantly about hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting, safety, ethics, good shots vs. bad shots, tracking, trailing, this and that, that and this, all leading up to a final exam. To pass that exam was paramount to every 12 year old boy in that class and to their fathers. To not pass the test meant not getting their first deer and becoming man, and to possibly have to live up to the ridicule of their peers.

I had to kill a deer…..it was the only way for me to be inoculated into the community. It made me uneasy. Hesitant. I had never hurt an animal let alone take it’s life. This was difficult for me. Out of respect for the community and the culture of the town added to my personal journey, I took up the challenge. And like I handle all challenges, I did it with passion and intensity with the willingness to learn all that I could so that I could make the best possible shot to kill the deer as fast as possible.

I killed my first deer that November…It was an intense experience. It was one wrought with emotion. I was happy that I had been successfull and that I was able to provide for my family, yet I was sad that I had taken a life. I cried beside that 11 point white tail buck. I thanked him and I thanked God for the life that was given. For the meat it would provide. I respected the animal. It’s burned deeply into my psyche. I was granted acceptance from the community and was forever changed. I had been blooded. Marked with blood on my face that symbolized the fact that I had shot and killed my own food. That I was accepted. I was a man.

With every subsequent hunt I feel a twinge with strong memories of that day.

My wife and I ate that deer in it’s entirety over the next year. I tanned the hide for leather, and used the meat for food. From that experience I realized that the meat I buy in the store has been killed by a person. And while that is good and all, I decided that I wanted to be the one “harvesting” my food from then on.

Being a provider is now a part of my identity. I have two small boys and a wife that I pass these skills onto and provide for. Providing doesn’t mean only shooting animals, it also means identifying and foraging for wild plants that are healthy and nutritious. I find joy in being able to provide and in practicing those skills so I can be a better provider. I like the idea that all a person needs to survive and live a healthy life is all around us. We just need to open our eyes and find it all.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wild Game

When out in the wild for an extended amount of time it’s beneficial for one to have a basic knowledge of the wild game and edibles that surround you in any given terrain. Having food and water is necessary for life and for a healthy psyche in a survival situation. There was a time once when I basically lived off of stinging nettles, mushrooms, dandelions, watercress, wild carrot, and Sierra wild onions for about a week. Had I not known what to look for and what was available at the time, I would have gone hungry.

I read a quote once that said, “You can’t see what you don’t know.” I find this statement to be absolutely the truth. You have to do your homework and be prepared for any situation, including being able to find food and water, whenever you’re planning to go into the wild. You need to learn about plants and animals. Where they grow or roam. How you can find, gather or catch something in order to survive.

So, in this Wild Recipes section I will be posting links to recipes and identification standards for wild edibles. I hope you will enjoy this section and try some of the recipes that you’ll find here.

Here’s a link to a wonderful recipe for Fried Wild Rabbit. Enjoy.

20130119-143020.jpg

Photo by Holly Heyser

Categories: Wild Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sacred Communion

The ancient ritual of the rite of passage is not a magical formula to fixing ones life. It just does not work that way. It’s a way in which we can get in touch with our inner selves, our God, and the demons that we struggle with. Psychologist Carl Jung called this side of ourselves the Shadow. The shadow side of ourself is the side that we are not so happy with. The shadow is “the thing a person has no wish to be.” (envy, jealousy, inappropriate sexual thoughts or feelings, lust, contempt, etc.) Carl Jung’s belief was that this darker side of ourself is not dangerous to ourselves or others. If we do not work on those issues that make up our shadow self those issues may manifest in unexpected and unanticipated ways and be projected onto others.

In essence The Journey is nothing but dust in the wind. The Journey is just a vehicle to help get you through the transition in your life. It’s just the structure through which your passage can be built, and your relationship with yourself and God can be strengthened. In this Journey God wants to bestow upon you His gifts, insights, blessings, healing and strength. When Jesus went through His trial of temptation in the wilderness, God was with Him. Upon completion of His rite of passage scripture says, “He was famished…and the angels came and waited upon Him.” Let me tell you, you will be hungry upon completion as well.

When secluded in the wilderness God will speak to you in many and various ways. Listen for Him in the cry of the hawk. See Him in trail of an ant. Feel Him in the wind across your body. Immerse yourself in the dirt of the earth. Embed yourself in the creation of our Lord which was declared Tov, that is, good! God wants to meet us in His creation. He wants to communicate with His children in ways that we have for too long been blind.

When you commune this closely with Christ, you can’t help but be drawn into Him and He into you. You would be unable to resist Him. Nothing else would matter but then and now. Time will stand still and the space in which you occupy will be occupied by the Spirit and the space will be sacred. The space needs to be respected for now it is Holy.

There’s a story of a young man who participated in The Journey who was experiencing this:

“I was sitting near the debris shelter that I had built to sleep in. I started a fire. A small fire that would keep me warm but not get out of control. I noticed the flies around me. There must have been millions of flies and they wouldn’t leave me alone. Normally I would get upset and try to either get away or kill them. But this time was different. I saw them as creation and they no longer bothered me. They crawled on me, but they became friends. I discovered a deep connection that I have with the smallest of creatures, and that is that we are both created by God.”–Human

Realizing our connectedness to God and God’s creation helps us to understand our own connectedness with those others who surround us in our daily lives. We begin to understand the connectedness that we have within ourselves. Meaning, that the Holy Spirit brings to us a connection within ourselves between mind, body and spirit. A wholeness of being.

Part of this communion with God alone in the wilderness is creating a sacred space. Whenever something important happened between humanity and God, in scripture, the Israelites would create an altar in that spot to give thanks to God and to show others that a deeply spiritually important event took place there. Moses created an altar to give thanks to God for helping Joshua defeat the Amalekites. Jacob created an altar to God after wrestling with God all night long in the wilderness. Joshua created an altar to God when the covenant was created. Peter, James and John wanted to create three altars at the transfiguration of Jesus to mark that occasion of vast importance.

The participant does the same thing because a deep inner transition is taking place as the participant communes with God…–The Journey

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Journey Survival/Prayer Bracelet

What exactly is a survival/prayer bracelet? Well, it’s a bracelet that is made out of 550 para-cord that is designed to be easily deploy-able if you ever need cord in a survival situation. But that’s not all it is. It’s also designed to be used as a prayer device to focus your mind on whatever it is you might be praying about. Consider it a meditation tool, where as you tie each knot you say a prayer and you repeat that prayer until the bracelet is tied once again. Then you start over by unraveling, tying and praying…

I came across this design in my own search for a survival bracelet that was actually usable in emergency situations. It unravels in seconds rather than minutes. So I tied a bracelet and was wearing it until my sister got cancer and my family had to race down to see her. I found myself taking the bracelet off, unraveling it, tying it, unraveling, tying…and praying. I thought to myself, what a wonderful tool for prayer as it focused my very unfocused mind in prayer and helped me fix my thoughts on Jesus. So I thought I would share this with you. If you are interested in purchasing one of these prayer/survival tools feel free and please know that the funds received from these bracelets go to further the ministry efforts of The Journey. Just click on this sentence to order yours today. Shipping is free. God bless my friends! More color option soon…

Survival/Prayer Bracelet in Black and Drab Green

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.