Mindy's Blog


 

Anyone Out There Who… ? 

By Mindy Caliguire - Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A radio station in my area frequently poses questions to their listeners on the air—the responses are often hilarious and sometimes even heart-warming. The theme music rolls, the DJ asks, “Anyone listening who….. “, and listeners email or call in to respond. Usually the question connects to a current news event, or even a random conversation.

So I’d like to introduce a similar question on the Soul Care Blog!

Often after I teach on Spiritual Friendship, participants speak with me privately after the session, asking, What if I desire a deeper relationship with a friend, but none of my current friends or acquaintances seems interested in “going there”?

I attempt to offer a few words of encouragement, urging them to hold their desire in prayer—mountains do get moved! But I always wish I could do more. So here’s an idea: I would like to extend those conversations to a larger community online. Would you help out?

Today, I’m asking: “Anyone reading who, after a time of spiritual loneliness, finally developed a deeper spiritual friendship? What happened?” Or, “anyone reading who is right in that place today?” We’d love to hear your story! (please use the comment feature below this post and keep your response to 200 words!)

Your story may encourage someone else to keep praying, keep watching, keep learning in their waiting. It just might help someone believe there are others looking for the same thing. And the search can go on.


When God Feels Far 

By Mindy Caliguire - Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Who of us will ever fully understand why God chooses to remain hidden at times. Even on the road to Emmaus, with disheartened and confused disciples, Jesus remained hidden. How encouraged they would have been to walk with him KNOWING it was him! But Jesus, fully present, remained hidden.

Recently I sent this quote to a few friends who were in similar seasons of walking the path without a direct sense of God’s presence. Disheartened and confused; faithfully walking their path.

The quote is from *The Screwtape Letters, where author CS Lewis takes on the persona of an imaginary demon, Screwtape, who trains his protégé, Wormwood, through a series of letters. Many of you may be familiar with this work… others not.

Keep in mind that when Screwtape refers to the “cause,” he means the cause of Evil; and the “Enemy” is actually God.

But the quote gives me chills every time I read it.

Maybe it will meet you where you are today:

Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.

* Page 39, The Screwtape Letters. — CS Lewis


FreeCycle Your Stuff 

By Mindy Caliguire - Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ahhhh simplicity. Huge topic. One of my favorites. You take a deeper breath just seeing or saying the word!

Simplicity (or the lack of it) affects us on every level of our lives, internal as well as external. While I often emphasize the interior over the exterior–one invariably leads to the other–every once in a while something related to stuff just has to be addressed!

For me, that took the form of a major purge of the basement this summer. Totally forgot most of what had been lurking there, crowded into corners bringing visual anxiety to the unsuspecting family member who might stray down there.

Anyway, one of the coolest ideas I stumbled upon in an effort to give away most of what we found was this: freecycling.

Some time ago, I learned of ’simplicity’ covenants, where participants vow not to purchase anything new for an entire year–other than food and utilities, I think.  Those communities found an  online way to “share” both inspiration and stuff. Then, last month I discovered a similar grass-roots effort to help people share stuff: Freecycling.

 So when I had a lot of baby things to give away (some were donated to Salvation Army, too), I joined my local Freecycle group online. Within days, I connected with a family had recently adopted two babies from Guatemala! The enormous expense of the adoptions (nearing six figures), plus the medical fees for the children, plus the general overload of adding new small lives to a household so quickly… well, this mom had just joined the freecycle group too. She thankfully grabbed darling baby hiking boots, a few jackets and toys, and several other items.

Maybe one of the best ways to care for your soul this season would be to move towards simplicity–find someone who needs the stuff you have, and give it away joyfully!  You can join a freecycle group in your area through www.freecycle.org. Happy (Thanks) Giving!


Chapel at APU 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yesterday morning’s Chapel Service at Azusa Pacific University (APU) was a blast. I love being with the energy of college students, and I sensed they completely connected with the core message of Soul Care. All went really well until i accidentally went several minutes over the allotted time which made for a very humorous, and abrupt, ending! A brave student in the front row gently clued me in… they say they’d like me back sometime… hopefully so! I still need to make that third point. They’re doing great ministry among students, and I was glad to be part of it. (And it was a real treat to be on the road with my youngest son, Josh…)


To blog or not to blog... 

By Mindy Caliguire - Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Why enter the world of blog? My desires are simple

1)     Encourage. When I find a great quote, a new book, or a small episode of life that holds spiritual significance, I vow to send another Soul Care email newsletter to the hundreds of friends who have registered on the site. Yet all but five of those vows were broken.  I hope a blog’s swift and flexible platform will help keep us in touch! My apologies for those of you who have waited, and waited, and waited…

2)      Include. Invite you to events or gatherings coming up… like PrayerLife at Willow Creek on Wednesday evening December 5, and the Midwest Regional Spiritual Formation Alliance gathering on Saturday, January 12 (also at Willow Creek).

3)      Discuss. Open a way for interaction among the community! Let the conversations begin…