Soul Orientation

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22 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    Good books, solitude, insightful friends, access to a sense of His presence and now especially Eucharist.

    I need the gathered worship with the saints as well.

  2. Michael says:


    You forgot the bourbon… 🙂

    Yes to all those things…

    I think gathering with any saint is an act of worship…or should be…

  3. LInn says:

    Good music (contemporary, hymns, gospel-I’m not picky), a worshipful, joyous atmosphere, a good sermon-one that is true to the Word and doesn’t try to force meaning upon it that doesn’t make sense. And, people who are committed to the church all week long, not just on Sunday morning.

  4. Muff Potter says:

    I hold to the tenets of The Apostle’s Creed as non-negotiable parameters up-front and on the table.
    The stuff beyond that?
    I keep my own counsel, and pick and choose as I see fit.

  5. Alan says:

    Actually I wrote a nice cigar and a fine spirit but I erased it. But you are 100% correct.

    Getting over the need for moralisms has been huge.

  6. R'as al Ghul says:

    Alan @ your 2:23 PM.

    I enjoy a nice Punch, Partagas, or Arturo Fuente myself. Maduro wrapper in around a 50 ring gauge. For shorter smokes, something along the lines of a Rothschild works for me. Something like this:

  7. Peter Voorhees says:

    I have a dear friend who, over the past year, left Acts29 and has now become an ordained Anglican priest. He is planting an ACNA church in a nearby town. As a CC pastor, I have shared a wonderful fellowship and friendship with him. Walking with him through his multi-year journey from A29 to the ACNA has been a privilege. He finds great comfort in the creeds, liturgy, and the more measured (less hype) pace of ministry.

    Sidenote: A couple of years ago, my oldest daughter and I were traveling in Italy. During our travels, we attended services at two Anglican churches on consecutive Sundays. When I returned home, I shared with my friend that, despite being on the other side of the world, I felt as if I had been in his church. I truly appreciated the continuity, the emphasis on reading scripture, and the sense of familiarity we experienced while attending these Anglican services.

    A term that has recently become meaningful to me is “spiritual friendships.” These are close relationships where you can be very vulnerable, receiving insight, wisdom, and help in your walk with the Lord. I realize that some may just call this good friends, but there is an element to it that goes beyond that good friendship… or so that’s what I’m experiencing. They are invaluable when the fog of fatigue, frustration, or familiarity sets in. Broader community has also been essential for me—community within the church, among seekers and those of little faith, and with fellow pastors working in diverse contexts yet facing similar challenges.

    I meet regularly with a group of Pentecostal pastors and another group with more Reformed tendencies. Although these two groups might never meet, both bring life to my soul. Good books, a good comedy series (like Ted Lasso), walks with my kids, a good scotch and stogie also helps… strictly for medicinal purposes. 😉

  8. Michael says:

    Peter Voorhees,

    ‘A term that has recently become meaningful to me is “spiritual friendships.”’

    I’m glad you mentioned that…it’s a topic I’d like to explore later…one of my essentials for getting through this world to the next…

  9. pstrmike says:

    For me, a good glass of red….. centering prayer, spiritual readings from numerous sources, Psalms, Proverbs and the Gospels, receiving the Eucharist often, giving to others, time with like minded souls (that usually means Zoom), and lots of solitude. Pretty much covers my Rule of Life.

    Aelred of Rievaulx wrote a book on Spiritual Friendship.

  10. Reuben says:

    I feel like I need a comprehension of God to flourish. My God the lifetime I have had is apparently wrong.

  11. Dan from Georgia says:

    I know this isn’t the point of your post Michael, but I find this comment quite humorous…

    “If you see my hands in the air it means I’m about to smack someone…”

    For me it’s probably because I am trying to make more personal space between me and the stranger next to me….whom I was just asked to hug or shake hands with….ugh says the perpetual introvert!

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    In all seriousness though, the bond I sense and feel with another believer, even if just on the phone, is real and palpable.

  13. pstrmike says:


    “My God the lifetime I have had is apparently wrong.”

    Which is why I am attracted to the Mystery……

  14. Bob Sweat says:

    Sounds as though some Quakerisms has found its way in your thinking. 😀

  15. Janet Linn, BrideofChrist says:

    “I’m certain about Jesus.” Me, too! If you “get” Jesus, the slight differences in churches shouldn’t be so threatening. Doesn’t it say in the Bible that “Now, we see in a mirror darkly…”? No church on earth can understands God perfectly, in my opinion. Yet so many claim that they do! That’s man’s sinful pride, not the Holy Spirit leading. It’s why every believer needs to read their Bible, especially the Gospels.

  16. Josh says:

    Good music – short engaging sermon – less than an hour

  17. pstrmike says:


    It did. When I’m finished pastoring my current church, I wanted to consider a Friends congregation. However, the pastor of a relatively new Friends church doesn’t appear to know much about the Friends church.

  18. Bob Sweat says:


    As you know, it has been years since I have been part of the friends church. From what I know now, I believe your assessment is correct.

  19. Chris says:

    Good music is a spiritual experience, good worship music is even better. I know more about theology than when I was young, but i am less certain on any of it than I was. And I’m ok with that because I believe I know HIM more and that’s far more important to me. I enjoy real discussion with real people about real life (theology or whatever) where we can be authentic and humble and embrace the paradoxes. I flourish in that space much more than the formulaic space I used to inhabit

  20. R'as al Ghul says:

    Chris (and others):

    Many Christians (not Chris) seem to be bothered by paradoxes they see in the faith, and there have been numerous discussions over the years in many of Michael’s articles about this.

    Perhaps this might help: For many centuries (until the 20th century), there was a debate on whether light was a wave or a particle. Only through the development of quantum mechanics that it was discovered and experimentally verified that light (and all EM radiation) was BOTH. Same goes with electrons, neutrons, atoms. They have diffracted those particles to demonstrate their wavelike properties.

    Something about the natural world demonstrates and reveals the characteristics of God comes to mind.

  21. Xenia says:

    I require a traditional Liturgy that culminates in the Eucharist, and everything that does along with it.

    I am one who has decided to believe everything my Church teaches.

  22. Lynne says:

    Meh. As long as you keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, you can’t go wrong. He’s pretty simple. “Follow me.”

    He gives us so much grace.

    I stopped going to church many years ago. The last church I attended was Calvary Chapel.

    The best ‘church’ I ever attended was a tiny one. Maybe 50 members, tops. Most of them were over the age of 60, and I was 32 at the time. There was simply no guile in any of them. Man, I do miss that tiny little country church full of love and living in the walk.

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