chronic pain, soul care & better theology

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 17 Comments

“when we become aware that we do not have to escape our pains, but that we can mobilize them into a common search for life, those very pains are transformed from expressions of despair into signs of hope” – henri nouwen * * * * * one year ago today i had back surgery to repair a gnarly ruptured disc.  it was one of the scariest things i have ever done.  as someone who had never had a serious injury and rarely takes any medicine, and …

never quite right

kathyescobar church stuff, faith shifts, healing 35 Comments

this weekend’s walking wounded: hope for those hurt by the church was a really sweet & beautiful time for me.  it was hard, too, because the reality of so much pain & loss in what’s-supposed-to-be-the-safest-place-on-earth really gets under my skin. i will never be able to recreate what happened there but i will try over time to share some of what it stirred up for me.  i’m so behind on this blog, with unfinished posts here & there so i’ve got a feeling they won’t come …

there’s a difference between believing & “right belief”

kathyescobar church stuff, faith shifts, fundamentalism, healing, jesus is cool, spiritual formation, the refuge 27 Comments

one of the things i love the most about our little wild & crazy refuge community is we can hold the space for a lot of divergent views about the Bible & life & faith.  it’s not an easy task, i must say, and sometimes i get asked “so, just what does the refuge believe about _______.” (it’s usually not issues that are on this list, though, they are usually questions far, far more specific.) this is a typical question of most every church.  and usually …

walking wounded: hope for those hurt by church

kathyescobar church stuff, crazy making, faith shifts, healing, the refuge 6 Comments

have you… been asked to leave a church or told you’re not a “good fit”? felt forced to conform or remain consistently overlooked? been told that you are loved but not your sin? questioned leadership or theology and found yourself on the outside? felt sad, angry, afraid, lost, or disoriented after painful church experiences? i’m guessing some of you might have answered yes to one (or all!) of these questions!  if you haven’t, you probably know someone who has.  unfortunately, there’s a lot of church carnage …

the great distraction

kathyescobar church stuff, fundamentalism, healing, incarnational, jesus is cool, spiritual formation 24 Comments

a few weeks ago i was in a conversation with a friend about the use of the Bible in our Christian faith.  i sometimes get criticized for not using the Bible enough, in that i am not that excited about exegeting passages intellectually.  i definitely believe in the value, challenge, and beauty in the Bible, but i will be honest–i think we waste valuable time focused on picking apart passages and talking about the Bible that could be better spent on actually living the Bible. Jesus–God …

when crazy is actually sane & sane is actually crazy

kathyescobar church stuff, healing, incarnational, jesus is cool, relationships, spiritual formation, the refuge 17 Comments

one of my favorite gospel stories is the woman who busts into simon the pharisee’s house in luke 7 and falls at Jesus’ feet, wiping his feet with her tears.  in that moment, he was hanging out with the put-together, religious elite talking about theology.  they were supposedly the sane ones, and she was the crazy one who disrupts their important meeting with her public display of emotion and gratitude. the leaders looked at Jesus–“aren’t you going to do something about this? i mean, really, come …

while the world is crying out for hope, we’re talking about theology

kathyescobar church stuff, down we go, incarnational, jesus is cool, spiritual formation, the refuge 33 Comments

this past weekend i was on the refuge camping trip at jackson lake. it is was our 6th annual & is a cornerstone tradition in our community.  one of my favorite parts of the weekend is baptism.  each aspect of  it is just so beautiful—witnessed in community, a clear marker on an often very unclear spiritual journey, and a public sign of transformation and hope. i shared the story of the blind man who Jesus healed in john 9.  i have written about it here in …

the practice of the better

kathyescobar church stuff, dreams, incarnational 19 Comments

“the best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better” – richard rohr * * * * * i had an interesting conversation with a friend this past week who didn’t really know my story of the past 7+ years of the ups of working on a big church staff to the downs (in a good way, ha ha) of starting the refuge.  stepping out of the path of ascent into one of descent started long before 7 years ago, but it wasn’t until …