contemplative monk : Intentional Spirituality Transforms

Tapping Into Our Core #ThyKingdomCome

Who are we really?

Do we know who we really are?

Tapping Into Our Core

We are born again, anew, born from above. We are not of this world. We are children, sons and daughters of the living God. Our new life and our new nature is God’s own within us. It is Spiritual, Life-Creating, and it is Holy.

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

It’s All A Matter of Who We Really Are

We are not merely human beings, like the first Adam. We are life-giving spirits like the last Adam, in Christ.  We are born from above in the Spirit of God, as God’s seed within us. Picture, if you will, a burst of energy, light, eternally burning within us with absolute purity, making us one with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is spirit, the Spirit of God pulsating within us. The working out of this Spirit grows the very fruit of that Holy Spirit in the garden of our hearts, manifesting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

This is Christ life within and among us. We love each other in the same way as Jesus loved his disciples.

If you are waiting for heaven, God will ask you, “What did you do with the life I gave you?” Our mandate is, “Thy Kingdom Come.” We are Christ to the world. We bring heaven to earth where the rubber meets the road.

And what does this life look like? It looks like Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. 

We are the salt of the earth. We are the light of the world.

We don’t bring doctrines, rules, forms, and shadows. We bring the very presence of God’s life. We show before we ever say a word. Love does. #ThyKingdomCome


Photo: Bob Holmes

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Wondering Aloud: What Is Contemplation

I’m asked all the time, “What is contemplation? I can’t even say the word. What are you talking about?”

Contemplation is one of those multilevel concepts that at its heart means interfacing with God, (the eternal one, the transcendent).

We are created to reflect God, and the eternal.

Interfacing is multileveled because of the multilevel of our awareness.

Our awareness is always in flux, so that what we are aware of varies. One day we get it, and the next day we’re clueless.

Our normal everyday mind can’t see or recognize God. So we have to be intentional for the daily breakthroughs of our deeper awareness to happen. As Richard Rohr has said, “we learn to see like mystics,” like Jesus.

This is what the rhythm of our spiritual practices are about…moving us into our big mind and into our big heart so that we might encounter God.

If God is life and love itself, the very source, isn’t that desirable?

So that’s the hidden agenda behind all these quotes and writings…to help wake you and me up to God’s presence, flow, and life as One. To encourage you to be intentional with the garden of your heart.

Do you know who you are? You are Beloved, and you Belong!

“O God, Grant me an undivided heart to love and to serve you today with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. Open the eyes of my heart to see you and serve you in the ordinary events of this day. May love radiate through me.” ~ Amen.


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Through Sands of Time

Windows and doorways

Open, windswept

Singing, ringing

Clear and free

Songs of open ocean waters

Songs that call us out to sea


Time spun, woken

Woven moments

Stars upon the spans of time

Stretch our hearts, and call the seeker

One who dares eternal find


There in simple golden moments

Touching in the vast design

Through some masterwork unspoken

Echoes down the halls of time


Few to surer ways of knowing

Past elusive stars and skies

Born on spirit we shall find him

Sweeping back the veils of time


Only in the path revealing

Only in the life divine

Only in the truth that frees us

Walking in his whole design


We no more in shadows seeking

Here fulfilled the seeker finds

Joy so full, so rich, unbroken

Jesus brought for all mankind


Who will dare believe the story

Who will walk beyond the signs

Those who seek a lasting treasure

Pearls upon the sands of time.


Photo: Pensacola Life

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Intro to Solitude and Stillness

“Our restoration begins as we move into our rest in Christ finished work, and live out of our wholeness in Him.”
~Bob Holmes

Do you have a sacred place?

I have a place in the mountains where we go, where I can sit for hours on end, and it never gets old. It feels like I’m walking and breathing in the winds of eternity as they rustle through the trees, alive and quickening my whole being. It’s an electric and invigorating field of wonder, under a huge white pine, beside a singing river filled with trout. On a spring evening, the ancient hemlock trees are filled with fireflies, as we bask around a crackling fire. It’s magical.

Solitude is not about being lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd. Solitude is about getting by yourself with no distractions. It’s being unplugged with no cell phone, agenda’s, or screens.

Your Secret Retreat

Jesus said, “when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”

Is Jesus talking about a literal ‘inner room’? No. This is spiritual language. Jesus is directing us to enter our inner being and shut the door on the world. There in the stillness, we begin to pray.

Prayer begins with words, but to denote the deeper meaning of the word prayer, communion with God, spirit to spirit, the Desert Father’s and Mother’s developed the word contemplation to denote prayer’s deeper meaning.

How To Begin

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

It’s not about the words. It’s about your presence.


After this manner pray. Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

This beginning helps us to collect ourselves and to remove the one block to entering God’s presence, unforgiveness. As we forgive, we can fully move into deep prayer, communion and contemplation with the Father.

I submit to you that this is the opening of our prayer time, not the busy reading of Scripture, or devotionals, not the flurry of words, but of a heart poised toward God in the stillness of eternity as a holy hush sweeps over you.

This is contemplative prayer this is why we set the stage in solitude and stillness.

Picture: Scotland’s Heritage Parks

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On Information, Formation, and Transformation

“Our analytical mind keeps us safely earthbound within the counsels of our soul, while our intuitive heart calls us out into the realms of our spirit to soar.”
~Bob Holmes

Many of us are worn out and weary of the constant intellectual approach to the Christian life with its limited scope and restrictive application. So many Believers in our digital age move from church to church, searching for ‘the secret sauce,’ or they’ve abandoned the church altogether becoming the vastly growing number of spiritually homeless,  ie ‘spiritual but not religious.’

It’s past time for a heart-centered wholistic approach to ordering our lives for transformation.


To set ourselves up for transformation, our heart and not our head must lead the way in our approach to information, and formation.

Being informed of grace and truth, and being formed by our rituals and practices may prepare us for transformation, but they have become our goal for far too long. They prepare the threshold but we must enter in. This is the mystical imperative.

The Mystical Imperative

I submit to you that our heart intuitively knows the Way and not our fundamentalism in any of its forms. It is a delusion, a mirage that kills our heart and enslaves our will, giving the outer appearance as Jesus spoke, “You white-washed tombs.”

Theology and form assure us of nothing unless our heart leads the way.

Our heart’s song ascends into our spirit and crosses the threshold into the arms of God, as a lover. For it is love alone that conquerors suffering, death, and the grave…Love manifest in Jesus Christ our Lord who’s own we are in Christ.

Everything resolves and integrates through our heart.

Our heart is the fulcrum point of lives.

Is your heart setting you up for transformation?


Recommended Resource: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

Recommended Podcast: Strengthening The Soul of Your Leadership


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