New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2013

Starting off on a journey for me is usually exciting. I’m a very seasoned traveler after decades of practice as a working journalist, so I can travel well.

Today, however, I’m starting a different kind of journey. After two years of study and work, I’ve been certified as a spiritual director. God called me to this ministry for some 10 years before I quit resisting the call, and then God arranged it so that I could receive the education I needed despite adverse financial circumstances. In this respect, I’m already a witness to God’s miraculous mystery. Now I’m embarked on a new phase of this journey as someone equipped to help others find their own paths to God.

For those unfamiliar with the ministry of spiritual direction, which dates as far back as third-century Christianity, I would describe a spiritual director’s purpose as threefold:

  1. To listen carefully to another person’s life story;
  2. To watch for and point out signs of where God is at work in the directee’s life; and
  3. To suggest ways the directee can improve their own awareness of God’s presence through specific spiritual disciplines.

A responsible spiritual director never recommends a spiritual discipline that he or she doesn’t personally practice. Otherwise, how would the director know what to look for in a directee’s own spiritual account? Hence, I’ve decided to start 2013 by establishing the new Spiritual Direction section of

Journaling regularly offers one of the best spiritual practices for people in today’s warp-speed world. It gives time and space to capture the most remembered moments of one’s day, providing the opportunity to recognize God at work in human circumstances. Posting frequently about spiritual topics here will give me the opportunity to practice one of the disciplines I most suggest to those I counsel individually.

In addition, I plan to use this spiritual journal as a place to discuss and refine curriculum that I’m writing for two workshops I plan to lead in the near future. One, titled “Blessed Is She,” is a two-day workshop intended for women to explore, craft and share their spiritual histories. The second, tentatively titled “Teach Us to Pray,” will explore the many ways that we can enter into regular encounters with God, which is the true nature of prayer.

I hope you’ll join me on the journey.

Today’s Thought: No matter where you are, you are in the holy presence of God. Can you perceive it?