It is a beautiful evening in Seattle and I am sitting watching the sunset over the Olympic mountains.  It is great to have a quiet moment as Tom & I will be travelling again tomorrow to Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg Virginia.  This will be our last trip until after Christmas for which I am very grateful as I hate to be away during Advent.

And speaking of Advent I am working on a new Advent mediation video.  If anyone has images from the tsunami in Samoa, earthquakes in Indonesia or bushfires in Australia that i could use I would very much appreciate it.  Or if you know where I can access photos royalty free for this project please let me know.

Anyhow I thought that I would finish this post with a couple of thoughts from A Garden Of Solitude, a beautiful book of mediations and prayers given to me by the editor Rowland Croucher while I was in Australia.  I think that I may already have used this first quote in a previous post but it is so beautiful and meaningful that I hope you will bear with me.  Solitude is as important a part of our lives as community is.

Solitude is not simply a quiet time and place.  It is not only a matter of stilling the many inner voices so that we can come to a point of quietness and inner peace.  It is much more than that… Solitude is thus not only a place of aloneness.  It is also the place of companionship and fellowship.  It is not only the place of stillness.  It is also the place of conversation.

Solitude is not withdrawal in order to get away.  It is withdrawal in order to be with someone who normally gets crowded out of our lives… Solitude allows us to practice the presence of God as attentive listeners and as companions who are at peace in each other’s company.  (Charles Ringma)

Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life.  Solitude begins with a time and place for God and for him alone.  If we really believe not only that God exists, but also that he is actively present in our lives – healing, teaching and guiding – we need to set aside time and space to give him our undivided attention.  Jesus says, ‘Go to your private room and, when you have shut your door, pray to your father who is in that secret place. Matthew 6:6 (Henri Nouwen, Making a

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