Touchpoint Archive

Touchpoint Archive

Catch up on Touchpoints by Spirit in the Desert spiritual director, Henry Rojas, as well as archival Touchpoints by former faith mentor, Rev. “Bro. Jim” Hanson.

Touchpoint: Valley of Dry Bones; image of skeletons on a desert floor

Dem Bones

“‘Do you see just dry bones? Or something more? Do you see the potential for new life? Or simply the wreckage of history? Do you see the bones coming together in a new way? Do you see the breath of Spirit in them? What is it you see, when you look at this world that seems only full of dry bones?’ Where I so often think I am looking at a world of dry bones, they were able to see a place of life-giving Spirit. Where I so often think I am looking at a world of dry bones, they were seeing a place that God has already put the Spirit within, and is alive.”
Touchpoint: Eternal Life. Watercolor of Jesus walking into heart-shaped clouds with cross in the distance

All in One and One in All

“Love has its source in God, because God is love. To love one another, means the source of love I offer the world, is also from God. If love is too much a burden to engage for me, then I have not come to know God, the source of all the love I have access. How can I understand a command to love my enemies, when I am not aware of the source of all love? Love would in some cases be a heavy burden because on our own, we have a limited capacity for love.”
Touchpoint: Abide in My Love; mosaic image of two hands folding a heart

The Way to Complete Joy

“Jesus provided the greatest command for living a life of joy, friendship, and love. He basically said, ‘I am welcoming you to abide in the agape (love of God). Bask in it and breathe it in. Be in awe of it then welcome (agapao) others. Do this as you are abiding.’”
Touchpoint: I Am the Vine. Photo of a vineyard in flames from the movie, A Walk in the Clouds

God’s Love Burns

“Branches are connected to the vine and they abide together. Fecundity is the intimacy of abiding with the vine and each other. The vine is rooted in love below the earth, in what is called the rootstalk. It is the source of all growth and renewal. Branches cannot renew themselves separately from the vine and rootstalk. No wonder Jesus says, ‘Apart from God, we can do nothing.'”
Touchpoint "Good Shepherd"; watercolor painting by Steve Henderson of Native American watching his sheep near the Grand Canyon

All in the Game, or the Name?

“’In the name of Jesus’ to me means, In the name of the one who wears the wounds of our lives on his back. It is not magical, but it is mystical. In the name of the one whose reputation was of loving indiscriminately. In the name of the one who found a way out of no way, even through doubt and confusion. In the name of the one who has more power than any therapist suggesting I sit beside still waters. Rather, “In the name of” refers to the one who makes me lie down, in the revelation of Gods compassion, beside still waters. Even more, who is calm waters, and whose spirit restores my soul.”
Touchpoint: Your true self. Watercolor image of butterflies flying out of a woman's head

Third Party Gods

“Let’s each ask ourselves, ‘Where do we linger the most? Where do we abide? What stokes our inner fire?’ This is an invitation, not a judgment. Compassion longs to take us by the hand and walk with us. Spirit’s compassion will celebrate the uncovering of false identities we’ve created, both of ourselves and of the third party gods.”
Touchpoint: The Walk to Emmaus; watercolor painting of three men on the road in sunset by Bonnell

The Risen Bread of Life

“The comedian in me wants to believe Jesus had a great sense of humor with his disguise. Jesus starts walking ahead of the two men and they say, “Dude, come with us. It’s late and we all need to eat.” Jesus’ plan is working perfectly! No more parables, no more feeding them with a spoon. No more pulling grains of wheat to quench their hunger, no more seeds to scatter. No more lessons on how a stalk of wheat grows. The Bread of Life has fully risen and it’s time for the feast of life!”
Touchpoint: Jesus rode in on a donkey. Watercolor image by Jen Norton of Jesus riding through palm-waving crowd.

Untying the Colt of Peace

“Perhaps this was why Jesus told his apprentices to take nothing with them. They would need the help of others… places to sleep and food to eat. The needing, and serving those needs, would unify people along the way. They would not have tools of transaction or the temptation to respond to people with weapons. He was teaching them to ride in on a donkey of peace and the power of humility as well as action. Sharing and valuing others, asking for assistance, instead of seeing others as a threat, was the biggest blow to political and religious displays of might.”
Touchpoint: Jesus speaks about his death. Photo of tiny seedling sprouting.

Seeds of Glory

“Some of us of have had more doodoo in our lives than others. Please share the richness of your story with others. For our children, share your shade, your fruit, your new seeds to be planted. The many new seeds your story produces is what it takes for the main stalk to be glorified. To be multiplied.”
Touchpoint: God So Loved the World; image of a white cross in multi-colored, oil painted canvas using palette knife technique

So Very Loved

“Jesus took his place as the Son of God and returned the compliment to us. To believe Jesus is the Son of God is to believe that we, too, are the children of God, a title greater than any title a human being can be given.”
Community of the Wild Goose; photo image of a goose taking flight

Wild Goose, Free Spirit

“May we offer an alternative. May we open the doors and windows of our personal and institutional temples. May the cords of Jesus swing with love, agapao love. May it have the snap of compassion, the wind of spirit. May it bring the rain of grace to soothe the wounded. May it be embodied in the bread and juice in a new political and religious party. The new wine party poured into new wineskins and shared to all those hungry for authenticity and a full welcome! May it be for the posers, fakers and wannabes that Brennan Manning describes.”
Touchpoint: Get Behind ME, Satan! Oil painting in pastel colors of Satan by Randall Ciotti

Physics, Bro!

“Seriously though, when we attempt to impede the journey of another person, we are interfering in the intimacy with their God that develops in the good times and in the bad times. Sometimes the best thing we can do is accompany them in their journey. I lived Andi’s life for her in order to control the outcomes. Isn’t that what Peter did?”