Touchpoint Archive (Page 2)

Touchpoint Archive (Page 2)

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 Temptation of Jesus; photo close up of statue showing Christ suffering

The King of Hearts

“Remember when, for positive thinking, we were supposed to state and repeat the promises of God? Well, here’s one of the promises that was never included in the bunch. Jesus said, “In this world there will be trouble.” (John 16:33) You’ll never see this promise as a magnet on a refrigerator. I get the feeling Jesus’ time in the wilderness was not far from his mind when he said this. Indeed, there is trouble in our outer and inner worlds.”
Touchpoint: Cloud of witnesses. Image is painting of the Transfiguration by Armando Alemdar Ara

Earth, Water and Fire

“In this unimaginable heavenly experience, I love the human part of the story. Peter was terrified and doesn’t know what to say. So, he offers to build dwellings for the three on the mountain. What else would a guy say who has heard about the Ark of the Covenant, the Temples… the tents where God lived? He just was stunned in the moment. I seriously had to stop and laugh. The writer must have had fun writing, ‘Peter didn’t know what to say!’ In the awkward silence, as they gazed up at the three prophets whispering to each other, somebody had to bail everyone out!”
Touchpoint: Jesus went away to a solitary place. Image is a painting by Briton Riviere called Christ in the Wilderness (1899)

Engaging Solitude

“We are vulnerable in our loneliness, but Jesus sought engagement with the light that was previously revealed to him in the Jordan. He quoted words that he held on to his whole young life. He had no desire to be famous or powerful. In this moment, when his fame was at its peak, it was time to go to a solitary place for authentic connection. What a paradox that in a crowd, we may need to be alone to connect.”
Touchpoint: You speak with authority; image is a shadowy figure at a window, symbolizing inner demons

Devils and French Fries

“The evil is real, but I do not understand it. However, since I shook off the idea that I must wage a war against it, I have not encountered it. It has no life-giving breath, but only a stink in the air. Maybe a good candle and a centering prayer will help create an emotional receptivity to God as king rather than a panic-driven election of a false god.”
Touchpoint: Fishers of Men; watercolor of disciples with nets in the water beside a boat

Catch and Release

“Satan is called the Prince of the Air. Of the air! What a joke! Evil and all its negativity does not have power except that which is given. It demands a response and receptivity to give it breath. Until then, it is just air. Spirit is breath. The breath we breathe. Evil has lost an eternal battle and simply annoys us in its desperate, vulnerable state.”
Touchpoint: Come and See. Illustration in chalk of Jesus calling two disciples.

You’re Soaking in It!

“What Jesus was bringing was peace, no more religious destruction, or death… a life that is forever. Jesus brought life. Jesus brought life into the temples. He brought life into the homes of the ailing. He brought life to the seas and to the valleys, to the mountain tops and the desert floors. Jesus brought life. Jesus did not choose life. Life was not chosen. He was soaking in it.”
Touchpoint: Baptism; close-up photo of sparkling blue water clo

Immersed in Life

“As I stared out and watched this living metaphor, I thought about how in my suffering, Spirit was no longer separate or dormant in my life. It did not reside in my practices, and it need not be conjured up emotionally. It is ever present and stirred by my conscious awareness of its silent, life-giving power. It fascinates me that we are more comfortable talking about the force in Star Wars than the third person of the Trinity in all its power.”
Touchpoint: The Word Became Flesh. Illustration of ghostly Christ figure on a watercolor background featuring Bible verse from John 1:1.

Word Swaddling

“It is a Word that can only be birthed in humbleness. This might sound trite, but maybe that’s the problem. I’m afraid to appear simple minded to others if I say the ord. This Word is available to all of us but we see it as ineffective, inefficient, and powerless. That Word is love. In my opinion, our modern culture does not see God as Word with the same fervency as the Jews and the Greeks did.”
Touchpoint: Comfort and Joy. Image of a starry night with the words, "Comfort and Joy"

Who Are You?

“Rather than entering the season as cynical adults, perhaps we should enter as children. I think children know the difference between Santa Claus and God better than we do. We sometimes think we are both. Maybe we should begin as a child, wondering who this God is, as though for the first time, rather than wondering who is behind the beard.”
Touchpoint: John the Baptizer. Watercolor image of John the Baptist preaching to a crowd

Let’s Get Tattoos!

“At baptism it is not about our declaration of acceptance of God, it’s about our full acknowledgment of God’s reception of us! This mystery invites us into God’s heart. This mystery is the heartbeat in all people, whether aware of it or not. Though we may sin, doubt, judge, curse, deny, betray, we cannot remove the tattoo placed on our hearts as a reminder that we belong.”

Jesus at the Waffle House

“I don’t believe that God works in mysterious ways. I believe, our mysterious God works in familiar ways; we just need to open our eyes. That’s what it means to experience the second coming of Christ. For me, it is to be able to see Christ in others. Christ in this moment, where matter and spiritual connect. For me, it’s not what we believe about the future that matters, it’s how we experience the Second Coming of Christ breaking through.”
Touchpoint: Matthew 25; Image: painting of sheep and goats by Lydia Irving

Damn Serious

“It causes me to ask myself, have I not evolved from euphoria and intellectual devotion? Have I become spiritually self-indulgent and neglected those God shows preference for in suffering? I can tell you that as a preacher, my words have not neglected them. My actions are what I would prefer to think about.”