Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Finals--Pizza--The Desert Map--Hibernation Day


Keri and I just finished finals, and I wanted to share with you a story I wrote for our Hermeneutics (Greek for 'Interpretation') Final. It's called The Desert Map! (Keri made up a Memory Game!! But that you would have to see in person). Click the link below if you'd like to read it.

The Desert Map

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Engaged! 2 years ago today!!

Dave proposed 2 years ago today!! As we have been reflecting on it this morning, we thought we'd share our engagement story again. It was such a special day!!!

Our Engagement Story
*written in Dec, 2010 after proposing

Proposing was a very visceral and exciting experience for the two of us.  Some would have you believe that proposing is laced with romance, rays of sunshine and melodies from fluttery classical tunes—but for us, it was a bit more concrete.  
God had been working in our friendship for over 5 years. God placed marriage more certainly on my (David’s) heart the week after thanksgiving, opportunity’s doors began to open.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mornings Musings and the Value of Life

As I sat one rainy morning and just drank tea, letting my mind wake up, some thoughts drifted through they are in semi-rawness...

a poem sketched in my journal:

as i drink my morning cup
and watch the steam rise off the mug
i wonder,
has my life steeped too much in the warmth of the world?
have i only leaked into
or rather
have i failed to rise like vapor purified?
away from everything sweet on which i lean
to surmise
and be apart
and at peace
without my everyday comforting of things as they seem.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Study Break

Sometimes the routine breaks of tea, cookies, and netflix just doesn't cut the cake. Such was the implosion of content and pressure last night at around 10:30pm. The result: this music video. P.S. Happy Thanksgiving :)

Party At My House from david and keri lippman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Prayers of Intention

Over the course of the next 4 weeks, we are assigned to read/pray through the "Prayers of Intention" as shown below. We are to do it Monday through Friday, right when we wake up before we even get out of bed. We are only to spend about 3 minutes each morning on it. At the end of the 4 weeks we are to write up a 2 page reflection on what the time was like. Though sometimes we can be resistant to structured prayer, let's prayer for the Spirit to be active, moving, and work in our hearts as we dialogue with God. Don't be afraid of what may come up...bring your whole heart to Him. He isn't afraid of anything. Even if you are mad at God or don't even know Him, He delights in you & wants you exactly where you are at. 

Join with us in your first 3 minutes of your day!

Ways to Pray without Ceasing 1 Thess. 5:17
Dr. John Coe
To protect the heart from moralism and the flesh
                                                                           To protect the heart from under-effort and the flesh
                                                                      To open to the filling of the Spirit in all things and no longer be alone

1. Prayer of Presenting Oneself as a Sacrifice (Rom. 12:1-2): the spiritual discipline of presenting oneself to God as a living sacrifice, open to Him and His will in all things.

          Prayer of Intention: "Lord, I am here, I present myself to you. Here I am."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


A song that often gets stuck in my head is this song below. I'm actually not sure what Dave named it, but he COMPLETELY surprised me by writing/playing this song for me at our Wedding. I often search on iTunes to listen to it, thinking it's by Shane & Shane, and then remember my wonderful husband wrote it. One of these days we are going to audio record us singing it together. I hope you enjoy it! :)

Hovel from david and keri lippman on Vimeo.

Verse 1
Let us rest here among the tender roots of time
We will listen as the Lord intertwines eternal rhyme
And our home will never be this broken world it's lonely cities
But our hovel here among the weak and broken hearts, yea.

Jesus, your heart is a portion for
Jesus, your love is the reason for
Jesus, you have spoken for
our brokenness, our selfishness
our loneliness, in loving confidence
We are yours.

Verse 2
*We will trade our lives in for the love of our Father
And He will overcome, and He'll overcome our darkness
Until our little candle, the reminder of His light
Comes inside, comes inside, comes inside (3x)

Jesus, your heart is a portion for
Jesus, your love is the reason for
Jesus, you have spoken for
our brokenness, our selfishness
our loneliness, in loving confidence
We are yours.

We are yours. (3x)
Our lives are yours.

This I vow, in the hovel of His heart
This I bow, oh God, remove, impart
We are yours.

*He changed this line to: "We will rest here in the arms of our Father"

Friday, November 2, 2012


"And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.
So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation."
Genesis 2:2-3

Dave and I both value taking time to rest. This can look different each day, but little moments of resting our hearts, resting our minds, or resting our bodies remind us of our dependency on our Creator. The posture of rest leads to moments of surrender. Whether it be time, schedule, relationships, expectations, pleasing others, family, tasks, or projects, etc., moments of rest help put our lives in perspective.

"And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD."
Isaiah 11:2

By no means do we do all of these every day, but each day does consist of one of the following in hopes to habituate daily rest. Here are some ways we practice rest:

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Week 8- Does "Work" Work for Spiritual Growth?

It is a rude awakening when the personal work one puts into life does not output what one expects. Often one assumes that concepts like 'karma' or 'the golden rule' or even Biblical ideas like 'sow/reap', means that if one follows the natural progression observed in life, that life will give or produce or result in something similar to what one has put into it. 

And this is true to some extent, the world has been made in such Wisdom that we can observe patterns of life, and make general conclusions about its results. (i.e. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, Beggars can't be choosers, A friend in need is a friend indeed etc.) Yet we all know, that sometimes absence doesn't make the heart fonder, and sometimes beggars are choosers, and sometimes needy friends aren't friends at all...these are not rules, they are common observations by common sense to guide common life.  This is God's gift to all humanity to grow with or without Him--it is the possibility of autonomous, non-relational growth (common grace).

The frustration happens when we take sow/reap structure into our relationship with Him. Humans take the proverbial structure and its expectations into their relationship with God. To oversimplify this issue, we expect to work for God and when we do, we expect God to produce what He said!

Seems logical enough...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Weekend Before the Retreat...And After

We had an extra-eventful weekend before we left for the retreat...

First, our little Hume friend "Abby Slawson" who is 2.5 yrs old came a spent the night with us (allowing our friends Nate and Josie, her parents, to go out on a date!). We took Abby on her first pony ride at the Autumn festival for Talbot students, we enjoyed free apple cider, talked with the Thoennes' and listened to Dr. Horner play acoustic guitar. Then we took her home and fell asleep watching "Looney Tunes!" But not before....

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

48 Hour Silent Retreat in Big Sur

Keri and I ventured on a 48 hour silent retreat, Tuesday through Thursday last week. Now that might sound daunting, but it truly rested us and blessed us, as you will see.

It was at the New Camaldoli Hermitage in Big Sur, as you drive up the cliffs on Hwy 1 from San Luis Obispo. It is catholic, and yes, there are monks there.  They were really kind and hospitable. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Week 4 & 5- Disconnects in the Christian Life

Often in our lives, as in our spiritual experience, there is a disconnect between what we know of God and what we experience of Him daily. This is not merely a personal issue of heart/head disconnect, but as John Coe explains, it is an issue handed down from the seminarians who are leading our churches. Within seminary itself is a heart/head disconnect, rooting from the modernist mindset that "seminary was not a place to train men and women to be Godly, but to train Godly men and women for the ministry" (B.B. Warfield).  They will train students in the Word, but often not in the Spirit

This is significant to every Christian person because the disconnect between "where I truly am" and "my spiritual and character ideal" has created a sanctification gap in daily life and in the church.  Is this similar to your experience? 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 5- Prayer Projects

Below is this Week's Prayer Projects. Sorry we got a little behind from last week!  I just posted Week 4 Prayer Projects as well. You can also find a listing on our blog of all the Prayer Projects. I condensed the list into links, so it wouldn't be as overwhelming.

We are finishing up our blog entry now reflecting on our lecture, so we will post that soon!

Also, one of our friends in class has recorded all the Dr. Coe's lectures. He will be giving them to us this next week, so we will put up audio versions of the lectures we hear in class! If you would like to have a visual, feel free to watch his general lectures through youtube because he generally covers the same material.

NEXT week, we are going on our 48 hour Silent Retreat! (Tuesday-Thursday). We are looking

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Week 3 & 4-Four Forms of Spiritual Formation

Everyone is spiritually formed. All persons have a spirit (and body), and throughout their lives, either intentionally or unintentionally, they have been formed spiritually. John Coe describes four categories of spiritual formation, that give a great framework for considering the ways we have been formed. 

The four categories are: 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Week 4- Prayer Projects

1. Intro to Spiritual Formation Prayer Project (60 mins)

(15 min) In my tradition of Christianity, were we people of the Word? Spirit? Both? For good or for bad, what did we become? Where was my community (at church) at? Was the focus on prayer, teaching, knowledge, etc?What was the impact on your community and on you?

(15 min) Since you were a Christian, was your community more focused on knowledge of God or knowledge of self? What did I become? What were your parents?

(15 min) Were they open to all the other learning styles? Was there a desire for pyschology, science, etc? Or were they only interested in what was relevant like theology? How did it affect you?

(15 min) How was your community based on Spiritual Theology? If knowledge of the Word was central, how does this really work in life? How did it shape the community? How did it shape you?

2. Intro to Retreat Prayer Project

 Praying with Scripture – Divine Reading

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Week 3- Beginnings

Week 3-Beginnings

1. Intro to Spiritual Formation

Opening to God: A Guide to Prayer, by Thomas Green
12 "Christian" Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

Educating the Church for Wisdom, John Coe
Spiritual Theology, John Coe

Prayer Project for the week! (click)

2. Intro to Retreat

On the Renewal of Interest in the Doctrine of Sanctification: A Methodological Reminder: by Steven L. Porter

Prayer Project for the week (click)

3. Hermeneutics

Chapter 6 in Introduction to Biblical Interpretation, by William Klein, Craig Blomberg, and Robert Hubbard Jr.
Chapter 2 in Playing With Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul, by Walt Russell

The following verses we are to read, reread, interpret, and apply:
Matthew 18:19-20, 28:16-20

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Week 3- Definition of Spiritual Formation

Well, here we are, finished with Week 2 of classes.  John Coe's lecture - Resisting the Temptation of Moral Formation - pricked our minds with the official definition of Spiritual Formation, which released us of all our concerns of the program being "too much of '_____'" (fill-in the blank with anything: emotion, mysticism, liturgy, psychology, self-focus, self-analysis, individualism, stoicism, gnosticism, monasticism, angst etc.).  We were relieved to find out he actually found Spiritual Formation in scripture (I guess it's in there somewhere).

(Click HERE for an Article on "Relieving Evangelical Anxieties Over Spiritual Formation" by Dr.Porter. This addresses very similar concerns we, or you, might have with this "trend")

Here is John Coe's definition as a whole, and below is how he broke it down in explanation:

As a whole:

Spiritual formation is the divinely sanctioned process by which the person is transformed into the image of Christ on the basis of Christ's work on the cross and by agency of the Holy Spirit, who, in union with our human spirit, forms Christ in our character--which begins in the life and continues into the next.

As explained in pieces:

Week 3- Prayer Projects

1. Intro to Spiritual Formation Prayer Project (60 mins)

"Most of what we do in our courses are subordinate ends, things good to be learned or mastered in themselves but also as a means...leading to the love of God and neighbor. Since all we do in class is an end yet also a means to love, the class structure and curriculum is a kind of spiritual discipline in itself, a training in love. Consequently, spirituality should no longer be primarily designated a co-curricular, or merely a personal matter, in the Christian University. This split between the curricular and co-curricular perhaps explains why in practice we and our students can be tempted to divorce soul work form the bustle of course work, lectures, and assignments....may be bring out the spiritual significance and application of course content, a content so integrative (in potential) that often screams for some experiential project of prayer, devotion, soul work or service to transform it to its Kingdom end."

15 min- God, to what degree did my former educational experience, was in the flesh? Did I try to find an identity in it? How much did I blow off? What kind of person did I become as a result of my educational experiences? How will this effect me at ISF?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Prayer Projects

We created a PAGE on this blog called "Prayer" which describes what our Prayer Projects are and will be updated each week.

Checkout what we are doing this week!

Update on life:

-Keri got a 10hr job in the ISF office as an OA (OA, yea, OA-that's for redwoodians :) She will be assisting taking phone calls, scheduling, and answering questions within the department. Her hours will be on Wednesday and Thursday.

-Since we have been home from Hume, we have been eating LOTS of fresh veggies and fruit. Our bodies are thanking us :)

-In Total, we have read 404 pages in the past 1 1/2 weeks for school. Ha, crazy!

-Breaks we take after a long day of reading include: tea, popcorn, occasional coconut milk ice cream, and movie/book.

-We just watched What Women Want. It was fun :)

-David and Keri

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 2- Prayer Project

Week 2:  Prayer Project #2 – Solitude and Silence

My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
- Psalm 62: 5 & 6

In repentance and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.
- Isaiah 30: 15

True religion disposes persons to be much alone in solitary places for
holy meditation and prayer. - Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards

In silence we learn to ask the right questions about God, about the world, and about ourselves.
Without silence we become so many `tinkling gongs and clanging cymbals.'
- N.W Goodacre, Dictionary of Christian Spirituality

Silence and Solitude

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 1 Reflection & Week 2 Beginning

Week 1
Our Monday Classes went well!  We have all day monday classes: 10:30-11:30 (every other week), 12-2:30, 3-5:30, it's a long day. 

For our first class with Dr. Coe, one of the books we are reading this week is Surrender to Love. It talks about how the definition of Love IS God. As His creation, made for experiential love relationship through Jesus, His redemptive presence moves toward us. Though sin and disfunction plague us from pure vision, He desires surrender to His perfect love. It talks about fear and how that affects our ability to be loved. Fear has many faces. God invites surrender and freedom, but we do not believe ourselves to be afraid (which ends up preventing freedom!). When we have experienced love that we've been hurt by (imperfect love) then Love can turn into the object of fear. But Love is the antidote for fear, so it becomes a cycle. He desires reverential intimacy recognizing His holiness (which we've failed to do)- for unconditional love demands surrender. Here are a few quotes from the book:

- "Take a moment and try a simple exercise. The results will tell you a great deal about the nature of your spiritual journey. Imagine God thinking about you. What do you assume God feels when you come to mind? When I ask people to do this, a surprising number of people say that the first thing they assume God feels is disappointment. Others assume that God feels anger. In both cases, these people are convinced that it is their sin that first catches God's attention. I think they are wrong-and I think the consequences of such a view of God are enormous..."(beginning of Ch.1)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Journey with us...

We have just embarked on a 2-3 year journey in our grad program that asks the questions, "How does God grow us?", "What does daily relationship with Jesus look like?", and "How does God heal my pain?" These are questions I know we all have and we are excited to ask these tough questions as we seek to understand who God is and the freedom He offers.

The program was developed with a desire to see people grow in heart. Knowledge of God often stays in our head and leaves us "stuck" without any way to translate it to our daily experience. God has created us to live in union with Him through Jesus and offers complete abundance and satisfaction. However, so many Christians never experience this truth, and therefore believe that all they have is all there is. Through reading assignments, prayer projects, lectures, spiritual direction, therapy, and open dialogue, we invite you to go on this journey with us.

We want your feedback, questions, and would love it if you would read along, participate in prayer projects, assignments, and dialogue with us along the way. We will commit to updating our blog at least once a week, so that you can journey with us and for yourselves, so you can be a participant in our program as well! Except you won't have the pressure of turning in things for grades :) For those of you that would like audio of some of our lectures, please give us feedback (anonymous or not) and we can make that happen.

Click on the Books tab to see which books we are reading this semester. If you are interested in any lectures that we had last semester, please let us know as well.  Our classes were: Spiritual Warfare; Theology of Christ, the Spirit, and Sanctification; and Old Testament Survey

We are excited to see what God has in store for all of us, knowing that God will grow each of us, draw us closer to Himself, and open avenues in our hearts to touch us with His grace and truth.

This is a great preview of John Coe, the founder of the Institute of Spiritual Formation, describing our program in one of the first Lectures we will have this fall in our 501 course.

Keri & Dave

Week 1 Prayer Project

Week 1: Prayer Project #1 - Personal Foundations of Ministry

For this Prayer Project, you will need to read “Biblical Theology of Intentional
Character Development” (the first reading assignment available in the Library e-Reserves). Please plan to make a copy of the article so that you have it available as you do the assignment.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the
fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.
Ephesians 3:14-21

Our hope and prayer for you as you begin your time at Talbot and begin Personal Foundations of Ministry, echoes Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians. To assist you in making yourself available to the work of God in your life we have designed a series of Prayer Projects and Journal assignments for you to complete during this semester. Our hope is that these times of prayer, Scripture meditation, and reflection on your life will assist you in being “rooted and grounded in love” and “strengthened in the
inner man”.

Prayer and Journal

1. Find a quiet, comfortable place where you will not be interrupted. (approx 45 min) Not driving in your car - no phone, TV, music, etc. Complete all of this project in one sitting.