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Posted by on Mar 23, 2015

Finding Our Own Sanctuary in Daily Living

Finding Our Own Sanctuary in Daily Living

Springtime budsTerry Hershey defines sanctuary as “a place where your soul can catch up with your body.” We all need these places, yet we don’t often give ourselves permission to go there. Nevertheless, a healthy physical and spiritual life requires taking time to rest and simply be at peace.

Terry offers the image of “two dogs” that live within each person. The first dog is the list-maker, the one who gets things done. The second dog is the one who does nothing. This dog just rests and enjoys sanctuary. Which dog do we feed, and when do we feed it? Can we take a chance and feed the second dog?

Sanctuary is not simply an ideal, far-off place that can only be experienced by hermits or others who leave the modern world behind. Sanctuary is a place here and now that can be entered by any one of us. We simply have to decide to do it and recognize what it is for us personally.

Entering Into Sanctuary

1) A portal exists through which we must pass to enter into our sanctuary. There’s something we do, somewhere we go, or a mental image we invoke that opens a different “space” to us.

2) A sanctuary has boundaries. It’s a type of container/space in which we can be ourselves unreservedly.

3) Sanctuary is a place to slow down. As a wise grandfather once said, “Sometimes it’s not the fish we’re after, it’s the fishing.”

4) A place of sanctuary engages all the senses. When we enter into the “holy ground” of sanctuary, we take our shoes off, figuratively if not literally. Like Moses, we need to feel the holy ground, savor it with all our senses, and enjoy our time there.

5) Finally, entering into sanctuary is an intentional action. We need to set a time and enter regularly. We do it for ourselves, not for anyone else. To the extent we fail to enter our sanctuary, we have less to offer to others. We must enter sanctuary in order to be re-charged and ready to carry out our own calling and mission in life.

Terry is an engaging speaker and an inspirational author. His most recent book, Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life, is available now. For a taste of his wit and engaging style, take a look at this video of his presentation at “Congress”.

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Posted by on Dec 14, 2009

An Advent Gift

An Advent Gift

Terry Hershey is one of my favorite columnists/bloggers. I look forward each week to his Sabbath Moment column. Today he offers this prayer. I suggest we all make it our own.

Our Prayer (and, Christmas gift suggestions)

Lord, in this Advent season, may we give
To our enemy, forgiveness.
To an opponent, tolerance.
To a friend, our heart.
To a customer, service.
To all, charity.
To every child, a good example.
To our self, respect.

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Posted by on Dec 8, 2008

Finding Our Own Sanctuary in Daily Living

Celebrating Sabbath and the Sacred Present – Terry Hershey

Fountain of flowing water - from Terry's website

Fountain of flowing water - from Terry's website

It’s the second week of December. Christmas carols are sounding on the radio, in the grocery stores, elevators, and malls. Television is filled with uplifting Christmas programming. Gala fundraisers are filling evenings and weekends. Church youth groups, Scouts, Campfire Girls, Boys and Girls Clubs, etc. are selling wreaths, candles, centerpieces. Bake sales pop up all over the place to tempt us with holiday goodies. Countdowns to Christmas appear on family bulletin boards. Everywhere people are asking, “Are you ready for Christmas [or other holiday] yet?”

And in the midst of all this activity, school assignments must still be completed. Our daily work moves ever forward with its demands, whether in the office, on an assembly line, in a store, at home or any other of the myriad worksites of our lives. The amount of daylight gets shorter (in the Northern Hemisphere where I live), so it seems the amount of time to accomplish anything is shorter too.

Pressure builds for all of us and can easily spill out into our relationships with others.

So how do we reconcile all of this activity with the quiet season of hope and expectation that is Advent? How do we find the space for a few moments of quite reconnection with life, hope, love, peace, joy? Where do our relationships with family and friends find space to be nourished?

These are challenges we all face.

One of Theologika’s Trusted Authorities is Terry Hershey, a nationally known speaker and writer. Terry lives and works on Vashon Island in Washington state. He has worked as a minister and more recently has shifted his focus to the nurture of personal relationships and gardening. You can find a short description of his life journey at

Terry’s website and the focus of his work these days is “Embracing the Sacred Present” and finding Sabbath Moments in life. He has a regular weekly newsletter and column to which you can subscribe online through the website. I highly recommend his work. I look forward to spending a few minutes each week reading his thoughts. There’s always a good story and a reflection that helps me remember to slow down, notice the presence of God in the people and places of my life, and enjoy the love that surrounds me.

Thank you Terry. Happy Birthday. And may you ever be open to life in the sacred present!

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Posted by on Nov 17, 2008

Finding Our Own Sanctuary in Daily Living

Paul Tillich on Grace – Quote of the Day

Autumn leaf color - Image from wikimedia
Autumn leaf color – Image from wikimedia

This reflection comes courtesy of Theologika trustee Terry Hershey, quoting theologian Paul Tillich.

“Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness.
It strikes us when we walk through the dark valley of a meaningless and empty life.
It strikes us when, year after year, the longed-for perfection does not appear, when the old compulsions reign within us as they have for decades, when despair destroys all joy and courage.
Sometime at that moment a wave of light breaks into our darkness, and it is as though a voice were saying, “You are accepted. You are accepted, accepted by that which is greater than you, and the name of which you do not know.
Do not ask for the name now; perhaps you will find it later.
Do not try to do anything now; perhaps later you will do much.
Do not seek for anything, do not perform anything, do not intend anything.
Simply accept the fact that you are accepted.
If that happens to us, we experience grace.”

Paul Tillich

May grace reach into your life and surpise you today and always. Amen.

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