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President's Blog

Luann Budd, president of NEWIM, blogs about the spiritual life of a leader, shares insight from what she is reading, and reflects on the call to Christian leadership.


Luann Budd

We often live as if heaven were far away, lost somewhere beyond the clouds. Yet, we affirm that Jesus said he would never leave us and we know the Holy Spirit lives within us. If the Presence of God brings heaven to us, if as Paul told the Athenians “we live and move and have our being in Him,” we don’t want to miss Him, living as if there is a distance.

It’s not that God is distant. It’s our experience of Him that is veiled. If we long for the veil to be torn, we may need to prepare our hearts. Quieting the noise in our lives really helps. Going for a walk in a park or along the coast with our devices turned off, allows nature to usher us into His presence where we can be immersed in heaven’s reality. Nature creates thin places for us, opportunities for us to be positioned to have God break into our awareness. These touches of heaven are intensely personal—we feel loved and love deeply, held and embracing, cared for and thus, at rest.

I’ve been experiencing my bike ride around the fields near our home as a thin place. I put on my headphones and enter into worship, my heart filled with praise as I lift my arms before Him: Here I am to worship/Here I am to bow down/Here I am to say that You’re my God/You’re altogether lovely... lost in the wonder of grace. It’s a gift to be immersed in Him, a treasure we don’t want to miss.

woman on bike