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Category: Devotionals

Fly Fishing as a Spiritual Practice

In recent years, I’ve broadened my understanding of spiritual practices to include fly fishing. For most of my life, my list of spiritual practices included the traditional ones we all think of like prayer, Scripture reading, weekly worship, and sabbath keeping. But thanks to the guidance of some of the great teachers of our faith,…
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Running: A Rhythm of Life

I am not sure I could add up the miles I have run in my life but I am sure it is in the 10s of thousands. What started out as a means to get fit, quite surprisingly became a rhythm of my life. Running shoulder to shoulder with someone brings me great joy. It…
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The Ultimate Mend: Reflections On God’s Grace at Easter

Mend!  Mend!  Mend!  I don’t know how many times I have heard those words from the fabulous river guides I have had on float trips.  They weren’t being critical, they were helping me, pointing out that my flies were not floating properly.  Either they were dragging in the current or my fly line was getting…
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Two Questions That Change Everything

Spring is starting to emerge and so is the most powerful season of the Christian faith–Easter.  Different church traditions prepare for Easter in different ways. Regardless of the tradition, I (Eric) am inviting YOU and the Altar community on a journey that begins with two questions that have the power to change everything–at least for…
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What Is Better Than a Grand Vision of Life?

Next month Altar begins its fishing season with a Spiritual Resilience Training for Special Operation Forces personnel. Resiliency is the major theme for the year because, well, we all need more of it.  As we finalize our content for this first trip, we wanted to share some snip-its that may help you build or strengthen…
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What Questions Are Shaping Your Life?

“What shapes our lives are the questions we ask, refuse to ask, or never think to ask.” — Sam Keen  Read that quote again. It was in December I came across this quote again, yet this time, it made me pause and reflect upon these words for quite awhile.  Perhaps in light of the strange…
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Waiting for Arrivals: A Christmas Reflection

There is something exciting about arrivals.  I remember as a kid watching out the window waiting for grandparents from a distant state to arrive for a rare visit.  I remember (often) arriving at new fishing destinations, watching the water, and imagining the epic days I would spend on those streams.  I remember (and still get…
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Reading the Waters of Fatigue and Burnout

Almost five years ago I pulled into a retreat center in Colorado one month into my first sabbatical.  At that point, I had been in ministry for almost 20 years without ever having a break other than family vacations, which often entailed going to see family.  After completing two graduate degrees over a ten-year period,…
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When God Calls

Jesus was doing something amazing…He was walking on water. The disciples, watching with amazement in the secure confines of their boat, heard Jesus call Peter out of the boat. This was not an invitation to wet-wade. Water was too deep and the waves tumultuous. It was a step of faith.  I (Eric) often wonder what…
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Surely God is in THIS Place

Altar kicked off its 2021 fishing retreat season with our Soul of a Man Retreat in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin. The time away was amazing, as the men worked to read the waters of their life and their soul in a deep way, through meaningful time of personal reflection, laughter, fellowship and amazing food.…
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