|Posted by PHohmann on July 2, 2014 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
"Mystic" is a Catholic word that goes back many centuries. Catholic mystics had a deep, intimate relationship with God that seemed "mystical" to others. They practiced contemplative prayer, which is a prayer done in silence. The basis of contemplation is Christ within. John 14:23 says, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” By faith, I descend into my heart and there behold God. “Being” is more important than “doing.” I “hold hands” with God as I experience a “transforming friendship.” It is like bathing in an ocean of love that God has for me. It has less to do with communication as communion. In fact, contemplation transcends words. My favoirte Catholic mystic is Jeanne Guyon, but I have also read all that Francios Fenelon and Miquel Molinos have written.
I often practice contemplative prayer while paddling my kayak or stand up paddleboard. Sometimes I do multiple day trips so that I can enter into a deeper place of contemplative prayer. Probably the greatest adventure of my life was when I paddled the length of the Chesapeake Bay in 2009. I truly felt like a mystic on the bay during that journey, thus the name, "Bay Mystic" was chosen. On the Applachian Trail, serious hikers usually have a trail name. On the trail I am known as "Trail Mystic," or just "Mystic" for short.
Today the word "Mystic" has different meanings and connotations than it did 500 years ago. I am simply a contemplative mystic, one who dwells in God's presence while enjoying the beauty of His creation.
|Posted by PHohmann on June 23, 2014 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
I retired in August, 2013, and now work part-time for Prince William County Parks and Recreation. This includes being an instructor for "Science in the Park." In this program, elementary schools in the area bring the students to the park on a field trip. There the students are taught about the ecosystems and habitats of Lake Ridge Park.
I also teach paddling and ecology camps for children during the summer at Lake Ridge Park. These camps are for 10-12 year-olds, but we also have a stand up paddleboard class for teens. In addition, I teach the "Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding" class and the "Introduction to Kayaking" class for adults, both of which are certified ACA courses. I am also the adaptive paddlesports instructor for the county.
I spend part of my winter in Florida, helping to lead short-term paddling trips to southwest Florida, including the Everglades. I also lead paddling trips in the Bahamas off the mothership Mirage (Kayak Voyagers). Information on this trips is posted on my Meetup Group, Lake Ridge Park Paddlers http://www.meetup.com/Lake-Ridge-Park-Paddlers/.
For the past 24 years, I have been a full-time pastor for Mechanicsville Christian Center near Richmond, VA. There I was a children's pastor and had responsibility for about 300 children. During my years as a children's pastor, I was also a writer, speaker, and author regarding children's issues and two of my books were published (Kid's Making A Difference and Mobilizing Kids for Outreach)
Before becoming a children's pastor, I was a high school teacher in public schools and I taught most of the Sciences. I received my undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech, and I also earned a Master of Counseling degree and a Master of Education degree, both from Arizona State University.
My wife, Katie, is retired college professor. She earned her doctorate at Union Theological Seminary. We sometimes canoe together, but she does not kayak or do stand up paddleboard. My daughter is 35 and she is married and lives near Chicago.
Every June, my wife and I stay near Eastport, Maine, which is located on the Bay of Fundy. There I enjoy tidal whitewater on with my kayak and SUP. The tidal difference in the area is 25'. I have also been an alpine mountaineer. Some of the peaks I have climbed in the last 10 years include Kilimanjaro, Mt. Rainier, Everest Base Camp, and peaks such as Long's Peak in Colorado. I have also ice climbed glaceirs in Alaska.
I also enjoy longer kayak expeditions. Some of my trips include:
Paddling from Richmond, VA to Washington, DC (350 miles)
Paddling the length of the Chesapeake Bay (300 miles)
Padding from Key Largo to Key West (130 miles)
Paddling across the Florida Everglades (125 miles)
Paddling the Calusa Blueway in Florida (85 miles)
Paddling the Douro River in Portugal (130 miles)