Aquinas the great theologian of the of the 13the century relied upon Psalm 36:9 to guide him in his great theological endeavors. “For with You is the fountain of life: in Your light do we see light.” C.S. Lewis was a follower of Christ because he held that Jesus enabled him to see what was most real and true. God’s light enables us to see. My recent times of mediation have me reflecting on the significance of the fruits of the Spirit. Paul encourages believers to walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:16). Walking by the Spirit arms us to
Christian discernment depends on a clear grasp of reality. Without this our perspective on life is, to some degree, distorted. A distorted vision makes discernment difficult. The options available to us from which we can choose will be skewed. This is why Christian discernment makes such a big deal of seeing what is 'really real' as best we can. How does one become sensitized to see reality well? Spiritual formation is the answer. Before moving to the positive, Christian spiritual formation makes it clear that at least 9 'passions' (as Evagrius called them) manipulate human perception and distort reality.
Spiritual Disciplines. I’m curious what you feel when we put the idea of spiritual disciplines before you? Spiritual and Discipline, two of my favorite words! When I think of the word spiritual, I think about why we were created as spiritual beings, we were created for connection. We were not created as only physical beings for function, we are not intended to be robots, but God created us because he wants to commune with us. He wants to connect! Of course, we are also intended to connect with each other. The word discipline can seem a bit daunting for
“Being Still” can be one of the most challenging things we do in the journey of Christian spiritual formation. In our culture, there are so many distractions. Some of them are good distractions, such as our jobs and tending to our families and friends. Others are distractions of guilt, shame, or fear that keep us from even considering “being still” much less actually “doing” it. Scripture doesn’t say to us, “Be still and be perfect” or “Be still and God will love you forever,” or “ Be still and God will protect you.” Psalm 46:10 says, “BE STILL and KNOW
DO YOU HAVE COMPASSION FATIGUE? You may have had someone ask you, “What are you noticing?” What ARE you noticing? Many of you have reported loneliness, irritability, despair, fatigue, sadness, frustration, confusion, anger, criticism from others, a feeling of not doing enough and fear. Others may admit they do not mind staying home more, not getting dressed to go out, less scheduled activities, more family time, having extra time to work on projects, catching up on reading and a lot of cooking! The topic of balance is discussed frequently in managing our lives and finding happiness.
I should go to bed earlier; I should lose weight; I should exercise more; I should have made a different decision than what I did. “Shoulds” that hold us hostage and weigh us down are one of the elements of life that keep us from living with the freedom of “what is”. The reality of “now” and being present to it as a way of life keeps me from wandering in the past and the imaginations of the future. Don’t get me wrong. I love history and reminiscing about good memories that have already been lived. I enjoy planning
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. - T.S. Eliot What are you looking for? A better sense of self? A better home and garden? More knowledge about the Divine or your divinely inspired pursuits? An idealized Christianity or church to validate a privatized salvation project? To figure out your dysfunctional family system? Untie some knotty existential shoelaces tightened by primal repression so that you no longer trip over fear, guilt, and shame? A well balanced portfolio?
About a month ago, my eyeglass frames with progressive lenses broke. Knowing it was time to get a check-up I scheduled an appointment instead of getting my glasses repaired right away. Unfortunately, I had to wait another week to see the eye doctor. Thank goodness for another set of glasses that I use for computer work and reading music at the piano. When the time came, the check-up revealed that my eyes would require a change on my lenses so I would need to wait about 7-10 days for the new glasses to arrive. In the mean while, we
Joy and I celebrated our 40th anniversary this summer. We saved 5 years to do something very special. We traveled to Scotland and very much enjoyed a couple weeks there. In our time there I was reminded of a couple things. First, we should have saved for 10 years! Traveling is expensive. Second, the history of Scotland is violent. So much fighting between clans and other groups (e.g. Vikings and English). Third, the topography of that small country is amazingly diverse. From the pastoral land in the southeast to the rugged mountains of the northwest. A beautiful country. But
PSALM 121: 1-2 I lift up my eyes to the mountains-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121 has always been one of my favorites. My father had all 4 of us children memorize the entire Psalm when we were young. It’s amazing that these verses have come to my heart and mind at different times in my life, even after having not read the Psalm for a very long time. Today, as I look at the mountains in front of me and all