Without the capacity to quiet and still the soul the Christian life becomes pretty much a journey of spiritualizing our neurotic and compulsive tendencies in order to feel safe.
Henri Nouwen writes these words in A Cry for Mercy, "Every day I see again that only you can teach me to pray, only you can set my heart at rest, only you can let me dwell in your presence. No book, no idea, no concept or theory will ever bring me close to you unless you yourself are the one who lets these instruments become the way to you. But Lord, let me at least remain open to your initiative; let me wait patiently and attentively for that hour when you will come and break through all
A good friend of mine, Pastor Dan Braga sent along to me Andrew Sullivan's article entitled, "I Used to be A Human Being." Sullivan writes, "The Judeo-Christian tradition recognized a critical distinction — and tension — between noise and silence, between getting through the day and getting a grip on one’s whole life. The Sabbath — the Jewish institution co-opted by Christianity — was a collective imposition of relative silence, a moment of calm to reflect on our lives under the light of eternity. It helped define much of Western public life once a week for centuries —
Psalm 139: 1-3; 7 Oh Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my every thought when far away. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment, You know where I am. I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from Your Presence! In today’s world it seems that the human race is constantly trying to be more connected with others through the constant use of their phones. I’ve seen teen-agers
“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
Christian Spiritual Formation is a journey that is one of posturing ourselves to be awakened to the process of coming back to the true self of who God created us to be. The posturing is sometimes difficult. It can require us to be still or it can require us to step into something new because we have been still long enough. Being still requires us to let go of distractions of work, family life, or being busy for the sake of busyness. Stepping into something new requires that we let go of what feels safe and familiar. Which ever
“When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” —Dean Jackson God’s first revelation is nature. In nature’s cycles of life, death, and rebirth we see the gospel in action right in front of us. Our spiritual journey is no different, we must journey through stages of order, disorder, and reorder. The journey of Jesus was meant to be followed and not just worshipped. Leaning into our own order, disorder, and reorder while trusting the
So time launches us ready or not into a new year as we continue on in our journey of faith. I suspect many or at least some of us have made resolutions as we seek to make 2017 profitable for our continued maturation in Christ. The good news of course is that God's Spirit has us on a journey toward becoming our truest self in Christ,(II Cor. 3:18) and he promises to continue to be faithfully present with us here and now in the new year ahead. (Mt. 28:20) Over the holiday season I found myself re-reading various authors
May seems to be one of the most hectic times of the year. If you have kids there are recitals (my wife Joy just finished them with her piano students), band concerts, exams, and much more. If you lead a ministry this is also a busy time of year. If you are single and fancy-free you are busy planning your summer. Lots of busyness all the way around. That’s why our second invitation is so inviting.
The book of Jude is only 25 verses long. But the last two verses record one the most powerful and beautiful doxologies in all the Bible. “Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, and dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever more. Amen.” Breathtaking! Jude sweep us up into the magnificence and beauty of God’s redeeming and restoring work.