Brennan Manning in his book "Ruthless Trust" tells the following story. "When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at “the house of the dying” in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him. “What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: “Pray
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
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
When I was in High School part of the requirement for our 11th grade Physical Education class was to wrestle other students in the class. I hated it. On a mat in front of the entire class with someone who was stronger than me. My record was pretty pathetic until the one time that I somehow got my opponent in a full-Nelson hold. He went limp and I pinned him for the three second count (never mind that the hold was illegal ... I didn’t know that and had no idea how I wound up getting him in such
Happy New Year! I hope it is a slow, unstable, gradual, and anxious one for you. Could you imagine getting a card with this in it? Well, the following words from Teilhard shed light on what this spiritual formation process feels like. The ending part on "accepting the anxiety" has ministered to me greatly. I thought them worthy of reflection for 2018. “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being
The season of Advent is upon us and as Christians we turn our hearts in preparation for the coming celebration of the birth of the Messiah, our Savior. A theme we often attended to here at CrossPoint is the particularity of God’s love. Thomas Oden considered the incarnation the “scandal of particularity.” God in his wisdom makes himself know to us in and through a very particular Jewish man. But there is more to the scandal than God simply making himself know in Jesus. The crux of the scandal is that this Jewish man, with a real family history
As Christ transforms us daily to be more like Him, sometimes He allows delight and sometimes He allows pain to do the transformational work in us. Sometimes being present and vulnerable with the painful challenges in our lives is what creates the most beauty in the long run. Our lives are not about living without pain and struggles. It’s more about how we respond to what happens to us along the way. Psalm 37:4--”Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” If our greatest desire is to know God and to
The spiritual life is not easy. Our false self does not go down without a fight, and one to the death. This is a really inconvenient battle to wage when it is challenging enough to just live life. Who really knew what we were signing up for in following Jesus and taking this journey seriously? Who really knew that the path would evolve and feel more like death and descent? The One Who guides us knows. Others who have gone before know. Be encouraged by the following quote from Joseph Benner an American Protestant mystic who seems to 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