I have been introduced to the thinking and ministry of Brad Jersak by a friend. I began listening to podcasts where he was interviewed and I have been wonderfully impacted by his thoughts thus far.Continue reading “The charismatic and contemplative traditions”
“The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!” — Thomas Merton, Seven Storey Mountain
In Christ, we are gifted with an amazing possibility every day. Continue reading “The gift we are given every day”
My Advent reading got me stalled… again. That is the beauty of Scripture for me. I can be humming along in my reading plan and then come to a screeching halt because of a passage where the Holy Spirit will say, “Stop here.” Continue reading “Discipline is necessary”
The daily noise can distract. Social media. Media. All of it.
I wake up and somehow have to get past asking:
“What am I mad at today?”
“What am I protesting today?”
“What coffee can I brew without bringing down the wrath of some group?” (Oh, wait, HOW I brew it will probably incur someone’s wrath… Oh, wait… the Surgeon General said what about coffee? What was that latest study?”
“What place can I buy lunch without incurring wrath?”
It’s a daily routine of realizing the world is simply mad at something.
Unless… we make a choice. And it IS a choice.
The familiar kitchy phrase has truth: It’s not what happens TO you… it’s what happens IN you.
It’s tough cutting through the noise, but if my life is centered first, then the noise is more manageable. There is just noise I can put to the side. There is noise that has to be handled. There is noise that I should pay attention to in this world. I don’t stick my head in the sand and ignore the political scene, the shooting in Orlando, the issue of immigration, gay rights, etc.
But when I’m beginning my day through centering everything in Christ, I know how to move more carefully through the noise. Discernment is added. Peace reigns.
I don’t have to “be mad” at anyone. I do not walk in fear any more. It doesn’t mean I’m avoiding anything. It just means I know where my ultimate anchor lies. The depth of Christ prepares me for all this is in front of me for this day.
The noise is there to greet us every day. Staying centered must become the absolute necessity as we navigate this crazy world.
- Stay centered in the Word. There is a daily habit that can be used. Currently I am following a basic Lectionary Reading to keep me in all parts of the Bible.
- If I am needing a more disciplined pattern of prayer, I can utilize an online daily routine that helps me focus in if I am not using a regular prayer list.
- I stay with some type of spiritual reading and try to get some sort of reading in every day. Currently, that is N.T. Wright’s incredibly challenging work, Surprised by Hope.
Those particular things done first in my day have been useful to help me sort out the noise.
Let me know how you manage the noise in your world as well.
“Spiritual disciplines are not a gauge of my spiritual maturity. The disciplined person is not someone who does a lot of disciplines. The disciplined person, the disciple, is someone who is able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.” — John Ortberg, Living in Christ’s Presence.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus did not say, “IF you give…” He said, “WHEN you give…”
We can hassle over tithe or some mandatory number, like 10%. But, why?
The point is GIVING.
Why give at all? Giving is a bold statement, which is why I try to push myself past an arbitrary number like 10%. Giving says, “Lord, I worship you with this part of my life. I think I need ALL that I have earned, but I am releasing this to you because I trust you for all I need.”
We are releasing our responsibility in finances to say, “God, you invited me to test you in this. Here it is. It is now your responsibility.”
God invited it. I don’t think he is about to let us down!