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Showing posts from January 7, 2007

Fresh Air

This article really addresses much of what God has been laying on my heart lately. Enjoy!

The following article is located at:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/tcw/2007/001/3.26.html


Fresh Air
3 practices to breathe life into your conversations with God.
by Keri Wyatt Kent

It's ironic. I used to call the time I set aside for God my "quiet time." However, those times, filled with words—the words I read, studied, wrote, or whispered toward the ceiling, wondering if God even heard—felt anything but quiet. They felt more like "doing" times—as in completing tasks on a list. And, truth be told, sometimes they also felt like "doing time," as in punishment or an obligation.I knew Jesus offers us "life to the full" (John 10:10), but I wondered if that was possible. I tried to study my Bible, but I'd forget the words I read as soon as I closed the book. Or I'd think, I've read this all before. It seemed stale. But just when exhaustion and guil…

More on listening

Sorry, I'm posting so much at once, but with classes beginning again, it's been crazy.

The Ears of God

For Christians, pastoral care differs essentially from preaching in that here the task of listening is joined
to the task of speaking the Word. There is also a kind of listening with half an ear that presumes
already to know what the other person has to say. This impatient, inattentive listening really despises
the other Christian and finally is only waiting to get a chance to speak and thus to get rid of the other.
This sort of listening is no fulfillment of our task. And it is certain that here, too, in our attitude toward
other Christians we simply see reflected our own relationship to God. It should be no surprise that we
are no longer able to perform the greatest service of listening that God has entrusted to us - hearing the
confession of another Christian - if we refuse to lend our ear to another person on lesser subjects. The
pagan world today knows something about persons who…

Listening

Here's a piece written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer on the importance of listening. This is an area of my life that God is really working on lately--being a better listener to people and to God. Enjoy!

Listen

Just as our love for God begins with listening to God's Word, the beginning of love for other Christians
is learning to listen to them. God's love for us is shown by the fact that God not only gives us God's
Word, but also lends us God's ear. We do God's work for our brothers and sisters when we learn to
listen to them. So often Christians, especially preachers, think that their only service is always to have
to "offer" something when they are together with other people. They forget that listening can be a
greater service than speaking. Many people seek a sympathetic ear and do not find it among Christians,
because these Christians are talking even when they should be listening. But Christians who can no
longer listen to one another will soon no longer be lis…

Conformed to His Image

Conformed to His Image
Kenneth Boa’s book, Conformed to His Image:Biblical and Practical Approaches to Spiritual Formation, was unfamiliar to me until I had to start reading it for my Spiritual Formation course.It is a treasure trove of ideas and methods to help us be more like Jesus.I will periodically share portions of the book with you I’ve found particularly helpful, challenging and inspiring.
Many of us struggle with the concepts of solitude and silence. Many find it impossible to have a quiet moment alone. Our world is so noisy that we often find it difficult to concentrate if it’s too quiet. The following excerpt from Boa’s work challenged me in this.After lunch, as I worked, I consciously quieted myself.
Solitude and SilenceIn solitude, we remove ourselves from the influence of our peers and society and find the solace of anonymity.In this cloister we discover a place of strength, dependence, reflection, and renewal, and we confront inner patterns and forces that are alien to the…

Bonhoeffer for today

BONHOEFFER for MONDAY - JANUARY 8, 2007
God's Image

God does not want me to model others into the image that seems good to me, that is, into my own
image. Instead, in their freedom from me God made other people in God's own image. I can never
know in advance how God's image should appear in others. That image always takes on a completely
new and unique form whose origin is found solely in God's free and sovereign act of creation. To me
that form may seem strange, even ungodly. But God creates every person in the image of God's Son,
the Crucified, and this image, likewise, certainly looked strange and ungodly to me before I grasped it.
Strong and weak, wise or foolish, talented or untalented, pious or less pious, the complete diversity of
individuals in the community is no longer a pretext for self-justification. Rather this diversity is a
reason for rejoicing in one another and serving one another.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer -
from Life Together 90
from A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeff…

Ephiphany's Promise and Challenge

Epiphany is a time of discovery, of revelation.Saturday was the feast of the Epiphany for those who follow the western church calendar.In addition to being “an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being” [1] it is also “(1):a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3): an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure b: a revealing scene or moment” [2]I was struck by a thought in a textbook for the Spiritual Formation course I’m taking this semester.Marcel Proust said, “the real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.” [3] Isn't this what epiphany is really about? May God give us new eyes with which to see.
[1]Meriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, Online:http://merriam-webster.com/dictionary/epiphany, [7 January 2007]. [2]Ibid. [3]Kenneth Boa, Conformed to His Image:…