Category Archives: Quotes

We Begin Again

I need to take up journaling again. Studies done, there will be time for reflection on the day’s events – and time to write these reflections down.

I am beginning to read a book by Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women. In the introduction she tells the story of prayer books being found during the renovation of an ancient convent. She speaks of the image of a woman with a book of prayer in hand, of this being a way for these medieval women to participate in the Word and pass the Word on to others. I like that image. I do pray that my study of the Word will allow me to participate in the work of God in the world, passing onto others the good news that God actually wants to be involved in our daily lives.

The author goes on to state that prayer was “intertwined” with the “daily life (of these women) and with significant events such as giving birth and entering into death. She believes that “We have struggled to know our lives as sacred texts, to perceive the ways that God has written God’s own story within us, to understand how the Word still seeks to take flesh in and through us.” Perhaps in returning to my blog as journal, I may share some of the text of my life’s journey so that others can see ways in which the Word is taking flesh in me.

Most of my life I consider rather routine and mundane till others point out the amazing places this journey of participating in the Word has taken me. God still continues to allow me breath to continue the journey and as I begin to enter into a new phase of that journey and the challenges that will come, I know I will need all the strength God will give me. By sharing this part of my journey, may you also develop eyes to see God in the places you go.

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Two More to Go

Tonight I e-mailed off my final paper in Church History I.  Greek final was written on Monday and so half of my classes are now finished for this semester.  It feels good.

Of course I am still finishing up the last two of my online classes.  Two research papers, one book review and one final exam.  That is still enough to keep me glued to the books for the next three weeks.

Out of my reading tonight comes this quote from Basil of Caesarea:

” A single plant, a blade of grass is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in the contemplation of the skill which produced it”

 

Hoping we begin to see some blades of grass soon – although there is a marvelous lot of wonder to be seen in ice-coated branches.

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Good words

from Henri Nouwen

Fruits That Grow in Vulnerability
There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another’s wounds. Let’s remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness.

 

Visit HenriNouwen.org for more inspiration

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This waiting season

Advent is drawing to an end – to the climax of Christmas day when we celebrate the birth of Christ.   I thought I would share the final essay I submitted for my Theology class since I now have been marked on it and that bit of anxiety and waiting period is over for me.  If you want to read it all, click on  continue reading   (sorry for the American spellings – the school is USAian).

We Wait in Expectation

Almighty God, give all of us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.[1]

Recently, I was asked to reflect on the purpose and meaning of Advent with some young children from the neighborhood around our church. The children had no idea that a season of Advent existed. Their preparations for the coming season of Christmas were centered around what they wanted from Santa not on the coming celebration of the birth of Christ. Anticipation and waiting meant counting down the days till Santa came.

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Wisdom

From Proverbs 8 (ESV)

22 "The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work,
   the first of his acts of old.
23Ages ago I was set up,
   at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24When there were no depths I was brought forth,
   when there were no springs abounding with water.
25Before the mountains had been shaped,
before the hills, I was brought forth,
26before he had made the earth with its fields,
   or the first of the dust of the world.
27When he established the heavens, I was there;
   when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28when he made firm the skies above,
   when he established the fountains of the deep,
29when he assigned to the sea its limit,
   so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30then I was beside him, like a master workman,
and I was daily his delight,
   rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
   and delighting in the children of man.

And from John 1:1-5

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

It is hard to entertain new names for God.  And yet Wisdom is not exactly a new name.  My theology prof recommended reading these two passages together as a devotional reading.  So I did and as I read, I also read with the hope behind the words of Proverbs 8: 17  “I love those who love me,  and those who seek me diligently find me.”

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New Testament reading for today

The upside down nature of our faith; the foolishness that calls for sacrifice not power.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31(NLT)

18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say,

   “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
      and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. 21 Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. 22 It is foolish to the Jews, who ask for signs from heaven. And it is foolish to the Greeks, who seek human wisdom. 23 So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense.

24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.

26 Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. 27 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

30 God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31 Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

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The Gospel reading for the day

John 12:1-11

1 Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

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