Monthly Archives: March 2013

Friends and Bonds

“The bond between friends cannot be broken by chance; no interval of time or space can destroy it. Not even death itself can part true friends.”

― John Cassian

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Filed under Christian Living, contemplative, Friendship, John Cassian, Missional Living, Monasticism

The Margins

Someone told me that fifty years ago when a book was published only 60% of each page was print in and 40% was margins. The margin was a place where the reader could make notes to himself, ask questions, or jot down points to ponder. Today in the publishing industry, the margins are only 20% of the page, leaving little room to ponder or wonder or think. In similar fashion, we have filled our lives all the way to the edge of the page, leaving little margin in our lives for contemplation or meditation.

Thomas Merton's hermitage (interior) at the Ab...

Is that a picture of your life? If so, make an effort to change. There are so many of us who just accept things and never reexamine our lives for deeper meaning. Take time to think today, and offer your thoughts to God. Be silent enough, long enough, to let God speak to you. Thomas Merton said, “By meditation I penetrate the inmost ground of my life, seek the full understanding of God’s will for me, of God’s mercy to me, of my absolute dependence upon him.” If each of us would just stop long enough to give God a chance to penetrate our shield of activity, wondrous things would follow.

It was a life changing experience when I began to practice periodic times of meditation and contemplation as part of my journey with God. These times have allowed me to focus on my life and have been both disturbing and illuminating. All in all, I have experienced a great renewal of faith in these times of simple silence and introspection.

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Filed under Christian Living, Contemplation, Meditation, Prayer, Thomas Merton

Sugared Water

English: Apple director Steve Jobs shows iPhone

Steven Jobs

Steve Jobs was a whiz at making computers, but there was a time when he needed some help in marketing his incredible little “magic boxes.” He was in need of an expert who could help him take Apple  into the ring against IBM. John Sculley became the target of Steve Jobs’ attention. Sculley, at age thirty-eight, had been Pepsi-Cola’s youngest president. He masterminded the Pepsi Generation ad campaign that dethroned Coke from the number one position for the first time in history. Steve Jobs knew it would take a lot to get Sculley. He wined and dined him and made numerous offers with money he didn’t even have, all to no avail. Sculley was content with his present and secure success. Finally, in desperation, Steve Jobs threw out a question of exasperation, “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water, or do you want a chance to change the world?” It was that single, piercing question which leveraged the greatest weight in John Sculley’s decision to leave his security at Pepsi and go to Apple for an opportunity to “change the world.” Christians, more than computers, have the “real” opportunity to change the world. Let’s not miss our purpose by remaining content to simply sell “sugared water.”

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Filed under Risk Taking, World Change

Light of Grace

An icon of a Christian Cross.

Abba  Serapion  said,  ‘When  the  soldiers  of  the emperor are standing at attention, they cannot look to the right or left; it is the same for the man who stands before God and looks towards him in fear at all times; he cannot then fear anything from the enemy.’  

—-Sayings of the Desert

  

It is a most difficult challenge to simply look toward God in our busy and complicated world. The motive of the soldier to keep his eyes on his commander is varied. For some it is respect, others fear and still others, protection. Those are very good reasons to keep our eyes focused on our God and creator as well.

 There’s an old hymn that put it this way:

 “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”

 The wise old man is telling us that we must learn to keep our eyes, ears and hearts on God, and that is the best protection from the evil one. In doing so we live in the light of His grace.

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Filed under Christian Living, Evil, Faithfulness, Grace

Solitude

Ronald E. Powaski has written about the Trappi...

Solitude is not something you must hope for in the future. Rather, it is a deepening of the present, and unless you look for it in the present you will never find it.

——Thomas Merton

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Filed under Christian Living, Thomas Merton

Never,Never,Never Give Up

In the darkest days of WWII Winston Churchill addressed the students of his Alma Mater, Harrow School with the following words.

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the Unite...

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955.

“You cannot tell from appearances how things will go. Sometimes imagination makes things out far worse than they are; yet without imagination not much can be done. Those people who are imaginative see many more dangers than perhaps exist; certainly many more than will happen; but then they must also pray to be given that extra courage to carry this far-reaching imagination. But for everyone, surely, what we have gone through in this period – I am addressing myself to the School – surely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished. All this tradition of ours, our songs, our School history, this part of the history of this country, were gone and finished and liquidated.Very different is the mood today. Britain, other nations thought, had drawn a sponge across her slate. But instead our country stood in the gap. There was no flinching and no thought of giving in; and by what seemed almost a miracle to those outside these Islands, though we ourselves never doubted it, we now find ourselves in a position where I say that we can be sure that we have only to persevere to conquer.”

We forget that this is also God’s message. God has promised never to give up on us. Old Testament and New Testaments together, are a record of how God never, never, never, gave up.
 

– Adam and Eve disobeyed the very First Rule. But God never gave up.
– Abraham wandered, and Sarah laughed. But God never gave up.
– Moses hid and shook with fear. But God never gave up.
– Saul went insane. But God never gave up.
– David plotted against Uriah. But God never gave up.
– Ahaz sold out to Assyria. But God never gave up.
– Israel fell into pieces. But God never gave up.
– The Jewish people became exiles. But God never gave up.
– John the Baptist was beheaded. But God never gave up.
– Peter denied he even knew him. But God never gave up.
– The disciples all ran away. But God never gave up.

God never, never, never gave up and he has not given up today!

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Filed under Christian Living, Commitment, Controversy, Faithfulness, Winston Churchill

Where I am from:

 I have just returned from a retreat that was put together by our Bishop. The question below was one of our activities. I want to share this thought with you.

 Where I am from:

English: Mystery archway This beautifully made...

I am from a place that no longer lives except in my mind.
For it is up to me to make it still be.

I am from a place that taught me how to be
For it is up to me to be who I am.

I am from a place of discovery
For it now up to me to teach others to live as discovers.

I am from a place of mystery
For it is now up to me to share that mystery

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Filed under Poetry