Monthly Archives: January 2011

Site Update: Thank You

I’ve checked the monthly statistics for this site, and it’s growing little-by-little.  I want to thank you for being one who logs in from time to time to read the posts.  The purpose of Oboedire has never been about “growing.”  … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Listenings: Catching Our Breath

With 23 posts in this column, I want us to take a break and step back.  Sometimes we need to recall “the big picture” before we continue the journey.  And I know some of you have joined the journey since … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings | 1 Comment

Editorial: “A Word from Our Sponsor”

I’m watching the Farmers’ Insurance Open golf tournament.  During a break in the play, they advertised some of the upcoming tournaments:  The Waste Management Open (Phoenix) and the ATT Open (Pebble Beach).  Not far from my home is Brighthouse Stadium … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials | 1 Comment

The Holy Gospel: January 30 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 5:1-12 Meditation:  “God’s Way in the World” Jesus said, “I am the way” (John 14:6).  But every generation asks, “What constitutes that ‘way’?”  From earliest times, Christians have included the Beatitudes as one pattern for talking about it … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Connections: Henri Nouwen

I want to mention another familiar writer this week:  Henri Nouwen.  It is possible that he has touched the lives of more people in the last forty years than any other writers on the spiritual life.  I can easily imagine that … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Benedict’s Rule: As Those Who Learn

(Prologue, v. 1) We cannot seem to get out of the first verse of Benedict’s Rule, but neither should we try to do so.  It is foundational for everything else which follows. Today we focus on the phrase, “the master’s … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule | 1 Comment

Ponderings: Thinking of You

Once in a while, we go to the mailbox and find a card someone has sent to us—a card that simply says, “Thinking of You.”  The rest of our day takes on a different ambiance.  Sometimes, we call a friend … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Shepherd’s Care: Concept

In Mark 13:13-19, Jesus introduces a new concept in his relationship with the twelve.  He named them “apostles.”  The important thing for us to see today is that Jesus did not “bait and switch” in his call to these original … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Desert Wisdom: Practical Virtue

Across the years, the caricature regarding the desert fathers and mothers which I’ve heard more than any other (and sometimes fell into it myself) is this:  “these early Christians were so heavenly minded, they were no earthly good.”  It is … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Listenings: Never ‘Enough’

I don’t want last week’s post about the spirituality of a “broader life” to cause us to forget that it is, indeed, a “deeper life.”  My problem with some “deeper life language” is that it seems to create a loss … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: January 23 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 4:12-23 Meditation:  “Step Into the Stream” Jesus’ call to follow him was preceded by Matthew’s message that he was continuing the ministry John the Baptist had begun.  Jesus used the same words to begin his ministry John had … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Connections: Thomas Merton

If you have already discovered Thomas Merton, you will wonder why I’ve taken so long to mention him in this blog.  The answer is simply that I wanted to commend people who might not be as well-known.  But the fact … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Benedict’s Rule: We’re the Beloved

(Prologue v. 1) We listen differently as sons and daughters.  We listen differently to someone who loves us.  That’s the context in which Benedict writes, “Listen carefully, my son,….This is advice from a father who loves you.” We have many … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

Ponderings: God Sees Us

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, I hope you have sensed that when I post my thoughts, I am not implying that different views are wrong.  I’ve been in the theological world along enough to know there are, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shepherd’s Care: Consecration

As we continue to explore Mark 3:13-19, we move next to consecration. Mark says it simply:  when Jesus called the twelve “they came to him.”  This is the essence of consecration—not our ability, but our availability.  A couple of the … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Desert Wisdom: The Fear of God

Progress in perfection includes “the fear of God”—not a terrifying relationship with an angry deity, but a deep reverence which never forgets in Whose presence we are.  The early Christians wanted to know how to live with that reverence firmly … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Listenings: Broader Life

The farther I go in the faith, the more convinced I become that “abundant life” is broader, not just deeper.  We often hear people talk about spiritual growth as “the deeper life,” and in many ways it surely is.  But … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings | 1 Comment

Editorial: A New Ethics

This afternoon I was watching a basketball game.  During a break in the game the commentators were discussing an athlete who has tested positive for illegal drug use.  As I followed the conversation, it seems the person is now in … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials | 1 Comment

The Holy Gospel: January 16, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  John 1:29-42 Meditation:  “See For Yourself” Jesus never asked anyone to give him their life solely on the basis of someone else’s testimony.  His final word was always, “come and see.”  The witness of John the Baptist was powerful … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Connections: Marjorie Thompson

This week I want to introduce you to Marjorie Thompson.  Jeannie and I were privileged to know her when she and I co-directed The Pathways Initiative at The Upper Room in Nashville in the late 1990’s. You will not find … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Benedict’s Rule: Listen Carefully

(Prologue, v. 1) The Prologue to the Rule is much more than an introduction to be hurriedly read; it is itself an invitation into the very life which the rest of the Rule describes.  We cannot rush through the Prologue.  … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

Ponderings: Trust

Nothing is harder to overcome in life than the loss of trust.  Counselors and pastors will tell you that when spouses lose trust in each other, it’s almost impossible to restore their marriage.  When customers lose trust in the product … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shepherd’s Care: Calling

We continue our study of Mark 3:13-19. The basis for all ministry is God’s call.  Our ministry rests on the foundation of vocation, not professionalism.  This is not a license for superficial or sloppy ministry, but it is a reminder that “education … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Desert Wisdom: Progress in Perfection

Book One of The Desert Fathers: Sayings of the Early Christian Monks is entitled “Progress in Perfection.”  It is no accident that the collection begins with sayings related to Christian perfection, for this was the highest ideal in early Christianity.  By … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Listenings: Entering Into Life!

Last week, we began to explore spiritual formation in relation to the word “life”—specifically in relation to the idea of the “with-God life” which comes to us through the Emmanuel concept.  Jesus is “God with us,” and his invitation is an … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: January 9, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 3:13-17 Meditation:  “Jesus’ ID” We will never fully understand why Jesus decided to be baptized by John.  Discussions about this often run quickly to question:  “If baptism was for the remission of sin, and Jesus had no sin, … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Connections: John Michael Talbot

Jeannie and I have been privileged to know John Michael Talbot and his wife (Viola) for more than 20 years, and like so many, we have been blessed by his ministry of music, writing, and teaching.  If John Michael is … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Benedict’s Rule: Introduction

When the world is falling apart, people must find some way to hold their lives together.  That’s the reason we have the Rule of St. Benedict.  Rome had fallen, and its culture was becoming increasingly pagan.  Benedict was stunned and … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule | 1 Comment

Ponderings: The Great Wager

Philip Yancey is correct—faith is “the Great Wager.”  In the final analysis no one can prove every assertion found in a philosophical, theological, or scientific system.  So, in point of fact, everyone lives ‘by faith” somehow or other. Everyone finds … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Shepherd’s Care: Finding the Leadership Core

Having looked at the initial call which Jesus gave the apostles, we turn our attention to another significant passage related to the spiritual formation of the twelve:  Mark 3:13-19.  The context is not crystal clear.  Obviously, Jesus knew these men.  … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Desert Wisdom: Introduction

Next to the Bible itself, the writings of the early desert fathers and mothers has occupied the attention of the Christian community more than any other segment of the great cloud of witnesses.  Not long ago, I sensed that it … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Gleanings: “On Hold”

Gleanings will technically be “on hold,” for the foreseeable future.  Each Tuesday’s posting will still be a quotation, but they will concentrate in the sayings of the early Christian desert fathers and mothers.  The weekly posting will now be called … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Listenings: Life!

Paul said it bluntly, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).  In those words, the tragedy of sin is exposed; it is a “killer” and God’s will is only about life.  I believe that “life” is the single best … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: January 2, 2011 (Year A)

(Note:  there are variations in the Lectionary texts during this time.  I have chosen to use the reading from the Gospel of John) Read:  John 1:1-18 Meditation:  “Jesus is the Gospel” Christianity could have been added to the list of … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Editorial: Honoring Mary

I had not planned to begin posting in 2011 until tomorrow, as my earlier announcement indicated. But in my morning devotions, I realized that the Christian calendar (for many believers and churches) begins the new year with Mary, the mother … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials | 1 Comment