Monthly Archives: May 2011

Site Update: “Summertime!”

The old song says, “Summertime, and the living is easy.” I am going to use the summer months (June, July, and August) to create an “easier” (more restful and relaxed) writing plan for Oboedire. Beginning tomorrow, only the daily theme … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Editorial: A Time For Catechesis

In his book, The Faith, Charles Colson says that the great failure in evangelical Christianity is that its adherents have not been catechized.  He adds a similar view by J.I. Packer to his own assertion. I agree.  We have become … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials | 1 Comment

Soul Byte: Tapping the Springs

“Certain springs are tapped only when we are alone.  The artist knows he must be alone to create; the writer, to work out his thoughts; the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray.”   Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea.

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Desert Wisdom: Fortitude

Today we begin our examination of Book Seven in The Desert Fathers.  It is probably no accident that these early monks followed the sayings on possessing nothing with sayings on fortitude.  It takes all the strength the grace of God … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Connections: New Henri Nouwen Resources

The Henri Nouwen Society has upgraded its website and expanded its offerings.  I hope you’ll take time to check out their “new and improved” ministry at  http://www.henrinouwen.org. When you do, pay particular attention to the new Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series.  … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Soul Byte: Ecumenism

“Ecumenism begins by coming together in Jesus and letting Jesus unite our particular churches and ecclesial communities in His way.”  John Michael Talbot

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Listenings: Full and Real Life

Following her introduction to the spiritual life, Evelyn Underhill explores the two primary aspects of it:  communion with God and co-operation with God—what we refer to in the Wesleyan tradition as personal and social holiness.  Today, we begin our exploration … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

In-Sight: “Greater Works”

Recently, I heard someone referring to Jesus’ statement that his followers would do “greater works” than he did.  The fiery preacher went on to connect Jesus’ words with some of the alleged greater things he was doing in his ministry. … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Soul Byte: Permission

God doesn’t wait for our permission to do a lot of His work in our lives, but He does seem to ask for our permission to do the ones that we remember.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Holy Gospel: May 29, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  John 14:15-21 Meditation:  “No Longer Orphans” Some friends of ours have recently adopted several children.  Walking with them through the process has been a blessing, and Jeannie and I have learned things we never knew about adoption. One of … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Soul Byte: What The World Longs For

“What the world longs for from the Christian faith is the witness of men and women daring enough to be different, humble enough to make mistakes, wild enough to be burnt in the fire of love, real enough to make … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Editorial: Shame on Us

Like many others this year, I was looking forward to seeing who the 2011 American Idol would be.  It had boiled down to Lauren and Scotty, and I was interested (more this year than in some previous ones) to see … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Taking Care of Business

The Rule of Benedict takes a turn as we enter Chapter 8.  Indeed, from now through chapter 70 there is a different tone.  It is the tone of “taking care of business.”  Thumbing through the pages quickly lets us know … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

Connections: ChristianCourses.com

For some of you, it will not be possible to “pull up roots” and attend school in another location.  But it is difficult to discern what online options are actually worth considering. I want to encourage you to take a … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Soul Byte: No Divisions

There are differences between Christians, but there should be no divisions.

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Ponderings: Measuring Growth

George Barna has recently concluded that the best way to measure spiritual growth is in terms of our relational experiences.  That is, we best discern how we are maturing in Christ as we interact with others.  Barna says that his … Continue reading

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In-Sight: The Backside of Pride

If you have been a regular reader of “Oboedire,” you know that I have connected you with Christianity’s claim that humility is the means by which we “evaluate” our maturity in Christ—and that humility is itself defined according to the … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 2 Comments

Editorial: Put Your Trust In God

Harold Camping has done what I figured he would do; he has “re-calculated” the end of the world. I wish I could get this post to everyone in the world, not because I’m writing it, but because now is a … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials

Soul Byte: The Gospel

“The whole message of the Gospel is this: become like Jesus.”  (Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey)

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Shepherd’s Care: Reporting To Jesus

When the apostles returned from their taxing ministry, Mark says that they reported to Jesus (6:30).  This rather obvious dimension is very important for us to note in our exploration of long-haul ministry. I’ve been in ministry nearly 50 years, … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

In-Sight: Counterpoint Spirituality

Jeannie and I are in a phase of life where a contemplative spirituality is more possible than ever before.  Consequently, we are enjoying and benefitting from a spiritual formation that has more silence, solitude, and stillness in it. But I … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Soul Byte: The Final Step

Many obstacles may confound our journey, but our final step is into God’s house.

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Desert Wisdom: Do What You Can

Our look at “possessing nothing” in Book 6 of The Desert Fathers brings extreme challenges into our lives.  We sail our boats on a sea of “things” and it can feel like “running aground” as we begin to divest ourselves … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Site Update: “Summertime….”

The old song says, “Summer time, and the living is easy.” I’m going to apply the message to my writing during June, July, and August.  I want to “take a break” and reduce the number and nature of my postings. … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Soul Byte: Like Christ

To be “like Christ” includes being humble and unassuming.  He rejected every attempt to make him famous, much less king.

Posted in Uncategorized

Listenings: Formative Pathways

Underhill brings her first section of The Spiritual Life to a close by saying that there really is no “one size fits all” formula or pattern.  Some seem to move forward with God in one way; others in other ways. … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

Editorial: A Time for Compassion

“Judgment Day” has not come as many have believed it would. This is not a time for any “I told you so” response; it is a time for great sensitivity, compassion, and love. Some people have divested themselves of money … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials | 2 Comments

Soul Byte: Conviction

A surgeon cuts in order to cure; God convicts in order to forgive.

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The Holy Gospel: May 22, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  John 14:1-12 Meditation:  “Abba” This past Thursday, in “Ponderings” I wrote about the importance of seeing both the masculine and feminine in God.  I did not write about that because I knew this passage would be our Gospel lesson … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

In-Sight: Are You Ready?

A lot of people are asking if we are ready for “Judgment Day” tomorrow. Here’s my answer:  “I’m ready for tomorrow.  And I’m ready for any day after that.  And I’m ready for any day thereafter.” This is the clearest … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Soul Byte: Enjoy the Turns

The most-boring road to drive on is the one that just goes straight for miles.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Benedict’s Rule: Humility

After several brief chapters in the Rule, Benedict writes a rather lengthy and detailed Chapter Seven on “Humility.”  It is a chapter based in paradox:  the way “upward” to God is the way”downward” in humility.  We ascend by descending. Using … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

In-Sight: “Ordinary” Christianity

I just received word about a new book on the Christian life entitled, More Than Ordinary.  I read the description of the book and its main points, and I think it will be good one. But….I have this concern….actually, more … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Soul Byte: No Destination

There is no destination point on the pathway into the Infinite.

Posted in Uncategorized

Ponderings: The Face of God

In a recent time of meditation the piece I was reading evoked this post. We have created an interesting reality as we consider the nature of God.  For the most part, the dominant image in Christian history has been a … Continue reading

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Connections: Br. Paul Quenon

Check out the interview with Brother Paul Quenon on the Abbey of Gethsemani website (www.monks.org).  You can click on to it on the Abbey’s Home Page. It is a video of the interview for a recent “Religion and Ethics” program … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Soul Byte: A Third Way

An old cliche says, “I’d rather burn out for Jesus than rust out for Jesus?”  Where does it say in the Bible that those are the only two options?  How about LIVE for Jesus?

Posted in Uncategorized

Shepherd’s Care: Totality

Mark 6:30 says that the apostles returned from their ministry trip and told Jesus “all” that they had done and taught.  From the single word “all,” we learn that Jesus wants to care for us in relation to the totality … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

In-Sight: Meditation

A couple of weeks ago, I was revisiting some of my notes on meditation.  It was then I remembered that a primary meaning of the word is “to mutter.”  To meditate is to speak in a whisper, or just above … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Desert Wisdom: Means of Temptation

In a world where you cannot even log on to a website without first having to watch a commercial, Book Six of The Desert Fathers is devastating.  The twenty-two sayings leave us with a “You’ve got to be kidding” feeling, … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom | 3 Comments

In-Sight: A Transforming Passage

Recently, Jeannie reminded me that Eugene Peterson’s translation of Romans 12 is “classic.”  As she read it to me outloud, I was reminded how true that is.  I hope you will read his translation of it soon. It’s a great … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Soul Byte: Silence

“When the heart is full, the mouth falls silent.”  Brother Paul Quenon, Trappist Monk at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.

Posted in Uncategorized

Listenings: Spirituality Without Strain

Perhaps it is because The United States was founded upon a set of values that included “the Protestant work ethic,” or maybe it’s because the world of high-speed technology demands freneticism—but whatever it is, we are a people living under … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

Soul Byte: Seeing Love

When we realize how much God has forgiven us, we will see how much God loves us.

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In-Sight: St. Matthias

Today is the Feast Day for St. Matthias, the person chosen to replace Judas among the Twelve (Acts 1:26).  It’s the first time I have included the celebration in my Morning Office. Doing so not only enabled me to find … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

The Holy Gospel: May 15, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  John 10:1-10 Meditation:  “Broader Life” In my generation of Christianity there has been a great emphasis upon a “deeper” Christian life.  The image is a good one, but it does not fully convey what Jesus meant when he said … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Soul Byte: All Is Grace

If the Christian faith were forced to be summarized in one word, it would be Grace.

Posted in Uncategorized

Benedict’s Rule: Restraining Speech

We are drowning in a sea of words.  I rarely come to an intersection without seeing a person next to me, or a person driving through the intersection on their mobile phone.  And that doesn’t even begin to touch the … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule | 1 Comment

Soul Byte: God’s Provision

God sometimes provides deliverance from evil.  At other times God provides perseverance in the face of it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Site Update: Learning & Modification

As you know, I did not set up “Oboedire” to be a conversational forum.  But I read every single response that is posted, and once in a while, I will write the person back.  As I said when I launched … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates