Monthly Archives: September 2011

Journey in the Word: God’s Eternal Covenant of Mercy

(Pre-meditation Note:  I have not seen as many “comments” on each-day’s reading of Stott as I thought might be the case.  That’s okay.  Interaction with a blog can take place in more than one way.  I have received some feedback … Continue reading

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Connections: Religion In The News

You may be like me and wonder how to wade through all the news media and find articles having to do with religion. Recently, I came upon a resource that helps me do that:  pewforum.org If you go there, you … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Benedict’s Rule: According to Need

I cannot read Chapter 34 of the Rule without falling into immediate conviction.  I write this in relation to the context of the American higher-education system.  I realize this will not fit many of you who read today’s post.  But … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: Noah and the Flood

Week 4 Read:  Genesis:6:17 No matter how bad things get, there is always someone who “walks with God.” When God finds that person, a way out of deterioration and difficulty is made.  God is always the deliverer, but God enacts … Continue reading

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In-Sight: “External” Faith

Conversations about “external markers” of the faith have resumed within Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism.  They raise the issue of how important, or even necessary, these things are in the overall scheme of things. In some parts of Protestantism, the conversation … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Site Update: New Theme Next Thursday

Greeting, Everyone! Just a reminder that next Thursday, October 6th, I’ll begin a new weekly theme on the Oboedire site. For a preview of it—and other updates as well—read the “First Day” post that will appear at 7:00 p.m. (EST) … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: The Spread of Corruption

Week 4 Read:  Genesis 6:5 When I come to chapter six of Genesis in my Bible, it has this title for the first eight verses: “The Wickedness of Humankind” The “downward spiral” of sin which began in the Garden of … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: Specificity

The shepherding we wrote about last week is connected to a third dimension of ministerial spirituality:  specificity. Peter wrote, “tend the flock that is in your charge.”  Years ago, I was influenced by Eugene Peterson’s exhortation that the best way … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: The Beginnings of Culture

Week 4 Read Genesis 4:20-22 Immediately after the story of Cain murdering Abel, we find a long geneology.  We do not know all the people who are listed, but we do learn some important things. We see that God continues … Continue reading

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In-Sight: The Value is Valuing

I’ve been paying particular attention to leadership literature lately.  One of my main convictions is being confirmed by even the “20 something” leaders, who sometimes seem to be taking over the world. 🙂 These young leaders and those who work … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Desert Wisdom: Simple Prayer

Some brothers asked Macarius, “How do you pray?”  He said, “There is no need to talk much in prayer. Reach out your hands often, and say, ‘Lord, have mercy on me, as you will and as you know.’ But if … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Journey in the Word: Cain the First Murderer

Week 4 Read:  Genesis 4:8 The situation which gave rise to Cain’s murder of his brother is difficult to determine.  Stott points out that scholars have come up with various explanations. But the result is not subject to misunderstanding.  Jealousy … Continue reading

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Editorial: Pick-And-Choose Spirituality

As you know, I have felt a strong check in my spirit when it comes to “editorializing” on this blog site.  There are plenty of sites that do that—some well, some not so well.  And I do not even begin … Continue reading

Posted in Editorials

Listenings: Made To Be Used

Our co-operation with God is rooted in our creation.  Evelyn Underhill puts it this way: “He made us in order to use us, and use us in the most profitable way; for His purpose, not ours.  To live a spiritual … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: Special Grace and Common Grace

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:14-15 The creation story—complete with the fall—gets to a point of resolution.  But it is not what God had in mind originally for the world or anything/anyone in the world. Stott does a good job in … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 25, 2011 (Year A)

Read;  Matthew 21:28-32 Meditation:  “What Finally Matters” We must read today’s lesson against the recollection that the last eight chapters of Matthew cover the last eight days of Jesus’ life. The heat is on.  Jesus does not have the luxury … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Journey in the Word: Glimpses of Grace

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:8-9, 21 It is in this section of the biblical narrative that we see two of the most touching aspects of grace. First, there is the grace of longing.  As Stott pointed out, God was accustomed … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Private Ownership

At first glance, chapter 33 of the Rule flies in the face of an economic principle which has become standard in many parts of the world. The key to understanding what Benedict is saying lies in paying attention to the … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: The Disruption of Relationships

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:16-17 I think Stott’s comments speak largely along the same lines that I might think to write about.  The “relational rupture” is at the heart of the Fall, simply because it is a violation of what … Continue reading

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In-Sight: Innovative Church

There are plenty of better places to go than here to get insights into how the Church can be faithful and responsive in the 21st century.  But I’ve been thinking about this in relation to spiritual formation, particularly as I … Continue reading

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Site Update: New Thursday Post in October

Just a reminder that a new weekly post will begin October 6th.  I’ve received several good suggestions, and I am pondering others.  If you have an idea you want to give me, please do so soon. I will announce the … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: Shame and Blame

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:7 Their “eyes were opened”!   The devil was right on that part of the temptation.  But it was not eye-opening as satan had said it would be.  That’s another insight into temptation. Yesterday, we saw that … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: Shepherd

We’re exploring the shape of pastoral ministry as we find it in 1 Peter 5:1-11 The second dimension comes to us through the  phrase “tend the flock.”   Pastoral ministry means being a shepherd. I realize that some today interpret that … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: Denying God’s Otherness

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:5-6 I appreciate John Stott’s blending of “likeness” and “otherness” in the God-human relationship.  I also believe, as Stott does, that “the very essence of sin” (Stott’s words) is revealed—Adam and Eve’s thinking that if they … Continue reading

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In-Sight: No Excuses

July 31st is the day many Christians remember St. Ignatius of Loyola.  In doing so a few weeks ago, I was struck by the experience which led to his conversion.  Among multiple factors used by God for his transformation, one … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Desert Wisdom: Unceasing Prayer

Book 12 brings us to the core of early Christian spirituality. The brothers asked Agatho, “Abba, which virtue in our way of life needs more effort to acquire?”  He said to them, “I may be wrong, but I think nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Journey in the Word: Denying God’s Goodness

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:1-5 It’s almost impossible to imagine that God would deliberately establish the divine-human relationship to knowingly prevent Adam and Eve from becoming everything they could be.  But that’s what satan suggests.  “Your eyes will be opened” … Continue reading

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Connections: “40 Day” Series

Augsburg Books has a series called “40 Day Journey with ____________.”  The blank is a person.  For example, “40 Day Journey with Parker Palmer.” I may not have the latest list of persons featured in this series, but here are … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Listenings: Co-operation With God

This is a good point to remind ourselves that the “Listenings” post is envisioned to be a mini-school of Christian formation.  We have based nearly all of our previous meditations in this section on Evelyn Underhill’s The Spiritual Life.  We … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

Journey in the Word: Denying God’s Truthfulness

Week 3 Read:  Genesis 3:1 This week we work our way through the Fall narrative.  We discover how God’s plan became perverted through humanity’s actions.  We move from not much more than a glimpse of “good news” to a recurring … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 18, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 20:1-16 Mediation: “Christianity on God’s Terms” The other day I read a Chinese proverb which said, “The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.”  As soon as I read it, I repented of the times I … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Journey in the Word: The Biblical Definition Of Marriage

Week 2 Read:  Genesis 2:24 Today’s reading would be “too hot to handle” for some people today.  One of the swirling controversies of our time is the definition of marriage.  For all his life, John Stott threw his hat into … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Tools and Goods

In a world of planned obsolescence and disposable products, we can almost read past Chapter 32 of the Rule of Benedict without entering into its message.  But as with other things in the Rule that might, at first glance, seem … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: The Creation of Eve

Week 2 Read: Genesis 2:21-22 I’m glad that Stott lifted up Eve as we move through this section of the Bible.   The person she was in her own creation and the wife she was in her relationship to Adam are … Continue reading

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In-Sight: “That They May Be One”

As I am growing older, I am also growing in the conviction that we are meant to become part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17: “that they may all be one….”  We are called to live the … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Site Update: A Reminder

Just a reminder that I am inviting suggestions for the new Thursday morning posting. Whatever we decide, it will begin on October 6th. And remember also that “In-Sight” and “Journey in the Word” will post later today.

Posted in Site Updates | 2 Comments

Journey in the Word: Man As Male And Female

Week 2 Read:  Genesis 2:18 Stott’s comments today are very interesting, because he lived a single and celibate life.  He came to believe as a young man that this was God’s will for him. But he approaches this section of … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: Support

Today, we begin an exploration of another helpful passage:  1 Peter 5:1-11.  It gives us an excellent look at what the shape of pastoral ministry was becoming nearer to the end of the New Testament era. The first thing we … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Journey in the Word: True Freedom

Week Two Read:  Genesis 2:16-17 We are moving through significant territory.  We are moving through the story of how we took the glory of our creation and turned it into a curse.  And as Stott points out, it has largely … Continue reading

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In-Sight: Just Move A Paw

One of the first stories I heard after I became a Christian is this one. A baby bear was fretting over how to learn to walk.  “Do I start with the left front paw, or the right rear paw—the left … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Desert Wisdom: The Context of Examination

They used to say about Poemen that when he was ready to go out to the meeting for prayer, he first sat by himself for an hour in self-examination, and then he went (11:22) If we ask the saints of … Continue reading

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Journey in the Word: Caring for Creation

Week 2 Read:  Genesis 1: 26, 28 We are exploring the two primary manifestations of human creation: work and marriage.  Both are acts of collaboration with God to achieve the doing of God’s will on earth as it is in … Continue reading

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Listenings: Adherence

Communion with God is the first major category of the spiritual life for Evelyn Underhill.  We have looked at it from a variety of vantage points in these weekly postings. As Underhill brings this section of her book to a … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

Journey in the Word: Collaborating with God

Week 2 Read:  Genesis 2:15 We are not the makers of creation, but we are the maintainers of it.  All honorable work is divine in nature and sacred in purpose. Genesis gets it right:  God takes us and puts us … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: September 11, 2011 (Year A)

Read:  Matthew 18:21-35 Meditation:  Incalculable Mercy! From my early days as a Christian decades ago, I have been fascinated by this passage.  One of the reasons for my fascination is that nearly all the translations fail to show the extent … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Journey in the Word: Keeping Sunday Special

Week 2 Summary:  Having explored the natural aspects of God’s creation, the Bible turns to the relational aspects:  work and marriage. Stott helps us explore these two facets of life in our next seven readings. Read:  Genesis 2:3 We can … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: The Cellarer….The What?

Given the detail that the Rule goes into in the second main section, I have had some difficulty knowing how to write these posts.  But I could not resist writing about the Cellarer—if for no other reason than that we … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

Journey in the Word: The Sabbath Rest

Week 1 Read:  Genesis 2:3 Creation was not simply God’s way of getting things going, it was also God’s way to get things going properly.  The rhythm of working and resting is part of the creation story. Probably the most … Continue reading

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In-Sight: Final Judgment

There’s been a lot of “buzz” recently about the final judgment.  Some have denied that it will actually happen; at least not in the sense of eternally separating human existence into those who are “saved” and those who are “lost.”  … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Connections: Two New Items From John Michael Talbot

My friend, John Michael Talbot, has blessed us with two new resources. First, his CD “Worship and Bow Down”–a series of beautiful, new compositions blending the spirit of the new monasticism with the forthcoming revision of the Roman Missal. Second, … Continue reading

Posted in Connections