Monthly Archives: July 2012

Site Update: “Summer Break”

From today through August 12th, Oboedire goes into “summer break” mode. I will post “The Holy Gospel” meditations for this period, but nothing else.  This includes the usual “First Day” post that would normally appear on August 1st. The daily … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 29, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  John 6:1-15 Meditation:  “Go Up Higher” Today’s lesson is the familiar story of the feeding of the 5,000.  Because it is an event that we normally explore from the vantage point of the feeding itself, I have decided to … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Time Out Continues

Just a reminder that we’ll resume this weekly post on Friday, August 17, using Esther de Waal’s book Seeking God.  There’s still time to order a copy, so you can read along as we revisit The Rule using this classic … Continue reading

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Gleanings: A Life of Prayer

If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying.  Basil Pennington, Centering Prayer, p. 56.

Posted in Gleanings

Shepherd’s Care: “Messy Ministry” (2)

Beyond the usual wear-and-tear of messy ministry, we have to also factor in the inevitable loss of “heroes.”   Even those who have significantly influenced us will eventually let us down somehow or other.  And whether we like it or not, … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: “Easting”

After dealing with the matter of praying “in your room in secret,” Bunge writes a comparatively long section on the early-Christian practice of facing East when praying.  For those of us who have grown up in a more free-church tradition, … Continue reading

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Listenings: A Few Common Elements: Service

Living together brings us close enough to each other that we can see how to serve the needs of others.  To live in loving community is to live in a caring community.  So, Nouwen includes service as the next feature … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 22, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  Mark 6:30-34 Meditation:  “Long-Haul Discipleship” If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that this is one of the passages which I believe is pivotal for our discipleship.  I’ve studied it a long time and found it … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Time Out Continued

We continue the “time out” for this Friday posting.  It returns on August 17th as we examine the Rule of St. Benedict, using insights from Ester de Waal’s book, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict. You still have time … Continue reading

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Gleanings: Happiness

Happiness, I have come to understand, comes when what I choose to be about in life is actually worth spending my life doing.  Joan Chittister, Following the Path, p. 22.

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Shepherd’s Care: “Messy Ministry” (1)

I’m glad to read that some of you have benefitted from our extended exploration of “the downward spiral” which I originally picked up from Dr. Archibald Hart.  If you want to track more of his thinking along similar lines, I’d … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: Praying “In Secret” (2)

Before moving on from “praying in secret,” Bunge notes one final thing about this kind of praying.  It is the preservation of sacred meeting ground between God and us (p. 57). Many of our blessings are mediated through third-party experiences.  … Continue reading

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Connections: Love Works

A friend of mine has recently recommended that I take a look at Joel Manby’s new book, Love Works (Zondervan).  He felt it would encourage me in relation to previous blogs having to do with the necessity of relational leadership.  … Continue reading

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Listenings: A Few Common Elements: Community

“Spiritual formation requires taking not only the inward journey to the heart, but also the outward journey to community and ministry” (p. xxvi). The older I get, the more convinced I am that the spiritual life only makes sense and is … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 15, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  Mark 6:14-29 Meditation: “Paying With Your Life” The gospel would not be realistic if it bypassed the note of martyrdom.  There are at least two lessons to be taken away from this story. First, we must include the possibility … Continue reading

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In-Sight: The Purpose of the Spiritual Life

Earlier today, I read a comment from one of my mentors, who said that the purpose of the spiritual life is not to change the world, but to change ourselves. At first, that sounded very self-referent and another “me-and-Jesus” accommodation … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Time Out

This post is on hold until August 17th, when we return to look at the Rule through the insights of Ester de Waal, in her book Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict. I hope you can have a copy … Continue reading

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Gleanings: Living at a Human Tempo

If we really want prayer, we’ll have to give it time.  We must slow down to a human tempo, and we’ll begin to have time to listen.  And as soon as we listen to what’s going on, things will begin … Continue reading

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In-Sight: “Classical” Spirituality

Earlier today, I read Dr. Ben Witherington’s “Bible and Culture” blog for the day.  Using insights from T.S. Eliot, he pondered what it means to call something a “classic.” Among the things Ben noted, he pointed to the fact that … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: Ancient Vigil

We’ve spent five weeks looking at “The Downard Spiral”—the journey from vitality to anxiety, which can overtake those of us in spiritual leadership.  I thought it would be good for us to see that this tendency is not new.  In … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: Praying “In Secret”

The “room” of prayer (whether literal or figurative) is intended to facilitate Jesus admonition for us to “pray in secret” (Matthew 6:6). Bunge points out that praying “in secret” is not simply to avoid pride, but also a practical way … Continue reading

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Listenings: A Few Common Elements: Silence

Studies have actually been done on the “noise pollution” which invades every day of our lives.  In some cases, the way we receive sounds actually damages our auditory system.  But beyond that, we are subjected to “too many voices” calling … Continue reading

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Site Update: 1,000 Postings

This morning’s post, I’m told, was the 1,000th posting.  It comes roughly after Oboedire has been in operation for two years. I want to use this moment to say “thank you” for following this blog.  The number of you who … Continue reading

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The Holy Gospel: July 8, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  Mark 6:1-13 Meditation:  “Formed in the Fire”  (1) We would all prefer a spiritual formation that takes place on a cruise than in a crucible.  But that’s not the way it is.  In today’s gospel lesson, and again in … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: Moving On To The Next Step

We have completed our exploration of the text of the Rule of Benedict.  As I have done this along with you, I have benefitted from the wisdom of this document over and over again.  I hope you have as well. … Continue reading

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Gleanings: Spiritual Freedom

Spiritual freedom is not a characteristic or present-day Christianity.  We are still, stifled, inwardly tied-up Christians….We live off the surface roots, not from the depths.  The surface roots go out into the cultural, educational, economic, social, political, perhaps also the … Continue reading

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Shepherd’s Care: The Downward Spiral (5)

If we do not tend to burnout, we fall to the final level in Dr. Archibald Hart’s “downward spiral”—depression. To briefly summarize, we move from Stress (“I can handle it”), to Fatigue (“I cannot handle it”), and then to Burnout … Continue reading

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The Teaching Life: Always Teaching

One of my main learnings as a teacher is that I am always teaching.  When I began as a professor, I was very concerned about my classroom—getting lectures and other learning opportunities in the best possible shape.  I concentrated on … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: Prayer Space

Any place can be a place of prayer (1 Timothy 2:8).  Jesus shows this in his own prayer life, and it is further confirmed in the rest of the New Testament. But the early Christians also believed it was important … Continue reading

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The Teaching Life: Introduction

I am heading into the “home stretch” of my professional life as a teacher.  I have been a professor for 32 years, and I was an evangelist and pastor 17 years before that.  I have just retired from appointed ministry … Continue reading

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Listenings: A Few Common Elements: Lectio Divina

The spiritual life moves back-and-forth between the subjective and the objective.  Without the objective, the subjective becomes subjectivism.  We must have the objective dimension in our formation.  The Christian tradition refers to this as lectio divina. We will say more … Continue reading

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First Day: Praying and Pondering

This month’s “meeting” will be brief.  I’m traveling and otherwise using the summer to pray and ponder in relation to life in general and Oboedire in particular. Tomorrow, I begin a new category called “The Teaching Life.”  The introduction will … Continue reading

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