Monthly Archives: December 2012

Listenings: Finding Our Time and Place

Nouwen addresses the practicalities associated with prayer:  time and place (p. 25).  Our commitment to prayer must be expressed at specific hours of the day and in particular locations. I agree with Nouwen that we pray best as we establish … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: December 30, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 2:41-52 Meditation:  “A Glimpse into Normality” We hardly have Christmas behind us before we are guided to read the story of Jesus when he was twelve years old.  We would feel like we’d been shot out of a … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

In-Sight: God’s Best To You: Jesus!

Christ is born! Christ is born, indeed! Hallelujah! Jeannie and I wish you and your friends and family a blessed and joyous Christmas day!

Posted in In-Sight | 5 Comments

Site Update: “Christmas Break”

Except for the weekly “Holy Gospel” posting on December 29th, Oboedire will be on break until Monday, December 31st. Jeannie and I pray that you and your family will have a Blessed Christmas, in just a few days.  Many of … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates | 6 Comments

The Holy Gospel: December 23, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 1:39-45 Meditation:  “Under the Influence.” Jesus influenced people even before his incarnation.  Mary’s announcement was enough to cause the child in Elizabeth’s womb to leap.  Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Spirit and literally shouted for joy … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

In-Sight: The Vision Advent Casts

Before we go into our “Christmas break” here on Oboedire, I want to share a recent writing from Henri Nouwen (taken from Bread for the Journey) that was posted as one of his daily e-meditations.  It leaves us at the … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Benedict’s Rule: The Rule is Christ

It’s a fortunate thing to come to the final posting before Christmas—and before we take a brief break from posting at all—to hear de Waal say, “Christ is the beginning and the end of the Rule” (p. 34). This is … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

In-Sight: A Good Word From Adam Hamilton

Jeannie just called my attention to a recent blog post from Adam Hamilton.  I pass it on as a way to continue our reflection on the recent Newtown tragedy and on life lived against the backdrop of suffering and evil….. … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Ministry Musings: Made for Discernment

In working with others on discernment, I’ve found it’s possible to reach a point psychologically where it all begins to feel very complex—kind of like purchasing an auto-repair manual and trying to go home and fix our cars by reading … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings | 1 Comment

Site Updates: Growing the Oboedire Family

A couple of weeks ago, I encouraged you to consider inviting others to join you in the growing Oboedire family.  I want to expand on that invitation and share some actual things others have told me they are doing in … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Shepherd’s Care: Vision (5)

There is so much more we could say about visions and about visionary leadership, but I’ll conclude the present exploration with two closing comments…. First, some have mistakenly believed that visions can only come through the designated leader.  I know … Continue reading

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Connections: Primary Texts

As many of you will know, I am an advocate of reading devotional classics.  I think we should be reading something “classical” all the time.  Here are two ways to do it…. (1) Christian Classics Ethereal Library—an online source that … Continue reading

Posted in Connections | 1 Comment

Desert Wisdom: The Inevitable “Desert”

Bunge rightly notes that we do not instinctively move toward repentance.  Our egocentrism (fallen soul) tries to escape conviction.  One way the ancients described it was speaking of “going into the desert.” Evagrius used these additional words to describe it:  … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

In-Sight: A Modest Proposal

As you know, I have not created Oboedire to be a medium to generate ongoing threads of conversation.  But I read every response that is posted and benefit from them.  I also receive occasional emails (oboedireblog@gmail.com), and I respond to … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 1 Comment

Listenings: Practicing the Present Moment

Nouwen writes that prayer is “practicing the present moment” (p. 23).  He connects his statement to the devotional classic by Jean-Pierre de Caussade, The Sacrament of the Present Moment. Prayer concentrates our attentiveness upon the present moment precisely because that … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings | 3 Comments

In-Sight: A Spirituality of “No More!”

We find ourselves in the aftermath and shock of the shootings in Newtown.  Last night, a reporter rightly said that this is tragedy that touches us all.  Our hearts are broken and our spirits are deeply troubled by what has … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 4 Comments

The Holy Gospel: December 16, 1012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 3:10-18 Meditation:  “The Good News of Radical Change” Luke describes John the Baptist’s ministry as that of proclaiming good news to the people (v. 18).  But that conclusion comes on the heels of quite a bit of challenge … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

In-Sight: Moving from “Old” to “New”

If you’ve followed Oboedire for a while, you know that 2 Corinthians 5:17 is my favorite verse and also a significant one for understanding spiritual formation.  One significant aspect of it is Paul’s assertion that when we are in Christ, … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Benedict’s Rule: Formative Environment

Spiritual formation occurs best when we let go of an “event” mentality and replace it with an “environment” mentality.  Programs and plans have their place—moments matter—but all the pieces must be seen against the backdrop of a larger atmosphere and … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

In-Sight: Offering Your “Value” at Christmas

The wise men offered the holy family gifts of great value.  We have the opportunity in Advent to do the same thing. Advent gives us time to remember that we do not have to try to acquire our value.  We … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 1 Comment

Ministry Musings: Discernment, a Pattern for Life

We’ve spent quite a few weeks looking at selected “details” about discernment.  I think we need to step back today and regain a bigger picture. This entire study is based upon the conviction that discernment is more a pattern for … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings

Connections: The Epiphany Association

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this ministry before, as well as its co-founder Dr. Susan Muto.  But I was visiting the ministry website and was nudged to mention it again. As you know, one of the convictions I have is that … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Shepherd’s Care: Vision (4)

Often in the Shepherd’s Care weekly posting, we have pointed to the necessity of character and integrity in ministry.  I want to use today’s post to connect that conviction with our exploration of vision. In My Utmost for His Highest, … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care | 2 Comments

Gleanings: The Way of Words

In a recent reading of St. Ambrose, I found this wisdom from one of God’s dear servants, “We win people over by the grace of our words.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Desert Wisdom: Where Prayer Begins

Ask the early Christians where prayer begins, and they will almost always say, “in repentance.”  Bunge turns to this on page 99. This emphasis is related to the post a couple of weeks ago where we noted that the first … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

Connections: New Resources to Check Out

I have two new resources for you to check out… (1) Renovare (www.renovare.org)—-this time-tested ministry has developed several new formation ministries:  “Stepping Stones” (for children), “The Order of the Incarnation” (for college students), and “Lyfe” (for anyone, but with a … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Listenings: Moving from the Mind Into the Heart

Today we look at the journey which prayer creates—what Nouwen calls (as do many others) “descending from the mind into the heart” (p. 22). Admittedly, we are entering one of the most challenging aspects of prayer, and surely not one … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: December 09, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 3:1-6 Meditation:  “Setting the Stage” Significant occasions are almost always preceded by special preparations.  Hold-the-date cards often provide the first indication that something important is going to take place.  Invitations follow giving more details.  In the meantime, people … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

The Teaching Life: Remembering Students (2)

The second entry from Merton’s journal that I want to pass on is his realization that each new generation of students is necessary to keep faith alive and fresh. He reflected on this following his saying of Mass for a … Continue reading

Posted in The Teaching Life | 3 Comments

Benedict’s Rule: Scriptural Foundation

The heightened awareness which we looked at last week is by no means some kind of spiritualized “stream of consciousness” in the Rule of Benedict.  We only have to open it and suddenly we find ourselves led into a world … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

The Teaching Life: Remembering Students (1)

Living into retirement may be simply making me more sensitive to the kind of readings I want to share with you today.  But whatever the reason, I can surely attest to the fact that the great joy of teaching—in fact, … Continue reading

Posted in The Teaching Life | 2 Comments

Ministry Musings: Discernment is….(5)

We have looked at four dimensions of discernment.  We could look at many others, but I’ll bring this segment of our study to a close by examining a fifth element… Discernment is making crucial distinctions. (1) We must distinguish between … Continue reading

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In-Sight: Beyond the “Ho, Ho, Ho!”

Beyond the superficial manifestations of Christmas, there are many people for whom the season is depressing and challenging.  You may be one such person, or you may know others for whom this time of year is a “blue Christmas.”  Let … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 2 Comments

Site Update: Current Text List

Just a reminder that when you join the Oboedire family, you step into a stream that’s already flowing.  And, for example, I am making regular references to Nouwen, Bunge, and de Waal.  I don’t cite the actual books each time.  … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Shepherd’s Care: Vision (3)

The two preceding postings about “Vision” have nailed down the fact that the Source of every vision is God.  In fact, if the vision comes from us, we’re in trouble—because, if nothing else, we’ll attribute something to God that may … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

In-Sight: The Way Life Feels

In addition to the personal “thank you” that I wrote yesterday concerning my retirement, I want to post a recent e-message by Richard Rohr that speaks both words of inspiration and challenge—and which, I think, should be an aspiration for … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Desert Wisdom: Praying With Tears

Bunge notes that a heart properly disposed to God will be easily moved to tears (p. 97).  There are several reasons for this. First, tears are a sign of great love.  Remember the times when you have crossed paths with … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom | 1 Comment

In-Sight: Thank You!

This past Wednesday, friends and colleagues of the seminary held a retirement luncheon for Jeannie and me.  I formally retire from Asbury Seminary on December 31st, after almost 30 years of service.  If you add the fact that Jeannie and … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 3 Comments

Listenings: Being Alone With God

As we continue looking at Henri Nouwen’s description of prayer, we must remember that he wrote as a Roman Catholic priest—that is, as someone who was daily immersed in multiple services where public prayer was the norm.  If we fail … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings | 3 Comments

First Day: “In Our End is Our Beginning”

A popular contemporary hymn has the phrase in it that I’m using for the title of this month’s first-day visit.  The year has gone by so quickly.  Here we are at Advent. Jeannie and I pray that you and your … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

The Holy Gospel: December 2, 2012 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 21:25-36 Meditation:  “Hoping Between Two Hopes” Our annual observance of Advent is a “present hope” that’s always couched between two hopes.  The first hope came with the birth of Jesus Christ, and was expressed by the grieving travelers … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel | 1 Comment