Monthly Archives: January 2013

Gleanings: The Essence of Devotion

Mother Teresa captures the essence of the devotional life… “It is possible that I may not be able to keep my attention fully on God while I work, but God doesn’t demand that I do so. Yet I can fully … Continue reading

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Ministry Musings: Enter Into Community

We continue our exploration of selected practical aspects of discernment. Today, we move a third practice:  entering into community.  A look at the history of Christian spirituality shows that the saints did not practice discernment in isolation from others.  Neither … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings

Gleanings: Contemplation and Action

Richard Rohr offers this helpful insight… “It does not matter which side you start on, but eventually action and contemplation must meet and feed one another. When prayer is authentic it will always lead to actions of mercy; when actions … Continue reading

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Site Update: “Wesley’s Way” Debuts Next Week

Next Wednesday, February 6th, I’ll begin a new post here on Oboedire each Wednesday.  It will be entitled, “Wesley’s Way.”  The first post will be an introduction to the series.  I hope you’ll enjoy it.  Stay tuned! If you have … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates | 4 Comments

Connections: Talking in the Dark, Kindle Edition

Here’s an update on the post I sent earlier today announcing the new Kindle edition of Talking in the Dark Below is the Amazon Permalink you can use to go directly to the kindle edition…. http://amzn.com/B00B64OX5M

Posted in Connections

Connections: My Book Now a Kindle Book

I’m happy to tell you that Talking in the Dark: Praying When Life Doesn’t Make Sense is now available in a Kindle Edition. You can find it by going to amazon.com, and searching “books” using this identifier: talking in the … Continue reading

Posted in Connections

Desert Wisdom: No Particular Quantity

I grow fonder of the early Christians as I read more about them and read more of their actual writings.  Far from being “so heavenly minded that they’re no earthly good,” they rather reveal an earthiness and a desire to … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

In-Sight: A Time for Deep Sadness

This past Friday, USA Today included an article stating that ours is a culture “deluged by deception.”  Citing the recent Lance Armstrong incident, and combining it with other illustrations from celebrities, sports figures, TV reality shows, and politics, the article … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 2 Comments

Listenings: Moving from Sorrow to Joy

The movement from sorrow to joy is the way Henri Nouwen describes the essence of spiritual formation in midlife. With the movement into transparency (openness) in the first movement of our formation, we see that our lives are not what … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings | 1 Comment

The Holy Gospel: January 27, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 4:14-21 Meditation:  “The Fulfillment of Advent” Some have called Jesus’ announcement in Nazareth the fulfillment of Advent.  The baby born in the stable is now the Messiah commissioned in the synagogue. Jesus uses Isaiah’s words to define the … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

Gleanings: Christian Disposition

St. Francis de Sales sheds light on the way we should relate to others… “I would rather account to God for too great gentleness than for too great severity. Is not God all love? God the Father is the Father … Continue reading

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Benedict’s Rule: A Life of Humility

The history of Christian spirituality teaches that the sign of love is humility.  John Wesley was once asked to name the mark of “perfect love,” and he responded, “humility.” Esther de Waal shows us how the Rule of Benedict points … Continue reading

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Gleanings: Community–A Sign

A recent comment from Henri Nouwen reveals why narcissistic persons can never create or live in community… “Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves … Continue reading

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Ministry Musings: Offer Yourself to God

Romans 12:1 gives us the primary pre-requisite to knowing the will of God—offering ourselves to God as living sacrifices. This means that the fundamental practice in discernment is a heart surrendered to God.  Abandonment to God disposes our hearts to … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings

“New Pastors” Blog Begins February 1st

Remember that the NewPastors blog begins on Friday, February 1st. It is a response to requests from men and women who are “beginning” in ministry, and those who are experiencing a desire to “begin again” with fresh insights and inspiration. … Continue reading

Posted in Site Updates

Site Update: Correction

The “Ministry Musings” which posted yesterday afternoon was posted in error.  It was written for Thursday, January 31st.  It is the third element to be explored in the practical considerations surrounding discernment—the second of which appears tomorrow, January 24th.

Posted in Site Updates

Shepherd’s Care: Moving to NewPastors

Here’s the final reminder that the weekly (Wednesday) “Shepherd’s Care” post will now be found at the new blog:  NewPastors (www.newpastors.wordpress.com).  The first post in this new location will be Wednesday, February 6th.  NewPastors launches this Friday, February 1st at 1:00 … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Desert Wisdom: Unceasing Prayer (2)

I was all set to move ahead with Bunge’s material when a reading from Henri Nouwen’s Bread for the Journey (January 14) caught my attention.  He added a piece of insight which I want to pass on to you. We … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom | 1 Comment

Gleanings: Who Christians Are

Bishop Peter Chrysologus (c. 389-450) offered this definition of a Christian… “The Christian becomes the new skin that is ready to receive new wine, the wine of the Son’s wedding, crushed in the winepress of the cross.”

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Listenings: A Transition Point

If you are following along in our focal text (Nouwen’s Spiritual Formation), you will know that we have come to the end of his first phase of formation:  “Early Movements.” You may want to go back in the archives of … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: January 20, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  John 2:1-11 Meditation:  “When the Wine Runs Out” You can count on it, our wine is going to run out.  Our insights, our power, our plans, and all the rest that we make will not be enough. We can … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel | 3 Comments

Benedict’s Rule: A Way of Love

Esther de Waal brings us to the heart of the matter—the revelation that the Rule of Benedict is fundamentally a “way of love” (p. 44).  In Chapter 4:21 Benedict says it simply: “the love of Christ must come before all … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

Ministry Musings: Accept the Limitations

We turn to some of the practical considerations with respect to discernment.  None is more important that this:  we must accept that there are limitations to our ability to discern God’s will. God is not playing hide-and-seek with us, but … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings

Shepherd’s Care: Moving to a New Site

If you read the “First Day” posting on the 14th, you already know that the “Shepherd’s Care” weekly post will move to the new blogsite (NewPastors), when it begins on February 1st.  The first posting for “Shepherd’s Care” will be … Continue reading

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Desert Wisdom: Unceasing Prayer

We are never nearer to the disposition of prayer in general or to the mindset of the early Christians in particular than when connect with St. Paul’s words, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Bunge turns to an extended treatment … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

First Day: New Things on the Horizon

I’ve postponed our monthly “first-day” gathering until today, so I could have more time to develop the things I want to share with you.  Some exciting new things are on the horizon…. (1) On the main home page, you will … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Listenings: Dealing With Distractions

Nouwen concludes his exploration of prayer by facing something that happens to all of us when we pray—distractions (pp. 26-28).  He puts it simply, “While we are trying to be with God, we are busy thinking about all the plans … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings | 2 Comments

The Holy Gospel: January 13, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 3:15-17; 21-22 Meditation:  “Windows” When Jeannie and I travel to beautiful places, we ask for campsites (for our pop-up) or rooms that have great views.  If we’re in our camper, we don’t waste much time unzipping all the … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel | 1 Comment

Benedict’s Rule: Sapiential Theology

Once again, we are walking back over some territory previously covered in this blog, but we’re doing it using fresh insights from Esther de Waal in Seeking God. Today, we’re back to the term sapiential theology.  It’s theology that is … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

Ministry Musings: Gathering The Insights

Before we turn to more-practical aspects of discernment, let’s review what we have said so far…. (1) Discernment is a cultivation of a heart for God.  It is not in essence a technique.  Insight flows from inclination. (2) Becoming God’s … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings

Shepherd’s Care: On Hold for Now

The weekly “Shepherd’s Care” posting is still taking a break.  You’ll receive new information about it in the January “First Day” post (which is now scheduled for January 14th at 7:00 p.m.) and also on January 16th at the regularly-scheduled … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care

Desert Wisdom: The “Water” of Humility

The early Christians did not believe tears ceased when repentance occurs (p. 102).  They continue to flow, but now from a different source.  They do not come from the pool of sin, but from the Headwaters of humility, which God … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom

In-Sight: The Nature of Experience

As a Christian in the Wesleyan tradition, I am glad that I have been given a theology that includes an emphasis on “experience.”  Wesley didn’t invent this; in fact, every theological tradition has it in one way or another.  There … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 2 Comments

Listenings: Just Be With Jesus

Nouwen asks the question we all have asked at one time or another, “What do you do once you have set aside a time and a place to be alone with God?” (p. 25). His answer is four words:  “Just … Continue reading

Posted in Listenings

The Holy Gospel: January 6, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Matthew 2:1-12 Meditation:  “Perception” This year, we have the privilege of celebrating Epiphany on Sunday.  We will, like the magi, make our way to the “cradle of Jesus” (the sanctuary) and offer Christ our gifts, the ultimate gift being … Continue reading

Posted in The Holy Gospel

In-Sight: Finding the Bridge

One of the blessings and challenges of the Gospel is to keep us from falling prey to either/or thinking. Jesus’ life is an example as he resisted the temptation to side with either the religious establishment of the marginalized masses.  … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Benedict’s Rule: Listen! Then Do Something About It

Having laid the foundation of the centrality of Christ in his Rule, St. Benedict points to the primary means by which we establish his Lordship in our lives:  listening. If you’ve followed Oboedire for any length of time, you have … Continue reading

Posted in Benedict's Rule

In-Sight: Let Them See You Sweat

If you follow Oboedire, you know that one of my maxims (that doesn’t hold true in every imaginable case) is that the spiritual life is often the direct opposite of a culturally-espoused value, slogan, or conviction. In relation to our … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Ministry Musings: What If I Get It Wrong?

We’ve completed our review of what discernment is not, and what it is—even though there is more we could have said and more we could have explored. We’re at a place where we can ask a very important question, “What … Continue reading

Posted in Ministry Musings | 1 Comment

In-Sight: A Way to Read the Gospels

I am always happy to find a new way to read the Bible—a way that opens the Word of God in a fresh way.  Richard Rohr recently offered me such a way in one of his e-meditations…. When you read … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight

Shepherd’s Care: On Hiatus

The weekly “Shepherd’s Care” posting is on hiatus for a while.  A larger discernment process is under way about ministry-related material, and the “Shepherd’s Care” category may merge into it. Each Wednesday, I’ll provide you with an update, so you … Continue reading

Posted in Shepherd's Care | 1 Comment

First Day: Postponed Until January 14

Hello, Everyone! The posting break that’s just ended has left me unprepared to write the traditional “First Day” post for our Oboedire family.  Some important things are in the works, and I want to be sure I take the time … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

In-Sight: A Gift From Thomas Merton

A couple of weeks ago, I received a gift from Thomas Merton—a gift he gave me through his journals.  I want to pass the gift on to you as we begin 2013. The gift of fluctuation. When I stepped back … Continue reading

Posted in In-Sight | 3 Comments

Desert Wisdom: The “Water” of Repentance

Bunge returns to the overarching theme of this section in his book—the gift of tears.  If the desert is the place where true repentance occurs, then part of God’s “water” to revive our souls is the tears we shed in … Continue reading

Posted in Desert Wisdom | 1 Comment