The following is a story based on the life of Abba Anthony from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers that I have pondered for years: Abba Anthony received a letter from Emperor Constantine to visit him in Constantinople. He wondered if he should go and asked Abba Paul who said, “If you go, you will be called Anthony, but if you stay here (in the desert alone), you will be called Abba Anthony.” What makes this story so important is that it speaks to the inner anchor of a life rooted in the love of God. We assume our overactive spirituality is normal. It is not. In fact, our tendency to seize more and more opportunities for God has destroyed many a good leader. Innumerable demands and distractions confront every one of us. Doors of new opportunities swing open before us – to speak, to strategize for further expansion, to intervene in ministry problems,. Read more.
Last week I attended and spoke at the Christian Community Development Association conference (CCDA) in Miami. Over 2000 people were in attendance. The work of John Perkins and CCDA, along with their commitment to racial reconciliation and relocation to live among the poor, helped shape my journey for Christ almost thirty years ago as well as our work here at New Life. Most leaders in attendance are very busy. I also became acutely aware of the growing impact of emotionally healthy spirituality around the country. Both realties concerned me. Then, as I sat in my hotel room one early morning, God came to me through the following: Abba Anthony received letter from emperor Constantine to visit him in Constantinople. He wondered if he should go and asked Abba Paul who said, “If you go, you will be called Anthony, but if you stay here (in desert alone), you will be called Abba Anthony. “ An “abba’ was someone recognized as. Read more.