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Tag Archives: biblical truth

Rebuked by the Buddhists

The front page of Time magazine last week focused on the international interest in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. Based on Buddhist practices, it has proven to help people reduce stress in our frenetic world. I attended a seminar on this years ago and was saddened how few people associated Christians and churches with contentment, joy, and “centeredness” in life. The tradition of “centering” is rich in our biblical, Christian tradition. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness in God’s presence. Elijah was a prophet of the desert who learned to hear God in silence. John the Baptist’s ministry flowed from the quietness of the desert. Jesus had rhythms of activity and aloneness. John Cassian wrote extensively on meditating on Scripture in “mindfulness” before the Lord in his Conferences. The desert fathers and monastics, through history, have continued this tradition. The ministry of Contemplative Outreach, founded by Trappist monks in the 1960′s, was an effort. Read more.

Silence

Today we will launch our first “Silent” sermon at New Life. I will introduce the theme of how God met Elijah in “the sound of sheer silence” (1 Kings 19:10-18) for 5 minutes. This will be followed by a 25 minute power point slide show of images, quotes, and guided silence. We then will close it out with a few words and be dismissed in silence. (www.newlifefellowship.org). What better way to teach a biblical truth than actual experiencing it? I have been preparing for this by reading and gathering insights about silence for the past few months. I am convinced, more than ever, that silence remains one of the most powerful ways God transforms us.  As Kathleen Norris once said, “The ordinary, daily practice of silence is a prophetic stance in our world of noise. It is one of the greatest gifts we can offer the world.” The following are a few rich quotes around silence for you to ponder that. Read more.

Surrender to the Inner, Downward Journey

I spent the last week and a half pondering, once again, the profound lessons buried in Jesus’ testings in the desert (Luke 4:1-14). His internalization of biblical truths in the desert enabled Him, in an extraordinary way, to walk through his fellow-townspeople who attempted to kill him by throwing him off a cliff (Lk. 4:28-9).  And to think these were his friends, neighbors, clients, cousins! What will it take for us to be so differentiated, so clear about who we truly are in Christ, and His purpose for lives that we too can walk through people who have agendas for our life and may not approve of us? I think the answer lies in a surrender to an inner, downward journey. Without this commitment to look at the hardest realities of our lives, I think it is inevitable that we will project them outwards. We will make other people into monsters when the real. Read more.