Stopping 3-4 times a day and cultivating rhythms to be with God each day out of which we serve Him is foundational to our staff life at New Life. The following is Geri’s midday prayer handout that she led the staff through this past Wednesday. Savor it before the Lord during one of your Offices (pauses) during the day. There are actually five movements of Lectio Divina: Silentio–Preparing to be read by God. Lectio – Ingesting the Word Meditatio – Wrestling with God Oratio –Letting God know how we feel Contemplatio – Abandoning ourselves to God in love Incarnatio – The Word becoming flesh in us. Lets now, together do each of these overlapping phases togetherSilentio 1 min. Lectio – Ingesting the Word My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed myself and quieted my ambitions. . Read more.
Geri and I recently returned from a 15 day trip to Malaysia and Singapore. We went to offer emotionally healthy spirituality, but we received, perhaps, more than we gave. The following are a few gifts we received: 1. The equipping of marketplace leaders is a critical kingdom strategy for the 21st century. The real fruit of our work in the church, I believe, is how our people serve Christ at work, school, and in their communities. My vision was stretched in profound ways on this trip. Edward Ong, builder of the Sutera Hotel and Resort in Sabah, has 2000 employees. He initiates business in response to the voice of God, hires intercessors to pray for his guests and staff, and models integrity. Take a look at this trailer: 2. The growth of the church in Asia is a powerful, rising tide. I have read, for years, how the growth of the church globally is. Read more.
Lauren Winner, herself an author of a book on Sabbath, says that in spite of a bumper crop of books on Sabbath observances in the last ten years or so, “it’s unclear . . . that many people are implementing them.” A Jewish young-adult organization called Reboot launched a “Sabbath manifesto” offers us the following ten recommendations that I appreciate: 1. Avoid technology. 2. Connect with loved ones. 3. Nurture your health. 4. Get outside. 5. Avoid commerce. 6. Light candles. 7. Drink wine. 8. Eat bread. 9. Find silence. 10. Give back. I think Abraham Heschel had it right: He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to. Read more.
Two weeks ago, I reviewed with our New Life Fellowship pastoral staff team our “Rule of Life.” First drawn up in 2007, it has been the abiding document to order our life together for over five years. I read through the document paragraph by paragraph, giving history, context, and theology around important sections. Our new staff asked many very good questions. I walked away convinced, more than ever, of how important, and powerful, this tool is for each church leadership team. How can we lead others to transformation in Christ if we are not experiencing transformation ourselves? I share this document with you with the hope and prayer you will consider thinking through some of these issues for yourself and your leadership team. I invite you to read the entire Pastoral Staff Rule of Life on our website. I am including here a few paragraphs that are particularly significant. NLF Pastoral Staff Rule of. Read more.
We recently hosted a Trappist monk at New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, NYC named Father Williams . What made him such a gift to us was not his eloquence, his well-crafted sermons, his cleverness, or capacity as a leader. His prayer life, his walk with Jesus, his interior life with God built over many years pulled us toward Jesus in a very different way. It was transformative to be around him. He spoke as one “with authority,” (even though he uses an I-Pad!) The following are a few of my personal summary insights out of our time together that I have been reflecting on: There is no greater gift in the universe than to have a desire for the Triune God. Loving God for His own sake is God’s heart for us. God takes us where we are, not where we are not. Contemplation is awe and wonder in the face of God.. Read more.
During my Sabbatical I slowly read a thought provoking book entitled “A Book of Silence” by Sara Maitland that deepened my understanding of silence and its implications for my own life. I remain convinced that silence, along with solitude, remains one of the most indispensable and neglected spiritual practices today. The following are her insights (out of her journey into silence) that I noted in my journal: 1. Silence has a positive power and presence. It is more than simply “the absence of all noise and words.” It has at least eight effects: 1) intensification of our physical sensations; 2) stripping of our public self as “silence un-skins us”; 3) the hearing of voices; 4) connectedness; 5) a boundary confusion with time; 6) an exhilarating sense of peril; 7) bliss or ineffability and; 8) playful joy. 2. God has created many types of silence. The silence of the snow or the sun or the. Read more.