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Tag Archives: kind

A Prayer for a Passionate Marriage

Last night Geri and I shared God’s vision for Christian marriage (over against secular marriage) with our New Life FIRM small group of 18 people. Among other things, we talked about the necessity of bathing our marriages in prayer if our relationship is to become what God intends. Only God’s power and strength, accessed through prayer, can transform us so that our marriage vocations might become “signs and wonders” of the kingdom of God on earth. I promised our group that I would post the prayer Geri and I pray, separately and together, each day. I often include it in my morning Daily Office. Meditate on it. You may want to memorize it. I don’t necessarily pray these exact words each day, but the rich theology and vision contained here keeps me anchored in God’s high vision for a uniquely Christian marriage. (This is adapted from a pamphlet distributed by the Pastoral and Matrimonial. Read more.

A Prayer for a Passionate Marriage

Last night Geri and I shared God’s vision for Christian marriage (over against secular marriage) with our New Life FIRM small group of 18 people. Among other things, we talked about the necessity of bathing our marriages in prayer if our relationship is to become what God intends. Only God’s power and strength, accessed through prayer, can transform us so that our marriage vocations might become “signs and wonders” of the kingdom of God on earth. I promised our group that I would post the prayer Geri and I pray, separately and together, each day. I often include it in my morning Daily Office. Meditate on it. You may want to memorize it. I don’t necessarily pray these exact words each day, but the rich theology and vision contained here keeps me anchored in God’s high vision for a uniquely Christian marriage. (This is adapted from a pamphlet distributed by the Pastoral and Matrimonial Renewal. Read more.

The Relaxed Jesus

If you had one word to describe Jesus, what would it be? Loving. Kind. Compassionate. Powerful. Generous. It is true that many words might fit. Dallas Willard, one of the most influential thinkers on spiritual formation in our day, offered his own word — relaxed. While the author who recounts this story felt the word unhurried was a better descriptor of Jesus, I believe Willard got it right.(See Alan Fadling’s very good book, An Unhurried Life). When you are centered in God, you are relaxed. Imagine yourself today leading and carrying your responsibilities today out of a relaxed inner posture. It may be the best gift you and I offer to those around us.

Staying Grounded

Last year, a large psychiatric hospital in Queens opened up a small bookstore a few blocks from my house. The employees are “severely mentally ill adult patients.” I initially began going to buy cheap, second-hand books for $2.00 or less. But I have found myself returning more and more. Why? I finally got it. I return for my soul. I love being with the staff. They are kind, unassuming, and unpretentious. I finally understood why Henri Nouwen became a chaplain for mentally and physically challenged adults at L’Arche. His words below are worth reading slowly. “The first thing that struck me when I came to live in a house for mentally handicapped people was their liking or disliking me had absolutely nothing to do with any of the many useful things I had done until then. Since nobody could read my books, they could not impress anyone, and since most of them never went to. Read more.

Colin Powell's 13 Rules of Leadership

I’ve always been fascinated by Colin Powell. Four-Star General, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Security Advisor, Commander of US Army Forces. Yet he grew up in the Bronx, NY and attended City College. I recently read his memoir,It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership where he talked about lessons learned. I appreciated his simplicity, discipline, and wisdom in a number of areas. The following are his “13 Rules to Live By” that he keeps on his desk: 1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. 2. Get mad, then get over it. 3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. 4. It can be done! 5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it. 6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. 7.. Read more.

Leading Yourself

I received a letter recently that I wrote to myself after a 3 day retreat over seven months ago.  It reminded me again that I am the most difficult person for me to lead! The following are a few rich nuggets of gold from this short letter: 1. Remember what you are all about. (In my case, it was to take 30-50% of my time to write). 2. Guard your spirit from trifles, fast from overconsuming, and forget what others think. (See “The Woodcarver” story). 3. Feel your own weight and density. There is no need to wear other people’s faces (See the poem, “Now I Become Myself”). 4. Go to the fields and be lovely. Come back when you are through with blooming. (See the poem entitled, “Camas Lillies). 5. Stay the course and be kind to yourself. For a free sermon I preached on what it means to live a life where. Read more.