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Tag Archives: listen

Calling the Church to Silence and Stillness

Silence and stillness are the two most radical spiritual disciplines that need to be injected into a paradigm shift of how we do discipleship in our churches. They are indispensable to slow our people down so they cultivate a first-hand, personal relationship with Jesus. My transformative experience with these disciplines took place in 2003 with a community of Trappist monks and the Taize Community in France.  I remember sitting at Taize, and struggling, during the 8-10 minutes of silence that was part of each morning, afternoon and evening prayer. Yet my relationship with Jesus has changed dramatically as I slowly learned to integrate silence and stillness into my daily life. Scriptures such as the following came alive: He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”  Ps. 46:10 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.  Ps. 37:7 Moses answered, “Do not be afraid… The Egyptians you see today you will. Read more.

Two Questions for Prayer

At New Life, we have been in a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer for the last two months. At the same time, for the past year, Geri and I have been working through the Ignatian Exercises. Out of this synergy, two questions have emerged for us. They have enabled us to get at the heart of God behind the Lord’s Prayer itself. I offer them to you to slowly ponder before the Lord: 1. What is God’s deepest desire for my life? 2. What is my deepest desire for me? What might be the implications of your answers for the way you lead and live today?

Two Questions for Prayer

At New Life, we have been in a sermon series on the Lord’s Prayer for the last two months. At the same time, for the past year, Geri and I have been working through the Ignatian Exercises. Out of this synergy, two questions have emerged for us. They have enabled us to get at the heart of God behind the Lord’s Prayer itself. I offer them to you to slowly ponder before the Lord: 1. What is God’s deepest desire for my life? 2. What is my deepest desire for me? What might be the implications of your answers for the way you lead and live today?

Follow the Thread

Take a few minutes to meditate on this lovely poem by William Stafford (1914–1993). It lays out the indispensable foundation for both the Christian life and great leadership. The Way It Is There’s a thread you follow. It goes amongthings that change. But it doesn’t change.People wonder about what you are pursuing.You have to explain about the thread.But it is hard for others to see.While you hold it you can’t get lost.Tragedies happen; people get hurtor die; and you suffer and get old.Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.You don’t ever let go of the thread.

Follow the Thread

Take a few minutes to meditate on this lovely poem by William Stafford (1914–1993). It lays out the indispensable foundation for both the Christian life and great leadership. The Way It Is There’s a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn’t change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can’t get lost. Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding. You don’t ever let go of the thread.

My Five Most Important Lessons – Leighton Ford

Leighton Ford has been one of my primary mentors for the last 32 years. He has walked with Christ for 80! Yes, 80 years.  I asked him over lunch recently his most important life lessons. Here they are: 1. Start with what you have been given (i.e. your raw material, what is in you through blood, your family/cultural history). 2. Listen to the voice most true to your heart (i.e. following the invisible thread of God in your life). 3. Be willing to listen to other voices too (e.g. secular novelists, new Christians as they talk about faith, theologians who differ from you). 4. Learn to be thankful for what seems thankless (e.g. pain, loss, betrayal, failure). You will become more than what you would have been otherwise. 5. Open your life to contemplate beauty and cultivate wonder.