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Tag Archives: love of God

Sabbath: Joining God by Playing

The Greek Fathers in the fourth century chose the word perichoerisis to describe the perfect, mutual indwelling of the Trinity. It literally means “dancing around.” I had a difficult time understanding what this had to do with me when I first studied it. But it was Jurgen Moltmann, the great German theologian, who opened up for me the notion of Sabbath as play in his book, Theology of Play. In Proverbs 8, he argued, we observe God “playing” when he made the world. “I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in humankind” (8:30-31). God informs Job that when he created the world, “the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). God is a dancing, playful God. There is a playful wastefulness built into God’s ways in that millions of seeds never germinate, leaves on trees. Read more.

Sabbath: Joining God by Playing

The Greek Fathers in the fourth century chose the word perichoerisis to describe the perfect, mutual indwelling of the Trinity. It literally means “dancing around.” I had a difficult time understanding what this had to do with me when I first studied it. But it was Jurgen Moltmann, the great German theologian, who opened up for me the notion of Sabbath as play in his book, Theology of Play. In Proverbs 8, he argued, we observe God “playing” when he made the world. “I was filled with delight day after day, rejoicing always in his presence, rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in humankind” (8:30-31). God informs Job that when he created the world, “the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy” (Job 38:7). God is a dancing, playful God. There is a playful wastefulness built into God’s ways in that millions of seeds never germinate, leaves on trees that turn. Read more.

"Quitting" in Asian Culture

Jiji Harner, from the Philippines, assisted me in my “I Quit” seminar in Singapore. I thank her for gathering these insights and helpful observations through her experience as a Filipina and her diverse experiences as a professional counselor. Quit being afraid of what others think…poses a much greater challenge in Asian Culture compared to Western culture.  You could see the puzzle in the faces of the participants. “If I quit being afraid of what others think – then who will I become?”  The desire to please and submit to authority has been inculcated in our minds. To undo this tendency is almost impossible because it is considered disrespectful, bad and ungodly to not do what those around you expect of you. To varying degrees Asian cultures tend to be other-directed, thinking: “How will others view my actions?” Instead of self-directed: “What do I think of my action?” People in Asian cultures tend to be. Read more.

Leadership, Heaven, and the Love of God

Bernard of Clairvaux (1090–1153 AD) was the greatest Christian leader in Western Christendom in the 12th century. He was a very active abbot with a “sphere of influence” over tens of thousands throughout Europe. I spent a good part of my annual retreat last week pondering just one of the insights from his sermons on the Song of Songs  — that our thirst for God, and His love, only increases through eternity!     All I could think of was what a contrast this was to the leadership seminars and books we promote in our day. Bernard writes that in heaven: We find satiety (i.e. the state of being full beyond the point of satisfaction) without the sense of having indulged too much. We find a desire to penetrate deeper that which is never quenched, yet which has no sense of unrest about it. We experience the eternal and incomprehensible desire that knows no. Read more.

Our Greatest Longing and "Goal"

Most Christians are more focused on the here-and-now than on the then-and there, i.e., our future life that is anchored in heaven (Heb.6:19). Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1647-1652) and his sculpture of Teresa of Avila. and the angel with the spear, portrays the following episode from her autobiography where she describes her encounter with God. We see in her a picture of our greatest longing: I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could. Read more.

Lamenting Leadership

What might it mean for the leadership of a church or ministry to embrace the lamenting of loss as part of her life together?  What might it mean for your life or mine? I have spent the last two weeks absorbed in the book of Lamentations, reading, meditating, pondering, and praying the words of Jeremiah as my own. The exercise was transformative and, yes, quite painful. What is most interesting is that in I have written chapters on grief and loss in two different books. Yet I felt like I was approaching the theme for the first time. What did God show me anew? 1. Both the love of God and suffering are foundational paths to genuine transformation. Suffering opens us up uniquely to God, ourselves and others, forcing us to slow down and reflect. I have missed transforming moments from God, both personally and for New Life, because of my unwillingness to remain. Read more.