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Tag Archives: sin

Midday Prayer: Gratitude

DAvid FlemSilence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Luke 7:36-50 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” … “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my. Read more.

Midday Prayer: Gratitude

Silence, Stillness, and Centering before God (2 minutes) Scripture Reading – Luke 7:36-50 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” … “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”“You have judged correctly,” Jesus said. Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my. Read more.

Take the Log out of Our Own Eye (Pilgrimage Reflection #2)

Tony Campolo frequently points out that Matt.7:1-5 does not teach “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Instead, it means we are to: “Love the sinner and hate your own sin.” Thomas Merton made a similar point: “If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate those things in yourself, not in another.” Geri and I just completed our 3-city tour in New Zealand (EHS in partnership with the Willow Creek Association NZ). I was particularly struck by the generous spirit of believers on issues that are particularly contentious and divisive in the USA. Consider the following: Charismatic Baptists.  While I know of one or two pastors who might identify themselves as such, this is quite common in New Zealand. Women pastors and elders. We met many here on this tour. Learning from the multicultural, global church. The church I preached in last Sunday had 38 nations represented. I particularly. Read more.

The Boston Marathon Tragedy

Yesterday’s attack at the Boston Marathon was tragic.  What can we say to others? to ourselves? Where was God? I offer you two fragments that help me in times like this. 1. Be comfortable in being silent. Job’s three friends “wept aloud, tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was (Job 2:11-13). It is when they started talking that they got in trouble! Notice their presence “with him,’ i.e. Job, in his suffering. 2. The ultimate knowledge of God is to know that we do not know. Thomas Aquinas was a brilliant theologian who had written 20 very large volumes about who God is and how He works. On December 6, 1273 something happened to him that brought his teaching and writing to an end.. Read more.

When Criticized, Remember:

The Desert Fathers in the 3rd to the 5th century, following the tradition of Elijah, Moses, and John the Baptist, fled to the silence of the desert to purify their hearts in order to see God. Ultimately, they sought to save the world, and the church, from idolatry. Their wisdom has endured almost 2000 years. The next time you are criticized or slandered, remember these words from Abba John: “One day when he was sitting in front of the church, the brethren were consulting him about their thoughts. One of the old men who saw it became a prey to jealousy and said to him, ‘John, your vessel is full of poison.’ Abba John said to him, ‘That is very true, abba; and you have said that when you see only the outside, but if you were able to see the inside, too, what would you say then?’ How very true.

Lance Armstrong, Grace, and Repentance

Lance Armstrong’s public apology this past week drew severe criticism for being incomplete, tentative, evasive, and lacking in true remorse. Yes, he admitted some things, but he still seemed to be spinning. Most people were unimpressed. I related to Lance Armstrong and was impressed. Why? I understand something of the deep, cunning nature of sin in my own life and the long process and stages of repentance. I also understand a little about the challenge to distinguish the complex, interior movements of my own heart. Tyler Hamilton, his former friend and teammate, reminds us of his own journey in coming clean. He too lived years of denial and lies around his use of performance-enhancing drugs. “When I first started telling the truth, it came out like water trickling out of a faucet,” Hamilton said. He talked about his early stages of admitting his guilt — the pain, the incompleteness, and the slow and brutal. Read more.