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Tag Archives: words

Top 10 Quotes from Benedict's Rule: Part 1

Benedict (480-547 AD) lived in the time when the Roman Empire was disintegrating. He founded a monastery near Rome around “a little rule for beginners” now famously known as the “Rule of Benedict” (RB). I reread this short, powerful work regularly for my own grounding, both as a leader and a follower of  Jesus. Prayerfully consider the following, letting God speak to you through one or two of Benedict’s radical insights into discipleship/spiritual formation: 1. “This message is for you, then, if you are ready to give up your own will” (Prologue 3). 2. “Therefore we intend to establish a school for the Lord’s service” (Prologue 45). 3. “Above all, he (the abbot) must not show too great concern for the fleeting and temporal things of this world…but should keep in mind that he has undertaken the care of souls for whom he must give an account” (RB 2:33-34). 4. “Your way of acting should. Read more.

Not Giving to Others What We Have Received for Ourselves

Recently, three other New Life staff joined me in attending a Spiritual Formation Academy, bringing home with us varied treasures. Among those riches were the following words from Bernard of Clairvaux: “We must not give to others what we have received for ourselves; nor must we keep for ourselves that which we have received to spend on others. You fall into the latter error, if you possess the gift of eloquence or wisdom, and yet—through fear or sloth or false humility—neglect to use the gift for others’ benefit. And on the other hand, you dissipate and lose what is you own, if without right intention and from some wrong motive, you hasten to outpour yourself on others when your own soul is only half-filled.” – Great Devotional Classics: Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, ed. Douglas Steere (The Upper Room, 1961), p.24. I have been meditating on these lines for the past week. It is true: It may sound selfish. Read more.

Not Giving to Others What We Have Received for Ourselves

Geri, along with three other New Life staff, recently attended a Spiritual Formation Academy, bringing home with them varied treasures. Among those riches were the following words from Bernard of Clairvaux: “We must not give to others what we have received for ourselves; nor must we keep for ourselves that which we have received to spend on others. You fall into the latter error, if you possess the gift of eloquence or wisdom, and yet—through fear or sloth or false humility—neglect to use the gift for others’ benefit. And on the other hand, you dissipate and lose what is you own, if without right intention and from some wrong motive, you hasten to outpour yourself on others when your own soul is only half-filled.” — Great Devotional Classics: Selections from the Writings of Bernard of Clairvaux, ed. Douglas Steere (The Upper Room, 1961), p.24. I have been meditating on these lines for the past week.  It. Read more.

Prayer: Let Your Words Be Few

I have spoken way too many words in my prayers to God over the years. Fortunately, as C.S.Lewis reminds us, God retains the power and to refuse our prayers, knowing now easily we could destroy ourselves (God in the Dock, pp.106-107). Do not be quick with your mouth…God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few (Eccl.5:2). And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words (Matt. 6:7). I will stand at my watch and station myself at the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me (Habbakuk 2:1). Proverbs reminds us that even a fool is thought wise if he is silent. I am beginning to realize this applies to talking with Him as well.

God's Splendor as Sorrow – Final Reflection, Newtown, CT

Watching the funerals of the teachers and children this past week has been heart-wrenching for the nation. “Where is/was God?” we ask.  I close our week with words that serve me in these days. This excerpt is quoted from the Daily Office: Begin the Journey (WCA). Nicholas Wolterstorff, former theological professor at Yale, lost his twenty-five year old son to a mountain-climbing accident. He didn’t have any answers as to why God allowed such a tragedy. Who does? At one point, however, he came upon a great insight: “Through the prism of my tears I have seen a suffering God. It is said of God that on one can behold his face and live. I always thought this meant that no one can see his splendor and live. A friend said perhaps this meant that no one can see his sorrow and live. Or perhaps his sorrow is his splendor.”

Spiritual Warfare and Unhealthy, Immature Lives

I spent my first fifteen years as a Christian studying and absorbing some of the best books and materials around the subject of spiritual warfare. I have encountered demons in Sunday services and in one-to -one sessions. I have sat under people deep into the field of deliverance. Yes, we have plenty of material here about demons from our years here at New Life in Queens, NYC.  Yet something was deeply wrong — with me.  In some ways, an imbalanced understanding of warfare (powerful and true discipleship paradigm as it is), only reinforced some of my immature, unhealthy behaviors rather than liberate me for Christ. So as I approached Ephesians 6 on the armor of God to preach on it, I wanted to do one sermon on it and move on. I could not imagine what I would say with all the pathology and craziness that goes on around it in the church. (That is the great. Read more.