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November 18, 2007

Comments

Mike O'Donnell

Practing the Presence of God.

Praying with bigger imagination.

Looking at the world through bigger eyes.

These are the things I need to be deliberate about.

Miss you, friend.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Wes Roberts

...thank you for this eloquent reminder!

...see you in the AM for some radical moments!!

...and we did get up the mountain together under your careful and deliberate leadership...thanx!!!

...August 23, 2008 there is another mountain waiting for us and a few others. You game?

Andrew

Hey Ryan,

Enjoyed your post - as always. A few more thoughts about our being intentional as a community. You are right in that fear is what restrains us. Fear that people might see what we already know to be true about ourselves - we are greedy, lustful, full of pride, envious, you name it. If I can maintain the illusion with others that I have my life together, then such sudo relationships do not require much of me. The problem lies in our perceptions about ourselves vs. how God sees us. Isn't it ironic, however, that God uses community (not sudo community) to reflect the grace that He already affords us! What a wonderful thing to have someone see your baggage and yet see the wonder and glory beyond all that! I think such grace can only be realized in the context of a loving and honest community or in the marriage.
During this season, a greater part of my heart wants to be more intentional towards community. What does it mean for me to continue to put my heart out there and risk with others? I used to think it was supposed to be towards like-minded individuals. While I see wisdom in that, was that what Jesus did - align Himself with others who acted like, lived like, etc. Him? I think not. So much of my thoughts and beliefs are centered around ME that when truth becomes revealed, I begin to question whether or not the truth is really the truth!
A thought I had for you, Lou, and others concerning this idea of radical other-centeredness (the Gospel):
"Until that day, everything had been different. They (the disciples) could remain in obscurity, pursuing their work as the quiet in the land, observing the law and waiting for the comming of the Messiah. But now he has come, and his call goes forth. Faith can no longer mean sitting still and waiting - they must rise and follow him. The call frees them from all earthly ties (my insertion: 401k, reputations, careers, etc.) and binds them to Jesus Christ alone. They must burn their boats and plunge into absolute insecurity (my insertion: I love this!) in order to learn the demand and the gift of Christ. Had Levi stayed at his post, Jesus might have been his present help in trouble, but not the Lord of his whole life. In other words Levi would never have learnt to believe. The new situation must be created, in which is possible to believe on Jesus as God incarnate; that is the impossible situation in which EVERYTHING (emphasis mine) is staked solely on the word of Jesus. Peter had to leave the ship and risk his life on the sea, in order to learn both his own weakness and the almighty power of his Lord. If Peter had not taken the risk, he would never have learnt the meaning of faith. Before he can believe, the utterly impossible and ethically irresponsible situation on the waves of the sea must be displayed. The road to faith passes through obedience to the call of Jesus. Unless a definate step is demanded, the call vanishes into thin air, and if men imagine that they can follow Jesus without taking this step, they are deluding themselves like fanatics." Bonhoeffer

Jason Nate

Love the comment on the right from Nouwen about the Christian leader of the future. Convicting, but encouraging!

Ryan

Andrew,
I gotta be brief for now, but thanks for that Bonhoeffer. I need to ponder it awhile. I hope your well.
Do Kiwi's celebrate Thanksgiving holiday?
Thanks for stopping by.
Grace and Peace!

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Words make Worlds...

  • "It becomes so clear to me as I grow older that people who change, and keep changing, are the only people who grow up." -Richard Rohr
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” -Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be." -John Wooden
  • "Receptivity without confrontation leads to a bland neutrality that serves nobody. Confrontation without receptivity leads to an oppressive aggression which hurts everybody." - Henri Nouwen
  • "Spirituality is not a formula; it is not a test. It is a relationship. Spirituality is not about competency; it is about intimacy. Spirituality is not about perfection; it is about connection. The way of spirituality begins where we are now in the mess of our lives." -Mike Yaconelli
  • "But that doesn’t mean community is easy. For everything in this world tries to pull us away from community, pushes us to choose ourselves over others, to choose independence over interdependence, to choose great things over small things, to choose going fast alone over going far together." -Shane Claiborne
  • "Nothing that we despise in the other man is entirely absent from ourselves. We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or don’t do, and more in light of what they suffer." Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create." Albert Einstein
  • "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
  • "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." -Dr. Martin Luther King
  • "Our relationship with each other is the criterion the world uses to judge whether our message is truthful--- Christian community is the final apologetic." -Francis Schaefer
  • "It is not allowable to love the Creation according to the purposes one has for it, any more than it is allowable to love one’s neighbor in order to borrow his tools." Wendell Berry
  • "All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers. Each one owes infinitely more to the human race than the particular country in which he was born." -Francois Fenelon
  • "Ministry cannot be about maintenance, but it is about gathering, about embrace, about welcoming home all sorts of and conditions of people; home is a place for mother tongue, of basic soul food, of old stories told and treasured, of being at ease, known by name, belonging without qualifying for membership." -Walter Brueggemann
  • "Many poets are not poets for the same reason that many religious men are not saints: they never succeed in being themselves. They never get round to being the particular poet or particular monk that they are intended to be by God." "In order to become myself I must cease to be what I always thought I wanted to be." -Thomas Merton
  • "God spoke to Balaam through his ass, and God's been speaking through them ever since. So, if God chooses to speak through you don't think to highly of yourself." -Rich Mullins
  • "We must become holy not because we want to feel holy but because Christ must be able to live his life fully in us." Mother Teresa
  • "I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self." Henri Nouwen

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