Daily Riches: When the Sacred Becomes Vulgar (F. W. Robertson, Thomas Merton, Bernard of Clairvaux and Brennan Manning)

“There are transfiguration moments, bridal hours of the soul; and not easily forgiven are those who would utter the secrets of its high intercourse with their Lord. There is a certain spiritual indelicacy in persons that cannot perceive that not everything which is a matter of experience and knowledge is therefore a subject for conversation. You cannot discuss such subjects without vulgarising them.” F. W. Robertson

“All speech is impertinent, it destroys the simplicity of that nothingness before God by making it seems as if it had been ‘something.’” Thomas Merton

“… they are readier to speak than to listen, eager to teach that which they do not know.” Bernard of Clairvaux

“Do the truth quietly without display.” Brennan Manning

“The kingdom of God is not a matter of talk
but of power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • James insists that a man must “keep a tight reign on his tongue” (James 1:26), and that seems particularly difficult in this area where the ego cries out for attention and admiration. Do you find yourself sharing your intimate experience with the Lord as a “matter of conversation?” If so, take some time to consider your motivations.
  • After a conversation, are you sometimes convicted that you were “eager to teach that which you do not know?” If so, again, what does this say about you?
  • Merton says that talking about the “simplicity” of something wonderful between us and God “destroys” it. That’s what’s at stake here – what Robertson calls a “vulgarising.” It’s not hard to see this shortcoming in ourselves and others. That makes this a good time to remember how patient and understanding God is with us in our weaknesses.

Jesus’ family were confused by him because he acted “in secret”, and that made no sense for someone who “wants to become a public figure.” (John 7:3-8) Abba, break my ego-driven want “to become a public figure”, and teach me not to take those rare and precious moments of intimacy between us, and vulgarize them in self-promotion.


For More: Dancing in the Water of Life by Thomas Merton


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Bringing Our Anxiety to Worship (Augustine)

“Let us sing alleluia here on earth, while we still live in anxiety…. Why do we now live in anxiety? Can you expect me not to feel anxious when I read: Is not man’s life on earth a time of trial? …when the words still ring in my ears: Watch and pray that you will not be put to the test? …when there are so many temptations here below that prayer itself reminds us of them…? Do you want me to feel secure when I am daily asking pardon for my sins, and requesting help in time of trial? Because of my past sins I pray: Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and then, because of the perils still before me, I immediately go on to add: Lead us not into temptation. How can all be well with people who are crying out with me: Deliver us from evil? And yet, brothers, while we are still in the midst of this evil, let us sing alleluia to the good God who delivers us from evil. … God’s praises are sung both [in heaven] and here, but here they are sung by those destined to die, there, by those destined to live for ever; here they are sung in hope, there, in hope’s fulfillment; here they are sung by wayfarers, there, by those living in their own country.  …sing as wayfarers do – sing, but continue your journey.” Augustine

 “Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day.”  1 Chronicles 16:23

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • As Christians, we have tasted of security, peace and eternal life, but they are not yet fully ours. Even so, we sing to remind ourselves that a better day is coming. Do you sense that you’re “not yet” what you should be? At the same time, have you experienced the “already” – that foretaste of what’s to come?
  • Does your worship express “hope” that looks forward to the day when there will be no more “not yet?”
  • Will you determine to be one who “sings then, but keeps on going” – living faithfully “as wayfarers do” in this time of waiting?

Abba, in worship encourage us as we wait for the salvation of all things.


For More: Augustine of Hippo – Selected Writings


Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Pray More Wisely, Pray More Wildly (Ted Loder, Arundhati Roy and Dawna Markova)

“Disturb my indifference,

Expose my practiced phoniness,
Shatter my brittle certainties,
Deflate my arrogant sophistries,
And craze me into a holy awareness
of my common humanity
And so, of my bony, bloody need
To love mercy,
Do justly,
And walk humbly with you – and with myself,
Trusting that whatever things it may be too late for,
Prayer is not one of them.”
Ted Loder

“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.” Arundhati Roy

“I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible; to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance, to live so that which came to me as seed goes to the next as blossom, and that which came to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.” Dawna Markova

“The Lord receives my prayer.” Psalm 6:9

Moving From the Head to the Heart

Only the first of these portions is technically a prayer or, it seems, explicitly Christian. Nevertheless, all three readings strike me as useful resources for praying more wisely, and thus more wildly (or vice versa) as a person of faith. Perhaps this is one of those times when we can learn something from those outside our usual circles of influence:

  • Notice the verbs in Loder’s prayer. Are you’re prayers sometimes “wild” like that? If not, is there good reason to hold back?
  • Notice the values in Roy’s powerful words of determination. Are your prayers often “wise” like that? Can you focus on one phrase and pray from that?
  • Notice Markova’s testimony. Are your prayers filled with such longing? abandon? purpose? Can you lift up your longings to God in prayer right now?

Abba, teach me to pray better than I pray.


For More: Guerrillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle by Ted Loder


Thanks for reading!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Sacrament of the Present Moment (Edwina Gateley and Evelyn Underhill)

“This is my prayer—

That, though I may not see,
I be aware
Of the Silent God
Who stands by me.
That, though I may not feel,
I be aware
Of the Mighty Love
Which doggedly follows me.
That, though I may not respond,
I be aware
That God—my Silent, Mighty God,
Waits each day.
Quietly, hopefully, persistently.
Waits each day and through each night
For me.
For me—alone.”
Edwina Gateley “Silent God”

“God is always coming to you in the Sacrament of the Present Moment.
Meet and receive Him there with gratitude in that sacrament.”
Evelyn Underhill

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
 Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.”
Psalm 139:7-10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • There is a “Silent God Who stands by” you, and a “Mighty Love Which doggedly follows” you. What emotions arise in your soul when you let that sink in?
  • In his infinity and ubiquity, God is able to “wait each day, quietly, hopefully, persistently …each day and through each night …For me–alone” – and at the same time for you, and for every person made in God’s image. How are you responding to God’s waiting hopefully, quietly – persistently for you?
  • Do you really believe that “God is always coming to you in the … present moment?” Can you focus, not on the past or the present, but on being present to God in this moment now, and as this day unfolds, through the moments of the day as they succeed each other?

Abba, help me learn to structure my days so that I return again and again to these life-giving concepts. And thank you for your nearness, your persistence, your dogged, loyal love. Thank you that you hold me fast.


For More: There Was No Path So I Trod One by Edwina Gateley


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. Thanks!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: I See Men Like Trees Walking (Henri Nouwen, Ram Dass, Thomas Merton and Jean Vanier)

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight ….And you look at the tree and you allow it. …You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this, or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.” Ram Dass20131018_164446

“We spend an enormous amount of energy making up our minds about other people. Not a day goes by without somebody doing or saying something that evokes in us the need to form an opinion about him or her. We hear a lot, see a lot, and know a lot. The feeling that we have to sort it all out in our minds and make judgments about it can be quite oppressive. The desert fathers said that judging others is a heavy burden, while being judged by others is a light one. Once we can let go of our need to judge others, we will experience an immense inner freedom. Once we are free from judging, we will be also free for mercy.” Henri Nouwen

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.” Thomas Merton

“To love someone is … to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say, ‘You’re beautiful. You’re important.'” Jean Vanier

“Or how can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’
when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?” – Jesus

Moving From Head to Heart

  • God’s job is to judge, and ours is to love. Can you leave the judging to God? could that free you to love? free you “for mercy?”
  • Can you start by letting others be “perfectly themselves?” If not, why not?
  • How effective are you at revealing to others that they’re “beautiful … important?”

Abba, help me love well by appreciating instead of evaluating.


Thanks for reading! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)


Daily Riches: The Upside-Down Kingdom (Peter Scazzero)

“Here’s the way God’s kingdom works: it’s ‘lose your life, and you’ll find it.’ It’s ‘the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ It’s ‘life comes out of death, new beginnings out of endings.’ The kingdom of God is ‘in giving we receive.’ It’s ‘when we rest God works.’ It’s ‘weakness is the way to power.’ …It’s ‘the humble who will be exalted, it’s those who exalt themselves – they’re going to be humbled.’ In fact, the meek are going to inherit the earth. It’s the broken, it’s the meek, it’s power under control – in fact God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith (James 2). God’s kingdom is small, it’s little. Jesus said it’s like a mustard seed. You can barely see it. It’s imperceptible.  …It’s the weakest and the least among us. God says, ‘There’s my kingdom. They’re indispensable to our whole existence. The kingdom of God identifies with the unimpressive, the insignificant, the orphan, the widow, the elderly, the poor, the sick – these are the ones, these are what you’re all about.’ … We want ‘God’s dream’ [His kingdom], but we don’t want this! And we end up running after the wrong things.”   Peter Scazzero

“No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love …
he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 33:16-20 

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Jesus’s Kingdom values aren’t the values of our world. Are they increasingly your values, or are you “running after the wrong things?”
  • Do you have others that share these counter-cultural, counter-intuitive values with you, so you can encourage one another on the spiritual journey?
  • When you go to church, are you taught to embrace these values? If you have a ministry, do they inform it?

Abba, help me more and more to see through the constant noise and nonsense of this world for what it is.


For More: Thy Kingdom Come (podcast) by Peter Scazzero


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God, and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate it! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Alone with God (E. M. Bounds, Simone Weil, Vincent de Paul, and Brennan Manning)

“God’s acquaintance is not made hurriedly. He does not bestow His gifts on the casual or hasty comer and goer. To be much alone with God is the secret of knowing Him and of influence with Him.” E. M. Bounds

“He who hurries, delays the things of God.” Vincent de Paul

“Waiting patiently in expectation is the foundation of the spiritual life.” Simone Weil

[comparing contemplative prayer and water poured into a basin] “It takes time for the water to settle. Coming to interior stillness requires waiting. …In solitary silence we listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls us the beloved. God speaks to the deepest strata of our souls, into our self-hatred and shame, our narcissism, and takes us through the night into the daylight of His truth….” Brennan Manning

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress where I will not be shaken.”
Psalm 62:5,6

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Could hurry in your life be working against or “delaying the things of God?” In his love for you, does God have you in a holding pattern so that you learn “the foundation of the spiritual life?”
  • If “interior stillness requires waiting”, then time alone with God must be unhurried. In your time with God, are you taking enough time for the “water to settle?”
  • When you “wait quietly before God”, do you have a sense of confident “expectation?” If not, why not, when this is clearly what, in God’s love, he wants for you?
  • When we wait, we make room for God to be God – in our lives, our situation, in the lives of others. Are you leaving room for God to be God in your life?

Abba, I don’t want to hurry my way through my days, or in my relationship with you. Help me to wait well before you, and then in my days – for answers to prayers, for solutions, for others to change – and for change in me.


For More: Power Through Prayer by E. M. Bounds


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. Thank you!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)




Daily Riches – Loving Well (Anthony de Mello) *

What does it mean to love?

It means to see a person, a situation, a thing as it really is,
not as you imagine it to be. And to give it the response it deserves.
You can hardly be said to love what you do not even see.
And what prevents us from seeing?
Our conditioning. Our concepts, our categories, our prejudices, our projections,
the labels that we have drawn from our cultures and our past experiences.”
Anthony de Mello

[Jesus said] “… you know the commandments: ‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. You must not cheat anyone. Honor your father and mother.’  ‘Teacher,’ the man replied, ‘I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.’ Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him.” Mark 10:17-21a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  •  Think about it. Why do you think Jesus felt “genuine love for the man?” (v. 21) Was it only because of who Jesus was, or was it also something about the man?
  • What keeps you from seeing people “as they really are?” Is it one of the factors de Mello mentions, or something else? Can you name it?
  • What do you suppose would change if you made a point to take the trouble to see each person as they really are?

Abba, I know I judge people unfairly and superficially all the time. Help me to see and love others as Jesus did, with understanding and grace.


For More: The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello


The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to provide you with something of uncommon value each day 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: An Undivided Life (Richard Rohr)

“Jesus tells us to give alms, and fast, and pray secretly…. These are the three religious disciplines honored by most historical religions. Whenever you perform a religious action publicly, it enhances your image as a good, moral person and has a strong social payoff. Jesus’ constant emphasis is on interior religiosity, on purifying motivation and intention. He tells us to clean the inside of the dish instead of being so preoccupied with cleaning the outside, with looking good (Matthew 23:25-26). The purifying of our intention and motivation is the basic way that we unite our inner and our outer worlds. (Please read that twice!) All through the spiritual journey, we should be asking ourselves, ‘Why am I doing this? Am I really doing this for God, for truth, or for others? Or am I doing it for hidden reasons?’ The spiritual journey could be seen as a constant purification of motive until I can finally say, ‘I have no other reason to do anything except love of God and love of neighbor. And I don’t even need people to know this.'” Richard Rohr

” … and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:18

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you “preoccupied … with looking good” at church? If so, why? Are you as good as you look? Do you feel free to be transparent?
  • Do you ask, “Why am I doing this?” Are you aware of your ego’s need for a “strong social payoff?” of your “hidden reasons?” Becoming aware is the first step to uniting your “inner and outer worlds.”
  • Sometimes I think, “I hope someone will share this about me at my funeral.” I don’t mind if it’s a secret until then – after all, I want to be (and be known!) as a modest person. I don’t feel the need to advertise what few things might make me look good … but, I do want credit, even if I’m dead! Is it just me, or can you relate?

Abba, I admit I want credit. I admit I want to be admired. I admit that, even though your approval should be everything, I seem to need more. Help me to focus less on what others think of me and more on what others need from me.


For More: Francis: Subverting the Honor/Shame System [CD] by Richard Rohr


I appreciate your interest in my blog!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: A Weariness of Soul (Christina Rossetti, Wendell Berry, Thomas Aquinas and Rainer Maria Rilke)

“O Lord, who art as the Shadow of a great Rock in a weary land,

who beholds Your weak creatures
weary of labor,
weary of pleasure,
weary of hope deferred,
weary of self;
in Your abundant compassion, and unutterable tenderness,
bring us, I pray You, into Your rest. Amen.”
– Christina Rossetti

“The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.

Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours. As it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.”
– Wendell Berry

“Grant to me, above all things that can be desired, to rest in You, and in You to have my heart at peace. You are the true peace of the heart, You are its only rest; outside of You all things are hard and restless. In this very peace, that is, in You, the one Chiefest Eternal Good, I will sleep and rest. Amen.” – Thomas Aquinas

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”  
Jesus in Matthew 11:28-29

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you  “weary of labor, weary of pleasure, weary of hope deferred, weary of self? Are you just profoundly weary in your very soul?
  • For you, is the life of faith like a well in you springing up, after refreshing you, to bless others – or are you simply gritting your teeth and “doing what has to be done?” (and asking God to bless)
  • Can you allow yourself to “die into that rest” that Jesus offers “and find the rest for your soul” that he promises? Can you “learn from” him how to rest? I know what this means I must do. What would it mean for you?

May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back. – Rainer Maria Rilke


For More: This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979-2012 by Wendell Berry


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Praying for Discomfort, Anger & Tears

May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless us with enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world.
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children
and all our neighbors who are poor. Amen.”
– A Franciscan Benediction

“ … the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to [Jesus].
Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down.
The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.
He began by saying to them,
‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’”
– Jesus, in his inaugural address

Moving From the Head to The Heart

  • Do you ever think of “discomfort … anger … tears … and ‘foolishness'” as things to ask from God? Is it important to you that oppressed and exploited people be helped? Can you take a moment to ask God what, if anything, he wants you to do, when it comes to the injustice in our world?
  • Have you accepted the idea that it’s impossible to “make a difference in the world?”
  • Does your faith allow you to pray a prayer like the one above? Does it constrain you to?

Abba, what is it I can do about injustice in my world?


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Thirst for God … or Not (A. W. Tozer)

“O God, I have tasted Your goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more. I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want You; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Your glory, I pray, so I may know You indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.’ Then give me grace to rise and follow You up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”  A. W. Tozer

“O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.”
Psalm 63:1-3

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you relate to the feeling of having “wandered so long” in the misty lowlands when God was calling you to the heights? to Himself?
  • Can you “fess up” to the lack of desire for more God in your life?
  • Gods’ grace both satisfies our thirst for Him and creates in us a deeper thirst for him. He must do this for us, and does it in his love. Can you ask God now to do a “new work” in you? upsetting your status quo? replacing your sense of satisfaction with unease and deep thirst?

Abba, I too am painfully conscious, not only of past time spent wandering (but not wasted) in the lowlands, but also of present time characterized by lack of truly deep thirst for you. Perhaps I’m even frightened, not knowing what to expect. Help me to trust your love and welcome the work of your grace in my soul.


For More: The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Silence – The Most Pleasing Sacrifice (Rozanne Elder, Thomas Merton, Richard Foster and Friedrich Nietzsche)

“When we are quiet and alone, we fear that something will be whispered in our ears, and so we hate the quiet, and dull our senses in society.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

“Silence means a void, a dreadful emptiness that demands to be filled. What we choose to fill that void with most often produces, not only noise, but agitation through over-simulation. Sensory overload is addictive. It becomes an escape from the present, from the self, from God. Like any addiction, it is pathological and life-threatening. …Prayer uttered out of the deepest longing for God, however, demands silence.” Rozanne Elder

“The soul is offered to Him when it is entirely attentive to Him. My silence which takes me away from all other things, is therefore the sacrifice of all things and the offering of my soul to God. It is therefore my most pleasing sacrifice.”  Thomas Merton

“Yahweh will destroy Babylon;
he will silence her noisy din.”
Jeremiah 51:55

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Without silent patches in our days, we become “dull” to the present, self, and God. Has sensory overload created a pathological dullness in your life?
  • Have you tried to make yourself “entirely attentive to God” – not asking or confessing or meditating, but simply “offering your soul to God” – wordlessly attending to Him? silently resting in his loving arms? quietly returning his gaze, his love?
  • When we take time to sit silently we hear disturbing things “whispered in our ears.” Can you press through this in your pursuit of intimacy with God?

I have, O Lord, a noisy heart. And entering outward silence doesn’t stop the inner clamor. In fact, it seems only to make it worse. When I am full of activity, the internal noise is only a distant rumble; but when I get still, the rumble amplifies itself. And it is not like the majestic sound of symphony rising to a grand crescendo; rather it is the deafening din of clashing pots and clanging pans. …Worst of all, I feel helpless to hush the interior pandemonium. Dear Lord, Jesus, once you spoke peace to the wind and the wave. Speak your shalom over my heart. I wait silently…patiently. I receive into the very core of my being your loving command, “Peace, be still.”  Richard Foster


For More: The Contemplative Path by Rozanne Elder


Thanks for your interest in RicherByFar!!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)




Daily Riches: Giving Up the Need to Be Noticed (Dallas Willard)

“In the practice of secrecy, we experience a continuing relationship with God independent of the opinions of others.  …One of the greatest fallacies of our faith, and actually one of greatest acts of unbelief, is the thought that our spiritual acts and virtues need to be advertised to be known. The frantic efforts of religious personages and groups to advertise and certify themselves is a stunning revelation of their lack of substance and faith. Jesus, surely with some humor, remarked that a city set on a hill cannot be hid (Matt. 5:14). I would not like to have the task of hiding Jerusalem, or Paris, or even Baltimore. The Gospel stories tell us how hard Jesus and his friends tried to avoid crowds and how badly they failed. Quite candidly, if it is possible for our faith and works to be hidden, perhaps that only shows they are of a kind that should be hidden. We might, in that case, think about directing our efforts toward the cultivation of a faith that is impossible to hide (Mark 7:24). Secrecy rightly practiced enables us to place our public relations department entirely in the hands of God, who lit our candles so we could be the light of the world, not so we could hide under a bushel (Matt. 5:14-16). We allow him to decide when our deeds will be known and when our light will be noticed.” Dallas Willard

“… let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
 …Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.
Matthew 5:16, 6:1

Moving From Head to Heart

  • The exact same activity can be good or bad depending on the motivation – to enhance God’s reputation, or your reputation or that of your ministry. Are you sensitive to this dynamic?
  • Have you prayerfully considered why you do what you do – devotions, acts of service, sacrifices for others, spiritual disciplines, impressive ministry?
  • If you take what is personal and intimate in your life with God and use it to promote yourself, you change it. Can you “place your public relations department entirely in the hands of God”, focusing on his approval – leaving the rest to him?


For More: The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard


I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate it!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: God Suffers With Us in Our Suffering (Terrence Fretheim)

“God desires closeness; intimacy is God’s goal. Further, God is one who chooses to be so present in the finitude and frailty of a human being–indeed, a powerless human being as power is usually conceived. He is one who startles the nations, for who would have believed that the arm of the Lord was revealed in such a one as this (Isa. 53:1)? In and through such individuals, God thereby identifies with frail people. And it is thereby shown that God is not a suffering-at-a-distance God; God enters into the suffering of all creatures and experiences their life.” Terrence Fretheim

“So I weep, as Jazer weeps…
I drench you with tears!
The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit
no one treads out wine at the presses,
for I have put an end to the shouting.
My heart laments for Moab like a harp,
my inmost being for Kir Hareseth.”
Isaiah 16:9-11

“’In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods,’ declares Yahweh. ‘So my heart laments for Moab like the music of a pipe; it laments like a pipe for the people of Kir Hareseth.’” Jeremiah 48:35-36

“To hear such mourning on the part of God for a non-Israelite people is striking indeed. Most of this language is also used to describe the weeping and wailing of the Moabites, so that the impression created is that of a God whose lamentation is as deep and broad as that of the people themselves. As with Israel, God is the one who has occasioned the judgment in the first place (e.g., Jer 48:38); but once the judgment has occurred, God joins those who mourn.”  ibid.

Moving from Head to Heart

  • God “has occasioned the judgment … but once the judgment has occurred, God joins those who mourn.” Contemplate that. Isn’t it amazing?
  • Have you ever mourned over some disobedience of yours and the divine chastening that followed? Did you realize that God was there, in his love for you, mourning with you?
  • God “identifies with frail people” – and not only with “his people” (Israel, the church), but with all people (e.g., Moab). Does your attitude towards unbelievers reflect God’s attitude? Can you have compassion even for those God might be judging?


For More: The Suffering of God by Terrence E. Fretheim


I appreciate your interest in my blog!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)