Daily Riches: How the Poor Bless Us (Bob McCahill, Thomas Merton, Eduardo Galeano)

“The mask that each man wears may well be a disguise not only for that man’s inner self but for God, wandering as a pilgrim and exile in His own creation.” Thomas Merton

“It seems to me that the poor evangelize us by giving us various types of good example. They instruct us in patience by their patience under adversity. They edify us by their uncomplaining struggles. They inspire us by undergoing suffering without becoming bitter. They encourage us to face our own problems more bravely by grappling with the pain in their lives. They teach us about the simplicity with which one can live a human life. They offer us a good model for prayer life by their dependence on God: that is, in times of great need they look to God before all else. They do not appeal to God secondly or lastly after other possibilities have failed them. When we witness their efforts to survive with dignity amidst the hardships they constantly encounter, they help us to put into perspective our own overblown problems. Through the struggling poor we begin to understand how good God is to us and how stingy we are with our thanksgiving to God. If we think about them deeply enough, they put us to shame, for, though they are oppressed, they can still laugh and sing.” Bob McCahill

“I don’t believe in charity; I believe in solidarity. Charity is vertical, so it’s humiliating. It goes from top to bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.”  Eduardo Galeano

“You say, ‘I am rich;
I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’
But you do not realize
that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
Jesus in Revelation 3:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have poor people helped you to realize how poor you are? …how good God is to you? …how “stingy” you are with your thanksgiving to God? What else?
  • Do you think of your relationship to the poor in terms of “solidarity?” What would that mean?
  • Jesus wandered as a poor man, in disguise among his own creation. Does remembering that help you love those who are poor?

Abba, use your poor to show me the way and to bless me as I attempt to bless them.

For More: A Dialogue of Life by Bob McCahill


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

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Immigrants as Neighbors (Frederick Buechner)

“When Jesus said to love your neighbor, a lawyer who was present asked him to clarify what he meant by neighbor. He wanted a legal definition he could refer to in case the question of loving one ever happened to come up. He presumably wanted something on the order of: ‘A neighbor (hereinafter referred to as the party of the first part) is to be construed as meaning a person of Jewish descent whose legal residence is within a radius of no more than three statute miles from one’s own legal residence unless there is another person of Jewish descent (hereinafter to be referred to as the party of the second part) living closer to the party of the first part than one is oneself, in which case the party of the second part is to be construed as neighbor to the party of the first part and one is oneself relieved of all responsibility of any sort or kind whatsoever.’ Instead, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), the point of which seems to be that your neighbor is to be construed as meaning anybody who needs you. The lawyer’s response is left unrecorded.” Frederick Buechner

“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor
to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked.
The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.”
Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
Luke 10:36,37

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • “Anybody who needs you” is a pretty tall order. The next time you have the opportunity, can you just help “somebody” who needs you?
  • Do you sometimes put forth reasons to absolve yourself from the need to help someone in need? Would they pass the Jesus test?
  • If someone robbed your son, leaving him unconscious in a dangerous place, would you think passersby were obligated to help?

“Let nothing, O Lord, disturb the silence of this night.
Let nothing make me afraid. Let me wake refreshed,
ready to love and care for my neighbor
as you have loved and cared for me,
and indeed as I love and care for myself.
For if I do not love others
I cannot fool myself into believing that I love you.
I am, I know, as this day ends very far from such a love,
but hear my prayer.
When I see others, let me see you.
Let me show them the same reverence and respect
that I would show you.
If I love them, I will love you
and I will want for nothing.”
Teresa of Avila

For More: Wishful Thinking by Frederick Buechner


If you liked this, please share! – and thanks! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”


Daily Riches: Hooked On Productivity (Jan Johnson, Evelyn Underhill and Eugene Peterson)

“We mostly spend [our] lives conjugating three verbs: to want, to have and to do. Craving, clutching and fussing, we are kept in perpetual unrest.” Evelyn Underhill

“My jabbering prayers have been full of what I want, what I think I should have, and what I want God to do. …Instead of fussing, striving, and monitoring, we surrender ourselves to God over and over again. For those of us who are hooked on productivity, this approach is radical. …Letting go of the need to perform for God sets our hearts on things above and turns our backs on self-importance. Instead of trying to have an accomplishment-driven relationship with God, enjoying God’s presence points us toward:

  • resting instead of productivity,
  • being silent instead of talking,
  • listening instead of giving advice,
  • empowering others instead of preaching to them,
  • asking questions instead of knowing answers,
  • surrendering instead of gritting your teeth,
  • giving instead of consuming,
  • striving for brokenness instead of upward mobility, and
  • gearing down to simplicity instead of gearing up to empire building.” Jan Johnson

“In our religious striving, we are usually looking for something quite other than the God who has come looking for us.” Eugene Peterson

“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 46:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you “kept in perpetual unrest?” Are you “hooked on productivity?”
  • If so, what do these things say about your need to seem important to others? …to seem important to God? Could that be what you’re “usually looking for?”
  • The Scripture reminds us that God does not require or want our anxious striving. The list above spells out what a relaxed, trusting life might look like. Look at that list again. Is God speaking to you about anything there?

Father, May I rest instead of striving.
walk instead of racing.
receive instead of grasping.
listen instead of speaking.
endure instead of quitting.
May I trust instead of worrying.
appreciate instead of griping.
forgive instead of blaming, and
above all, may I love.

For More: When The Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer by Jan Johnson


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

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Thanksgiving In Desperate Times (Martin Rinkart and Robert Morgan)

“Martin Rinkart (1586-1649) [was] a Lutheran pastor in the little village of Eilenberg, Saxony. He grew up as the son of a poor coppersmith, felt called to the ministry, and after his theological training began his pastoral work just as the Thirty Years’ War was raging through Germany. Floods of refugees streamed into the walled city of Eilenberg. It was the most desperate of times. The Swedish army encompassed the city gates, and inside the walls there was nothing but plague, famine, and fear. Eight hundred homes were destroyed, and people began dying in increasing numbers. There was a tremendous strain on the pastors, who expended all their strength in preaching the gospel, caring for the sick and dying, and burying the dead. One after another, the pastors themselves took ill and perished until at last only Martin Rinkart was left. Some days he conducted as many as fifty funerals. Finally the Swedes demanded a huge ransom. It was Martin Rinkart who left the safety of the city walls to negotiate with the enemy, and he did it with such courage and faith that there was soon a conclusion of hostilities, and the period of suffering ended. Rinkart, knowing there is no healing without thanksgiving, composed this hymn for the survivors of Eilenberg. It has been sung around the world ever since.” Robert Morgan
“Now thank we all our God,
with heart and hands and voices,
who wondrous things hath done,
in whom his world rejoices;
who from our mother’s arms
hath blessed us on our way
with countless gifts of love,
and still is ours today.
“O may this bounteous God
through all our life be near us,
with ever-joyful hearts
and blessed peace to cheer us;
and keep us in his grace,
and guide us when perplexed,
and free us from all ills
in this world and the next.”
Martin Rinkart

“In everything give thanks
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you a thankful person?
  • What might have been your response as a resident of Eilenberg? …of your family? …of your faith community?
  • Do you have some practice in your life that is teaching you “in everything to give thanks?”

Abba, remind me, even this day, to give thanks in all things.

For More: Then Sings My Soul by Robert J. Morgan


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

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Antitoxin of Gratitude (Wayne Muller, Matthew Henry and John Henry Jowett)

 “Gratitude is a vaccine, an antitoxin, and an antiseptic.” John Henry Jowett

“A ‘successful’ life has become a violent enterprise. We make war on our bodies, pushing them beyond their limits; war on our children, because we cannot find enough time to be with them when they are hurt or afraid, and need our company; war on our spirit, because we are too preoccupied to listen to the quiet voices that seek to nourish and refresh us; war on our communities, because we are fearfully protecting what we have, and do not feel safe enough to be kind and generous; war on earth, because we cannot take time to place our feet on the ground and allow it to feed us, to taste its blessing and gave thanks.” Wayne Muller

“Let me be thankful;
first, because I was never robbed before;
second, although he took my purse, he did not take my life;
third, although he took all I possessed, it was not much;
fourth, it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.”
Matthew Henry, in his diary

“And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
Colossians 3:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Think about the relationship you have with your body, your children, your soul, your community – and with the earth. How does thankfulness inform these relationships?
  • Reread the words of Mathew Henry. Can you imagine yourself in that very situation, and then ask God to “let” you be similarly thankful?
  • Must you come to the end of your rope, your strength, and yourself before you remember to call out to God? …to think about giving thanks to God?

“Heavenly Father, when I come to the end of my rope, my strength, myself, I’m finally open to the help you offer. Teach me then, God, the basics of prayer, like ‘help’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’. In the name of Jesus, amen.”  The Heidelberg Catechism

For More: Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent


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

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Crucible of Interruptions (Mark Buchanan and Walter Rauschenbusch)

“Jesus … lived life with the clearest and highest purpose. Yet he veered and strayed from one interruption to the next, with no apparent plan in hand other than his single, overarching one: Get to Jerusalem and die. Otherwise, his days, as far as we can figure, were a series of zigzags and detours, apparent whims and second thoughts, interruptions and delays, off-the-cuff plans, spur-of-the-moment decisions, leisurely meals, serendipitous rounds of storytelling. …Purposefulness requires paying attention, and paying attention means … that we make room for surprise. We become hospitable to interruption. I doubt we can notice for long without this hospitality. And to sustain it we need … a conviction in our bones that God is Lord of our days and years, and that his purposes and his presence often come disguised as detours, messes, defeats. ‘I came to you naked,’ Jesus says. ‘I came to you thirsty.’ ‘When, Lord?’ we ask, startled. When He wore the disguise of an interruption. Think a moment of all the events and encounters that have shaped you most deeply and lastingly. How many did you see coming? How many did you engineer, manufacture, chase down? And how many were interruptions? The span between life as we intend it and life as we receive it is vast. Our true purpose is worked out in that gap. It is fashioned in the crucible of interruptions.” Mark Buchanan

“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro … and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness … and he looked, and behold, [a] bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.’” Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • What if Moses hadn’t “turned aside?”
  • Imagine yourself living as Jesus did, with “zigzags and detours …” etc. How would that feel?
  • Can you become more hospitable to what happens in “the [vast] span between life as you intend it and life as you receive it?”

Abba, “Grant us, we pray you, a heart wide open to all this joy and beauty, and save our souls from being so steeped in care or so darkened by passion that we pass heedless and unseeeing when even the thornbush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.” Walter Rauschenbusch

For More: The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan


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

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Emotions as Sirens (Richard Rohr)

“Bill Wilson saw ’emotional sobriety’ as the final culmination of the Twelve Steps. Full sobriety is not just to stop drinking, but to become a spiritually awakened person who has found some degree of detachment from your own narcissistic emotional responses. The word emotion comes from the Latin for movement. It’s a body-based reaction that snags you quickly and urgently. The body holds shame, guilt, hurts, memories, and childhood conditioning. Emotions feel like truth. So it’s very hard to ‘unhook’ from our feelings. This is true for all of us. Emotions in and of themselves have no moral value; they are neither good nor bad. They are just sirens alerting us of something we should pay attention to. If we learn to listen to them instead of always obeying them, they can be very good teachers. We need to be aware that our emotions can mislead us because we often misread the situation. Emotions are far too self-referential and based in … what some call our defense mechanisms. Our basic ‘programs for survival,’ which are the source of most emotions … we falsely assume will give us happiness. The problem is, these programs will not work in the long haul. They are almost entirely dependent on outside events and other people conforming to our needs. They are inherently unstable because your happiness moment by moment is based outside of yourself. All the great religions of the world at the highest levels would say God alone–something stable, inside us, and reliable–is the source of all sustained happiness. Once you encounter a Loving God … you have found both your Ground and your Goal. John of the Cross, Teresa of Ávila, and many other mystics believed the experience of absolute union between God and the soul is essential to transformation. Then happiness is an ‘inside job’ and not dependent on outer circumstances or other peoples’ response to you. Of course, you will still have ups and downs and emotions of all kinds, but they don’t have you. You don’t identify with them; you let them come and you let them go.” Richard Rohr

“Fools vent their anger.”
Proverbs 29:11

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you aware that emotions “feel like truth” but aren’t?
  • How can you learn to listen to your emotions rather than obeying them?
  • Do your emotions “have you” or can you feel them and then “let them go?”

Abba, help me learn from, rather than be mastered by, my emotions.


For More: Breathing Under Water by Richard Rohr


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 with others! My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. – Bill

Daily Riches: Your Priesthood in Christ’s Church (Barbara Brown Taylor)

“After a very long engagement, it had finally happened. I was a priest in Christ’s Church. Even now, I would prefer a more user friendly word like pastor, but the truth is that an ancient word like priest captures the risk of this vocation as well as any word I know. In my lexicon, at least, a priest is someone willing to stand between a God and a people who are longing for one another’s love, turning back and forth between them with no hope of tending either as well as each deserves. To be a priest is to serve a God who never stops calling people to do more justice and love more mercy and simultaneously to serve people who nine times out of ten are just looking for a safe place to rest. To be a priest is to know that things are not as they should be and yet to care for them the way they are. To be a priest is to suspect that there is always something more urgent that you should be doing, no matter what you are doing, and to make peace with the fact that the work will never get done. To be a priest is to wonder sometimes if you are missing the boat altogether, by deferring pleasure in what God has made until you have fixed it up so that it will please God more. …being ordained is not about serving God perfectly but about serving God visibly, allowing other people to learn whatever they can from watching you rise and fall.” Barbara Brown Taylor

“You are royal priests,
a holy nation….”
1 Peter 2:9

Moving From the Head to the Heart

Every member of Christ’s church is a priest. Whether you are a professional or amateur, God’s expectations are daunting.

  • Can you stand between God and people and help connect them love?
  • Can you call people to a higher place who often don’t want to go there?
  • Can you love things as they are, not as they’re supposed to be?
  • Can you accept that no matter what you do, the work will never be done?
  • Can you be open enough to let others learn from “watching you rise and fall?”

Abba, strengthen me and every one of us who labor in your holy, royal service.

For More: Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others! My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: First-Century Faith Today (Diana Butler Bass and Rodney Stark)

“As much as contemporary believers might find similarities between our time and that of Christianity in ancient Rome, the two are not the same. The ancient Mediterranean world that Rome once ruled was a vast, culturally diverse set of societies, unrelated by languages, economics, religions, and histories, all forced into political unity by a brutal military. Vast numbers of people who inhabited the Roman Empire resented or hated Roman rule and experienced few, if any, benefits from its social and economic structures. The empire was not in any modern way even vaguely democratic or inclusive; instead, it was a rigidly hierarchical and status-based world of haves and have-nots, of masters and slaves. Unlike a Hollywood sword-and-sandal film, the ancient world was not a pleasant place absent conveniences such as sewer systems and running water. As sociologist Rodney Stark describes, ‘Greco-Roman cities were small, extremely crowded, filthy beyond imagining, disorderly, filled with strangers, and afflicted with frequent catastrophes—fires, plagues, conquests, and earthquakes.’ Unlike Western urban life today, where even the poor have access to marginally acceptable services, ‘life in antiquity abounded in anxiety and misery’ for nearly everyone.” Diane Butler Bass

Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.” 2 Corinthians 11:25-27

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Is your faith deep enough and strong enough that it would sustain you in a world like the one described?
  • Is the gospel you trust in and share with others sufficient for such a world? Would it make sense? Would it be heard as good news?
  • Imagine yourself living in that world. What would it mean to live like Jesus there?

Abba, thank you for the cushy life I enjoy. Show me what you expect of me in my privileged time and place.

For More: A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story by Diana Butler Bass


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. If you liked this, please share it! I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Necessary Union of Contemplation and Activism (Pete Scazzero, Mother Teresa and Stephen W. Smith)

“Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.” Erich Fromm

“In Stephen W. Smith’s recent book, Inside Job, he cites the Rule of Life Mother Teresa laid down for her nuns in their work among the sick and dying in Calcutta:

The Sisters shall spend 1 day in every week, 1 week in every month,
1 month in every year, 1 year in every 6 years in the Motherhouse,
where in contemplation and penance together with solitude she can
gather in the spiritual strength, which she might have used up in the
service of the poor.

“Imagine 1 Sabbath day every week, 1 Sabbath week every month, 1 Sabbath month every year, and 1 Sabbath year every 7 years. …Every one of us ministers among the sick and dying. Yet we consistently underestimate how much emotional/spiritual life is flowing out from us. If we are going to have the kind of impact Mother Teresa had, it will require we do less, not more. …Remember, we cannot give what we do not possess….” Pete Scazzero

“God is the friend of silence. His language is silence. And he requires us to be silent to discover him. We need, therefore, silence to be alone with God, to speak to him, to listen to him and to ponder his words deep in our hearts. We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and to be transformed. For silence can give us a new outlook on life. In it we are filled with the grace of God, which makes us do all things with joy.” Mother Teresa

“But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster,
and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Jesus in Luke 5:15,16

Moving From the Head to the Heart (Scazzero questions)

  • How aware are you of the life that is flowing out of you to others?
  • Our bodies are major, not minor prophets. If your body could speak, what would it be saying to you about the pace of your life today?
  • Are your daily rhythms sufficient for what God has placed before you (Mother Teresa’s nuns spend 3 hours a day in fixed hour prayer)?
  • What adjustments might God be inviting you to make in your weekly, monthly, and annual rhythms?  Often what worked for us in one season (e.g. last year) is not sufficient for the season we are in this year.

Jesus, may I live so that life flows into me from you and out of me to others.

For More: Come Be My Light by Mother Teresa


If you liked this, please share it! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: Learning From Quaker Silence (Anyushka)

“For a number of years, the thought of attending a Quaker meeting crossed my mind from time to time … yet, I hesitated, imagining how uncomfortable I could end up being, sitting quietly for an hour in a group of quiet people. …I walked into the presence of God in a way I could never have imagined. I sat there stunned by the realisation that, in Quaker meetings, silence is worship and worship is silent. I found myself in the silence of people for whom feeling the need to worship is their common ground, who know that God is present and that there is nothing that could possibly have to be said by anyone else but him. This silence felt like the most honest and right worship I had ever experienced–no liturgy to get between me and God, no distractions, no words trying to describe a reality beyond the limits of language and imagination. …[Quakers] honour ‘that of God’ within themselves and in everyone else. …There is no ‘method’ setting out what the experience should be like for everyone. Quaker silence feels neither like silence for the sake of silence, nor like a discipline to bend the Self into. This silence is a place beyond our Selves. My whole being is in tune with God who I listen to, and with everyone who listens with me. God is here, and has calmed the storm in my mind. God is here, and creates order and clarity and peace. God becomes so spacious in this silence that I know again how small I am–and that I do not have to pretend to be anything else but small.  …I am welcome to speak, as a woman, as a lay person, as a visitor. This is a place as free of judgment or prejudice as it can get between people…. We all left our egos at the door for an hour, and I was glad to get a break from mine. …When I left after the meeting, I knew that everything I needed had been given to me. I had experienced Communion, in the most direct and uncomplicated way. This kind of silence is hard to describe and, I find, hard to forget.” Anyuska

“Listen in silence before me.” Isaiah 41:1

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Could you sit quietly for an hour?
  • Can you imagine worship with no need for human speech? …no liturgy between you and God? …no words trying to explain the inexplicable?
  • When was the last time you left church feeling that “everything you needed” was given to you?

Abba, envelop me in deep silence.

For More: Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton


If you benefited in some way from this, please share it with others! – Bill

Daily Riches: The Crack in Everything (Leonard Cohen, Richard Rohr, Bill Wilson)

“Forget your perfect offering,

There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.”
Leonard Cohen (“Anthem”)

“Bill Wilson [the founder of AA] …understood that the only way to give everyone equal and universal access to God is to base salvation/enlightenment on woundedness instead of self-created trophies. If we are honest, this utterly levels the playing field. Julian of Norwich, my favorite English mystic, understood the great turn around and said proudly: ‘Our wounds are our very trophies!’ They are the ‘holes in the soul’ where the Light and the Life can break through. …The way of the Twelve Steps is remarkably similar to Jesus’ Way of the Cross, St. Francis’ Way of Poverty, and St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Little Way. These and many other saints and mystics teach the power of powerlessness either directly or indirectly. …Until you bottom out and come to the limits of your own fuel supply, there is no reason for you to switch to a higher octane of fuel. Why would you? You will not learn to actively draw upon a Larger Source until your usual resources are depleted and revealed as inadequate to the task. In fact, you will not even know there is a Larger Source until your own sources and resources utterly fail you. None of us go to the place of powerlessness on our own accord. We have to be taken there. Sad to say it, but it is largely sin, humiliation, failure, and various forms of addiction that do the job. Sometimes, having ruined your marriage, your children, your job, or your sterling self-image, you have to say, ‘My way isn’t working.’ Maybe there is another way, maybe I really do need to change. That is very often when you are finally ready to begin a sincere spiritual journey. At that point your religion morphs into a living spirituality.” Richard Rohr

‘Those who are well do not need a physician,
but the sick do.
I did not come to call the righteous
but sinners.”
Jesus in Mark 2:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you experienced enough bone-crushing pain that you’ve begun “a sincere spiritual journey?”
  • Do you have “cracks” where the lights get’s in – and from which it shines?
  • Have you discovered the value of “cracks” and powerlessness? Do you give thanks for these things?

Abba, unleash the power in my brokenness for the healing of others.

For More: Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps by Richard Rohr


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. If you liked this, please share it! I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: And They Say You Never Sing (Diane Butler Bass, Don and Emily Saliers, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Toby Mac, Wolf-Dieter Zimmerman)

“And they say you never sing.” Toby Mac (“Hey Devil”)

“Some experiences are beyond words; they call forth lyrics instead. Singing marks spiritual passages–both the formal ones of birth, marriage, and death, and the informal ones of commitment, doubt, and renewal. …In many ways Christians sing faith. Musicians Don and Emily Saliers think of music as ‘soul practice,’ because music awakens our souls to matters beyond the ordinary. At moments of change in Christian history, music often opens the path that cannot be articulated, for poetry and song take us to places that prose cannot. ‘Music is not simply an ornament of something already understood in words,’ writes the Salierses. ‘Rather, ordered sound mediates the world to our senses and animates–literally, ensouls–those who enter it deeply.’ …Martin Luther wrote hymns for congregations to sing in their own languages—a daring innovation. Although medieval people participated in the Mass, vernacular singing enabled people to experience the church’s liturgies in powerful new ways. Luther loved music. He played several instruments and once commented, ‘Next to the word of God, music deserves the highest praise.’ …Luther thought music aided people in memorizing scripture, thus deepening their understanding of the written word. Luther advised clergy to sing Bible readings during Sunday worship and encouraged congregants to sing during Holy Communion. …Beyond Germany, followers of the French reformer John Calvin … busily translated the psalms into metrical verse to be sung in unison during services. Calvin himself extolled music’s power to ‘delight,’ recognizing its ‘almost incredible power to sway hearts in one sense or another.’ And English reformers created entire sung services of biblical texts, psalms, and prayers in their native tongue.” Diana Butler Bass

“‘The hymns of the ancient church, of the Reformers, of the Bohemian brethren,’ the songs of those ‘who had lived and suffered through the Thirty Year’s War … all came alive for us … and we felt them to be our own. They mirrored our situation, they echoed our praise, they voiced our petitions, they articulated our repentance. In this group experience the church became once again a living reality for us, without boundaries of time or place, and we became increasingly conscious of being her members, men committed to her service, come what might.'” Wolf-Dieter Zimmerman, describing the experience of theological students in Bonhoeffer’s clandestine seminary

“Let the godly sing” Psalm 33:1

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • Have you experienced music’s power to transcend mere words?
  • Would people at church say of you that “you never sing?” If so, why is that?
  • How can you harness the “almost incredible power” of song for the good of your life with God?

For More: A Song to Sing … by Don and Emily Saliers


If you liked this, please share! I appreciate your interest! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Opening Up Space for God in Your Life (Keri Wyatt Kent and Brian Mclaren)

“Dallas Willard once wrote that the secret of the easy yoke is to live your life as Jesus would it he were in your place. How do you do that? I believe the first step is to slow down the pace. That allows you to be fully present, to be mindful, to be intentional, to create space, and to notice where God is working and join him in that work. …[My focus is] on three Christian practices that help us live as Jesus would if he were in our place: simplicity, slowing, and Sabbath-keeping. …Notice that these three create space for practices such as solitude, service, prayer, meditation on Scripture, and others. …Any spiritual practice, from solitude to service, must be approached in an unhurried fashion or the benefits of the practice itself will be lost. Connection with God, which is the reason for any spiritual practice, begins with changing our focus (from ourselves and our problems to God and his sufficiency) and changing our pace (from hurried and distracted to deliberate and focused). That is what simplicity, slowing, and Sabbath-keeping force us to do. They move us toward a life, an easy yoke, which if you let it, will open up space for God. …[redirecting] you toward a simpler lifestyle with more of God in it and to help you find rest for your soul and lighten your burden.” Keri Wyatt Kent

“Resting in the presence of God, without work or speech … one becomes more aware of the companionship, grace, and love of God than one has been of the companionship, demands, and duties associated with other people. …Contemplative practices … are exercised more or less in solitude, making the first cluster [solitude, sabbath, and silence] in many ways the key to the rest.” Brian Mclaren

“For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” 

Jesus in Matthew 11:30

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Imagine Jesus living your life. How would that differ from how you’re living it?
  • Are you able to approach your life with God “in an unhurried fashion?” Is it “deliberate and focused” or improvised and impromptu?
  • Can you imagine “opening up space for God” in your life? Try it. What would that look like?

Jesus, help me as I try to imagine how you would live my life.

For More: Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life by Keri Wyatt Kent


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. If you liked this, please share it! I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

Daily Riches: The Descent of God (Augustine, Joseph Hallman, Thomas a Kempis)

“To have no opinion of ourselves,

and to think always well and highly of others,
is great wisdom and perfection.”
Thomas a Kempis

“The Son of God came down and was made humble. …God was made humble for you.” Augustine

“…this is the truth unknown to philosophy. …not found in Epicureans, Stoics, Manichees, or Platonists. Although discovering the best precepts of custom and discipline, they never find humility. This comes only from Christ who became humble even to death on the cross. The humility exhibited by the Word in the Incarnation is the cure for pride, the worst of all sins. Only divine humility is true medicine for superbia [haughtiness]. …It is indeed correct to say that, for Augustine, ‘it is the humility of Christ which is the most striking feature of the Incarnation.’ Augustine has grasped precisely that the core of Christian faith is an acceptance of the divine kenosis in Jesus of Nazareth. To get a sense of the impression Phil. 2:6-8 made on Augustine one should consult the Index at the end of [his Corpus Christianorum]…. There are two hundred or more citations or allusions to this text in De Trinitate alone. Even more impressive is the fact that in Augustine’s entire corpus he cites part or all of this passage 422 times, and alludes to it 563 times. Thus he had it in mind nearly a thousand times when he wrote.” Joseph Hallman

“Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:6-8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When you look at today’s church–today’s Christian–at yourself in the mirror–do you see humility?
  • Consider the practices of silence, sabbath, listening well, loving well, receiving instruction, simplicity – think how each of these requires or teaches humility.
  • How formative is the Incarnation of Jesus in your life? Has what he did for you in that way ever really gripped you?

Abba, help me to learn to consistently think well and highly of others.

For More: The Descent of God: Divine Suffering in History and Theology by Joseph M. Hallman


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

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”