Daily Riches (CV Era): That Filth on the Street – Brennan Manning

“Ironically it was April Fool’s Day, 1975, 6:30 a.m., and I woke up in a doorway on Commercial Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was thick in an alcoholic fog, sniffing vomit all over my sweater, staring down at my bare feet. I didn’t know a wino would steal my shoes during the night to buy a bottle of Thunderbird, but one did. I had been out on the street for a year and a half, drunk every day, sleeping on the beach until the cops chased me away. You could find me in doorways or under the bridge, always clutching my precious little bottle of Tequila. And it wasn’t just that this good Franciscan priest drank too much. I broke every one of the Ten Commandments six times Tuesday: adultery, countless acts of fornication, violence to support my addiction, character assassination to anybody who dared to criticize me or remonstrate with me. The morning I woke up in the alcoholic boozy fog, I looked down the street to see a woman coming toward me, maybe twenty-five years old, blonde, and attractive. She had her son in hand, maybe four years old. The boy broke loose from his mother’s grip, ran to the doorway, and stared down at me. His mother rushed in behind him, tucked her hand over his eyes, and said, ‘Don’t look at that filth. That’s nothing but pure filth.’ Then I felt her shoe. She broke two of my ribs with that kick. That filth was Brennan Manning, thirty-two years ago.” Brennan Manning

“’For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you invited me in,
I needed clothes and you clothed me,
I was sick and you looked after me,
I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you something to drink?
When did we see you a stranger and invite you in,
or needing clothes and clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison
and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did
for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’”
Jesus, in Matthew 25:35-40 NIV

 

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Notice how the woman saw the man as a “that.” Do you assume, like she does, that you see things just as they are?
  • Do you assume, like she did, that you know just what to do? . . . who needs to be punished?
  • In Matthew 25 Jesus identifies with those like the man who was kicked. Imagine, breaking the ribs of Jesus with your kick.
  • Many people are going to have it very rough during the coronavirus era. Can you see them without judging? . . . and have compassion? . . . perhaps help in some way?

Abba, teach my eyes to see the precious person behind the distressing disguise.

For More: The Furious Longing of God by Brennan Manning

Song for the Day: The Prayer – Celine Dion & Andrea Bocelli

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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.

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

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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: 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, could 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 through my days, or in time spent with you. Help me to wait well before you, and then in my days – for answers to prayer, for solutions, for others to change – and for change in me.

__________

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

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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: Spiritual Maturity – What Does It Look Like? (Dallas Willard, Brennan Manning, John Ortberg, Thomas Merton) *

“The aim and substance of spiritual life is not fasting, prayer, hymn singing, frugal living, and so forth. Rather, it is the effective and full enjoyment of active love of God and humankind in all the daily rounds of normal existence where we are placed. …People who think that they are spiritually superior because they make practice of a discipline such as fasting or silence or frugality are entirely missing the point. The need for extensive practice of a given discipline is an indication of our weakness, not our strength.” Dallas Willard

“The Rabbi [Jesus] implores, ‘Don’t you understand that discipleship is not about being right or being perfect or being efficient? It’s all about the way you live with each other.’ In every encounter we either give life or we drain it. There is no neutral exchange. We enhance human dignity, or we diminish it. The success or failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us. We define ourselves by our response to human need.  …We reveal our heart in the way we listen to a child, speak to the person who delivers mail, bear an injury, and share our resources with the indignant.” Brennan Manning

“We do not go into the desert to escape people but to learn how to find them; we do not leave them in order to have nothing more to do with them but to find out the way to do them the most good.”  Thomas Merton

“…love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  •  Are you aware of weaknesses in your life and your need for “help to do what you cannot do now by willpower alone?” (John Ortberg’s definition of spiritual disciplines) Are you practicing some disciplines for that reason?
  • Do you measure the success of your day by “compassion [demonstrated] toward those around you” rather than by faithfulness in the disciplines?
  • Rejecting the practice of spiritual disciplines could be evidence of pride, and serious practice of them could be a source of pride. In the next days, take some time to consider this before the Lord.

Abba, help me to do what I cannot do by willpower alone as I embrace life-giving rhythms and practices.

 __________

For More: The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

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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: Held by God in Both Light and Shadow (Merton, Manning, Egan and Tillich) *

“One of the keys to real religious experience is the shattering realization that no matter how hateful we are to ourselves, we are not hateful to God. …Who am I? I am one loved by Christ.” Thomas Merton

“… the depths of our union with our indwelling God, [is] a sinking down into … the vivid awareness that my inner child is Abba’s child, held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow….”  Brennan Manning

“I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me ‘You are my son, my beloved one.'” John Egan

“Faith is the courage to accept acceptance, to accept that God loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be.”  Paul Tillich

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived
and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us,
not because of righteous things we had done,
but because of his mercy.”
Titus 3:3-5a

“Though my mother and father forsake me, Yahweh will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Is it true that in this life you’re “never going to be as you should be?” Do you hate yourself for that? Should you? Does God hate you for that?
  • Are you able to “stand naked” before God and yet be “anchored in him?”  to know that you’re “held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow?”
  • Do you worry that “accepting acceptance” or “sinking down” into God’s grace in this way may be letting yourself off too easy? Do you think that fear of judgment will keep you in line better than unconditional love? If so, can you identify the source of that conviction?

__________

For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Exquisitely Tender Jesus (Brennan Manning and Gregory Boyle) *

“This passage of exquisite tenderness [Mt. 9:36, below] offers a remarkable glimpse into the human soul of Jesus. It tells how He feels about human beings. It reveals His way of looking out on the world, His nonjudgmental attitude toward people who were looking for love in wrong places and seeking happiness in wrong pursuits.” Brennan Manning

“When he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them
because they were harassed and dejected,
like sheep without a shepherd.”
(Matthew 9:36)

“… whenever I allow anything but tenderness and compassion to dictate my response to life–be it self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others, carping criticism, frustration at others’ blindness, a sense of spiritual superiority, a gnawing hunger of vindication–I am alienated from my true self. My identity as Abba’s child becomes ambiguous, tentative, and confused.” Brennan Manning

“Good and upright is Yahweh,
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.”
Psalm 25:8

“… we’re so used to a God – a ‘one-false-move God’ and so we’re not really accustomed to the ‘no-matter-whatness’ of God – to the God who’s just plain old too busy loving us to be disappointed in us. That is, I think, the hardest thing to believe, but everybody in this space knows it’s the truest thing you can say about God.” Gregory Boyle

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When you look upon a crowd – at the mall, a concert, the DMV, a school-board meeting, a block party, a football game, on a city street or in a church service – do you do so with “exquisite tenderness?” If not, what happens instead? Why does that happen?
  • Is your “response to life” often “self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others, carping criticism, frustration at others’ blindness, a sense of spiritual superiority, [and/or] a gnawing hunger of vindication?”
  • How can you train yourself to allow “tenderness and compassion to dictate your response to life?”

Abba, thank you for the example of your son. May his love for me, and my love for him, inform my response to life. Help me practice exquisite tenderness.

__________

For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Our Deep Need for Approval (Anthony de Mello and Brennan Manning) *

“Look at your life and see how you have filled its emptiness with people. As a result they have a stranglehold on you. See how they control your behavior by their approval and disapproval. They hold the power to ease your loneliness with their company, to send your spirits soaring with their praise, to bring you down to the depths with their criticism and rejection. Take a look at yourself spending almost every waking minute of your day placating and pleasing people, whether they are living or dead. You live by their norms, conform to their standards, seek their company, desire their love, dread their ridicule, long for their applause, meekly submit to the guilt they lay upon you; you are terrified to go against the fashion in the way you dress or speak or act or even think.” Anthony de Mello

“When we freely assent to the mystery of our belovedness and accept our core identity as Abba’s child, we slowly gain autonomy from controlling relationships. We become inner-directed rather than outer-determined. The fleeting flashes of pleasure or pain caused by the affirmation or deprivation of others will never entirely disappear, but their power to induce self-betrayal will be diminished.”  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.
 My victory and honor come from God alone.”
 Psalm 62:5-7a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you aware of how much control over your life you’re giving away? Have you lost yourself somewhere in the process?
  • Is your core identity that of “Abba’s child?” If not, what needs to change?
  • Are you willing to be true to yourself and learn to resist the urge to “betray” yourself when you feel pressure from others?

Abba, help me to slowly gain autonomy from the controlling relationships in my life as I look for approval from you alone.

__________

For More: The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Prayer and the Wandering Mind (John Donne, Brennan Manning, John Bunyan) *

“I neglect God and his angels for the noise of a fly, for the rattling of a coach, for the whining of a door; I talk on in the same posture of praying, eyes lifted up, knees bowed down, as though I prayed to God; and if God or his angels should ask me when I thought last of God in that prayer, I cannot tell. Sometimes I find that I had forgot what I was about, but when I began to forget it I cannot tell. A memory of yesterday’s pleasures, a fear of tomorrow’s dangers, a straw under my knee, a noise in mine ear, a light in mine eye, an anything, a nothing, a fancy, a chimera in my brain troubles me in my prayer.” John Donne

“One of the cardinal rules of prayer is: Pray as you can, don’t pray as you can’t. … Remember the only way to fail in prayer is not to show up.” Brennan Manning

“The great thing is prayer. Prayer itself. If you want a life of prayer, the way to get it is by praying.” Thomas Merton

“When you pray, rather let your heart be without words
than your words without heart.”
John Bunyan

“But when you pray,
go into your room,
close the door ….”
Matthew  6:6

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • John Donne shares very honestly about his problems in prayer, and the humor in his report shows he is not condemning himself. Perhaps he is just letting these distractions “float on downstream” – not resisting them or really even giving them any mind. What do you think? Can you extend grace to yourself in this regard as he does?
  • If you focus on the “noise of a fly” or the “monkeys in the trees” (Nouwen) you’ll probably give up in frustration. Can you “show up” according to plan each day, regardless of whether you feel delighted or distracted? What would be the importance of doing that?
  • For your “heart to be without words” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Have you tried to pray by just silently giving God your attention?

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For More: Seventeenth-Century Prose and Poetry, eds. Coffin and Witherspoon

Thomas Merton is also good on this topic.

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Thomas Merton expresses my heart for Daily Riches: “If I dare, in these few words, to ask you some direct and personal questions, it is because I address them as much to myself as to you. It is because I am still able to hope that a civil exchange of ideas can take place between two persons — that we have not yet reached the stage where we are all hermetically sealed, each one in the collective arrogance and despair of his own herd.” I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Reading the Human Story Beneath the Frightened Face (Brennan Manning) *

“Compassion for others is not a simple virtue because it avoids snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain: It seeks truth in all it’s complexity. Genuine compassion means that in empathizing with the failed plans and uncertain loves of the other person we send out the vibration, ‘Yes, ragamuffin, I understand. I’ve been there, too.’ … Judgment depends on what we see, how deeply we look at the other, how honestly we face ourselves, how willing we are to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Brennan Manning

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God;
and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:7-9

Moving from the Head to the Heart

  • Do you often make “snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain?”
  • Do you categorize people with labels (“lame”,”lazy”, “needy”) or amateur diagnoses (“low functioning”, “compulsive”, “addicted”) or plainly insulting terms (“clueless”,”hopeless”, “loser”)? How about when you’re driving? looking around at church? scanning the crowd at your kids concert or ball game? Can we agree that it’s easy not to love well?
  • Manning suggest we will judge less, and love more, if we look deeply within ourselves for explanations, and if we look beyond the surface (“deeply”) at others – “to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Will you join me in working on that?

Abba, I desperately want to read the human story behind the frightened face. Help me to learn a new way of looking at people – to look deeply beyond the fears and defenses, the disguises and the masks. Help me to breathe in your love, and breathe it out as your and my gift to the world.

__________

For More: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brannon Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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

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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: 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

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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: Measuring a Day’s Success (Dallas Willard, Brennan Manning and John Ortberg)

“The aim and substance of spiritual life is not fasting, prayer, hymn singing, frugal living, and so forth. Rather, it is the effective and full enjoyment of active love of God and humankind in all the daily rounds of normal existence where we are placed. …People who think that they are spiritually superior because they make practice of a discipline such as fasting or silence or frugality are entirely missing the point. The need for extensive practice of a given discipline is an indication of our weakness, not our strength.” Dallas Willard

“The Rabbi [Jesus] implores, ‘Don’t you understand that discipleship is not about being right or being perfect or being efficient? It’s all about the way you live with each other.’ In every encounter we either give life or we drain it. There is no neutral exchange. We enhance human dignity, or we diminish it. The success or failure of a given day is measured by the quality of our interest and compassion toward those around us. We define ourselves by our response to human need. The question is not how we feel about our neighbor but what we have done for him or her. We reveal our heart in the way we listen to a child, speak to the person who delivers mail, bear an injury, and share our resources with the indignant.” Brennan Manning

“…love is the fulfillment of the law.” Romans 13:10

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  •  Are you aware of weaknesses in your life and your need for “help to do what you cannot do now by willpower alone?” (John Ortberg’s definition of spiritual disciplines) Are you practicing some disciplines for that reason?
  • Do you measure the success of your day by “compassion [demonstrated] toward those around you” rather than by faithfulness in the disciplines?
  • Rejecting the practice of spiritual disciplines could be evidence of pride, and serious practice of them could be a source of pride. In the next days, take some time to consider this before the Lord.

Abba, help me to do what I cannot do by willpower alone as I embrace life-giving rhythms and practices.

 __________

For More: The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

_________________________________________________

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: Held by God in Both Light and Shadow (Merton, Manning, Egan and Tillich)

“One of the keys to real religious experience is the shattering realization that no matter how hateful we are to ourselves, we are not hateful to God. …Who am I? I am one loved by Christ.” Thomas Merton

“… the depths of our union with our indwelling God, [is] a sinking down into … the vivid awareness that my inner child is Abba’s child, held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow….”  Brennan Manning

“I stand anchored now in God before whom I stand naked, this God who tells me ‘You are my son, my beloved one.'” John Egan

“Faith is the courage to accept acceptance, to accept that God loves me as I am and not as I should be, because I’m never going to be as I should be.”  Paul Tillich

“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived
and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures.
We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
he saved us,
not because of righteous things we had done,
but because of his mercy.”
Titus 3:3-5a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Is it true that in this life you’re “never going to be as you should be?” Do you hate yourself for that? Should you? Does God hate you for that?
  • Are you able to “stand naked” before God and yet be “anchored in him?”  to know that you’re “held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow?”
  • Do you worry that “accepting acceptance” or “sinking down” into God’s grace in this way may be letting yourself off too easy? Do you think that fear of judgment will keep you in line better than unconditional love? If so, can you identify the source of that conviction?

__________

For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Exquisitely Tender Jesus (Brennan Manning)

“This passage of exquisite tenderness [Mt. 9:36, below] offers a remarkable glimpse into the human soul of Jesus. It tells how He feels about human beings. It reveals His way of looking out on the world, His nonjudgmental attitude toward people who were looking for love in wrong places and seeking happiness in wrong pursuits.” Brennan Manning

“When he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them
because they were harassed and dejected,
like sheep without a shepherd.”
(Matthew 9:36).

“… whenever I allow anything but tenderness and compassion to dictate my response to life–be it self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others, carping criticism, frustration at others’ blindness, a sense of spiritual superiority, a gnawing hunger of vindication–I am alienated from my true self. My identity as Abba’s child becomes ambiguous, tentative, and confused.” Brennan Manning

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When you look upon a crowd – at the mall, a concert, the DMV, a school-board meeting, a block party, a football game, on a city street or in a church service – do you do so with “exquisite tenderness?” If not, what happens instead? Why does that happen?
  • Is your “response to life” often “self-righteous anger, moralizing, defensiveness, the pressing need to change others, carping criticism, frustration at others’ blindness, a sense of spiritual superiority, [and/or] a gnawing hunger of vindication?”
  • How can you train yourself to allow “tenderness and compassion to dictate your response to life?”

Abba, thank you for the example of your son. May his love for me, and my love for him, inform my response to life. Help me practice exquisite tenderness.

__________

For More: Abba’s Child by Brennan Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Reading the Human Story Behind the Frightened Face – Loving Well (Brennan Manning)

“Compassion for others is not a simple virtue because it avoids snap judgments of right or wrong, good or bad, hero or villain: It seeks truth in all it’s complexity. Genuine compassion means that in empathizing with the failed plans and uncertain loves of the other person we send out the vibration, ‘Yes, ragamuffin, I understand. I’ve been there, too.’ … Judgment depends on what we see, how deeply we look at the other, how honestly we face ourselves, how willing we are to read the human story beneath the frightened face.” Brennan Manning

“Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath
so that the law of Moses may not be broken,
why are you angry with me
for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath?
Stop judging by mere appearances,
but instead judge correctly.”
(Jesus in John 7:23-25)

From the Head to the Heart

  • How you would explain the idea that truth is “complex?”
  • When surrounded by others, have you ever attempted
    to “read the human story beneath the frightened face?”
  • What is one new practice you could embrace
    to train yourself to “stop judging by mere appearances?”

Abba, help me to really love. No snap judgments. No stigmatizing people I don’t know or understand. No critical, condemning, self-righteous spirit. Help me to stop judging by mere appearances, and learn to read the human story beneath each frightened face.

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For More: The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar 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 with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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