Daily Riches: “Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There” (Philip Simmons, Robert Barron, and Eugene Peterson)

“… our busyness—whether of body or of mind—is often a distraction, a way of avoiding others, avoiding intimacy, avoiding ourselves. We keep busy to push back our fears, our loneliness, our self-doubt, our questions about purposes and ends. We want to know we matter, we want to know our lives are worthwhile. And when we’re not sure, we work that much harder, we worry that much more. In the face of our uncertainty, we keep busy.  …What is it, then, that restores us to a better version of ourselves, that returns us to our firm sense of goodness—both our own and the world’s? Perhaps it’s a question of grace: a reflected sunset flares in the windows of a skyscraper, a sheet of newspaper takes flight down an empty street, and suddenly we find ourselves in a world made luminous with wonder. … And so it is: the world itself can call us out of our preoccupations, our worries, our lists and agendas. In such moments our attention is arrested, quite literally stopped, and the world seems to say to us: “Don’t just do something, stand there.”  Philip Simmons

“It is a commonplace of the spiritual masters that the deepest part of the soul likes to go slow, since it seeks to savor rather than to accomplish; it wants to rest in and contemplate the good rather than to hurry off to another place.” Robert Barron

“When we are noisy and when we are hurried, we are incapable of intimacy–deep, personal, complex relationships. …like children lost in the woods, the more lost we feel, the faster we run.” Eugene Peterson

“Do not be afraid, little flock,
for your Father has been pleased
to give you the kingdom.”
Jesus in Luke 12:32

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to do nothing, to just “stand there” rather than “hurry off to another place?”
  • If you’re always rushing, can you begin to ask God to show you why that is?
  • Does your pace of life allow for “deep, personal, complex relationships?” for awe?

Abba, help me understand the worry and hurry that drives me. Help me stop for wonder. Restore me to a better version of myself.

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*For More: Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life by Philip Simmons

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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: Hurry and the Purpose of Life (Vianna Moog, Mother Teresa, Heidi Baker, Eugene Peterson) *

“It seemed then, that my purpose in life was to get the most out of life. … I still assumed that the way to this was to strive to do more and more things … always driving to do more things – to read more books, to learn more languages, to see more people, not to miss anything … a miser-like grabbing and piling up of experience.” Marion Milner in A Life of One’s Own  …………. “I began my lifework on the assumption that I might not live long enough to accomplish everything I’d like to. If I wanted to do anything worthwhile in my life I’d have to hurry up. I have been in a hurry ever since.” Robert Schuller

“The American no longer knows how to contemplate; he does not know how to reflect or even rest.”  Brazilian sociologist Vianna Moog

“The world is lost for want of sweetness and kindness. People are starving for love because everyone is in such a great rush.”  Mother Teresa

“Ministry is simply about loving the person in front of you. It’s about stopping for the one and being the very fragrance of Jesus to a lost and dying world.”  Heidi Baker

“When we are noisy and when we are hurried we are incapable of intimacy—deep, personal, complex relationships. ” Eugene Peterson

“This is what the Sovereign Yahweh,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you anxiously “striving” for more and more? Have you worried that you “might not live long enough” to accomplish everything you want to accomplish? What happens to you in the grip of such fears?
  • According to Moog, Americans don’t know how to contemplate, reflect “or even rest.” In Isaiah’s day God called the people to rest in him, but they “would have none of it.” Do you refuse God’s rest so you can strive for more and more? If so, why?
  • Salvation and strength are found in “quietness and trust” and “rest.” How can you create times of quiet, trusting rest in your daily schedule? your weekly schedule?

Abba, teach me to rest in you, trusting your care for me. Work in me to break the hold that “more” has on my life as I refuse, not your rest, but my striving.

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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: Activism Depends on Contemplation (Jim Wallis) *

“Contemplation prevents burnout. Action without reflection can easily become barren and even bitter. Without the space of self-examination and the capacity for rejuvenation, the danger of exhaustion and despair is too great. Contemplation confronts us with the questions of our identity and power. Who are we? To whom do we belong? Is there a power that is greater than ours? Drivenness must give way to peacefulness and anxiety to joy. Strategy grows into trust, success into obedience, planning into prayer.”  Jim Wallis

“When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.”  Galatians 1:16b, 17 NLT [Paul, the apostle, describing his response when God called him]

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you experienced the dangers from “exhaustion and despair” and “barrenness and bitterness” that can occur in ministry, politics, or just in the demands of everyday life?
  • Is your life or ministry characterized by drivenness? If so, think about what that might say about you – your motives – what you’re trusting.
  • Have you created spaces in your regular routine for “self-examination and … rejuvenation?” Can you make a plan now to do at least one thing differently even this day?

Abba, I relax in you, I bask in your love, and I trust you to do what only you can do in my life and world today.

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For More: The Soul of Politics by Jim Wallis

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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 provide you with 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: Instructed by God in the Morning (Andrew Bonar and Charles Spurgeon) *

“By the grace of God and the strength of His Holy Spirit I desire to lay down the rule not to speak to man until I have spoken to God; not to do anything with my hand until I have been upon my knees; not to read letters or papers until I have read something of the Holy Scriptures.” Andrew Bonar

“With the earliest birds I will make one more singer in the great concert-hall of God. …I will give my best time, the first hour of the day to the praise of my God.” Charles H. Spurgeon

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house
and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

“As for me, I call to God
and Yahweh saves me.
Evening, morning and noon,
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.”
Psalm 55:16,17

“In the morning bring me word
of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.”   
Psalm 143:8

“The Lord Yahweh …
wakens me morning by morning,
    wakens my ear to listen
like one being instructed.”
Isaiah 50: 4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When is your “best time” to attend to God and his Word? What would be the value in making this your first “conversation” of the day?
  • This is no doubt an area where to “fail to plan is to plan to fail.” Do you have a plan to make sure that you attend to God during your day?
  • I’ve found the ancient practice of the “Daily Office” very helpful in this regard. Here’s more about that.

Abba, the temptation to rush into my day, with all of its demands and stimulation, is strong. Help me to seek you first in stillness, silence and solitude so that I can hear the word of your “unfailing love” before I do anything else.

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For More: Diary and Life by Andrew Bonar

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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 provide you with 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: Hurry and the Purpose of Life (Vianna Moog and Mother Teresa)

“It seemed then, that my purpose in life was to get the most out of life. … I still assumed that the way to this was to strive to do more and more things … always driving to do more things – to read more books, to learn more languages, to see more people, not to miss anything … a miser-like grabbing and piling up of experience.” Marion Milner in A Life of One’s Own

“I began my lifework on the assumption that I might not live long enough to accomplish everything I’d like to. If I wanted to do anything worthwhile in my life I’d have to hurry up. I have been in a hurry ever since.” Robert Schuller

“The American no longer knows how to contemplate; he does not know how to reflect or even rest.”  Brazilian sociologist Vianna Moog

“The world is lost for want of sweetness and kindness. People are starving for love because everyone is in such a great rush.”  M. Teresa

“This is what the Sovereign Yahweh,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
‘In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.’”
Isaiah 30:15

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you anxiously “striving” for more and more? Have you worried that you “might not live long enough” to accomplish everything you want to accomplish? What happens to you in the grip of such fears?
  • According to Moog, Americans don’t know how to contemplate, reflect “or even rest.” In Isaiah’s day God called the people to rest in him, but they “would have none of it.” Do you refuse God’s rest so you can strive for more and more? If so, why?
  • Salvation and strength are found in “quietness and trust” and “rest.” How can you create times of quiet, trusting rest in your daily schedule? your weekly schedule?

Abba, teach me to rest in you, trusting your care for me. Work in me to break the hold that “more” has on my life as I refuse, not your rest, but my striving.

_________________________________________________

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: Meditation (Andrew Bonar & Charles Spurgeon)

“By the grace of God and the strength of His Holy Spirit I desire to lay down the rule not to speak to man until I have spoken to God; not to do anything with my hand until I have been upon my knees; not to read letters or papers until I have read something of the Holy Scriptures.” Andrew Bonar

“With the earliest birds
I will make one more singer
in the great concert-hall of God. …
I will give my best time,
the first hour of the day
to the praise of my God.”
Charles H. Spurgeon


“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house
and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning.”  Psalm 143:8a

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • When is your “best time” to attend to God and his Word? What would be the value in making this your first “conversation” of the day?
  • This is no doubt an area where to “fail to plan is to plan to fail.” Do you have a plan to make sure that you attend to God during your day?
  • I’ve found the ancient practice of the “Daily Office” very helpful in this regard. Here’s more about that.

Abba, the temptation to rush into my day, with all of its demands and stimulation, is strong. Help me to seek you first in stillness, silence and solitude so that I can “hear your lovingkindness” before I do anything else.

__________

For More: Diary and Life by Andrew Bonar

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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 provide you with 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)

The Contemplative Life (Mother Teresa)

“We are called to be contemplatives in the heart of the world –

by seeking the face of God in everything,
everyone, everywhere, all the time,
and his hand in every happening;
seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus,
especially in the lowly appearance of bread,
and in the distressing disguise of the poor.”
Mother Teresa

“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”    Matthew 25:37-40

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • I love the phrase “contemplatives in the heart of the world.” Does this seem possible for you? What would it mean for you to be a contemplative in the world today?
  • Mother Teresa said, “If we were not in constant union with God, it would be impossible for us to endure the sacrifices that are required to live [in Calcutta] among the destitute.” Think about that phrase “constant union with God.” Is that concept on your radar?
  • Do you think to look for Jesus in the “distressing disguise of the poor?” If not, why not? How can you practice doing that?

Abba, help me to see and adore you “in the distressing disguise of the poor” – and in so many of your other disguises – the elderly, the child, the disfigured, the dirty, the widow, the orphan, the prisoner, the immigrant, the otherwise marginalized. I’m often so much more likely to judge or ignore than to adore.

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For More: “An Urban Epiphany” – the article by Edwina Gateley in Daniel Clendenin’s blog Journey With Jesus.

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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 provide you with 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: Contemplation (John Eudes Bamberger)

“When you are faithful in [silent meditation] … you will slowly experience yourself in a deeper way.  Because in this useless hour in which you do nothing ‘important’ or urgent you have to come to terms with your basic powerlessness, you have to feel your fundamental inability to solve your or other people’s problems or to change the world. When you do not avoid that experience but live through it, you will find out that your many projects, plans, and obligations become less urgent, crucial, and important and lose their power over you.” John Eudes Bamberger

“Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.”
Psalm 131:2

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to go to the place the Psalmist writes about, where your soul is quieted and you experience great love, peace, protection, and acceptance from your heavenly parent?
  • Do you have a deep sense of your own “basic powerlessness … to solve your or other people’s problems?” Do you attempt to “avoid that feeling” or try to “live through it?” What is the result?
  • In the press of a busy day, time spent sitting quietly before the Lord can seem “useless” or like “doing nothing.” Have you established a daily practice to keep from skipping such time so that you can more powerfully sense his love for you and your own limitations and needs?

Abba, I pray that the false urgency of my world would lose it’s grip on me as I linger in your presence. I pray that, more and more, I would sense your great love towards me. Help me to breathe in that love, and then exhale it out as my gift, and your gift, to my world.

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For More: The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen

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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 provide you with 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: The Contemplative Life (Eugene Peterson)

“Worship is the strategy

by which we interrupt our preoccupation with ourselves
and attend to the presence of God.
[It’s the] time and place
that we assign for deliberate attentiveness to God …
because our self-importance is so insidiously relentless
that if we don’t deliberately interrupt ourselves regularly,
we have no chance of attending to him at all
at other times and in other places.”
Eugene Peterson

“I have set Yahweh continually before me ….”
Psalm 16:8a

* I think Peterson’s words, perhaps written about corporate worship,
apply at least a much to personal, daily times of prayer, meditation and contemplation.

From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you agree that you are preoccupied with yourself? that your sense of self-importance is “insidiously relentless?”
  • Do you have a strategy to practice “deliberate attentiveness to God” today?  to “set Yahweh continually before you?”
  • Can you interrupt whatever you’re doing now and take a few minutes to attend to the presence of God?

Abba, help me to leave spaces to hear from you in each day, to learn to quiet the competing noise within, and to be aware of your presence in every event, every relationship, every space of the day.

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For More: The Peterson quote is from Disappointment With God by Philip Yancey

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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 provide you with something of uncommon value each day in less than about 300 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)