Daily Riches: The Center of Our Relationship with Jesus (Joni Eareckson Tada)

“The cross is the center of our relationship with Jesus. . . . the cross is where we die. We go there daily. It isn’t easy. Normally, we follow Christ anywhere–to a party, as it were, where he changes water into wine, to a sunlit beach where he preaches from a boat, to a breezy hillside where he feeds thousands . . . But to the cross? We dig in our heels. The invitation is so frighteningly individual. It’s an invitation to go alone. . . . Thus we live independently of the cross. Or try to. As time passes, the memory of our desperate state when we first believed fades. The cross was something that happened to us ‘back then.’ . . . We would hardly admit it, but we know full well how autonomous of God we operate. This is where God steps in. He permits suffering. . . . Suffering reduces us to nothing . . . . To be reduced to nothing is to be dragged to the foot of the cross. It’s a severe mercy. . . . . When suffering forces us to our knees at the foot of Calvary, we die to self. We cannot kneel there for long without releasing our pride and anger, unclasping our dreams and desires–this is what coming to the cross is all about. In exchange, God imparts power and implants new and lasting hope. We rise, renewed. His yoke becomes easy; his burden light. But just when we begin to get a tad self-sufficient, suffering presses harder. And so, we seek the cross again, mortifying the martyr in us, destroying the self-display. . . . God reveals more of his love, more of his power and peace as we hold fast the cross of suffering.” Joni Eareckson Tada

“We who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake,
so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.”
2 Corinthians 4:11 NIV

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you sense the cross at work in you in a necessary and daily way?
  • Are you letting it strip you of what needs to go?
  • Suffering is “severe.” It’s the “mercy” no one wants–but it is mercy. It is love. Unfortunately, the life of Jesus just isn’t formed in us without it. Can you remember this during the next round?

Abba, thank you for your unfailing love in the midst of your severity with me.

For More: When God Weeps by Joni Eareckson Tada and Steven Estes

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Daily Riches: Detachment: “Just Step Away” (Peter Scazzero, Thomas Merton and The Virtues Project) *

“Detachment is experiencing our feelings without allowing them to control us. We step back and look at things objectively. We let go and accept what we cannot change. We detach from others’ choices, knowing that their spiritual work is not ours to do. We choose how we will act rather than just reacting. We step away from harmful cravings. …We can listen without losing ourselves. …we see our mistakes honestly, make amends and start afresh. Detachment allows us to be in the world but not of it. It frees us to lead our lives with grace.” The Virtues Project

“…When we put our claws into something and we don’t want to take them out, we are beyond enjoying them. We now must have them. …God’s purpose for us is to have a loving union with him at the end of the journey. We joyfully detach from certain behaviors and activities for the purpose of a more intimate, loving attachment to God. We are to enjoy the world, for God’s creation is good. We are to appreciate nature, people, and all God’s gifts, along with his presence in Creation–without being ensnared by them. It has rightly been said that those who are the most detached on the journey are best able to taste the purest joy in the beauty of created things.” Peter Scazzero

“We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God.” Thomas Merton

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world
not to be conceited or to fix their hope
on the uncertainty of riches, but on God,
who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
1 Timothy 1:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to detach when you should?
  • Is detachment helping you to “be in the world but not of it?” to “taste the purest joy and beauty of created things?”
  • What would help you to “enjoy all things” without “fixing your hope” on them? How can you “step away?”

Abba, help me to “step away.”

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For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

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This blog is for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow it, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: Suffering’s Unwelcomed Gift (David Benner, Richard Rohr and Henri Nouwen) *

“Suffering can be a path to awakening when we engage it with receptivity to the gifts it holds rather than simply attempt to endure it. One of those gifts is that suffering has unique capacity to help us soften and release attachments and move toward a life of non-attachment. Simone Weil said that suffering that does not detach us is wasted suffering. Don’t waste suffering. It’s always a shame to have to repeat lessons because we don’t get their point but suffering is a particularly bad lesson to be slow to get.” David Benner

“Real holiness doesn’t feel like holiness; it just feels like you’re dying. It feels like you’re losing it. And you are! Every time you love someone, you have agreed for a part of you to die. You will soon be asked to let go of some part of your false self, which you foolishly thought was permanent, important, and essential! You know God is doing this in you and with you when you can somehow smile and trust that what you lost was something you did not need anyway. In fact, it got in the way of what was real.”  Richard Rohr

“… in the middle of the pain there is some hidden gift. I, more and more in my life, have discovered that the gifts of life are often hidden in the places that hurt most.” Henri Nouwen

“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you imagine embracing suffering that comes your way as a giver of “gifts?” Can you remember to look for such a gift when you’re in those “places that hurt most?”
  • Has suffering in your life caused you to loosen your grip on things? Has it changed your perspective about what is “permanent, important, and essential?”
  • When it “feels like you’re dying” or “losing it”, can you trust God to be at work for your good in the very thing that is “killing” you?

Abba, your Son suffered that he might know me. Help me to embrace the gifts of suffering that I might know him. I know I’m going to want to run from it like the disciples ran from the garden.  Strengthen me.

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For More: Spirituality and the Awakening Self by David G. Benner

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These “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Detachment: “Just Step Away” (Peter Scazzero, Thomas Merton and The Virtues Project)

“Detachment is experiencing our feelings without allowing them to control us. We step back and look at things objectively. We let go and accept what we cannot change. We detach from others’ choices, knowing that their spiritual work is not ours to do. We choose how we will act rather than just reacting. We step away from harmful cravings. …We can listen without losing ourselves. …we see our mistakes honestly, make amends and start afresh. Detachment allows us to be in the world but not of it. It frees us to lead our lives with grace.” The Virtues Project

“…When we put our claws into something and we don’t want to take them out, we are beyond enjoying them. We now must have them. …God’s purpose for us is to have a loving union with him at the end of the journey. We joyfully detach from certain behaviors and activities for the purpose of a more intimate, loving attachment to God. We are to enjoy the world, for God’s creation is good. We are to appreciate nature, people, and all God’s gifts, along with his presence in Creation–without being ensnared by them. It has rightly been said that those who are the most detached on the journey are best able to taste the purest joy in the beauty of created things.” Peter Scazzero

“We do not detach ourselves from things in order to attach ourselves to God, but rather we become detached from ourselves in order to see and use all things in and for God.’” Thomas Merton

“Instruct those who are rich in this present world
not to be conceited or to fix their hope
on the uncertainty of riches, but on God,
who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”
1 Timothy 1:17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you able to detach when you should?
  • Is detachment helping you to “be in the world but not of it?” to “taste the purest joy and beauty of created things?”
  • What would help you to “enjoy all things” without “fixing your hope on them? How can you “step away?”

Abba, help me to “step away.”

__________

For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

_________________________________________________

This blog is for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow it, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

 

Daily Riches: Suffering’s Unwelcomed Gift (David Benner and Richard Rohr)

“Suffering can be a path to awakening when we engage it with receptivity to the gifts it holds rather than simply attempt to endure it. One of those gifts is that suffering has unique capacity to help us soften and release attachments and move toward a life of non-attachment. Simone Weil said that suffering that does not detach us is wasted suffering. Don’t waste suffering. It’s always a shame to have to repeat lessons because we don’t get their point but suffering is a particularly bad lesson to be slow to get.” David Benner

“Real holiness doesn’t feel like holiness; it just feels like you’re dying. It feels like you’re losing it. And you are! Every time you love someone, you have agreed for a part of you to die. You will soon be asked to let go of some part of your false self, which you foolishly thought was permanent, important, and essential! You know God is doing this in you and with you when you can somehow smile and trust that what you lost was something you did not need anyway. In fact, it got in the way of what was real.”  Richard Rohr

“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” Hebrews 5:8

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you imagine embracing suffering that comes your way as a giver of “gifts?” Can you remember to look for such a gift the next time you suffer?
  • Has suffering in your life caused you to loosen your grip on things? Has it changed your perspective about what is “permanent, important, and essential?”
  • When it “feels like you’re dying” or “losing it”, can you trust God to be at work for your good in the very thing that is “killing” you?

Abba, your Son suffered that he might know me. Help me to embrace the gifts of suffering that I might know him. I know I’m going to want to run from it like the disciples ran from the garden. Please strengthen me.

__________

For More: Spirituality and the Awakening Self by David G. Benner

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These “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)