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: 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

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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 Power of a Pregnant Pause (Courtney E. Martin)

“Designers have to resist habituation in order to be transcendentally successful. They have to build in a pregnant pause and ask themselves questions about the status quo. They have to have beginner’s minds. They have to wonder, as they reach for their toothbrush and toothpaste: Is this the best shape for a container filled with paste? Is this the best material for bristles? Is this the right sized handle? In short, a designer has to constantly resist settling for … ‘Because we’ve always done it this way.’ … [and] I don’t think it’s just great designers that have an awareness of how their own habits dull their capacity to be creative, to invent, to expect more … it’s great humans that do. One of my favorite mantras in the Buddhist tradition is, ‘May I see what I do. May I do it differently. May I make this a way of life.’ …Habits are part of what makes our lives livable. [but]…When we get too attached to these habits, we risk losing our sense of wonder and our potential for the catalytic experience. When we get too comfortable, we risk falling asleep on the job — the job being living an awake life. So it has me thinking: what are the habits that I need to or, better yet, want to shed? What are the habits filled with pleasure, the ones that make me feel grounded and capable of diving back into the fray of my busy life; in contrast, what are the habits that dull me? …My biggest ambitions to resist habituation are rooted in my relationships. I want to be less dutiful. I want to pause before I get busy anticipating everyone else’s needs and making sure that no one suffers or fights. My wiser self knows that both can lead to transformation. …I want to spend less time on guilt and more on joy. I want to choose my choices.” Courtney Martin

“not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.” Hebrews 10:25

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Which of your habits bring you life? Which dull you?
  • Can you develop a mantra to help you “resist habituation?” … to be “transcendentally successful?”
  • How can you harness the power of habituation for spiritual transformation?

Abba, may I see what I do, do it differently, and make this a way of life.

For More: The Pregnant Pause” by Courtney Martin

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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: Mindfulness – “Now, Here, This” (Ruth Haley Barton, Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr)

“Discernment is first of all a habit, a way of seeing that eventually  permeates our whole life. It is the journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or seeing him only where we expect to see him) to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere especially where we least expect it.)”  Ruth Haley Barton

“The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth. When we go rushing ahead into the future or shrinking back into the past, we miss the hand of God, which can only touch us in the now.” Cynthia Bourgeault

“Most of Jesus’ contemporaries missed the ‘Real Presence’ that was right in their midst, and most of them were religiously observant people…. They were looking for religion, and he was just a human being.” Richard Rohr

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1:10, 11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Which describes you – unaware of God, looking for God in expected places, or expecting God everywhere? (Is God ubiquitous or “everywhere present” for you?)
  • We confess God ‘s activity in the past and anticipate God’s activity in the future. Do you expect God to show up in the present? …to “touch you in the now?”
  • Imagine all the people who saw and listened to Jesus when he walked the earth – God in their very midst – who “didn’t recognize him” and even “rejected him.” I wonder how often we fail to recognize him in our day.
  • What practices can you adopt that would help you to be more mindful of the God “in whom you live and move and exist?” (Acts 17:28)

Abba, help me to really “stop, look and listen” as I go through my day. Teach me to be more present to myself, to others and to you.

__________

For More: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

_________________________________________________

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)

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

 

Daily Riches: The Crucible of Interruptions (Mark Buchanan)

“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: Mindfulness (Ruth Haley Barton & Richard Rohr) .

“Discernment is first of all a habit, a way of seeing that eventually  permeates our whole life. It is the journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or seeing him only where we expect to see him) to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere especially where we least expect it.)”  Ruth Haley Barton

“Most of Jesus’ contemporaries missed the ‘Real Presence’ that was right in their midst, and most of them were religiously observant people ….They were looking for religion, and he was just a human being.” Richard Rohr

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1:10,11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you agree that we can find God everywhere? (Don’t forget that old dusty doctrine of the “omnipresence” or “ubiquity” of God – that he is “everywhere present.” Don’t forget how the creation speaks of him (Psalm 19:1-4), how Jesus appears in the poor and marginalized, and how every person bears God’s image.)
  • Which of Barton’s three categories describe you – unaware of God, looking for him in expected places, or expecting him everywhere? Do you want to “expect him everywhere?”
  •  Imagine all the people who saw and listened to Jesus when he walked the earth – God in their very midst – who “didn’t recognize him” and even “rejected him.” I wonder how often we fail to “recognize” him in our day. What discipline can you begin to practice today to help you be more mindful of the presence of God all around you?

Abba, help me to really “stop, look and listen” as I go through my day. Teach me to be more present to myself, to others and to you.

__________

For More: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

_________________________________________________

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: Awareness and Loving Listening (Anthony De Mello)

“When I’m listening to you, it’s infinitely more important for me to listen to me than to listen to you. Of course, it’s important to listen to you, but it’s more important that I listen to me. Otherwise I won’t be hearing you. Or I’ll be distorting everything you say. I’ll be coming at you from my own conditioning. I’ll be reacting to you in all kinds of ways from my insecurities, from my need to manipulate you, from my desire to succeed, from irritations and feelings that I might not be aware of. So it’s frightfully important that I listen to me when I’m listening to you.” Anthony De Mello

“Then [Joseph] had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’ When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” Genesis 37:9-11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • It’s our “conditioning … insecurities … need to manipulate … desire to succeed … [and] irritations and feelings” that make it so difficult for us to truly listen – to listen lovingly. Imagine how hard it must have been for Joseph’s family to hear about his dream.
  • Are you aware of the “triggers” that spoil your listening? How defended you are? controlling? impatient? unteachable? What would you add to this list?
  • This is an area where training will serve us better than merely trying. How can you train to “listen to you” while you “listen to me?” Can you practice watching your conversations from outside? Can you bring an “inner stability” (Nouwen) to conversations, so that it’s not “all about you?”

Abba, teach me to lovingly listen to others by teaching me first to know and hear myself.

__________

For More: Awareness by Anthony De Mello

_________________________________________________

The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to 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: Where We Expect God Least, There He Comes (Frederick Buechner) *

“Once [those who believe in God] have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of man. If holiness and the awful power and majesty of God were present in this least auspicious of all events, this birth of a peasant’s child, then there is no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there too. And this means … [there is] no place where we are safe from his power to break in two and recreate the human heart because it is just where he seems most helpless that he is most strong, and just where we least expect him that he comes most fully.”  Frederick Buechner

“… he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
Isaiah 53:3

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • The birth of Jesus was the “least auspicious of all events.” In other words, God was up to something big, but no-one would have guessed it. But “where we least expect him … he comes most fully.” Where do you “least expect” God to come?
  • In weak people and inauspicious situations God is often “most strong.” Are you weak, even tragically flawed? Are you in a hopeless situation? Doesn’t that actually make your life more likely as a staging ground for some work of God? Can you think about your life in that way?

Abba, I want to learn to expect you not only there but “here”, not only then, but “now”, not only for them, but “for me.” I admit I’m an unlikely candidate who seems likely to fail. Help me therefore all the more to look with expectation for your coming in my life.

__________

For More: Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons by Frederick Buechner

_________________________________________________

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: Finding God’s “Real Presence” Everywhere (Ruth Haley Barton and Richard Rohr) *

“Discernment is first of all a habit, a way of seeing that eventually permeates our whole life. It is the journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or seeing him only where we expect to see him) to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere especially where we least expect it.)”  Ruth Haley Barton

“Most of Jesus’ contemporaries missed the ‘Real Presence’ that was right in their midst, and most of them were religiously observant people ….They were looking for religion, and he was just a human being.” Richard Rohr

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1:10,11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you agree that we can find God everywhere? (Don’t forget that old dusty doctrine of the “omnipresence” or “ubiquity” of God – that he is “everywhere present.” Don’t forget how the creation speaks of him (Psalm 19:1-4), how Jesus appears in the poor and marginalized, and how every person bears God’s image.)
  • Which of Barton’s three categories describe you – unaware of God, looking for him in expected places, or expecting him everywhere? Do you want to “expect him everywhere?”
  •  Imagine all the people who saw and listened to Jesus when he walked the earth – God in their very midst – who “didn’t recognize him” and even “rejected him.” How often do we fail to recognize him in our day? What discipline can you begin to practice today to help you be more aware of the presence of God all around you?

Abba, help me to really “stop, look and listen” as I go through my day. Teach me to be more present to myself, to others and to you.

__________

For More: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

_________________________________________________

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: Stopping for the Bush that Burns (Walter Rauschenbusch) *

“O God, we thank you for this universe, our great home; for its vastness and its riches, and for the manifoldness of the life which teems upon it and of which we are a part. …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 unseeing when even the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame with the glory of God.”  Walter Rauschenbusch

“Now Moses … led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.”  Exodus 3:1-3

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you able to stay open to our world’s daily “joy and beauty” when your heart is “steeped in care?”  when it is “darkened by passion?”
  • Are you able to be unhurried enough, and present enough, so that if “the thorn bush by the wayside is aflame” you’ll stop to investigate?
  • What specific action can you take to be more mindful of what’s happening in you and around you as you move through your day today?

Abba, my heart’s cares and dark passions are constantly hindering me from hearing and seeing what you have for me. Please help me to work on being more present to you and to my world.

_________________________________________________

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: God Comes in our “Now” (Henri Nouwen)

“After having read these words [below], Jesus said, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening.’ Suddenly, it becomes clear that the afflicted, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed are not people somewhere outside of the synagogue who, someday, will be liberated; they are the people who are listening. And it is in the listening that God becomes present and heals. … The Word of God is not a word to apply in our daily lives at some later date; it is a word to heal us through, and in, our listening here and now.” Henri Nouwen

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
for he has anointed me
to bring good news to the afflicted.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives,
sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim a year of favor from the Lord.”
Jesus, reading from Isaiah in the synagogue
Luke 4:18-19

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • How does God come to me as I listen to the word? Where do I discern the healing hand of God touching me through the word?
  • How are my sadness, my grief, and my mourning being transformed at this very moment?
  • Do I sense the fire of God’s love purifying my heart and giving me new life?

              (These questions are also from Henri Nouwen.)

Abba, I need you to transform my sadness and mourning, and purify my heart. I seek you, not for your saving and transforming work at some future date, in some other place, but for this moment in this place – right now.

_________________________________________________

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: Awareness and Loving Listening (Anthony deMello)

“When I’m listening to you, it’s infinitely more important for me to listen to me than to listen to you. Of course, it’s important to listen to you, but it’s more important that I listen to me. Otherwise I won’t be hearing you. Or I’ll be distorting everything you say. I’ll be coming at you from my own conditioning. I’ll be reacting to you in all kinds of ways from my insecurities, from my need to manipulate you, from my desire to succeed, from irritations and feelings that I might not be aware of. So it’s frightfully important that I listen to me when I’m listening to you.” Anthony deMello

“Then [Joseph] had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. ‘Listen,’ he said, ‘I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.’ When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, ‘What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?’ His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.” Genesis 37:9-11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • It’s our “conditioning … insecurities … need to manipulate … desire to succeed … [and] irritations and feelings” that make it so difficult for us to truly listen – to listen lovingly. Imagine how hard it must have been for Joseph’s family to hear about his dream.
  • Are you aware of the “triggers” that spoil your listening? How defended you are? controlling? impatient? unteachable? What would you add to this list?
  • This is an area where training will serve us better than merely trying. How can you train to “listen to you” while you “listen to me?” Can you practice watching your conversations from outside? Can you bring an “inner stability” (Nouwen) to conversations, so that it’s not “all about you?”

Abba, teach me to lovingly listen to others by teaching me first to know and hear myself.

__________

For More: Awareness by Anthony deMello

_________________________________________________

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: Mindfulness (Jane Kenyon and Alan Wilson Watts)

“I got out of bed on two strong legs.
It might have been otherwise.
I ate cereal, sweet milk, ripe, flawless peach.
It might have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill to the birch wood.
All morning I did the work I love.
At noon I lay down with my mate.
It might have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together at a table with silver candlesticks.
It might have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed in a room with paintings on the walls,
and planned another day just like this day.
But one day, I know, it will be otherwise.”
Jane Kenyon
(Jane Kenyon died from leukemia on April 22, 1995)

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infintesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality.” Alan Wilson Watts

” … you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1b
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you approaching today as if you know “what it may bring forth” – planning, controlling, sucking it up, sleep-walking through it? Does your answer reveal someone who is “out of touch with reality?”
  • What’s happening to you right now? Are you opening your heart to God?  relaxing in God’s unconditional acceptance of you? experiencing a rootedness that will inform your day?
  • Might not such a present moment be the most important of the day – the most real, most formative, most strategic? Imagine being oblivious to it due to what seemed an “all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future.”

Abba, today may my soul be “as light as a feather, as fluid as water, simple as a child, as easily moved as a ball, so as to receive and follow all the impressions of grace.” (J. P. de Caussade)

__________

For More: Collected Poems by Jane Kenyon

_________________________________________________

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: Mindfulness (Frederick Buechner)

“Once [those who believe in God] have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of man. If holiness and the awful power and majesty of God were present in this least auspicious of all events, this birth of a peasant’s child, then there is no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there too. And this means … [there is] no place where we are safe from his power to break in two and recreate the human heart because it is just where he seems most helpless that he is most strong, and just where we least expect him that he comes most fully.”  Frederick Buechner

“… he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”
Isaiah 53:3

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • The birth of Jesus was the “least auspicious of all events.” In other words, God was up to something big, and chose an approach destined to fail. But “where we least expect him … he comes most fully.” Where do you “least expect” God to come?
  • In weak people and inauspicious situations God is often “most strong.” Are you weak, even tragically flawed? Are you in a hopeless situation? Doesn’t that actually make your life more likely as a staging ground for some work of God? Can you think about your life in that way?

Abba, I want to learn to expect you not only there but “here”, not only then, but “now”, not only for them, but “for me.” I admit I’m an unlikely candidate who seems likely to fail. Help me therefore all the more to look with expectation for your coming in my life.

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For More: Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons by Frederick Buechner

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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: Mindfulness (Ruth Haley Barton & Richard Rohr)

“Discernment is first of all a habit, a way of seeing that eventually  permeates our whole life. It is the journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or seeing him only where we expect to see him) to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere especially where we least expect it.)”  Ruth Haley Barton

“Most of Jesus’ contemporaries missed the ‘Real Presence’ that was right in their midst, and most of them were religiously observant people ….They were looking for religion, and he was just a human being.” Richard Rohr

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1:10,11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you agree that we can find God everywhere? (Don’t forget that old dusty doctrine of the “omnipresence” or “ubiquity” of God – that he is “everywhere present.” Don’t forget how the creation speaks of him (Psalm 19:1-4), how Jesus appears in the poor and marginalized, and how every person bears God’s image.)
  • Which of Barton’s three categories describe you – unaware of God, looking for him in expected places, or expecting him everywhere? Do you want to “expect him everywhere?”
  •  Imagine all the people who saw and listened to Jesus when he walked the earth – God in their very midst – who “didn’t recognize him” and even “rejected him.” I wonder how often we fail to “recognize” him in our day. What discipline can you begin to practice today to help you be more mindful of the presence of God all around you?

Abba, help me to really “stop, look and listen” as I go through my day. Teach me to be more present to myself, to others and to you.

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For More: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

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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)