Daily Riches: When Only Empathy Will Do (Peter Scazzero and Martin Buber)

“Before the war began, [Martin] Buber considered the ‘religious’ to be mystical experiences that lifted him out of the earthly ordinary experiences of everyday life. He was more concerned with the eternal than with the temporal, more focused on ecstasy that on daily existence, more interested in what lies beyond the world than in the world itself. That all changed one day in 1914, the year the World War I broke out in Europe, when a young man came to visit Buber.

What happened was no more than that one forenoon, after a morning of ‘religious’ enthusiasm, I had a visit from an unknown young man, without being there in spirit. I certainly did not fail to let the meeting be friendly. . . . I conversed attentively and openly with him–only I omitted to guess the questions which he did not put. Later, not long after, I learned from one of his friends–he himself was no longer alive–the essential content of these questions; I learned that he had come to me not casually but borne by destiny, not for a chat but for a decision. He had come to me, he had come in this hour.

“The young man had committed suicide. The guilt Buber felt was not that he had somehow failed to remove the young man’s despair, but that he was not fully present to him. He was so preoccupied by his religious experience earlier that morning, that he failed to bring the full resources of his attention to their conversation. He did not turn to the young man with his whole being to actually feel with him. Instead, of genuinely listening, he brought leftovers, a courteous but partial engagement. For Buber, the experience felt like a judgment on his whole way of life. He realized that it is possible to have profound spiritual experiences . . . but that such a faith is worth nothing without a deeply present love for people.” Peter Scazzero

“But they did not understand what he meant
and were afraid to ask him about it.”
Mark 9:32 NIV

Moving from Head to Heart

  • How do you think Jesus felt when he spoke about his coming death, and no one asked him what he meant?
  • Can you recall a time when you tragically failed to listen well?
  • What can you do to become a better listener?

Abba, when I listen, help me focus on what’s happening inside the other person, not inside of me.

For More: Emotionally Healthy Relationships Day by Day by Peter Scazzero

Daily Riches: Through Many Tribulations . . . (Scott Peck, Peter Scazzero, and Phillips Brooks)

“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” Phillips Brooks
 .
“Life is difficult. This is a great truth . . . because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. Most do not fully see this truth, that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, noisily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, and their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy. They voice their belief, noisily or subtly, that their difficulties represent a unique kind of affliction that should not be . . . . I know about this moaning because I have done my share. . . . The process of confronting and solving problems is a painful one. Problems, depending upon their nature, evoke in us frustration of grief or sadness or loneliness or guilt or regret or anger or fear or anxiety or anguish or despair. These are uncomfortable feelings, often very uncomfortable, often as painful as any kind of physical pain, sometimes equaling the very worst kind of physical pain. Indeed, it is because of the pain that events or conflicts engender in us all that we can call them problems. . . . It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually. . . . It is through the pain of confronting and resolving that we learn. . . . Wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.” Scott Peck
 .
“God sometimes wounds us in our journey’s with him in order to move us out of an unhealthy, ‘tip of the iceberg’ spirituality to one that truly transforms us from the inside out. When these wounds come, we can deny them, cover them, get angry with God, blame others, or like Jacob we can cling desperately to God.” Peter Scazzero
 .
“God disciplines us for our good,
in order that we may share in his holiness.”
Hebrews 12:10b NIV

Moving From Head to Heart

  • Are you waiting for life (or the “spiritual life”) to be easy/painless?
  • What’s wrong with hoping for easy/painless?
  • Is desperately clinging to God the starting point of your coping strategy?
  • What else would be part of your strategy?

Abba, thank you for forcing me to go deeper–however painful.

For more: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck

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Thanks for reading, following and sharing these Daily Riches. Look for my upcoming book–Wisdom From the Margins: Daily Readings for more meditations like this.

Daily Riches: Ministry and Contentment (Pete Scazzero, John Calvin)

“Looking over our shoulder to more ‘successful’ ministries is one of the most frequent sources of pain for leaders.  …We can learn a lot from the pattern of John the Baptist’s leadership as he responded to the news that he was losing people to the ‘new, big thing’ happening around him (John 3:26-30): (1) I am content. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. “A person can receive only what is given him from heaven.” Yes, God gives gifts and abilities that we want to steward well. But each place of service, employment, success, or failure (a lot of God’s closest servants seem to suffer martyrdom) is under God’s sovereignty. It is tempting to strive, manipulate, and anxiously toil to push doors open that God does not have for us. But we want to receive as a gift each task given to us by God regardless of the where it leads. … (2) I am second. “I am not the Messiah…I am a friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears him.” John’s self-knowledge enabled him to escape the deadly trap of envy. …May we never lose sight of the pure happiness found in listening to the lovely voice of Jesus in Scripture, as well as the privilege given to us to speak His words to the world. (3) I am disappearing. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John is happy to decrease, even to disappear. Are we? Calvin said it well: ‘Those who win the church over to themselves rather than to Christ faithlessly violate the marriage they ought to honor.’ You and I will disappear some day and God will continue to build his kingdom. May we too rejoice in that process whenever God opens doors for us to disappear.” Pete Scazzero

“A person can receive only what is given him from heaven.” John 3:27

Moving From Head to Heart

  • If you live by the numbers, you’ll die by the numbers. Do you measure ministry success by numbers? Is your identity based on competition and out doing others?
  • Many leaders are tempted “to strive, manipulate, and anxiously toil to push doors open” that God has closed. When that happens, what’s your response?
  • Your ego has a plan for you as a pastor – and it’s not “disappearing.” Are you aware of it? prepared to handle it?

Abba, give our leaders great contentment serving you.

For More: Open Secrets by Richard Lischer

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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: The Supernatural Impact of Practicing Sabbath (Pete Scazzero) *

“Geri and I … marvel at the supernatural impact of inviting pastors, churches, and movements to slow down and engage the biblical truths of EHS (Emotionally Healthy Spirituality). In particular, something breaks inside people when they are invited to practice Sabbath. The following are a few reasons I think this is true:

  • Sabbath Rest is a revelation. We don’t just talk about the miraculous on Sabbath. We experience it. This enables us to give it away the other six days.
  • The power of God comes through rest – to us and then to those we serve.
  • Sabbath rest is a restoration and a reordering of what is twisted in us. We allow ourselves to be loved. We allow ourselves to be human. We stop and allow ourselves to be healed by God.
  • Sabbath rest is resistance of the demonic powers. We prophetically disconnect from the powers and principalities of darkness on Sabbath. We declare we are not slaves in Egypt any longer being used by God to get his work done. We are sons and daughters who are loved simply for who we are.” Pete Scazzero

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”
Jesus in Mark 2:28

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • What Scazzero doesn’t mention, is how difficult it is convincing pastors to embrace a weekly sabbath rhythm – and people in the pews find it just as foreign and tough. How do you feel about setting aside a day each week for Sabbath practices – stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating?
  • Have you moved “from the head to the heart” on this one? Does your behavior match your convictions?
  • The only way any of us will ever know whether practicing “Sabbath rest” delivers is by trying it. Are you willing to make a plan to experiment – scheduling a Sabbath day into your calendar, for perhaps the next month or so?
  • If you’re already keeping a weekly Sabbath day, how many of the benefits mentioned have you experienced?

Abba, even on my Sabbath I’m tempted to find ways to work, or strive – intent on “accomplishing something!” Help me to really stop, rest, delight and contemplate.

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For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Pete Scazzero

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement. 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: 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: The Willingness to Wait (Henri Nouwen and Pete Scazzero) *

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ implies the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Impatient people expect the real thing to happen somewhere else, and therefore they want to get away from the present situation and go elsewhere. For them the moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are.” Henri Nouwen

“Do not leave Jerusalem,
but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about.”
Jesus in Acts 1: 4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you a patient person? Able to stay where you are, even if it seems nothing is happening?  waiting expectantly to see what God will do?
  • Are you a patient person, willing to look for God’s fullness where you are?  willing to live in the present situation and it’s fullness – a fullness which may not be obvious?
  • Can you resist the urge to “go elsewhere”, running to a better moment rather than the present one that seems so “empty?” Can you “dare to stay where you are?”
  • Think about the quiet seemingly empty moments in the various Biblical accounts that exploded into significance when God acted in them. What might you miss if you can’t stay put in “quiet, empty” moments?

“Lord grant me the grace to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do, be it large or small. By the power of the Holy Spirit, empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next. Declutter my heart, O God, until I am quiet enough to hear you speak out of the silence. Forgive me for running my life without you sometimes. Help me to be still, to surrender to your will, and to rest in your loving arms. Amen.”  (Pete Scazzero)

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For More: The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero

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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: “Practicing the Presence” (Peter Scazzero and Thomas Merton)

“As emotionally mature Christian adults, we recognize that loving well is the essence of true spirituality. This requires that we experience connection with God, with ourselves, and with other people. God invites us to practice his presence in our daily lives. At the same time, he invites us “to practice the presence of people,” within an awareness of his presence, in our daily relationships. The two are rarely brought together. Jesus’ profound, contemplative prayer life with his Father resulted in a contemplative presence with people. Love is ‘to reveal the beauty of another person to themselves,’ wrote Jean Vanier. Jesus did that with each person he met. We see this in his interaction with the woman with a twelve year bleeding problem in Mark 5. This ability to really listen and pay attention to people was at the very heart of his mission. It could not help but move him to compassion. In the same way, out of our contemplative time with God, we too, are invited to be prayerfully present to people, revealing their beauty to themselves. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day, the ‘church leaders’ of that time, never made that connection.” Peter Scazzero

“Our contemplative practice is a ‘laboratory’ in which we learn to die to our passing emotions and thoughts and to receive the always-permanent Divine gaze. The rest of our life becomes the field in which we live out this participation in Love, bouncing back the gaze of grace to the Other and then having plenty left over for all others besides.” Richard Rohr

“But the goal of our instruction is love….” 1 Timothy 1:5

Moving From Head to Heart

  • When you think of the “essence of true spirituality”, to you think first of “loving well?”
  • Does being “present” to God make you more effective at being “present” to others?  and vice versa? Does either increase your compassion?
  • Is your love for others what is “left over” from your “participation in Love” with God?
  • Have you tried a contemplative approach to your faith? If not, what is stopping you?

Abba, teach me to receive and return your loving gaze as a starting point in being a person who loves.

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For More: The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero

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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. Thanks!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Upside-Down Kingdom (Peter Scazzero)

“Here’s the way God’s kingdom works: it’s ‘lose your life, and you’ll find it.’ It’s ‘the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ It’s ‘life comes out of death, new beginnings out of endings.’ The kingdom of God is ‘in giving we receive.’ It’s ‘when we rest God works.’ It’s ‘weakness is the way to power.’ …It’s ‘the humble who will be exalted, it’s those who exalt themselves – they’re going to be humbled.’ In fact, the meek are going to inherit the earth. It’s the broken, it’s the meek, it’s power under control – in fact God has chosen the poor to be rich in faith (James 2). God’s kingdom is small, it’s little. Jesus said it’s like a mustard seed. You can barely see it. It’s imperceptible.  …It’s the weakest and the least among us. God says, ‘There’s my kingdom. They’re indispensable to our whole existence. The kingdom of God identifies with the unimpressive, the insignificant, the orphan, the widow, the elderly, the poor, the sick – these are the ones, these are what you’re all about.’ … We want ‘God’s dream’ [His kingdom], but we don’t want this! And we end up running after the wrong things.”   Peter Scazzero

“No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love …
he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 33:16-20 

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Jesus’s Kingdom values aren’t the values of our world. Are they increasingly your values, or are you “running after the wrong things?”
  • Do you have others that share these counter-cultural, counter-intuitive values with you, so you can encourage one another on the spiritual journey?
  • When you go to church, are you taught to embrace these values? If you have a ministry, do they inform it?

Abba, help me more and more to see through the constant noise and nonsense of this world for what it is.

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For More: Thy Kingdom Come (podcast) by Peter Scazzero

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God, and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate it! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Subtle Violence of Hurry (Thomas Merton, Peter Scazzero and Catherine of Siena)

“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence, and that is activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of this innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone and everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” Thomas Merton

“Overfunctioning (doing for others what they can and should do for themselves) is a manifestation of anxiety.” Peter Scazzero

“No longer will violence be heard in your land,
nor ruin or destruction within your borders,
but you will call your walls Salvation
and your gates Praise.”
Isaiah 60:18

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Do you allow yourself to be “carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, or to surrender to too many demands?” Do you “commit yourself to too many projects [or attempt] to help everyone and everything?” What does your answer say about you?
  • Have you ever thought of overwork as a “form of violence?” Does that seem overstated? Why does Merton use the word “violence?”
  • Does frenzy in your life kill your inner life, steal your peace, undercut your inner wisdom and make your work unfruitful? If so, what can you change?
  • Have you been on the receiving end of such violence – asking for love and finding the other person, though well-intentioned, had no time for you?

You, O Eternal Trinity, are a deep sea into which, the more I enter, the more I find, and the more I find, the more I seek. O abyss, O eternal Godhead, O sea profound, what more could you give me than yourself.  Catherine of Siena

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For More: Confessions of a Guilty Bystander 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: The Supernatural Impact of Practicing Sabbath (Peter Scazzero)

“Geri and I … marvel at the supernatural impact of inviting pastors, churches, and movements to slow down and engage the biblical truths of EHS. In particular, something breaks inside people when they are invited to practice Sabbath. The following are a few reasons I think this is true:

  • Sabbath Rest is a revelation. We don’t just talk about the miraculous on Sabbath. We experience it. This enables us to give it away the other six days.
  • The power of God comes through rest – to us and then to those we serve.
  • Sabbath rest is a restoration and a reordering of what is twisted in us. We allow ourselves to be loved. We allow ourselves to be human. We stop and allow ourselves to be healed by God.
  • Sabbath rest is resistance of the demonic powers. We prophetically disconnect from the powers and principalities of darkness on Sabbath. We declare we are not slaves in Egypt any longer being used by God to get his work done. We are sons and daughters who are loved simply for who we are.” Peter Scazzero

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
(N.B. “even“)
Mark 2:28,29

Moving From Head to Heart

  • What Scazzero doesn’t mention, is how difficult it is convincing pastors to embrace a weekly sabbath rhythm – and people in the pews find it just as foreign and tough. How do you feel about setting aside a day each week for Sabbath practices – stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating?
  • Have you moved “from the head to the heart” on this one? Does your behavior match your convictions?
  • The only way any of us will ever know whether “Sabbath rest” delivers like Scazzero says is by trying it. Are you willing to make a plan to experiment – scheduling a Sabbath day into your calendar, for perhaps the next month or so?
  • If you’re already keeping a weekly Sabbath day, how many of the benefits Scazzero mentions have you experienced?

Abba, even on my Sabbath I find ways to work, or strive – intent on “accomplishing something!” Help me to really stop, rest, delight and contemplate.

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For More: Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero

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“Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. – 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.”

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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: The Willingness to Wait (Henri Nouwen and Peter Scazzero)

“A waiting person is a patient person. The word ‘patience’ implies the willingness to stay where we are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. Patient living means to live actively in the present and wait there. Impatient people expect the real thing to happen somewhere else, and therefore they want to get away from the present situation and go elsewhere. For them the moment is empty. But patient people dare to stay where they are.” Henri Nouwen

“Do not leave Jerusalem,
but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about.’”
Jesus in Acts 1: 4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you a patient person? Able to stay where you are, even if it seems nothing is happening?  waiting expectantly to see what God will do?
  • Are you a patient person, willing to look for God’s fullness where you are?  willing to live in the present situation and it’s fullness – a fullness which may not be obvious?
  • Can you resist the urge to “go elsewhere”, running to a better moment rather than the present one that seems so “empty?” Can you “dare to stay where you are?”
  • Think about the quiet seemingly empty moments in the various Biblical accounts that exploded into significance when God acted in them. What might you miss if you can’t stay put in “quiet, empty” moments?

Lord grant me the grace to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do, be it large or small. By the power of the Holy Spirit, empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next. Declutter my heart, O God, until I am quiet enough to hear you speak out of the silence. Forgive me for running my life without you sometimes. Help me to be still, to surrender to your will, and to rest in your loving arms. Amen.  Peter Scazzero

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For More: The Daily Office by Peter Scazzero

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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: “Slow Jesus” (Peter Scazzero)

“Jesus moved slowly, not striving or rushing. He patiently waited through his adolescent and young adult years to reveal himself as the Messiah. Even then, he did not rush to be recognized. He waited patiently for his Father’s timing during his short ministry. Why is it then that we hate ‘slow’ when God appears to delight in it?” Peter Scazzero

But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, ‘You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.’  … Jesus told them, ‘The right time for me has not yet come … I am not yet going up to this Feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.'” John 7:3-8

Moving From Head to Heart

  • “No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret.” Jesus clearly knew of his divine identity and mission from a young age, but he kept it “secret” most of his life! What kind of plan was that?
  • Dallas Willard famously remarked that the best word to characterize Jesus was “relaxed.” He ministered under a microscope and the shadow of his violent death. No-one really understood him. The power brokers of his day eventually all turned on him. It was in this context that he was “relaxed.” What does that reveal about him?
  • And yet, as his followers, we seem to “hate slow.” We don’t relax. Do you hate slow? Can you relax? What do your answers reveal about you?

LORD, grant me the grace to do one thing at a time today, without rushing or hurrying. Help me to savor the sacred in all I do, be it large or small. By the Holy Spirit within me, empower me to pause today as I move from one activity to the next. In Jesus’ name, amen. (Scazzero)

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For More:  Begin the Journey with the Daily Office by Peter Scazzero

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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: Longing for Loving Union with God (Peter Scazzero)

Pastor Peter Scazzero suggests thirteen indicators of being out of loving union with God:

  • I feel anxiety in the tenseness and tightness in my body.
  • I am not present or listening intently.
  • I feel pressure, with too much to do in too little time.
  • I am rushing.
  • I give quick opinions and judgments.
  • I am fearful about the future.
  • I am overly concerned with what others think.
  • I am defensive and easily offended.
  • I am preoccupied and distracted.
  • I am resentful of interruptions and abrupt.
  • I am manipulative, not patient.
  • I am unenthusiastic or threatened by the success of others.
  • I talk more than I listen.

“Abide in Me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself
unless it abides in the vine,
so neither can you unless you abide in Me.”
Jesus in John 15:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • This list is a profound body-focused diagnostic tool. What is your body telling you about your present experience of loving union with God?
  • The desert fathers talked about the life of faith this way: “I fall down; I rise up. I fall down; I rise up.” The point of the list is that your body will tell you when you have “fallen down.” When you do, can you be gracious with yourself (instead of heaping self-recrimination, wallowing in guilt and shame, or making excuses), and simply act to reestablish union?
  • It’s hard to live in loving union with God and others. Will you accept God’s guidance to you, to help you do better, as he speaks to you through your body? Has God been speaking to you lately in this manner? Have you been listening?

Abba, anxiety, defensiveness, talking too much, hurrying, criticizing others – these are the “trouble lights” in my O.S. I’d rather not notice them, but if you’re going to talk to me this way, I want to listen. Please help me pay attention to the indicators and steer myself quickly back on course.

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For More: “Your Body is a Major, Not Minor Prophet” by Peter Scazzero

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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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