Daily Riches: God Disguised In Your Day (Paula D’Arcy, Jim Palmer, Dallas Willard, Richard Rohr, Frederick Buechner and Rosalind Goforth)

“God comes to you disguised as your life.” Paula D’Arcy*

“Listen to your life.” Frederick Buechner

“You don’t need to find a spiritual path. Your life is your spiritual path. The next moment is your teacher. Whatever arises next, make it your spiritual path. What does the present moment require of you?
Nothing? Then nothing is your path.
To notice something? Then noticing is your path.
To act? Then your action is the path.
To give love? Then expressing love is your path.
To create? Then creating is your path.
To eat? Then eating is your path.
To be aware of your true Self? Then awareness is your path.
To shed tears? Then your tears are the path.
To be courageous? Then courage is your path.
To notice a pattern of thought or behavior? Then your noticing is the path.
To seek? Then seeking is your path.
To let go of seeking? Then the cessation of seeking is your path.
To be content? Then being content is your path.
To be struck by beauty? Then awe and wonder is your path.
To be seized by bliss and ecstasy? Then bliss and ecstasy is your path.”
Jim Palmer

“In a life of participation in God’s kingdom rule, we are not to make things happen, but only to be honestly willing and eager to be made available. …learning to live in such a way that we can receive the loving presence and relationship in our lives that is present in the trinity.” Dallas Willard

“Knowing God’s presence is simply a matter of awareness, of fully allowing and enjoying the present moment.  …Then life makes sense. Once I can see the Mystery here, and trust the Mystery even in this little piece of clay that I am, in this moment of time that I am–then I can also see it in you, and eventually in all things. …[This] is simply pure and unbounded awareness on our part.  …God is in all things precisely in God’s ever newness and God’s ever possibility.” Richard Rohr

“This is the day the Lord has made.” Psalm 118:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you remember today to listen as God comes to you “disguised” as your day?
  • Are you willing and eager to experience God’s loving presence in your day, no matter what that involves?
  • Can you try to maintain awareness of “God’s ever newness and God’s ever possibility” in your day?

“Lord, if this that I am now going through is the right road home, then I will not murmur!” [Rosalind Goforth]

For More: Now and Then by Frederick Buechner


*Paula D’Arcy was twenty-seven years old and three months pregnant when a drunk driver killed her husband and her one-year-old child.

Daily Riches: Outside the Dominant Consciousness (Richard Rohr and Walter Brueggemann)

“Authentic God experience gives you another place to stand, another identity, a spacious and gracious place, which invites you to stand outside of the dominant consciousness that surrounds you and that everybody accepts as reality. Authentic God experience liberates you from the usual domination systems, liberates you from needing everything to be perfect or right, and liberates you to be who you really are – ordinary  and poor – just like everybody else. Until you can be at home in the alternative Kingdom of God, you will almost always be completely conformed to the superficial systems of this world, while calling it freedom and independence. Some do it by conforming to styles and fashions of their particular groupthink, while others do it by various conformities to the political correctness of either left or right. Some even do it by conforming to the rebellious group, but that is not freedom either. Gospel freedom allows you to act from deep within, where the Holy Spirit dwells, and not for or against any outside group whatsoever…. Jesus’ announcement of the reign of God was telling us that culture as we’ve created it is on a track toward self-destruction and emptiness. All we have to give up is the utterly false understanding that we have of ourselves from civil society. For some reason that liberation seems to be the most difficult thing in the world!” Richard Rohr

“The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us. …Such utterance staggers and offends among the listeners. But it also opens vistas of possibility where we had not thought to go and where in fact, we are most reluctant to go.”  Walter Brueggemann

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Romans 12:2

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does your religion determine your politics or do your politics determine your religion?
  • Is the religious instruction you receive making you more of an individual, or more a conforming member of a group?
  • Acting from “deep within, where the Holy Spirit dwells” is difficult but keeps us from bondage to “what everybody accepts as reality.”  Are you learning to do that?

Abba, help me to hear your prophets today and not be offended by them or stagger at their voice. Lead me where I have not thought to go and been reluctant to go.

For More:  The Prophetic Imagination by Walter Brueggemann


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. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: The Limits of Religion and Science (Richard Rohr, Robert Russell, John Buchanan, Arthus Bogel and Simone Weil)

“The living God is related to the categories and formal arguments of our abstract thinking as fire is related to paper.” Arthus Bogel

“Great science, which we once considered an ‘enemy’ of religion, is now helping us see that we’re standing in the middle of awesome Mystery, and the only response before that Mystery is immense humility. Astrophysicists are much more comfortable with darkness, emptiness, non-explainability (dark matter, black holes), and living with hypotheses than most Christians I know. Who could have imagined this?” Richard Rohr

“I am … reminded of the humility of those early theologians who knew that when we seek to speak of God we do so only out of the glimmers of understanding that sparkle amid the vast background of uncomprehended mystery….” Robert J. Russell

“In a recent sermon [Rev. John Buchanan] writes that the science that many Christians had felt over the centuries to be ‘our greatest threat … is now teaching us the ancient truth about mystery, a truth that used to be ours – that when it comes to ultimate truth, the most appropriate posture is modesty, silence, reverence, not propounding, shouting, condemning, excommunicating.’” Kathleen Norris quoting Buchanan

“The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation.” Simone Weil

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me;
I was found by those who did not seek me.
To a nation that did not call on my name, I said,
‘Here am I, here am I.’”
Isaiah 65:1

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Has the living God ever burned up what you had all figured out on “paper?” Can you be comfortable with “non-explanability?”
  • Do you think of “the mysteries of faith” as something to be analysed and explained, or something to be lived with and savored?
  • Do your religious or scientific convictions lead to “propounding, shouting, condemning, excommunicating” or to “modesty, silence, reverence?”
  • Many world-class scientists are people of faith. I you’re not aware of them, why not do a little checking?

Abba, help me to think clearly and critically, but may my faith be bigger than the best of my figuring and explaining. May I constantly be moving from the head to the heart, from thinking and believing to doing and loving.

For More: Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. 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: Fear of God, Fascination with God (Richard Rohr and Rudolph Otto)

“In his book The Idea of the Holy, Rudolph Otto says that when someone has an experience of the Holy, they find themselves caught up in two opposite things at the same time: the mysterium tremendum and the mysterium fascinosum, or the scary mystery and the alluring mystery. We both draw back and are pulled forward into a very new space. In the mysterium tremendum, God is ultimately far, ultimately beyond – too much, too much, too much (Isaiah 6:3). It inspired fear and drawing back. Many people never get beyond this first half of the journey. If that is the only half of holiness you experience, you experience God as dread, as the one who has all the power, and in whose presence you are utterly powerless. Religion at this initial stage tends to become overwhelmed by a sense of sinfulness and separateness. The defining of sin and sin management becomes the very nature of religion…. Simultaneously with the experience of the Holy as beyond and too much is another sense of fascination, allurement, and seduction, a being pulled into something very good and inviting and wonderful or the mysterium fascinosum. It’s a paradoxical experience. Otto says if you don’t have both, you don’t have the true or full experience of the Holy.” Richard Rohr

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all,
how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;
who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes,
rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.”
Romans 8:31-34

 Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you embrace both the “scary mystery” and the “alluring mystery?” Can you resist the temptation to simply things by eliminating either the push or the pull?
  • Have you experienced God both as “too much” and as inviting-wonderful? Are you open to “the full experience?”
  • Have you settled for fear and dread (fixated on your unworthiness)? Can you allow yourself to be “fascinated” and “invited” into something wonderful with God (in spite of your unworthiness) – because of what Christ has done for you?

Abba, help me not to simplify what is complicated in my relationship with you.

For More: The Idea of the Holy by Rudolph Otto


“Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less.  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

Daily Riches: Today’s Need For an Alternative History (Richard Rohr)

“The political terms right and left came from the Estates General in France. It’s interesting that now we use them as our basic political categories. On the left sat the ordinary people, and on the right sat the nobility and the clergy! (What were the clergy doing over there?!) I think you see the pattern. The right normally protects the community and the status quo. The left predictably looks for change and reform, and there is a certain need for both or we have chaos. In history you will invariably have these two movements in some form, because we didn’t have the phenomenon of the middle class until very recently. The vast majority of people in all of history have been poor, as in Jesus’ time, and would have read history as a need for change. The people who wrote the books and controlled the social institutions, however, have almost always been the comfortable people on the right. And much of history has been read and interpreted from the side of the ‘winners,’ or the right, except for the unique revelation called the Bible, which is an alternative history from the side of the enslaved, the dominated, the oppressed, and the poor, leading up to the totally scapegoated Jesus himself. …He tries to put inside and outside together, but is killed by those entrapped and privileged on the inside.” Richard Rohr

“the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.
‘Sir,’ they said, ‘we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said,
‘After three days I will rise again.’
Matthew 27:61-63

 Moving From Head to Heart

  • According to your social and economic status today, would you typically be on the left or right? …with the privileged or powerless?
  • Accordingly, if you were to insert yourself into the Biblical story, would you be more likely with the religious and political authorities (preserving tradition and order), or with Jesus (dissenting and challenging authority)?
  • The Bible is clearly “an alternative history” from the perspective of the bottom. Have you read it that way? Does thinking about it that way change the way you see our world now?
  • Can you imagine the reception Jesus would receive if he came today as he did back then? …who would be for him and who against him? …what you would do?

Jesus, may I be found, like you, siding with the weak and poor.

For More: Yes, And... by Richard Rohr


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. 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)

Daily Riches: Do Catholics Need to be Converted? (Richard Rohr and Dallas Willard)

“Neither [Catholics or Protestants have] really let the Word of God guide their lives. Catholics need to be converted to giving the Scriptures some actual authority in their lives. Luther wasn’t wrong when he said that most Catholics did not read the Bible. Most Catholics are still not that interested in the Bible…. I have been a priest for 42 years now, and I would sadly say that most Catholics would rather hear quotes from saints, Popes, and bishops, the current news, or funny stories, if they are to pay attention. If I quote strongly from the Sermon on the Mount, they are almost throwaway lines. I can see Catholics glaze over because they have never read the New Testament, much less studied it, or been guided by it. I am very sad to have to admit this. It is the Achilles heel of much of the Catholic world, priests included. …Both Catholics and Protestants (Orthodox too!) found a way to do their own thing while posturing friendship with Jesus.” Richard Rohr*

“…relationship with God, as with any person, soon requires a contribution from us, which will largely consist of study [of the Word of God]. Calvin Miller well remarks: ‘Mystics without study are only spiritual romantics who want relationship without effort.’ …We not only read and hear and inquire, but we meditate on what comes before us; that is, we withdraw into silence where we prayerfully and steadily focus upon it. In this way its meaning for us can emerge and form us as God works in the depths of our heart, mind, and soul.” Dallas Willard

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you perhaps guilty of “posturing friendship with Jesus” (just going through the motions), or are you making a real effort to cultivate a “relationship” with God?
  • Do you routinely make time for God to “work in the depths of your heart, mind, and soul” through his Word?
  • Are you part of the solution or the problem in your church? The leaders in your church – are they part of the solution or the problem? What can change?

Abba, thank you for working through your church, in spite of many things. Please revive your church.

For More: Yes, And by Richard Rohr

*Don’t worry, tomorrow we look at the Protestants!


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: Grieving and the Vast Emptiness of Loss (James Baldwin, C. S. Lewis, Richard Rohr, John Green, Henri Nouwen)

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read.” James Baldwin

“For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats.  …how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, ‘I never realized my loss till this moment’? The same leg is cut off time after time.” C. S. Lewis

“‘All great thought springs from a conflict between two eventual insights: (1) The wound which we find at the heart of everything is finally incurable, (2) Yet we are necessarily and still driven to try!’ [Hans Urs von Balthasar] Selah. Our largely unsuccessful efforts of the first half of life are themselves the training ground for all virtue and growth in holiness. This wound at the heart of life shows itself in many ways, but your holding and “suffering” of this tragic wound, your persistent but failed attempts to heal it, and your final surrender to it, will ironically make you into a wise and holy person. It will make you patient, loving, hopeful, expansive, faithful, and compassionate—which is precisely second-half-of-life wisdom.” Richard Rohr

“We all want to do something to mitigate the pain of loss or to turn grief into something positive, to find a silver lining in the clouds. But I believe there is real value in just standing there, being still, being sad.” John Green

“Just as bread needs to be broken in order to be given, so, too, do our lives.”  Henri Nouwen

“… unless a grain of wheat
falls into the earth and dies,
it remains alone; but if it dies,
it bears much fruit.”
Jesus in John 12:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Our sense of loss grows over time as we experience a loss “time after time.” Have you suffered like that?
  • Have you quit trying to understand your loss, heal it – or find its “silver lining?” Have you allowed yourself to feel it rather than flee from it?
  • Why might someone “need to be broken” by what feels like “unprecedented” heartbreak? Can you trust God to work in the space created by your loss – with no explanation and slow healing – but bringing life out of death?

Abba, meet me in my losses.

For More:  A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

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: When You Fail, As You Must (Kathleen Norris, Richard Rohr, Peter of Damascus, and John of Karpathos)

“When I fail, as I must, I can only recall the desert monk who told his disciple, ‘Brother, the monastic life is this: I rise up, and I fall down, I rise up and I fall down. I rise up and I fall down.” Kathleen Norris

“It is always possible to make a new start by means of repentance. ‘You fell … now arise’ (cf. Prov. 24:16). And if you fall again, then rise again, without despairing at all of your salvation, no matter what happens. …should we fall, we should not despair and so estrange ourselves from the Lord’s love. …we should not cut ourselves off from Him…nor should we lose heart when we fall short of our goal…let us always be ready to make a new start. If you fall, rise up. If you fall again, rise up again. Only do not abandon your Physician…. Wait on Him, and He will be merciful….”  St. Peter of Damascus

“Do all in your power not to fall, for the strong athlete should not fall. But if you do fall, get up again at once and continue the contest. Even if you fall a thousand times because of the withdrawal of God’s grace, rise up again each time, and keep on doing this until the day of your death.” John of Karpathos

“The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines.” Richard Rohr

“As a father has compassion on his children,
 so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.”
Psalm 103:13,14

Moving From Head to Heart

  • The Lord remembers that you “are dust” and need profound compassion. Do you?
  • The danger is “despairing of your salvation … estranging yourself from the Lord’s love” – from your loving Physician! – or just “losing heart.” Even when you fail the same test “a thousand times”, can you determine not to lose heart? to rise again?
  • Failure, including repeated failure, is one of God’s “primary teachers.” Sometimes healing involves a drawn out “path of transformation.” Will you submit to that? What might God be teaching you in your falling down?

Abba, a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again. May I be that man. Never let me abandon my Physician.


For More: Yes, And … by Richard Rohr


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.”