Daily Riches: What People Need Most From Their Pastor (Ruth Haley Barton)

“Sabbath-keeping is the primary discipline that helps us to live within the limits of our humanity and to honor God as our Creator. It is the kingpin of a life lived in sync—with the rhythms that God himself built into our world—and yet it is the discipline that seems hardest for us to practice. Sabbath-keeping honors the body’s need for rest, the spirit’s need for replenishment, and the soul’s need to delight itself in God for God’s own sake. It begins with the willingness to acknowledge the limits of our humanness and then taking steps to live more graciously within the order of things. …There are limits to my relational, emotional, mental, and spiritual capacities…. I am not God. God is the only one who can be all things to all people. God is the only one who can be two places at once. God is the one who never sleeps. I am not. This is pretty basic stuff but many of us live as though we don’t know it. …There is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of our existence as human beings, physical and spiritual beings in a world of time and space. There is a peace that descends upon our lives when we accept what is real rather than always pushing beyond our limits. There is something about being gracious and accepting and gentle with ourselves at least once a week that enables us to be gracious and accepting and gentle with others. There is a freedom that comes from being who we are in God and resting into God that eventually enables us to bring something truer to the world than all of our doing. Sabbath-keeping helps us to live within our limits because on the Sabbath, in so many different ways, we allow ourselves to be the creature in the presence of our Creator. We touch something more real in ourselves and others than what we are all able to produce. We touch our very being in God. Surely that is what the people around us need most. – Ruth Haley Barton

Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”
He said this because there were so many people coming and going
that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
Mark 6:31

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Have you “acknowledged the limits” of your humanity and taken steps to live within the order of things? What steps?
  • Can you “rest” in God? Can you be gentle with yourself?”
  • What message are you sending to others who observe your lifestyle?

Abba, ground me as I rest in you.

For More: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

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Thanks for reading/sharing my blog! – Bill

Daily Riches: Speech Shaped by Silence (Ruth Haley Barton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

“In the multitude of words there is much transgression,’ the Scriptures say. This is a truth that could drive us ministry folks to despair given the incessant flow of words from our mouths, pens, and computers. Those of us who deal in words are at great risk of misusing words and even sinning with our words due to the sheer volume of them! I don’t know about you but sometimes I can literally feel it—deep in my bones—that if I do not shut my mouth for a while I will get myself in trouble because my words will be completely disconnected from the reality of God in my own life. Silence is the only cure for this desperate situation. ‘Right speech comes out of silence ….’ wrote Dietrich Bonhoeffer. In silence our speech patterns are refined because silence fosters a self-awareness that enables us to choose more truly the words that we say. Rather than speech that issues from subconscious needs to impress, to put others in their place, to compete, to control, to manipulate, and put a good spin on things, we are able to notice our inner dynamics and make choices that are more grounded in love, trust, and God-given wisdom. …The Psalmist says, ‘When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your bed and be silent. Offer right sacrifices (in other words, stay faithful to your spiritual practices) and put your trust in the Lord.’ There are times when the most heroic thing a leader can do is to remain in that private place with God for as long as it takes to keep from sinning. In this place we consciously trust ourselves to God rather than everything else we could be doing in the moment. …The more I am called upon to use words, the more distressing things are, the more active leadership that is required of me, the more silence I need.” Ruth Haley Barton

“May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Psalm 19:4

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Is the practice of silence a meaningful part of your life?
  • Do your words increasingly flow from a previous silence that has shaped them?
  • As you become more active, are you more inclined to sequester yourself more in silence?

Abba, keep a guard over my lips.

For More: Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest! Please feel free to leave a comment or question. – 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.

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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)

“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.

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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)