Lo, this is our God; we have waited for Him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited. Let us be glad and rejoice.
Just as the love of a mother for her son can grow while she is waiting for
his return, and just as lovers can rediscover each other during long per-
iods of absence, so also a intimate relation with God can become more
mature while we wait patiently in expectation for his return. (Henri J. M.
Nouwen, Out of Solitude.
Henri Nouwen invites us to reflect on the tension between our desire for a solitude and the demands of contemporary life. He reminds us that it was in solitude that Jesus found the courage to follow God‘s will. And he shows us that fruitful love and service must spring from a living relationship with God. Beautifully written, elegantly simple, Out of Solitude, as fresh today as it is/was thirty years ago.
“We want to overcome problems and adversities and want to change at all costs. An alternative is to care for ourselves, each other, and our world.”
some might believe to their heart that formality is not a required to make a fact a fact. this is so important concerning that topsy-turvy, boondoggle episodes that the de-facto President is in an ‘office’ that is not square, the remainder of usual places of integrity where U.S. problems
can be instantly ratified despite has not gone through usual, fomented procedure’s take affect.
At the time of his death, Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, also known as “The Fighting Quaker”, was the most decorated Marine in US history; he was the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two separate military actions. He had also become an unrelenting voice against the business of war.
Raised by prominent Quaker parents, Smedley Butler defied his pacifist lineage by joining the Marines just before his 17th birthday. He served in Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Haiti (earning his Medals of Honor in Mexico and Haiti). Butler was known for his leadership and commitment to the welfare of the men under his command. He rose quickly through the ranks to become, at age 48, one of the youngest major generals.
Prior to World War II, Butler spoke out against what he saw as admiration for Fascism and for Italy´s leader Benito Mussolini. He was punished for telling an unfavorable story about Mussolini, avoided court-martial by accepting a reprimand. Because of his rank, he was able to write his own reprimand and never apologized to Mussolini.
Butler retired from the military in 1931. By then, he was beginning to question US involvement in foreign conflicts. He had come to believe that war–in particular WWI–was really a profitable business for the few and at the expense of thousands of lives. He thought of himself as a cog in the imperialist war machine.
In a booklet titled War is a Racket, Butler wrote, “In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War….How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?….The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill? …Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds…For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.”
War is a Racket grew out of a series of speeches Butler gave to whatever group wanted to hear his views. Though he faced criticism, Butler was steadfast in his beliefs about war, US imperialism, and a growing Pro-Fascist movement. He spoke frankly and honestly about his experiences and opinions, and was very popular with the American public.
In 1934, Butler went before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to expose a conspiracy against the government. He had been recruited by a group of wealthy Pro-Fascists had hoped to use him in a coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He went along, gathering intelligence about the plot, and took it to Congress. Butler’s assertions were not aggressively pursued, and the matter was largely dismissed. However, an internal report to Congress from HUAC confirmed the veracity of the plot.
The Blessing of Brokenness by Carter Conlonhttps://www.youtube.com/thelifeofjesus Go forward unafraid. Face each difficulty, however great and seemingly unconquerable, as you go forward towards it. The strength you will require from Me for that adventure into danger, as it may seem to you, will fortify you for its overcoming. “Fear thou not to, for I AM with thee, Be not afraid for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, Yea, I will uphold thee with the right arm of My Righteousness.” “must be in the plan.” be willing to break. everyone needs breaking; as if that’s a panacea for day to day strife. God has a pathway: brokenness. YouTube.com/watch?v=0kpJp2W6i9YConsider Yourself Dead if Christ was willing to die Blessing of Brokenness by Carter Conlon YouTube.com/thelifeofJesus Go forward unafraid. Face each difficulty, however great and seemingly unconquerable, as you go forward towards it. The strength you will require from Me for that adventure into danger, as it may seem to you, will fortify you for its overcoming. “Fear thou not to, for I AM with thee, Be not afraid for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, Yea, I will uphold thee with the right arm of My Righteousness.” “must be in the plan.” be willing to break. everyone needs breaking; as if that’s a panacea for day to day strife. God has a pathway: brokenness. www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kpJp2W6i9YConsider Yourself Dead if Christ was willing to die for you, if you are not willing to perish, for Him, you’ve long road to travel before death. When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we no longer need to focus on our sin. Instead, we become dead to sin and receive grace to live in His righteousness. Go forward unafraid. Face each difficulty, however great and seemingly unconquerable, as you go forward towards it. The strength you will require from Me for that adventure into danger, as it may seem to you, will fortify you for its overcoming. “Fear thou not to, for I AM with thee, Be not afraid for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee, I will help thee, Yea, I will uphold thee with the right arm of My Righteousness.” ” MUST BE IN THE PLAN.”come see. be willing to break. everyone needs breaking; as if that’s a panacea for day to day strife. God has a pathway: brokenness. www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kpJp2W6i9Y ” So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:11 Consider yourself dead. That’s a pretty striking statement. We love to talk about being “alive” in Christ. So why do I see so many Christians trudging through life powerless, purposeless, and lost in their pursuit of Jesus? great culling away those who just do not get it… hope you aren’t one such individual. what’s the scene for those prepared? in the words of a great man: “I don’t know…” neither do i, yet the sadder comparison speaks for itself: Heaven or Hell; why would you get lazy when you understand what it’s like in either one? choices, hope everyone makes a wiser decision. He desires all people to be saved in His kingdom; away from those blistering years for those who did not know Jesus while they were/are on terra firma; those who did not know Jesus while they were down here. may God bless your soul… View Post https://collactiona.live/?p=1388 Faith https://www.pinterest.com/pin/322500023303840342/?lp=true And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. John 4:16 Lord, bless us and this evening hour, and in Thy Mercy heal us all. Do not think that suffering is the only path into My Kingdom. There are sunlit glades, and ways amid the loveliest flowers, along which the steps and hearts of men are drawn to Me. There are birds and laughter and butterflies, and warm, life-giving summer air, and with these as tender companions and friends, the Joy-Way into the Kingdom can be taken. Bleak, cold, and desolate, brier-beset and stony, are not all the ways. Leave all to Me. The choice of ways, the guidance in the Way. But when the sunlight calls accept it gladly. Even in the Spirit-World appreciation results from contrary experience. Can the fireside of home be more dear than to the traveler who has forced his way over bleak moor and through blinding storm? Take to your hearts this word of cheer. “He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but will, with the temptation, also find a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it.” The world is not the Kingdom. In the world ye shall have tribulation but “be of good cheer, Ihave overcome the world.”
To us, the greatest demonstration of God’s love for us has been his sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to make personal atonement for our sins. (PHILLIPS)
answered never word in the face of the scorned, torture and jeering cries of his enemies, or the success of a Risen Savior; He walked through the Garden of Joseph of Arimathea on that first Easter morning. But My success.
The world may deem our failures. The world judges not as I judge… Bend our knees in the wonder before My revelation. That joy of seeing Spiritual Truths is a great Joy. When our Heaven are opened and The Voice speaks, not to all hearts, but to the faithful loving hearts.Remember our great field of labor; yourself. That’s your first task: weeding, the planting, digging, pruning, bearing fruit. When that is done I lead you out into other fields. Unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His Glory blameless with great joy, to the onlyGodour Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be Glory majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and till now and Forever. AmenJude 1:24-25“Don’t worry about anything” Now thanks be unto God, that always causes us to triumph in Christ, and makes all manifest the savior of His knowledge by us in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14
In Thy Strength we do Conquer.
Your Conquering Power you gain from Me. There can be no failure with Me. The secret of success then is Life with Me. Do you want to make our best of Life? Then live very near to Me, the Master and Giver of all Life. Your reward will be sure. It will be be perfect success, it’s My success. Sometimes the success of souls won, some times a success: a disease cured, and devils cast out. Sometimes a success of a finished sacrifice, often times on Calvary. Sometimes that success of one who answered never a word in the face of the scorn and torture and jeering cries of his enemies, or the success of a Risen Savior as He walked through; a Garden of Joseph of Arimathea on that first Easter Morning. Yes! My success. The world may deem you failures. The world judges not as I judge. Bending our knees; in wonder before My revelation. The joy of seeing Spiritual Truths is a great Joy. When the Heavens are opened and The Voice speaks, not to all hearts, but to those faithful and loving hearts. Remember your great field of labor is yourself. That is your first task, the weeding, in planting, digging, pruning, bearing Fruit. When done I Lead you out in other fields.
had long known, via his Mother in 1988 that this is the one of two beginning’s; a
conglomeration of essay retrieved from this iMAC’s brain – go be chill; We got a long way to go…
I was on a retreat at Jamberoo Abbey. The nun who was my spiritual director on that retreat mentioned that the great majority of people who came to that place for healing and refreshment had one great question in their life: “am I loved?” I had to confess that resonated with me as well.
We can spend a lot of time and energy trying to deepen our love of God. But the Scriptures emphasise that God’s Love for us is the primary love. Any love we offer to him is a response to his own love. So if I am to truly love God, I must first realise just how much He loves me. For many of us, our big problem is not our failure to love God, but our failure to recognise just how much he loves me.
This realisation involves embracing the shape of that love. Jesus coming to earth to take on himself the load of our guilt and shame is the clearest expression of God’s Love. Way beyond mere sentimentality, way beyond some impersonal principle. When I am tempted to doubt God’s love for me and thus stumble in my love for him, I am to look to Jesus.
The Christian faith has many and varied complexities. But perhaps it can be summed up in one simple sentence: God Loves me and Jesusproves it.
i, we are praying for these United States Citizens – the great ‘reset’ is a boondoggle method to gain socialism in guv’ment, in wazintoon, who are only playing into the communist’s hands; you think the debacle that comes to be in our war against afgun- estun is a sign? “Rumors of war…” seems to me that the stuff playing in reality ‘over there’ i hope what i describe as OUR nation’s unfolding future. Romans 12:12: Rejoice in hope and patient tribulation; continuing instant in prayer
.5. If you feel a lack of gratitude in your life and are afraid that may be, just creating an inner part cut away, as is the casein honesty from our elected “‘m able to say: it’s not my fault, we didn’t vote for buyhim“ now, time for all of you to take action and learn how you can develop gratitude to live life. If you are currently having a situation in your life, to think that it is impossible for you to be thankful, then it’s time you learn how to cultivate gratitude.
1. Make a Gratitude List. [TIME: 5-10 MINUTES. EFFORT: MEDIUM] Make a list of five things you are grateful for right now. You can include big things like the love of your family, or the little things, like the person who opened a door for you this morning. Focus on people instead of just things. After finishing, read the list, and reflect on i, allow yourself to feel good about the people who share good things such as time with you.
2. Act(ion, not words) on YOUR Gratitude List. [TIME: 1-5 MINUTES. EFFORT: LOW] If there is something you can do to show your appreciation for someone on your list, call him up or send him an email. Or return the favor by doing a similarly kind thing to another. Getting into the habit of showing appreciation will increase feelings of gratitude.
I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee. Daniel 2:23
Remember no prayer goes unanswered. Remember that the moment a thing seems wrong to you, or a person’s actions to be not what you think they should be, at that moment begins; our obligation and responsibility to pray for those wrongs to be righted, or that person to be different. Face our responsibility. What is wrong in your country, its statesmen, its laws, its people? Think out quietly, and make these matters your prayer matters. You will see lives you never touch altered, laws made at your request, evils banished.
Yes,Live in a large sense. Live to serve and to save. You may never go beyond one room, and yet you may become one of a most powerful forces for good in our country, in the world.You may never see the mighty work you do, but I see it, evil sees it. Oh! it is a glorious life, the life of one who saves. Fellow-workers together with me. See this more and more.
Love with Me, sharers of My Life.
God Calling Two Listeners
August 22 – Gleams of Sunlight
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when His Glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:13
Because you have both longed to save My World I let you have that training that shall fit you to save. Take your pains and sufferings, difficulties and hardships each day, both of you, to offer them up for a troubled soul, or for some prayer specially needed to be answered. So the beauty of each day will live on after trouble and distress, difficulty and pain of the day have passed.Learn from My Life of the suffering that saves others. So, you will sing in your pain. Across grayest days there are the gleams of Sunlight.
our key to our faith is when we let go, let God.
The Rev. Gary Jones St. Stephen’s, Richmond Jan. 24, 2014-219th Council
I love our bishops’ exhortations that we can look
for the new thing the Holy Spirit is doing. And after this
morning’s presentations, I can see we don’t have to look far.
This church’s (St. Paul’s Church’s) Downtown Mission; St. Andrew’s
intentional community; the touching and deeply moving ministry at Buck
Mountain, Earlysville; the vitality at the Falls Church and the Church of the Resurrection;
the amazing GIRLs at St. George’s, Fredericksburg. The list is goes on and on.
But I’m convinced the Holy Spirit is active beyond church in ways that
should get our attention.
The cover of Time magazine this week was entitled
“The Mindful Revolution,” and it pictures a young woman
dressed in Lu Lu Lemon in a meditation pose. I’ve heard that
most popular time for yoga classes in many major cities is Sunday
morning. What is the Holy Spirit doing?
We live in a noisy, information saturated, multi
tasking world, people know something is wrong. I just
sometimes wonder why so many people seem to be looking
everywhere but the church for answers. When Oprah hosted that
web-based discussion on meditation with Eckhart Tolle a few years ago,
so many tried to log on that it ended up crashing Oprah’s website. The amazing
thing is that Eckhart Tolle is simply popularizing ideas and practices that have been
part of Christian tradition since the days of Desert Monasticism, Gregory of Nyssa
and Augustine of Hippo. Apparently, we’ve been distracted with other things.
It’s enough to make you believe that the Holy Spirit is going to reach out
and care for people with or without the church. And this is one reason
we started offering Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction classes at
St. Stephen’s Church. We are constantly over-subscribed, and in
other contemplative groups, yoga classes, Tai Chi, Centering
Prayer groups are popping up all the time. Some of those
people quickly make an association between Centering
Prayer offerings and the 14th Century Anglican work,
The Cloud of Unknowing, which in all fact is the very
basis for Centering Prayer, maybe who cares if our
Holy Spirit is flying under the radar and getting to
people without the churchy labels? “A rose by any
other name would smell as sweet,” so we don’t about
that. It doesn’t surprise me that often the largest of our six
Sunday services is the quieter and more meditative Celtic service.
And with a single cantor instead of several paid choir members, it also
happens to be one of the least expensive of all our worship services.
The Holy Spirit seems to be moving, and in other interesting ways
at St. Stephen’s. One of our largest congregations is that weekly
Farmers Market, attended; people who may not want to have
anything to do with organized religion, but who are serious
about caring for creation and their own bodies. Lots of the
young people with strollers, lots of dogs, lively, foot-tapping
musicians, joggers meeting for morning coffee, … all manner of
folk coming together at a church. We like to think of it as a modern
village green; and it frequently occurs to people bless each other there
in our church parking lot. “God bless you,” I hear people say to each other as
I pass by incognito in my sunglasses and jeans, “I’ll be praying for you.” And some,
who apparently have no interest in institutional religion, who feel at home on the church
refuge with us, and ultimately join our worship or our community meals.
We don’t report such people as official members of St. Stephen’s to
the diocese or the larger Episcopal Church bureaucracy, but they
know they truly belong.A friend of mine who is rector of one of
the largest churches in the country recently told me that his
church’s thinking about opening a “Center for Spirituality”
in his city – a place off campus where people could go to
classes on healthy eating, and so on.But wait a minute,
I think my friend was simply acknowledging that many spiritual
seekers today are so put off by the agenda of Christian churches that
you have to start a whole new entity to attract them. I get it. But experience
at St. Stephen’s suggests that it’s not too late for us parish churches to become
greater compassion and engagement with God, the world, and themselves.
very Lest I give you the wrong impression, I should be emphasize that at
St. Stephen’s, we experience tremendous vitality in our ancient liturgies.
our of our Sunday services, strictly according to The Book of Common
Prayer, and Daily Morning Prayer every day of the week is sometimes
painfully rubrical. But our experience that if it is reverent, prayerful,
if we are truly spiritually present, God is nowhere more powerfully
alive than in our liturgical tradition.
This past summer, few posts by bloggers in their 20’s and 30’s
caught my attention. A young woman wrote of trouble she
she had had finding a church community. Saying she and her husband wanted to find an anti-institutional church,
something that looked less like a church and more like
a hip coffee house. It led them to a worshiping community
full of people their age, a church called Praxis. “It was the kind
of church where the young, hip pastor hoisted an infant into his arms
and said with sincerity, ‘Dude, I baptize you in the name of the Father and
]community. I missed hymns, historicity, sacraments and aesthetics.
“[Ultimately,] we found an Episcopal church; where every Sunday
morning, watch clergy process up that aisle wearing vestments
and carrying a 6-foot cross. “We take communion from those
ordained priest who held the chalice of blood-red wine and
lays a hand blessing on our children. We sing the Lord’s
Prayer and recite from the Book of Common Prayer in
which not once … does the word ‘dude’ ever appear.”
In another post that went viral entitled, “Why the
Millenials are Leaving the Church,” 32-year-old
Rachel Held Evans wrote: “Many of us, myself
included, finding ourselves increasingly drawn
to high church traditions [like] the Episcopal
Church, etc., precisely because the ancient
forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so
unconcerned with being ‘cool,’ and so find
that refreshingly authentic. “What millennials
really want from the church is not a change in style
but a change in substance. You can’t hand us a latte and
then go about business as usual and expect us to stick around.
We’re not leaving the church because we don’t find the cool factor
there; we’re leaving the church because we don’t find Jesus there.”
I think we are finding something similar at St. Stephen’s Church here in
Richmond. We are trying to offer worship, education and ministry opportunities
that are deeply rooted in ancient tradition. Our evening Celtic service might sound like
an attempt to be hip, but the classical instrumentation and liturgy say otherwise. What it is
different is the quiet, the laying on of hands, the space to breathe deeply in an environment of
or chalice bearer or in any other leadership role in that service, you have to arrive one hour
before the service to prepare and pray silently with us, that you are centered in holiness
yourself and thus able to be with others, especially strangers, in the way God is present
to you. I do think the Holy Spirit is going to reach and care for people with or without a
church, but I think She’d rather do it with us. And we might need open new doors for
them to find us.
August 23 – The Summit
TheLord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Habakkuk 3:1
See not the small trials and vexations of each hour of the day. See the one purpose and plan to which all are leading. In climbing a mountain you keep your eyes on each stony or difficult place, as you ascend, seeing only that, how weary and profitless your climb!
But if you think of each step as leading to the summit of achievement, from which glories and beauties will open out before you, then your climb will be so different.
August 24 – Sublime Heights
If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O King. Daniel 3:17
Our Lord, we know that Thou art great and able to deliver us.I Am your Deliverer. Trust in Me absolutely. Know that I will do the very best for you. Be ready and willing for My Will to be done. Know that with Me all things are possible. Cling joyfully in that truth. Say many times, “All things are possible with My Master, My Lord, My Friend.” This truth, accept; and firmly believed in, is the ladder up which a soul can climb from the lowest of pits to the sublimest of heights.