A God To Believe In

16 08 2007

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
(Luke 15:20)

George Buttrick, former chaplain at Harvard, recalls that students would come into his office, plop down on a chair and declare, ‘I don’t believe in God.’ Buttrick would give this disarming reply: ‘Sit down and tell me what kind of God you don’t believe in. I probably don’t believe in that God either.’ And then he would talk about Jesus.

–Phillip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew

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Uncommon Prayer

23 05 2007

Will you help me to be less quick to judge
……and less righteous in my indignation?
Will you help me to be more open to life
……and to other people?
Will you give me confidence enough to be less defensive
…..and less ready to react to rebuffs?
Give me steadiness and firmness
…..and true commitment to the life of faith. Amen.

A Book of Uncommon Prayer
Kenneth G. Phifer





Roses At Ravensbruck

16 05 2007

“But now, if You will only forgive their sin—but if not, blot me out of the book that You have written!”
(Exodus 32:32)

ravensbruck.jpg

In the Ravensbruck Nazi concentration camp—the camp where an estimated ninety-two thousand men, women and children were murdered—a piece of wrapping paper was found near the body of a dead child. On the paper was written this prayer:

“O Lord, remember no only the men and women of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not only remember the suffering they have inflicted on us; remember the fruits we bought, thanks to this suffering: our comradeship, our loyalty, our humility, the courage, the generosity, the greatness of heart which has grown out of all this. And when they come to judgment, let all the fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness.”

–Richard J. Foster, Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p224





Fasting for Life

12 05 2007

“But this kind does not go out but by prayer and fasting.”
(Matthew 17:21)

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When we fast, we are intentionally relinquishing the first right given to the human family in the Garden—the right to eat. We say no to food because we are intent upon others receiving a far greater nourishment. We are committed to breaking every yoke and setting the captives free. Our fasting is a sign that nothing will stop us in our struggle in behalf of the broken and oppressed.

We are depriving ourselves for the sake of a greater good. Our fasting has weight with God and effect upon others…Our fasting is part of our wrestling with God. It is part of the birth pangs we endure in order to see new life come forth.

–Richard Foster
Prayer: Finding Your Heart’s True Home, p226





Accompanied By Action

3 04 2007

“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
(James 2:14-17)

homeless.jpg

“True evangelical faith cannot lie dormant. It clothes the naked, it feeds the hungry, it comforts the sorrowful, it shelters the destitute, it serves those that harm it, it binds up that which is wounded, it has become all things to all people.”

–Menno Simons





Heartsick

21 02 2007

“Seeing the people, he felt compassion for them…”
(Matthew 9:36)

It is a common expression in some Christian quarters to say, ‘I want to have the heart of God.’ The common meaning is, ‘I want to feel the love and compassion God has for all people.’ But to have the heart of God—if we really want that—means to feel the brokenness of God as He looks at His creation.

–Mark Galli
Jesus, Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God, p172