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Book of the Month: Schola Caritatis: Learning the Rhythms of God's Amazing Love

  Starting a new feature for the next several months called Book of the Month.  I will present one of my books and tell you a little of the ...

Sunday, February 25, 2024

shhh

My heart is not lifted up, O Lord, my eyes are not raised too high.  I do not occupy myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me.  But I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forevermore. (Psalm 131:1-3)

Hush now, my child; quiet your heart and your soul.  Simply be with me in silence.  Empty yourself of all else and rest in my loving embrace, like a weaned child with its mother.  Rest in the depths of my delight and affection.  That's what prayer is all about.

Monday, February 19, 2024

it's time

“The time has come.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe the good news.” (Mark 1:15)

O God, I sense that you are calling me deeper and deeper into the heart of Jesus these days, to become more and more like him.  I’m not exactly sure what I’ve been waiting for, but it’s time!  It’s time to surrender to you in a whole new/deeper way.  It’s time to know your love and affection at levels I’ve only dreamt about.  It’s time to take another step toward you and away from me.  Give me the strength and the courage and the grace to do so.  Help me, O Lord, to not delay.  It’s time!

Saturday, February 17, 2024

torn to pieces

Come, let us return to the Lord.  He has 
torn us to pieces but he will heal us; 
he has injured us but he will 
bind up our wounds.” (Hosea 6:1)

he has torn us to pieces
in order to heal us
to make us whole by
tearing away the false
till only the true remains

he will do or allow
whatever it takes
to accomplish this
for it is done out of love
with surgical precision

sometimes healing
takes hurting

Friday, February 9, 2024

a severe companion

“I am still quite anxious; I still have real attacks of anguish and sleeping is still a real problem. But I am quite, quite aware that this pain is given to me to purify my heart, to deepen my love for Jesus and to give Him every inch of my being. Whereas in the past the anguish seemed quite disruptive and often paralyzing, now I experience it a little more as a severe companion who wants to show me the narrow road. Once I have found that road and walk safely on it, the anguish might leave me, but right now I am trying simply to accept what the Lord gives me and trust that He knows when, how and where to give me new peace and new joy.” ―Love, Henri by Henri Nouwen

Thursday, February 8, 2024

lent is coming up

 




If you are looking for a companion for Lent (for yourself, your family, your friends, your staff, etc.), my Lenten devotional guide Journey to the Cross is available on Amazon.  Spread the word.  This year, Lent begins on February 14 (Ash Wednesday).

Sunday, February 4, 2024

you prepare a table before me

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)

“I have prepared this table before you in the presence of your enemies.  It is no surprise to me that you find yourself here.  It is as intentional as it is purposeful.  I am doing a beautiful work in you.  I will use it all—even the work of your enemies—to invite you into a more intimate friendship with me.  I anoint your head with oil because you are my dearly loved and greatly honored guest.  I have been saving you a place right beside me all along.  So, come to my table, be with me, and enjoy me as I enjoy you.   Come to the place where your cup will always be filled to overflowing with my goodness and my unfailing love.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

the illusion of control

“One thing you still lack.  Sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)

Control is an illusion.  Which makes it absurd that we spend so much time and energy trying to achieve it and/or maintain it.  Oh sure, we might think at times when things are going along well that we are steering the car, but nothing could be further from the truth.  We’re merely wearing ourselves out trying to manage, manipulate, and control that which is unmanageable, impervious, and uncontrollable.

It’s like one of those rides at the amusement park where the car is on rails and the steering wheel is not even connected to anything.  Yet we keep turning the wheel, trying to convince ourselves that our futile efforts are somehow influencing our direction.  Why not just let go and enjoy the ride?  Why fight it?  Why not embrace it?  God is in control, and we are not.  We just need to trust him.

Following Jesus is about surrender, not control.  And surrender always involves an emptying.  Emptying myself of whatever it is that I may be full of at the moment.  Because when I am too full of me, there is no room for Him.  A cup that’s already full can receive no more; it first must be emptied.  If I am preoccupied with myself, it is impossible to then be occupied by God.  

That's probably why the rich young ruler walked away sad.  It’s also probably why it’s so hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God; they have so much more to let go of.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you are in control, and I am not.  Help me to surrender to your will and your way, to your plans and your agendas, rather than clinging to my own.  Empty me of everything that is not you.