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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 ...

Monday, April 15, 2024

an old clay jar

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10)

I am a mess!  I always have been and will be until the day I die.  But I’m okay with that because this old clay jar contains a treasure.  And I can’t embrace the treasure if I can’t embrace its container.  The jar is somehow an essential part of the equation.  

If I never carry around in my body the death of Jesus, how can the life of Jesus ever be fully revealed in my body?  I can never fully appreciate the risen-ness of Jesus if I try to escape, or discard, my brokenness and need for Jesus.  I must somehow learn to embrace this old clay jar before I can fully appreciate, and reveal, the love and power of the Risen Jesus to a world that’s in as desperate need of him as I am.

Lord Jesus, help me never to hide my messiness or brokenness, because it only gives you the chance to reveal your love and your resurrection power.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

burn

Luke 12:49-50

What is the fire
you have given me to light? 
Do I burn with holy longing
for you alone? 
Do I spread the flames
of your consuming love
to all who cross my path? 
Do I long to see people’s lives
consumed by those flames
until it is only you they live for? 
And am I willing to undergo
whatever baptism necessary
to get me to that holy place?

Thursday, April 11, 2024

the great regret

after the great regret
there has been a lot of life
God somehow used death
once again
to bring about new life
it’s kind of what he does

Monday, April 1, 2024

alive

Since, then, you have raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your hearts on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2)

Notice that Paul says, “Since you have been raised with Christ,” and not, “Since you will be raised with Christ.”  That means resurrection life is a current reality, not just a future hope.  Because of the resurrection of Jesus, he now invites us to experience resurrection life with him.  We do this by setting our hearts and minds on things above, rather than on earthly things.  We do this by focusing on what is alive within and around us, rather than what is dead and dying.  We do this by recognizing the Risen Jesus whenever and wherever he appears to us, rather than allowing mood, whim, and circumstance to keep us from being able to see him and embrace him in his risen form.  He is the only one who is able to usher us into the life of risen-ness he invites us to.  The only question is, will we take him up on it?

Saturday, March 30, 2024

holy saturday 2024

The silence must’ve been deafening as they sat idly by.  Their world had stopped spinning; nothing could be done.  A forced solitude had taken hold of them, meant to accomplish eternal purposes.  Space needed to be made; space to reflect, space to grieve, and space to hope.  That’s what this day is all about.

There is a certain powerlessness to Holy Saturday that is really good for us.  We can’t produce, manufacture, or control resurrection; we can’t hasten it or hurry it along.  All we can do is wait.

So, today, ask God to help you to stop.  Ask him to help you stop doing and to start being.  Ask him to help you to stop talking and to start listening.  Ask him to help you to stop initiating and to start waiting. 

O Lord, there is still some emptying that needs to be done.  Give us the patience, the courage, the strength, and the trust to make room for that to happen.  Help us to learn how to wait for you during this holy day of waiting and resting.  Sunday will come soon enough, but there is still something you want to do in us first.  Prepare our hearts, Lord Jesus, for your resurrection.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

a ride (palm sunday)

a long season of lent
is finally coming to an end
but the beginning of the end
involves a ride

a ride into the depths
of death and dying
a painful but necessary journey
a dying that must take place
to make room for living
for in the kingdom of God
death always leads to new life

so now Jesus turns
to each of us and asks
will you ride with me
it will not be an easy ride
in fact it will demand all
it will require absolute trust
and total surrender
but this death will be
the doorway to new life

so what do you say
will you ride with me

Friday, March 22, 2024

i am weak

if God’s power
is best displayed
in weakness
then why do we
go to such lengths
to hide ours
from each other

doesn’t that keep
us from being able 
to see him work