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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, June 27, 2022

taken hold of

“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14

Take me to you, imprison me, for I
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
~John Donne

If we truly have been taken hold of by God, if we have been ravished by the One who loves us like no other, then we will do everything in our power—strain and press and wrestle and fight—to take hold of the life and the love he offers to us.  We will simply have no choice; our hearts will not allow us to do otherwise. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

hiding to hidden

the movement of spiritual life
is as simple as it is profound
it is the movement 
from hiding to hidden
from hiding from God
to hidden in God

Monday, June 13, 2022


“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)

God always invites us beyond where we are.  Thus, as we lean in to the invitation deeper into his heart, it is both incredibly exciting and absolutely terrifying.  Because as we go deeper into his heart, he asks us to let go of deeper and deeper things, some of which are so deep that they feel like part of who we are.  But they are not.  They are merely the deepest and most subtle ways we have lived falsely, and moving deeper into the heart of God means that we learn to be our truest, Christ-like selves.  So sometimes this call to wholeness means giving up our idea of what wholeness even looks like in the first place, which is letting go at one of its deepest levels.  It is all a part of the journey to “know fully, even as we are fully known.”  The two go hand in hand.  

God does not want us to settle for less.  Whatever it takes to strip away the false and bring about the true, is what he will do.  He loves us too much to allow us to live lives that are less than what he dreamt them to be.

Lord God, seeing you and knowing you is such a process.  It does not happen all at once.  Lead us on this amazing journey of knowing and being known, until that day when we are able to see you clearly and know you—and ourselves—fully.  Amen.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

watch how i did it

“For this you have been called, 
because Christ also suffered for you, 
leaving you and example, so that 
you might follow in his steps.” 
(1 Peter 2:21)

watch how i did it and do it like that
watch how i came into this world
watch how i spent the first thirty years of my life
watch how i lived
watch how i listened
watch how i loved
watch how i prayed
watch how i obeyed
watch how i emptied myself
watch how i suffered
watch how i did it and do it like that

Saturday, June 4, 2022

fig leaves

if we are unwilling
to remove our fig leaves
God will gladly do it for us
but it won’t be pretty

for he loves us too much
to allow us to go on
living falsely

Thursday, June 2, 2022

stretch out your hand

“Stretch out your hand.” (Mark 3:5) 

It is what you told the man in the synagogue, and it is what you tell me.  But what does that mean, Lord Jesus?  What are you really asking of me?  Are you asking me for the courage to be vulnerable and weak and powerless, so that your power might be on full display?  Are you asking me to trust in your goodness and mercy, even when it demands that I do something that is impossible unless you give me the strength?  Are you asking me to have faith in your desire, and ability, to transform the parts of my life that are twisted and distorted and not at all what you intended them to be?  Or are you simply asking me to obey, whether I understand what you are up to or not?

Whatever the case, Lord Jesus, it is what you ask me to do: "Stretch out your hand.”  Give me the wisdom know exactly what that means, and the strength and the courage and the grace necessary to be able to do it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

telling the truth

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —
~Emily Dickinson


Telling the truth always begins with telling it to yourself.  Until we have come face-to-face with our own sin and need and dysfunction, we can never properly enter into the sin and need and dysfunction of others.  There is a deep humility required—a realization of our own extreme brokenness.  That realization creates a right spirit as we enter into someone else’s pain and struggle.

Unfortunately, throughout the centuries truth has been used as a weapon, rather than a help.  But truth was never intended to bludgeon, it was meant to love.  So telling the truth should be something that draws, rather than something that repels.  Or as Emily Dickinson so beautifully put it, “The Truth must dazzle gradually.” 

Therefore, we must first live the truth before we run to tell the truth.  The truth must dazzle with our lives before it can dazzle with our words.  That’s why people were so drawn to Jesus; he embodied the truth he proclaimed.  He was not a living contradiction, and we should not be either.

Dazzle us gradually, Lord Jesus, with your truth, for it is truly beautiful.  And once we have been captured by that truth, give us the wisdom to know how to tell it to others—not only with our words, but with our lives as well.  Amen.