Sunday, November 23, 2008

Some Beautiful Thoughts from Henri Nouwen

I love these beautiful thoughts from Henri Nouwen's book, The Way of the Heart.

"Compassion can never coexist with judgment because judgement creates the distance, the distinction, which prevents us from really being with the other."

"Solitude molds self-righteous people into gentle, caring, forgiving persons who are so deeply convinced of their own great sinfulness and so fully aware of God's even greater mercy that their life itself becomes ministry. In such a ministry there is hardly any difference left between doing and being. When we are filled with God's merciful presence, we can do nothing other than minister because our whole being witnesses to the light that has come into the darkness."

"Compassion is hard because it requires the inner disposition to go with others to the place where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely, and broken."

"Only in the context of grace can we face our sin; only in the place of healing do we dare to show our wounds; only with a single-minded attention to Christ can we give up our clinging fears and face our own true nature."

Rescue, Restore and Rebuild

A few days ago I was spending some time in prayer over a particular concern and before the time was finished, I clearly heard these three words from the Lord. Rescue, restore and rebuild.

They gave a sense of direction and answer to my specific prayers.

Rescue. A deliberate action taken to go after someone in dire need of help. Their feet have stumbled, and they are headed down the road to destruction. They need someone to save them.

Restore. A plan set in place to give back what has been taken from them without their permission.

Rebuild. A reconstruction to set in place solid foundational truths that can withstand the tough blows that life brings its way.

As I have pondered these three words, they in a sense have articulated my mission statement for this season of my life and particularly for what I am doing now in my new job.

God has set the example. He sent his son Jesus to rescue us, restore and rebuild us. And now, it's our directive to go and do the same to those that need to be saved.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Past, present and future

After spending two weeks at a beautiful retreat center delving into the riches of studying the Ancient Christians and their story, I have come to realize their story is all part of the bigger story that I too have a part to play in, participate in, walk out.

It is in this recognition of the "bigger picture" that I seek to know God in a deeper and more intimate way.

I am closer acquainted to my christian history and its roots than ever before and I do not take lightly now some of the traditions and/or ways of worship that I choose to participate in.

God seems more relevant to me now. I see him more clearly in the past, embrace him more fully in the present and look forward to his work in the future.