Tag Archives: Intimacy with God

Sacred Rhythms – Longing for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God

Sacred Rhythms

Do you long for a deep, fundamental change in your life with God?

Spiritual disciplines are activities that open us to God’s transforming love and the changes that only God can bring about in our lives. Picking up on the monastic tradition of creating a “rule of life” that allows for regular space for the practice of the spiritual disciplines, this book takes you more deeply into understanding seven key disciplines along with practical ideas for weaving them into everyday life.

Each chapter includes exercises to help you begin the practices–individually and in a group context. The final chapter puts it all together in a way that will help you arrange your life for spiritual transformation. The choice to establish your own sacred rhythm is the most important choice you can make with your life.

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Not all Bible reading is created equal.

In Sacred Rhythmsfree this month—Ruth Haley Barton describes the posture we must bring to Scripture for true transformation:

Reading for Relationship

When we engage the Scriptures for spiritual transformation we engage not only our mind but also our heart, our emotions, our body, our curiosity, our imagination, and our will. We open ourselves to a deeper level of understanding and insight that grows out of and leads us deeper into our personal relationship with the One behind the text.

And it is in the context of relational intimacy that real life change takes place.

This is a fundamentally different kind of engagement than what we are normally accustomed to with the things we read. When we engage the Scriptures for spiritual transformation, we make it our top priority to listen to God relationally rather than seeking only to learn more about God cognitively. Our approach is driven by the longing of a lover. We read slowly so that we can savour each word and let its meaning sink in. Rather than rushing on to the next chapter so that we can complete a reading or study assignment, we stay in the place where God is speaking to us, contemplating its meaning for our life and for our relationship. We receive it as it is given without judgment, wanting only to hear the heart of this One we love. Like the little boy Samuel, we approach the Scripture with utter openness and availability to God:

“Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:9).

In this listening stance, Scripture becomes an instrument of God’s control rather than a tool that we control to our own ends. Then, as God speaks to us through Scripture, we respond to what we read with our heart and soul rather that just our intellect.

When we are falling in love with someone, we want to know everything about them. We are fascinated by every detail, every relationship, and every event that shaped them. But the desire for intimacy moves us beyond fact finding to seeking understanding, connecting with that person emotionally and sensing our own response.

Thus when we read Scripture for relationship we pay attention to our own inner dynamics and allow our response to take place in the deeper levels of our beings. We are open to a whole different set of questions—questions that help us to risk greater levels of truth telling with ourselves and with God. In addition to asking,

What does it say? What does it mean? How do I apply it to my life?—all questions that promote primarily cognitive activity and allow us to remain firmly in control of the whole experience—we might ask:

  • How do I feel about what is being said? Where do I find myself resonating deeply? Where do I find myself resisting, pulling back, wrestling with what Scripture might be saying? (Note: It is important to notice these inner dynamics without judging them, because they have much to tell us. You may even notice that you feel resonance and resistance at the same time. For instance, you may have a deep sense of the rightness of what the text is saying but on another level have the feeling, “There is no way I can do that!” This is a particularly important dynamic to notice, because it indicates a place where God is at work beyond your own cognition.)
  • Why do I feel this way? What aspect of my life or my inner being is being touched or spoken to through this Scripture?
  • What do my reactions tell me about myself—my attitudes, my relating patterns, my perspectives, my behaviours? Am I willing to look at that in God’s presence?

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This excerpt is taken from Sacred Rhythms by Ruth Haley Barton, free this month on Faithlife Ebooks. Copyright © 2006 by Ruth Haley Barton. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL., www.ivpress.com.

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Shabbat Mevarchim opening to the Summer-holiday period

English: Members of Israeli summer youth progr...

Members of Israeli summer youth programs eCamp celebrating Shabbat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is nice that we do have longer days, Sun going under much later than in most part of they ear.

Tonight we are going into the Shabbat Mevarchim (“the Shabbat that blesses” the new month) when many all over the world shall recite a special prayer blessing the Rosh Chodesh (“Head of the Month”) of upcoming month of Tammuz, which falls on Shabbat and Sunday of next week.

We are thankful that the Most High Elohim beseeches to renew this period of time

“for life and for peace, for gladness and for joy, for deliverance and for consolation.”

Him giving us now the warmth of the sun, enabling us to enjoy the beauty of the flowers, shrubs and trees in their full glory.

After the students their examinations many shall be able to find a month of renewal of energy. From this week onwards one week after the other many people shall go on holiday, either staying at home to take some rest away from work or to go at some place to enjoy themselves, seeing other cultures or just to enjoy themselves on a beach or in the mountains.

Though we may mourn over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the breakdown in our relationship with God that this represents, we may find now some more time to take our bible to study in it. Having not to go to work for some days or weeks we not only have some more leisure time, but should find extra time to study God‘s Word.

This Sabbath we may find the opening to a period of meditation, contemplation and letting our mind and body recover from the stress at work and from the daily worries. It is the start to a period of being grateful for the blessings we receive from our Divine Maker, Him making it possible to earn our money for making daily living not to difficult. At the same time, it is also the Sabbath that “blesses” and calls forth the qualities of the coming weeks characterized by extra quality time to get in intimacy with God.

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Preceding articles

Summermonths and consumerism

Holiday making and dreaming

Going on holiday is… silence in your head

Home-stayers and their to do list

2016 Summer holiday

Allow yourself a chill-out day

Holiday time reading time

Family happiness and little things we do

Luxury

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Additional reading

  1. Holiday tolerance
  2. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality

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Filed under Being and Feeling, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Reflection Texts, Religious affairs, Welfare matters, Wereld aangelegenheden

Inner voice inside the soul of man

What fellowship hath the voice of God inside of the soul of man with unrighteousness

asked Cecil J. duCille (1922-2009) in one of his devotionals. He looked at the human beings who did perhaps good but did not follow that inner voice they had to hear in themselves.

He continues:

No one who continues to move in self-motivation is of God. The average American woman is a woman who loves to rule her husband. It’s unfortunate for me to say this in a world-wide sense and let the people in the world know that is how we Americans are. The average American woman is taught to have her own way, to have her own bank account, to have her own business going. She does not go in accordance with the scriptural description of a Proverbs 31 woman.” {Come out of Sinning, Come into Righteousness}

English: A statue of Jesus Christ at a church ...

A statue of Jesus Christ at a church in India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This preacher who according some was commissioned by Jesus Christ as an apostle of our time and a minister of the Gospel in 1948 clearly had a certain idea about the role of woman. Throughout the course of his life, both him and his wife, carried the Gospel of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ worldwide establishing congregations throughout the globe. They first started in the Island of Jamaica. Then in 1969 they were sent by God to the United States to warn the people of God of the destruction that was coming. They founded Sonlight Ministries International and established works throughout Europe, Africa, India, and many other countries. They travelled tirelessly through the entire world, teaching and preaching wherever the doors would open to receive the revelation that God had given to them. {Sonlight devotional org/about}

He asked woman to turn from the natural trait of their generation to turn to God and do God’s work rather than that of their generation. Today we could still ask man and woman to turn away from that what the majority considers a natural lifestyle of fun. He writes:

Men and women, stop doing your own thing. If you want to do what you want to do, you must realize that you are not doing what God wants you to do. Then, somebody, after he goes and does his own thing, gives a good tithe or a good offering to the church. God doesn’t care for your offering. God wants your soul. When He gets your soul, He gets everything. {Come out of Sinning, Come into Righteousness}

In many churches we do find preachers calling for giving money so that blessing can come over you. We can assure you that are not the right ways. Man can not bribe God. There is nothing you can purchase from God, who you can not buy over either. God is not corrupt and you can not corrupt Him.

In this world we can see lots of people who have lots of questions and are looking for some answers. Some parents can not follow their children or do not understand why they go certain ways. Often they forget how important their example is in the course of their children.

Now, sometimes it is hard for us to believe that our own children are unbelievers, but sometimes our children are unbelievers. Their only deliverance is for us to walk in righteousness. {Come out of Sinning, Come into Righteousness}

Though we should not think too fast they are unbelievers. Perhaps they are in a stadium of questions and will coming in a later stadium of asking questions. They are aware that “our Earth” is not such a stable and unchanging home as we would like nor a “sure stronghold” which could never be substantially disrupted.

As such people shall have to come to ponder. They can not find the real answers in their communication with man and then they may see those people who believe in such an unseen Higher Supreme Being. This can give them a Question to Ponder : Communication with God. In this world of communication we see that lots of communication gets lost in the ‘fog’. Workers and bosses seem drifted away from each others understanding and seem not able to communicate properly any more.

They find it strange that there are such silly people who have an Almighty God as their friend. They wonder how that can be. How can people believe in something they can not see nor hear? There, they forget that the Works of that God can be seen every day around us and when man opens his or her ears to the Voice of that God they will hear that God speaking to them.

When you truly press in to know God and you prayerfully study His Word (meaning you sincerely ask God to reveal Himself and what His Word means,) you will discover that God is Almighty God, He is our Heavenly Father, and He is our friend. There is a balance important to our relationship with God if we hold these three truths in appropriate perspective. {Part Two: The Voice of God Within You}

Pastor Tim knows:

Jesus reveals that God is our Heavenly Father.

Matthew 6:31-33 says, “So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” {Part Two: God Speaking To You}

Whilst we have people looking at their phone, constantly following all the sms pop-ups on that little screen, they forget to use their brain message sending to the More Important Message Receiver and Replier.

Do you hear me? Anytime you turn to God and begin to walk according to that covenant that God has given you, walking it in righteousness – look at your children and you will see that it has an effect upon them. The devil cannot stand your righteousness and whenever you speak a word, it rebukes Satan from your own children if you are in righteousness. If you are not in righteousness and you speak a word, it does not rebuke Satan from your children. Therefore, your children are dependent upon you for life. If you think that you can save them by giving your time and your attention to them, you are making a very sad, sad mistake. Your time and attention to God will save them more than anything else. {Excerpt from Keeping in Touch, September, 2009}

All those who look for the pagan solutions or think the atheist world can bring the right answers perhaps could also have a look at the other side. In case they would listen to their inner voice they could be surprised to hear other voices, other ideas and can come to discover that there is really something more special, which (true) we can not always or fully understand. But giving time to that inner voice and taking time to come to know what is written in that Book of books we can come to know God as our Heavenly Father – the perfect father that none of us every had. You shall be surprised that you even shall be able to experience greater intimacy with Him than with any other person.

It doesn’t mean we should become less reverent toward Him. It means that we see His awesomeness and reverence it but also realize that the most powerful being in the universe –perfect and Holy in nature is also deeply in love with a fatherly love toward us. How awesome is that and how much more would it elevate our faith and trust in Him to watch over us?  {Part Two: God Speaking To You}

Most everyone would agree that a good and especially and intimate relationship is not going to happen between two people unless there is good two way communication. I think most people get that. We get the fact that it takes good two-way communication to build an intimate relationship yet with God, somehow we think we can build an intimate relationship with Him as a one-way conversation where we talk to Him and He listens but never responds? Honestly, that is lunacy!   {Part Two: God Speaking To You}

In heaven we do have somebody speaking for us. We have a mediator coming up for us. God listens also to this man his intercession. Jesus is that mediator who sits next to God. He defends us and can explain how we really feel and what we really want, though God knows this all, but is willing to listen to that intervention by His only begotten beloved son.

God calls Himself a “Father” to you. You can’t get more intimate than that. 2 Corinthians 6:18 says, “And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”
God sweetens this revelation of intimacy saying, “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.” Romans 8:15 (NLT) {What Makes Faith Perfect}

When man goes looking for God the Most High Supreme Being is willing to come to man. when we are sincere in our search He will be there to give us answers. We then only have to listen to our inner heart and react accordingly. This means that sometimes, not to say ‘often’, we shall have to make a choice, setting human traditions aside and taking those human teachings as false teachings. We when we hear that Voice of God shall have to make the proper choice to listen to that Higher Voice or to prefer continuing to listen to man’s voices.

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Preceding articles:

Of old and new ideas to sustain power and to feel good by loving to be connected and worship something

Engagement in an actual two-way conversation with your deities

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Additional reading

  1. Do you believe in One god
  2. God of gods
  3. Attributes to God
  4. God is one
  5. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  6. The Trinity – the truth
  7. One mediator
  8. Who was Jesus
  9. Bible Word of God, inspired and infallible
  10. Incomplete without the mind of God
  11. God is positive
  12. Let us not forget it was God who chose us
  13. God Helper and Deliverer
  14. Jehovah my strenght
  15. Life with God (video)
  16. Faith because of the questions
  17. Doing the works of God

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