Tag Archives: Relationship

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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Trouble in my brain

Who does not want to be loved? Who is not longing for attention, recognition, acknowledgement and for being recognised as a human being, to be seen and heard and why not for receiving a hug?

E.T.'s blog

I’m so confused.
There’s a big mess in my head.
I don’t know where to start and where to end.
There’s no problem in my life.
The only problems are made by me.
I’ve got no big threats against my life.
Then why is my brain fried?
Problems are problems, if you give them the space to be problems.
Because the only one recognizing those problems, is you.
It’s your brain telling you there’s a problem, but when is it really one?
My brain is fried with problems.
Or aren’t they such things?
Are they just thoughts, which pass my mind too many at the same time, so that I can’t see which one is which anymore?
I can’t differentiate between them.
I want things but do I have the right to?
I’m aware of my past and my failures.
I try to stop myself from doing weird things.
But…

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High time to show the way to peace

Vagabonds of the Western World

Vagabonds of the Western World (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The world has always known people who had problems with their relationship and even went to fight with each other because they wanted things of the other person. Wars have been a common thing for humanity. In the West we may be pleased after World War II the fighting was less than in previous centuries, but still lots of internal battles make many lives sour.

In the West, though, there are many who call themselves Christian and even say the Western World belongs to the Christians and Is or should be Christian. When they are afraid Muslims would take over they should more question themselves how it is possible that so many people do want to leave Christendom for that other religion.

This year we do remember that it is 2020 years ago that rabbi Jeshua, Jesus Christ, was born. At that special occasion we should better question what mankind made of that man and what they did with his teachings.

Rabbi Jeshua was a man of peace, who did not favour one for the other but thought and treated everybody likewise. For a good or even a bad person this rabbi had always an ear and was always ready to help. All his teachings were about an unmistakably Great Love. The great master teacher, who came to be known in the West as Jesus Christ, was a man of action and not of words only. His words were like balsam. In his words there was no place for hatred or jealousy. He was an example of humbleness, tenderness, full of love and kindness. He was not a bringer of war but a bringer of peace.

When people also would follow his teachings they would have less problems and there would be less friction or peevishness.

This image was selected as a picture of the we...

This image was selected as a picture of the week on the Malay Wikipedia for the 44th week, 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, we have reached an era of which the Bible warns mankind. We too should take heed and see what is going on, as signs prophesied in the Book of books, the Bible. Noticing all those signs of coming troublesome times we should be fully aware that we best make work of those tidings Christ Jesus has brought to mankind.

When all those who say they are Christian, which should mean they are willing and doing what Jesus asks from them, following his teachings and his example, they should know that as all different body parts together they should make one strong healthy body, the Body of Christ.

When all Christians would start in their own surroundings already trying to create that peace of Christ, also trying to accept other Christians and willing to work together with them, the world would become a much better place.

Christians should show others that Jesus is not only the Way to God but also the Way to life and to  world peace. With Jesus we shall be able to find a (restored) kingdom, where there shall be no grudges, no jealousy, no fighting. One might be surprised how it could still be in reach.

Please do not wait any longer. Do not postpone. Tell others about that man born 2020 years ago and show them why we should put our eyes on him. Let others see why that Nazarene man was so important for mankind and let them understand he is the only working solution for mankind. Jesus is the way, and all should know it!

How more people shall come to Jesus how more people shall be sharing that similar love of Jesus with each other, and as brothers and sisters of each other in the Body of Christ they shall be able to bring soft gently swaying waves of peace. and that peace shall be much stronger than what others try to get with their fighting.

All will have to know that Jesus will conquer, and that he will become the new King of kings. In him we do have our mediator between God and man and our high-priest. He has ear and eyes for us and in him we should trust.

Let us proclaim who he is, what he has done and why the whole world need him. In him is our peace, which we should radiate so that others also become affected with it.

It is really “, plus “High time to go out telling the world about Jesus” and hight time to join hands for showing the world that those who love Jesus can come together in peace and co-operate with the best intentions to come to a better world, were peace shall reign.

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Preceding articles:

High time to go out telling the world about Jesus

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Additional articles

  1. In a few days time it will be 2020 years ago that the Messiah was born
  2. 2020 years since
  3. 2020 years ago, the road was opened
  4. When Bad Things Happen
  5. Redemption #1 Biblical doctrine of salvation
  6. Redemption #2 Biblical solution
  7. Redemption #7 Christ alive in the faithful
  8. Redemption #8 Righteousness by Faith
  9. Redemption #9 Only way
  10. The Right One to follow and to worship
  11. Knowledge of Christ and fear for God
  12. Through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe
  13. The stone of essential truth
  14. the Way to life
  15. Relating to God is it possible + Relation with God
  16. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  17. Religious people and painful absence of spring of living water
  18. Be humble like Christ
  19. Humbleness
  20. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  21. If you want to go far in life
  22. Kindness
  23. Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair
  24. God let my compassionate affection be tolerant and kind
  25. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  26. True riches

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Further reading

  1. God, Alone, Sovereignly Chooses His Eternal Family
  2. God’s Marriage: The Father And Son
  3. Unraveling Guilt With God’s Holiness
  4. Lent Day 23: I Declare My Ways Are Smooth, My Path Is Straight. I Will Not Stumble
  5. Only one way out
  6. The Way
  7. R.C. Sproul quote
  8. This is the way
  9. The Way home Psalm 56:3-4 Luke 13:22-30
  10. Discouraged? Run to Jesus!
  11. Jesus sees me as …
  12. Grace and Restoration
  13. “Flow through Me”
  14. “That They May Be One”
  15. Jew or Gentile: You Are All One in Christ Jesus
  16. Disciplinary Treatises—(4) The Communion of the Body, by Scott Cairns
  17. The Body of Christ
  18. The Body of Christ : God’s ultimate intention for our life
  19. Body of Christ: Nothing Will Be Wasted, by Francis de Sales Wagner
  20. The Living, Growing Body of Christ
  21. Becoming Community
  22. Who Runs the Church?
  23. Beware of a Spiritual Cancer in the Body of Christ
  24. Has the Church become a pathetic loser?
  25. The Apostasy
  26. Are We A Healthy Body?
  27. Measuring the Fullness
  28. Oneness of the Church
  29. Unify
  30. On marriage for priests.
  31. Sometimes, Instead of Bread, I Ask God for Stones
  32. What love is this?
  33. Until Christ Is Formed
  34. Standing in the Gap
  35. Prayer For Oct. 22nd
  36. “Do I have to pray, read the Bible, go to church, etc?”
  37. Revival, or something that looks like it
  38. Running Toward The Goal
  39. Ignatius of Antioch: “love incorruptible”
  40. The Perfect Wheel
  41. Spiritual Formation, Gossip and Presidential Campaigns
  42. October 26 – I Never Knew You
  43. Summing Up
  44. Horrendous Things are Under Authority
  45. Peace. Comfort. Love. Joy. Over coming the heartache.
  46. A Fresh Look at the Lord’s Prayer “Your Kingdom Come”
  47. No Matter
  48. Sunday Bun! At SAllome Point in the Future
  49. Religion vs Relationship
  50. Why Christianity Isn’t a Solo Act
  51. We have all the answers, we must go and answer all the questions!
  52. For the One whose name is higher than them all
  53. Kingdom???
  54. Thy Kingdom Come
  55. Know your saviour
  56. Kings and kingdoms
  57. 4 Shots From 4 Films: An Epic Birthday Salute
  58. Open Wide the Gates
  59. The Justice of God – Isaiah 33:22
  60. All Glory To Jesus
  61. Recapturing The Holy Awe

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I and Thou

In life we do have to relate in first instance to our self, next to the creation, and then last but not least to the Creator Himself.

An “I-Thou” relation with understanding of past, present and future, is essential to build up something positively constructive.

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To remember

  • Martin Buber (I and Thou, 1923)
  • Humanist variant of/alternative to existentialism: Relationship precedes essence.
  • Identity = by-product of “I-Thou” relation
Martin Buber (1878-1965)

Martin Buber (1878-1965) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Preceding article: Curious creature or Positivist man

Next: Sacred formula of positivism

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shakemyheadhollow

The way I read the Jewish theologian, Martin Buber (I and Thou, 1923), he offers a humanist variant of/alternative to existentialism. Where Sartre might say, “Existence precedes essence,” Buber might say, “Relationship precedes essence.” In contrast to the stark “thrownness” of the existentialist, who finds himself alone in an indifferent universe, Buber finds identity itself to be a by-product of the “I-Thou” relation (connections both to fellow humankind and to Being itself). Having shuffled off the existentialist’s burden of aloneness, however, Buber is not exactly the Walmart greeter to Happy Valley. Like the existentialist, he is weighed down with responsibility. For now he carries forever — past, present, and future – the built-in burden of all that connection, the “exalted melancholy of our fate” (16).

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