Monday, February 27, 2017

Preparation for Ministry Prayer

Almighty God, you who call me to prayer and who offer yourself to all who seek your face, pour out your Holy Spirit on me today and deliver me from coldness of heart, a wandering mind, and wrongful desire.  By the power of your spirit place within me steadfast love and devotion, so that today I may worship and serve you with all my life; through Jesus Christ my Lord.  Amen.
    -from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants

Write Thy Blessed Name

Write thy blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart, there to remain so indelibly engraven, that no prosperity, no adversity shall ever move me from thy love.  Be thou to me a strong tower of defence, a comforter in tribulation, a deliverer in distresss, a very present help in trouble, and a guide to heaven through the many tempations and dangers of life. Amen.
     -Thomas a Kempis

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Success

Failure is only a problem if success is the goal, but the goal is not success, the goal is witnessing to the love and truth of God and God's living spirit as it works through us.
     - Gerry Reynolds

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Be

Be still and know that I am God

Be still and know

Be still

Be

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Highest of Virtues



If you asked twenty good men to-day what they thought the highest of virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness.  But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of  old he would have replied, Love.  You see what has happened?  A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philosophical importance.  The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point.  I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love.  The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself.  We are told to deny ourselves and take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire.  If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith.  Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the swaggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that the Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak.  We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at sea.  We are far too easily please.
            - C. S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory

Friday, February 3, 2017

Find Myself



O God,
who am I now?
Once, I was secure
      in familiar territory
      in my sense of belonging
unquestioning of
      the norms of my culture
      the assumptions built into my language
      the values shared by my society.

But now you have called me out and away from home
and I do not know where you are leading.
I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.
I have only a beckoning star to follow.

Journeying God,
pitch your tent with mine
so that I may not become deterred
by hardship, strangeness, doubt.
Show me the movement I must make
      toward a wealth not depend on possessions
      toward a wisdom not based on books
      toward a strength not bolstered by might
      toward a God not confined to heaven
but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized….

Help me to find myself
as I walk in others shoes.

            -Kate Compston in Bread of Tomorrow: Prayers for the Church Year