Sunday, September 6, 2020

Working at “living what I’m learning” . . .

These days my “dialogue with the Divine” is more on the listening side, than the talking-side. It’s not that I am “all talked out” . . . it is that my theology of God caught up with me a while back. I’m growing in knowing ...

Knowing . . . He reads my heart, knows my innermost thoughts, my resting and my rising. He’s all understanding and wise; yet He graces me by gifting His Spirit into my heart’s inner most chambers.  He, though knowing all about me is devoted to me . . .

I seek to listen to His words with humility and intent … my main prayer’s for grace; grace to live in the grace He is, and provides . . .




Friday, August 7, 2020

Silently thinking about silence . . .


Today I’m sitting silently, silently thinking about silence. I’m also thinking about praying . . . here’s some of my “train of thought” . . . 

 “Silence in my daily prayer is not praying silently. Praying silently is a given. Silence in prayers an intentional part of one’s prayer liturgy – as both inclusion and occasion. Intentional in beginning, middle and end … it is the choice to sit in “presence” (whether felt or not) and “do silence”. Occasionally silence is coming to daily prayer and “being” silent—just because I am unable to be articulate.” 

 Still sitting silently—ruminating actually . . .


Monday, May 11, 2020

Church is functioning, not perfect community . . .

Paul’s statement of the local (or located) church’s reality is a universally relevant declaration of the church’s nature as community:
  • “You will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
As community, the church is not merely the repository of correct doctrines, and exemplar of divinely desired human behaviors, it is a family of incarnation, interaction, and fallibility. She does not only hold to Spirit and scripture revealed truth, she realizes truth through interactive relationships which build up the life of Christ within an environment of community.
  • “Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work” (Ephesians 4:15-16.).
Church is functioning, not perfect community—being perfected, yes; perfected, not yet folks! How can I say that? Easy, I’m still in it, and so are you . . . cheers - JD


Thursday, February 20, 2020

Don’t confine your worship . . .

Life is too short to not seek to love, worship and respond to God in all life situations.  Don’t confine your worship of “enjoying God” to services or rituals … worship God anywhere. 

  • As we get older we need to shift the focus from hard work to God-work. 
  • Slow down, enjoy God; some things in life are really not that important.  
  • However, giving time for God and His goodness is not one of the aspects of any "cut-down list”.  

He’s not saying less church, he’s saying – more God in the common places of life. 

Don’t forget how close God is . . . 


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Ruminating on the first day of 2020 . . .

Today’s the first of January 2020 . . .
The other day, (aka - last year), I read and ruminated on a  short-chapter entitled “Of Putting Up with Others Faults” in Thomas A’Kempis’ “Imitation of Christ”....
Passing on my rumination . . .
I have the capacity to prosecute in others what I cannot overcome in myself. 

As fallen humans, within ourselves we neglect strengths and defend our self-unchallenged weaknesses  

I hear A’Kempis speaking to me of patience as an alternative to intolerant negligence.  A patience that allows God’s processes, within others and me to, “have its perfect work”. 

Through patience I give others freedom to live, and myself – freedom to change; or at best endure! – JD




*Thomas À Kempis, 1373-1471 a Christian theologian, probable author of Imitatio Christi (Imitation of Christ); a devotional book that, with the exception of the Bible, has been considered the most influential work in Christian literature . . .

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Behaving like a Baptist: Ruminating on Rumination

Preamble

My lifelong or long-life ecclesiastical journey twice passed through Baptist faith community. 

Those two journey-legs were separated by thirty-three years of living and serving within a Pentecostal faith community; I “came home” in 1997 . . .
 
Oh, BTW – for a couple of years in the late 1980’s, I went to seminary . . . a Pentecostal student at a Baptist seminary in Denver, Colorado . . .

Prepare to think with me

One day, seeming out-of-the-blue one of my seminary Profs stated; “Baptists ruminate . . . ”

“Interesting . . . ?”

Thinking his statement over, chewing reflectively, crystallising the impact of his words, and summarising their focused implications, I mumbled to myself; “shock, horror I’m still a Baptist inside, the default-behaviour is still inside me! I’m not an allegedly intelligent Pentecostal, I’m still a Baptist" . . .

Yes, we Baptists ruminate . . .

We read, listen, think, summarise, interact, and respond to ideas, perspectives, and communication from Biblical sources (aka preaching). Local and broader church forums are often characterised by debate or its 21st century equivalent, reflection. We Baptists are a community of believers who don’t quickly embrace or subscribe to belief(s) without process. Our default-process is rumination.  The practice of turning a matter over and over in the mind, chewing the “cognitive-cud” by reflecting mulling over and over again; we don’t merely think, we think about our thinking. Rumination is a “vital-as” personal and communal custom in mission-centred Baptistic life; it is the fuel-source for the practices of debate and reflection. We’re a people of Scripture and Spirit. Through rumination, debate and reflection we can relationally-process Word and Spirit into missional action and lifelong discipleship.

If you are thinking, yes but how; keep reading and ruminate with me . .

Try this passage for size . . . 

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (MSG)

“Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” 

  • Got some emerging thought and understanding from the text???? 
  • Some "ruminant fruit"????
  • Why not post it as a "one-liner" in the comments box . . . 


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Chewing with Qoheleth and the Caterpillar

Lately I've been watching the progress of this year's crop of "our swan plant's temporary residents" -- so snapped them this morning . . . 

they are living, and continuously eating while in a trans-formative journey . . . 

just like us humans, who according to Qoheleth* in his wisdom-observations defines that eating, drinking and getting on with living is good within the trans-formative struggle called "life" . . . 

As I "chew-my-way-through life" do I live-life as intuitive, instinctive, or instructive . . . OR????















*The Book Ecclesiastes is presented as an autobiography of "Kohelet" (or "Qoheleth")