Thursday, March 27, 2008

Quotes of the Day

“Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope can set you free.”
-The Shawshank Redemption 1994

"When God wants to change us, he starts by getting our attention, by putting us in a frustrating situation that is totally beyond our control. If we’re experiencing a crisis right now, it’s because God is getting ready to change us for the better."
-Rick Warren

I'm Starting With The Man In The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change His Ways
And No Message Could've Been Any Clearer
If You Wanna Make The World A Better Place
Take A Look At Yourself And Then Make That Change!
-Michael Jackson Thriller 1982

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Missions 101

Matthew 10:5-11 (The Message)
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge:
"Don't begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don't try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously.
"Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.
"When you enter a town or village, don't insist on staying in a luxury inn. Get a modest place with some modest people, and be content there until you leave."

Luke 10:1-9 (The Message)
Later the Master selected seventy and sent them ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he intended to go. He gave them this charge:
"What a huge harvest! And how few the harvest hands. So on your knees; ask the God of the Harvest to send harvest hands.
"On your way! But be careful—this is hazardous work. You're like lambs in a wolf pack.
"Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage.
"Don't loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way.
"When you enter a home, greet the family, 'Peace.' If your greeting is received, then it's a good place to stay. But if it's not received, take it back and get out. Don't impose yourself.
"Stay at one home, taking your meals there, for a worker deserves three square meals. Don't move from house to house, looking for the best cook in town.
"When you enter a town and are received, eat what they set before you, heal anyone who is sick, and tell them, 'God's kingdom is right on your doorstep!'"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Missing Mexico

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
Philippians 1:3-6 The Message

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Looking for the Living One in a Cemetery

Luke 24:1-12 (The Message)

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn't find the body of the Master Jesus.

They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, "Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?" Then they remembered Jesus' words.

They left the tomb and broke the news of all this to the Eleven and the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them kept telling these things to the apostles, but the apostles didn't believe a word of it, thought they were making it all up.

But Peter jumped to his feet and ran to the tomb. He stooped to look in and saw a few grave clothes, that's all. He walked away puzzled, shaking his head.

My favorite line is the last one. After jumping to his feet and running to the tomb, we imagine Peter walking away puzzled, shaking and scratching his head, wondering what in the world is happening. Yet this seed of hope and excitement is burning in his gut. Today celebrates hope (not necessarily clarity)!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A High Church Quaker Thought

"Blessed is he who regards everyone as God after God."

--Evagrios the Solitary from the Philokalia 153 Texts on Prayer

Monday, March 3, 2008


" at the threshold of the spiritual life; it can introduce us to it. It does not constitute it...There are certain cases of spiritual depression in which reading can become a sort of curative discipline...reintroducing a lazy mind into the life of the spirit."
- Marcel Proust 'On Reading'