Thought this was good

Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditation

Discharging Your Loyal Soldier

Unmerited Mercy

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Loyal Soldier is similar to the elder son in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. His loyalty to strict meritocracy, to his own entitlement, to obedience, and supposedly to his father keeps him from the very celebration his father has prepared, even though the father begs his son to come to the feast (Luke 15:25-32). We have no indication the elder son ever came! What a judgment this is on first-stage religion, and most scholars believe this story comes straight from Jesus himself.

Jesus makes the same point in his story of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14), in which the Pharisee is loyal and observant and, yet, Jesus says, he missed the point; while the other who has not obeyed the law at all, but admits it, is ironically deemed “at rights with God”! These are both examples of Jesus’ reverse theology, which was intended to subvert our usual merit-badge thinking. Yet most of Christianity never got the point, and ended up creating lots of elder sons and Pharisees. Both the elder son and the Pharisee are good, loyal soldiers—exactly what most of us in the church were told was the very meaning of religion.

Until we have met the Merciful One, until we’ve experienced unconditional love, I think we all operate out of some kind of meritocracy: “You get what you deserve, and no more than you deserve.” Until we honorably discharge this Loyal Soldier, who knows little about real love, we will find it hard to meet the Merciful One. The Loyal Soldier keeps many Christians from enlightenment, from transformation, from love, from forgiveness, from grace. The Loyal Soldier wears the common disguise of loyalty, obedience, and old-time religion, which is all you have until you have experienced undeserved and unmerited love.

Adapted from Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life,
p. 45

Gateway to Silence:
The war has ended. Go in peace.

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And…. we’re back. (take 2)

Good morning all.  It looks like I will again have to start adding new posts to this blog.  It’s official, as of this past Sunday, I am now once again a Deacon – and of course still a golf nut.  I look forward to serving you here online, and hopefully somehow in person.  So lets get started.  This is a my latest prayer:

Recently I have been contemplating with ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.  What does this mean to me.  How do I live this.  I think how we apply this to our lives will be different for each of us.  In a recent prayer time, this is where I felt the Holy Spirit leading me:  a request to – ‘Make my heart Your heart’ – or ‘Teach me to love the way You love’.  Really just another way of saying the same thing.  It made me realize that it didn’t matter what I am doing, work/play/study/church, if my heart is like God’s heart I will see and act like Him.  Or at least try to.

This will be tough.  I will likely fail more than I succeed.  But not trying at all is a greater failure.

 

Prayer:

Make my heart Your heart.

A life of Love

This was today’s devotional from Richard Rohr, ‘Richards Daily Meditations’:

RESOLVE TO LIVE A LIFE OF GREAT LOVE

We must learn to be able to think and behave like Jesus, who is the archetypal human. This becomes the journey of great love and great suffering. This journey leads us to a universal love where we just don’t love those who love us. We must learn to participate in a larger love—divine love.

If we remain autonomous, independent, self-sufficient, we cannot know God nor can we love God. St. John of the Cross says: “God refuses to be known; God can only be loved.”

Any journey of great love or great suffering make us go deeper into our faith and eventually into what can only be called universal truth. Love and suffering are finally the same, because those who love deeply are committing themselves to eventual suffering. Those who suffer often become the greatest lovers.

Starter Prayer:
Guide me in the ways of love and suffering.

Richard Rohr – The Spirit

Thought this daily devotional from Richard Rohr was great.  So I figured I’d post it.

 

A Christian is someone who’s animated by the spirit of Christ, a person in whom the spirit of Christ can work.  That doesn’t always mean that you consciously know what you are doing.

As it states in Matthew 25, “When have we seen you hungry?  When have we seen you thirsty?”  We may have no idea that we do what we do for Christ.  But Christ said: “Because you did it, you did it for me.”

It never depends upon whether we say the right words, but whether we live the right reality.

Adapted from Simplicity, p. 157

Starter Prayer:
     Lord, send out your spirit
and renew the face of the earth.

 

 

 


Well, that brings me back…

This past Saturday I joined Steph and a friend of hers to an evening service at the Dominion Chalmers Church downtown.  On the way there, I found out that it was a young people service, although it wasn’t entirely clear what the service actually was.  I thought oh well, I’ve wanted to go there anyways.  We found our seats and settled in.  There was a band, and some people sitting around.  Then out of a set of double doors in the corner starts to file a few people.  Then more, and more, and more and more,  you get the picture.  It turns out, we walked into a Youth Retreat with youth from across Ontario and Quebec!

Anyway, you know how one of those goes, a lot of screaming and yelling.  I definitly felt out of place.  But, they had a really good short skit, a few songs, and one lady who did a fairly good job of advertising a classis (similar) meeting that the youth could attend and vote.  She dressed it up real nice.

We didn’t stay for the whole thing, but it brought me back to earlier days of youth services and the like.  Kinda made me glad I grew up.  But considering how awkward it was, it kinda neat to see the difference of the United church vs my CRC background.  But it was still fun and neat to get the perspective of my 2 counterparts.

oh, yeah, point of interest.  The North American wide youth retreat they were also advertising has Shane Claiborne as a speaker!  I don’t remember our events having cool speakers like that!

bg

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, and happy 2011!

After a great week off for the Christmas holidays and  a great New Years celebration, its back to work.  The coming year has great potential for me.  I have grown into a more senior role in our office where I am now a leading technologist on several projects.  This brings new challenges but also new skills and rewarding adventures designing large buildings and dealing much more with the building code and consultants.

I am also looking forward to my small business, Brian Geertsema Designs (BG Designs), continuing to grow as we expanded our market by introducing our new website bgdesigns.ca.  I also registered myself in the province of Ontario as a Designer.  I am excited to see how this business grows and the possibilities it could have.

I know your all interested in my progress on the golf front, so I will let you know that I am stepping it up for 2011, which is also year 4 in my trial.  I will be joining a winter golf program at the Marshes that actually starts this coming Jan. 4.  I will be taking lessons as part of it so I will be shaping my swing before the season.  I am excited to see the difference this coming season.

On another note, I continue to be lucky and am still dating my lovely girlfriend.  And hopefully, I look forward to growing that relationship.

This year marks the end of my term as deacon at KCCRC.  It has been a great personal learning experience.  I know myself much better having been part of the Deaconhood.  I enjoyed serving with all the other deacons.  I may even miss going up front and talking about the collections, I enjoyed that.

I hope you have a great year with many blessings and you follow your dreams!

‘It’s a new day, its a new dawn, its a new life for me.’

bg

Happy Christmas!

Yes, I’m wishing all my deacon duty fans out there an early Happy Christmas!

‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men.’

 

Just for fun, here is another pic of me from my Calgary trip this past spring.  Me playing Silvertip in the Rocky Mountains.  It was spectacular.