Tag Archives: Prayer

Pope Francis – Untying The Knots

Francis often quotes the words of the German poet Holderlin
“may the man not betray what he promised as a child” (page 25)

Francis knew some familiar struggles

“One regular gripe was that vocations to the priesthood had fallen in Buenos Aires in his time” (page 121)

On Rafael Tello, the Liberation Theologian silenced by the Church
“Nobody who has opened up new paths leaves without scars on his body.” (page 138)

“Guilt by itself… is just another human resource.  Guilt, without atonement, does not allow us to grow” (page 146)

On going out to the peripheries (a now famous speech before the conclave and given here) the surge needs to surge forth to the peripheries.
“The Church is supposed to be the mysterium lunae, the mystery of the moon is that it has no light, but simply reflects the light of the sun” (page 155)

“It’s about a shift in our understanding of Church. The community which presides in love; that is putting the Pope back in the college.  It is ecclesiastically radical.  He has thought through what he is doing.  It is the produce of the many years of practical theology.” (page 166)

He calls for “a church that gets out in the street and runs the risk of an accident” rather than a church which “doesn’t get out and sooner or later gets sick from being locked up” (page 180)

Joy and Prayer

The Robinson Crusoe verse


Charles Spurgeon referred to Psalm 50:15 as the Robinson Crusoe verse in which we are delivered and God is glorified – “You shall have the deliverance but I shall have the glory” – man and God take shares (page 163-164)


You never Enjoy the World aright, till you see how a Sand Exhibiteth the Wisdom and Power of God: And Prize in every Thing the Service which they do you, by Manifesting His Glory and Goodness to your Soul, far more than the Visible Beauty on their Surface, or the Material Services, they can do you Body. (Thomas Traherne, page 166)

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The Shack

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not just live in a world but a world lives in you – Frederick Buechner, Telling the Truth – page 209

An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of his children.  He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one he gives all of himself as fully as if there were no others – A.W. Tozer (page 218)

Earth has no sorry that heaven cannot heal – author unknown (page 231)

She lives where there is no impatience.  She does not mind waiting. (page 235)

Faith never knows where it is being led.  But it knows and loves the one who does the leading. – Oswald Chambers, page 239

Earth’s crammed with heaven

And every common bush afire with God

But only he who sees takes off his shoes

The rest sit around it and pluck blackberries – Elizabeth Berrett Browning

Love feels distant

He said, “I can’t dress myself, I don’t have….”


She said, “You’ll have top dress yourself” and she left the room.


He said “I kicked, I screamed, I kicked, I screamed, I yelled, ‘You don’t love me anymore!”  Finally I realised that, if I were to get any clothes on, I’d have to get my clothes on.”  After hours of struggle, he got some clothes on.  He said, “It was not until later that I knew my mother was in the next room crying.”


I don’t know if God distances God’s self from us, but I know sometimes we feel some distance.

(page 97)

Reason for God – Part 1


Then talks about the humanity of Jesus and the heresy of docetism.


Talks about how Jesus grew, and may not have been a physically great specimen, but when he died the Spirit entered into him and was able to draw him out of death.


There is thing about trying to pretend to be smart – if you are the smartest person in the room then you are in the wrong room.


Also great comparison of 10 year olds who were given maths problems, and some of them gave up and were frustrated, but others loved the challenge, even though they were getting these wrong all the time.

An hour of your time

The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door.
The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy’s questions. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money?
After about an hour or so, the man had calmed down, and started to think:
Maybe there was something he really needed to buy with that $ 50 and he really didn’t ask for money very often. The man went to the door of the little boy’s room and opened the door.

DAD: “Are you asleep, son?”

SON: “No daddy, I’m awake”.
DAD: “I’ve been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It’s been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. Here’s the $50 you asked for.”

The little boy sat straight up, smiling.
SON: “Oh, thank you daddy!”
Then, reaching under his pillow he pulled out some crumpled up bills. The man saw that the boy already had money, started to get angry again. The little boy slowly counted out his money, and then looked up at his father.

DAD: “Why do you want more money if you already have some?”

SON: “Because I didn’t have enough, but now I do.

“Daddy, I have $100 now. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you.”
The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little son, and he begged for his forgiveness. It’s just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us, those close to our hearts. Do remember to share that $100 worth of your time with someone you love? If we die tomorrow, the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days. But the family and friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. And come to think of it, we pour ourselves more into work than to our family.

Some things are more important.

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Love and the Soul


Talks about the way that we can take things for granted, and forget that this is the great gift of God, because when our souls are in peril, we are in grave danger.


Speaks about the way that people name their boats differently, it’s a big thing that you name your boat.  He knew one person at a Christian college who called his boat “Faculty Development” so that he could say “I’m spending my time on Faculty Development”; but another person called their boat “Deserving”.


There is a terrible thing that we think ourselves deserving, but actually we need to throw ourselves at the mercy of God.  The Biblical description of the one who is turned away from God is that of hell, that we are not lost because we are going to the wrong place, but we are going to the wrong place because we are lost.


We should call ourselves the “First Church of the Undeserving.”


So God values our soul – talks about the way that God has his eye upon the sparrow, and the way that Nephesh (soul) is first used of animals in the book of Genesis.  There is a question about whether animals go to heaven, but a good quote from Joni Ericksson Tada who says “If God brings our pets back to life, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.  It would be just like him, totally keeping with his generous character, extravagant in grace after grace” (this was after the death of her dog Scrappy)


Our soul was created not just in a physical environment, but within a spiritual community.  Our soul was not just created for physical existence, but our soul was created for love.


The language of love and the soul in the Bible is remarkable – take the story of David and Jonathan and the way that they were bonded to each other.


Tells story of Joel Jager who contracted polio, and cannot run, but his son can and when you see a picture of his son running (he is an Olympic standard steeple chaser) you can see a bit of Joel’s soul running with him.


Talks about Holy Kisses which appear in the KJV and the way that we are to become the first Church of the Holy Kiss.


Ortberg ends by inviting people to move out of the “Religious non-disciple” category and make a commitment to God , who cares for, and who can protect our souls.


The Outstretched Arms of Jesus

The outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one, not the drunk in the doorway, the panhandler on the street, gays and lesbians in their isolation, the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons, the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs.  The love of Christ embraces all without exception.

Brennan Manning, August 20th

The Five Love Languages

Welcome to the real world

Key Words Love Obsession Commitment
Source The Five Love Languages
Author Gary Chapman
Page 31
Quote Welcome to the real world of marriage, where hairs are always on the sink and little white spots cover the mirror, where arguments center on which way the toilet paper comes off and whether the lid should be up or down. It is a world where shoes do not walk to the closet and drawers do not close themselves, where coats do not like hangers and socks go AWOL during laundry. In this world, a look can hurt and a word can crush. Intimate lovers can become enemies, and marriage a battlefield.

“In Love” is not love

Key Words Love Obsession Desire
Source The Five Love Languages
Author Gary Chapman
Page 33
Quote From M. Scott Peck

Dr. Peck concludes that the falling-in-love experience is not real love for three reasons:
1. Falling in love is not an act of will or conscious choice
2. Falling in love is not real because it is effortless
3. The one who is “in love” is not genuinely interested in fostering the personal growth of the other person. “If we have any purpose in mind when we fall in love it is to terminate our own loneliness and perhaps ensure this result through marriage.”

Chapman adds 
“Rational, volitional love is the kind of love to which the sages have always called us.”