Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The work we cannot leave up to politicians.

In the wake of last month's bitter local, state, and federal elections, I'm putting together a new American Federal Government class for the spring semester. In preparing one of the weekly devotionals I (not for the first time) came across these simple, stunning thoughts from Shane Claiborne:

“The question for me is not are we political, but how are we political? We need to be politically engaged, but peculiar in how we engage. Jesus and the early Christians had a marvelous political imagination. They turned all the presumptions and ideas of power and blessing upside down. 

The early Christians felt a deep collision with the empire in which they lived, and with politics as usual. They carelessly crossed party lines and built subversive friendships. And we should do that too. 

To be nonpartisan doesn’t mean we’re nonpolitical. We should refuse to get sucked into political camps and insist on pulling the best out of all of them. That’s what Jesus did—challenge the worst of each camp and pull out the best of each. That’s why we see Essenes, Zealots, Herodians, Pharisees, and Sadducees all following Jesus and even joining his movement. But they had to become new creations. They had to let go of some things. Jesus challenged the tax-collecting system of Rome and the sword of the Zealots. 

So to answer the question, I engage with local politics because it affects people I love. And I engage in national politics because it affects people I love. 

Governments can do lots of things, but there are a lot of things they cannot do. A government can pass good laws, but no law can change a human heart. Only God can do that. A government can provide good housing, but folks can have a house without having a home. We can keep people breathing with good health care, but they still may not really be alive. The work of community, love, reconciliation, restoration is the work we cannot leave up to politicians. 

This is the work we are all called to do. We can’t wait on politicians to change the world. We can’t wait on governments to legislate love. And we don’t let policies define how we treat people; how we treat people shapes our policies.” -Shane Claiborne, http://www.redletterchristians.org/election-day-dialog-political/

It seems to me that the most crucial questions are:

How are Christians called to demonstrate love, justice, mercy, and humility through our political engagement?

And how can "subversive friendships" help strengthen our bonds of both theological and political community?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas is.

"Christmas is the promise that the God who came in history and comes daily in mystery will one day come in glory. 

God is saying in Jesus that in the end everything will be all right. 

Nothing can harm you permanently, no suffering is irrevocable, no loss is lasting, no defeat is more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive. 

Jesus did not deny the reality of suffering, discouragement, disappointment, frustration, and death; he simply stated that the Kingdom of God would conquer all of these horrors, that the Father's love is so prodigal that no evil could possible resist it."

-Brennan Manning, Reflections for Ragamuffins

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Knowing God (not just knowing more).

In an ongoing quest for transparency (or perhaps just accountability?), the following is an unedited homework excerpt from Week 3 in my recent Spiritual Formation class.

I hope to continue to learn from this airing of dirty laundry, this thinking out loud (or on paper, or on the internet, or whatever). Whew...deep breath. Here goes.

Describe one of the familiar disciplines in the weekly reading and why it has been meaningful or helpful to your spiritual life: 
I love intercessory prayer, even though I don’t always feel as if I do it well. It gives me a way to connect with and invest in friendships and spiritual relationships in new and deeper ways...to say “I’ll pray for you” -or even better, “I’ve been praying for you”- and to mean it, and to have my friends (and especially the college students and young adults that we minister to) know that I mean it. It’s beautiful.

Note: I want to do this more. A lot more.

Describe one of the new or unfamiliar discipline in the weekly reading and why you might try to implement it in your life and ministry in the future:
I’ll be honest, Devotional Reading is not 100% new to me, but I really, really resonated with the accompanying quotation (as both a student and a teacher):

"Our desire to know more, read more and study more can be another expression of our culture and its acquisitive nature. Knowing God, not knowing more, is the goal." -Ronald Rolheiser

I’m not always great at this, but it’s what I want. Or at least it’s what I want to want!

Note: I sometimes -okay often- struggle with letting my desire to know and read and study and do more get in the way of knowing God and others more. I know, I know...I'm working on it! It's a process (and one I kinda suck at). 

Describe one of the disciplines from the weekly reading that you would have trouble practicing and describe why this would be:
I really struggle with the idea of fasting, particularly how it’s sometimes presented in the context of Lent. Giving things up tends to make me disgruntled rather than more spiritually focused!

Having said that, I also feel like intentional simplicity is a fundamental, bedrock principle for Christian spirituality, so...it’s possible I’m just hung up on myself. :) So perhaps the answer isn’t food, but rather the internet or television or...something. I feel like there’s undiscovered worth here yet!

Note: I'm officially looking for ways to simplify my life in ways that free up more time, money, and energy to invest in more Jesus-y ways. Suggestions are always welcome! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Keeping Company with Jesus

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest.

Walk with me and work with me--watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly" -Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I believe the desire for a different sort of life doesn't appear out of thin air. The longing for something more, no matter how weak or crackling with heat, is evidence that God is already at work in your life. 

You wouldn't want more of God if the Holy Spirit wasn't first seeking you. It is the Trinity's action within that fans the small flame of desire motivating us to "keep company" with Jesus. 

In fact, the very desire or desperation you feel can be God's way of readying you to walk and work with Jesus. Take heart, transformation happens as you keep company with Jesus. -Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

Friday, September 19, 2014

I need a new plan.

So I'm taking a theology class for ordination on spiritual formation. 

For those of you who know me well, you can understand how excited I am about this. :) A class about spiritual disciplines, and practice, and church history, and who we say we are? Sign me up!!

If only it wasn't happening during a very busy semester of teaching, tutoring, and college/young adult ministry.

Except maybe that's the whole point.

So...as an exercise in honesty (and accountability), some of my Week 2 homework is included below for your perusal, edification, and/or amusement.

Describe one of the familiar disciplines in the weekly reading and why it has been meaningful or helpful to your spiritual life:

Journaling: I love journaling as a prayer practice...doesn’t really do much for me otherwise, but there you are. It keeps me mindful and present in my prayer time, because it forces to slow down and think (at least) to the speed of my handwriting. And it’s (sometimes) a pretty cool record of how God has been active in our lives over the weeks/months/years. :) Other times it’s so painful you have to burn the thing and start over!

Describe one of the new or unfamiliar discipline in the weekly reading and why you might try to implement it in your life and ministry in the future:

Practicing the Presence: I’ll be honest...I’ve never even heard of this before (at least not articulated in this way). But I like the idea of maintaining “an ongoing conversation with God no matter what [I’m] doing!” :) I love the idea of looking for God in the seemingly mundane...in apparently trial conversations and interactions...in the beauty of nature and little, daily blessings. I suspect it would change a lot about my “default setting,” too. :)

Describe one of the disciplines from the weekly reading that you would have trouble practicing and describe why this would be:

Rest: I suck at resting. I’m terrible at it. Simply awful. I know it’s a good idea, but I continue to put it off for what sound a lot like good things (but maybe not the best thing?)...for the endless piles of stuff that I also feel called to, and whose call I sometimes heed out of all proportion to their long-term importance. I keep telling myself “next semester will be better” or “things will finally start to settle when___” and it just. doesn’t. work.

I need a new plan.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Human terms.

Somewhere along the way,
I stopped referring to God
as "he" and "him"
in limited, human terms.

I'm not sure I could tell you
precisely where or when.
But it feels bigger,
loving, and sure.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Fairy-Stories": Tolkien, Lewis, and God

I (Aaron) have been reading Collin Durietz's recent biography of J. R. R. Tolkien in my (scant) free time lately.

I find Tolkien fascinating for all kinds of reasons: he's one of my all-time favourite fiction authors, but he was also a WWI veteran (it changed his writing forever), brilliant scholar (he studied and taught at Oxford), and strong moral influence on C. S. Lewis (one of my all-time favourite fiction AND non-fiction writers)!

I loved the biographer's description of Tolkien's reasons for writing "fairy stories" and the ways he hoped they would shape his readers:

In addition to offering a Secondary World, with an "inner consistency of reality," a good fair tale in Tolkien's view has three other key features. 

First, it helps to bring about in the reader what he calls recovery - that is, the restoration of a true view of the meaning of ordinary and humble things that make up human life and reality: things like love, thought, trees, hills, and food. 

This is so beautiful, and so true. Who hasn't felt a longing for the pastoral, rustic simplicity of the Shire? Or longed to spend a rainy afternoon in The Prancing Pony? Or thrilled at the sight of the Misty Mountains? I could go on and on...

Composer Howard Shore's ability to capture and articulate these longings, by the way, are the chief reason that the Lord of the Rings soundtracks rank among the best cinematic scores of all time.

Secondly, the good fairy story offers escape from one's narrow and distorted view of reality and meaning. 

I think this is true as well, although perhaps even more so in Lewis' writing than Tolkien's. Maybe there is something to allegory after all, loathe though Tolkien would have been to admit it! See: the hopeful Universalism of Aslan's conversation with the Calormene soldier toward the end of The Last Battle.

Thirdly, the good fairy story offers consolation, leading to joy.

This is perfect, and brilliant, and true. Tolkien knew it. His fondness for sudden, positive, seemingly impossible developments -what he referred to as eucatastrophe, or "hope unlooked-for"- is what makes the books (and the films).

It's Gandalf turning up at Helm's Deep at dawn; it's Rohan's arrival on the field of Battle outside Minas Tirith; it's the consummation of Arwen and Aragorn's seemingly impossible romance; and it's the success of Sam & Frodo's tortuous, unlikely journey.

In many ways, these three things -recovery, escape, and consolation- are why we keep reading, hoping, and believing. It's true of all good writing: sacred or secular, fiction or non-fiction.

I think it's also true of the story of God's sweeping, inclusive, prodigal love for us.

"And that," as Tolkien might say, "may be an encouraging thought." :) Amen! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Person who Prays.

True prayer begins with God who moves our spirit as the Gospel song tells us, to seek [God] seeking us...

Through our prayers [God] reveals that [God's] will is wholly Love, and that our response to that will must be love as well. Even our love for God draws its energy from the source of Love itself, which is God...

The person who continually prays finds his or her life transformed from one of "knowing" to one of believing, and from one ruled by the many selves to one lived according to God's will, which is Love...

The person who prays discovers that the deepest self is clay which must be shaped, molded, and fired by Love. This God-created entity is what Christian tradition calls the soul.

The starting point for prayer is to place the self in the hands of God...This is the clay's surrender to the potter, the surrender of the vanquished to the conqueror as yet unseen, and the lover's surrender to the beloved hidden behind the veil.

Russell M. Hart, Crossing the Border


The church and the world need saints. 

They need saints more than they need canny politicians, more brilliant scientists, more grossly overpaid executives and entrepreneurs, more clever entertainers and talk-show hosts...

Those whose lives have been irradiated by God's grace, who seek not to be safe but to be faithful, who have learned how to get along in adversity, who are joyful, who are dream filled, and above all, who are prayerful. 

That is what the church and the world need most. 

It begins with you. 

E. Glenn Hinson
Spiritual Preparation for Christian Leadership

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Use Well the Days...

Greetings from mostly-kinda-sunny Manchester!

This is a bittersweet update to write; for those of you who don't know, this will be our last ministry newsletter from the mission field. We'll send one final recap when we return to the United States in August, but first we owe a massive THANK YOU to everyone who's loved, prayed for, and financially supported us during the last 4+ years of volunteer ministry. We love you so much, and we couldn't have done it without you!

In late May we returned to our ministry assignment at Ashton-Under-Lyne Church of the Nazarene, where we're active as youth group leaders and in coffeehouse ministry.

In many ways, we've enjoyed picking up right where we left off: working in Coffee Lounge and The Melting Munch, as well as helping to lead Youth Bible Study and YP hangout sessions on Friday nights. We even squeezed in a birthday party for one of our favourite people! :)  

It's also been a huge privilege to participate in two special services that were intentionally postponed until our return. First Brittany preached the homily at our friends David and Leanne's wedding. She was also asked to pray at the baptism service for Morgan and Leila, two teenagers who became Christians during our time in Ashton last year. :) Such wonderful, affirming times in the life of the church!

For the last several years, part of our ministry assignment has been consulting and advising on other coffeehouse ministry projects. The past few months have been no different, and we recently spent an afternoon advising some friends of ours about an upcoming Anglican coffeehouse project in south Manchester. We also spent several days last month consulting on two different Nazarene ministry locations in Carlisle, England. We even found time to take a short day trip to York for our 6th anniversary! :)

1. Please pray for us as we spend our last few weeks of ministry here in Ashton. Pray that we would invest our remaining time, energy, and resources in the right places. And as visit the Sweet Surrender coffeehouse ministries in Poland for the last time, we pray that God would continue to bless the seeds of relational evangelism that we've sown over these past 4 years. We are excited to see how God is still at work in Poland! :)

2. We'll be forever blessed by these past few years of international ministry, travel, and relationship-building. Please pray for us as we prepare to make the BIG vocational, ministerial, and cultural transition back to full-time life in the United States! Pray especially that we would be gracious, flexible, and wise as we re-enter life in our native culture.

3. Praise God that we both have jobs lined up when we return to the States! :) Aaron will be teaching part-time at SNU, and we're VERY excited about being co-pastors to college students and young adults at Oklahoma City First Church of the Nazarene. :) Hooray!

4. Please help us pray for God's provision of housing and transportation when we return! We're not sure where we'll be living (or what we'll be driving) when we return to OKC, but we continue to trust God to provide. During 4+ years of volunteer ministry, God has never failed us yet! God is faithful, and God can be trusted!

Thank you. All of you.

You have fed, clothed, transported, and housed us during fundraising trips. You have loved us, prayed for us, sent us care packages, remembered our birthdays, and Skyped us at odd hours. Because of you (ALL of you!) we have been fully funded, well-loved, and looked-after as long-term volunteer missionaries. We could never, EVER have done it without you, and we appreciate you more than we could ever say. :) We love you so much, and we can't wait to SEE you all again soon!

Aaron & Brittany Bolerjack
Nazarene Mission Corps: UK

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Yearning to Know God's Will

'To think that God could put an idea into someone's mind and that person could comprehend that idea and immediately act upon it with unquestioning determination is the most remarkable wonder of all! 

"A second wonder is that God has given all of us this capacity. God communicates with all of us! We get little nudges - feelings that this or that should be done or not done; we get hunches and leadings, signs and signals, and sometimes direct messages." -Danny E. Morris, Yearning to Know God's Will

Friday, May 16, 2014

Caring for the Poor, Comforting the Dying.

As missionaries and minsters, we are often asked, "what's the Church of the Nazarene?"

There are short answers and long answers to this question.

One of the short answers (particularly in new fields) is, "we're a lot like Methodists."

One of the longer answers is (particularly in Western Europe) is, "We're a Christian, Protestant church in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, one that's based in the United States but international in structure and vision."

One of the best answers we've read in a while, however, comes from the Minutes of the meeting of the congregation of Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene (THE first Church of the Nazarene) on October 30, 1895:

We seek the simplicity and power of the New Testament church. 

The field of labor to which we feel called is the neglected quarters of the cities and wherever else may be found waste places and souls seeking pardon and cleansing from sin. 

This work we aim to do through the agency of city missions, evangelistic services, house to house visitation, caring for the poor, comforting the dying. To this end we strive personally to walk with God and to invite others to do so...

This. This is why we choose to be Nazarene. This!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Finals Week.

While we've been back on home assignment this semester, I (Aaron) have been teaching a couple of history classes at Southern Nazarene University.

As I was grading yet another stack of finals this afternoon, I cam across this heart-warming note that a student scribbled at the end of her last essay:

"I just want you to know I appreciate your excitement about US History. Coming in to this class, I hated history. However, sitting at the end and reflecting upon all I've learned, I have a newfound love for History in general. So, thanks Prof. B."

Ahh...stuff like that makes it feel like all the late nights and early mornings were worth it. :) Happy Finals Week, everybody! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Give us Rest.

It's been a long, long couple of weeks for us.

Weeks filled with meetings, homework, deadlines, and all sorts of "last things."

Week with too much coffee, not enough sleep, and hardly enough space to breathe. To think. To pray. 

Fortunately, we've been reminded of this song in worship twice in four days -on Sunday morning by our friend Tyler, and again last night by our friend Zach- that God alone knows how best to restore, renew, and revitalize God's children to live out our calling in the world.

And that is an encouraging thought! 

Oh great God, give us rest.
We're all worn thin from all of this.
At the end of our hope with nothing left,
Oh great God give us rest.

Oh great God, do your best.
Have you seen this place? It's all a mess.
And I've done my part too well I 'fess.
Oh great God ,do your best.

Could you take a song and make it thine,
From a crooked heart twisted up like mine?
Would you open up Heaven's glory light?
Shine on in and give these dead bones life.
Oh shine on in and give these dead bones life!

Oh Great God, Give us Rest, David Crowder Band

Monday, April 28, 2014

Worthy of the Calling?

We were reminded of this (beautiful) passage at tonight's ordination service for the Oklahoma District Church of the Nazarene:

"I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

So much to chew on here. Such a radical, life-changing, life-affirming call! So much more than we could ever hope to accomplish on our own. But there's good news!

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all." -Ephesians 4:1-6 (NRSV)

And it's true! It is God who calls us. It is God who sustains us.
And God is faithful. God provides. God can be trusted! :) 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shepherds and Sheep

It's no secret (at least we hope not!) that we have come to feel an increasingly stronger call to long-term, bi-vocational ministry over our past few years as volunteer missionaries. Indeed, in some ways it feels like a natural extension of the sort of multifaceted work we've been doing in coffeehouses overseas.

For those reasons, this morning's reading from our devotional guide resonated even more strongly as we begin to think and pray and dream about what sort of pastoral opportunities God might be calling us to in the not-so-distant future:

"The word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel: prophesy, and say to them—to the shepherds: Thus says the Lord God: Ah, you shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed the sheep. 

"You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured, you have not brought back the strayed, you have not sought the lost, but with force and harshness you have ruled them.

"So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and scattered, they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep were scattered, they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill; my sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with no one to search or seek for them." -Ezekiel 34:1-6 (NRSV)

Such challenging (and convicting) words for ministers and missionaries everywhere! :) We all know sheep who have been lost for some of these reasons - and some of us have even been the sheep who got lost for these reasons!

We invite you to pray alongside us as we seek to know God's will and plan and (especially) timing for the things God is calling us -all of us- to do, and that we might be the people that God is calling us -all of us- to be. :) God can be trusted!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

I think.

There is always enough money for our needs.
That's God's provision, I think.

But there is seldom (ever?) enough money for our wants and needs.
That's stewardship, I think.

There is never enough money, it seems, for everyone's needs.
At least not if we're all wrapped up in pursuing our wants.
That's why we're called to social justice.

To feed the hungry; to nourish the thirsty; to shelter the stranger;
to clothe the naked; to visit the imprisoned.

I think.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Disciples serve.

"The world's system of reward has nothing to do with the disciple's reward. A disciple of Jesus Christ is called first to be servant of all, and the leader is to take the lowliest position of service. 

This system turns the world's concept of leadership upside down. The first disciples found it hard to understand and even more difficult to live by such a value system.

But Jesus seems to say there is no other way.  Disciples serve.
-Reuben P. Job, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Seek God

Friday, February 7, 2014

All Things in Common

"They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

"Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. 

"Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. 

"And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved." -Acts 2:42-47 (NRSV)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Still at work...

For the past few weeks, I've been taking a class for ordination called "Providing Christian Education." It's a very interesting class in some ways, less so in others...but in the midst of this week's reading, I stumbled across this humbling, encouraging, inspiring nugget:

"Have you ever preached a sermon and  realized it was terrible and prayed just to finish and just leave without anyone talking to you? Then, after the sermon someone says that the Lord really spoke to me today through your words? 

The Holy Spirit worked in spite of you. 

This is because the student has access to the Holy Spirit just as much as the teacher does.

That gives us hope when we teach because even though we want to do our best every time, we don’t have to be perfect. Even when we fail, God’s Holy Spirit is still at work."


An Invitation to Simplicity

We've been thinking a lot about simplicity and intentionality lately.

We travel a lot for work, so we're constantly learning better ways to travel light. How to emphasize the essentials, and hold all things loosely. What really matters and what's just "stuff."

We're also going to be house-sharing with some good friends of ours for the next four months while we're back in OKC on home assignment. And while most folks would see that as inconvenience, in a lot of ways it suits us (and them) just fine!

We're beginning to think that a life that's lived to its fullest -socially, economically, and spiritually- is by definition lived in community. And perhaps that's why today's devotional reading hit me so hard:

"Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David."
-Isaiah 55:1-3

Simplicity. Intentionality. Community. Love.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

All Things are Passing.

"Only the practice of faith can verify what we believe. Does faith permeate your life? Does it form your judgments about death, about success?

Does it influence the way you read the newspaper? Do you have a divine sense of humor that sees through people and events into the unfolding plan of God? 

When things are turbulent on the surface of your life, do you retain a quiet calm, firmly fixed in ultimate reality? 

As Thérèse of Lisieux said, 'Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things are passing. God alone remains.'" -Brennan Manning

With all our strength...

The prayer has great power which we pray with all our strength.

It makes an embittered heart mellow,
a sad heart joyful, a foolish heart wise,
a timid heart strong, a blind heart clear-seeing,
a cold heart ardent.

It draws God who is great into a heart which is small. 
It drives the hungry soul up to the fulness of God. 

It unites the two lovers, God and soul, 
in a place of bliss, where they converse long of love.
-Mechthild of Magdeburg

Keep going.

God's Promise: Isaiah 30:18-21

"Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.

For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are those who wait for him...

He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you...

And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'"

I love this passage. I've loved since I first heard Dr. Doug Samples teach on it in my freshman Intro to Biblical Literature class at Southern Nazarene University. And it's true!

We don't always know three steps ahead, and it's sometimes easy to slip away from the main path. But when we do -if we're faithful to think and talk and pray about God's will for our lives- we really can hear the Holy Spirit saying, "this is the way for you. Keep going. I am with you." 


Things of Earth, Things of Heaven

Taken from the Prayers After Communion, from the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time:

Father, you give us food from heaven.
By our sharing in this mystery
teach us to judge wisely the things of earth
and to love the things of heaven. Amen.

I love this. I love this.

As Christians, this is who we are called to be. These are the priorities we are called to embrace. To "judge wisely the things of earth and to love the things of heaven." Amen!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Do not fear.

"But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.

"For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...

"Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43:1-3a, 18-19 (NRSV)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What You are in Love with.

"Nothing is more practical that finding God, that is, falling in love in a quite absolute, final way. 

"What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. 

"It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. 

Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."

-Father Pedro Arrupe, Society of Jesus